News Column

Bieber Fever, Ralphie on TV's Holiday Menu

Dec. 22, 2011

Hal Boedeker

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber

Viewers are getting Justin Bieber for Christmas. Also Dwight Howard, Julie Andrews, James Stewart and Ralphie -- lots of Ralphie.

Earlier this month, Bieber visited Disney World for the 28th annual "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade," which airs at noon Christmas Day on ABC.

But there's a lot more to the show than Bieber fever. Also taking part at Disney World were Cee Lo Green of "The Voice," Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, "American Idol" victor Scotty McCreery, and Zendaya and Bella Thorne of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up." Mario Lopez and Maria Menounos are hosts for the Disney World portions.

The special also visits Disneyland. Nick Cannon hosts from there, and Christina Aguilera (also of "The Voice") and OneRepublic perform during the two-hour broadcast.

Orlando will be showcased in another way Christmas Day, when the delayed NBA season starts. The Orlando Magic play at Oklahoma City in a game that ESPN will show at 8 p.m. Sunday.

If you're more interested in Christmas programming, ABC will offer two versions of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on Sunday. The 1966 animated classic with Boris Karloff airs at 8 p.m., and the Jim Carrey movie follows at 8:30.

If you need to get in the Christmas mood, television will help Saturday night. TBS starts its 24-hour marathon of "A Christmas Story" at 8 p.m. It is, of course, the much-loved 1983 film about Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and a Red Ryder BB gun.

NBC gives over all of Saturday prime time to "It's a Wonderful Life," which starts at 8. James Stewart and Donna Reed star in the 1946 classic fantasy directed by Frank Capra. Visually impaired viewers can listen, via the SAP channel, to former President George H.W. Bush narrate the movie.

"The Sound of Music" may not be a Christmas story, but it features "My Favorite Things," which has become a Christmas standard. The Oscar-winning best picture of 1965 starts at 7 p.m. Saturday on ABC.

The film version of the Broadway musical features one of the best-remembered openings in movie history: Julie Andrews delivers the soaring title number. The movie's other assets include Christopher Plummer, kids, mountains and Rodgers and Hammerstein's songs.

Would you believe Vanessa Williams as Scrooge? She takes the role in "A Diva's Christmas Carol," a 2000 movie that airs at 10 p.m. Saturday on Lifetime.

TCM delivers two holiday classics Saturday. Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in 1944's "Meet Me in St. Louis" at 6 p.m. "Miracle on 34th Street," the 1947 fantasy, follows at 8 p.m. and presents Edmund Gwenn in his Oscar-winning role as Santa Claus.

And we can't forget the pope. NBC pre-empts "Saturday Night Live" to offer Christmas Eve Mass from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The broadcast starts at 11:30 p.m.

Source: (c) 2011 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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