Unwrapping Holiday Magic on TV

Hallmark movies

'Tis the season for heartwarming tales and festive cheer as cable TV networks unwrap their holiday programming, offering viewers a delightful escape into the magic of the season. TV network crews work tirelessly throughout the entire year to film and produce holiday movies for this very season, and the end result is a joyful space for viewers to celebrate the "most wonderful time of the year." Take a look below at a handful of festive programming to look forward to this month.


Hallmark's beloved "Countdown to Christmas" holiday lineup this year includes 40 new original movies, and features holiday stars such as Lacey Chabert, Chris Carmack, Luke Macfarlane, and Bethany Joy Lenz, among many others. Many of the network's holiday movies this season touch on the theme of travel and European getaways. The holiday spirit for Hallmark actually kicked off on October 20, and included a "Merry Thanksgiving Weekend Ultimate Watch Party."


Lifetime‘s annual holiday movie event, "It's a Wonderful Lifetime," kicked off on November 18 and includes 12 new movies filled with nostalgia and reunions, such as Teri Hatcher in “Christmas at the Chalet” and “Ladies of the ‘80s: A Divas Christmas,” starring Loni Anderson, Morgan Fairchild, Linda Gray, Donna Mills and Nicollette Sheridan. Then there's "Yes, Chef! Christmas" (which leans into the sensation of FX's, "The Bear") starring Tia Mowry, Buddy Valastro and Luke Humphrey.

Great American Family

Great American Family's third annual Great American Christmas lineup features 20 new movies, the first which premiered on October 13 and will be airing 24/7 throughout the holiday season. A handful of old favorite stars include Candace Cameron Bure, Danica McKellar, Lori Louglin, Daniel Lissing, Trevor Donovan, and Chad Michael Murray.


UPtv's first of eight new holiday movies kicked off on November 5, but it's streaming service UP Faith & Family began streaming more than 200 Christmas favorites on November 3. The network's holiday extravaganza spans 45 days and nearly 600 hours of festive programming. Viewers can look forward to performances by Chris Jericho, Jessica Sipos, and Melissa Peterman, among others.

Shudder on AMC+

Leave it to Shudder to produce a holiday-themed horror movie. "It's a Wonderful Knife" starts airing today, and is described as "It's a Wonderful Life" meets "Scream." A woman saves her town from a murderer, but in an alternate reality, she finds out how horrific life in the town would be without her. The cast includes Jane Widdop, Joel McHale and Justin Long.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN unveiled four new original holiday movies this year as part of its "OWN for the Holidays" slate of festive programming. Audiences can look forward to seeing B.J. Britt of "Being Mary Jane," and Javicia Leslie of "Batwoman."


BET+ released 12 new holiday movies this season, which include a mix of films spanning musical dramas and romantic comedies, and TV specials. This also includes a standalone holiday episode of the BET+ popular sitcom, "The Ms. Pat Show," directed by Debbie Allen.


Ludacris stars in "Dashing Through the Snow" as a single father. He comes across a man dressed as Santa Claus with his daughter, and they set off on adventures that could shift his negative perspective towards Christmas.


Featuring Paapa Essiedu and Melissa McCarthy, "Genie" is about a man going through hard times during the Christmas season who accidentally awakens a genie. Written by Richard Curtis of "Love Actually," he also wrote the original TV movie made in 1991, "Bernard and the Genie."