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YULE TUBE: Weekend Best Bets
December 23, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 

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The Doctor WhoChristmas invasion has begun, and that's just some of the juiciest holiday fun airing over the weekend. While you can always click to our complete holiday listings, look below for a quicker take on our seasonal best bets.


CLICK HERE for 2011 HOLIDAY MOVIES/TV MOVIES

CLICK HERE for 2011 HOLIDAY TV EPISODES/ANIMATION/MUSIC/MORE


HOLIDAY-THEMED BEST BETS

ANIMATION -- It's another Rankin-Bass marathon Saturday on ABC Family, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET., including such classics as Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and The Year Without a Santa Claus (with a mini-marathon Sunday 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET on ABC Family). There's also a Christmas night network run of Chuck Jones' Dr. Seuss cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC) -- and an encore of this year's new holiday episode of The Simpsons (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox). Lucky viewers with Me-TV can savor the surprisingly strong telling of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol (Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET on Me-TV).

FANTASY -- Doctor Who premiering a special adventure on Christmas night is a British TV tradition that we're now adopting here, hence the new The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe (Sunday night at 9 ET on BBC America). It caps BBC America's entire weekend of holiday Doctor, including last year's delightful Matt Smith version of A Christmas Carol (Saturday at noon and 7 p.m. ET, Sunday at 5 a.m. ET, BBC America).

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BLACK-AND-WHITE FAVES -- Always worth watching from TV's early years: George Burns and Gracie Allen (Saturday at 1 and 1:30 p.m. ET, also midnight and 12:30 a.m. ET on Antenna TV), plus Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows on The Honeymooners (Saturday at 11:30 p.m. ET on WPIX; Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on Me-TV). The gang puts on a Christmas show on Car 54, Where Are You? (Saturday night at 2:30 a.m. ET on Me-TV) and The Dick Van Dyke Show (Sunday at 9:15 a.m. ET on TV Land). Stay tuned till Tuesday for Art Carney's Santa in "Night of the Meek" on "The Twilight Zone" (Tuesday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET on Chiller).

CLASSIC/CULT COMEDY -- Moving into the start of TV's modern era, there's the sharp-edged wit of a memorable M*A*S*H (Saturday at 5:10 p.m. ET, Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET on TV Land) in which Hawkeye writes a Christmas journal to his dad, and a workplace holiday on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on Me-TV). It snows in Puerto Rico on Sally Field's The Flying Nun (Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET on Antenna TV), and a Brazilian Christmas carol is sung on The Monkees (Saturday at 6 p.m. ET on Antenna TV).

MORE RECENT SITCOMS -- They're both silly and sentimental on seasonal episodes of Scrubs (Saturday at 2:50 and 3:20 p.m. ET on Comedy Central). Family humor is never smarter than in Everybody Loves Raymond (Saturday 9-11:30 p.m. ET, Sunday 8:30-11 p.m. ET on TV Land), or wackier than on Malcolm in the Middle (Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET, Monday at 7 p.m. ET, IFC; Sunday at 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. ET on TeenNick). Tim Allen's holiday displays are always fun on Home Improvement (Sunday morning 3:30-6 a.m. ET on TV Land). And Andy Dick headlines a nutty NewsRadio (Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on Antenna TV).

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HOLIDAY MASHUP -- Chrismukkah with a red yarmulke is the idea behind four seasonal outings of The OC (Sunday 3-7 p.m. ET on SOAPnet). But you'll have to wait till Tuesday for Festivus on Seinfeld (Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on TBS).

MOVIES -- Santa claims he's real in 1947's original Miracle on 34th Street (Saturday at 2 p.m. ET on TCM). Christmas Eve hosts its annual screening of It's a Wonderful Life (Saturday 8-11 p.m. ET on NBC). Starting at the same time is the yearly every-two-hours marathon of A Christmas Story (Saturday 8 p.m.-Sunday 8 p.m. on TBS). And of course, Christmas is crazy in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC Family).

 
 
 
 
 
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