Press release: It’s beginning to look and sound a lot like Christmas on getTV, as the network presents a month of classic Yuletide specials hosted by some of Hollywood’s most legendary variety stars, every Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, from November 25 through December 23. As part of the festivities, getTV will also air a Christmas-themed Monday Night Variety Block packed with holiday episodes of THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW, THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW and THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW on November 23 at 8 p.m. ET; as well as a comprehensive 30-hour marathon featuring all of getTV’s holiday specials, starting Christmas Eve at 12 p.m. ET through Christmas Day at 6 p.m. ET.
The specials are all part of getTV’s continuing efforts to unearth rare Hollywood classic movies and TV, and many of them, including specials from Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Andy Williams, Perry Como, and Mitzi Gaynor, have not been seen on television in decades, often since their first broadcasts 40-50 years ago.
The Yuletide celebration begins on Monday, November 23, with the star-studded holiday episode of THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW at 8 p.m. ET, which airs weekly in the same time slot as part of getTV’s Monday night block of variety programming. Guests include Garland’s children Lorna Luft, Joey Luft and Liza Minnelli, as well as Jack Jones, and Mel Tormé, who performs his own legendary composition, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”). Judy herself performs carols such as “Winter Wonderland” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” the iconic standard that she first introduced to the world in the 1944 movie “Meet Me In St. Louis.” Next, at 9 p.m. ET, Andy Williams highlights some of his favorite Christmas moments in HAPPY HOLIDAYS: THE BEST OF THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS SHOW, packed with holiday standards such as “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Ave Maria,” and more, along with unforgettable duets as Andy and his brothers harmonize with the Osmond clan. And Merv Griffin closes out the evening with guests Florence Henderson, Barbara McNair, and Jimmy Boyd singing his signature song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” in a special Christmas edition of THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW, at 10 p.m. ET.
The network’s schedule of Christmas Specials is as follows:
THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS SHOW (1966)
Premieres: Dec. 2 at 8pE
Beloved crooner Andy Williams sings his way through a Winter Wonderland of cherished Christmas classics, including “Carol Of The Bells,” “Mary’s Boy Child,” and his trademark rendition of “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” with the help of his wife, French songstress Claudine Longet; his singing siblings the Williams Brothers; and showbiz legends the Osmond Brothers.
Starring: Andy Williams, Claudine Longet, the Williams Brothers, and the Osmond Brothers.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS: THE BEST OF THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS SHOWS (2001)
Premieres: Nov. 23 at 9pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 16 at 10pE
THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW was broadcast for nearly a decade, and during that time, each December Andy celebrated Christmas with a special program. This special, featuring reminiscences from Donny Osmond, son Bobby Williams and from Andy himself, presents the best of the Andy Williams Christmas shows.
Starring: Andy Williams, the Williams Brothers, and the Osmond Brothers.
THE CHRISTMAS SONNY AND CHER COMEDY HOUR (1973)
Premieres: Dec. 9 at 8pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 14 at 9pE
Groovy duo Sonny and Cher give “A Gift Of Song” in their second Christmas special, putting their quirky touch on Christmas with holiday favorites such as “Jingle Bells” and “O Holy Night,” and on charming skits starring CANNON star William Conrad and their four-year-old daughter Chastity. This rare 1973 special stands out as one of three Christmas shows that the couple did during their television tenure, and remains one of the only places where viewers can see either Sonny or Cher performing Christmas songs. (OAD: 12/19/73).
Starring: Sonny Bono, Cher, William Conrad, Chastity Bono.
BING CROSBY AND THE SOUNDS OF CHRISTMAS (1971)
Premieres: Nov. 25 at 8pE; Other airdates include: Nov. 30 at 9pE and Dec. 16 at 9pE
Bing Crosby stars in the 1971 edition of his annual holiday specials, bringing the sounds of Christmas to life with help from original SLEEPING BEAUTY star Mary Costa; the Mitchell Boys Choir; members of the Crosby Family; and fan-favorite vocalist Robert Goulet. Highlights include the Crosby/Costa collaboration “Bells Medley;” the carol “Christmas Island;” and Crosby’s timeless rendition of “White Christmas,” with Costa, Goulet, and the Crosby Family. (OAD: 12/14/71)
Starring: Bing Crosby, Robert Goulet, Mary Costa, Kathryn Crosby and the Mitchell Boys Choir.
CHRISTMAS WITH DANNY KAYE (1966)
Premieres: Nov. 25 at 10pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 23 at 9pE
In this episode of “The Danny Kaye Show”, acclaimed song-and-dance man Danny Kaye puts his undeniable charisma on display in this evening of laughs and music, featuring the sultry sounds of blonde bombshell Peggy Lee, as she duets with Danny for a genre-spanning rendition of “Jingle Bells;” as well as hilarious skits with series regulars Harvey Korman and Joyce Van Patten. But the true highlight is, arguably, the show-stopping performance by a 24-year-old Wayne Newton, as he blazes through “Jingle Bell Rock” and the WEST SIDE STORY classic “Somewhere (A Place For Us)” in one of his earliest television appearances. (OAD: 12/21/66)
Starring: Danny Kaye, Peggy Lee, Wayne Newton, Harvey Korman, Joyce Van Patten, and the International Children’s Choir.
THE PERRY COMO CHRISTMAS SHOW (1974)
Premieres: Nov. 25 at 9pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 7 at 9pE and Dec. 23 at 8pE
Celebrated showman Perry Como gets viewers into the spirit of Christmas, teaming up with the Carpenters to deliver an hour of holiday standards such as “Carol Of The Bells” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town,” as well as unforgettable Como and Karen Carpenter duets on “Sleep Well, Little Children” and the tag-team medley covering the Como and Carpenter hits “It’s Impossible” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.” The special also includes comedian/impressionist Rich Little portraying Santa Claus in the guise of Jack Benny and Olympic Champion figure skater Peggy Fleming. The special also includes an extended Nativity scene, as narrated by Como. (OAD: 12/17/74).
Starring: Perry Como, The Carpenters, Rich Little, and Peggy Fleming.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE KING FAMILY (1967)
Premieres: Dec. 2 at 10pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 16 at 8pE
America’s First Family of Song stars in their first Christmas special, following the success of THE KING FAMILY SHOW variety series, which premiered in 1965. During the hour-long presentation, the family invites viewers into a traditional Christmas setting, as they decorate a Christmas tree, learn the story of a Christmas donkey, and bring the Nativity to life, while performing a variety of Christmas classics such as “Happy Holidays,” “Caroling, Caroling,” “Deck The Halls,” “Sleigh Ride,” and many more. The family’s musical legacy is still alive and well today, as King Cousin Liza Rey Butler has played harp on albums for GRAMMY® Award-winning indie rock mainstays Arcade Fire, fronted by her sons Win and Will. Recently, the Four Cousins, featuring Tina Cole (MY THREE SONS) have returned to the concert stage.
Starring: The King Sisters, Alvino Rey, Tina Cole, The Four King Cousins, Cam Clarke, Robert Clarke, Ric de Azevedo, and the King Kids.
MITZI GAYNOR CHRISTMAS SHOW (1967)
Premieres: Dec. 2 at 9pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 23 at 10pE
The incomparable Mitzi Gaynor takes the stage at the Kraft Music Hall in New York City, putting her signature song-and-dance twist on a multitude of Christmas favorites including “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” and “We Need A Little Christmas,” among others. Gaynor is joined throughout the night by TONIGHT SHOW icon Ed McMahon, for the duets “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “I Believe In You”; as well as stage legends Cyril Ritchard and Tony Tanner in a raucous A CHRISTMAS CAROL sketch. This episode hasn’t been seen on TV since 1968 and has never been released on DVD. (OAD: 12/20/67).
Starring: Mitzi Gaynor, Ed McMahon, Cyril Ritchard, and Tony Tanner.
MERV’S CHRISTMAS WITH THE KIDS (1973)
Premieres: Nov. 30 at 10pE; Other airdates include: Dec. 21 at 10pE
Merv Griffin celebrates the Christmas season with a roster of child stars, in this musical special that features appearances from future REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS alum Kim Richards (NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR), as well as Ricky Segall (THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY), Eric Scott and Mary Elizabeth McDonough (THE WALTONS), Rodney Allen Rippy and the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir.
Starring: Merv Griffin, Kim Richards, Mary Elizabeth McDonough, Eric Scott, Ricky Segall, and Rodney Allen Rippy.
For a complete schedule of films and times, visit www.get.tv/schedule. In addition to airing these films on the dates noted above, some of the specials mentioned are scheduled for further broadcasts throughout the month. (See listings for further details.)