The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

This Day in Pop Culture for March 8

James Van Der Beek was born on March 8, 1977.

James Van Der Beek Is Born

Now forever known as Dawson Leery from the TV series, Dawson’s Creek, James David Van Der Beek was born on this day in 1977 in Cheshire, Connecticut. James was not a child actor and it wasn’t until he was 15 that he went to New York City to find an agent with his mother and give professional acting a try. A year later, James performed at an off-Broadway stage performing in Finding the Sun. The next year he performed in the musical, Shenandoah at the Good Speed Opera House. James made his film debut in 1995’s Angus and then auditioned for three different TV series in 1997, one of them for Dawson’s Creek which debuted in 1998 and ran for six seasons. Years later, unable to shake his TV persona, James played a fictionalized version of himself for the sitcom Don’t Trust the “B” in Apartment 23. James’ most recent appearance has been playing the role of Senior Field Agent Elijah Mundo in the TV series CSI: Cyber which ran on CBS from 2015-2016.

"Psycho" premiered on March 8, 1960.

Psycho Scares People Silly

Alfred Hitchcock’ Psycho is considered one of the director’s greatest works and perhaps the most controversial. It was filmed on a low budget in black and white, was nominated for four Academy Award nominations and raised up a new “acceptability” for violence, deviant behavior and sexuality in American movies (oh boy!). Known for pushing cinematic boundaries, the film, which premiered on this day in 1960, was one of the first to show an unmarried couple in the same bed and a toilet flushing. At the time, Hitchcock instituted a “no late admission” policy for the movie. Since the movie’s main star is killed off early in the film, he was afraid that latecomers wouldn’t know what was happening. Anthony Perkin’s portrayal of Norman Bates was so good, that he had a hard time getting other roles to play then on out.

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