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 September 24

'60 Minutes' Begins Ticking
Fifty years ago today the stopwatch first began ticking on the CBS news program 60 Minutes in 1968. The magazine-styled show was created by Don Hewitt which began as a bi-weekly program that was hosted by Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace. The show also featured Morley Safer, Dan Rather, Water Cronkite, Charles Kuralt, Roger Mudd, Bill Plante and Eric Sevareid. In addition to the three long-format news stories, the show often included a Point/Counterpoint segment featuring James J. Kilpatrick representing conservative views and Nicholas von Hoffman representing liberal views on a different topic each week. Beginning in 1978 and stretching all the way to 2011, many of the shows ended with “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” who often ranted about a variety of topics but usually with a comical tone.

Debut of 'The Munsters'
Ironically, both The Adams Family and The Munsters sitcoms debuted in the fall of 1964 just as TV shows were starting to turn to color. While the Adams were modeled about the Charles Adams comics found in The New Yorker, The Munsters were a mix of Universal’s monsters and traditional family values. In fact, the show was produced by the same people who created Leave it to Beaver. The show only ran for two seasons, but the show’s fan base has grown through years of syndication. In 1987, a new version of the show, The Munsters Today, was also filmed at Universal Studios, but it never measured up to the original. Universal tried the formula one more time in 2012 with Mockingbird Lane, a modern, more spooky version. It aired during the Halloween special but was not picked up as a series.

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