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 29

'My Three Sons' Debuts
It was on this day in 1960 that America first heard that familiar opening song for My Three Sons which would continue to be played through 1972! The premise of the show featured widower Steven Douglas (Fred MacMurray) raising his three boys along with the help of live-in maternal grandfather played by William Frawley (known for playing Fred on I Love Lucy). The show began airing in black and white on ABC and then in 1965, the show was moved to CBS and in color. It was also that year that Frawley left due to health reasons and “Uncle Charley” (played by William Demarest) stepped in. It was also during ‘65’s premiere that Mike, the oldest son, married and then was written out of the show. In order for the 3 Sons title to continue to make sense, Steven then adopted Ernie. Later, middle son, Robbie married and had triplet sons. Then near the show’s end, Steven remarried and became a stepfather to daughter Dorothy. The last episode aired on April 13, 1972. The show produced 380 episodes and it only second to The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (which produced 434 episodes) as the TV’s longest-running live-action sitcom to date.

'Love American Style' Airs for the First Time
While never a huge rating hit, Love American Style was a unique and different type of sitcom. The show premiered on this day in 1969 and featured different stories of romance and marriage, most in the form of 15 to 30 minutes in length. While each episode featured guest stars, there was a main cast as well that played different characters in different scenarios each week. It is said that the show paved the way of the “mini comedic soap opera” that was used in later TV shows like The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. Most stories were light and fluffy and jokes were accentuated by a laugh track. In 1985 ABC tried a daytime revival of the show, New Love, American Style, but it didn’t last long. Another attempt was created in 1998, but the show never made it past the pilot stage.

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