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 October 5

Bond, James Bond, Comes to Theaters
While Casino Royale was the first novel written about James Bond, it was Dr. No that began the movie franchise. Based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, Dr. No was released into theaters on this day in 1962. Directed by Terence Young and filmed in both Jamaica and England, the movie starred Sean Connery in the title role along with Ursula Andress and Joseph Wiseman. The low budget film was a big financial success and was the first to introduce the character through the view of a gun barrel. It is hard believe that Connery wasn’t the studio’s first choice for the character. Producers Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli initially wanted Cary Grant for the role, but he would only commit to one feature film. Other choices included Richard Johnson, Patrick McGoohan and David Niven. As for Fleming, he wanted to see Richard Todd in the role. To make Andress appear more Jamaican, she was painted with a dark tan and her thick Swiss German accent was re-dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl. In 2012, 50 years after the film debuted, Eon Productions proclaimed the date as “Global James Bond Day.” It was also the day that the song, “Skyfall," from the 2012 James Bond film of the same name, was released.

Release of the 'Ten Commandments' Movie
One of the most famous faith-based film, The Ten Commandments, was released today in 1956 as a preview in Salt Lake City. The epic, produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille, tells the story of Moses. The film was shot in Egypt, Mount Sinai and the Sinai Peninsula and stared Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson and Vincent Price. Yvonne De Carlo, who is best known as Lily from The Munsters TV show, played Sephora. The movie was DeMille’s last and most successful film and ironically was partially a remake of his silent film of the same name that was created in 1923. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made and is one of the most financially successful ones too. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards but only won one for Best Visual Effects.

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