Advent TV Calendar: Pope’s Choir, ‘Sound of Music,’ ‘Elf,’ ‘A Christmas Story’ and More


Almost there! This is the last Sunday of Advent, and next Sunday is Dec. 25, the big day … Christmas Day! So here’s the final installment of our Advent TV calendar of notable offerings on broadcast, cable and streaming.

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December 18, Fourth Sunday of Advent:

“If You Give A Mouse a Christmas Cookie” on Amazon PrimeA mouse and his animal friends try to fix their mistake after destroying the set of the school pageant.

“Home Alone” on HBO GoWhen a Chicago family takes a Christmas trip to Paris and accidentally leaves their young son behind, the little boy defends his house during a string of neighborhood burglaries.

“60 Minutes”: 7:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on CBS : Charlie Rose profiles Maestro Massimo Palombella of the Sistine Chapel Choir, known as the “pope’s choir,” and how he restored the men-and-boys choir back to its original Renaissance sound. Apparently it worked. From a CBS press release:

Palombella recalls what one man said to him after a concert, “[He] said the choir I conduct is missing one thing: wings.”

Click here to see a preview.

“The Sound of Music”: 7 p.m. ET/PT on ABC: The classic 1965 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical drama, based on the memoirs of Maria Von Trapp, stars Julie Andrews as Maria, a young Austrian Catholic woman in 1938. While discerning a vocation, she takes a job caring for a widower and his large family. She finds love and also gets caught up in the Nazi takeover of Austria.

December 19, Fourth Monday of Advent:

“America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular”: 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC – Some of the series’ past contestants return to the stage to perform holiday-themed entertainment.

December 21, Fourth Wednesday of Advent:

“Christmas with the Kranks” on NetflixWhen a married couple’s daughter decides to make a last minute trip home for the holidays, they rush to create the best Christmas ever.

“Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas”: 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC: Based on the hit 2003 movie, the stop-motion animated special features the voice of Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) as Buddy, a human raised among Santa’s elves, as he heads to New York City to meet the father he never knew he had. Other voices are Mark Hamill, Ed Asner, Jay Leno and Matt Lauer.



December 23, Fourth Friday of Advent:

“Thomas & Friends: A Very Thomas Christmas” on NetflixAll aboard for a special holiday delivery filled with friendship, teamwork, fun and the perfect Christmas tree.

“A Home for the Holidays”: 8 p.m.ET/PT on CBS: The 18th annual special focuses on foster-care adoption, featuring celebrities who’ve either had their own adoption experiences or are involved with children’s issues.

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBCChuck Jones produced and directed the classic 1966 half-hour animated special, which was written by Theodor “Dr. Suess” Geisel based on his book. The special features the voices of Boris Karloff as the Grinch and the narrator, as well as June Foray as Cindy Lou Who. In honor of the special’s 50th anniversary, NBC is airing the full 26-minute version that was originally broadcast.

Or you can watch it here:

“How Murray Saved Christmas”: 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC: Based on Emmy-winning writer/executive producer Mike Reiss’ best-selling children’s book of the same name, it centers on cranky deli owner Murray Weiner (Jerry Stiller), who is forced to fill in for Santa (Kevin Michael Richardson) one Christmas and does a weirdly wonderful job.

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love”: 9 p.m. ET/PT: Originally aired Nov. 30, this two-hour movie is a sequel to 2015’s “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” and continues the childhood story of Parton and her family in the hills of Tennessee.

December 24, Christmas Eve:

“A Christmas Story” :24-hour marathon starts 8 p.m. ET/PT on TBS – A young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

“Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas” on Netflix – George and The Man In The Yellow Hat are having a merry time counting down to Christmas. But neither can decide what to give each other. Will they find the answers before Christmas morning?

“It’s a Wonderful Life”: 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC: The 1946 classic tells the story of George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) a frustrated small-town husband and father who, in a moment of desperation, wishes his life away, only to learn what the world would be like without him.

“Christmas Eve Mass”: 11:30 p.m ET/PT on NBC: Christians from around the world gather at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, as Pope Francis celebrates Midnight Mass.

“Listen! A Musical Celebration of Christmas at Berea College,” 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on CBS: The one-hour special features students and music faculty from the Christian college in Kentucky, blending sacred and secular Christmas music. Also, there will be a reading from Berea’s newly acquired copy of the St. John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated Bible published since the end of the 15th Century. It was commissioned by Catholic St. John’s Abbey and University, and is the work of calligrapher Donald Jackson.


Image: Courtesy NBC

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