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Holiday movies, music specials arrive to light a bleak year

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bring on the sentimental holiday rom-coms, the chorus of Christmas music specials and the nostalgia of last century’s animated charmers. We’ll take any and all feel-good moments in a year of scarcity.

Mariah and Dolly and Charlie Brown are among the comforts TV is offering this month, and not a moment too soon. Here’s a sampling from broadcast networks, cable and streaming services, all times Eastern unless noted.

STOCKING STUFFERS

  • “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 (check local listings), PBS. Protests followed the 1965 broadcast evergreen’s removal to Apple TV+ , with PBS’ telecast the compromise. Or see it on the streaming service during a free Dec. 11-13 window.
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” 7:40 p.m. Dec. 5, Freeform. Looking different than everyone else is a burden that turns to joy for a heroic reindeer in the 1964 special narrated by Burl Ives, he of the mellifluous voice.
  • “Frosty the Snowman,” 9 p.m. Dec. 12, CBS. A magic hat brings the snowman to life in the animated 1969 classic, narrated by Jimmy Durante.
  • “Silent Night — A Song for the World,” 8 p.m. Dec. 10 and Dec. 23, CW. The origin and cultural influence of the 200-year-old carol is recounted in a musical documentary that includes Kelly Clarkson, Josh Groban and the Vienna Boys Choir.

HOLIDAY HARMONY

• “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” 8:30 p.m. EST (8 p.m. PST) Dec. 6, CBS. Dolly Parton sings hymns, holiday pop classics and tunes from her new album, and shares personal and faith-based Christmas memories.

• “Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir,” 9 p.m. Dec. 14 (check local listings), PBS. Broadway musical star Kelli O’Hara and actor Richard Thomas are part of the annual program, taped before an audience last year in Salt Lake City.

• “Garth & Trisha Live! A Holiday Concert Event,” 8:30 p.m. EST live (8 p.m. PST, taped), Dec. 20, CBS. Brooks and Yearwood will perform holiday songs chosen from among fan requests submitted beforehand via Brooks’ Facebook Watch show.

MERRY MOVIES

  • “It’s a Wonderful Life,” 8 p.m. Dec. 24, NBC. Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey is floundering amid self-doubt, but family, neighbors and Clarence the angel come to the rescue in filmmaker Frank Capra’s 1946 enduring favorite.
  • “Love, Lights, Hanukkah!”, 8 p.m. Dec. 12, Hallmark. Christina (Mia Kirshner) is readying her restaurant for Christmas, with a DNA surprise and unlikely romance on the menu. Ben Savage and Marilu Henner co-star.
  • “The Christmas Setup,” 8 p.m. Dec. 12, Lifetime. New York lawyer Hugo (Ben Lewis) heads home to Milwaukee, where matchmaking mom Kate (Fran Drescher) sets him up with his high school crush, Patrick (Blake Lee).
  • “Christmas She Wrote,” 8 p.m. Dec. 6, Hallmark. Writer Kayleigh (Danica McKellar) escapes home after her column is canceled, but there’s no hiding from the responsible, if very handsome, culprit (Dylan Neal).