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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

New Mariah Carey TV Special To Follow ‘A Christmas Melody’ Dec. 19

Courtesy Hallmark Channel

Oh Santa! Get ready for Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas.

The Grammy-winning singer stars in a new holiday special, “Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas,” airing on the Hallmark Channel at 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, immediately following the premiere of her “A Christmas Melody” movie filmed here in October.

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Emmy-winner Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”) and Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”) will perform in the one-hour special.

“A Christmas Melody” cast members Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott and Fina Strazza also will appear to share their “holiday memories and experiences from working with Mariah on-set during production of the movie,” according to the Hallmark Channel release.

Young Strazza, who starred as “Matilda” on Broadway earlier this year, sings Carey’s “Oh Santa!” hit in the movie, as I wrote in October.  And here’s a link to my post about visiting the set and watching Carey workin October.

Credit Brian Douglas for the Hallmark Channel
Broadway star Fina Strazza singing "Oh Santa" on the Kilgour Elementary School Stage in October

Carey directed the music special and the movie for Brad Krevoy Television. With the help of the Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Film Commission, Krevoy shot his second holiday film here in two years. Krevoy was executive producer on “A Christmas Melody,” and Nicollette Sheridan’s “A Christmas Spirit” filmed in Lebanon in 2013.

Here’s the Hallmark Channel release:



STUDIO CITY, CA – December 8, 2015 -- Hallmark Channel announces “Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas,” an exclusive musical holiday event premiering on Saturday, December 19 at 10pm ET/PT immediately following the world premiere of “A Christmas Melody,” directed by and starring musical legend and Grammy® award-winning superstar Mariah Carey.

The one-hour musical special, produced by Brad Krevoy Television, features outstanding performances of holiday songs by the incomparable pop diva herself - Mariah Carey, including a duet with 11-time Grammy Award winner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.  Emmy Award winner Kelsey Grammer gives an unforgettable reading of “The Night Before Christmas.”  Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”) appears as Santa Claus.  Additionally, cast members from “A Christmas Melody” - Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott and Fina Strazza – join the festivities sharing holiday memories and experiences from working with Mariah on-set during production of the movie.

“This special is a spectacular way to end this year’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ on Hallmark Channel,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. “Mariah Carey is one of the most talented and iconic stars of all time.  It was an honor to create a partnership with her and we hope to continue the creative relationship in years to come.”

Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to date and 18 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (17 self-penned), more than any solo artist in history. Mariah is a singer/song-writer/producer recognized with multiple Grammy Awards, 21 American Music Awards, Billboard's “Artist of the Decade” Award, the World Music Award for “World's Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium,” and BMI's “Icon Award” for her outstanding achievements in songwriting, to name a few – with her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific songwriting, and producing talent, Mariah is truly the template of the modern pop performance. Currently, Mariah is in the midst of her critically acclaimed Las Vegas residency, "Mariah #1 to infinity," which resumes in February 2016 at Caesars Palace and celebrates all 18 of her #1 singles. Along with also working on new music, Mariah has recently taken her talents behind the camera directing the movie “A Christmas Melody” for Hallmark Channel.

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, an 11-time Grammy Award winner, channels the magic of his storied career with “Return of the Tender Lover” (Def Jam, December 4, 2015). Featuring nine new original songs, Babyface’s first solo album in seven years is a nod to his RIAA triple-platinum album “Tender Lover.” That 1989 definitive breakthrough spun off four R&B/pop crossover hits, including the R&B No. 1’s “It’s No Crime” and “Tender Lover” plus “Whip Appeal” and “My Kinda Girl.”

The prolific music man counts more than 125 top 10 R&B and pop hits, 42 R&B No. 1 hits and 51 top 10 pop hits (including 16 No. 1’s). In turn, those stats have generated cumulative single and album sales of more than 500 million units worldwide. And that’s not counting the numerous awards that Babyface has received. A triumphant first tour of South Africa with Braxton this year yielded a double-platinum award for the duo’s “Love, Marriage & Divorce” (featuring the urban AC No. 1 “Hurt You”). This brought Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds his 11th Grammy with this year’s win for best R&B album. That latest accolade joins a host of other honors, including the Soul Train Music Awards, BMI Awards, NAACP Image Awards, American Music Awards and BET Walk of Fame Award.

Television icon, Kelsey Grammer is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, producer, director, writer and singer.  Grammer is known for his two-decade portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on “Cheers” and “Frasier.” He has won five Primetime Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards and has also worked as a television producer, director, writer, and as a voice artists on “The Simpsons” as Sideshow Bob for which he received his fifth Primetime Emmy.

“Mariah Carey’s Merriest Christmas” is a Brad Krevoy Television production. Mariah Carey, Brad Krevoy, Stella Bulochnikov and Adam D. Paul are executive producers. Mark Amato and Jim Yukich are consulting producers.  Mariah Carey is director.   

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.