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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

Going My Way Or White Christmas? Many Holiday TV Choices This Weekend

Bing Crosby

Two of my favorite Bing Crosby holiday films – and maybe yours – air Saturday night. At the same time.

I've seen "White Christmas" with Bing and Rosemary Clooney a zillion times, so I'm setting my DVR for "Going My Way," the feel good movie which won best picture and six more Academy Awards in 1944.

Credit Decca Records
Bing Crosby's "Going My Way" album.

Crosby won an Oscar for playing fun loving young Father Chuck O'Malley, assigned to help an aging pastor (Barry Fitzgerald) at old inner-city parish.  Fitzgerald won an Oscar too. The film also won for direction, original story, screenplay, and the original song "Swinging On A Star" crooned by Crosby.

This last weekend before Christmas starts with "Handel’s Messiah" by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at 6 p.m. today on 90.9 WGUC-FM.

Also this weekend: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," "The Polar Express," "Elf," "The Santa Clause," "Santa Claus: The Movie," "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!," George C. Scott's "A Christmas Carol," Albert Finney's "Scrooge," "Happy Holidays with the Boston Pops," Julie Andrews' "The Sound of Music," a repeat of the Lumenocity: Re-Imagine concert and a Christmas episode of "The Love Boat."

See the full list of Christmas specials on my 2016 Holiday Program Guide list. Here are the weekend highlights:

Credit Wikipedia
Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby in "White Christmas"


Handel’s Messiah (6 p.m., 90.9 WGUC-FM): The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs Handel's famous oratorio.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (7:35 p.m., Freeform): A Griswold family Christmas with Chevy Chase in 1989.

Love You Like Christmas (8 p.m., Hallmark): A businesswoman (Bonnie Somerville) visits Christmas Valley, where strangers feel like family.

Deck the Halls (8 p.m, AMC): Neighbors (Danny DeVito, Matthew Broderick) go crazy competing over house decorations.

85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade (8 p.m., Ch 12.2 CW): Olivia Newton-John serves as grand marshal.

A Song For The Season (8 p.m., Ch 64.4 GET TV):  A music teacher (Naomi Judd) fights for her music program.

Joshua Bell's Seasons of Cuba (9 p.m., Ch 48 PBS): Violinist Joshua Bell showcases Cuban and American musicians.

The Polar Express (9:45 p.m., Freeform): A train conductor takes a boy to the North Pole.

The Christmas Wish (10 p.m., Ch 64.4 GET TV):  A man (Neil Patrick Harris) searches for the woman named in his grandfather’s diary.

A Christmas Melody (midnight, Hallmark):  Mariah Carey’s 2015 movie filmed in Cincinnati about a diva PTA mom directing a school pageant.

Credit Wikipedia
Norwood native Vera-Ellen dances with Danny Kaye in "White Christmas."


A Classical Kids Christmas (10:10 a.m., 90.9 WGUC-FM): A look at Christmas traditions around the world through carols and poetry.

The Polar Express (2:35 p.m., Freeform): A train conductor takes a boy to the North Pole.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (4:40 p.m., Freeform): A Griswold family Christmas with Chevy Chase in 1989.

Santa Claus: The Movie (5:30 p.m., AMC): An elf (Dudley Moore) foils a toy maker’s scheme.

The Santa Clause (6:50 p.m., Freeform): A divorced dad (Tim Allen) becomes Santa.

I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown! (8 p.m., Ch 9 ABC): Lucy's family wants a dog.

A Christmas Carol (8 p.m., AMC):  George C. Scott gives Scrooge the Dickens in 1984.

My Christmas Love (8 p.m., Hallmark): New. A hopeless romantic (Meredith Hagner) receives each gift from the song "The 12 Days of Christmas" from an anonymous benefactor.

Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience: The Spirit of the Season (8 p.m., CET Arts Ch 48.3): Holiday music with singer Shaun Johnson and Tonic Sol-Fa quartet.

Happy Holidays with the Boston Pops (9 p.m., Ch 48): Holiday concert by the Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

Jordan Smith 'Tis The Season (10 p.m., Ch 48): Holiday music by "The Voice" winner Jordan Smith.

White Christmas (10:30 p.m., AMC): Friends (Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Vera-Ellen) put on a show to help a retired World War II general in 1954.

Going My Way (10:45 p.m., TCM): A young priest (Bing Crosby) revives an inner-city parish in 1944.

Credit ABC Television
Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music"


CSO Presents Lumenocity (1:59 p.m., Ch 48): Replay of the August concert at Taft Theatre.

Frontline: From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians (3 p.m., Ch 48): Frontline's 1998 series about the life of Jesus and early Christianity.

The Santa Clause (6:50 p.m., Freeform): A divorced dad (Tim Allen) becomes Santa.

Credit ABC Television
"The Love Boat" cast in 1977 (from left): Lauren Tewes, Bernie Kopell, Ted Lange, Fred Grandy and Gavin MacLeod.

The Love Boat (6 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Judy, Gopher and Isaac each hire a Santa, and they don't get along.

The Sound of Music (7 p.m., Ch 9 ABC): Maria Von Trapp (Julie Andrews) and her family escape 1938 Austria.

Scrooge (8 p.m., TCM): Albert Finney’s 1970 version of “A Christmas Carol.”

Sleigh Bells Ring (8 p.m., Hallmark): New. A city administrator (Erin Cahill) finds a magical sleigh which takes her  to former sweetheart.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (8 p.m., 90.9 WGUC-FM): Holiday favorites performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Miracle in the Wilderness (8 p.m., Ch 64.4 GET TV): Indians capture a pioneer couple (Kris Kristofferson, Kim Cattrall).

Home Alone 2 - Lost in New York (8 p.m., AMC): Kevin outwits Christmas thieves again.

Christmas with the King’s Singers  (9 p.m., 90.9 WGUC-FM): An a cappella Christmas from England with the King's Singers vocal ensemble.

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.