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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. Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU. Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

TV Kiese’s 35th annual Holiday Program Guide is here!

A Charlie Brown Christmas Piano Schroeder Lucy ABC 2016.jpg
Shroeder plays "Jingle Bells" for Lucy in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" airing Dec. 19 on PBS.

New shows with Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé, Ne-Yo, Jordin Sparks, The Waltons, Annie and Sarah Brightman join Frosty, Rudolph, The Grinch, A Christmas Story, A Christmas Carol and other holiday classics starring Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, James Stewart, The Muppets and more.

Once again the holidays bring surprising new gifts and old friends.

Sometimes they come together, like the CW’s reboot of The Waltons, the beloved 1970s drama starring Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite and Michael Learned. Thomas narrates The Waltons' Homecoming (Sunday, Nov. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 11) starring Logan Shroyer as John Boy Walton during the Great Depression in 1933.

The Waltons\' Homecoming
Tom Griscom/Tom Griscom/The CW
The cast of CW’s 'The Waltons’ Homecoming' (from left) Bellamy Young, Christian Finlayson, Logan Shroyer, Ben Lawson, Samuel Goergon, Marcelle LeBlanc, Tatum Sue Matthews and Callaway Corrick.

My 35th annual Holiday Program Guide includes premieres for Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around (Dec. 1); public TV’s look at a Santa School classroom (Dec. 8, 11 and 12); One Last Time with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga (Nov. 28); and NBC’s presentation of Annie Live! (Dec. 2).

There are also new Christmas shows with Sarah Brightman (Nov. 28); Michael Bublé (Dec. 6 and 22); The Black Pack: We Three Kings with Taye Diggs, Ne-Yo, Eric Bellinger and Jordin Sparks (Nov. 29); Jamie Foxx’s A Hip Hop Family Christmas (Dec. 6); and Comedy Central’s spoof of Hallmark Channel’s happily-ever-after holiday movies called A Clüsterfünke Christmas (Dec. 4).

Most of your old TV friends are back again this year: Frosty, Charlie Brown, Rudolph, the Grinch, Shrek, Olaf, the Muppets, Little Drummer Boy, and repeats of holiday episodes of TV classics from The Andy Griffith Show, The Addams Family, Adam 12, Happy Days, The Honeymooners and The Twilight Zone to Dick Van Dyke, Dragnet, M*A*SH, Matlock, Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza and, of course, Friends.

SANTA SCHOOL pbs 2021.jpg
Courtesy American Public Television
Public TV’s 'Santa School' looks inside a Santa workshop where men are taught to talk and walk like Santa Claus.

Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, Dolly Parton, Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, Itzhak Perlman, Jonathan Winters, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, the Carpenters, Ruth Lyons, Paul Dixon and his rubber chickens return this year, too.

Most – but not all – movie favorites are in my list: Home Alone, Jingle All The Way, The Santa Clause, A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, Snow, Prancer Returns, Black Nativity, The Lion In Winter, Holiday Affair. But not Miracle On 34th Street or George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol. Check streaming services for those and other shows not in my guide.

And if you want to see a holiday movie any time day or night, check the Hallmark or Lifetime channels for too many movies to list here.

On Cincinnati Public Radio, you’ll also find A Soulful Christmas, Music of Hanukkah, Hanukkah Lights, A Paul Winter Solstice, a Jazz Piano Christmas and Jonathan Winters’ A Christmas Carol.

For 35 years I’ve done this for you. Enjoy your TV friends! –Kiese

Get TV Kiese's 2021 Holiday Program Guide >>

Beverly Hillbillies Thanksgiving 1968.jpg
Courtesy CBS
CBS’ "Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres" and "Pettitcoat Junction" celebrate the holidays in 1968.

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.