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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

See your old TV friends for the holidays this weekend

Courtesy ABC Television
'A Charlie Brown Christmas' airs 7:30 p.m. Sunday on PBS and Apple+.

M*A*S*H, Andy Griffith, Saved By The Bell, The Flintstones, The Brady Buch, and TheTwilight Zone Christmas episodes repeat this weekend, along with A Charlie Brown Christmas.  

Hawkeye and Radar… Zack, Slater and Screech… Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife… Fred and Wilma Flintstone… Gilligan and The Skipper… Jed and Granny Clampett… and the entire Brady Bunch all make their annual holiday visit to your television screen this weekend.

The Peanuts gang also celebrate another Charlie Brown Christmas on Sunday; Bing Crosby croons his way through Going My Way; and Art Carney finds himself stuck as Santa Claus in The Twilight Zone.

On this last weekend before Christmas, you'll also have another chance to see Frosty, Rudolph, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, all three of the The Santa Clause movies, the original 1966 Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon and the remakes with Jim Carrey and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Public broadcasters also serve up A Classical Kids Christmas, The Nutcracker and The Mouse King, Holiday Handbells, a Hollywood Holiday and Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas.

To find your holiday favorites airing through Christmas day, check out my 18-page downloadable Holiday Program Guide.

Merry Christmas!

Here are this weekend's highlights.

Courtesy CBS
A pair of "M*A*S*H" Christmas episodes air Sunday on MeTV (Channel 5.2).


Beverly Hillbillies (6 a.m. Saturday, Channel 5.2 MeTV) : The Clampetts head home for a Hooterville Christmas.

Beverly Hillbillies (6:30 a.m. Saturday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): During a Christmas trip home Eb courts Elly May and Granny pursues Sam Drucker.

Saved by The Bell (9 a.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): In “Home For Christmas Part 1,” the gang meets a homeless man and his daughter while they're working at the mall for the holidays.

Saved by The Bell (9:30 a.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): The gang help a homeless man's daughter accused of stealing in “Home For Christmas Part 2.”

The Flintstones (10 a.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Fred meets Santa working a seasonal job at a department store.

The Brady Bunch (1:30 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Carol loses her voice from too much choir practice before Christmas.

Gilligan’s Island (2 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Gilligan's Christmas wish nearly comes true when he almost gets rescued by the Coast Guard.

Mama's Family (4 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Mama works as a mall Santa.

Mama's Family (4:30 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): A live goose for Christmas dinner becomes a pet.

The Love Boat (5 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Judy, Gopher and Isaac each hire a Santa in 1984, and they don't get along.

Andy Griffith Show (6 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Andy and Barney give a Christmas party in the jail for a prisoner and his family.

M*A*S*H (7 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Hawkeye’s Christmas letter to his dad.

M*A*S*H (7:30 p.m. Sunday, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Father Mulcahy’s Christmas letter to his sister.

Monk (8 p.m., Channel 5.2 MeTV): A police officer is poisoned by a secret Santa at the annual office Christmas party in 2005.

Monk (9 p.m., Channel 5.2 MeTV): Monk becomes the most hated man in the city after he's accused of shooting Santa.

Dick Van Dyke Show (11 p.m., Channel 5.2 MeTV): The Alan Brady Show Christmas musical.

The Honeymooners (midnight, Channel 5.2 MeTV): Ralph sells his bowling ball to buy Alice a gift.

The Twilight Zone (12:30 a.m., Channel 5.2 Me TV): A Santa (Art Carney) fulfills wishes with gifts from a magical bag.

Courtesy NBCUniversal
The 1966 cartoon version of "Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas" airs twice Saturday on TNT.


A Charlie Brown Christmas (7:30 p.m. Sunday on PBS, PBS Kids, Apple TV+): Charlie Brown, Linus and the Peanuts gang search for the real meaning of Christmas in this 1965 award-winning special with a great jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi.

Frosty the Snowman (6:10 p.m. Sunday, Freeform): Jimmy Durante narrates the 1969 musical cartoon.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (6:45 p.m. Sunday, Freeform): Burl Ives narrates the 1964 beloved – but politically incorrect – animated classic.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, TNT): Boris Karloff narrates the 1966 classic cartoon.


Dr. Seuss' the Grinch (7:40 p.m. Saturday and 4:10 p.m. Sunday on Freeform): Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch in this 2018 animated remake.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (9:40 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday on Freeform): The Grinch (Jim Carrey) tries to ruin Christmas.

Courtesy Turner Broadcasting System
Peter Billingsley starred in the 1983 holiday comedy, "A Christmas Story," set in Indiana but filmed in Cleveland.


A Christmas Story (7:30 p.m. Saturday, TNT): Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants a BB gun for Christmas.

The Santa Clause (5:10 p.m. Friday and 12:55 p.m. Saturday, Freeform): A divorced dad (Tim Allen) becomes Santa.

The Santa Clause 2 (7:20 p.m. Friday and 3:05 p.m. Saturday, Freeform): Santa (Tim Allen) needs a bride.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (9:55 p.m. Friday and 5:35 p.m. Saturday, Freeform): Jack Frost (Martin Short) tries to prevent Christmas.

The Holly & The Ivy (10:15 p.m. Sunday, TCM): An English minister and his family (Ralph Richardson, Celia Johnson, Margaret Leighton) are reunited at Christmas in 1952.

Home Alone (7:50 p.m. Sunday, Freeform): Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) outwits Christmas thieves in 1990.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (10:20 p.m. Sunday, Freeform): Kevin outwits Christmas thieves again.

Christmas Takes Flight (8 p.m. Sunday, CBS): New Hallmark Channel-like film about a pilot (Katie Lowes) who rallies to save a children's charity event after the airline's new owner (Evan Williams) cuts it from the budget.

Going My Way (8 p.m. Sunday, TCM): A young priest (Bing Crosby) revives an inner-city parish in 1944, and reunites an elderly pastor with his Irish mother.

Christmas Past (midnight Sunday, TCM): A compilation of Christmas-themed short silent films from 1925, also known as Silent Christmas.

The Sound of Music (7 p.m. Sunday, ABC): Yeah, I know, it's not a Christmas movie but the Oscar-winning Julie Andrews film has become a holiday broadcast staple, along with The Wizard of Oz.

Courtesy ABC Television
ABC repeats Julie Andrews' "The Sound of Music" Sunday night.


Hollywood Holiday (8 p.m. Friday, WGUC-FM 90.9): Lynne Warfel's musical retrospective from A Muppet Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, It’s A Wonderful Life, Scrooge the Musical and other favorite Christmas movies from 2018.

A Classical Kids Christmas (10:10 a.m. Saturday, WGUC-FM 90.9): The story of Christmas told through carols and poetry.

Music of the Baroque Brass and Choral Holiday Concert (11 a.m. Saturday, WGUC-FM 90.9): Holiday music from composers Samuel Scheidt, Giovanni Gabrieli, William Billings, Claudio Monteverdi and others.

Dreaming Of A Jewish Christmas (7 p.m. Saturday and 11 p.m. Sunday, Channel 48): An irreverent documentary about how Jewish immigrants wrote some of the America's most popular Christmas songs.

America’s Forests with Chuck Leavell: US Capitol Christmas Tree (10:30 p.m. Saturday on Channel 16; 7 p.m. Sunday on Channel 48): Public TV's Chuck Leavell explains how the U.S. Forest Service has provided a tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for 50 years.

Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1 p.m. Sunday, Channel 48): Alan Cumming tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s holiday favorite, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 book, about how a prince got put into a nutcracker.

Holiday Handbells: The Raleigh Ringers (1 p.m. Sunday, Channel 16): More handbells! The Raleigh Ringers, based in Raleigh, N.C., perform a wide range of popular holiday songs.

St. Thomas Christmas: Comfort & Joy (2 p.m. Sunday, Channel 16): Vocal and instrumental ensembles at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., perform a commissioned original work, "Comfort & Joy," and traditional carols.

Wheaton College Christmas Festival (4:30 p.m. Sunday, Channel 48): Holiday concert by students at Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in Wheaton, Ill.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival (8 p.m. Sunday, WGUC-FM 90.9): Hymns, classical masterworks, folk songs from around the world and African-American spirituals performed at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.

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.