Not yet Christmastime? Bah humbug! In some folks' hearts, it's Christmas every day. On shopping channels, the tree's been up for weeks already.
But it's really tube yuletide once Halloween has passed, when millions of holiday lovers dive into the seasonal spirit. What with TV's usual diet of shouting heads, daddy DNA tests and creepy criminals, many viewers are more than ready to see some family and friends, romance and reconnection, jollity and joy.
So here they come -- yes, this first week of November -- with new holiday movies already premiering, and faves now running around the clock.
Christmas 2013 early birds are the usual suspects:
HALLMARK CHANNEL Countdown to Christmas kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday with "The Thanksgiving House" starring Lindsay Wagner, Bruce Boxleitner, Justin Breuning and Emily Rose. ("Thanksgiving" unreels again Thursday at 10 p.m. and next Saturday, Nov. 9, at noon.)
But Hallmark Channel's real push comes with this weekend's three TV movie premieres. Next Friday's family film "Pete's Christmas" (Nov. 8, 8 p.m.) follows an overshadowed middle kid ("Diary of a Wimpy Kid's" Zachary Gordon) and his grumpy grandpa (Bruce Dern) through a sort of yuletide "Groundhog Day." Patricia Richardson of "Home Improvement" headlines "Snow Bride" (Nov. 9, 8 p.m.), in which a reporter infiltrates a political family's festivities. Next Sunday's "A Very Merry Mix-Up" (Nov. 10, 8 p.m.) has Alicia Witt paired with Scott Gibson. Or will it be Mark Wiebe?
Hallmark's round-the-clock countdown includes 13 new movies among "over 1,200 hours of holiday programming." Check the lineup at bit.ly/17xuwZf
LIFETIME It's a Wonderful Lifetime kicks off Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. with new movie "A Country Christmas Story." Co-starring Dolly Parton and Brian McKnight, it's a multicultural take on country music, seen through an aspiring young biracial singer played by Desiree Ross. Saturdays through year-end feature more new movies with diverse casting (Ashanti, Shiri Appleby, Jordin Sparks, Della Reese, Randy Travis, Christina Milian). See mylifetime.com/movies/holiday.
Interested in holiday-themed series episodes, animated perennials and music specials? (Hanukkah on "Hart of Dixie"! Lady Gaga with The Muppets! A "Duck Dynasty" Christmas!) You'll find those and much more in Newsday's wide-ranging holiday TV preview running Sunday, Nov. 17.