Halloween-weary? Never fear — it’s Christmastime!
You know this if you’ve recently clicked past home shopping shows stuffed with holiday decor. Maybe you’ve cruised through red-and-green stocked stores, or spotted shelves of holiday CDs. And in card stores, “collectible” ornaments have been playing computer-chip carols for weeks already.
But now official TV confirmation is here: Cable’s uber-festive Hallmark channels have started counting down to their Countdown to Christmas.
Yes, you read that right. They’re airing pre-pre-Christmas run-ups. Holly Robinson Peete and Happy the Dog hosted the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries preview “Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas Preview Show” on Saturday. Over at sibling Hallmark Channel, Candace Cameron Bure and former “Full House” mates Jodie Sweetin and Lori Loughlin hosted their “Countdown to Christmas Preview Show” on Sunday. (Hallmark runs it again Thursday at 8 p.m., followed at 9 by “Most Wonderful Movies.”)
Nonstop Christmas content begins on Hallmark this Friday at 2 p.m., while HMM goes 24/7 at 6 p.m. Friday, four nights before trick-or-treatery. Hallmark’s first new Christmas movie premieres Saturday at 8 p.m. — “Marry Me at Christmas” with Rachel Skarsten and Trevor Donovan. (Catherine Bell’s more Halloween-y “Good Witch” movie “Spellbound” got pushed up and aired on Sunday.)
Expect a record 33 new Christmas movies on the Hallmarks this season — 21 premieres for Hallmark, with another 12 on HMM. Hallmark debuts more titles every weekend through Christmas, with five straight nights of new over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Freeform also goes big for Christmas, but that channel at least finishes its traditional 13 Nights of Halloween first. Its Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas doesn’t start until Nov. 18 (and includes non-holiday fare such as Harry Potter movies). Lifetime loves the season, too, but its first new Christmas films wait to premiere Thanksgiving weekend, when Sayville native Melissa Joan Hart stars Nov. 26 with her “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” aunt Beth Broderick and Mario Lopez in “A Very Merry Toy Store.”
Beyond original films, you’ll find familiar movies like “Black Christmas,” “Almost Christmas” and “The Christmas Dragon” running already in premium cable rotation. BET airs “This Christmas” Monday at 10 p.m. and Tuesday at 6 p.m., while TV One has it Wednesday at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The season’s first vintage version of “A Christmas Carol,” with Reginald Owen as Scrooge, shows up on TCM next Thursday at 6 a.m.