'Grinch' ushers in Christmas TV

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! -- Pictured: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" -- (Photo by: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.)

User Upload Caption: A scene from 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas,' which is marking its 50th anniversary on TV.
- Original Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
- Original Source: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

You're getting the whole Grinch this year.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the classic animated special from 1966, has been trimmed for more than a decade.


But to mark the special's 50th anniversary, NBC will present the "Grinch" at its original 26-minute running time at 8 p.m. Friday.

The extra time in Whoville will let viewers appreciate the work of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), director-producer Chuck Jones, June Foray (the voice of Cindy Lou Who) and Boris Karloff, the narrator and the voice of the Grinch.


Music specials, animated classics and so many stars will make for a busy Christmas season on television.

Friday night will be packed with animated specials. ABC has "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," CBS provides "Frosty the Snowman" and "Frosty Returns," and The CW counters with "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

More classics are on the way. CBS brings back "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" with Burl Ives on Tuesday. "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which marked its 50th anniversary last year, returns to ABC on Thursday. More contemporary fare includes "Ige Age: A Mammoth Christmas," which Fox presents Sunday, and ABC's "Toy Story That Time Forgot" and "Shrek the Halls," both airing Dec. 8.

In music specials, NBC has one of the biggest in the annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" on Wednesday. The performers include Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Josh Groban. The same night on NBC, Parton plays the Painted Lady in the TV movie "Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love."

Bennett will be back Dec. 20 on NBC for "Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come." The birthday celebration features Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Elton John, Diana Krall, k.d. lang, Rufus Wainwright and Stevie Wonder.

"Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration" premieres Friday night on Disney Channel. Sofia Carson and Forever In Your Mind perform holiday songs.

"CMA Country Christmas," which ABC presents Monday, offers host Jennifer Nettles, Loretta Lynn, Idina Menzel, Andra Day, Kelly Clarkson, Amy Grant, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and many others.

Steve Harvey hosts "Showtime at the Apollo" Dec. 5 on Fox. The performers include Tracy Morgan, Mike Epps, Gabriel Iglesias, Doug E. Fresh and En Vogue.


"Empire" star Taraji P. Henson graduates to her own special, "Taraji's White Hot Holidays," Dec. 8 on Fox. She welcomes Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Taye Diggs, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott and Terry Crews.

Over on The CW, "Terry Crews Saves Christmas" lets the star do exactly that over five hours airing for four straight nights, starting Dec. 20.

NBC offers "A Pentatonix Christmas Special" with the group, Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson on Dec. 14. Pentatonix, Brian Justin Crum and Grace VanderWaal are part of the "America's Got Talent Holiday Spectacular" Dec. 19 on NBC.

Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and the Weeknd are set for "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" Dec. 5 on CBS. That network delivers "A Home for the Holidays," which celebrates adoption, on Dec. 23.

Colorization may not be a gift you want, but CBS uses that approach on the black-and-white classics "I Love Lucy" on Dec. 2 and "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on Dec. 11.

NBC celebrates Broadway by delivering "Hairspray Live!" on Dec. 7. That holiday package includes Harvey Fierstein, Martin Short, Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson.


Oscar winner "Frozen" premieres under the "Wonderful World of Disney" banner Dec. 11 on ABC. That network has lined up two Julie Andrews classics: "Mary Poppins" on Dec. 10 and "The Sound of Music" on Dec. 18.

Parades are a wonderful thing at this time of year. The CW presents the 85th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade with Grand Marshal Olivia Newton-John on Dec. 16.

You'll have to wait till Christmas morning for "The Disney Parks' Magical Christmas Celebration" on ABC. Siblings Julianne and Derek Hough host from Walt Disney World Resort.

TV's holiday bonanza should impress even the Grinch.