CBC celebrates the 2018-19 holiday season with special programming across all platforms spanning CBC, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Kids and documentary Channel. Offering new original specials and episodes, the lineup includes the first-ever holiday special from SCHITT’S CREEK, MERRY CHRISTMAS, JOHNNY ROSE (December 18); a look back at how the holidays were celebrated through the decades in a new holiday edition of BACK IN TIME FOR DINNER (December 6); a unique take on a holiday classic in ROSS PETTY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE FAMILY MUSICAL WITH A SCROOGE LOOSE! (December 16) filmed at the Elgin Theatre in front of a live audience; and a new STARS ON ICE special (December 20) celebrating gold medal-winning Canadian Olympians Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond, Gabrielle Daleman, Eric Radford, Meagan Duhamel and Elvis Stojko. Viewers can also enjoy seasonal episodes from DRAGONS’ DEN (November 29), WHEN CALLS THE HEART (November 25 and December 2), and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (December 11).
Classic holiday favourites airing this December on CBC include: A Christmas Story; Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas; Frosty the Snowman; Home Alone; Miracle on 34th Street; Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; Scrooge; White Christmas; and more. A complete schedule of CBC’s holiday movies, specials and animated classics will be available at cbc.ca/holiday. In addition to broadcast, select holiday programming will be available to stream live and on-demand on the CBC TV streaming app and at cbc.ca/watch.
CBC will ring in 2019 on December 31 with a brand new ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FARCE New Year’s Eve special, followed by cross-Canada musical performances and fireworks at the stroke of midnight on CANADA’S NEW YEAR’S EVE: COUNTDOWN TO 2019. On CBC Radio, hosts Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe and Rich Terfry will countdown to midnight with a list of the 100 Canadian songs that had the greatest impact in 2018, starting at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC Radio One and CBC Music. The complete 2018 holiday CBC radio schedule for CBC Music and CBC Radio One can be found here.
New Original Holiday Programming:
(for NT broadcast times, add 30 minutes unless otherwise specified)
- WHEN CALLS THE HEART ‘THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS’ (new two-hour special) – Sunday, November 25 at 4 p.m.
Hope Valley’s Christmas spirit is put to the test when the town must come together to save Christmas.
- DRAGON’S DEN HOLIDAY SPECIAL (new one-hour special) – Thursday, November 29 at 8 p.m.
It’s a Merry Holiday Festivus in the Den as the Dragons go seasonal and scoop up sacks of fabulous products.
- WHEN CALLS THE HEART ‘THE CHRISTMAS WISHING TREE’ (new two-hour special) – Sunday, December 2 at 3 p.m.
A Wishing Tree unites Elizabeth, Abigail and the other citizens of Hope Valley in finding the true meaning of the season.
- BACK IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS (new one-hour special) – Thursday, December 6 at 8 p.m.
The Campus family is giving up their modern Christmas traditions for a taste of holidays past. Starting with a modest 1940s Christmas and ending with an inclusive 1990s holiday celebration, their home will be their time machine as they travel through 60 years of foods, decor and presents.
- THE 22 MINUTES HOLIDAY SPECIAL (new one-hour special) – Tuesday, December 11 at 8:30 p.m.
From eating one too many Christmas dinners to feeling like your good cheer charity is going unnoticed, the festive season can be tough. In this one-hour special, discover the true meaning of the holidays, celebrate parodies of Love Actually and “Fairytale of New York,” get tips on that perfect gift for Mom, and learn about temp jobs you might need to earn a few extra Christmas bucks.
- ROSS PETTY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE FAMILY MUSICAL WITH A SCROOGE LOOSE! (new two-hour musical comedy) – Sunday, December 16 at 6 p.m.
A unique take on a holiday classic, this charming family musical was taped in front of a live audience at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre.
- INVISIBLE ESSENCE: THE LITTLE PRINCE (new documentary special) – Monday, December 17 at 8 p.m. ET on documentary Channel
This documentary special explores what some believe is the Canadian inspiration for The Little Prince 75 years after its publication. Weaving the author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s extraordinary biography with fascinating discussions of key sections of the book, the film explores the ways life and art reflect one another in curious ways. The film reveals that St-Ex’s own story – his childhood, his love affair, his friendships, his politics, and his harrowing brushes with death – inform the story at every turn. Working imaginatively with the famous line “what is essential is invisible to the eye”, the film introduces a modern day Little Prince – a seven year-old blind Pakistani-Canadian boy who absorbs the book for the first time – and follows him over the course of a day as he grapples with the meanings of the story he has just read.
- MERRY CHRISTMAS, JOHNNY ROSE (SCHITT’S CREEK) (new half-hour special) – Tuesday, December 18 at 9 p.m.
It’s Christmas Eve and Johnny wants to celebrate with an old-fashioned Rose Christmas Party, but the rest of the family has trouble getting into the holiday spirit.
- STARS ON ICE (2018) (new one-hour special) – Thursday, December 20 at 9 p.m.
Stars on Ice celebrates our Canadian Olympic Team Gold Medalists and features performances by Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond, Gabrielle Daleman, Eric Radford, Meagan Duhamel, Elvis Stojko and more.
- ARIANA GRANDE: LIVE IN LONDON
Recorded live in front of a studio audience, multi-award-winning, Grammy-nominated singer Ariana Grande will perform tracks from her recent album Sweetener as well as some of her biggest hits, accompanied by an all-female orchestra. ARIANA GRANDE: LIVE IN LONDON, will be available exclusively on CBC Gem, premiering Friday, December 21 at 9 a.m. ET.
- DISNEY PARKS CHRISTMAS DAY PARADE (two-hour special) – Tuesday, December 25 at 10 a.m. ET/PT
This Christmas, Disney Parks celebrates the joy of the season as hosts Jordan Fisher and Sarah Hyland share this magical holiday tradition with families around the globe. Co-hosted by Jesse Palmer, the Christmas Day celebration will be merrier than ever before, bringing together the adored Christmas Day parade, special musical performances, surprise celebrity guests and heartwarming family stories to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Joining the festivities as parade correspondents are Freeform’s “grown-ish” actor Trevor Jackson and star of Freeform’s upcoming series “Good Trouble,” Cierra Ramirez.
- GETTING TO THE NUTCRACKER (new documentary special) – Sunday, December 23 at 9 p.m. ET on documentary Channel and Tuesday, December 25 at 2 p.m. on CBC
GETTING TO THE NUTCRACKER takes you inside the Herculean effort involved in gathering resources, assembling volunteers, casting dancers and rehearsing and staging the performances of this classic ballet.
- ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE (new two-hour special) – Wednesday, December 26 at 8 p.m.
Only a show with the history and prestige of The Royal Variety Performance can boast such a wide range of internationally acclaimed stars. Attended annually by senior members of the British Royal Family, this much-loved show has built a huge worldwide audience of over 150 million who return every year to experience this feast of comedy, dance and musical performances.
- ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FARCE NEW YEAR’S EVE 2018 (new one-hour special) – Monday, December 31 at 8 p.m.
Air Farce’s annual New Year’s Eve special laughs in 2019, by looking back at the year that was. This year, Black Panther teams up with Childish Gambino; Justin Trudeau channels Adam Levine with his apologetic tune to the nation; Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir meet their biggest fan at a book signing; Royal baby talk with the Queen and Meghan Markle; Donald Trump finds himself hopelessly lost in an escape room with Chrystia Freeland; and the dropping of the annual F Bomb on the year’s most deserving targets. Cast members include Don Ferguson, Luba Goy, Craig Lauzon, Jessica Holmes, Darryl Hinds, Chris Wilson, and Isabel Kanaan.
- CANADA’S NEW YEAR’S EVE: COUNTDOWN TO 2019 – Monday, December 31 at 11 p.m. (11:50 p.m. NT, 11:20 p.m. AT)
Tune in for a New Year’s Eve cross-country celebration of music and fireworks before the clock strikes midnight. Hosted by Gerry Dee, from Niagara Falls, this year’s all-Canadian lineup features select performances from artists including: Burton Cummings, The Sheepdogs and Walk off the Earth out of Niagara Falls, ON; The Jerry Cans in Iqaluit, NWT; The East Pointers, Hillsburn, Joel Plaskett Emergency and Reeny Smith in Charlottetown, PEI: Hubert Lenoir and Afrikana Soul Sister in Montreal, QC; Joey Stylez in Saskatoon, SK; The Reklaws in Canmore, AB: and Dehli 2 Dublin out of Grouse Mountain, BC. CANADA’S NEW YEAR’S EVE: A COUNTDOWN TO 2019 will capture celebrations from cities nationwide, with special guests and firework displays from across the country.
CBC Kids has the holidays covered with a full morning special, CBC KIDS BEST HOLIDAY MORNING EVER!!, on Saturday, December 22 at 6 a.m. (7:30 a.m. NT, 7 a.m. AT), featuring THE GREAT NORTHERN CANDY DROP and THE CURSE OF CLARA, as well as the premiere of SUPER AGENT JON LE BON: RESCUING THE NORTH POLE and festive episodes of CBC Kids’ favourites including PJ MASKS, THE FURCHESTER HOTEL, BECCA’S BUNCH and STELLA AND SAM.
On December 24 and 25, CBC Radio One and CBC Music will present a festive twist on popular radio shows from CBC hosts Jarrett Martineau, Rich Terfry, Florence K, Raina Douris, Odario Williams, Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe, Julie Nesrallah, Paolo Pietropaolo, Tom Allen, Laila Biali, Amanda Parris and Katherine Duncan. The full 2018 holiday CBC radio schedule for CBC Music and CBC Radio One can be found here.
CBC Music will also have a live performance by Serena Ryder from her album ‘Christmas Kisses’ available to stream on November 28 and a seasonal edition of Jam or Not a Jam with the CBC Music hosts available Thursday, December 13. Expertly curated playlists from CBC Music, 12-STREAMS-A-STREAMING are now available to stream for the perfect soundtrack to any holiday activity.