Holiday Specials on Television, 1939–2021


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About the Book

In November 1939, NBC’s fledgling television station W2XBS broadcast the first known holiday special, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Despite its small viewership (very few TV sets existed at the time), the experimental telecast was a harbinger of a now-beloved American tradition: the holiday television special.
This book offers a thorough account of holiday television specials in the United States from 1939 to 2021, highlighting variety shows, comedic performances, musical spectaculars and more. From familiar favorites (1964’s Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) to campy one-offs (1985’s He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special), the 1140 programs are covered alphabetically and feature performance casts, production credits and storylines for each. Three appendices cover “lost” holiday specials, along with Christmas and Halloween-themed episodes of popular television series.

About the Author(s)

Vincent Terrace has been a researcher for ABC television and is the television historian for BPOLIN Productions. He has written more than 50 books about television and radio.

Bibliographic Details

Vincent Terrace
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: appendices, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8969-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4813-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
The Specials 3
Appendix 1: Lost Holiday Specials 159
Appendix 2: Christmas Episodes 163
Appendix 3: Halloween Episodes 219
Index 249