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Christmas TV History

1701 Press

Christmas TV History is a five-part audio series created in July 2019 Joanna Wilson, author of Tis the Season TV: The Encyclopedia of Christmas-Themed Episodes, Specials & Made-for-TV Movies. The episodes of this podcast include: Beginnings: the context of Christmas on TV, the history of Christmas animation, the history of Christmas TV movies, the history of yuletide variety specials and episodes, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adaptations. After the publication of the second edition of Tis the Season TV (coming in 2020), more installments are possible: the history of sitcom/comedy Christmas episodes, theatrical-release Christmas movies, interesting adaptations of O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi,” all 20 Rankin/Bass animated Christmas and New Year’s programs and others.
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"The first TV movies were also just as likely to be adapted from literature, short stories, and successful stage plays, as they were original works for TV. Many of the familiar writers, producers, directors, and actors from dramatic anthologies continued their careers into TV movies. Young actors on their way up in the industry as well as older actors looking to extend their careers turned to TV—and TV movies—as a way to work their craft. And, the best of the early TV movies continued to tell small, internal stories—with close-up shots of characters faces." In this 30-minute podcast, author Joanna Wilson explores the history of Christmas made-for-tv movies from the earliest dramatic anthologies, to what is arguably the first made-for-tv Christmas movie—1964's Carol for Another Christmas (written by Rod Serling)—through the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s to today's made-for-tv Christmas movies, which are numerous and spearheaded by Hallmark's prolific yearly output. Joanna Wilson is the author of Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials and Made-for-TV Movies. She has been researching AND writing about Christmas on TV for nearly 20 years. Wilson is finalizing the updated, 2nd edition of the encyclopedia which will come out next year in 2020. She is the author of Triple Dog Dare: Watching & Surviving the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story, The Christmas TV Companion, and Merry Musical Christmas: Vol. 1: The Best Musical Performances in Sitcoms and Dramas. Her books are available at ChristmasTVHistory.com

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This 13-minute podcast provides the context to a five-part audio series on Christmas TV History, created by author Joanna Wilson in July 2019. The five installments are Beginnings, and ones on Christmas animation, the history of Christmas TV movies, yuletide variety specials and episodes, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol adaptations. "...we seem to consume holiday entertainment differently than we do other programs. We return to watch the same Christmas animated specials every year—whether it's Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or A Charlie Brown Christmas (or another). These TV specials are annual traditions for millions of folks—and have been for more than 50 years. We may watch The World Series every year or the Washington DC 4th of July concert celebration—but those two specials are DIFFERENT every year, and we don’t watch the same broadcasts of them over and over—like we do with so much Christmas entertainment." Joanna Wilson is the author of Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials and Made-for-TV Movies. She has been researching AND writing about Christmas on TV for nearly 20 years. Wilson is finalizing the updated, 2nd edition of the encyclopedia which will come out next year in 2020. She is the author of Triple Dog Dare: Watching & Surviving the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story, The Christmas TV Companion, and Merry Musical Christmas: Vol. 1: The Best Musical Performances in Sitcoms and Dramas. Her books are available at ChristmasTVHistory.com
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For many viewers, Christmas on TV means watching a favorite singer perform a nostalgic yuletide carol, a group of dancers expressing their joy of the Christmas season, and a comedian poking fun at our holiday foilbles. VARIETY on TV has a long, rich history on television with Christmas variety episodes and specials being some of the best entertainment. In this 26-minute podcast, author Joanna Wilson explores the history of Christmas-themed TV variety shows and specials. Wilson covers the prolific output of Christmas variety shows and specials from performers Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Perry Como and Andy Williams, along with variety from other Hollywood and music luminaries. She includes discussion of long-running musical variety specials, such as Christmas in Rockefeller Center, as well as episodes of regular TV series that put on a "variety show within a show" for Christmas episodes, such as the Dick Van Dyke Show and Laverne and Shirley. Wilson also discusses the most recent variety specials, illuminating the tongue-in-cheek productions as well as the earnest creations. Joanna Wilson is the author of Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials and Made-for-TV Movies. She has been researching AND writing about Christmas on TV for nearly 20 years. Wilson is finalizing the updated, 2nd edition of the encyclopedia which will come out next year in 2020. She is the author of Triple Dog Dare: Watching & Surviving the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story, The Christmas TV Companion, and Merry Musical Christmas: Vol. 1: The Best Musical Performances in Sitcoms and Dramas. Her books are available at ChristmasTVHistory.com in the medium.

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