Television

Holiday TV picks

A 50th anniversary special will precede “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Nov. 30.
United Features Syndicate/file 1965
A 50th anniversary special will precede “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Nov. 30.

IT’S YOUR 50th CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN

A bunch of stars come out to celebrate the 50th birthday of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the lovely, simple holiday special featuring a sad little fir tree and spiritual little Linus. Kristen Bell hosts the special, whose live performances will include versions of Vince Guaraldi’s “Peanuts” compositions and Kristen Chenoweth singing “Happiness” from the Broadway musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” Other musical guests include Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men, Pentatonix, Matthew Morrison, and the All-American Boys Chorus. Naturally, the special will be followed by an airing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Nov. 30, 8 p.m., ABC

THE GREAT HOLIDAY BAKING SHOW This four-week series, based on the BBC’s “Great British Bake Off” and hosted by Nia Vardalos and husband Ian Gomez, pits amateur bakers in a series of themed challenges and eliminations. Why? Because they are totally, thoroughly, and absolutely driven to be crowned the Holiday Baking Champion. Judges include pastry chef and author Johnny Iuzzini and British author and TV personality Mary Berry. Nov. 30, 10 p.m., ABC

THE WIZ LIVE! We know that someday, someone will digitally re-create Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow on stage. And we must live in fear of that moment. In the meantime, NBC is putting up “The Wiz” for one night only, continuing its holiday tradition of live prime-time musical productions. The cast includes Shanice Williams as Dorothy, Ne-Yo as Tin Man, David Alan Grier as Cowardly Lion, Uzo Aduba as Glinda, Stephanie Mills as Auntie Em, Mary J. Blige as the Wicked Witch, and Queen Latifah as the Wiz. Dec. 3, 8 p.m., NBC

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CMA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS This year, the annual concert was taped live at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House. Hosted for the sixth time by Jennifer Nettles, the two-hour event features reminiscences and performances of holiday songs by Pentatonix, Kelsea Ballerini, Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, Jewel, Charles Kelley, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Darius Rucker, Brian Setzer, Michael W. Smith, Jewel, and Lindsey Stirling. Nettles opens the show with a version of “(Everybody’s Waitin’ For) The Man With the Bag,” a 1950s song that would be about something other than Santa Claus if it had been written by a 1960s rocker. Dec. 3, 9 p.m., ABC

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A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS This one may turn out to be the most meta of this year’s holiday TV offerings. Written by Sofia Coppola, Bill Murray, and Mitch Glazer, and directed by Coppola, “A Very Murray Christmas” is an homage to the classic variety show of yesteryear. Murray plays himself, worrying no one will show up to the filming of his TV show due to a terrible snowstorm in New York City. Worry not, Bill. A bunch of famous people will make it, and they will perform, and all the world will be at peace. And their names will be George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Rashida Jones, and Miley Cyrus. Dec. 4, Netflix

BECOMING SANTA A woman named Holly has never introduced Connor, her toy-designer boyfriend, to her family. She has only told him her parents live “up north.” OMG, they are Santa and Mrs. Claus! And double OMG, her ex-boyfriend is Jack Frost! And triple OMG, her parents are played by Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross, formerly doing business as Mr. and Mrs. Keaton on “Family Ties”! Dec. 12, 8 p.m., Lifetime

ADELE LIVE IN NEW YORK When I think of the holidays, I think of Adele, don’t you? NBC will air her November show at Radio City Music Hall, after cutting it to an hour. What can we expect in this Lorne Michaels-produced special? Lots of vocal drama and, I’m betting, a version of “Hello.” Dec. 14, 10 p.m., NBC

IMAGINE: JOHN LENNON’S 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT John Lennon would have been 75 this year. So let’s have a holiday-ish party! The show will be recorded live at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 5, and will feature performances by Sheryl Crow, Brandon Flowers, Peter Frampton, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Morello, Willie Nelson, The Roots, and Steven Tyler. Dec. 19, 9 p.m., AMC MATTHEW GILBERT