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Charlie Brown, ‘Toy Story’ Specials Highlight ABC’s Holiday Programming

The premiere of “The Great Holiday Baking Show” and anniversary specials for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Toy Story” highlight ABC’s holiday programming schedule, the network announced Tuesday.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the Alphabet on Monday, Nov. 30 will precede its annual airing of the beloved Peanuts animated tale with the special “It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown.” The hour will feature live performances from the memorable music of Vince Guaraldi, to Kristen Chenoweth singing “Happiness” from the “Peanuts” Broadway hit, and a performance by Matthew Morrison of an original song, “Just Like Me.” Sarah McLachlan, Boyz II Men and the All-American Boys Chorus are also among the musical guests.

The Charlie Brown programs will be followed by the premiere of four-week series “The Great Holiday Baking Show” at 10. Based on the hit British series and hosted by Nia Vardalos and husband Iam Gomez, “Baking Show” stars some of the nation’s best amateur bakers as they compete in a series of themed challenges and eliminations all hoping to be crowned Holiday Baking Champion.

“The Great Holiday Baking Show” will be joined on Mondays the following week by the return of three-week series “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” The competition series in which 20 families and three neighborhoods from across America decorate their homes to the extreme, will air from 8 to 10 o’clock on Dec. 7, 14 and 21.

While ABC’s trio of Shonda Rhimes dramas take their midseason hiatus, the network will devote Thursdays in December to holiday programming. On Dec. 3, encore airings of the half-hour animated specials “Toy Story That Time Forgot” and “Shrek the Halls” will be followed by the network’s annual “CMA Country Christmas” special from 9-11.

On Dec. 10, ABC will air the “Toy Story 20th Anniversary Special,” a tribute to the Pixar Animation Studios film that ushered in a new era of computer-generated animation. Producers, animators, technical artists, designers and some of the film’s voice talent will discuss making the film and the impact it had over the years, spawning two sequels and a new installment, “Toy Story 4,” on the way. The original 1995 movie follows from 9 to 11.

And on Dec. 17, programming will include the specials “Disney Prep & Landing” and “Prep & Landing 2: Naughty and Nice.”

Other holiday chestnuts returning to ABC include “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” on Friday, Nov. 27, I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown” on Saturday, Dec. 19 and “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown” and “Rudolph’s Shiny New Year” on Monday, Dec. 28. “Yes, Virginia,” new to the Alphabet after airing on CBS, is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 18.

There will also be holiday episodes of ABC’s family comedies the week of Dec. 7. And, of course, the holiday programming concludes as usual with “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” from Times Square in New York City on Dec. 31.

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