TV Picks 12.07.2008


Christmas Cartoon Specials

ABC, CBS In A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC, little Linus reminds his fellow “Peanuts” comic strip characters Who Christmas is really all about by reciting the Nativity story from the Gospel of St. Luke. In Frosty the Snowman (1969) at 8 p.m. Friday on CBS, the late Catholic entertainer Jimmy Durante, June Foray, Jackie Vernon and Billy De Wolfe provide sparkling voice acting — and in Frosty Returns (1992) at 8:30 p.m., Jonathan Winters and John Goodman do the same.

SUNDAY, 11:30 a.m.

Papal Audience

CATHOLICTV Pope Benedict XVI addresses the throng in St. Peter’s Square at his weekly general audience. Re-airs noon.

MONDAY, 9:30 a.m.

Hail, Holy Queen: The Immaculate Conception

EWTN In this episode of their series on convert Scott Hahn’s 2001 book, Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God, Hahn and Mike Aquilina discuss the Immaculate Conception, the dogma that Mary was conceived without original sin.


The Call

CATHOLICTV At 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 11:30 p.m. Sundays, this five-part series from the Knights of Columbus covers vocations to the priesthood, the religious life of men and women, respectively, the state of marriage, and the laity.

THURSDAY, 10 p.m.

A Renaissance Christmas

PBS Taped at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at the Techny Towers Center outside of Chicago, the 37-member Music of the Baroque Chorus and Brass Ensemble, under Edward Zelnis, performs Gregorian chant, brass canzonas and Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque choral music. Works include Giovanni Gabrieli compositions, Sweelinck’s “Hodie Christus natus est,” Monteverdi’s “Beatus vir” and Michael Praetorius’s “Es ist ein Ros ensprungen” (“Lo, how a rose e’er blooming”).

FRIDAY, 6 p.m.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

ABC Andrew Adamson directed this 2005 version of C.S. Lewis’ 1950 novel of the same name. Evacuated to the countryside during World War II, four English kids enter Narnia, a land of mythical beings beset by a witch who proclaims, “Always winter, never Christmas.” After Aslan the Lion, a Christ figure, allows himself to be sacrificed, the children go to battle to set Narnia free. Advisory: Some frightening sequences. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ rating is A-II — adults and adolescents.

SATURDAY, 8 p.m.

It’s a Wonderful Life

NBC In the late Catholic director Frank Capra’s 1946 classic, an angel (Henry Travers) steers George (Jimmy Stewart) away from suicide on Christmas Eve by showing him how much his friends would miss him and how much good he would achieve in life.

Dan Engler writes from
Santa Barbara, California.

Advent Reading

We take a look at three books countering the arguments of atheists: Greater Than You Think: A Theologian Answers the Atheists About God, by Thomas D. Williams, LC, and Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins’ Case Against God, by Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker, both reviewed by John Grondelski, and The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, by Vox Day, reviewed by Brian Welter.