2018 Holiday TV Calendar: A Guide to Every Special, Episode, Marathon and Movie of the Season

New Year's TV and streaming offerings include Doctor Who's annual tradition tweaked, and more! Find out when and where to watch every holiday special.

by | December 5, 2018 | Comments

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Time for you to utterly destroy any free space remaining on your DVR with holiday cheer of all sorts.

This year there are more than 65 original Christmas movies headed to Freeform, Lifetime, Hallmark, and Netflix — along with a cornucopia of other broadcast and cable holiday-themed fare. From one-off specials of your favorite reality competitions (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Nailed It!), comedies (Schitt’s Creek), and dramas (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), to cooking series of all types, there’s something on this list to please even the crankiest members of your family.

So pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and peruse 2018’s holiday marathons, specials, series, and movies — then crank up the TV and kill that awkward small talk with your Great Uncle Marty. Check back periodically throughout the season as we add more listings.

Just Added (12/5): Syfy’s Twilight Zone New Year’s Marathon, broadcast New Year’s Eve specials, The Simpsons first-ever full-length episode (airing Dec. 23)

ARCHIVE: November | December


New Year’s Marathons and Specials

Saturday, Dec. 29
American Gods Holy Day Binge, Starz, 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET — The cast of American Gods, including Ricky Whittle, Orlando Jones, Yetide Badaki, and more, will live tweet their favorite moments during this all-day season 1 marathon

Starship Troopers Marathon, El Rey Network, 9 p.m. — A marathon featuring the original 1997 Starship Troopers movie, along with three of its sequel films.

A Midnight Kiss, Hallmark, 8 p.m. — With only one week to prepare, Lisa Patterson (Adelaide Kane) and her family of party planners are given the biggest job in their company’s history: a New Year’s Eve party for tech entrepreneur Megan Clark. But when her brother breaks his leg and her parents head off on a planned vacation, Lisa must reluctantly enlist the help of her brother’s visiting college buddy, David Campos (Carlos PenaVega), to help her pull off the event. But what Lisa didn’t plan on was falling in love in the process. 

Sunday, Dec. 30
The Twilight Zone Marathon, Syfy, 11 p.m. — The network’s annual marathon will run through Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 6 a.m. and will include fan-favorite episodes “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” “A Quality of Mercy,” “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” “The Invaders,” and “The Encounter.”

Monday, Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 19: Taylor Swift performs at Optus Stadium on October 19, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Firefly New Year’s Marathon, El Rey Network, 6 a.m. — Watch the hit space Western series Firefly (and its movie, Serenity), beginning on Monday and running through Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.

Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live from Times Square, Fox, 8 p.m. — Maria Menounos cohosts the network’s New Year’s Eve programming, which will feature performances by Sting, Robin Thicke, Florence + the Machine, Jason Aldean, Juanes, and Why Don’t We, along with appearances by Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, and the Fox NFL Sunday on-air team.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest, ABC, 8 p.m. — The American Idol host once again helms the annual NYE program.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve, NBC, 10 p.m. — Carson Daly and Chrissy Teigen host the special, which will feature appearances from Leslie Jones and Keith Urban.

Taylor Swift reputation Stadium Tour, Netflix — Couldn’t get tickets to the pop superstar’s latest tour? Catch the filmed version from the comfort of your own home.

Tuesday, Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day

“Who Year’s Day” Doctor Who Marathon, BBC America — Instead of a traditional Christmas Day special, the eleventh season of the Doctor Who revival starring new Doctor Jodie Whittaker will air a New Year’s Day special.

HGTV All-Premiere New Year, HGTV, 2 p.m. — Watch brand-new episodes of Caribbean Life, Mediterranean Life, Bahamas Life, My Lottery Dream Home, Pool In My House, HGTV Dream Home 2019, and other lifestyle programming all afternoon and evening.

ID’s Premiere New Year, Investigation Discovery, 4 p.m. — The network will debut new series, including Deadly Secrets, Killing Time, American Nightmare, and Hometown Homicide; season premieres of Your Worst Nightmare and Evil Lives Here; and new episodes of Deadly Deception and Body Cam.

Great Performances – From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2019, PBS, 9 p.m. — Hugh Bonneville hosts this special featuring the Vienna Philharmonic.

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