Holiday Programming Highlights December Schedule on OETA

Holiday Programming Highlights December Schedule on OETA

Last Updated by Cassie Gage on

Set programming reminders via email and your calendar on our schedule page. View our current on-air programming or choose your view of our schedule. Click the A to Z tab for a complete listing of current program offers, as well as additional air dates and reminders. Schedule is subject to change.

America’s Home Cooking: Holiday Side Dishes
Saturday, December 3, 8 a.m.
The holiday table: it’s all about tradition. Yet year after year, cooks seek new ideas to add to the classics. In America’s Home Cooking: Holiday Side Dishes, host Chris Fennimore welcomes home cooks who prepare a favorite side dish recipe, including mushroom sour soup, Sweet Sally’s collard greens, pumpkin dumplings, Bobalki, brussel sprouts with cranberries, and more.


Andre Rieu: Waltzing Forever
Sunday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.
Join André Rieu, “The King of the Waltz,” for a magical evening of enchanting music in a stunning medieval town square in the Netherlands. Rieu engages the crowds with dazzling vocalists, spectacular dancers and his 60-piece Johann Strauss Orchestra.


American Masters: Eero Saarinen
Tuesday, December 27, 7 p.m.
Explore the life of the modernist architect behind visionary buildings like St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. Travel with his son, director of photography Eric Saarinen, ASC, as he visits his father’s work on a cathartic journey, shot in 6K.


Antiques Roadshow: Best of 20
Monday, December 19, 7 p.m. and Monday, December 26, 8 p.m.
Experience favorite appraisals from all 20 seasons, including a Navajo Ute First Phase Blanket, a signed Warhol collection and a Tang Dynasty marble lion. Which of these classic Roadshow treasures is now valued at $750,000-$1,000,000?


Band Bedlam
Thursday, December 1, 7 p.m.
Anytime it’s OU vs OSU, it’s always a big rivalry called “Bedlam”! No matter what the sport, the Bedlam matchup is all-important. The big rivalry exception comes at halftime when the schools’ marching bands perform. This special program goes behind the scenes to share the preparation and effort that musicians put forth for every football game, and unlike the football broadcasts, this time you actually get to SEE the halftime shows! Band members at both schools share a love of music and performing, and they delight the crowd in every stadium. Join OETA as we showcase OU’s Pride of Oklahoma and the OSU Cowboy Marching Band in … what else? … BAND BEDLAM! Both bands are hopped up and ready to take the field, with a big advantage over the football teams: the bands already know the score!


Bucknell Candlelight Christmas, A
Saturday, December 24, 11:30 p.m.
A beloved campus tradition, modeled after Cambridge University's Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols, returns to public television. Rooke Chapel, set on one of Central Pennsylvania's most picturesque campuses, makes for an evocative setting in A Bucknell Candlelight Christmas. 


Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About Christmas, The
Friday, December 23, 11:30 a.m. & 3 p.m.
A PBS KIDS holiday tradition, this adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas.


Call the Midwife Holiday Special
Sunday, December 25, 6:30 p.m.
Follow the Nonnatus House family to South Africa after they receive an SOS call from a mission hospital that’s understaffed, underfunded and threatened with closure. Facing tough challenges, they dig deep to save Hope Clinic and make a difference.


Catholicism: The Pivotal Players
Tuesday, December 13, 7 p.m.
Bishop Barron is on a journey to unlock the truth behind the Catholic Church's most influential people. Catholicism: The Pivotal Players is a multi-part series that illumines a handful of saints, artists, mystics, and scholars who not only shaped the life of the Church but changed the course of civilization.


Celtic Woman Home for Christmas
Saturday, December 3, 8 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays with timeless favorites performed with a Celtic twist in this musical enchantment from the popular all-female ensemble. A visual and aural feast, the moving and festive celebration was filmed at Dublin’s Helix Theatre.


Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Monday, December 19, 8 p.m.
Hear Broadway star Laura Osnes, acclaimed British screen actor Martin Jarvis and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in the annual Christmas concert. Joining Osnes and Jarvis are four distinguished Metropolitan Opera soloists.


Christmastime in New Orleans
Sunday, December 25, 6 p.m.
The festive spirit in New Orleans has always been something special, with the native love for food, music and conviviality never limited to Mardi Gras. Holidays from Thanksgiving to King’s Day have a distinctive feel in the Crescent City, as does Christmas, with Yuletide unique sights, cooking and songs.


Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas
Friday, December 16, 7:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. and Friday, December 23, 7 a.m. & 1 p.m.
PBS KIDS continues spreading the holiday spirit with the return of the classic family favorite CURIOUS GEORGE: A Very Monkey Christmas. In this fun-filled one-hour special, families can join their favorite monkey and the Man with the Yellow Hat as they count down the days until Christmas.


Egypt’s Treasure Guardians
Wednesday, December 28, 9 p.m.
Follow a select group of individuals determined to bring Egypt back from the brink: to discover more of the country’s history, keep its heritage safe and persuade tourists to visit the country again.


Frontline: Exodus
Tuesday, December 27, 8 p.m.
Hear first-person stories of refugees and migrants fleeing war and persecution for Europe, told through camera-phone footage filmed by the families themselves as they leave their homes on dangerous journeys to seek safety and refuge.


Gallery America Marathon
Saturday, December 31, 5-7 p.m.
OETA’s Gallery America captures the best our nation has to offer in all forms of art, including dance, sculpture, education, music, painting, photography, performances and so much more from every part of America.


Getting to the Nutcracker
Thursday, December 15, 7 p.m.
Every Christmas The Nutcracker is performed in cities around the world. What does it take to produce this timeless ballet? Witness the passion of young dancers, from auditions to the final, triumphant performance.


Happy Holidays with the Boston Pops
Monday, December 19, 9 p.m.
The one-hour music special Happy Holidays with the Boston Pops showcases the best of the New England holiday season with the Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus, under the direction of Keith Lockhart, performing beloved classics, including "Christmas Canticles" and "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel’s Messiah.


High Stakes: The Life and Times of E.W. Marland
Thursday, December 29, 7 p.m.
The rise and fall of E.W. Marland, one of Oklahoma’s most colorful and controversial oil barons and the state’s 10th Governor, comes alive in this hour long documentary. Filled with dramatic reenactments shot on location, “High Stakes” is the the most entertaining and extensive portrayal of Marland’s life ever produced.


Hollow Crown, The
Sunday, December 11, 8 p.m.: Henry VI, Part I
Sunday, December 18, 8 p.m.: Henry VI, Part II
Sunday, December 25, 8 p.m.: Richard III
Following the four-part “The Hollow Crown,” “The Wars of the Roses” continues the epic saga with three more lavish film adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays: Parts I and II of Henry VI and Richard III.


Il Volo: Notte Magica
Thursday, December 1, 7:30 p.m.
Just in time for the holidays, international superstars Il Volo are back with their fifth special for PBS, Il Volo: Notte Magica, featuring special guest Plácido Domingo. The trio wowed audiences worldwide with their previous four specials for PBS — II Volo Takes Flight, We Are Love, their enchanting Christmas special Buon Natale and Il Volo Live from Pompeii.


In Their Own Words: Queen Elizabeth II
Saturday, December 10, 8 p.m.
Follow Queen Elizabeth II’s remarkable life, from her youth to her uncle’s abdication, her father’s coronation as King George VI, her experience during World War II, her sudden ascension to the throne and her eventful reign of more than 60 years.


Jordan Smith: ‘Tis the Season
Saturday, December 17, 8 p.m.
Jordan Smith, season nine winner of NBC's The Voice (and biggest selling The Voice artist to date),stars in his very first one-hour concert program, Jordan Smith ‘Tis the Season. Taped on the Evergreen Stage at Diadan Studios, the special spotlights music from Jordan's new Christmas album "'Tis the Season," and features special guest David Foster, the legendary composer, songwriter and producer


Joshua Bell’s Seasons of Cuba
Friday, December 16, 8 p.m.
Live From Lincoln Center brings Joshua Bell’s Seasons of Cuba (working title) to the festival lineup, in which the world-famous, Grammy Award–winning violinist Joshua Bell performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana, composed of some of Cuba’s most accomplished classical musicians. Bell will dazzle the audience with a range of selections from Vivaldi classics, to Piazzolla tangos and more, building a bridge between Cubans eager to engage with American artists in a new landscape of cultural diplomacy. 

Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody
Friday, December 2, 8 p.m.
Live From Lincoln Center presents the internationally acclaimed pianist Lang Lang and his love letter to New York, the city he considers his adoptive home, set to the music that helped make this city so famous. Embracing a wide range of styles and voices to capture New York’s magic, this episode features music from Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Danny Elfman to Lou Reed, Alicia Keys, and Don Henley, including a rare performance of the original 1924 jazz band arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

Lawrence Welk: Christmas
Saturday, December 24, 7 p.m.
This program opens with Lawrence joining the gang for "Jingle Bells". Norma and the group sing "Silent Night" and Arthur Duncan shows us how to "Ring Those Christmas Bells". "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" is performed beautifully by Guy and Raina and Joe Feeney captures the true spirit of the season with "Oh Holy Night".


Lidia Celebrates America: Holiday for Heroes
Friday, December 16, 9 p.m.
For most, the holiday season is a time of celebration, spending time with family and friends, observing age-old traditions and enjoying favorite foods. For members of the military, the holidays can be particularly emotional, especially when they are stationed thousands of miles away from home or are overcoming injuries from their service.


Meet the Patels
Monday, December 26, 9 p.m.
Meet the Patels is a charming, real life romantic comedy about Ravi Patel, an Indian American actor/comedian who enters into a love triangle between the woman of his dreams — and his parents. Filmed by Ravi’s sister, Geeta, in what started as a family vacation video, this warm and funny film reveals how, for a Patel, love is truly a family affair.


New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve
Saturday, December 31, 8 p.m.
PBS and Live From Lincoln Center invite you to ring in 2017 with an “Enchanted Evening” of American classics, including beloved works by Rodgers & Hammerstein. Continuing an annual tradition live from David Geffen Hall, the New York Philharmonic’s home at Lincoln Center, this special presentation will include the Orchestra with Music Director Alan Gilbert and opera star Joyce DiDonato.


OETA Movie Club
Saturday, December 3, 9:30 p.m.: Rainman

Saturday, December 10, 9 p.m.: Charade
Saturday, December 17, 9 p.m.: The Little Princess
Saturday, December 24, 9 p.m.: Till the Clouds Roll By
Saturday, December 31, 9:30 p.m.: That's Entertainment III


Oklahoma Hall of Fame 2016
Saturday, December 17, 4 p.m.
Being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state. Since the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s inception in 1927, 677 accomplished individuals have received this commendation. The names of the Hall of Fame members, as well as busts and portraits of these individuals, can be seen at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. In addition, the inductees are recognized on granite monuments in the Heritage Plaza at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.


Pearl Harbor: Into the Arizona
Tuesday, December 6, 8 p.m.
On the eve of the 75th anniversary, join the first expedition to explore inside the USS Arizona since the date that will live in infamy, as state-of-the-art imaging technology reveals the aftermath and incredible story of the Pearl Harbor attack.


Pearl Harbor: USS Oklahoma – The Final Story
Tuesday, December 6, 7 p.m.
Explore what happened to the USS Oklahoma, the only battleship to capsize during the Pearl Harbor attack. Examine new details about what may have caused the ship to overturn and hear stories from Oklahoma survivors and families of those lost.


Peg + Cat Holidays
Tuesday, December 13, 10:30 a.m. and Friday, December 23, 10:30 a.m.
Peg + Cat presents Peg + Cat Holiday this December on OETA. The episodes celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas traditions while teaching math concepts in its own inventive way that has already garnered the series three Emmy awards.


Remember Pearl Harbor
Tuesday, December 6, 10 p.m.  
Narrated by veteran Hollywood actor Tom Selleck, Remember Pearl Harbor chronicles the personal stories of veterans and citizens who witnessed the surprise attack by the Japanese on the American Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941, launching the United States into World War II.


Rick Steves’ European Christmas
Saturday, December 3, 4 p.m. and Sunday, December 4, 4 p.m.
Join Rick Steves for a colorful, musical celebration of Christmas across Europe. From England to Wales, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, you'll see the bright Christmas markets, hear local choirs, share holiday traditions with families...and even play in the snow.


Secrets of the Dead: Van Gogh’s Ear
Wednesday, December 14, 9 p.m.
The moment when Vincent van Gogh looked into a mirror, held up a blade and cut into his own ear defines his turbulent life and art. But what did he really do on the night of December 23, 1888, in the town of Arles? What was his state of mind? No one has been clear on the details … until now.


Shakespeare Live! From the Royal Shakespeare Company
Friday, December 23, 8 p.m.
On the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Great Performances presents the RSC’s star-studded gala. With David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes, John Lithgow, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, David Suchet and many more.


Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Friday, December 30, 8 p.m.
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) star as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the acclaimed modern retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories.


Three Tenors Christmas, The
Saturday, December 24, 8 p.m.
José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti return to public television with an encore presentation of their memorable holiday special The Three Tenors Christmas. Taped in December 1999 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the program features popular Christmas songs, beloved carols and sacred hymns, including “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland” "Sleigh Ride,” “O Holy Night,” “Adestes Fideles,” “Ave Maria, Dolce Maria” and “Amazing Grace.” The Three Tenors are accompanied by the Vienna Symphony and the Gumpoldskirchner Spatzen Children’s Choir.


What’s the Deal?
Thursday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 22, 7 p.m.
OETA’s digital series What’s the Deal? is a show about finding out how things work. We ask the questions and find the answers that will help you understand more about our world! So if you’ve ever looked at the world around you and thought, “What’s the deal with…”, then this is the show for you!


Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas
Friday, December 23, 6 a.m. & 4 p.m.
PBS KIDS continues a full slate of holiday programming with the premiere of Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas. In this hour-long movie event, the Kratt Brothers race to return disappearing baby animals to their families in time for Christmas. 

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