New Specials, Holiday Classics and Joyful Stunt Programming Light Up CTV’s Holiday Lineup

– December is wrapped up in Holiday treats, including A MUPPETS CHRISTMAS: LETTERS TO SANTA, THE RANKIN FAMILY REUNION and

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: A NEW BEGINNING –

– The 12 DAYS OF CORNER GAS kicks off Dec. 21 –

– Holiday classics return with SHREK THE HALLS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and A CHRISTMAS CAROL; catch everyone’s favourite ogre in SHREK and SHREK 2 –

Toronto, ON (November 25, 2008) – CTV unveiled its holiday programming lineup today, featuring new holiday specials, classic seasonal favourites and festive stunt programming stuffing the network’s primetime lineup.

CTV announced today that two all-new specials will join its holiday schedule. In the premiere of THE RANKIN FAMILY REUNION, the whole Rankin clan are back together to sing their favourite songs, airing Friday, December 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Kermit the Frog and his friends –including SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA guest judge and choreographer Paul Becker – are in need of a Christmas miracle in A MUPPETS CHRISTMAS: LETTERS TO SANTA, premiering Wednesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. ET.

As previously announced, anchoring CTV’s Holiday schedule is the world premiere broadcast of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: A NEW BEGINNING, a major CTV television event, airing Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. ET.

It just wouldn’t be Christmas without the classic RITA MacNEIL’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, airing Friday, December 19 at 8 p.m. ET, while the 12 DAYS OF CORNER GAS marathon brings more mirth than a partridge in a pear tree, beginning Sunday, December 21 at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET. Additional marathon stunts add to the packed lineup as THE HILLS, 4REAL and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA return with the best episodes of the year. Finally, contemporary specials like SHREK THE HALLS and holiday classics such as the original 1951 black and white version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and THE SOUND OF MUSIC join new favourites SHREK and SHREK 2 to round out the lineup (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times).

CTV 2008 HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING LINEUP – NEW PROGRAMS AND SPECIALS

ER

Thursday, December 11 at 10 p.m. ET

As Christmas nears, Morris (Scott Grimes) receives an unwanted package from his father while Sam (Linda Cardellini) is anxious about getting Alex (Dominic Janes) off of the ventilator. Meanwhile, a pregnant woman with a high-risk pregnancy is in danger of getting deported. Parminder Nagra, David Lyons and Angela Bassett also star.

THE RANKIN FAMILY REUNION

Friday, December 12 at 8 p.m. ET

The legendary Cape Breton singing group reunites for a one-time television special taped in front of a wildly enthusiastic audience at Toronto’s famed Masonic Temple. Jimmy, Raylene, Heather and Cookie Rankin sing all their hits, while Molly Rankin, daughter of the late fifth member of the Rankin family, John Morris Rankin, makes a guest appearance. THE RANKIN FAMILY REUNION airs again Sunday, December 21 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: A NEW BEGINNING

Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. ET

Anne Shirley is one of the world’s most heartwarming iconic characters – but what happened before her surprising arrival at Green Gables in Prince Edward Island? Starring Hannah Endicott-Douglas (THE GOOD WITCH, SAMANTHA: AN AMERICAN GIRL HOLIDAY) as a young Anne Shirley, Oscar Nominee/Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Barbara Hershey (Beaches, Portrait of a Lady) as the older Anne Shirley, Rachel Blanchard (Where the Truth Lies, 7TH HEAVEN, CLUELESS) as Louisa Thomas, Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Shirley MacLaine (In Her Shoes, Terms of Endearment, Bewitched) as Amelia Thomas, and Ron Lea (RACE TO MARS, THIS IS WONDERLAND) as Gene Armstrong, this expansive new movie, which is both a prequel and a sequel to the original films, answers that question. Audiences will learn about the foundations of Anne’s childhood that shaped her life and haunted her in later years: the origins of her carpet bag; the source of her expression, “kindred spirits”; the development of her intense imagination as a means of survival; and most profoundly, many of the relationships with adults and peers that structured her character so distinctively, prior to her arrival at Green Gables.

In addition, CTV and ‘A’ will present a collection of titles from Sullivan Entertainment to complement the premiere of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: A NEW BEGINNING, including the original three ANNE OF GREEN GABLES mini-series, additional episodes from the Emmy Award-winning series ROAD TO AVONLEA, and more. Details will be announced soon.

A MUPPETS CHRISTMAS: LETTERS TO SANTA

Wednesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. ET

The Emmy and Grammy award-winning Muppets deliver an all-new one-hour special filled with song, dance, mayhem and heaps of holiday high spirits. On Christmas Eve, Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and the rest of the gang mistakenly avert three letters from making their way to Santa Claus. They need to get the letters to Santa in time, and hope that nothing can stand in the way of their happy Christmas. Guest stars include Whoopi Goldberg, Uma Thurman, Richard Griffiths and Jane Krakowski. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA’s Paul Becker choreographed the special and also makes an appearance.

CTV 2008 HOLIDAY SPECIALS PROGRAMMING LINEUP – RETURNING FAVOURITES

SHREK THE HALLS

Monday, December 1 at 8 p.m. ET

Shrek, everyone’s favourite ogre, brings his lovable charm to the small screen in the brand-new, half-hour holiday special SHREK THE HALLS, starring Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas. Last year, the comedic special became an instant holiday classic when 2.1 million viewers* tuned in for the premiere on CTV. In SHREK THE HALLS, Shrek is ready to sit back, relax and enjoy his “happily ever after” life with his new family, when the most joyous of all holidays arrives. It’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is filled with holiday cheer, except for Shrek. He isn’t exactly the picture of yuletide joy, but for the sake of Fiona and the kids, he tries to get into the spirit of things as only an ogre can. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have their own ideas about what Christmas is all about. So when Donkey, Puss In Boots, Gingerbread Man and the whole gang try to join in on the fun, Shrek’s plans for a cozy family celebration ends up spiralling into one truly unforgettable Christmas. SHREK THE HALLS encores Monday, December 22 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

SHREK

Tuesday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET

When a green ogre called Shrek (Mike Myers, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) discovers his swamp has been swamped with all sorts of fairytale creatures by the scheming Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow, Third Rock from the Sun), Shrek sets out, with a very loud Donkey (Eddie Murphy, Daddy Day Care) by his side, to persuade Farquaad to give his swamp back. Instead, a deal is made. Farquaad, who wants to become the King, sends Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz, Charlie’s Angels), who is waiting for her one true love. But once they head back with Fiona, it starts to become apparent that not only does Shrek like Fiona, but Fiona is keeping something secret.

RITA MacNEIL’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Friday, December 19 at 8 p.m. ET

Rita MacNeil is back to share some holiday cheer with her biggest fans in contemporary holiday classic, RITA MacNEIL’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. Celebrating with friends, family and even a few pets, count on Rita to attract some well-loved musicians to help ring in the holiday season. Olympic figure skating gold medalists Jamie Salé and David Pelletier and Patti LaBelle guest star. RITA MacNEIL’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL encores Wednesday, December 24 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)

Wednesday, December 24 at 9 p.m. ET

The 1951 black and white version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, starring Alistair Sim, is widely considered to be the definitive of the many film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic novel. The timeworn story about the miserable old merchant Ebenezer Scrooge and how his own disappointments in life shape his view that both life and men are not worthy of his notice or concern. He displays no charity to mankind generally, and in particular, to his employee Bob Cratchett (Mervyn Johns) and his unfortunate son, Tiny Tim (Glyn Dearman). But the miserable, miserly gent is about to get his comeuppance when he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Sunday, December 28 at 7 p.m. ET

The Oscar-winning classic, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, is set in 1930s Austria. A young woman named Maria (Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins) is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer, Inside Man) writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischievous children, Maria is given the job. The children are unhappy and resentful of the governesses that their father keeps hiring, managing to run each of them off one by one. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the same hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives – including the Captain’s.

SHREK 2

Wednesday, December 31 at 8 p.m. ET

Shrek (Mike Myers, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) has rescued Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz, Charlie’s Angels), got married – now it’s time to meet the parents. Shrek, Fiona and Donkey (Eddie Murphy, Daddy Day Care) set off to Far, Far Away to meet Fiona’s mother and father. But not everyone is happy: Shrek and the King find it hard to get along, and there’s tension in the marriage. But it’s not just the family who are unhappy. Prince Charming returns from a failed attempt at rescuing Fiona, and works alongside his mother, the Fairy Godmother, to try and find a way to get Shrek away from Fiona.

CTV 2008 HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING LINEUP – STUNT PROGRAMMING

THE HILLS and THE HILLS LIVE AFTER SHOW

Saturday, December 20 from 12:30 – 6 p.m. ET

Monday, December 22 to Friday, December 26 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET
Saturday, December 27 from 12 – 5 p.m. ET

Monday, December 29 to Wednesday, December 31 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET

Friday, January 2 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET

Brighten up the chilly Canadian winter with encore broadcasts of all 20 episodes from the latest season (Season 4) of THE HILLS, including the Canadian-produced THE HILLS LIVE AFTER SHOW. Starring Lauren, Audrina, Heidi and Whitney, get caught up on all the drama from the entire fourth season and analyze the girls’ every move with MTV’s Jessi Cruickshank and Dan Levy after each episode.

THE 12 DAYS OF CORNER GAS

Sunday, December 21 at 7 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. ET
Monday, December 22 – Friday, December 26 at 7 p.m. ET

Monday, December 29 – Friday, January 2 at 7 p.m. ET

Company’s coming this holiday season as THE 12 DAYS OF CORNER GAS celebrates 12 favourite episodes from the series’ first four seasons. Each episode features at least one celebrity guest star, including Shirley Douglas, Lloyd Robertson, Mark McKinney, Mike Holmes, Darryl Sittler, Ben Mulroney, Gavin Crawford, The Tragically Hip, and more!

4REAL – CHRISTMAS DAY MARATHON

Thursday, December 25 from 11 a.m. ET to 12 p.m. ET, 1 – 2 p.m. ET and 3 – 4 p.m. ET

Travel across the world with Sol Guy and celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck as they explore social issues on a global level in this Canadian series by CTV and MTV in Canada. Picked up by the CW this fall, 4REAL is about exploring different cultures from their traditions to their everyday lifestyles. 4REAL has been honoured on an international level with the United Nations in New York screening an episode as part of the UN’s permanent forum on indigenous issues.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA – NEW YEAR’S DAY MARATHON

Thursday, January 1 from 1 – 6 p.m. ET and 8 – 10 p.m. ET

Relive the edge-of-your-seat Season 1 moments with encore broadcasts of the final four performance episodes and final results shows of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA. The dance-a-thon starts with four performance shows that narrow the Top 10 dancers down to the Top 4. Then it all comes down to the nail-biting grand finale, where history will be made as Canada names its first-ever SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA favourite dancer.

CTV 2008 HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING LINEUP – CHRONOLOGICAL BY DATE

SHREK THE HALLS – Monday, December 1 at 8 p.m. ET

SHREK – Tuesday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET

ER – Thursday, December 11 at 10 p.m. ET *NEW*

THE RANKIN FAMILY REUNION – Friday, December 12 at 8 p.m. ET *NEW*

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: A NEW BEGINNING – Sunday, December 14 at 7 p.m. ET *NEW*

A MUPPETS CHRISTMAS: LETTERS TO SANTA – Wednesday, December 17 at 8 p.m. ET *NEW*

RITA MacNEIL’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL – Friday, December 19 at 8 p.m. ET

THE HILLS and THE HILLS LIVE AFTER SHOW – Begins Saturday, December 20 from 12:30 – 6 p.m. ET

THE 12 DAYS OF CORNER GAS – Begins Sunday, December 21 at 7 p.m. ET and 7:30 p.m. ET

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951) – Wednesday, December 24 at 9 p.m. ET

4REAL – CHRISTMAS DAY MARATHON – Thursday, December 25 from 11 a.m. ET to 12 p.m. ET, 1-2 p.m. ET and 3-4 p.m. ET

THE SOUND OF MUSIC – Sunday, December 28 at 7 p.m. ET

SHREK 2 – Wednesday, December 31 at 8 p.m. ET

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA – NEW YEAR’S DAY MARATHON – Thursday, January 1 from 1 – 6 p.m. ET and 8 – 10 p.m. ET

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