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Onslaught of Hallmark movies leads holiday TV slate

Look, no one’s going to out-Christmas the Hallmark Channel when it comes to sheer volume.

In addition to the hundreds of movies in its archives that will pretty much be playing on a loop until the end of the year, Hallmark is unleashing 26 new holiday films, all of which are virtually guaranteed to follow roughly the same plot — even “Holiday Date” (Dec. 14) and “Double Holiday” (Dec. 22), the channel’s first two romances to acknowledge Hanukkah.

That isn’t keeping Netflix from setting out to disrupt yet another TV tradition, though, with a slate of very Hallmark-esque movies, including the now annual trip to the not-at-all-fictional-sounding Aldovia to check in on Queen Amber (Rose McIver) and King Richard (Ben Lamb) in “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby” (Dec. 5).

Having already launched holiday movies starring Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe (“Holiday in the Wild”) and Vanessa Hudgens (“The Knight Before Christmas”) along with plenty of animated fare, Netflix on Thursday will offer up “Holiday Rush,” which focuses on a widowed radio DJ and stars Romany Malco, Darlene Love, Deon Cole and La La Anthony.

Even ABC is getting into the mix this season with “Same Time, Next Christmas” (9 p.m. Dec. 5), about a woman (Lea Michele) who reconnects with her childhood sweetheart when she returns to the Hawaiian resort of her youth.

In more traditional holiday fare, FX is seriously upping the nightmare quotient with its version of “A Christmas Carol” (7:30 p.m. Dec. 19), from “Peaky Blinders” creator Steven Knight, which stars Guy Pearce as Ebenezer Scrooge and Andy Serkis as The Ghost of Christmas Past.

Netflix also commissioned “Merry Happy Whatever” (Thursday), a laugh-tracked sitcom starring Dennis Quaid as a Philadelphia cop, whose beloved daughter (Bridgit Mendler) brings her new boyfriend (Brent Morin) home for the holidays.

Somehow that isn’t even the only new Christmas-themed sitcom this year, as Denis Leary and Elizabeth Perkins star in the dysfunctional family comedy “The Moodys” (9 p.m. Dec. 4, Fox).

Elsewhere, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a sleighful of music specials.

Celine Dion and Las Vegan Debbie Gibson will be featured in the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (9 a.m. Thursday, NBC), alongside Black Eyed Peas, Chicago, TLC and the Broadway casts of “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Beetlejuice,” “Hadestown” and “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical.”

Planet Hollywood Resort headliner Gwen Stefani and Rancho High grad Ne-Yo will perform, along with Derek and Julianne Hough, John Legend, Idina Menzel and Lea Michele, during “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” (8 p.m., Dec. 4, NBC).

Ne-Yo also guested on “Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas” (10 p.m. Dec. 19, NBC), which gets another airing this year, and he’ll perform on “A Home for the Holidays With Idina Menzel” (9 p.m. Dec. 22, CBS).

Also pulling double duty are Derek and Julianne Hough, who’ll star in the song-and-dance special “Holidays With the Houghs” (10 p.m. Dec. 16 and 8 p.m. Dec. 23, NBC).

On the country side, “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show” (Friday, Amazon) features Fred Armisen, Leon Bridges, Camila Cabello, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Lana Del Rey and Kendall Jenner. And Trisha Yearwood hosts the annual “CMA Country Christmas” (9 p.m. Tuesday, ABC), with performances by Kristin Chenoweth, Lady Antebellum and Rascal Flatts.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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