A flurry of Christmas programming dusts the December 2017 TV premieres calendar, but several new and returning series will add to your pile of must-see shows. 

Netflix’s “The Crown” returns for its second season Dec. 8, picking up British Queen Elizabeth II’s reign in the early 1960s when societal changes seemed to leave the monarchy behind.

The monarchy faces more militant resistance in HBO’s miniseries “Gunpowder,” in which “Game of Thrones” star Kit Harrington portrays Robert Catesby, who was the driving force behind the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the parliament building in 1605 London.

Two other historical dramas—History’s Knights Templar tale “Knightfall” and Amazon Prime’s 1960s Yemeni set story “The Last Post”—also premiere.

Programmers continue to search around the world for new shows, with Netflix streaming the German mystery “Dark” beginning Dec. 1. HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Acorn TV get in on that action, too.

Also premiering this month is the long-awaited, much anticipated and hilarious reunion “Psych: The Movie.” Fans of the missed USA detective comedy have a lot to love in this fantastic film, but I think any viewer will laugh out loud all the smart pop culture references, funny back-and-forths and a dream sequence to beat them all. Airing Dec. 7, it’s a must see.

(Speaking of fun viewing, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s sendup of his own screen image, titled Jean-Claude Van Johnson,” shows a lot of promise. It drops Dec. 15 on Amazon Prime.)

Now, the Christmas holiday: Hallmark and Hallmark M&M present two brand new holiday movies each weekend, but also rebroadcast all their holiday fare from past years all month long. Many network series are on hiatus this month and in their place you can see tons of holiday specials. I have many listed here, but check your local listings because I’m sure I missed a lot of them.

And for all you Whovians, the annual “Doctor Who” Christmas special brings together three Doctors representing the past, present and future. The latest regeneration airs on Christmas Day.

By the way, happy holidays! Enjoy.

December 2017 TV premieres

(All times Central)

Friday, Dec. 1

Streaming

  • “Dark,” Netflix (season 1; missing child sets four German families on frantic hunt for answers as they unearth mind-bending mystery that spans three generations)
  • “My Happy Family,” Netflix (movie; middle-aged woman leaves her husband and breaks free from tradition)
  • “Voyeur,” Netflix (doc; journalist Gay Talese unmasks a motel owner who spied on his guests for decades, but story soon becomes scandal of its own)
  • “East Los High: Finale Event,” Hulu (season 5)
  • “The Wine Show,” Hulu (season 2; click here for more new Hulu international shows)
  • “Easy,” Netflix (season 2)
  • “A Storybots Christmas,” Netflix (kids holiday special)
  • “Dreamworks Home: For the Holidays,” Netflix (kids holiday special)
  • “All Hail King Julien,” Netflix (season 5)

7 p.m.

  • “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” ABC (season 5; 2 hours)

 

Saturday, Dec. 2

Noon

7 p.m.

  • “Christmas in Evergreen,” Hallmark (movie; things don’t go as planned when town veterinarian makes wish to have most romantic Christmas ever)

8 p.m.

  • “Christmas in Angel Falls,” Hallmark M&M (movie; angel is assigned to restore Christmas spirit to residents of small town)
  • “Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady,” HBO (standup special)

9 p.m.

  • “All Def Comedy,” HBO (series premiere; standup acts)

 

Sunday, Dec. 3

6 p.m.

  • “Fifty Years of 60 Minutes,” CBS (special; commemorative broadcast)

7 p.m.

  • “Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special,” CBS (special; celebrating award-winning comedy/variety series)
  • “Christmas at Holly Lodge,” Hallmark (movie; inn owner faced with sacrificing love to save her business)
  • “Dating Game Killer,” ID (movie; story of real-life serial killer Rodney Alcala and Carol Jensen, the mother of one of his victims)

8 p.m.

  • “Magical Christmas Ornaments,” Hallmark M&M (movie; mom sends ornaments to daughter to rekindle her love for holiday)
  • “Secrets of Christ’s Tomb: Explorer Special,” Nat Geo (special; experts work to repair collapsing Edicule that encloses the burial chamber of Christ)
  • “Charles Manson: The Final Words,” Reelz (special; presents potential alternative theory as to why, how horrific crimes were committed)

9 p.m.

  • “The True Story of the Dating Game Killer,” ID (doc; Rodney Alcala killed an estimated 130 women and children in the 1970s)

 

Monday, Dec. 4

Streaming

  • “The Brokenwood Mysteries,” Acorn TV (U.S. premiere, season 4)

6 p.m.

  • “95th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting from President’s Park,” Hallmark (special)

8 p.m.

  • “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee,” HBO (doc premiere; look at career of Washington Post executive editor famous for Watergate story)
  • “Man v. Food,” Travel (season 2)
  • “Vanderpump Rules,” Bravo (season premiere)

8:30 p.m.

  • “RelationShep,” Bravo (series premiere; “Southern Charm” personality Shep Rose searches for a mate)

9 p.m.

  • “Cash Cab,” Discovery (series premiere; revived trivia game show in New York City cab)

 

Tuesday, Dec. 5

Streaming

  • “Craig Ferguson: Tickle Fight,” Netflix (standup special)

7 p.m.

  • “Moonshiners,” Discovery (special holiday episode)

8 p.m.

  • “Will & Grace,” NBC (special holiday episode)

8:30 p.m.

  • “Superstore,” NBC (special holiday episode)

9 p.m.

  • “Stripped,” Bravo (series premiere; exposes the naked truth behind modern-day America’s obsession with material belongings)

 

Wednesday, Dec. 6

Streaming

  • “Shut Eye,” Hulu (season 2)

9 p.m.

  • “Knightfall,” History (series premiere; Knights Templar search for the Holy Grail)
  • “Happy!” Syfy (series premiere; imaginary, blue-winged horse changes ex cop-turned-hit man’s life)
  • “Black Ink Crew,” VH1 (season premiere)

 

Thursday, Dec. 7

7 p.m.

  • “Psych: The Movie,” USA (movie; fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer and Burton “Gus” Guster open up their new office in San Francisco)
  • “32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide,” HBO (doc premiere; Hope Litoff, younger sister of suicide victim Ruth, empties storage unit filled with Ruth’s belongings)
  • “Gotham,” Fox (fall finale)

8 p.m.

  • “The Great American Baking Show,” ABC (season 3)
  • “A Very Discovery Christmas,” Discovery (special; Discovery families share beloved Christmas traditions)
  • “The Orville,” Fox (season 1 finale)

9 p.m.

  • “Top Chef,” Bravo (season 15)
  • “Beerland,” Viceland (season 2)

 

Friday, Dec. 8

Streaming

  • “The Crown,” Netflix (season 2)
  • “The Grand Tour,” Amazon Prime (season 2)
  • “Freedom Fighter: The Ray,” CW Seed (series premiere; animated DC super hero tale)
  • “Crown Heights,” Amazon Prime (movie; biographical drama chronicles Colin Warner’s murder conviction and work of his best friend to prove his innocence)
  • “El Camino Christmas,” Netflix (movie; man seeks father he has never met but ends up barricaded in liquor store with five other people on Christmas Eve) 

7 p.m.

  • “Sportsman of the Year,” NBCSN (special; Joel McHale hosts Sports Illustrated event)

 

Saturday, Dec. 9

7 p.m.

  • “Christmas Encore,” Hallmark (movie; struggling actress finds romance and renewed passion for her craft when she’s cast in modern retelling of “A Christmas Carol”)

8 p.m.

  • “The Christmas Cottage,” Hallmark M&M (movie; cynical woman gets snowed in with best friend’s brother)

 

Sunday, Dec. 10

7 p.m.

  • “The Christmas Shop,” Hallmark (movie; owner of holiday shop insists real estate developer work there for a week before he gobbles up building)
  • “Final Vision,” ID (movie; story of Jeffrey MacDonald, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters)

8 p.m.

  • “Big Cat Week,” Nat Geo Wild (8th annual; see the full Big Cat Week schedule here)
  • Outlander, Starz (season 3 finale)

9 p.m.

  • “Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian,” E! (season 2)
  • “Encore!” ABC (special; Kristen Bell reunites high school musical casts for encore performance 20 years later under tutelage of Broadway pros)
  • Counterpart, Starz (series preview; season launches Jan. 21)

10:30 p.m.

  • “Robot Chicken,” Adult Swim (season 9)

 

Monday, Dec. 11

6 a.m.

  • “Battle of the Nutcrackers,” Ovation (11th annual edition; viewers vote on their favorite of five different productions of The Nutcracker shown over five consecutive days Dec. 11-15)

7 p.m.

  • “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” Cooking (season premiere)
  • “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic,” Freeform (special; spectacular weddings and engagements at Disney destinations)
  • “Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution,” HBO (doc; filmmaker Jamie Redford searches for new pioneers in the use of clean energy technology)

9 p.m.

  • “The Bachelor: Countdown to Arie,” ABC (special; behind-the-scenes look at Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s life, family and love of racing)

 

Tuesday, Dec. 12

Streaming

  • “Russell Howard: Recalibrate,” Netflix (standup special)

8 p.m.

  • “Gwen Stefani’s You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” NBC (holiday special; Stefani’s welcomes guests Blake Shelton, Chelsea Handler, Ken Jeong, Seth MacFarlane and NE-YO)
  • “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Fox (winter finale; two episodes)

 

Wednesday, Dec. 13

7 p.m.

  • “The Librarians,” TNT (season 4; 2-hour premiere)
  • “Panama’s Animal Highway,” Smithsonian (special; look at critical throughway and vital rest stop for millions of birds, mammals and reptiles)
  • “Empire,” Fox (fall finale)

8 p.m.

  • “Golden Globes 75th Anniversary Special,” NBC (special; look at best moments of ceremonies)
  • “Star,” Fox (fall finale)

 

Thursday, Dec. 14

7 p.m.

  • “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays,” Fox (special; Taraji P. Henson hosts holiday variety show)

8 p.m.

  • “Showtime at the Apollo: Christmas,” Fox (special; Steve Harvey hosts holiday performances)

10 p.m.

  • “Superstition,” Syfy (new night and time)

 

Friday, Dec. 15

Streaming

  • “Jean-Claude Van Johnson,” Amazon Prime (season 1; Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Johnson, an undercover spy working as an action star)
  • “Erased,” Netflix (season 1; Japanese man travels 18 years back in time for chance to stop a kidnapping that took lives of three of his classmates)
  • “Wormwood,” Netflix (doc; Errol Morris explores mysterious death of U.S. scientist entangled in secret Cold War program known as MK-Ultra)
  • “Christmas Inheritance,” Netflix (special; woman discovers true gift of Christmas)
  • “Trollhunters,” Netflix (part 2)
  • “The Ranch,” Netflix (part 4)
  • “Ultimate Beastmaster,” Netflix (competition series; intense obstacle course)

8 p.m.

  • “The Exorcist,” Fox (season finale)

 

Saturday, Dec. 16

7 p.m.

  • “Christmas Next Door,” Hallmark (movie; bachelor takes in his niece and nephew a week before Christmas; seeks help from his next door neighbor)

8 p.m.

  • “Unbridled Love,” Hallmark M&M (movie; when Hollywood star arrives at struggling ranch to train for his next film, owner’s granddaughter gets more for Christmas than she bargained)

 

Sunday, Dec. 17

6 p.m.

  • “A Christmas Story Live!” Fox (special; live performance of musical about a boy whose only dream is to get Red Ryder Range Model Carbine Action BB Gun for Christmas)

7 p.m.

  • “Christmas Connection,” Hallmark (movie; snowstorm strands flight attendant in Chicago home of girl who left something behind on plane)
  • “Last Tango in Halifax,” PBS (2-part holiday special)

8 p.m.

  • “Romance at Reindeer Lodge,” Hallmark M&M (movie; workaholic learns about love and kindness when forced to spend her holiday at Vermont bed-and-breakfast)

 

Monday, Dec. 18

Streaming

  • “L’Accident,” Acorn TV (U.S. premiere; French thriller in which widower investigates  mysterious death of wife in Sainte-Luce, Brittany)
  • “Hello, My Twenties!” Netflix (season 2)

6 a.m.

  • “Battle of the Nutcrackers” winner, Ovation (special; replay of fan voters’ favorite of five Nutcracker performances; see Dec. 11)

7 p.m.

  • “Ellen’s Game of Games,” NBC (series premiere; Ellen DeGeneres hosts new game show)
  • “Agnelli,” HBO (doc premiere; portrait of Italy’s jet-age industrialist)
  • “Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic,” Freeform (special; host Whoopi Goldberg reveals Disney holiday secrets)

8 p.m.

  • “Tickling Giants,” Showtime (doc premiere; during Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef’s comedy, “The Show,” united Egypt and tested limits of free press)
  • “Remy & Papoose: A Merry Mackie Christmas,” VH1 (holiday special; Remy Ma and Papoose from VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: New York” prepare holiday party for friends and family in North Carolina)

9 p.m.

  • “Gunpowder,” HBO (miniseries premiere; thriller based on real-life 17th century plot to blow up the British parliament; 3 parts)
  • “The Year In Memoriam 2017,” ABC (special; stars and icons who passed in 2017)
  • “Supergirl,” PBS (“Independent Lens” premiere; three years in life of now 14-year-old Naomi Kutin, an Orthodox Jewish competitive powerlifter from NJ who is breaking records and barriers)

10 p.m.

  • “Booze Traveler,” Travel (season premiere)

 

Tuesday, Dec. 19

Streaming

  • “The Indian Detective,” Netflix (season 1; suspended Toronto police officer investigates a murder while visiting his father in India)

6 p.m.

  • “15: A Quinceañera Story,” HBO (docs premiere; collection of four short films follow five Latina girls as they transition to adulthood; continues Dec. 20-22)

7 p.m.

  • “A Home for the Holidays,” CBS (special; Josh Groban headlines)
  • The Naked Truth: Wasteland, Fusion (doc; a look at Oklahoma’s environmental crisis)

8 p.m.

  • “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” Bravo (season 8)
  • “The Year: 2017,” ABC (special; a look back at the year)

9 p.m.

  • “Married at First Sight: Jamie and Doug Plus One,” Lifetime (series premiere)

 

Wednesday, Dec. 20

Streaming

  • “La Casa de Papel,” Netflix (season 1; eight thieves take hostages and lock themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain as a criminal mastermind manipulates police)
  • “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” Facebook Watch (season 2; new episodes every Wednesday of comedy in which comic Nicole Byer lives the Hollywood dream while looking for her leading man)

7 p.m.

  • “America’s Badlands,” Smithsonian (special; animals living in grasslands of America’s great wilderness)

 

Thursday, Dec. 21

Streaming

  • “Peaky Blinders,” Netflix (season 4)

7 p.m.

  • “The Family I Had,” ID (doc; mother’s love and ability to forgive tested when her teen son kills her daughter)

 

Friday, Dec. 22

Streaming

  • “The Last Post,” Amazon Prime (season 1; lives of a British army unit and their families posted in Yemen in mid-1960s)
  • “Bright,” Netflix (movie; human cop and his orc partner become embroiled in prophesied turf war)
  • “72 Dangerous Animals: Latin America,” Netflix (season 1; Australia’s deadliest creatures)
  • “Dope,” Netflix (season 1)
  • “Fuller House,” Netflix (season 3, new episodes)
  • “The Toys That Made Us,” Netflix (season 1; nostalgic toys explored)

7 p.m.

  • “I Love Lucy Christmas Special,” CBS (special; colorized 1956 “Christmas Episode” and newly colorized 1955 “The Fashion Show” in which Lucy spends too much on a dress)

8 p.m.

  • “Rocky Mountain Christmas,” Hallmark M&M (movie; broken-hearted New York designer retreats to her family’s dude ranch for holidays, but arrival of a film star changes her plans for alone time)
  • “The Dick Van Dyke Show—Now in Living Color!” CBS (special; newly colorized versions of 1961 “My Blonde-Haired Brunette” and 1964 “October Eve”)
  • “Eric Idle’s The Entire Universe,” PBS (special; musical-comedy-science variety extravaganza)

 

Saturday, Dec. 23

7 p.m.

  • “Christmas Getaway,” Hallmark (movie; rental error forces recently single travel writer to share vacation getaway with widower, his daughter and mother)

 

Sunday, Dec. 24

4 p.m.

  • “A Very Happy Yule Log,” Hallmark M&M (24-hour special)

 

Monday, Dec. 25

Streaming

  • “Murdoch Mysteries,” Acorn TV (U.S. premiere, season 11, episode 1)
  • “Cable Girls,” Netflix (season 2)

4 a.m.

  • “A Very Merry Yule Log,” Hallmark M&M (special; 9 hours of traditional holiday fun)

9 a.m.

  • “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration,” ABC (holiday special)

7 p.m.

  • “When Calls the Heart: The Christmas Wishing Tree,” Hallmark (movie; loved one returns, Christmas spirit is renewed & children’s wishes are granted)

8 p.m.

  • “Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time,” BBC America (holiday special; Doctor Who and Bill meet the original Doctor Who)
  • “Call the Midwife,” PBS (holiday special; midwives face the challenge of the coldest winter in the United Kingdom in 300 years, the Big Freeze of 1963)

 

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Streaming

  • “Pete the Cat: A Groovy New Year Holiday Special,” Amazon Prime (holiday special; Pete the Cat searches for a New Year’s Resolution)
  • “Todd Barry: Spicy Honey,” Netflix (standup special)
  • “Travelers,” Netflix (season 2)

8 p.m.

  • “The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors,” CBS (special; Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie receive honors)

 

Wednesday, Dec. 27

8 p.m.

  • “Expedition Unknown,” Travel (season premiere)

 

Thursday, Dec. 28

5:30 p.m.

  • “Movie Night with Karlie Kloss,” Freeform (6-part series; model invites friends for movies, games, baking and movie watching)

8 p.m.

  • “Race to the Antarctic: Mysteries at the Museum,” Travel (special; story of polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his 27-man crew of the Endurance)

9:30 p.m.

  • “Beyond: Season 2 Sneak Peek,” Freeform (special; a look at what’s coming Jan. 18)

 

Friday, Dec. 29

Streaming

  • “La Mante,” Netflix (season 1; decades after her capture, French serial killer offers to help solve string of copycat murders)
  • “The Climb,” Netflix (movie; office assistant in Detroit seeks extraordinary life and internet fame)
  • Black Mirror,” Netflix (season 4)
  • “Bill Nye Saves the World,” Netflix (season 2, part 1)

8 p.m.

  • “American Masters: Bob Hope,” PBS (special)

 

Saturday, Dec. 30

7 p.m.

  • “Kiss for the New Year,” Hallmark (movie; photographer has never partaken in New Year’s kiss)

8:30 p.m.

  • “2018 Winterfest Preview Show,” Hallmark (special; Lori Laughlin previews January’s “Winterfest” movies)

 

Sunday, Dec. 31

Streaming

  • “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity,” Netflix (standup special)

7 p.m.

  • “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” ABC (holiday special)
  • “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly,” NBC (holiday special)
  • “New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square,” Fox (holiday special)
  • “New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen,” CNN (holiday special)