Christmas may be eight weeks away on the calendar, but it’s already in full swing on your television.
Whether you like it or not.
At least three cable networks are sharing the holiday spirit with Christmas-inspired films this weekend and more will join in the party in November. Included in this holiday bounty is the premiere of a locally made film, “A Prince for Christmas.” Filmed in East Aurora earlier this year under the name “Small Town Prince,” it premieres Nov. 29 on ION television.
The Hallmark Channel’s annual “Countdown to Christmas” starts the festivities with 48 hours of holiday movies beginning Saturday leading to the premiere of its first of 17 original movies, “Tis the Season For Love” at 8 p.m. Sunday. This kicks off 55 straight days of holiday fare that will add up to 1,300 hours of programming
The network’s sister station, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, also starts holiday programming on Saturday and has nearly 1,500 hours of programming planned, including four new original movies.
On Sunday, UP TV kicks off 500 hours of holiday programming and will have seven original film premieres, a new special from the Holderness family and the follow-up to its viral sensation “Cop Stop.
Closer to Thanksgiving, ION Television and Lifetime begin broadcasting their holiday-themed movies.
Here’s a look at the original movie premieres.
“Tis The Season For Love,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. A struggling actress home for the holidays falls for an old friend and has to take a new look at her life. With Sarah Lancaster, Brendan Penny.
“Rodeo & Juliet,” 9 p.m. UP. Stuck at the family farm, a city girl has her life changed by a handsome cowboy and a horse. With Krista Allen, Nadine Crocker, Buck Taylor.
“Ice Sculpture Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. An aspiring chef reconnects with an old friend at her new country club job. With Rachel Boston, David Alpay, Brenda Strong.
“Christmas Trade,” 7 and 9 p.m. UP. A single dad and his 11-year-old son switch bodies with the help of Christmas magic. With William Baldwin, Denise Richards, Tom Arnold.
“Charming Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. Nick, a new store Santa, spreads holiday cheer to employees – and the owner’s daughter. With Julie Benz and David Sutcliffe.
“I’m Not Ready For Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. A woman who tends to fib, is put under a truth spell after her niece makes a wish to Santa. With Alicia Witt, George Stults, Brigid Brannagh.
“A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale,” 7 and 9 p.m. UP. A college student forced to take a dog walking job re-examines her selfish ways when a developer plans to build a spa over the local dog park. With Dina Meyer, Patrick Muldoon.
“Christmas Incorporated,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. An entrepreneur’s new assistant tries to talk him out of closing a factory. With Shenae Grimes-Beech, Steve Lund.
“Northpole: Open for Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. Bailee Madison returns as a helpful elf in this follow-up to “Northpole.” With Lori Loughlin, Dermot Mulroney.
“Angels in the Snow.” 7 and 9 p.m. UP. A workaholic dad and his bickering family are stranded with another family during a blizzard. With Chris Potter, Kristy Swanson.
“Merry Matrimony,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. An art director must coordinate a photo reshoot with a former beau and his new girlfriend. With Jessica Lowndes, Christopher Russell.
“Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery,” 9 p.m. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. A holiday mystery from the network’s new hit movie series based on the Joanne Fluke books about a baker-turned sleuth. With Alison Sweeney, Cameron Mathison.
“Once Upon A Holiday,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. A princess falls for a good Samaritan who is unaware of her true identity. With Briana Evigan, Paul Campbell, Greg Evigan.
“The 12 Gifts of Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. An unemployed painter is hired as a personal shopper for an uptight executive. With Katrina Law, Aaron O’Connell, Donna Mills.
“Crown For Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. After being fired, a struggling artist takes a job as governess to a rebellious girl who turns out to be royalty. With Danica McKellar, Rupert Penry-Jones.
“A Christmas Detour,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. Two strangers have to work together to get to New York City after a snowstorm strands them in Buffalo. With Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene.
“A Gift Wrapped Christmas,” 8 p.m. Lifetime. A personal shopper tries to get a single dad and his son into the holiday spirit. With Meredith Hagner, Travis Milne, Beverley Mitchell.
“My One Christmas Wish,” 7 and 9 p.m. UP. The true story of Jackie Turner, who helped others after turning to Craigslist to find a family for the holidays. With Amber Riley, Matreya Fedor.
“Angel of Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. A journalist has to write a story about her great-grandfather and a “magical” angel he carved. With Jennifer Finnigan, Jonathan Scarfe, Holly Robinson Peete.
“The Christmas Gift,” 9 p.m. Lifetime. A young journalist looks for the person who sent her a Secret Santa gift as a child. With Michelle Trachtenberg, Rick Fox.
“The Christmas Note,” 9 p.m. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Based on inspirational novel about the friendship between a military wife and her unhappy neighbor. With Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
“A Prince for Christmas,” 9 p.m. ION. An engaged prince with cold feet heads to the U.S. in search of true love. With Viva Bianca, Kirk Barker.
“The Flight Before Christmas,” 8 p.m. Lifetime. A heartbroken woman heads home for the holidays, but gets stuck in a small town after her plane is diverted. With Mayim Bialik, Ryan McPartlin, Reginald VelJohnson.
Hallmark Hall of Fame’s “Just in Time for Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. A woman facing a crossroads – staying with her boyfriend or taking a big job – is magically transported into the future to help make her decision. With Eloise Mumford, Michael Stahl-David, William Shatner.
“Merry Kissmas,” 9 p.m. ION. Falling for a man after a chance meeting, a woman is drawn back into a relationship with a controlling choreographer. With Karissa Staples, Brant Daugherty, Brittany Underwood.
“Beverly Hills Christmas,” 7 and 9 p.m. UP. A guardian angel helps a spoiled teen learn valuable lessons. With Dean Cain, Donna Spangler, John Savage.
“Karen Kingsbury’s The Bridge,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. Based on the best-selling novel about a woman who returns home to save a beloved bookstore. With Katie Findlay, Wyatt Nash, Ted McGinley, Faith Ford.
“Last Chance Christmas,” 9 p.m. Lifetime. A stable hand searching for a replacement reindeer after Prancer is injured, meets a girl and her mother. With Hilarie Burton, Gabriel Hogan, Tim Matheson.
“Magic Stocking,” 9 p.m. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. A Christmas stocking magically fills up with special items that help a girl and her widowed mother find faith.
“How Sarah Got Her Wings,” 9 p.m. ION. A woman can’t get into Heaven until she rights a wrong from her past. With Lindsey Gort, Derek Theler, Melanie Liburd.
“On the Twelfth Day of Christmas,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. A woman gives a man 12 tasks to help him rediscover the holiday spirit. With Brooke Nevin, Robin Dunne.
“Becoming Santa,” 8 p.m. Lifetime. A woman takes her boyfriend “up north” to meet her family where they run into her ex, Jack Frost. With Laura Bell Bundy, Jesse Hutch, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter.
“A Christmas Truce,” 9 p.m. ION. An American soldier and farm girl vow to reunite on Christmas Eve after the war. With Craig Olejnik, Ali Liebert.
“A Baby For Christmas,” 7 and 9 p.m. UP. Third installment in the Chandler family Christmas movies. With Malinda Williams, Karon Riley.
“A Christmas Reunion,” 9 p.m. ION. An executive inherits her aunt’s bakery and learns the other half was left to a former boyfriend. With Denise Richards, Patrick Muldoon.
“Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Show,” 9 p.m. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Two people trying to get home for the holidays rent a car and get caught in a case of mistaken identity. With Meghan Ory, Andrew Walker.
“Wish Upon a Christmas,” 9 p.m. Lifetime. An executive returns home to save her family ornament company – and that means massive layoffs before the holidays. With Larisa Oleynik, Aaron Ashmore, Alan Thicke.
“A Christmas Melody,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. Mariah Carey makes her directorial debut and stars in this musical about a single mother trying to help her daughter adjust to new surroundings. With Lacey Chabert, Brennan Elliott.
“The Spirit of Christmas,” 8 p.m. Lifetime. A lawyer working the sale of an old inn meets a ghost who takes human form 12 days before Christmas each year. With Jen Lilley, Thomas Beaudoin.
“Christmas Land,” 8 p.m. Hallmark. Planning to sell a family Christmas tree farm she has inherited, a woman revisits the farm and has a change of heart.
Story topics: Christmas movies