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  • Carrie Specht

PBS SoCal Holiday Programming Includes Charlie Brown Specials

This year’s lineup of PBS seasonal programming will run November 22 through Christmas Day on both PBS SoCal and KCET.

Headlining the scheduled programming is the return of the L.A. County Holiday Celebration observing its 61st anniversary and offering viewers a vibrant new format. A local tradition presented in conjunction with The Music Center since 1959, this year’s three-hour music and dance spectacular will offer a new take on a holiday classic, with more than twenty-two L.A.-based artists who showcase the diverse talents of L.A.


I love holiday television scheduling for sentimantel reasons. It reminds me of my childhood when my parents would let me and my siblings eat dinner in front of the TV and watch "special" after "special" all in the build up to Christmas. Even our elementary school would print up a schedule for us to take home so that we wouldn't miss a single one. The Charlie Brown episodes were not to be missed, even my father would watch those with us. I'm partticularly partial to the Rakin/Bass stop-motion animation specials. They're so cute and innocent, and pure in their depiction of beloved holiday fables. They maybe complete propaganda to encourage consumers to spend like crazy and increase the GNP, but never the less, a tradition I'm not ready to give up.


In addition, there are a variety of local and national performances, and productions for the whole family to enjoy that will run through Christmas Day on both channels in the Los Angeles region. Also headlining the local lineup is the return of the L.A. County Holiday Celebration observing its 61st anniversary in 2020. This year’s three-hour music and dance spectacular will feature more than 22 L.A.-based artists who showcase the diverse talents of L.A. County.


The live performances were filmed on location at both The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Jerry Moss Plaza as well as sites around Los Angeles County and features music ensembles. The choirs and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures celebrate the rich diversity of Los Angeles County. This includes Latin folk band Cuñao, Daniel Ho Trio and Hālau Hula Keali’i o Nālani with special guest Tia Carrere, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, folklorico troupe Pacifico Dance Company, Gospel choir Praizum led by Lorenzo Johnson and Infinite Flow, and more. The show’s traditional finale of “Silent Night” will be a virtual collaborative performance, featuring Southern California Brass Consortium with a community choir comprised of many singers from this year’s roster of performers. For more information about the event, please visit holidaycelebration.org


Given COVID restrictions, and the commitment to keeping artists and the public safe from community transmission, this year the performance is presented without a live audience. But the show musy go on, and will be broadcast on PBS SoCal on Thurs., Dec. 24 from 3-6 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. with an encore on KCET on Fri., Dec. 25 from 12-3 p.m. with a simultaneous streaming on pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration, kcet.org and Holidaycelebration.org.


With everything they have to offer, PBS SoCal and KCET are doing their absoltue best to ensure you and yours have a very merry Christmas!