December 2023 Programming Highlights
If you’re looking for ways to welcome in the holiday season, CPTV and Spirit have an array of shows and festive ideas to commemorate December 2023 with food, friendship and frolicking winter fun… with a few musical highlights and performances thrown in for good measure.
Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen
Sundays at 10:30 p.m., starting December 3
Lucy Worsley explores the enigma of Agatha Christie. Over three episodes, she applies her historian’s powers of investigation to the Queen of Crime. And she uncovers a complex woman whose life – and work – reflects the upheavals of the 20th century.
Frontline: Discord Leaks
Tuesday, December 12 at 10 p.m.
How a young National Guardsman allegedly leaked classified documents onto the Discord chat platform.
Frontline: Inside the Uvalde Response
Tuesday, December 12 at 11 p.m.
Drawing on real-time, firsthand accounts and using official bodycam and audio, FRONTLINE, ProPublica and The Texas Tribune reconstruct the chaotic response to the Uvalde school shooting and examine the missteps. The documentary delves into the lessons learned and the lingering trauma of that day.
Doc Martin | Season 10
Thursdays at 8 p.m., starting December 14
In the tenth and final season of DOC MARTIN, a year has passed since Martin (Martin Clunes) resigned his medical license, and his wife, Louisa (Caroline Catz), is now the one seeing patients in her new career change as a child counselor, while he looks after their two young children. But does the Doc truly never want to practice medicine again?
Frontline: Netanyahu, America & the Road to War in Gaza
Tuesday, December 19 at 10 p.m.
The long struggle between the Israeli leader and multiple U.S. presidents over Middle East peace.
Frankie Drake Mysteries | Season 4
Thursdays at 9 p.m. starting December 21
Set in 1920s Toronto, the series follows the adventures of Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Chantel Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they find themselves fighting crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies.
Tuesday, December 26 at 8 p.m.
An exhilarating live theatrical adaptation of Alice In Wonderland, created and performed by Chicago’s Tony-Award winning Lookingglass Theatre Company is on tap in “Lookingglass Alice.”. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories and infused with physical risk world-class circus arts, this Alice transports audiences down the rabbit hole with new twists on the beloved characters and story, creating a wildly entertaining adventure for all ages.
Power Trip: The Story of Energy
Sundays at 11 p.m. starting December 10
“Power Trip: the Story of Energy” is a 12-part, 12-hour-long documentary series directed by Mat Hames, based on Michael E. Webber’s book. Season One explores energy in WATER, FOOD, CITIES, TRANSPORTATION, WEALTH and WAR. Season Two reveals energy as the underlying force that carries us to SPACE, causes large-scale DISASTERS, transforms WORK, CULTURE, and ENTERTAINMENT, and drives GLOBALIZATION.
Citizen Hearst: An American Experience Special
Wednesdays at 9 p.m. starting December 13
The life of William Randolph Hearst, who transformed the media’s role in American life.
Seaside Hotel | Season 8
Saturdays at 11 p.m. starting December 16
At Andersen’s Seaside Hotel by the North Sea dunes, meet the chambermaid Fie, the merchant’s daughter Amanda, and the local fisherman Morten, whose fates are intertwined, as they seek to emancipate themselves from the plans other people have made on their behalf. From Walter Presents, in Danish with English subtitles.
Friday, December 29 at 9 p.m.
This conspiracy thriller and cautionary tale tells the story of the 2009 Climate gate scandal, when the media storm undermined confidence in the science of climate change. Professor Phil Jones and his team at the University of East Anglia find themselves in the middle of a major investigation with their 30 years of research work being questioned in the first ‘fake news’ attack.
Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas
Spirit on Thursday, December 7 at 8 p.m.
Beloved British home cook Mary Berry provides her own personal secrets to an extraordinary holiday meal in Mary Berry’s Ultimate Christmas. Berry and a few of her very special friends prepare her ultimate Christmas feast with all the trimmings. From the customary turkey to her classic Christmas pudding, it’s the perfect recipe for a deliciously festive holiday.
Season of Light: The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square
Tuesday, December 12 at 8 p.m. on CPTV
Join the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra along with award-winning artists Lea Salonga and Sir David Suchet for a festive and uplifting Christmas special. This concert will illuminate your holiday experience with timeless carols, treasured songs and a story of heroic service.
Mary Berry’s Highland Christmas
Monday, December 18 at 9 p.m. on CPTV
Mary spends Christmas in her mother’s homeland of Scotland to embark on a winter break soaking up her Scottish heritage and enjoying traditional delights with familiar faces, as well cooking up some of her own indulgent dishes.
25 Years with Lidia: A Culinary Jubilee
Monday, December 18 at 10 p.m. on CPTV
Marking a culinary career milestone this December is renowned chef Lidia Bastianich. She celebrates 25 years on public television in the documentary special, “25 Years with Lidia: A Culinary Jubilee” on Monday, December 18 at 10 p.m. on CPTV. Join Lidia’s family and celebrity friends for an intimate look at the memorable moments of her life, both on and off the screen.
In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season
Monday, December 18 at 11 p.m. on CPTV
Revel in dazzling musical performances from the White House, as President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., host Jennifer Garner, Andrea Bocelli, Camila Cabello, Eric Church, Jonas Brothers, Billy Porter and more are featured in this celebration of the holiday season.
Christmas in New England
Saturday, December 23 at 8 p.m. on CPTV
If holiday hot spots are more your style, “Christmas in New England” showcases places to visit in this corner of the Northeast. From the coast of Maine to the hills of the Berkshires, New England is a uniquely magical location to celebrate the holidays. Join host Lindsay Paris as she visits eight regional destinations to take a look at the time-honored events that make Christmas in New England so special.
Call the Midwife Holiday Special 2023
Monday, December 25 at 8 p.m.
Two weeks before Christmas, delicate situations cause uncertainty for the midwifes.
Rick Steves’ European Christmas
Monday, December 25 at 10 p.m. on Spirit
Get an international look at how the holiday season is observed around the world as Rick puts a spotlight on the Christmas season throughout the European continent, and visits friends and families in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy to reveal their customs and practices. He begins his travels in England, where the Christmas pudding is the real centerpiece of a classic English holiday meal. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower heralds the season with its red, twinkling lights. And in the countryside of Tuscany, villagers stack neat pyramids of wood for great bonfires. The lighting of the fires is a signal to villagers – dressed as shepherds – to come and sing old carols. The show offers a colorful, musical celebration of Christmas across Europe where viewers will learn about customs from “the old countries,” hear local choirs and discover holiday family traditions.
Cultural Expressions: Kwanzaa
Tuesday, December 26 at 10 p.m. on CPTV
Honoring the heritage, unity, culture and rich contributions of African Americans, this hour-long documentary explores the seven principles that are the foundation of Kwanzaa by sharing seven real-life stories of impact. These stories reveal how each principle plays a role in the Black community, enhanced by cultural elements of dance, storytelling, music, and spoken word.