Happiness is a Warm TV

A New Year’s TV guide to the best specials, movies, countdowns and bowl games

The Peanuts gang is ringing in 1986 and Marcie and Peppermint Patty are throwing a big New Year's Eve bash in “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.”
The Peanuts gang is ringing in 1986 and Marcie and Peppermint Patty are throwing a big New Year's Eve bash in “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown.” © 1958, 1965, 1986 United Feature Syndicate

There’s a lot of great New Year’s-related TV, from Charlie Brown and Rudolph specials to movies, countdown celebrations and bowl games. Here’s what we found.

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (8 p.m., ABC) – The Peanuts gang rings in 1986, and Marcie and Peppermint Patty throw a big New Year’s Eve bash. Charlie Brown brings his copy of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (9 p.m., ABC) – Red Skelton narrates this 1976 special in which Rudolph goes on a special mission for Santa.

All the Best, All the Worst 2017 (9 p.m., CNN) – The title pretty much says it all.

Bowl Games

The Heart of Dallas Bowl: Utah vs. West Virginia – 1:20 p.m., ESPN

The Quick Lane Bowl: Duke vs. Northern Illinois – 5:15 p.m., ESPN

The Cactus Bowl: Kansas State vs. UCLA – 10 p.m., ESPN

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Bowl Games

The Independence Bowl: Florida State vs. Southern Miss – 1:30 p.m., ESPN

The Pinstripe Bowl: Boston College vs. Iowa – 5:15 p.m., ESPN

The Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona vs. Purdue – 8:30 p.m., Fox

The Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Missouri – 9 p.m., ESPN

Thursday, Dec. 28

Bowl Games

The Military Bowl: Virginia vs. Navy – 1:30 p.m., ESPN

The Camping World Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Virginia Tech – 5:15 p.m., ESPN

The Alamo Bowl: Stanford vs. TCU – 9 p.m., ESPN

The Holiday Bowl: Michigan State vs. Washington State – 9 p.m., Fox

Friday, Dec. 29

Bowl Games

The Belk Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M – 1 p.m., ESPN

The Sun Bowl: NC State vs. Arizona State – 3 p.m., CBS

The Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Northwestern – 4:30 p.m., ESPN

The Arizona Bowl: Utah State vs. New Mexico State – 5:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

The Cotton Bowl Classic: USC vs. Ohio State – 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 30

Jessy Schram, left, and Sam Page in the Hallmark movie “A Royal New Year’s Eve.” Ricardo Hubbs Crown Media

Royal New Year’s Eve (8 p.m., Hallmark) – A magazine assistant and aspiring fashion designer’s world is turned upside down when a Prince (Sam Page, who played Joan’s doctor husband on “Mad Men”) and his presumed fiance come to town and the young designer (Jessy Schram) is asked to design a gown for the royal New Year’s Eve ball, where the prince is expected to propose. Cheryl Ladd also stars. Sadly, this is the last night of new Hallmark holiday movies. It’s been real. (But do not despair! Hallmark’s special “Winterfest” movies start Jan. 6, with a new movie each Saturday night in January. I’m curious to see if the rules of our Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game will still apply.)

Bowl Games

The Taxslayer Bowl: Louisville vs. Mississippi State – Noon, ESPN

The Liberty Bowl: Iowa State vs. Memphis – 12:30 p.m., ABC

The Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs. Penn State – 4 p.m., ESPN

The Orange Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Miami – 8 p.m., ESPN

Sunday, Dec. 31

Ring in the New Year

New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square (8 p.m., Fox) – Steve Harvey takes over this former Pitbull gig, hosting a countdown to the big ball drop live from Times Square. It runs 8-10 and then resumes at 11, but local First Night programming will preempt this. Don’t worry – you can switch over to MeTV to see the rest.

Steve Harvey hosts “New Year's Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square” on Fox. Brian Bowen Smith/FOX

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., ABC) – Hosted by Ryan Seacrest with reports from New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas and St. Maarten. This will break at 11 p.m. for local news and then start up again at 11:30.

New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen (8 p.m., CNN) – Andy Cohen takes over co-hosting duties for Kathy Griffin. The torch passes to Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin at 12:30 a.m. (Lemon was absolutely lit last year).

NY Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: Bernstein on Broadway (9 p.m., UNC-TV) – Live From Lincoln Center, a tribute to Leonard Bernstein and his music for Broadway features songs from “West Side Story” and “On the Town.”

Countdown to 2018 (8 p.m., Fox News) – Ed Henry, Dean Cain and Lisa Boothe live in Times Square.

First Night Raleigh (10 p.m., Fox) – A live local report from First Night’s big Acorn Drop on City Plaza in downtown Raleigh. This begins (and ends) on Fox 50 but WRAL will join the broadcast at 11. The “New Year’s Eve with Steve Harvey” broadcast on Fox, which runs 8-10 and then 11-12:30, will switch over to MeTV. After the First Night broadcast ends at 12:07 a.m., Fox 50 will rejoin the Steve Harvey show.

All American New Year (10 p.m., Fox News) – Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery and Jesse Watters handle the countdown from Times Square in New York City.

ACL Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve (11 p.m., UNC-TV) – Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash and the Neville Brothers are inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. Performers include Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, Trombone Shorty, Raul Malo and Ry Cooder. Hosted by Chris Isaak.


New Year’s Eve (11 p.m., TBS) – Garry Marshall’s 2011 movie about intertwining stories of love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and more for a number of New Yorkers on New Year’s Eve. It stars Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.

True Crime

New Year’s Evil (8 p.m., Investigation Discovery) – It’s New Year’s Eve, and Ashley Kline’s friends are concerned because no one has seen or heard from her in hours. Days pass until, finally, her remains are found. Police must piece together her final moments to determine who killed her.

A Wicked New Year (9 p.m., Investigation Discovery) – In 2006, when an entire family is brutally murdered on New Year’s Eve in Richmond, Va., there are no leads.

Gone on New Year’s Eve (10 p.m., Investigation Discovery) – Heather Jones is bursting with confidence and flirting with men online after separating from her husband. Once Heather goes missing on New Year’s Eve, her family and friends wonder if she ran away with an online suitor.

Monday, Jan. 1

Tournament of Roses Parade "Mountiantop Majesty" float in 2015. Fresno Custom Publications Photo

The Tournament of Roses Parade (11 a.m., ABC, NBC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, Univision) – The 129th Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, Calif., is a festival of flowers, music and sports that broadcasts around the world. This year’s theme is “Making a Difference,” a way to honor those who give selflessly to help others and improve the world. Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise is the grand marshal.

Bowl games

The Rose Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Georgia – 5 p.m., ESPN

The Sugar Bowl: Clemson vs. Alabama – 8:45 p.m., ESPN

The Peach Bowl: Auburn vs. UCF – 12:30 p.m., ESPN

The Outback Bowl: Michigan vs. South Carolina – Noon, ESPN2

The Citrus Bowl: Notre Dame vs. LSU – 1 p.m., ABC