It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s not necessarily the most wonderful time for some of your favorite shows. If you love NCIS, Blue Bloods, or many other network TV shows, isn’t this a time you’d like to see more of them? Christmas Day specials are such an iconic part of television over in Great Britain; so, why isn’t it more of a tradition stateside?
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In one way, we understand that it’s hard to really instill a tradition where there really isn’t one. Great Britain has been doing the Christmas Day TV trend for ages and it’s never quite caught on stateside. We also understand that US networks are rather risk-averse. They want to make money, and there is no question that a lot of shows airing on Christmas Day would inevitably flop. Television is so segmented-off in America where you don’t have many shows at all watched by the bulk of the population. The reason why specials work more in the UK, tradition aside, is that you have shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Call the Midwife that are watched by a good percentage of the population. If America proportionally had the same thing, they’d probably be airing specials every year.
Yet, we do think that there is a case for doing it with just a few select shows — most notably, the ones mentioned alongside other possible ones like a Chicago Fire or a Hawaii Five-0. Why these shows in particular? There are a few reasons.
1. Multi-generational appeal – Given that families are together at Christmastime, you have to have shows that air at this point that are loved by multiple generations of people. The ones mentioned here have that — they are often watched by parents, kids, and grandparents alike. Everyone has their favorite characters.
2. Large audiences – You need a show big enough that even if it disappoints on Christmas, it is still going to pull in decent-enough ratings to justify the risk. You also, ideally, want ones with large episode orders so that you can afford to lose one.
3. The ability to tell fun Christmas stories – While all of these shows have serious aspects of them, they’re also capable of doing more lighthearted fare and bringing smiles to the faces of their viewers.
4. Variety – A show with a good Christmas Day special needs to be unique. Blue Bloods, for example, has a very unique viewpoint — you get to see cops on Christmas Day! Meanwhile, Hawaii Five-0 has the escapism charm to it.
While we recognize that many of these shows already do Christmas specials, we do still wonder whether or not airing on the day itself would bring viewers even closer together and make them all the more festive. It is a big risk, but certainly one worth looking at further.
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Do you want to see an American network TV show try a Christmas Special in the future? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: CBS.)