Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Oz television

I just thought I'd let you know that, if you have the right channels on your cable or satellite system, you can see an awful lot of Oz movies and specials over the next few days. Here's the rundown:

  • The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, December 24, 7:00 a.m., ABC Family Channel. This is the 1985 Rankin-Bass adaptation of the story by L. Frank Baum.
  • The Wizard of Oz, December 25, 8:00 p.m., TBS. It's apparently not enough that TBS showed this, the most famous film version of the story (you know, the one with Judy Garland as Dorothy), last month, or that sister station TNT showed it last week. This showing follows TBS's annual marathon showing of A Christmas Story — twelve consecutive times over the previous twenty-four hours — which is a movie that also features the characters from The Wizard of Oz in the going-to-see-Santa-at-the-department-store scene. Coincidence? (I doubt it, actually...)
  • The Wiz, December 26, 12:00 noon and midnight, TVOne. This is a relatively recent channel that I wasn't familiar with until I saw this listing, but it seems to cater towards African-American audiences. And yes, this is The Wiz with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
  • The Wizard of Oz, December 27, 12:00 midnight, TCM. This is not the famous version that TBS is also showing for the season (and TCM will show in February during their annual Oscar salute). Nope, this is the 1925 silent version, probably most famous now for Oliver Hardy playing the Tin Man. It has a character named Dorothy and a tornado, but otherwise it bears little resemblance to either the book or the more famous movie version that everyone knows about.

So, if you don't already have these on DVD, this is your chance to see a lot of Oz stuff for the holidays. Enjoy!

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