- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday watch

Staying in for Christmas?

Few original (or, more accurately, interesting) programs are slated since the networks obviously think most people will be spending time with their families instead of flipping the remote.

Still, there are a few noteworthy holiday specials:

• Lifetime is one of the only networks offering an original movie for Christmas Day, “Home by Christmas,” premiering tonight at 9. Directed by TV veteran Gail Harvey, the heartwarming drama stars “The Terminator’s” Linda Hamilton as a woman whose seemingly perfect world is rocked when she discovers her husband has been cheating on her. Left nearly penniless after the divorce, she struggles to make ends meet for herself and her children.

• Those looking for something a little more religious should tune in to EWTN today. The Catholic network is broadcasting “Urbi et Orbi from St. Peter’s Square,” Pope Benedict XVI’s annual Christmas message. The hourlong program will be telecast at 6 a.m. and re-broadcast at 10 p.m. EWTN is seen on Channel 78 on the RCN system and on Channel 291 for Comcast subscribers in the District.

• If you’re spending time with family today but just can’t bear to turn the TV off, you do have a suitable option. Make that options: Two networks are broadcasting the ever-popular “yule log” this year.

The CW will broadcast the videotaped burning fireplace commercial-free from 8 to 11 a.m. Background Christmas music will be provided by WASH-FM (97.1), which has been playing holiday music nonstop since mid-November.

An annual tradition since 1966, the yule log is facing some tough competition this year. INHD (Channel 226 on Comcast) is stoking its high-definition fire at 7 a.m. and it will continue uninterrupted for 24 hours. This yule log is shot at various angles with an HD camera and presented in Dolby 5.1 surround sound. The hearth is accompanied by traditional holiday songs auch as “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

Can’t get enough of that fake fire? For the first time, Comcast customers with HD service can get the high-def yule log all this month — gratis — from Comcast’s On Demand service.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff reports.

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