‘Tis the season for original Christmas-themed TV movies. We’ve already spotlighted the five Hallmark Channel offerings you’ll be watching this year, whether or not you’ll admit it. Now, let’s examine Ion Television’s slate, which offers more truly inspired casting and amazing synopses.
On a Scale of So Insane You Need to See It to Wait, That’s All You Got?:
Defending Santa (Sun., November 24, at 9 p.m. ET)
Cast: Dean Cain, Jud Tylor, Bill Lewis, Jamie McRae, Cooper Barnes, Jodie Sweetin, Seth Menachem, John Savage
Synopsis: Scott Hanson, a ski resort sheriff, inadvertently arrests a sleeping Santa in the snowy woods on suspicion of a crime he did not commit. With his sleigh ride now in doubt, Santa is put on trial. But, during the proceedings, Sheriff Hanson, also a dad and widower, begins to fall for Santa’s court-appointed defense attorney, Sarah.
Holiday Road Trip (Sun., Dec. 1, at 9 p.m. ET), pictured
Cast: Ashley Scott, Patrick Muldoon, Kip Pardue, George Hamilton, Shelley Long, Mo Gaffney, Essence Atkins, Jerry Lacy, Susan Olsen, Wink Martindale
Synopsis: Maya, a recently heartbroken pet supply employee, couldn’t have any less in common with her co-worker, Pat, who happens to be the company founder’s son. But, tasked with traveling across the country on a Christmastime social media tour for the company’s leading canine and most-prized possession, Scoots, fate finds a funny way to intervene. In their race against the clock, the two begin to fall for one another. Unbeknownst to Maya, though, her remorseful ex-boyfriend is in close pursuit, hoping he can win her back.
All I Want For Christmas (Sun., Dec. 15, at 9 p.m. ET)
Cast: Melissa Sagemiller, Brad Rowe, Tom Arnold, Stuart Pankin, Martin Klebba, JoJo Wright, Eddie Deezen
Synopsis: After being told by her boss that she must listen more attentively to others and put the group first, Elizabeth, a skilled executive, meets one of Santa’s helpers, who blesses her with an extraordinary gift. Through the magic of a Christmas pin, Elizabeth can listen to every unspoken thought of anyone she encounters. With her new-found power, she attempts to be a better person, turning an office rivalry into romance while learning the true meaning of Christmas.
My Santa (Fri., Nov. 29, at 9 p.m. ET)
Cast: Samaire Armstrong, Matthew Lawrence, Julie Brown, Jim O’Heir, Ben Gavin, Paul Dooley, Channing Chase, Gabe O’Mara
Synopsis: A young, single mother, Jen, begins to lose her faith in the magic of Christmas. However, when she takes her son Eric to see the local mall Santa, Jen immediately feels an attraction and connection with Chris, the young, attractive man filling the suit. As they begin spending time together, she begins to rediscover her belief in Christmas. Little does Jen know that Chris is the son and heir to the “real” Santa, and his mission is to find himself a Mrs. Claus. As the two fall for one another, Chris faces his inevitable return to the North Pole.
Christmas Belle (Sun., Dec. 8, at 9 p.m. ET)
Synopsis: Cast: Haylie Duff, Nicholas Gonzalez, C. Thomas Howell, Mark Famiglietti, Sheree J. Wilson
With her California hometown in the rearview mirror, Belle heads north on business to catalog the sale of a large mansion. While the job is a dream, the client, Hunter Lowell, is not. But, as the two spend more time together, his icy demeanor begins to melt. Although their relationship is budding, Belle’s long-time suitor, Tony, arrives, sending mixed signals to Hunter while adding chaos to the holiday season.
Seriously, that’s all you got, Christmas Belle?