Holiday Programming on Iowa PBS

Holiday-themed specials in drama, music, food and more in December

IPTV has released its holiday programming lineup for the 2017 season. Featuring holiday-themed specials for families and children, this year’s schedule offers opportunities to explore holiday traditions; revel in the culinary secrets behind sweet and savory holiday treats; celebrate with festive music and performances; and ring in the New Year with the New York Philharmonic. Holiday-themed movies and episodes of children’s programs include favorites like Curious George and Sesame Street.

The schedule for IPTV.1 is below; viewers can visit for programs airing on IPTV KIDS.2, IPTV WORLD.3 and IPTV Create.4, and for schedule updates.


  • Call the Midwife Holiday Special, Monday, December 25 at 8 p.m.—Join the midwives as they battle snow, ice, power cuts and frozen pipes to provide patient care during the coldest winter in 300 years.
  • Dickensian, Parts 1-5 air Sunday, December 3 at 5 p.m.; Parts 6-10 air Sunday, December 10 at 5 p.m.—With a storyline that begins on Christmas Eve, this 10-part series is a reinvention of Charles Dickens’ novels, where his most iconic characters live side-by-side in the same Victorian neighborhood.
  • Last Tango in Halifax Holiday Special, Part 1 airs Sunday, December 17 at 7 p.m.; Part 2 airs Sunday, December 24 at 7 p.m.—Packed with shocks and surprises, the heartwarming drama continues the compelling story of childhood sweethearts, reunited after nearly 60 years apart, as they and their families negotiate the highs and lows of life and relationships.


  • ACL Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31 at 10 p.m.—Celebrate New Year’s Eve as Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King and Kris Kristofferson are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Performers include Willie Nelson, Rodney Crowell, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and more.
  • Celtic Thunder Christmas, Sunday, December 17 at 4 p.m.—Enjoy outstanding live performances that pay homage to “Winter Wonderland” and other holiday favorites.
  • Christmas at Belmont, Friday, December 22 at 8:30 p.m.—Sheryl Crow hosts as 700 student musicians and others perform masterworks and seasonal favorites.
  • Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Rolando Villazon, Friday, December 15 at 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 24 at 5 p.m.—Renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and tenor Rolando Villazon perform seasonal favorites.
  • Christmas with Wartburg (2015), Friday, December 15 at 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 24 at 4 p.m.—The 68th annual Christmas with Wartburg concert celebrates the holiday season with a musical performance on the campus of Wartburg College in Waverly.
  • Happy Holidays with the Boston Pops, Sunday, December 17 at 6 p.m.—Celebrate the New England holiday season with the Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
  • Jordan Smith ’tis the Season, Sunday, December 24 at 6 p.m.—Jordan Smith, season 9 winner of NBC’s The Voice, highlights his Christmas album in concert.
  • Kingston Trio Holiday Cheers, Saturday, December 23 at 6 p.m.—In their last recorded concert featuring George Grove, Bill Zorn and Rick Dougherty, The Kingston Trio perform a unique collection of seasonal songs.
  • The Lawrence Welk Show: Christmas (1966), Saturday, December 23 at 7 p.m.—Go back to 1966 to celebrate Christmas with Lawrence, his Musical Family, and their families.
  • The Lawrence Welk Show: Winter (1967), Saturday, December 9 at 7 p.m.—The Champagne Music Makers present a winter show, singing “Button Up Your Overcoat,” “It's A Marshmallow World,” “Let It Snow” and other songs.
  • Live from Lincoln Center: NY Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: Bernstein on Broadway, Sunday, December 31 at 8 p.m.—Ring in 2018 with a celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s works for Broadway, including “West Side Story.”
  • The Three Tenors Christmas, Sunday, December 17 at 5 p.m.—Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo sing.


  • Christmas on the Danube, Friday, December 8 at 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 10 at 4 p.m.—Visit cities along the Danube River and explore stunning European landscape, history and culture.
  • European Christmas Markets, Sunday, December 10 at 4:30 p.m.—Visit charming markets in festively decorated cities and towns in Germany, France and Switzerland.


  • The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass, Season 1, Sunday, December 17 at 1 p.m.—St. Lucia buns, mincemeat and marzipan couronne, French galette and Genoa cake are served.
  • The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass, Season 2, Sunday, December 17 at 2 p.m.—Stollen, mincemeat streusel and a gingerbread house and more Christmas classics are served.
  • The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass, Season 5, Friday, December 8 at 8:30 p.m.; Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m.—Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood detail how to make perfect mince pies, Christmas cake and more.
  • Iowa Ingredient: Holiday Cookie Exchange, Thursday, December 21 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 23 at 11:30 a.m.—Join host Charity Nebbe as she learns how to organize a cookie exchange party before baking holiday cookies with Iowa bakers in the studio kitchen.
  • Iowa Ingredient: Family Holiday Special, Thursday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 16 at 11:30 a.m.—Celebrate the holidays with Iowa Ingredient as we gather together some of our IPTV “family” to cook dishes inspired by their holiday traditions.
  • Iowa Ingredient: Potluck Celebrations, Thursday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, December 9 at 11:30 a.m.—Host Charity Nebbe works with Iowa chefs Beau Fodor and Terrie Kohl  to create some inspiring and delicious holiday potluck meals. Plus, Lara Newsom teaches us some creative and unique ways to share food as gifts this holiday season.
  • Lidia Celebrates America: Homegrown Heroes, Saturday, December 16 at 10:30 a.m.—Join Lidia Bastianich to celebrate our homegrown heroes—veterans who now cultivate the land they fought to defend. For many vets, farming is therapy for the wounds of war. Lidia farms and cooks with them, then gathers with them for a holiday dinner.


  • Making a New American Nutcracker, Sunday, December 24 at 1 p.m.—Join narrator Neve Campbell to discover how the Joffrey Ballet brought this original piece to life.
  • The Nutcracker Ballet—Quad Cities, Sunday, December 24 at 2 p.m.—Performed at the historic Adler Theatre in Davenport, Ballet Quad Cities brings beloved characters Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the Rat King and the Sugar Plum Fairy to life.

Kids—PBS KIDS specials in this list air many times throughout the month on both IPTV.1 and IPTV KIDS.2. The first broadcast date on IPTV.1 for each special is listed. Additional dates and times can be found at

  • The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Christmas, Tuesday, December 12 at 2:30 p.m.—This adventure finds the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally on a journey around the world to help a lost reindeer find his way home to Freezeyourknees Snowland in time for Christmas.
  • Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, Monday, December 11 at 7:30 a.m.—Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. There's only one dilemma—neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present!
  • Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas, Monday, December 11 at 10:30 a.m. —It’s Christmas Eve and Elmo's dad tells him a story about a time when there was no holiday spirit on Sesame Street.
  • Peg + Cat + Holidays, Monday, December 11 at noon—The Christmas Problem, The Hanukkah Problem and The Penguin Problem feature math for kids.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Holidays in Boxwood Terrace, Monday, December 11 at 1 p.m.—Jet pitches an idea for the annual Boxwood Terrace Christmas Pageant, and not only is it accepted, he gets to direct it!
  • Splash and Bubbles: Whitebeard/Coral Day, December 11 at 9:30 a.m.—Whitebeard—Ripple is excited because, according to legend, tonight is the night that Whitebeard, a mysterious creature who lives at the North Pole, sails over Reeftown, singing his beautiful music. Coral Day—It’s the holiday season in Reeftown as everyone gets ready for Coral Day, a celebration of the wonderful coral that makes up their home.
  • Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas, Monday, December 11 at 6:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.—It's Christmas time and the Wild Kratts are celebrating. But when they receive an alert that their favorite creatures are suddenly disappearing around the globe, their holiday party quickly turns into a rescue mission.