Channels spread X'mas cheer with music 'n movies

MUMBAI: Snow or no snow, Christmas is here to spread cheer, and channels are all set to celebrate. 

While the pubcaster Doordarshan will relay a live religious telecast from Vatican, Zee English, Zee MGM, the music channels and even AXN has fun programmes charted out.

DD will telecast the midnight mass and Pope John Paul's message this Christmas (Thursday).

The Christmas midnight mass will be telecast on the channel from Vatican City (Rome) from 4:25 am to 6:20 am on terrestrial mode. Pope John Paul's Christmas message will air from 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm.

While Star's English entertainment and English movie channel are airing routine fare on Christmas day, counterparts from the Zee Group have an action plan ready to celebrate the festival of joy.

Zee English will be airing four Christmas special episodes of sitcom Friends, back-to-back on 25 December from 7 pm to 9 pm.

The sitcom revolves around the friends - Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc - struggling to survive in the real world with their only solace being the companionship, comfort and support they get from each other. The special concludes with the currently airing Season Nine's Christmas episodes starring guest star Selma Blair.

While it's friendship and celebration on Zee English, the movie channel will be touting its latest movie acquisition Chicago at 9 pm tomorrow. Starring Rene Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah, this Rob Marshall directorial venture has won six awards at the Oscars 2003.

The movie is about Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) who is a married chorus girl with hopes of being a headliner in Vaudeville. Both she and Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), an headliner, have one thing in common; they are both murderess.

Roxie has killed her lover when he walked out on her and Velma has killed her husband and sister, who were having an affair. With Chicago's newspapers spending a lot of ink on Velma affair, Roxie's entry has her competing for press' attention. That apart, both are in tussle for the attention of the suave lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere).

Viacom's MTV has nothing special is store, ditto for B4U and Zee Music. Star's Music arm meanwhile has Beyonce Knowles as its Christmas special.

While the swimsuit calendar should be out soon, Channel [V] gets the lady with the gorgeous tresses to dazzle the viewers in an electrifying live performance.

The former Destiny's Child member singer-turned-actress, who is ridding high on her hit singles Dangerously In Love and Baby Boy will be rocking the airwaves at 7 pm.

As for Hindi entertainment channel, they are quite 'thanda'' this Christmas. It's programming as usual on the channels barring few obscure reference to the festivities. One interesting show will be Simply Shekhar on Sab TV. Shekhar Suman will get the three reigning Miss India's on his late night show on the Christmas day. Also Zee's kids programme Magic Make-Up Box has loads of action, magic and twists filled in its Christmas special episode

As for action and adventure channel AXN, it has a seven day line up, a countdown to the New Year's called Christmas Specials.

Starting 25 December with Are you Hot! Marathon, the other specials includes Extreme Variety, Holiday Movie Special, Guinness World Records: Primetime Mini Marathon, Feature Movie Package, the Action Icon Movie Package, Fear Factor Marathon, Extreme Variety, World's Freakiest Food, Things You Have to See to Believe and David Blaine Magic rolled out one by one till new years.

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