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The Olsen twins are decking their halls on the set of "Two of a Kind"

The cast of "Working" goofs off during a photo shoot

"Just Shoot Me"'s David Spade looking like the Grinch

What movies and shows do you consider "essential" holiday TV viewing?

'Tis the season for Christmas on the small screen

Web posted on:
Thursday, December 03, 1998 5:45:16 PM EST

From Correspondent Ron Tank

'Tis a month before Christmas
But on Hollywood sets
Scenes from the holidays
Are already best bets.
While outside they were surfing,
Both young and old,
Inside they were acting,
Trying hard to look cold.

-- Ron Tank, CNN, Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD (CNN) -- Such is life on the set of many a television program these days, as cast and crew put the finishing touches on their own particular version of Christmas.

Seasoned viewers know the scenario well by now; Thanksgiving dinner is barely a thing of the past in our homes, when what should appear but the Christmas episode of a favorite prime-time program.

And with a four- to six-week lead time, shows and their casts need to get into their holiday spirit a little earlier than the rest of us. That's not always easy when the weather outside is delightful, as is often the case in Hollywood.

Dennis Farina of "Buddy Faro" fame, has the right idea: "We're all pretending it's Christmas and it's fun, some people are walking around singing Christmas carols and all that."

Singing is the order of the day at CBS's "Buddy Faro." According to Rosemary Clooney, guest star for the first-ever "Faro" Christmas episode, "We've got a little short scene together and I sing 'White Christmas'" -- as fake snow falls, of course.

It's a different story on the set of "The Hughleys," where co-star Elsie Neal is taking full advantage of the early shooting schedule by choosing Christmas gifts from the show's array of Holiday props. "I already have my eyes on a couple of those things. I'm like, how much for this and how much for this decoration. I'm taking it right after we're done," she says.

And on the set of "Two of a Kind," Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen are readying for their big event, complete with an electric "burping" Santa Claus. You'll need to tune in to figure that one out.

Speaking of Santa, it's always fun this time of year to see your favorite television star expand his or her repertoire by donning the familiar red and white suit. But for David Spade of NBC's "Just Shoot Me," this role may be a bit of a stretch. After all, he's not exactly portly like the "real" Santa.

But holiday shows aren't just for prime-time sitcoms. Everything from your favorite daytime soap to fast-paced reality programming, like "Early Edition," will have a take on the Christmas theme.

And if you miss it the first time around, not to worry. You can always experience Christmas in July -- the season for reruns.

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