Holiday TV Film Guide: 19 Films With Black Talent To Watch This Season
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Holiday TV Film Guide: 19 Films With Black Talent To Watch This Season

It's time to get in the holiday spirit! In order to do so, Shadow and Act has put together a guide of new, made-for-TV holiday films with Black talent in lead roles that are airing on cable networks.

This list only includes holiday films on basic cable networks and will not include any on premium cable or streaming service.

Dive into the list below:

A Christmas Exchange on Lifetime

Network: Lifetime

Initial premiere date: Dec. 15 at 8 p.m.

The holiday season has started and Molly Cooper (Laura Vandervoort) is looking for joy. Finally living her childhood dream, Molly swaps her quaint farmhouse for London Financier Patrick Kingston's (Rainbow Sun Francks) posh apartment. Through the ups and downs of her new life in London and searching for romance, Molly begins to look forward to all communication with Patrick. Likewise, Patrick finds Molly's warm emails and texts charming and compelling. Sparks fly between them as they get to know each other as they live in each other's spaces.

A Christmas For Mary

Network: OWN

Initial premiere date: Dec. 8 at 9 p.m.

Photo: OWN Photo: OWN

Vivica A. Fox stars with Jackée Harry and Morgan Dixon in a holiday tale of rediscovery and renewal when up-and-coming journalist Lena Jones (Dixon) is tasked with delivering a story by Christmas that will wow her boss, magazine editor Vivian Vaye (Fox), who is dangling a promotion to head writer over Lena’s head. Intrigued by a portrait of a mysterious woman painted by her late grandfather, Lena journeys to the small town of Pineville, where with her mother, Deborah’s (Harry) blessing and support, Lena uncovers a long-ago forgotten tale of young love that not only uncovers cherished memories of the past, but also inspires Lena to follow her heart and find her own true love … and her perfect Christmas story.

A Christmas Surprise

Network: BET/BET Her

Initial premiere date: Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.

Photographer: Chimene Scoby; Editor: Derian Whitted Photo: MarVista Entertainment

A self-made businesswoman gets a Christmas surprise when her daughter returns from college with big news - she’s engaged! Now the holiday is thrown into chaos as she deals with her less-than-impressive and soon-to-be son-in law, his overbearing mother, and an impending wedding. The film stars Wendy Raquel Robinson, Keesha Sharp, Will Blagrove, Katelynn Bennett, Mustapha Slack.

A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado

Network: Hallmark

Initial premiere date: Nov. 24 at 8 p.m.

Erin (Rochelle Aytes) is planning the town’s Christmas celebration and must win over firefighter Kevin (Mark Taylor) in order to obtain the beautiful spruce tree from his property for the celebration.

Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing

Network: Hallmark

Initial premiere date: Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.

Photo: Hallmark Photo: Hallmark

As Michelle’s (Holly Robinson Peete) wedding approaches, Hannah (Rukiya Bernard) steps up to help finish the launch of the new Evergreen museum while questioning her relationship and future with Elliot (Antonio Cayonne).  Barbara Niven and Colin Lawrence also star.

Christmas Comes Twice

Network: Hallmark

Initial premiere date: Dec. 13 at 8 p.m.

Emily (Tamera Mowry-Housley) is a top newscaster who has achieved her career dreams but still has regrets about the guy (Michael Xavier) who got away five years earlier. When the Christmas carnival comes to town, a ride around the carousel takes her magically back in time to the carnival five years her a second chance at love before she must return to Christmas present. Sheryl Lee Ralph also stars.

Christmas Dilemma

Network: TV One

Initial premiere date: Dec. 6  at 7 p.m.

Directed by Essence Atkins, Christmas Dilemma follows a newlywed couple Jay (B.J. Britt) and Monica (Brittany Hall) as they struggle to decide which set of in-laws they should join for their first Christmas. After each pleads their case and even attempts a little trickery, they decide to bypass the guaranteed disappointment of picking one family over the other. Unbeknownst to them, the decision is made for them when their families show up at their home unexpectedly. Drama ensues as the in-laws clash, long-lost relatives decide to make an appearance, and Jay's grandmother joins the holiday festivities accompanied her caretaker who just happens to be Jay's gorgeous ex-girlfriend.

Christmas Unwrapped

Network: Lifetime

Initial premiere date: Oct. 24 at 8 p.m.

Christmas Unwrapped follows Charity (Amber Stevens West), an ambitious reporter, who learns the true meaning of Christmas when she investigates Erik Gallagher (Marco Grazzini), a beloved member of the town who insists all the gifts he provides are from none other than Santa himself.

Cooking Up Christmas

Network: OWN

Initial premiere date: Dec. 15 at 9 p.m.

Photo: OWN Photo: OWN

Meagan Holder stars in this family-centric holiday story as Chloe, an Atlanta-based chef at a fine dining restaurant who gets fired just weeks before Christmas and reluctantly takes a job with pro baseball player Donovan Jackson, who is a single dad of three needing a live-in-chef to get him through the holidays with the kids. Chloe only takes the job in order to save up enough capital to live out her dream of opening her own restaurant, but soon finds herself caught up in the ups and downs of the Jacksons encounter during her residency. Throughout the holiday season in the Jackson household the importance of family and Chloe’s good Southern cooking are two constants that remain. As Christmas comes to an end, Chloe discovers that her lifelong dream might finally come true... and that her heart has a mind of its own.

Deliver by Christmas

Network: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Initial premiere date: Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.

After a long, self-imposed dating hiatus, kind-hearted bakery owner Molly Ford (Alvina August) is surprised to suddenly find herself drawn to two men. First, sparks fly each time she repeatedly bumps into her small town’s handsome newcomer and his adorable, young son Charlie (Kesler Talbot). Next, she feels a special connection during late-night phone calls with the charming stranger coordinating the town’s annual Christmas festival. The truth is that both are the same man, Josh Harling (Eion Bailey), whose heart is equally guarded following the loss of his service member wife. While Josh wants to focus on being a father to Charlie, he doesn’t realize that Charlie has made a wish, a special message recorded on a new Christmas teddy bear, for his dad to find love by Christmas. As the festival approaches and Molly and Josh are close to discovering that their connection is deeper than either of them realized, each must decide if they are ready for this new chance at love.

First Christmas

Network: OWN

Initial premiere date: Dec. 22 at 9 p.m.

Photo: OWN Photo: OWN

Given up for adoption and placed in foster care at a young age, writer Halle Downing (Idara Victor) receives the blessing of a lifetime when she is invited to spend Christmas in New Orleans with the biological family she never knew she had – The Moores. Halle’s grandmother “Memaw” (Tonea Stewart) welcomes the young woman with open arms, completely overwhelming Halle with emotion at the significance of finally finding her family.  Extremely excited to meet her twin siblings Tiffany (Samantha Smith) and Glenn (Mason Beauchamp) along with younger brother Drew (Peyton Jackson) for the first time, Halle soon faces the hard reality that finding her place in this close-knit family is going to take longer than she thought, something that becomes particularly evident when she witnesses Tiffany’s apprehension about introducing her new girlfriend Paris (Amanda Tavarez) to the family for the first time. However, as Christmas approaches, Halle begins to gain perspective on the Moore family dynamic and ultimately comes to embrace and celebrate her first family holiday with a special gift that tells her she is right where she is supposed to be.

Holiday Heartbreak

Network: BET/BET Her

Initial premiere date: Dec. 19 at

Photo: Chimene Scoby; editor: Derian Whitted Photo: Chimene Scoby; editor: Derian Whitted

Karma hits hard at Christmas when a loving father discovers that his womanizing past is coming back to haunt his daughter after a curse destroys her love life. The film stars Michael Colyar, Maryam Basir, AJ Johnson, LisaRaye McCoy, DeWayne “Kountry Wayne” Colley, Tiffany Black, B Simone, Joe Clair and Lonnie Bee.

Jingle Bell Bride

Network: Hallmark

Initial premiere date: Oct. 24 at 8 p.m.

Jingle Bell Bride follows Jessica Perez (Julie Gonzalo) as she’s on the hunt for a rare flower called the Jingle Bell Bloom for one of her client’s weddings. When she gets stuck in Alaska on her way back with the flower, she bonds with Matt (Ronnie Rowe Jr.), who gave her a ride from the airport and whose family gives her a place to stay. Since Jessica is focused on making it back in time for the wedding, she might not realize that her own chance at happiness is right there with Matt. Can they make it work? Or will they need a Christmas miracle to make it happen?

Let's Meet Again on Christmas Eve

Network: Lifetime

Initial premiere date: Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.

When college sweethearts, Corinne (Kyla Pratt) and Rob (Brooks Darnell), get opportunities on opposite sides of the world, they decide to part ways and meet again in two years on Christmas Eve to see if they are really meant to be. However, when one shows up and the other doesn't, the fate of their romance seems to have reached the end. Many years later the two end up bumping into one another when they are both hired to help bring together a Christmas Eve wedding. With many questions left unanswered, they are about to embark on a journey filled with romance and magic, just in time for Christmas Eve

Photo: Lifetime Photo: Lifetime

Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding

Network: Lifetime

Initial premiere: Nov. 28 at 8 p.m.

Lifetime's first-ever Christmas film sequel follows Jacquie Liddle (Kelly Rowland), as she and Tyler (Thomas Cardot) try to plan their perfect destination Christmas wedding. Naturally, Jacquie’s plans go awry when her boisterous family intervenes in her planning and her snooty wedding planner quits in protest. While nothing goes as initially planned, Jacquie and Tyler get a Christmas wedding more memorable than they could have ever dreamed.

The Christmas Aunt

Network: Lifetime

Initial premiere date: Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.

When Rebecca Miller returns home to Tennessee two weeks before Christmas to take care of her niece and nephew while their parents are away, the last thing she expected is to reconnect with her childhood best friend, Drew. As she attempts to revive the kids’ Christmas spirit and redeem their faith in Santa, she rediscovers her favorite childhood activity: 12 Days of Christmas–something she always did with Drew. As the kids’ faith in the holiday grows, Rebecca and Drew’s friendship returns, and she starts looking at Drew in a whole new light

The Christmas Edition

Network: Lifetime

Initial premiere date: Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.

It’s Christmas time and Jackie (Carly Hughes), an up-and-coming journalist, finds that her life is at a crossroads until she finds an unexpected opportunity – to run a small-town newspaper in Alaska. Jackie decides to give it a try and relocates to the small picture-perfect small town. Using a series of Christmas articles, she’s able to quickly return the newspaper to profitability and soon falls in love… both with her new home and the handsome son of the paper’s former owner. However, when her old boss announces plans to take over the paper for herself, Jackie will need a Christmas miracle to save it.

The Christmas Doctor

Network: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Initial premiere date: Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.

A week before Christmas, Dr. Alicia Wright (Holly Robinson Peete) is offered an assignment away from home. A mysterious man (Adrian Holmes) from her past journeys to find her before Christmas and brings with him a revelation that could change Alicia’s life forever.

The Christmas Lottery

Network: BET/BET Her

Initial premiere date: Dec. 12 at 8.p.m.

Gerald Davenport has requested his three estranged daughters Diedre, Nicole, and Tammy come together for Christmas for a big announcement…he has won a $10-million-dollar lottery! To get their share, the sisters must repair their broken relationship.  But when their dementia-stricken mother, Diane, forgets where she hid the ticket, the Davenport’s are now in a race to find the ticket and fix their family all before Christmas Day. The film stars Reginald VelJohnson, Asia'h Epperson, Christina “Brave” Williams, Candiace Dillard Bassett, Lorenzo “Renny” Cromwell, Terayle Hill, Kay-Megan Washington and Phylicia Morgan


Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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