HITS Daily Double
ABC will air Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular on Thanksgiving night.


Now 100% Chanukah-Free!

We’ve already told you about EMI Nashville’s blockbuster Duck the Halls from Duck Dynasty’s Robertsons (see p. 9), which is shaping up as the season’s biggest holiday (by which we mean Christmas) release and will be further boosted by the record-breaking A&E reality show’s Xmas episode. Now let’s take a (roughly chronological) look at some other yuletide offerings in various media.

ABC will air Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular on Thanksgiving night; the 90-minute special reunites the Interscope star with Kermit, her date to the 2009 VMAs, and will feature guests Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and RuPaul. Songs from this week’s #1 album, ARTPOP, may or may not feature chickens in Santa hats.

Yearning for something a tad more traditional with your eggnog? ABC’s also got the CMA Country Christmas, hosted by Jennifer Nettles, on 12/2. Scheduled performers include Luke Bryan, The Robertsons, Lady Antebellum, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow and Trace Adkins, among others.

Carrie Underwood steps into Julie Andrews’ shoes for NBC’s The Sound of Music special, which airs on 12/5—two days after the Sony Masterworks soundtrack hits retail.

RCA’s Kelly Clarkson, whose Wrapped in Red bowed at #3 with 70k and remains a brisk seller, will host the NBC special Kelly Clarkson’s (Cautionary) Christmas Tale on 12/11 at 10pm EST. The Vegas-filmed show is based on A Christmas Carol; reports that Joe Riccitelli will appear as Tiny Tim couldn’t be confirmed at presstime. Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red Radio Special, meanwhile, offers 54 minutes of comfort and joy, including single "Underneath the Tree"; 120 stations are reportedly on board.

12/18 brings Michael Bublé: Home for the Holidays. The NBC soiree finds the versatile crooner stuffing stockings and warbling wassails with Rod Stewart, Blake Shelton, Carly Rae Jepsen and Elmo; a virtual duet with Bing Crosby on "White Christmas" is also promised. Bublé’s 2011 holiday set likely will reignite and once again be a top Q4 performer.

It’s impossible to list every key holiday release here—so please stop yelling—but here’s a sampling.

Mary J. Blige gifted us with A Mary Christmas (Verve) on 10/15, which is also when the RCA ST for newly released hit film The Best Man Holiday streeted; Kool & the Gang started their celebration on 11/5 with Kool for the Holidays (ATO). Epic’s Tamar Braxton upped the mistletoe ante last week with Winter Loversland; Geffen’s Il Volo served up Buon Natale: The Christmas Album this week; Susan Boyle uncorks her Home for Christmas (SYCO/Columbia) on 11/25; and RCA’s Leona Lewis drops Christmas, With Love on 12/3.

RED has already released sets from Gretchen Wilson (10/8), Mannheim Steamroller (10/15), Trace Adkins (10/29), the Punk Goes Christmas crew and Duck Dynasty neighbor Mountain Man (both 11/11), among others. Concord’s got Holidays Rule (which dropped 10/30), featuring Paul McCartney, The Civil Wars, Fun., The Shins and an array of rootsy indies.

Oh, and Bad Religion have a Christmas record streeting now, which may be a sign of the End Times.