Network News from Hallmark, CBS, Food Network and More

Monty Brinton/CBS ©2019
Idina Menzel

By Rick Gables

The 21st Annual A Home for the Holidays with Idina Menzel will air Sunday, Dec. 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Tony Award winner Idina Menzel performs songs from her new album, Christmas: A Season of Love, and introduces uplifting stories about adoption from foster care. Award-winning artists Adam Lambert, NE-YO and Kelly Rowland will also perform. For the last two decades, the award-winning special has shined a light on the thousands of American children in foster care and has inspired tens of thousands of adoptions, moving these kids into loving “forever families.” The heart of the special is a series of documentary stories that profile some of the resilient children who have been shuttled from foster home to foster home and were ultimately adopted. This year, the television audience will witness the creation of a family through an adoption on-stage. The story leading up to the adoption and the adoption itself will be a moving and memorable television moment.

Hit series reboot, Food Network Challenge, premieres Monday, Dec. 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Food Network, with A Christmas Story-themed competition. Ian Ziering hosts the return of Challenge, where the country’s top bakers and cake artists face off in two rounds of themed battles to create mindblowing, edible works of art for a $10,000 grand prize and the title of Food Network Challenge Champion.

Hallmark Channel will air When Calls the Heart Christmas, starring Erin Krakow, on Wednesday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. As residents of Hope Valley celebrate the Christmas spirit, intertwined stories explore the emotions and magic that connect them during the holiday season.

USA Network will premiere the new series Dare Me on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Based on a novel by Megan Abbott, the series is an unflinching exploration of teen angst, jealousy, loyalty and the dynamics of power in a small Midwestern town. Peering behind the all-American facade, it dives into the cutthroat world of competitive high school cheerleading. It follows the fraught relationship between two best friends (Herizen Guardiola and Marlo Kelly) after a new coach (Willa Fitzgerald) arrives to bring their team to prominence. Part coming-of-age story, part sport drama, part murder mystery, Dare Me exposes the physical and psychological extremes that some young women are willing to endure in order to get ahead.