Back around Christmas of 1997, while living here in Germany at the time....I'd finally gotten ahead of schedule and would have some free time on the night of the 24th of December for TV. I sat down and reviewed the TV guide, and came to realize that it was pretty limited.
The highlight that evening was Die Hard II. Behind that....two or three Christmas concerts, an old western, some repeats of 1980's murder mysteries, and a German-produced Christmas movie where Santa was being chased by guys with rifles (I actually watched an hour of the movie and could not understand how the executives of the non-state-run network agreed to make the movie).
I came to work the next week, and discussed this with a guy who'd been in Germany for six years. He'd noted the same issue year after year....none of the networks were thinking of anything much, and just put crap on Christmas evening (the 24th). Oddly, for the night of the 25th and 26th....there were a dozen four-star movies and shows. It made no sense except that they figured no one would care because no one was watching.
This week, I got my TV guide and paged up to the evening of the 24th of December....expecting the normal garbage choices.
Oddly enough....Die Hard II is slated again for the 24th. But this time, they've got competition.
Kevin Alone I and II will be featured. The Griswalds Christmas? It'll be showing as well.
There's the Last Unicorn featured on a non-state-run network.
Toy Story II will make it.
A decent German holiday show with interviews and singers will be featured, along with another German-produced Christmas comedy (2011 production), without any threats to Santa or his reindeer.
A four-star production from the DDR of 1967 will make it (Die Heiden von Kummerow).....with historical references of the old days....way before WW I or WW II.
A French production of Eselshaut will be shown (1970).....a kid's story basically.
And on SWR, a documentary on the wild cats of Germany. Yeah, for the critter folks.
Over the course of twenty-odd years.....some things have changed. Maybe for the better.