R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour

The Hub, a cable-TV network for kids and their families that launched in October, decks its lineup with Christmas Day programming. There is something for everyone, including those in the mood for some chills, which is exactly what the first episode of the new series R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour delivers. Based on the horror anthology of the same name, this Twilight Zone for viewers ages 7 and up begins with a fright-astic tale called "A Creature Was Stirring," about a little boy who finds an acid-spitting monster under the tree when all he asked for was some bonding time with his unmerry relatives.

Hub president and CEO Margaret Loesch is confident the show will become a favorite because, she says, "it encourages reading and it offers a safe scare." And what does that mean exactly? "It can be spooky and thrilling, but nothing inappropriate — no gore or anything like that." Loesch encourages parents to watch with their children. Both may even get goosebumps as Saturday's second episode, "The Dead Body," unfolds. It's the story of a bullied teen who pays a rather high price for getting revenge on his tormentors.

There's plenty of other TV chestnuts on Christmas Eve that may bring loved ones 'round the television, including the 1986 Jim Henson special The Christmas Toy (8am/7c), Yuletide editions of the original shows Hubworld (6:30/5:30c) and Family Game Night (7/6c), and the 1992 musical The Muppet Christmas Carol (8/7c) starring Michael Caine, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

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