Apple TV+ viewers can unwrap Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special


Mariah Carey will bring some innovative Christmas cheer to Apple TV+.
Mariah Carey will bring some innovative Christmas cheer to Apple TV+.
Photo: Scott Smith/Flickr CC

Apple TV+ viewers will get an unexpected gift this year: Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

The Hollywood Reporter broke news of the latest Apple TV+ deal, which will bring yet another big name to Cupertino’s growing streaming service.

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On Monday, the trade publication reported:

The streaming giant has confirmed Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, an exclusive holiday event from the global pop icon superstar. It is being described as an “innovative special” that will mix music, dancing and animation “driven by a universally heartwarming story that brings the world together.”

Expect surprise celebrity guests and songs from her best-selling holiday catalog, led by the iconic “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the modern holiday classic released in 1994 that found its way to No. 1 in 2019 becoming her 19th overall.

The deal marks the 25th anniversary of Carey’s hit album, Merry Christmas. Released in 1994, it sold millions of copies over the years. Its first single, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” inspired Carey’s 2015 children’s book of the same name. (The single finally hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 2019, thanks to streaming services and some savvy marketing.)

Mariah Carey, ‘the undisputed queen of Christmas’

The Hollywood Reporter, which called Carey “the undisputed queen of Christmas,” said she “appeared in a special for Amazon last year, Mariah Carey is Christmas: The Story of ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’.” That show told the story of the recording of the hit single.

While the exact format of the Apple TV+ Christmas special remains secret, THR offered some production info:

For Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, Carey, Ian Stewart, Raj Kapoor and Ashley Edens will executive produce for production company Done + Dusted, the company behind another holiday effort, John Legend’s A Legendary Christmas with John and Chrissy.

Done + Dusted chief Hamish Hamilton, a veteran of live TV and huge event productions like the Oscars, London Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, and a decade of Super Bowl halftime shows, will direct alongside Oscar nominee Roman Coppola. The latter cut his teeth on holiday specials with A Very Murray Christmas, directed by sister Sofia Coppola.

Apple TV+ keeps signing big names

Like a furiously scribbling Santa compiling his “naughty” and “nice” lists, Apple TV+ execs continue to add high-profile actors, directors and producers to the lineup. Recent coups include signing Martin Scorsese and premiering Tom Hanks’ World War II film, Greyhound.

Hanks’ movie became a hit for Apple TV+, reportedly attracting an audience similar to a theatrical release. That success supposedly provoked Apple execs to pivot slightly, focusing on big events like blockbuster movies rather than original TV series.

A star-studded Christmas special featuring Carey certainly ticks the “big events” box. While no single movie, TV show or special is likely to bring enough new subscribers to make Apple’s streaming service competitive, the ever-expanding lineup of Apple TV+ exclusives makes it more appealing all the time.

And frankly, with the way 2020 played out so far, we can all probably use a little holiday cheer.