With Christmas songs and laughter being the soundtrack to so many of our favorite holiday memories, we can’t think of a better way to ring in this special time of year than with the new JANN holiday episode. In JANN: Alone for the Holidays, Jann Arden and the gang are back with all kinds of holiday fun as she reminisces about Christmases past. The special episode, which premieres Friday, December 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, not only showcases Arden performing classic holiday standards but also features guest appearances by Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams.
Arden recently spoke with The TV Junkies to preview what fans can expect from this special episode. She shares how fun it was to have both Bublé and Adams be a part of the fun, as well as teases how the end of the episode may give a look into Jann’s future. Arden also shared what movies most help to get her into the holiday swing of things.
The TV Junkies: It feels like a pretty big deal when a show gets a holiday episode. How did it feel to know you guys were going to tackle a Christmas episode?
Jann Arden: This episode really hits all the marks for holiday television. However, of course, you have to have music as part of your storytelling and that’s the only way through. Then, it becomes how you place the music in the story without it feeling forced. Leah [Gauthier], Jennica [Harper], and I spent so much time on how to tell the story. We had to first figure out what cast members were available to us because everyone was working. Unfortunately, we didn’t have Zoie [Palmer] and Patrick [Gilmore], which was heartbreaking, but Deborah [Grover], Elena [Juatco], and Jason [Blicker] were all working but could come in. We also have Sharon [Taylor] and Alexa [Rose Steele]. We were so lucky that we had most of the people because we shot it quickly over a week in September.
Leah and Jennica did a great job in the writing of letting us know where the characters were that couldn’t be in the show and why they weren’t there. People can really picture why that is and it doesn’t come off as too weird for the audience.
TTVJ: What can you share with us about the episode? It seems like Jann will be doing some reminiscing about Christmases past.
JA: We just felt like flashbacks gave us the opportunity to do these origin stories. Why is Jann the way she is? Why are she and her mom the way they are? Plus, we give people a peak into the future, if I can be so bold. We get a chance to look forward and I think some people will be quite surprised. I can’t say it and give it away, but how the episode ends is pretty dazzling.
TTVJ: You have two pretty big guest stars for this episode in Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams. What can you share about having those guys come on and play?
JA: It’s an homage to the fact that both of those guys are Christmas nuts. Michael was on the road in the States so we got him virtually, but it’s still a really funny scene. If everyone watched Season 3, it continues on with that forlorn version of Michael and that unrequited love storyline that’s so funny. Bryan was on tour in Canada, so he flew in and spent a few hours filming with us and then flew out. He had such a great time and plays for us his new song (“Let’s Get Christmas Going”). They were both just such good sports and went out of their way to be really present for us, be nice to everyone on set, and enjoy themselves.
TTVJ: Seeing both of them come and play, and have such obvious fun with it all, really makes you a bigger fan of them both.
JA: When you endear yourself to people it’s pretty special, right? Bryan has been one of the biggest stars for the last 40 years and Michael has been at the top of the mountain for the past 20. They didn’t have to come and do our little show, but they did.
TTVJ: Is there anything special you’re looking forward to doing this holiday season? Are there any holiday movies or TV specials that really get you into the spirit of the season?
JA: I love the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. I had a relationship years ago and her family watched it all the time. The relationship didn’t turn out but that part really grew on me. I still watch it now with my family. I love Elf, The Grinch, and Polar Express. I could watch them all over and over again because I think the message is so universal. We just need kindness and some form of magic to filter down into the world. Christmas stories always give us that hope and the opportunity to be better versions of ourselves and redeem ourselves. I really love that.
TTVJ: A lot of JANN fans in the U.S. are still waiting to watch Season 3. Is there anything you can say about whether or not they’ll be able to see that soon?
JA: It’s coming out on a new network in January. It’ll have all three seasons and the Christmas special. I just can’t say which one, but keep your eyes peeled for that. It’ll be announced soon.
JANN: Alone for the Holidays premieres Friday, December 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. An encore presentation airs Saturday, Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.