When Christmas Was Young: release date, cast, plot, trailer and everything we know

Karen David as Melody Douglass and Tyler Hilton as Luke Dawson in When Christmas Was Young
(Image credit: CBS)

Christmas and music go hand in hand, so we’re very excited about When Christmas Was Young, a CBS original Christmas movie featuring all-new music from executive producer Sheryl Crow. It’s one of three original movies that CBS produced this holiday season and it joins an impressive collection of holiday fare on Paramount Plus

Here’s everything we know about When Christmas Was Young

When Christmas Was Young release date

When Christmas Was Young premieres globally on Paramount Plus on Sunday, December 18. Viewers in the US can also tune in on CBS at 8:30 pm ET/8 pm PT on CBS. 

When Christmas Was Young cast

Karen David and Tyler Hilton headline When Christmas Was Young

David is a multi-hyphenate talent, equally comfortable acting and singing. She’s known for roles in Fear the Walking Dead, Legacies, Once Upon a Time and Galavant.

Hilton is also an actor and singer/songwriter, and he’s no stranger to holiday movies, having appeared in movies like Christmas on the Bayou and The Christmas Contract. He’s had roles in a number of TV shows but is best known for his role as Chris in One Tree Hill.

Here’s the complete cast of When Christmas Was Young:

  • Karen David as Melody Douglass 
  • Tyler Hilton as Luke Dawson 
  • Meghan Heffern (Sex/Life) as Emily 
  • Grace Sunar (Snowpiercer) as Bailey 
  • Jordana Largy (A Royal Christmas Match) as Kara 
  • Dhirendra (Sort Of) as Smokey 
  • Jayce Barreiro (Gone Mom) as Brett Mayfield 
  • Jake Foy (A Little Daytime Drama) as Deejay 

When Christmas Was Young plot

Here’s the description of When Christmas Was Young from CBS:

"Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow will executive produce and write the title song for When Christmas Was Young, a Nashville music-themed movie from a script by screenwriter and bestselling novelist Robert Tate Miller ('Hope at Christmas,' Forever Christmas). 

"The story follows a headstrong music manager in desperate need of a hit song for his last remaining client, who finds himself falling for a gifted singer-songwriter with abandoned dreams of making it big, as he attempts to secure the rights to a Christmas song she wrote years ago. Tom Mazza, David Calvert-Jones and Karen Glass (Everywhere Studios) will executive produce, together with executive producers Shawn Williamson and Jamie Goehring for Lighthouse Pictures.”

When Christmas Was Young trailer

Check out the trailer for When Christmas Was Young below: 

How to watch When Christmas Was Young 

When Christmas Was Young premieres on December 18 on CBS and globally on Paramount Plus. You can watch CBS through your cable subscription or through a subscription to Paramount Plus. If you’ve cut the cord, you can also watch CBS shows on CBS via streaming platforms like FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and DirecTV Stream. 

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.