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Rockefeller Center will again be lit up for the holiday season. Pictured is the Christmas tree from the 2020 `Christmas in Rockefeller Center` special on NBC. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/NBC)
Rockefeller Center will again be lit up for the holiday season. Pictured is the Christmas tree from the 2020 "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" special on NBC. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/NBC)

From 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' to 'Miley's New Year's Eve Party,' NBC has eclectic holiday mix


Tue, Nov 30th 2021 03:20 pm

NBC is offering a stocking full of holiday entertainment.

NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” promises an evening of cheer with performances by José Feliciano & CNCO and Pentatonix, as well as a special performance by the cast from the Tony and Olivier Award-winning hit Broadway musical “Come From Away” prior to the iconic tree lighting. The annual holiday special will air Wednesday, Dec. 1 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT). The broadcast will simulcast live on Peacock.

The new additions join previously announced performers Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and the Radio City Rockettes. NBC News’ “Today” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin are set to host.

NBC will air a new promo for Peacock’s original holiday competition series “Baking It,” hosted by Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg, streaming Dec. 2.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to 1931 during the Great Depression. The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later in 1933 in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating rink. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55.

The 89th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 79-foot-tall, 46-foot-wide Norway Spruce from Elkton, Maryland. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multicolored energy-efficient LED lights and topped with a Swarovski star.

NBCUniversal will continue its partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation for the 13th year in a row to support tree-planting efforts across the U.S. This year, NBCUniversal will plant 25,000 trees in areas that have been affected by wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters. The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees, having helped to plant more than 400 million trees since it was founded almost 50 years ago.

In order to create a more inclusive experience for blind and visually impaired viewers, NBCUniversal will present the full NBC broadcast with live audio description on the Secondary Audio Program channel (SAP), provided by Descriptive Video Works. The broadcast will be available with additional audio narration, describing the rich visuals of the tree lighting.

For more information on “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” visit http://www.nbc.com/christmas-in-rockefeller-center.

Other programming includes:

•“Kelly Clarkson Presents When Christmas Comes Around” (Wednesday, Dec. 1, 10 p.m.) “The Voice” coach and Emmy and Grammy awards-winning talk star hosts a holiday special featuring music performances, duets and special guests while she shares her traditions and gives back to those in need. 

•“Annie Live!” (Thursday, Dec. 2, 8-11 p.m.) From the production team that produced NBC’s award-winning musicals “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Hairspray Live!,” this musical event will revisit the beloved story of Annie. Live from New York, this fresh take will feature a star-studded cast, including Harry Connick Jr., Nicole Scherzinger, Tituss Burgess, featuring Megan Hilty, with Celina Smith as Annie, and Taraji P. Henson. 

•“It’s A Wonderful Life” (Saturday, Dec. 4, 8-11 p.m.) In this Frank Capra classic starring Jimmy Stewart, an angel is sent from heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

•“Michael Bublé’s Christmas In The City” (Monday, Dec. 6, 10-11 p.m.) Multi-Grammy Award-winning Michael Bublé returns to NBC to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his chart-topping album, “Christmas,” with a new holiday special. “Michael Bublé’s Christmas in the City” presents a mix of comedy, music and, of course, the spirit of Christmas, all from Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center.

‘Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party Hosted By Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson’

NBC rings in 2022 with an all-star celebration hosted by multi-Platinum-selling recording artist Miley Cyrus and “Saturday Night Live’s” Pete Davidson, alongside a star-studded lineup of special guests and musical performances. “Saturday Night Live” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels will executive produce the special for NBC and Peacock.

The special will air live on NBC from Miami on Friday, Dec. 31 (10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.), and will also be livestreamed on Peacock.

“In what is sure to be an exciting and fun evening, we are looking forward to partnering with Lorne Michaels and ringing in 2022 with a night of incredible entertainment, led by Miley and Pete,” said Jen Neal, executive vice president, live events, specials and E! News, NBCUniversal.

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