Two hour TV special airs on Dec 1st
NBC kicks off the holiday season with the annual lighting of the iconic Christmas tree in the heart of New York City with Christmas in Rockefeller Center airing Wednesday, December 1st from 8-10 pm ET/PT. In addition, the broadcast will simulcast live on Peacock.
Viewers will be treated to festive performances by Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood, Pentatonix, José Feliciano & CNCO, and 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 evening will include a duet featuring Paisley and Thomas and a special performance by the Radio City Rockettes.
NBC News TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will host the highly anticipated holiday special.
Prior to the primetime telecast, Access Daily and Access Hollywood’s Mario Lopez along with NBC4 New York’s Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery will host an additional live hour of the special that will be broadcast on all NBC Owned Television Stations and numerous NBC affiliates around the country starting at 7 pm ET. Check local listings.
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, Md. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons, will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored energy efficient LED lights and topped with a stunning 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 United States. 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.