'TIS THE SEASON FOR A BOUNTY OF HOLIDAY-THEMED SERIES AND SPECIALS ON NBC
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. � November 14, 2008 -- NBC celebrates the holidays by making a list and checking it twice with holiday-themed series episodes and specials throughout late November and December. A bevy of series will celebrate the most festive time of the year including "The Office," "ER," "My Name is Earl," "30 Rock," "Kath & Kim," "The Biggest Loser: Families" and "Deal or No Deal" (dates and episode descriptions are below). In addition, the network will air "WWE Tribute to the Troops" on December 20 (9-10 p.m. ET).
This programming joins the previously announced holiday specials: "Rosie Live," "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa," "Little Spirit," "82nd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," "The National Dog Show," "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly."
Following are programming dates and details (all times ET):
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25 (8-10 p.m. ET)
"The Biggest Loser: Families"
NFL SUPERSTARS JERRY RICE AND STEVE YOUNG AND CELEBRITY CHEF ROCCO DISPIRITO GUEST STAR IN THANKSGIVING EPISODE -- It's Thanksgiving week at the "Biggest Loser" ranch, and contestants will be celebrating with turkey, football and very special guests! First, NFL Super Bowl MVPs Jerry Rice and Steve Young stop by to put the contestants through NFL-style drills. Then celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito helps the contestants make a healthy version of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Later, the contestants are really thankful when they receive special videos from home. Alison Sweeney is the host, and trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels also star.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26
"Rosie Live" (8-9 p.m.)
EMMY AWARD-WINNING TALK SHOW HOST ROSIE O'DONNELL RETURNS TO TELEVISION ON NBC WITH ALL-NEW LIVE VARIETY SHOW -- Airing live from New York City the night before Thanksgiving, Emmy Award-winning personality Rosie O'Donnell hosts "Rosie Live," a fun-filled variety show featuring celebrity guests, musical acts, comedy skits and major audience giveaways. The one-hour broadcast will revitalize the classic variety show format made famous by such iconic series as "The Carol Burnett Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show," with a modern twist.
"Deal or No Deal" (9-10 p.m.)
CONTESTANTS ARE THANKFUL FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN THE TOP PRIZE OF TWO MILLION DOLLARS� Family man Jimmy Dolan from Fort Collins, Colorado hopes to win the top prize so he can buy two new cars, as well as start a college fund for his children. Ashley Otte from Randolph, Minnesota is a hard working college student hoping to go home with enough money to pay off her student loans and start enjoying college life. Otte mistakenly reveals to host Howie Mandel that her biggest fear is turkeys, which leads the Banker to put her family in a cage with eight live turkeys. The case models join in the festivities as they compete in a variety of Thanksgiving eating contests. Viewers at home can also watch and play the "Beat the Banker" game for a chance to win $50,000.
"Deal or No Deal" (10-11 p.m.)
CALIFORNIA FAMILY AND OREGON WAR HERO ARE DREAMING OF A MILLION DOLLAR CHRISTMAS -- Father to thirteen kids, James Calhoun, will be rotating rounds with his daughter Gina and son Joshua. James wants to give his family an extravagant Christmas, something he's never been able to do before. Next to play is Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient Matt Zedwick from Corrallis, Oregon. Newly married, Zedwick hopes to win enough money to take care of his new bride and buy a house. The giving does not end with the contestants -- the audience receives an abundance of presents too. Viewers at home can also watch and play the "Beat the Banker" game for a chance to win $50,000. Howie Mandel hosts.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27 (9 a.m. -12 p.m.)
"82nd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade"
MILEY CYRUS, DAVID ARCHULETA AND MANY MORE STARS TO PERFORM ON NBC'S LIVE BROADCAST OF THE '82ND ANNUAL MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE' -- Meredith Vieira ("Today"), Matt Lauer ("Today") and Al Roker ("Today") co-host the parade. Taking to the sky for the first time will be Buzz Lightyear, Horton, a Smurf balloon and a special balloon of artist Keith Haring's work, "Figure with Heart." Celebrating the start of the holiday season will be performers from stage, screen, sports and music riding down Broadway atop one of the parade's moving stages. The stars joining the line-up include Miley Cyrus, Trace Adkins, David Archuleta and the Cheetah Girls. The parade will feature many eye-catching floats and balloons and will offer spectacular new additions, classic characters from children's books, movies and television shows, a Who's Who of pop culture icons.
"The National Dog Show Presented By Purina" (12 noon-2 p.m.)
CELEBRATE THE 'BEST IN SHOW' WITH 'THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW PRESENTED BY PURINA' -- John O' Hurley returns as host of this purebred canine competition that is part of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia's annual dog show. One of the oldest and most prestigious sporting events in North America, the National Dog Show is one of only five remaining "benched" dog shows where the public can interact with the show dogs. With expert commentary from David Frei, "the dean" of dog show commentators, the show is expected to feature more than 2,000 of the nation's leading canines representing more than 150 breeds, including some of the world's most largest, smallest and most exotic breeds, all vying for "Best in Show" honors.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3 (8-9 p.m.)
"Christmas in Rockefeller Center"
NBC LIGHTS UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER -- NBC heralds the arrival of the holidays with a dazzling display of musical talent and the lighting of the world's most famous Christmas tree during the 11th annual "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" telecast. Hosted by Al Roker ("Today"), the star-studded 76th annual tree lighting extravaganza will feature musical superstars such as Beyonc�, Tony Bennett, Neil Boyd, the Jonas Brothers, Harry Connick Jr., David Cook, Rosie O'Donnell and the Broadway Kids, Faith Hill, Rascal Flatts, and Solange Knowles as they perform current hits and holiday classics from Rockefeller Center in New York City. Prior to the network special, WNBC, NBC's New York flagship station, will broadcast an additional live hour of the special (7-8 p.m. ET). "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" is produced by NBC Universal Media Studios, and Bob Holmes is the executive producer.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5 (8-9 p.m.)
"Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown"
COUNT DOWN THE BEST HOLIDAY MOMENTS FROM FILM AND TELEVISION -- This holiday treat features clips from the most cherished holiday television specials and films of all time. From classic clips of Rankin Bass ("Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer") and Jimmy Stewart ("It's a Wonderful Life") to more contemporary classics such as the films "Home Alone" and "A Christmas Story," this unforgettable special will count down all the memorable scenes that make the Christmas season the best time of the year. "Greatest Holiday Moments: TV & Film Countdown" will conclude with the most outstanding holiday memory that will warm the hearts of the audience.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10 (8-9 p.m.)
"Little Spirit: Christmas in New York"
NEW ANIMATED CHRISTMAS SPECIAL -- An all-star cast includes Danny DeVito, Lucy Liu, Freddy Rodriguez, Brenda Song and NBC News' Brian Williams who lend their voices to a new animated holiday special that features original songs and music by Duncan Sheik, the Tony Award-winning writer and composer of Broadway's "Spring Awakening." The unique program stylistically blends the look of traditional painting with contemporary 3-D technology � creating an aesthetic that is both classic and innovative.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11 (8-8:30 p.m.)
"My Name Is Earl"
HO, HO, HO! CHRISTMAS COMES TO CAMDEN COUNTY -- When Earl (Jason Lee) finds out that Joy (Jaime Pressly) has continued a holiday scam that they started years ago and has recruited her friends to be a part of it, so he makes it his mission to cross the conned man off his list. Ethan Suplee, Eddie Steeples and Nadine Velazquez also star.
"Kath & Kim" (8:30-9 p.m.)
SPECIAL HOLIDAY FRIENDS -- In an effort to find some "couple friends," Kath (Molly Shannon) and Phil (John Michael Higgins) decide to host a Christmas Party with the mall security guard, Pete (guest star David Koechner) and his wife as the guests of honor. Meanwhile, Kim and Craig find their friendship with Derrick (Jay Phillips) is put to the test at the annual Circuit Surplus Holiday bash.
"The Office" (9-9:30 p.m.)
A CHRISTMAS PARTY IN MOROCCO -- Phyllis' (Phyllis Smith) Moroccan-themed holiday party goes up in flames when Meredith's (Kate Flannery) hair catches on fire and Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) is forced to deal with the accident. Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) corners the market on the hottest toy of the Christmas season. John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Leslie David Baker, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Oscar Nunez, Brian Baumgartner, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein and Craig Robinson also star.
"30 Rock" (9:30-10 p.m.)
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT TAKES OVER 30 ROCK AS LIZ ATTEMPTS TO FULFILL CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS WISHES; ELAINE STRITCH GUEST-STARS -- Only days before Christmas, Liz's (Tina Fey) parents ditch her to celebrate the holidays at a couples-only retreat, leaving her all alone for the holiday and to fill the void, she participates in a charity program, ""Letters to Santa," to help underprivileged kids have a nice Christmas. Meanwhile, Jack (Alec Baldwin) takes his frustration out on the TGS staff when his plans for a dream holiday vacation away from his overbearing mother, Colleen (guest star Elaine Stritch) are crushed. The TGS crew are forced to give up their plans to produce a last-minute Christmas special. Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Judah Friedlander and Keith Powell also star.
"ER" (10-11 p.m.)
"The High Holiday"
IT'S THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR -- As Christmas nears, Morris (Scott Grimes) receives an unwanted package from his father while Sam (Linda Cardellini) is anxious about getting Alex (Dominic Janes) off of the ventilator. Meanwhile, a pregnant woman with a high-risk pregnancy is in danger of getting deported. Parminder Nagra, David Lyons and Angela Bassett also star.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12 (8-9 p.m.)
"Greatest Holiday Moments: Songs of the Season Countdown"
MEDLEY OF CLASSIC CHRISTMAS SONGS -- This musical medley traces the best performances of both classic and contemporary Christmas songs. From timeless chestnuts such as Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," Gene Autry's "Frosty the Snowman" and John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" to more recent essentials such as Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You," this holiday delight will count down the greatest songs of the season.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13 (8-11 p.m.) and WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24 (8-11 p.m.)
"It's a Wonderful Life"
MOST 'WONDERFUL' HOLIDAY MOVIE IN FRANK CAPRA CLASSIC -- NBC marks a milestone for the nation's visually impaired as the network presents this exclusive and special telecast of Frank Capra's 1946 holiday classic, "It's a Wonderful Life," starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. Through a process of Descriptive TheatreVision, the special presentation will be described for the blind and visually impaired by former President George Bush. Bush's description will inform the viewer of what is occurring on the screen, filling the blanks where no dialogue or other sounds tell a visually impaired person what is happening during a television presentation. The film follows the life of George Bailey (Stewart) from childhood to maturity in the town of Bedford Falls. On what might be his last Christmas Eve, a discouraged Bailey wants to throw his life away. Fortunately, Clarence (Henry Travers), a second-class angel, is sent to show him the value of life. After Clarence gives Bailey a view of Bedford Falls without him, Bailey realizes how precious his life is and gets a second chance. He comes to learn that Clarence was right when he said, "No man is a failure who has friends." The film, which earned Oscar nominations for best picture, director, actor and film editing, was produced and directed by Capra.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17 (8-9 p.m.)
"A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa"
MUPPETS MUST GET LETTERS TO SANTA ON TIME � In "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa," the Emmy and Grammy-Award winning Muppets deliver a new, one-hour special filled with songs, mayhem and heaps of holiday high spirits. On Christmas Eve, Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and the rest of the gang mistakenly avert three letters from making their way to Santa Claus. Can they get the letters to Santa in time? Needless to say, nothing -- not even Miss Piggy's planned trip to the tropics -- can stand between the Muppets and a Merry Christmas. The special boasts songs by Paul Williams (songwriter for "The Muppet Movie"), an all-star cast including Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Griffiths, Jane Krakowski, Tony Sirico, Steve Schirripa, Uma Thurman, Petra Nemcova, Jesse L. Martin and Madison Pettis -- and a heartfelt message about the true meaning of the holiday season � makes "A Muppets Christmas" destined to become a new holiday family classic.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20 (9-10 p.m.)
"WWE Tribute to the Troops"
WWE SUPERSTARS ENTERTAIN THE TROOPS ON THE FRONT LINES -- In an hour-long special, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon -- along with today's top WWE "Superstars and Divas" -- visit forward-operating bases of the U.S. armed forces, meet the troops, and perform in front of a military crowd in Iraq. McMahon and the WWE have taken the reins from the memorable classic tours headlined by NBC's Bob Hope as the only entertainers to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan to entertain the troops for the last six consecutive holiday seasons. That commitment to entertain the troops moved President George W. Bush to tape a special message for the holiday special. The switch to NBC marks a return to network television for the WWE's most important show of the year.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 22 (8-9 p.m.)
"Greatest Holiday Moments: Hilarious Home Video Countdown"
COUNT DOWN EVERYONE'S FAVORITE HOLIDAY HOME VIDEOS -- It's holiday home video time as viewers count down the most hilarious and entertaining holiday moments from families across the country. The hour of non-stop family fun will feature the best moments chosen from thousands of real home-video submissions. This special will rank the best amateur footage America has to offer from memorable moments to classic Christmas chaos.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31 (10-11 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. - 12:35 a.m.)
"NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly"
LUDACRIS, 50 CENT AND KATY PERRY PERFORM AS CARSON DALY RINGS IN THE NEW YEAR -- "Last Call" host Carson Daly will be ringing in the New Year live from Times Square with "NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly." The show promises to give viewers the experience of being in the middle of the world's most famous New Year's Eve destination, Times Square, and for the first time will be broadcast beginning in primetime from 10-11 p.m. (ET) and continue in late night from 11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m. in high definition. "NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly" will once again feature the biggest names in music with this year's performers Ludacris, 50 Cent and Katy Perry performing. Viewers will be a part of all the action with Saturday "Today" co-anchor Amy Robach reporting from amongst the hundreds of thousands of revelers in Times Square. Along with Robach, NBC News correspondent Luke Russert will join the broadcast this year.