NBC gives the gift of holiday-themed series episodes and specials throughout late November and December with a multitude of festivities, a special military audience for “The Jay Leno Show” airing Thanksgiving evening and a night of holiday-themed Thursday night comedies from “Community,” “Parks and Recreation,” “The Office” and “30 Rock” on December 10.
In addition, NBC premieres “The Sing-Off” as a four-night holiday event series beginning Monday, December 14 featuring the hottest a cappella singing groups from across America competing for the chance at an Epic Records/Sony Entertainment recording contract. Also, a new SNL holiday special “Saturday Night Live Christmas 2009” is set to air on Thursday, December 17.
Other programs joining in on the holiday spirit are the family friendly specials and movies — the all-new special “Merry Madagascar,” “83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade,” “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina,” “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” “A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” and the “121st Tournament of Roses Parade.”
Following are programming dates and show descriptions (in order of airdate, all times ET):
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17 (8-8:30 p.m.) and repeating SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28 (8-8:30 p.m.) “Merry Madagascar”
WHEN SANTA AND HIS REINDEER CRASH ONTO THE ISLAND OF MADAGASCAR IT’S UP TO THE CENTRAL PARK ‘ZOOSTERS’ TO SAVE CHRISTMAS – DreamWorks Animation presents a brand new holiday adventure starring everyone’s favorite Central Park “zoosters.” “Merry Madagascar” begins when Santa (Carl Reiner) and his sleigh unexpectedly crash land on the island, giving the jolly gentleman a case of amnesia. So it falls to Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer), and Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) along with the ever-inventive Penguins to deliver the presents and save Christmas. And, it doesn’t hurt that Santa’s sleigh just might be able to make a little trip to New York City so they can finally return to their beloved home. But, during their rounds, the four re-discover the magic of giving and that it’s ultimately more important than their own wish to return home. Throw in a long-lasting North Pole/South Pole rivalry between the Penguins and Santa’s Reindeer, magic flying dust and a King Julien-based holiday called (what else?) ‘Julianuary’ and “Merry Madagascar” serves up a comedic holiday story like no other! Andy Richter and “Cedric the Entertainer” also star.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23 (8-9 p.m.)
THANKSGIVING UNITES FAMILIES TOGETHER AND BRINGS NEW REVELATIONS – H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) hosts an untraditional Thanksgiving dinner. Elsewhere, the Petrelli family gets a surprise guest at their table. Meanwhile, Samuel (Robert Knepper) continues to hold Hiro (Masi Oka) hostage as Lydia (guest star Dawn Olivieri) goes in search for the truth. Greg Grunberg, Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Ashley Crow, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Madeline Zima, Ray Park, Harry Perry, Elisabeth Rohm and Andrew Connolly also guest star.
“Trauma” (9-10 p.m.)
THANKSGIVING PLANS ARE PUT ON HOLD WHEN AN AIRPLANE IS FORCED DOWN – Thanksgiving travel gets dangerous when a packed commercial airliner must make an emergency landing that goes terribly wrong. Meanwhile, Nancy (Anastasia Griffith) finds herself reluctant to spend the holiday with her family. Elsewhere, Boone (Derek Luke) and Tyler (Kevin Rankin) respond to an unusually common Thanksgiving emergency. Cliff Curtis, Aimee Garcia, Taylor Kinney and Jamey Sheridan also star. John Terry, Matt Barr, Ryan Michelle Bathe and Scottie Thompson guest-star.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26 (9 a.m.-12 p.m.)
“83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade”
NATIONAL TRADITION RETURNS AS MACY’S THANKSGIVING PARADE IS HOSTED BY ‘TODAY’ STARS — Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer, and Al Roker (“Today”) will host the “83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” kicking off the festivities at 77th Street and Central Park West and taking a whole new route. Celebrating the start of the holiday season will be performers from stage and screen riding atop the parade’s moving stages. Stars will include Bello, Grandma and the cast of the Big Apple Circus, Andrea Bocelli, Boys Like Girls, Alan Cumming, Billy Currington, DJ Lance Rock and the cast of “Yo Gabba Gabba!,” Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Gloria Gaynor, Emily Hughes, Kermit the Frog and Tiffany Thornton, Jane Krakowski, Ziggy Marley with Judah Marley, Katherine McPhee, Miss America 2009 Katie Stam, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, Mitchel Musso, Keke Palmer, The Pizzarelli Quartet, Jay Sean and Carly Simon. The parade will feature many eye-catching floats and balloons and will offer many new additions including the Pillsbury Doughboy, Ronald McDonald, Spider-Man, and Sailor Mickey Mouse. Broadcast on NBC since 1948, the parade has been transformed by television into a national tradition. The executive producers are Brad Lachman and Bill Bracken.
“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” (12 noon – 2 p.m.)
CELEBRATE THE ‘BEST IN SHOW’ ON THANKSGIVING DAY- Returning to host the “National Dog Show Presented by Purina” television show is renowned comedic actor, author, canine aficionado and TV personality John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld”). He will be joined by expert analyst David Frei, who is an AKC-licensed judge and TV personality. The competition for “Best in Show” is the centerpiece of a family-oriented celebration of the world of canines. This year three new American Kennel Club-recognized breeds will make their national television and major competition debuts: The Irish Red and White Setter, Norwegian Buhund and Pyrenean Shepherd.
“The Jay Leno Show” (10-11 p.m.)
‘THE JAY LENO SHOW’ IS ALL NEW AND CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING WITH MEGAN FOX AND A SPECIAL STUDIO AUDIENCE OF MEN AND WOMEN CURRENTLY SERVING IN THE U.S. THE MILITARY
“The Jay Leno Show” is all new on Thanksgiving night with guest Megan Fox. Additionally, the show is recognizing the men and women who serve in the U.S. military by inviting representatives from each branch to sit in the studio audience for the special holiday taping.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2 (8-9 p.m.)
“Christmas in Rockefeller Center”
LIGHTING UP THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CHRISTMAS TREE — NBC heralds the arrival of the holidays on Wednesday, December 2 with a dazzling display of musical talent and the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree during the 12th annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” telecast. The star-studded 77th annual tree lighting extravaganza will feature an array of musical superstars performing 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 Brad Lachman Productions with Lachman serving as executive producer and Bill Bracken as producer.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10 (8-8:30 p.m.)
SHIRLEY THROWS A HOLIDAY PARTY FOR THE GANG; ANTHONY MICHAEL HALL (‘THE BREAKFAST CLUB’) GUEST-STARS AS A CAMPUS BULLY -Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) throws a Christmas party for the gang and much to her surprise learns her classmates come from a variety of backgrounds. Meanwhile, Jeff (Joel McHale) is challenged by the school bully (guest star Anthony Michael Hall) and faces the reality that he may fail Spanish 101. Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Donald Glover and Ken Jeong also star.
“Parks and Recreation (8:30-9 p.m.)
LESLIE BECOMES THE CENTER OF A HOLIDAY SCANDAL– LOUIS C.K. (“LUCKY LOUIE”) GUEST STARS-Leslie (Amy Poehler) designs the Pawnee Winter Wonderland Festival, but has to hide from the press when a meeting with a disgraced Councilman lands her in the middle of a sex scandal. Meanwhile, Ron (Nick Offerman) offers to cover for Leslie for the day, and quickly discovers how much work she really does. Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt also star.
“The Office” (9-9:30 p.m.)
MICHAEL AND PHYLLIS FIGHT OVER SANTA PRIVILEGES-Michael (Golden Globe winner Steve Carell) is outraged when Jim (John Krasinski) allows Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) to be Santa at the office Christmas party. Jim and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) try to get everyone into the holiday spirit despite the uncertainty with Dunder Mifflin. Meanwhile, Oscar (Oscar Nunez) has a secret crush. Jenna Fischer, Ed Helms, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein, B.J. Novak, Ellie Kemper and Craig Robinson also star.
“30 Rock” (9:30-10 p.m.)
ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON AT ‘TGS’; CHEYENNE JACKSON GUEST-STARS–Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) interest in a new social networking site unexpectedly reconnects him with a high school crush. Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) tries to organize a Secret Santa Fun Swap, but not without resistance from some of the staff members. Meanwhile, Liz (Tina Fey) battles the task of buying a gift that’s good enough for Jack, and Jenna (Jane Krakowski) is horrified at the prospect of sharing her annual Christmas solo. Tracy Morgan, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander and Keith Powell also star.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11 (8-9 p.m.) and SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19 (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 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: Letters to Santa” destined to become a new holiday family classic. The special is produced by Muppets Productions, Inc.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER16 AND MONDAY, DECEMBER 21 (8-10 p.m.)
Series premiere of “The Sing-Off”
DEBUT OF ‘THE SING-OFF’ OFFERS A CAPPELLA VOICE COMPETITION — “The Sing-Off” is a four-night event premiering Monday, December 14 (8-10 p.m. ET) that features a one-of-a-kind battle of voices that continues on December 15 and 16, culminating with a live finale on December 21 (8-10 p.m. ET each night). The show will feature the country’s top eight a cappella groups performing popular songs in a way that viewers never heard them before. There’s no lip-synching, back-up bands or safety net. They’ll be singing for America’s vote with the winner walking away with the ultimate prize — an Epic Records/Sony Music recording contract. “The Sing-Off” is produced by Joel Gallen’s (“America’s Best Dance Crew”) Tenth Planet Productions, Outlaw Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television. Joel Gallen, Deb Newmyer and Sam Weisman are executive producers.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 (8-11 p.m.) and THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24 (8-11 p.m.)
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
MOST ‘WONDERFUL’ HOLIDAY MOVIE IN FRANK CAPRA CLASSIC — NBC presents Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. 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.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17 (8-10 p.m.)
“Saturday Night Live Christmas 2009”
SNL CELEBRATES THE HOLIDAYS – This new holiday special features the funniest and most festive holiday sketches from “Saturday Night Live’s” 35-year history. Lorne Michaels is the executive producer and Marci Klein produces.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31 (10-11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m.)
“NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly”
GREEN DAY HELPS TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR-Carson Daly’s two-hour New Year’s Eve special will air live on Thursday, December 31, beginning in primetime from 10-11 p.m. (ET), and continuing at 11:30 p.m. (ET) with the countdown to 2010 and the first performances of the New Year. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” will broadcast in high definition from the middle of the world’s most famous New Year’s Eve destination, Times Square in New York City. Musical guests Green Day will perform.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 1, 2010 (11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
“121st Tournament of Roses Parade”
NBC’s live, high-definition coverage of the “121st Tournament of Roses Parade” from Pasadena, California will feature heroic pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger as this year’s Grand Marshal. The parade, whose theme this year will be “A Cut Above The Rest,” will feature all the lavish floral floats, spectacular marching bands and high-stepping equestrian teams that have made the New Year’s Day event so popular. This year’s Rose Queen and her court will also appear, along with special guests on spectacular floats, all paying tribute to everyday heroes. NBC has been broadcasting the New Year’s Day parade for 83 years, beginning on radio in 1927 and then televising the event beginning in 1954. Arthur Forrest is the executive producer/director, Carol Kahl is the supervising producer and Stephanie Prescott is the coordinating producer for NBC Entertainment. Tom Patino is the line producer.