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Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

Christmas_in_rockefeller_center_2019_241x208
Photo Credit:  Virginia Sherwood/NBC
  • Premiered: 
    December 2, 1998
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: NBC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Special, Annual
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Holiday
  • Tags: Christmas

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Plot Synopsis

Each year since 1933 at New York City's Rockefeller Center, a Christmas tree is formally lit as part of a holiday celebration that now also features music, singing, dancing and skating. Rockefeller Center officially began the tree lighting ceremony in 1933, when a Christmas Tree was erected in front of the just-finished RCA Building. The Christmas trees in Rockefeller Center have ranged from 50-foot pines to 100-foot Norway spruces, with 70- to 90-foot Norway spruces used in recent ceremonies. This tree lighting event was first televised in 1951 by NBC on THE KATE SMITH SHOW, with Smith pressing a button that lit 7500 white, green and red lights on a 75-year-old, 82-foot Norway spruce, followed by Smith singing "White Christmas." NBC again aired the event nationally in 1952 on THE KATE SMITH SHOW on Friday, December 12, after the ceremony was delayed a few days when the workmen didn't finish the tree in time. From 1953-55, the lighting ceremony was part of the nationwide HOWDY DOODY television show. The lighting ceremony was broadcast locally by WNBC for years, and in 1997 WNBC syndicated the program, making it available to all 11 NBC-owned stations and nearly 150 other stations across the country, for an event that featured singer Harry Connick, Jr., saxophonist Kenny G, skater Katarina Witt, and Radio City Music Hall's Rockettes. The following year, in 1998, NBC premiered this annual special for the first time, featuring singers Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Jewel, Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds, Cyndi Lauper and Olympic-medalist skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
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The 2019 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was lit for the first time on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, with live and taped performances from 8-10pm ET (live)/PT (tape) on NBC, in a broadcast hosted by TODAY's Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Craig Melvin. The 87th annual tree lighting featured performances from Chicago, Brett Eldredge, Derek & Julianne Hough, John Legend, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, NE-YO, Gwen Stefani, Straight No Chaser, Skylar Astin & Alex Newell. Plus, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin and the Radio City Rockettes appear.

In addition, select NBC stations from New York to Hawaii aired additional performances and more festivities in the 7-8pm ET hour, immediately preceding the 8pm national broadcast. The regional hour is hosted by EXTRA's Mario Lopez and WNBC's Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella.

This year's tree at Rockefeller Center is a 12-ton, 77-foot tall, 46-foot wide Norway Spruce from Village of Florida in Orange County, NY, and was decorated with more than 50,000 multi-colored, energy-efficient LED lights on 5 miles of wire, and crowned by a Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The three-dimensional star is 9 feet, 4 inches in diameter, weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

Cast

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Brad Lachman Productions

Settings

  • Rockefeller Center - Manhattan, New York USA - Map It!