NBC's 'Christmas In Rockefeller Center' Special: Light Up The World's Most Famous Christmas Tree
- November 17, 2009 12:19 PM
- Tags: Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Brian Williams, Christmas, Christmas in Rockefeller Center, James Tupper, Jane Krakowski, Michael Buble, Shakira, Taylor Schilling, The Roots, Zachary Levi
MICHAEL BUBLE, ARETHA FRANKLIN, ALICIA KEYS, BARRY MANILOW, THE ROOTS, SHAKIRA, TAYLOR SCHILLING (NBC'S "MERCY"), JAMES TUPPER (NBC'S "MERCY") AND BRIAN WILLIAMS ("NBC NIGHTLY NEWS") WILL JOIN IN THE HOLIDAY FUN ON DECEMBER 2 (8-9 P.M. ET/PT)
NBC Universal and The Arbor Day Foundation Team Up to Add More Green to the 77th Annual Live Holiday Celebration with an Interactive Viewer Experience
NEW YORK - November 17, 2009 - NBC continues to roll out the holiday festivities on Wednesday, December 2 (8-9 p.m. ET/PT) 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. Co-hosted by NBC stars Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock") and Zachary Levi ("Chuck") and broadcast in high definition, the star-studded tree lighting celebration will feature Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, The Roots, Shakira, and The Radio City Rockettes performing a mix of current hits and holiday classics from beautifully ornamented stages around Rockefeller Center in New York City.
One of the season's most treasured traditions, the 77th annual tree lighting extravaganza will also include a performance by co-host Krakowski with The Roots and appearances by Taylor Schilling (NBC's "Mercy"), James Tupper (NBC's "Mercy") and Brian Williams ("NBC Nightly News").
This year, NBC Universal through its "Green is Universal initiative," is happy to work with the Arbor Day Foundation to "Text For Your Tree." Every half hour throughout the national broadcast viewers will be prompted to text NBCU to have a tree planted on their behalf. The trees will be planted by the Arbor Day Foundation, and underwritten by their partners. Additionally, the "Text For Your Tree" promotion will be extended online with an interactive site on both arborday.org and greenisuniversal.com sites. This partnership is expected to drive awareness for the environment and the Arbor Day Foundation - and help to get up to 500,000 trees planted.
The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1933, the tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building, now the GE Building. The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the first tree lighting in 1951 on "The Kate Smith Show" and as part of the nationwide "Howdy Doody" television show from 1953-55.
Prior to the network special, WNBC, NBC's New York flagship station, and some other NBC stations 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. Bill Bracken is producer.
ABOUT THE HOSTS
Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski stars as Jenna Maroney, the star of "The Girlie Show," in NBC's three-time Emmy Award-winning "30 Rock." Krakowski is an accomplished actress, dancer and singer with numerous awards and credits to her name in film, theatre and television. She recently debuted her cabaret show to sold out audiences at the Kennedy Center in DC and Feinstein's in NYC. In 2009, the New Jersey born actress was honored with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Jenna Maroney.
Zachary Levi is currently seen on the NBC hit comedy show "Chuck." Playing the title character, Chuck Bartowski, Levi portrays a semi self-conscious regular guy whose life gets scrambled when he inadvertently has government secrets downloaded into his brain while reading an email sent from a long lost "frenemy." Levi will be seen next in the 20th Century Fox film "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" the follow up to the mega hit 2007 film. Additionally he is the lead role opposite Mandy Moore in Disney's classic story of Rapunzel, slated for a 2010 release. Levi was previously seen starring with Amber Tamblyn in the independent feature film "Spiral." Audiences also remember Levi starring roles in the franchise film "Big Momma's House 2" with Martin Lawrence and the independent film "Shades of Ray" with Sarah Shahi.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Michael Bublé has had enormous success over the last seven years as a Grammy winning recording artist and world class entertainer who has sold out concert venues around the globe. His current CD "Crazy Love" debuted recently at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and has remained a Top Ten album for the last several weeks. The Canadian native has sold over 22 million albums worldwide. His current single, "Haven't Met You Yet", co written by Bublé is a top l0 record in several radio formats. His previous CD "Call Me Irresponsible" was a number one album in over l5 countries. "It's Time," released in 2005 holds the record as the longest running title to remain on the Billboard Traditional Jazz charts - a full two years. Bublé has also written and performed two singles, "Everything" and "Home" which was also a Number One hit for Blake Shelton on the Country charts. He is scheduled to start his "Crazy Love" concert Tour in March 2010.
Aretha Franklin is known the world over simply by her first name. A global icon, she is the recipient of some of the highest honors accorded any single music artist, including the much-coveted Presidential Medal Of Freedom, a Kennedy Center Honor, American National Medal of the Arts Award and an unprecedented 18 Grammy Awards (including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for eight consecutive years). Through musically brilliant albums - "Aretha Arrives," "Lady Soul," "Spirit In The Dark," "Young, Gifted & Black" and groundbreaking sets like "Live At Fillmore West" and the double platinum "Amazing Grace" (the first gospel album to achieve such status) - and constant hit singles (including "Until You Come Back To Me," "Something He Can Feel" and her own "Daydreaming," which has become the most covered song in her own catalog of stellar compositions), Aretha constantly broke industry sales records at the same time continuing to build the ever-faithful fan base she enjoys to this date.
Alicia Keys' signature hybrid of soul, hip-hop, jazz and classical music has made her a worldwide success. With four acclaimed albums to her credit - "Songs in A Minor" (2001), "The Diary of Alicia Keys" (2003), "Unplugged" (2005) and "As I Am" (2007) - Keys' newest album, "The Element of Freedom," is scheduled for release on December 15, 2009. Throughout her career, the New York City native has built an unparalleled repertoire of hits and accomplishments with over 30 million albums sold worldwide and numerous awards including twelve Grammy Awards, eleven Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards and fourteen NAACP Image Awards to name a few. Also an acclaimed actress, Keys has appeared in starring roles in "The Secret Life of Bees," "The Nanny Diaries" and "Smokin' Aces." She is the co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that provides medicine to families with HIV and AIDS in Africa and India. In addition to complementing her musical and acting achievements, Keys is also a New York Times best-selling author. In 2005, Penguin Group USA published "Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems & Lyrics."
Barry Manilow has won a unique place in the pantheon of American performers. With worldwide sales of more than 75 million records, the success of Manilow is a benchmark in popular music. He is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time, according to R&R (Radio & Records) and Billboard magazines. Rolling Stone crowned him "a giant among entertainers... the showman of our generation," and Frank Sinatra summed up Manilow best when Ol' Blue Eyes told the British press, "He's next!" Manilow is ranked as the top Adult Contemporary chart artist of all time on the strength of no less than 25 consecutive Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1975 and 1983. The list includes all-time favorites that Barry still sings today: "Mandy," "It's A Miracle," "Could It Be Magic," "I Write the Songs," "Tryin' To Get the Feeling Again," "This One's For You," "Weekend In New England," "Looks Like We Made It," "Can't Smile Without You," "Even Now," and the Grammy Award-winning "Copacabana (At the Copa)." The title of Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Award-winner Manilow's latest album, "In The Swing Of Christmas" (released October 2009) underscores the basic key to his artistry.
With the premiere of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" on March 2, 2009, The Roots joined host Jimmy Fallon as one of the coolest house bands in late night television history. The Roots are the influential and critically acclaimed Philadelphia-based band -- described by Rolling Stone as "one of the greatest live acts in the world" and by the Boston Globe as the "greatest hip-hop band in the land." The band has paved the way for live instrumental rap and has won numerous awards for its jazz-influenced, eclectic approach to hip-hop, including two Grammy's and a 2007 NAACP Image Award. The Roots' lineup includes original members rapper/MC Black Thought (Tariq Trotter) and Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson (drums), who met in 1987 and were classmates at the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts. They later added Owen Biddle (bass), James "Kamal" Gray (keyboard), Frank "Knuckles" Walker (percussion), Kirk "Captain Kirk" Douglas (guitar) and Damen "Tuba Gooding Jr." Bryson (saxophone), James Poyser.
One of the few truly global superstars of our time, Shakira is extending her reach with her eighth studio album, "She Wolf." The daring, innovative project is the long-awaited follow-up to 2005's groundbreaking one-two punch comprised of "Fijacion Oral, Volume 1" and "Oral Fixation, Volume 2," a pair of albums which combined to sell over 12 million copies worldwide and secured the young Colombian-born singer's place among pop music royalty. Co-writing and producing "She Wolf," Shakira worked with a diverse range of superstar producers and songwriters-most notably, Pharrell Williams and the Neptunes, but also Wyclef Jean, Timbaland and John Hill -she has created an irresistible set of deceptively rich, club-ready tracks. Her musical style can be called "pop fusion," characterized by her eclectic tastes, from Middle Eastern beats to heavy metal guitars-and new songs like the slinky, percussive "Long Time" or the rocked-up kiss-off "Mon Amour" illustrate her commitment to remaining a sonic omnivore. Over the course of her career, Grammy winner Shakira has sold close to fifty million albums.