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, Dec. 1 at 8-10 p.m. 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 and more. 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, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on all NBC Owned Television Stations and on numerous NBC affiliates from coast to coast, starting at 7 p.m. ET. Check local listings. This special live hour will be hosted by Access Daily and Access Hollywood's Mario Lopez along with NBC 4 New York's Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery.
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, Maryland. 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.
Continuing a longstanding tradition, after the tree leaves Rockefeller Center, it will be donated to Habitat for Humanity and milled into lumber that will be used for home building.
At key moments throughout the night, viewers will have the opportunity to donate to Red Nose Day in support of children and families who have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic with worsened hunger, homelessness and learning loss. One in eight Americans, including one in six children, faced food insecurity this past year. Money raised during the broadcast will provide critical support to the children most affected by the crisis and the nonprofit partners serving them, including Feeding America, Save the Children, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children’s Health Fund, Covenant House and more. In seven years, Red Nose Day has raised more than $270 million to positively impact over 29 million children in America and around the world.
Christmas in Rockefeller Center is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman and Bill Bracken serve as executive producers. Debbie Palacio directs.
Day & Time
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 8/7c
Brad Lachman and Bill Bracken
Brad Lachman Productions