NBC Holiday TV Guide: What You Need To Watch This Thanksgiving And Christmas [Video]


From the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to How Murray Saved Christmas, NBC has plenty of wonderful holiday programming you need to watch for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This unofficial TV guide is the perfect way to plan out those special times around the television set.

Holiday specials are often a time spent with family and whether it’s keeping the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on while preparing the turkey or watching Christmas in Rockefeller Center to see the stars, holiday lights, and dazzling Christmas tree erected, holiday shows are a tradition in many homes. These shows air on NBC and have been celebrated by audiences for decades. While there are some new picks to the holiday TV guide, you’ll find plenty of classics.

So sit back, gather the kids and get the remote. Here’s your guide to unwind during the holiday season and the top picks for what you need to watch this Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving Specials on NBC

Thanksgiving 2016 celebrates the 90th anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. NBC is celebrating this monumental event with a special feature that reviews the nine-decade long history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, beginning the night before Thanksgiving. Following the special anniversary coverage is the Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving 2016 special. Saturday Night Live returns with their 2016 cast and brand new, Thanksgiving comedy skits with hosts such as Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson, Vanessa Bayer, and Bobby Moynihan. The excitement continues on Thanksgiving morning when NBC exclusively airs the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

NBC hosts Matt Lauer and Al Roker will join previous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade guests, such as Scott Bakula and Melissa Gilbert, as they revisit 90 years of the iconic Thanksgiving tradition. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. ET, with replays scheduled after the airing. The show ends at 12 p.m. and will feature numerous Broadway musical acts and include a special preview of the upcoming Hairspray Live.

After the parade is the Purina National Dog Show, hosted by John O’Hurley and David Frei. Thanksgiving isn’t the same without football, and NBC has plenty of football coverage to keep fans stoked. From Football Night in America to NFL Football: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis, there’s great football moments to enjoy.

NBC Thanksgiving TV Guide

Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade Special: November 23 at 8 p.m.

Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving Special: November 23 at 9 p.m.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: November 24 at 9 a.m. A replay begins at 2 p.m. ET. (some NBC affiliates will have coverage before the parade with local, community events)

The National Dog Show Purina: November 24 at 12 p.m.

Football Night in America: November 24 at 8 p.m.

NFL Football: Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis: November 24 at 8:30 p.m.


Christmas Specials on NBC

Immediately following Thanksgiving, NBC brings out the Christmas specials. On November 25, NBC kicks off the holiday fun with the 50th anniversary special of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas followed by How Murray Saved Christmas. Dolly Parton makes several guest appearances this Christmas season and she’ll be one of the celebrity performers at Christmas in Rockefeller Center.

Immediately following Christmas in Rockefeller Center is the much-anticipated sequel to Dolly Parton’s Christmas hit Coat of Many Colors: Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love. Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love concludes the holiday programming for the month of November.

December brings wonderful, holiday programming to NBC, and on December 7, the highly anticipated event Hairspray Live airs. One week later is the debut of A Pentatonix Christmas Special. This marks Pentatonix’s first live special, and with the release of their new holiday album featuring “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, the TV show will have sentimental meaning. It will be difficult for Leonard Cohen fans to watch Pentatonix sing “Hallelujah” without shedding a tear or two.

Following Pentatonix is the America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular, which brings past contestants to the stage for holiday-themed acts. Tony Bennett celebrated his 90th birthday in August, and viewers will now see the excitement and celebration with the NBC special Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come. A replay of How Murray Saved Christmas airs before Christmas Eve. Finally, the Saturday Night Live Christmas Special will air, but the date has yet to be announced. Once NBC releases the date, this article will be updated.

Here is the Christmas TV Guide for NBC.

NBC Christmas TV Guide

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: November 25 at 8 p.m.

How Murray Saved Christmas: November 25 at 8:35 p.m.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center: November 30 at 8 p.m.

Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love: November 30 at 9 p.m.

Hairspray Live: December 7 at 8 pm.

A Pentatonix Christmas Special: December 14 at 8 p.m.

America’s Got Talent Holiday Spectacular: December 19 at 8 p.m.

Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come: December 20 at 9 p.m.

How Murray Saved Christmas: December 23 at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday Night Live Christmas Special (TBA)


Take a trip down memory lane with the television features, specials, and holiday movies celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in the video player above. Many of the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials are available to watch live streaming online at NBC.com or with the NBC app. You may also check with your local television, satellite, or cable provider for more live-streaming information, apps, and ways to watch NBC on your tablet, computer, phone, or other devices. Most television providers have apps that may be downloaded and online websites, where you can log in or create an account and view programs streaming live.

Are you going to watch these holiday specials? Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade each year? Feel free to leave your comments, remarks, or suggestions below and let us know if you’re watching online with live streams or on television. Many of these programs will also be available on demand. You can find NBC on demand programs and full episodes in their online video collection. Check here for NBC on demand videos. Hulu often has many NBC programs in their video queue as well. Some of these holiday specials are extremely popular, and you can often find full videos from viewers who attended live on video-sharing sites like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and Metacafe. Check with your local television, cable, or satellite provider for on-demand programs as well. Happy holidays!

[Featured Image by NBC Universal]