This holiday season, Turner's TBS & TNT are going to turn the Christmas spirit on full blast with SURPRISE! Instant Xmas Carol, an all-new music special that puts a unique twist on the caroling tradition. The one-hour special – featuring such celebrity carolers as Conan O'Brien, Rashida Jones, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Jane Lynch, Ludacris, Kenny G, Tony Sirico, Vincent Curatola, Joseph Gannascoli, A$AP Ferg, Three Loco, Samantha Ronson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Fred Willard, T-Pain and many surprise appearances – is set to premiere on TBS on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).
And the night before Christmas, Saturday, Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), TBS & TNT will join forces for a simulcast of SURPRISE! Instant Xmas Carol. It will be followed by TBS & TNT's simulcast of the annual 24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY marathon, celebrating its 20th year as one of television's most enduring holiday traditions.
In Surprise: Instant Xmas Carol, celebrity carolers from across the entertainment spectrum hit the road in search of people who look like they could use a little extra holiday cheer. They then surprise their listeners with their own unique renditions of a classic Christmas carol; some good, some bad and some…well, you know. The result is a holiday special packed with unforgettable songs performed in often wild and unpredictable situations.
In addition to the one-hour special, the performances in SURPRISE! Instant Xmas Carol will be presented individually throughout the holiday season as on-air and digital shorts. The special and shorts are a production of Turner's Studio T in association with Critical Content, with Tom Forman (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), Jay Blumenfeld (Gigolos), Tony Marsh (High School Musical: Get In the Picture) and Brad Bishop (Big Brother) serving as executive producers.
"Utilizing unique celebrity combos, we are committed to bringing back the long-forgotten tradition of this very special season: the Christmas carol," said Michael Bloom, senior vice president of unscripted series and specials for TBS & TNT. "These inspiring and mostly in-tune performances will reestablish the carol as a cornerstone of the holiday celebration."
The 20th annual 24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY airs Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on TBS & TNT. The movie at the center of the marathon is based on the short stories of famed humorist Jean Shepherd, who provided the movie's voice-over narration. A Christmas Story follows the mischievous adventures of a young boy who longs for a special Christmas gift – a Red Ryder BB gun. Peter Billingsley stars as young Ralphie, who is determined to convince the world that he is responsible enough to handle such a gift, despite everyone telling him, "You'll shoot your eye out." Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin are pitch-perfect as Ralphie's parents, and Ian Petrella provides some of the movie's funniest moments as Ralphie's little brother, Randy.
24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY first aired in 1997 on TNT, where it drew an ever-increasing audience for seven years. The marathon moved to TBS in 2004, continuing its audience expansion. And in 2014, Turner began simulcasting the marathon on both TBS & TNT. Last year, it was viewed by a total of 36 million viewers across the 24 hours and scored cable's #1 non-sports telecast for the entire day.
TBS & TNT's slate of holiday-related programming also includes the animated classic Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas on TBS (Nov. 20 & Dec. 10) and TNT (Dec. 14); TBS's annual Friends Thanksgiving Day marathon (Nov. 24); a Black Friday Star Wars marathon of the first six movies on TBS (Nov. 25); a "Festivus" marathon of Seinfeld episodes on TBS (Dec. 9); A Christmas Carol, starring Patrick Stewart, on TNT (Dec. 19); and several opportunities to enjoy the family favorite The Wizard of Oz on TBS (Nov. 20 & Nov. 27) and TNT (Dec. 12 & Dec. 14)