The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

This Day in Pop Culture for October 11

'30 Rock' Premieres
It was on this day in 2006 when the Tina Fey-created sitcom, 30 Rock, debuted on NBC. Though fully satirical, it is said that Fey loosely based the series on her experiences working as a head writer for Saturday Night Live (which also debuted on this day in 1975). The name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza located in New York City where SNL is created and performed. The series starred Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Katrina Bowden, Keith Powell, Lonny Ross, John Lutz, Sue Galloway, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Maulik Pancholy, and Rachel Dratch. The show ended it’s run. Over the show’s seven seasons, 30 Rock was nominated for 103 Primetime Emmy Awards winning 16. Ironically, the show’s ratings did not match the show’s high praise. The show was also known for creating very elaborate sets. There is one story that claims the show took three days to build a set that was only used for six seconds of air time.

Debut of 'Saturday Night Live'
Ever wonder when the announcer for Saturday Night Live comes on he always says, “…it’s Saturday Night” instead of “Saturday Night Live?” That’s because when the show began on this day in 1975, it was originally called Saturday Night. It aired during the time when Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell aired on ABC. While the latter fizzled out rather quickly, SNL is still alive and kicking. Created by Lorne Michaels and developed by Dick Ebersol, The show became an instant hit and has become one of the longest-running TV programs in the U.S. Over the years, it has received 36 Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and three Writers Guild of America Awards. The original cast of “Not Ready for Prime-Time Players” performing spoofs of TV shows and political satire included Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase. After Chase left the show after the first season, he was replaced with Bill Murray. In 1980, Michaels left the show to explore other things and the show found itself on the brink of cancellation but recovered when Ebersol took the helm. Michaels returned in 1985. He's been there ever since.

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