The annual A Christmas Story marathon starts at 8 p.m. December 24 on TBS, with the beloved 1983 movie airing consecutively through 8 p.m. Christmas Day. The marathon begins an hour later on sister network TNT, at 9 p.m. December 24, concluding a day later.
TNT began the Christmas Story marathon in 1997, and TBS took it over in 2004 when TNT shifted to drama programming.
Starting in 2014, both TBS and TNT ran the Christmas Story marathon.
Some 32 million people watched the movie on the two networks last year, including 2.5 million total viewers in the 8 p.m. Christmas Eve telecast on TBS, with 1.1 million in the 18-49 demo.
WarnerMedia called it Christmas Eve’s top rated entertainment programming across television a year ago, and Christmas Day’s No. 1, 2 and 3 most viewed non-sports programming.
The movie’s largest viewership last year was the 8 p.m. Christmas Eve airing on TBS, and the 9 a.m. showing Christmas Day on TNT.
The 18-49 rating across both networks in December 2020 was down 4% from 2019.
Peter Billingsley plays Ralphie, a boy who desperately wants a BB gun for Christmas. Melinda Dillon plays his mother and Darren McGavin his father. Jean Shepherd, who wrote the book the movie was adapted from, narrates.
Bob Clark directed A Christmas Story.
On November 18, TBS began its Winter Break programming event. Amy Sedaris voices Carla, the Abominable Snowmonster, host of Winter Break. Carla provides a bit of holiday commentary and cheer–and gets viewers psyched to watch A Christmas Story. ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.