NBC takes the UK TV page with standalone holiday specials for ‘Young Rock’, ‘Kenan’ and ‘Mr. Mayor’ – Deadline
Amid declining linear ratings, vacation programming has been an area in which viewers have continued to flock to ad-supported networks, contributing a significant portion of those networks’ annual ad revenue. As a result, the holiday price has skyrocketed to a month – or more – on basic cable networks like Hallmark, Freeform, and Lifetime.
Broadcast networks have dipped their toes into the arena. NBC, which has arguably the most perennial vacation staples with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Dog Show andChristmas at Rockefeller Center, introduced the holiday musical with the 2013 production of The Sound of Music. Now the network is adding a new item to its holiday list and is said to be very familiar to UK viewers.
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NBC today announced it will air special holiday episodes of its comeback comedies Kenan, young rock and Mr. Mayor this coming holiday season. Normally, that wouldn’t be news – aired comedies traditionally do themed episodes around holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day when they come into their running. What’s unusual about this case is that NBC doesn’t have any comedies scheduled this fall, and the three renewed freshmen will return for their second season mid-season (January or later). .
Their holiday specials will be standalone episodes unrelated to Season 1 or Season 2. It’s a stunt that has been a staple of UK television for decades. The difference is that in the United States, the holiday programming takes place in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Meanwhile, the Christmas specials, the mainstay of UK television, are broadcast mainly on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In addition to soaps, which are often the most watched shows of the year, shows such as Doctor Who, Miranda, which was recently adapted as Call me Kat for Fox, Downton Abbey, call the midwife, and Mrs. Browns Boys were watched by tens of millions of people on Christmas Day and the surrounding holidays. For example, the 2019 Christmas Day special from Gavin and Stacey, which was co-created by James Corden, has been watched by over 18 million people.
NBC’s Holiday 2021 programming plans also include Annie Live! and two new animated specials, Holiday Trolls in harmony and Jimmy Fallon’s Five More Sleeps Til Christmas.