'It's a Wonderful Life': How to Watch, What Time and What Channel

Merry Christmas Eve! With the holiday season officially here, it's time to kick back and watch the annual TV screening of It's a Wonderful Life on Tuesday night! The Christmas classic airs on NBC and USA Network at 8 p.m. ET Dec. 24. For cord-cutters, there are plenty of ways to watch as well.

Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore, It's a Wonderful Life is one of the undisputed classics of the holiday movie genre. It is a fitting start to the season, especially as many families are still together throughout Thanksgiving weekend.

For those away from their cable box, the show can still be watched live on NBC's website or through the NBC mobile app. This is available on many streaming devices as well, such as the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Roku. Search the app store for the network's free streaming option. The movie will air on the USA Network at the same time.

For those without a valid cable login, there are plenty of other options as well. Both NBC and USA can be watched live with Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV or FuboTV which offer real-time access to many major networks for much cheaper than a cable subscription. The USA Network is also included on Sling TV, another "skinny TV bundle."

For those that want to catch the movie on their own time, there are options for that as well. It's a Wonderful Life is included in Amazon Prime Video, so any Prime user can watch the movie at no extra charge through the streaming service. It is also streaming any time on Hulu Live, but not on the service's regular tiers.

For non-Prime subscribers, it can be rented from Amazon for $2.99. It is available for the same price on YouTube, Vudu, Google Play and iTunes, and it can be purchased digitally as well.

It is worth noting, however that die-hard collectors have more reasons than ever to buy a physical copy of It's a Wonderful Life. The movie is now available in 4K high-definition, on Blu-ray and on DVD. Many of these home media options gives fans a choice between the original black and white version or a restored, colorized version. There are several tiers to this process, and it can be interesting to look at the progression.


Whatever option you pick, there is no doubt holiday movie season is now in full effect. There are some big TV and movie marathons coming, and Netflix is now adding holiday content each week leading up to Christmas. This includes both old and new movies, both licensed and original.

This holiday season promises to be a big one, whatever you watch and wherever you watch it.