'It's a Wonderful Life': Will the Classic Christmas Movie Air on TV This Year

While Charlie Brown stirred up some drama with fans earlier this season after the Halloween specials were not airing as part of ABC's annual festive lineup this past October, it's a different case for NBC with its annual classic, It's a Wonderful Life. Fans of the 1946 Frank Capra classic don't need to worry as the beloved James Stewart and Donna Reed movie will be airing this Christmas at the same time and day as every year.

After NBC released its holiday lineup on Wednesday, including a long list of favorites like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life will air on Thursday, Dec. 24 at 8 p.m. ET. Starring Stewart, 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 too, especially after Thanksgiving weekend next week.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas will run the next day on Christmas, while the musical will air on both Dec. 9 and again on Dec. 21. A few days after the special holiday on Dec. 27 the Minions are back at it with their holiday film. As for the parades, NBC will also be hosting The 94th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, along with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and NBC's New Years Eve Special.

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.

This year was the first year that the Charlie Brown films did not air on cable television, nor go over well with longtime fans patiently waiting for their favorite tradition. However, that changed yesterday when PBS announced its partnership with Apple TV+ to run its Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday specials on its national network.

The Peanuts specials will now not only stream free on Apple TV+ but will also be airing on PBS and PBS Kids on Nov. 22 and Dec. 13, respectively, for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Apple TV+ secured a lucrative deal with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to become the new home for Snoopy, Charlie Brown and their friends. This started with a new original series called Snoopy in Space, released last year, but how now extended to previous content. Another new series, The Snoopy Show, is expected next year. This was a major acquisition for Apple TV+ as it tries to compete with other streaming services that have stronger associations with recognizable intellectual properties.


So far, the company has competed with other platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Disney+ with their price of $4.99 per month. Now that they've gained Snoopy and Charlie Brown classics, they have put up some real competition for the other outlets to compete with.