The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (see above) will be lit on Wednesday, December 2 and televised nationally on NBC from 8 - 9 p.m. EST. The rink is closed ALL DAY for the event and will reopen on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. On tap for this year's show are co-hosts Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock") and Zachary Levi ("Chuck"), as well as singers Michael Buble, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys (my personal favorite), Shakira, Barry Manilow, The Roots and performers The Radio City Rockettes. Prior to the network special, WNBC, NBC's New York flagship station, and some other NBC stations will broadcast an additional live hour of the special (7-8 p.m. ET).
This is the 77th year of the tree-lighting -- the tradition dates back to the Great Depression when a much smaller tree was first erected in 1933 in front of the now GE Building. The celebration grew bigger with the opening of the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink which opened in 1936. Again with this year's show, I don't see any skaters scheduled to perform (sigh...). I think this event has evolved (or devolved) into a platform for artists to promote an upcoming album or tour or something. Won't Dorothy Hamill please volunteer to skate on the ice for 2 minutes to close out the show?