[12/04/06 - 11:04 AM]
TBS Unwraps 10th Annual 24 Hours of a Christmas Story Marathon
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[via press release from TBS]

TBS Unwraps 10th Annual 24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY Marathon

24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY Begins Sunday, Dec. 24, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)

What started as a moderately budgeted bit of nostalgia based on the writings of a radio humorist has since become a nostalgic, heart-warming holiday tradition and one of the most innovative television marathons ever conceived. And it�s all coming back again as TBS presents the 10th Annual edition of 24 Hours of CHRISTMAS STORY, beginning Christmas Eve at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin star in the popular film, directed by Bob Clark and written and narrated by Jean Shepherd, who also appears briefly in the movie as an irate man in line for Santa.

�For 10 years, 24 Hours of oursHoursA CHRISTMAS STORY has been a holiday staple for television sets around the country,� said Ken Schwab, senior vice president of programming for TBS and TNT. �We are delighted that this unique marathon has warmed the hearts of viewers everywhere and become such a holiday tradition for so many families. It�s a tradition we hope to keep around for many years to come.�

TBS first aired the movie A CHRISTMAS STORY Dec. 1, 1992. The 24-hour marathon then made its debut in 1997 on TBS�s sister network TNT and remained there until it moved to TBS in 2004. The marathon is one of the most popular holiday programming stunts on cable, regularly topping all other ad-supported cable networks during the 24 hours in delivery of adults 18-49 and 25-54, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. Last year�s edition of 24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY was watched by more than 45.4 million viewers.

A CHRISTMAS STORY follows the mischievous adventures of a young boy who longs for a special Christmas gift�a Red Ryder BB gun. Billingsley stars as young Ralphie, who is determined to convince the world that he is responsible enough to handle such a gift, despite his mother�s insistence that he could shoot his eye out. Dillon and McGavin are pitch-perfect as Ralphie�s parents, and Ian Petrella provides some of the movie�s funniest moments as Ralphie�s little brother Randy.

A CHRISTMAS STORY was shot on location in Cleveland, although some scenes were shot in Canada. The residents of Cleveland were apparently so entranced with the movie, many local auto club members donated the use of their antique cars to help portray the movie�s 1940s setting. As a tribute to the city, the producers decided to name the street the movie family lived on Cleveland St.

A CHRISTMAS STORY opened in theaters just before Thanksgiving in 1983, but by the time Christmas rolled around, many theater owners had stopped showing it, feeling it had �played out.� Complaints were lodged, and the movie returned to select theaters and continued playing there into January 1984. Over the next two decades, television airings on TBS and TNT began boosting A CHRISTMAS STORY�s appeal even further, cementing its place in movie history. It has since gone on to be named in an E! Entertainment Network poll as the #1 holiday movie of all time. And memorabilia connected the movie is a huge seller, including replicas of the famed �major award� leg lamp, which can be found through various sellers online.

In addition to 24 Hours of A CHRISTMAS STORY on TBS, the popular movie can be seen on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Friday, Dec. 15, at 8 p.m. (ET) and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. (ET).

TBS, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is television�s �very funny� network. It serves as home to such hot contemporary comedies as Sex and the City, Everybody Loves Raymond, Family Guy, Seinfeld and Friends; original comedy series like My Boys and 10 Items or Less; specials and special events, like The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas, for which TBS serves as title sponsor; blockbuster movies; and hosted movie showcases.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and a leading provider of programming for the television industry.

  [december 2006]  

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