Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

A blog dedicated to the making of the first animated Christmas special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol back on NBC!

Classic Media informs me that NBC, the original broadcaster for Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, will be showing the special during prime time on Dec. 22 at 8 PM in honor of its 50th anniversary.  Much has changed on television since 1962 and one thing is length.  A broadcast hour then was 52 minutes with the balance being taken up by commercials.  A broadcast hour today is 44 minutes so expect to see some cuts made in the story, perhaps the absence of a song as well.  However, it's nice to see a national broadcaster revive the special after so many years of its absence from the air.  Thank you Classic Media and NBC!

21 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Not sure I can enjoy it on NBC given the editing that will be involved. The way TV has betrayed me for a decade now, I feel content with the special being on DVD alone to be happy enough.

Darrell said...

As I mentioned on Facebook, I think the best thing about it appearing on NBC is that it will have a wider audience, exposing it to a new generation of viewers. It's also nice to see NBC take some note of their own heritage and re-broadcast it for the 50th anniversary. Of course, the best place to view it is on the newly remastered DVD.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

I suppose, it is nice someone managed to remember it at all over there regardless of how some of us view the network these days.

Anthony D. said...

This will no doubt be one of the greatest events in television history! I kinda hoped this would happen (though I thought it would air on CBS) and I'm confident the wonderful remastered transfer will be used. Now, as for the runtime; I think that this being a big event, NBC should air the program uncut with limited commercial interuptions ( in other words, the full 52 minute special plus 7 1/2-8 minutes of commercials).

Joe R. Frinzi said...

I have to say I think it's terrible that they're cutting content to shoehorn it into an hour slot. Since this is the 50th anniversary, they should put it into a 90 minute slot and use the extra time to bookend the piece with commentary (say, by you Darrell!) to place the showing into context. NBC is missing a great opportunity to honor MMCC properly.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

That would seem reasonable Joe.

Mario500 said...

I'm afraid of the possibilities of the program being edited for broadcast and NBC broadcasting the program with TV content ratings and advertisements for other programs.

Tim Lones said...

I put a link on My Cleveland Classic Media Facebook Page to this blog post about 2 hours ago..11 likes and 2 comments already..I do'nt like how NBC is likely to edit the show. However,It's important that it's being shown now. Perhaps if NBC gets good ratings this year, they'll do more with it in future years..We can only hope..

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Assuming the network and sponsors could see eye-to-eye in working within the limited running time for breaks (I mean we're talking about commercial breaks that were roughly a minute long back then, though they could sell 4 fifteen second spots that way).

James Fox said...

The special i fear will be ruined by
- annoying on screen ads
- potential "Green is Universal" peacock (a reminder that NBCU's former owner (GE) killed a huge flock of endangered golden eagles via their wind mills)
- Commercial Breaks as long as ABC Family's
- Any obvious 'cut for time' edit like splices ala ABC Family's airing of "The Hoober-Bloob Highway"

While it's nice for them to bring it back for it's 50th anniversary (hard to believe that the special is THAT old), the NBC we know and love is sadly gone

It would be best to stick to our Blu-ray/DVD copies

Vince W. said...

It's great to be back, back, back...!

Anonymous said...

I saw this when it was first run and could never understand why the network stopped showing it. As for editing, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they cut the opening sequence of Magoo singing "Broadway" and his entering the theater. It'll probably start with the curtain rising.

randy said...

The last time I saw it in syndication they cut the opening and closing sequences, removing the Broadway context entirely. It ruined it for me as they were a very funny part of the show.

Steve said...

I wonder whether it will be shown full-screen with black borders at the edges or widescreen 16x9 with the top and bottom cropped? Maybe it will work okay in a cropped format. It's possible that UPA designed the film to be "safe" for 1:1.85 widescreen, in case it was ever shown theatrically. Of course, it did appear in theaters in 1970, double billed with "Mr. Magoo's Little Snow White", from "The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo" TV series.

Darrell said...

I've seen it cropped for widescreen and I can tell you it wasn't designed for it. The original digital master was transferred in a widescreen format and had to be redone for the Blu-ray release.

Tom Quigley said...

After watching tonight's broadcast, just left this comment on the NBC.com website:

Shame on NBC for doing what you did to Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol which just ended tonight! After touting the broadcast on your website and on your network to mark the 50th anniversary of it first being broadcast (ALSO on NBC by the way), the way you butchered the show to fit in extra commercial time was an absolute travesty!

As a Baby Boomer who remembers when it was first broadcast in 1962, I was hoping that NBC would treat the show with the respect it deserves in regard to its longevity and popularity over the years, and I thought that this was going to be a really nice gesture on the part of NBC, in remembrance of a moment in television history -- the first full-length animated holiday special ever shown on network TV. Instead, what I saw was a presentation that completely eliminated the context of the show, severely shortened several songs, and cut for commercials in the wrong and inappropriate places.

Get your act together! The young people who watched it who may have never seen it before probably couldn't understand the reason for the show's popularity all these years, since it was so badly chopped up and shortened. The adults who were watching who remember it as children were left wtih an empty feeling of "This isn't the show I expected and wanted to see." In both cases you did your viewers a huge disservice.

I was planning on watching "It's A Wonderful Life" on Monday evening, but I'll skip that -- not because you're going to edit it (I know you won't since you've aired it before unedited) but because I won't patronize your network further when it comes to any more holiday specials.

Tom Quigley

Rochester, NY

dpjohnson said...

I e-mailed NBC and told them esentially what Tom said. I told them they should run it in a 90-minute slot uncut, and fill the remaining time with a couple of theatrical or TV-made Magoo shorts, or some behind-the-scenes commentary. What they did tonight was no way to treat the 50th Anniversary telecast of a classic.

dpjohnson said...

I e-mailed NBC and told them essentially what Tom Quigley did--that editing it like this was no way to treat a 50th Anniversary telecast and that in the future they should run it complete and uncut in a 90-minute slot and pair it up with a couple of theatrical or TV-made Magoo shorts, or some behind-the-scenes commentary.

Tad Thespian said...

It was totally butchered!! Not a bit about the fact that it was a theatrical "play" OMG I was severely disappointed!! If it was just any other year then OK...but this was the 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!
And to cut the end song like that.
And remember Scrooge's door knocker "winking" at you at the end? CUT OUT...I am sick and won't be watching NBC specials anymore...SHAME ON YOU NBC !!

Anonymous said...

I caught the airing by accident that night (had seen no advertising at all unike CBS and ABC who alerts you to EVERYTHING that's coming your way...) I sat through it with morbid curiosity to see what was edited. It was nearly unwatchable with all of the cuts. They took all of the charm out of the thing so it was dry and boring. If it had bad ratings they'll blame Magoo's lack of popularity but will fail to recognize that their slaughtering of the material may have played a role.

Darrell said...

That pretty much sums it up. After five years of being the primary cheerleader for the show, this "fiftieth anniversary celebration" was a pretty bitter pill to swallow.