TBS’ 24 Hours of A Christmas Story 2013 celebrates film’s 30th anniversary

Turner Networks will be airing the 17th annual edition of its popular holiday programming event, “24 Hours of A Christmas Story,” on Christmas Eve 2013 — Dec. 24 beginning at 8pm ET/PT on TBS.

Although A Christmas Story is such a holiday classic that it seems like it has always been with us, the film actually is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It opened in theaters just before Thanksgiving 1983.


Based on the short stories of famed humorist Jean Shepherd, A Christmas Story follows the mischievous adventures of a young boy who longs for a special Christmas gift – a Red Ryder BB gun. Peter Billingsley stars as young Ralphie, who is determined to convince the world that he is responsible enough to handle such a gift, despite everyone telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin play Ralphie’s parents, and Ian Petrella costars as Ralphie’s little brother, Randy.

Along with the film itself celebrating 30 years this season, the 24 hour marathon event also has a long history with Turner Networks. A release says that the “24 Hours of A Christmas Story” marathon first aired in 1997 on TNT. It moved to TBS in 2004, making this the 10th year the marathon has now aired on that network. TBS first aired A Christmas Story in a non-marathon setting on Dec. 1, 1992. Over the past 22 years, Turner says that TBS and its sister networks TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) have aired the movie over 275 times.

The fact that “24 Hours of A Christmas Story” has continued for so long makes it logical to assume that it is popular. That would be a correct assumption. Turner says that last year’s marathon averaged 3 million viewers, with a total accumulated audience of 48.8 million viewers over the 24 hours. The 2012 marathon peaked with the 10am Christmas Day telecast, which averaged 4.5 million viewers.

“24 Hours of A Christmas Story” begins Dec. 24 at 8pm ET/PT on TBS.