You might recall the days of being able to watch It’s a Wonderful Life on TV a LOT. The 1946 Frank Capra classic was in the public domain at that time, about 20 or 30 years ago, and it seemed to air nearly nonstop in syndication between Thanksgiving and Christmas (including some awful versions that were colorized, which was a hot and terrible trend for a while in the ’80s).
For the past several years, rights to It’s a Wonderful Life have belonged to NBC, so airings of the film have become more of a special viewing occasion, with the network usually airing it twice during the Christmas season. And they are doing so again in 2016, with a few more showings also added to sister channels USA Network and Universal HD:
“IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” 2016 TV AIRINGS (All Times ET/PT)
NBC: Saturday, Dec. 3, at 8pm; Saturday, Dec. 24, at 8pm
USA Network: Saturday, Dec. 10, at 8pm; Sunday, Dec. 11, at 9am; Friday, Dec. 16 at 8pm
Universal HD: Friday, Dec. 30, at 8pm; Saturday, Dec. 31, at 12pm
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE — (FROM NBC) The NBC annual tradition continues as the iconic 1946 film once again returns to primetime. Directed by Frank Capra, “It’s a Wonderful Life” stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, a discouraged and despairing savings and loan manager who contemplates suicide before a guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers), intervenes and allows him to see what his small town of Bedford Falls would be without him — and all that is right in his world. The film, which earned Oscar nominations for best picture, director, actor and film editing, was produced and directed by Capra, and is based on the short story “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern. Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore also star.