'Christmas Story' marathon marks 15 years

Dec. 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. cable network TBS says it will once again air the 1983 holiday classic "A Christmas Story" for 24 hours, starting Christmas Eve.

The 24-hour "Christmas Story" marathon first aired in 1997 on TNT. The marathon moved to TNT's sister station TBS in 2004.

The first screening of this year's marathon is to start at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

"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," a synopsis said. "Peter 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. Melinda Dillon and Darren 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."

The marathon averaged 3 million viewers per showing in 2010, up 2 percent compared to the prior year, with a total accumulated audience of more than 50 million viewers during the 24 hours, TBS said.

The network recently ordered a sitcom pilot entitled "Sullivan and Son" from Billingsley and his producing partner, Vince Vaughn.

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