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1964: 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' Premieres on NBC
December 6, 2017  | By TV WW
 
On this day in 1964, one of television's most popular Christmas specials, Rankin/Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, made its debut.

First aired on NBC, the special was based on the classic tale by Montgomery Ward copywriter Robert L. May and the same-name spinoff song by May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks.

Narrated by Burl Ives, the stop motion animated special introduces several new, colorful characters to the original red-nosed reindeer story, including Yukon Cornelius, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Hermey the elf and an entire island of "misfit" toys.

The special aired on NBC through 1971, then moved to CBS, where it still airs annually.
 
 
 
 
 
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