DAVID BIANCULLI

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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
November 30, 2019  | By David Bianculli

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

 
When the original copyright was allowed to lapse on this 1946 holiday movie, it was all over the place during the Christmas season – and I do mean all over, because even local broadcast stations and low-rent cable channels could run It’s a Wonderful Life for free. No rights fees. Every ad they crammed into the telecast, and there were plenty, amounted to 100 percent pure profit. What could be more perfect for the commercialization of the season than that? But when NBC and Universal wrapped up exclusive rights a few years ago, the Frank Capra movie, starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, is available only twice yearly, on NBC: once on Christmas Eve, and once tonight. And every time a bell rings, the peacock makes a little more money…
 
 
 
 
 
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