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NBC Starts Live Action Version of Rankin-Bass Holiday Special

NBC viewers will get a new, live-action version of the Yuletide classic THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS, a heartwarming story about Santa Claus and a young boy who help each other believe in Christmas again, produced originally in stop-motion animation by Rankin-Bass. Shooting starts in July 10 in Louisiana with Emmy nominee John Goodman (ROSEANNE, NBC'S THE WEST WING), Chris Kattan (NBC's SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, UNDERCOVER BROTHER), Ethan Suplee (NBC's MY NAME IS EARL, COLD MOUNTAIN), Eddie Griffin (DEUCE BIGALOW: EUROPEAN GIGOLO, SCARY MOVIE 3) and Emmy Award-winner Carol Kane (TAXI, BROADWAY'S WICKED) star in the family Christmas comedy, which is based on the animated 1974 holiday perennial.

When Santa's devious head elf, Sparky (Kattan), tells him that he must keep up with the times no matter how materialistic Santa Claus (Goodman) resists, fearing that the holiday has become far too commercial. Convinced that no one believes in him and that people have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas, Santa decides to take the year off and not deliver any gifts, much to the dismay of his two closest elves, Jingle (Suplee) and Jangle (Griffin). The two elves decide to prove to Santa that there are children left who still care about the true spirit of Christmas.

While Sparky schemes to take over Santa's job, Jingle and Jangle travel to South Town, USA to find a young boy trying to recapture the holiday magic by reviving a Yuletide festival. But their efforts are complicated by Heatmiser and Snowmiser, the two feuding sons of Mother Nature (Kane).

Mark Wolper (SALEM'S LOT, HELTER SKELTER) is exec producer and Ron Underwood (CITY SLICKERS, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG) directs the two-hour movie from the Wolper Co. in association with Warner Bros. Television. THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS will be filmed in Shreveport and Natchitoches, Louisiana.