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Carol Wendelson (Andrea Martin) has only one rule for guaranteeing a merry Christmas: No bah-humbugging allowed. Which is ironic, given how she ends up meeting the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future after hitting her head while decorating the newsroom against the wishes of her daughter, Katie (Briga Heelan), as seen in the exclusive clip below from NBC’s Great News‘ upcoming Christmas episode.
“The idea was ‘Is there a reverse Christmas Carol story we could tell, where it’s the opposite of the lesson Scrooge learns?'” EP Tracey Wigfield explains. “Like, you have too much Christmas spirit. You need less of it.”
At least, that’s how it was when it came to Wigfield’s family. They’ve endured years of Wigfield’s mother — the real-life basis for Martin’s Carol — taking Christmas too far, which served as the inspiration for the episode’s main story. “The holidays are incredibly important to my mother,” she says. “It’s all coming from a good place. My mother wants to make perfect moments for her family, but the house is like so decorated, and she throws out her back every year trying to put lights on the banister.”
But while Carol may not be the most Scrooge-like of the MMN employees, the episode (airing Thursday night, before another all-new episode of Great News) skews closely to the Charles Dickens classic. The crew, Wigfield points out, studied previous adaptations of the holiday staple to give the half-hour the right feel. “They did a great job of watching a bunch of different Christmas Carols, like the old one from the ’50s and then the Disney one and the Muppets one,” she says. “[Director Maggie Carey] tried as much as she could to ape certain shots and certain tropes from it.”
May Carol bless us, every one.
Watch the exclusive clip above. Great News airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.