Thanks to the ever-present coronavirus pandemic, graduation ceremonies have been canceled for most high school seniors around the country. Yes, there are exceptions, places where they’re going ahead with these large gatherings for some reason, but most newly minted adults are missing out on these festivities. And that’s where “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” comes in.
The event, which is being put on by the LeBron James Family Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the XQ Institute, will be a virtual graduation ceremony of sorts that features a huge lineup of celebrity appearances, like President Barack Obama, Zendaya, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, the Jonas Brothers, Olivia Wilde, Ben Platt, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, and so on and so forth. And, of course, LeBron will be there as well.
“Graduate Together” will air live on Saturday, May 16, on ABC, NBC, Univision, CBS, Fox, Freeform, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
On the broadcast networks, the ceremony will air in primetime in your local time zone: 8 p.m. on the East and West coasts, and at 7 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones. And on cable, and via streaming, the show will start at the same time everywhere, at 8 p.m. PT/5 p.m. PT.
In addition to the “Graduate Together” ceremony, CNN will add an extra hour of its own graduation programming before the main show begins. Beginning at 7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT, CNN will have its own graduation special with appearances from Keegan-Michael Key, Henry Winkler, Alex Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson, President Bill Clinton, Amy Schumer, Jason Alexander, Gal Gadot and Jack Gilinsky. You’ll also get musical performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Bazzi and Foster the People.
So in addition to the linear TV channels listed above, “Graduate Together” will be streaming for free on most social platforms. You’ve got YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok. All the normal streaming options for the channels mentioned above will of course have it, and it’s not likely that any of them will require any kind of TV provider login for the duration. CNN, for example, will make its stream available free on the CNN.com homepage, and you’ll be able to watch “Graduate Together” on demand via the various CNN apps for mobile devices and televisions. That also applies to the extra hour that CNN is producing.
Whether the stream will be freely available varies from network to network, but even so there are numerous options here that are freely available to anyone with access to an internet connection, regardless of where you are.