How to watch ‘Graduate Together’ and Obama’s high school commencement address live on TV or online

How to watch ‘Graduate Together’ and Obama’s high school commencement address live on TV or online
[Photo: Charles DeLoye/Unsplash]

The coronavirus pandemic has robbed millions of high school seniors of a live, in-person graduation ceremony. While nothing can replace that once-in-a-lifetime experience, a coalition of educational institutions, media networks, and celebrities will try to soften the blow tonight with Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020.


The one-hour mega-celebration will include a mix of tributes, speeches, musical performances, and “inspirational vignettes” from a who’s who of A-list stars. Former President Barack Obama is headlining the extravaganza with a special message to the graduating class of 2020. Here’s what you need to know:

When is it on?

Graduate Together airs tonight (Saturday, May 16) at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m CT.

Who is in it?

The better question is who is not in it.

In addition to Obama, the list of announced participants includes LeBron James, Kane Brown, Bad Bunny, Timothée Chalamet, Chika, Lana Condor, YBN Cordae, Charli D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, David Dobrik, Dolan Twins, Loren Gray, Kevin Hart, H.E.R., Chris Harrison, the Jonas Brothers featuring KAROL G, Alicia Keys, Liza Koshy, Julianne Moore, Maren Morris, Rodney Robinson (national teacher of the year), Kumail Nanjiani, Shaquille O’Neal, Brandan Bmike Odums, Ben Platt, Henry Platt, Jonah Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Olivia Wilde, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, and Zendaya.

Where can I watch it on TV?

Just turn on your TV, and it will probably be on.

According to the press notes, “more than 30 broadcast and cable networks and online streaming channels” in the United States will air the special. Those include broadcasters ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, in addition to cable networks CNN, MSNBC, The CW, and Fox News. Univision will air a Spanish-language simulcast.

Where can I stream it online?

Almost everywhere! (Note: The special will stream at 8 p.m. ET and again three hours later for people on the West Coast. A partial list of streaming participants includes ABC News Live, Bleacher Report, Complex Networks, Facebook, Hulu, NBC News Now, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube (video embedded below).

What if I’m outside the United States?

Event organizers say, “Associated Press and Reuters will carry the show to global media organizations.” Additionally, U.S. military bases will have access via the USO.

What happens after it’s over?

Go to the virtual after-party! TikTok is hosting one at 9 p.m. ET. It will include a number of DJs including Dillon Francis.