The original CBS broadcast presentation of this production featured more narration than the later television broadcasts of it. In the original 1977 version, as the mice appear in their tuxedos, the narrator explains that, in Clara's imagination, they represent the adults at the Christmas party, and in Act II, just before the series of dances at the Kingdom of Sweets, the narrator mentions that Clara "must touch each couple to bring them to life". In the PBS version, all mention of the mice representing the adults was removed, but the narrator still commented that Clara had to bring the couples to life. On the current DVD, and on all PBS telecasts now, all narration stops after the opening scene. The narration was removed without having to cut any of the music or the dancing; both have always remained intact in all of the versions of this "Nutcracker".
Although the original telecast was broadcast in mono only (the year being 1977), the current DVD has been issued in two versions of stereo sound - a 2.0 mix and an optional 5.1 surround mix. The Blu-Ray version has been issued in a Dolby AC-3 Surround mix. All current telecasts of the Baryshnikov "Nutcracker" are now presented with stereo sound.
The opening narration itself, the only section of the narration included on the 2004 DVD and all current telecasts, has been somewhat altered as well. On the original CBS telecasts, and on the first few PBS telecasts, all the dolls that Drosselmeyer conjures up were identified by the narrator, including the Harlequin, the Ballerina Doll, and the Moor. (This was before the actual Christmas Party scene.) On the remastered DVD, and on current telecasts, the Harlequin, the Moor, and the Ballerina Doll are not actually identified by the narrator; the camera simply pans over them as the music plays.