If the weather doesn’t hold up for you, Memorial Day weekend won’t be spent grilling on the beach. But here’s the good news: There are plenty of TV marathons and specials to be found — plus, you’re being patriotic, in a way, by being an all-American couch potato. In addition to our What to Watch column (posting Sunday, and going weekly for the summer), here are some programs to keep on your radar.
FRIDAY, MAY 25
3 pm – 11 pm Law & Order: SVU (USA Network) | If there’s one thing you can always count on, it’s for SVU to be marathoning somewhere.
5 pm – 3 am Saturday | America’s Most Wanted (Lifetime) | Don’t get this mixed up with the slew of procedurals on this weekend.
10 pm Under African Skies (A&E) | For the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland, this documentary chronicles the controversy of the album and his 2011 concert in Africa.
10 pm Mystery Diners (Food Network) | This new show might make you second-guess that dinner reservation.
10 pm Insane or Inspired? (Syfy) | Series premiere: A weekly countdown of the craziest and most exciting viral videos.
SATURDAY, MAY 26
6 am – 6 am Sunday | The Tudors (BBC America) | Twelve hours of swoon-worthy English accents.
6 am – 6 am Sunday | Britney Spears Takeover (Fuse) | Twenty-four hours of non-stop Britney.
9 am – 11 pm NCIS (USA Network) | Kick it old school with Gibbs and the gang.
9 am – 5 am Sunday | Creature Features (Syfy) | Leading up to tonight’s premiere of Supershark at 9 pm, you’ll meet Dinoshark, Mega Shark, Crocosaurus, Dinocroc, Supergator and Sharktopus, in their respective TV-movies. That’s a lot of cross-breeding.
10 am – 10 pm The Mary Tyler Moore Show (Hallmark) | Have you heard what she can do with her smile?
10 am – 9 pm America’s Next Top Model (Oxygen) | Lots and lots of Tyra mail!
12 pm – 4 am Sunday | Tainted Love Weekend Marathon (Lifetime) | The 12-hour marathon includes Murder in Greenwich — starring SVU‘s Christopher Meloni and Lost‘s Maggie Grace — and many more “based-on-a-true-story” movies.
6 pm – 3 am Sunday | Psych (ION) | Get Psych‘d, you Psych-os!
8 pm How to Be a Gentleman (CBS) | Burn-off time!
9 pm The Firm (NBC) | In this double episode, Mitch represents a prostitute with a dangerous secret, and Abby’s trip home leads to a unprofessional relationship with her doctor (Ghost Whisperer‘s David Conrad).
SUNDAY, MAY 27
6 am – 6 am Monday | Beyonce Takeover (Fuse) | I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.
9 am – 3:30 am Monday Theatrical Movie Bonanza (Syfy) | There’s a little something for everyone, including both Grindhouse films, Firefly‘s Serenity, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and more!
10 am – 3 am Monday | Tainted Love Weekend Movie Marathon (Lifetime) | Leading up to the premiere of Shadow of Fear at 9 pm, expect to see Supernatural‘s Misha Collins, That ’70s Show‘s Laura Prepon and John Stamos in new lights.
12 pm – 4 am Monday | Criminal Minds (A&E) | AKA the evolution of Reid’s hair.
12 pm Indianapolis 500: The 96th Running (ABC) | Vroom-vroom!
8 pm The National Memorial Day Concert (PBS) | Hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna with performances by Idol runner–up Jessica Sanchez, DAUGHTRY and more.
9 pm Shadow of Fear (Lifetime) | In this TV-movie premiere, Will Estes (Blue Bloods) stalks Amanda Righetti (The Mentalist) — but there’s always a twist.
MONDAY, MAY 28
6 am – 6 am Tuesday | Nicki Minaj Takeover (Fuse) | Featuring zero appearances by Sophia Grace and Rosie.
6 am – 9 pm NCIS (USA Network) | Just in case you didn’t get enough on Saturday.
6 am – 9 pm Cake Boss (TLC) | A 15-hour sugar high leading up to the Season 5 premiere at 9 pm.
8 am – 8 pm Top Gear (BBC America) | Twelve hours of race cars before a new episode pulls in at 8:30 pm.
8 am – 3 am Tuesday | Tainted Love Weekend Marathon (Lifetime) | The final day of this marathon includes Dean Cain as Scott Peterson and Marcia Gay Harden and Mena Suvari in a stripper’s story.
8:30 am – 3 am Tuesday | Movie Marathon (Syfy) | This random mish-mash includes Elektra, Stealth and Daniel Craig’s 007 films.
9 am – 11 pm South Park (Comedy Central) | Your childhood dreams just came true.
10 am – 7 pm Nathan & Haley, Always & Forever: One Tree Hill Marathon (SOAPnet) | This nine-hour run of early “Naley”-themed episodes will make you nostalgic and teary.
12 pm – 8 pm Law & Order (TNT) | It isn’t a holiday weekend until you’ve watched at least eight hours of Law & Order.
12 pm – 8 pm Sex and the City (Style Network) | Ditto to Law & Order blurb above.
1 pm – 3 am Tuesday | Criminal Minds (ION) | The first half of Season 6 marathoning in chronological order. Hooray!
10 pm Independent Lens: Hell and Back Again (PBS) | This Academy Award-nominated documentary follows adjusting veterans as they return from deployment.
Which of the above is must-see for you? Also, hit Comments to offer your own tune-in suggestions.