What to Watch: Your Guide to 25 Thanksgiving Marathons and Specials, and Much More

MISS PIGGY, LADY GAGA, KERMIT THE FROGThe turkey’s stuffed, the pumpkin’s pie’d and the family’s gathered — but don’t neglect your old friend, TV! It’s working OT this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, serving marathons of fave shows (Castle) and flicks (James Bond), holiday movies (My Santa) and classics (A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving), plus fresh episodes of Glee, Grimm and others. So unbutton your pants and pick up your remote — it’s relaxin’ time. (Sunday’s entrees, including the Walking Dead finale, a great Wife and The Mentalist 2.0 will be covered separately.)

THURSDAY, NOV. 28
Midnight – 2:40 am Amazing Animation Thanksgiving Marathon (Starz Kids & Family) | So your holiday is just getting started and your kids are already tugging at your clothes and asking “When’s dinner?” Plunk them down in front of, say, Brave at 11:15 am, pour yourself a big glass of Pinot Greej (or Manischewitz to commemorate Thanksgivukkah) and forget your troubles ’til turkey time!

7 am – 7 pm How I Met Your Mother (FXX) | The beloved sitcom ends this year, so revel in its best moments all day long.

8 am – 5 am Bond Movie Marathon (Syfy) | Indulge in some Bond, James Bond, while you take baste that Turkey, Tom Turkey. Starting with Dr. No and Thunderball, closing with Goldfinger; full schedule here.

9 am Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC) | Today‘s Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie host the 87th annual holiday tradition, featuring Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies), late-night host Jimmy Fallon, the Duck Dynasty cast, the Rockettes and (weather permitting) one giant Snoopy. (Encore at 2 pm.)

9:30 am – 1:30 am Modern Family Viewers’ Choice Marathon (USA Network) | Enjoy 16 hours of fan favorite episodes of ABC’s hit comedy

10 am – 5 pm Friends (TBS) | Away from your family this Thanksgiving? Fret not, you can spend it with Friends!

10 am – 11 pm Castle (TNT) | Rick and Kate are like you and pumpkin pie: perfect together.

Noon The National Dog Show (NBC) | John O’Hurley (Seinfeld) hosts this competition featuring more than 2,000 pooches representing more than 150 breeds. Can any dog beat the Wire Fox Terriers, which have won for the past two years?

7 pm – 1 am General Hospital Nurses Ball Marathon (SOAPnet) | Family dinner wasn’t dramatic enough for you? Get your dose of soap with this marathon of GH‘s biggest spectacle.

VIDEO | The X Factor‘s Restless Road Trumps Alex and Sierra (as Simon’s Credibility Crumbles) on a New Reality Check

8 pm A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (ABC) | Watch this holiday classic with fresh eyes, and wonder why Woodstock is so okay with cooking and eating a bird.

8:30 pm – 10 pm The Crazy Ones (CBS) | If you’re behind on Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s father-daughter shenanigans, here’s your chance to catch up!

PREVIEW | Glee Sneak Peek: Puppets in NYC! Jarley in the Hallway! And the Debut of Pamela Lansbury!
PHOTOS | Glee Sneak Peek: More Puppet Pics!
VIDEO | Glee Exclusive: Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Adam Lambert Get ‘Felt Up’ in Puppet Promo

9:30 pm Lady Gaga and the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular (ABC) | Lady Gaga joins Kermit and friends (wonder what he’ll think of her Cruella de Felt outfit) for a sure-to-be out-there Thanksgiving special, featuring a performance by Sir Elton John and an appearance by Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars).

FRIDAY, NOV. 29
Shrek the Halls
9 am – 8 pm Hitchcock Movie Marathon (AMC) | Yesterday, you ate a large bird. Today, it’s The Birds‘ turn to get revenge. But first: Vertigo, Rear Window and Psycho.

7 pm Jinxed (Nickelodeon) | Ciara Bravo (Big Time Rush) stars in this story of a daughter’s quest to break her family’s bad-luck jinx (they’re the Murphys, and they’re cursed with — you guessed it — “Murphy’s Law”).

7 pm – 1 am Beverly Hills, 90210 Marathon (SOAPnet) | Take a trip back to the ’90s with Brandon, Brenda & Co.

PREVIEW | Nikita‘s Devon Sawa on Sam’s Final Season Arc: Alex Is Turning Him Back Into ‘Nice Guy’ Owen

PREVIEW | Good Luck Charlie/Jessie Crossover Video: Luke Who’s Flirting With Teddy!

8 pm Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ABC) | Thanksgiving is over, which can only mean one thing: It’s Christmastime! Start your celebration with this classic animated tale.

8 pm hoops&yoyo Ruin Christmas (CBS) | The adorable Hallmark duo get caught in Santa’s sleigh and experience the space-time continuum that allows him to travel the world in one night.

8 pm Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (The CW) | Based on the goofy holiday song, this animated special follows young Jake Spankenheimer’s adventure to find his missing grandmother and prove that Santa Claus is real.

8 pm Bones (Fox) | Not a new episode, no — but who can turn down a second help of B&B’s wedding?

8:30 pm Shrek the Halls (ABC) | The ogres are back as Shrek tries to muster up some holiday cheer.

8:30 pm The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story (CBS) | One of Santa’s “scout elves” is assigned to help a little boy who doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas.

PREVIEW | Grimm Exclusive Sneak Peek: Pilar Returns With Supernatural Intel for Nick and Juliette

9 pm Garth Brooks, Live from Las Vegas (CBS) | The country icon’s final performance at the Wynn gives fans an up-close look at the singer.

9 pm My Santa (ION) | A single mother (Samaire Armstrong, The Mentalist) starts to lose faith in the magic of Christmas, but ends up dating Santa’s son and heir (Matthew Lawrence, Boy Meets World). Julie Brown (The Middle), Jim O’Heir (Parks & Recreation) and Channing Chase (Mad Men) co-star.

9 pm Raising Hope (Fox) | Back-to-back episodes: Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live) guest-stars as Howdy’s new “business innovator” owner; Sabrina decides to adopt Hope officially.

PREVIEW | Dracula‘s Jonathan Rhys Meyers on Renfield’s Torturous Disappearance, a Moment With Mina

10 pm Strike Back: Origins (Cinemax) | Series finale: Porter tries to gain the trust of his captor in Pakistan, while Collinson takes matter into his own hands as tension with an ally increases.

SATURDAY, NOV. 30
10 am – 8 pm Law & Order: SVU (USA Star Trek Wrath of KhanNetwork) | Even though you’ve already watched every episode twice on Netflix, relive your fave Benson & Stabler cases.

11 am – 4:30 am Star Trek Movie Marathon (Syfy) | Before the J.J. Abrams relaunch, there were these classic, sometimes-campy, always-enjoyable films — in this order: III, IV, VIII, VI, VII, II, VII.

8 pm Dear Secret Santa (Lifetime) | Tatyana Ali (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) stars as a woman who receives a Christmas card that reveals a shocking truth about her recently deceased friend (Lamorne Morris, New Girl). Ernie Hudson (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Della Reese (Touched by an Angel), Bill Cobbs (Go On) and Jordin Sparks (American Idol) also star.

8 pm Let It Snow (Hallmark Channel) | A father (Alan Thicke, Growing Pains) and daughter (Candace Cameron Bure, Full House) discover the true meaning of Christmas.

8 pm The Flight Before Christmas (CBS) | A young reindeer is joined by a clumsy squirrel and a sassy weasel on his quest to find his flying father and save Christmas. Norm MacDonald (Saturday Night Live) and Emma Roberts (American Horror Story: Coven) lend their voices to this holiday special.

9 pm The Story of Santa Claus (CBS) | Edward Asner (Up), Betty White (Hot in Cleveland) and Tim Curry (The Wild Thornberrys) voice this magical story of Santa’s early days.

GET MORE: Finales, Lists, Premieres, Previews, TVLine-Ups, What to Watch

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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16 Comments
  1. newinkpop says:

    The only thing I’m focused on this weekend is moving into my new apartment this Sunday. No time to focus on holiday TV

  2. Viv says:

    I want to send a fruitcake to whichever casting agent thought to cast Alan Thicke as Candace Cameron’s dad.

  3. liz says:

    Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, and Voyage Home should *always* be played back-to-back. Its just wrong to mix them up.

  4. Chablis says:

    Friends even though I know every ep by heart :-)

  5. Ashbash says:

    Samaire Armstrong and Matthew Lawrence…hmm I am intrigued. Might just have to watch it :)

  6. Maryann says:

    The Returned (Sundance, Thursday, 9 PM)
    Grimm
    Dracula

  7. You can’t watch Star Trek out of order, heh.

    • L says:

      At least they are skipping V, which should be erased from existence.

      • V had the potential to be great. They screwed it up.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        Did they skip it, or did they just accidentally typo and meant for one of the VIIs to be V? I noticed we have two VIIs in there. But yeah, V is pretty bad. Even as a Rifftrack, it’s intolerable. Star Trek VI, however, I think might be my favorite Rifftrack in existence. Or it’s at least tied with the first Transformers. Mike Nelson and co. have got some funny things to say about those two movies. Spooooooocccckkkk!!

  8. Amyy says:

    Why is the muppet special on so late? I have a 5 year old that has been looking forward to it for a month…now I have to tell her she has to wait until tomorrow when she thought she was going to see it “on thanksgiving”

  9. bobbie says:

    I just love Rear Window and Alfred Hitchcock.

  10. Britta Unfiltered says:

    You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

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