The Ultimate Thanksgiving Weekend TV Guide: Must-See Marathons, Specials, and Parades
From a Grumpy Cat movie to some spectacular thing called ‘When Turkeys Attack,’ here’s your handy guide to the best of the weekend’s many (many) TV offerings.
Because your TV binging should be about as gluttonous as your eating Thanksgiving weekend, we perused the exhaustive buffet of marathons, specials, and TV events planned for these highlights worth sampling.
Wednesday, Nov. 26
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving — 8 pm, ABC While it’s not near the must-watch status of A Charlie Brown Christmas that should be part of each and every one of our Christmas traditions, really, every holiday could stand to be kicked off with some a heartwarming Peanuts special. Pre-game Thursday’s elaborate feast with this 1973 classic, about how not even a buffet of toast and popcorn can ruin the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles — 8 pm, The CW This John Hughes classic starring John Candy and Steve Martin is the best—and perhaps only—of Hollywood’s Thanksgiving-themed comedy films.
SNL Thanksgiving—9 pm, NBC Prep for Thursday’s engorgement by loosening up your stomach with some hearty belly laughs courtesy of this two-hour compilation of the best Thanksgiving-themed Saturday Night Live sketches.
When Turkeys Attack — 10 pm, Destination America Its description says it features “home video footage plucked from real families terrorized by turkeys.” What!? I don’t even know what Destination America is, but it’s my new favorite channel.
Thursday, Nov. 27
The 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—9 am, NBC Duh.
Portlandia marathon—9 am-2:30 pm, IFC Because what better time than Turkey Day to put on a bird on it?
Thanksgiving with Friends marathon—10 am—TBS A marathon of every Thanksgiving episode of Friends. Actually, this is better than Thanksgiving dinner itself.
Modern Family marathon—10 am-12 am, USA For a marathon of TV viewing to mirror the wacky interplay between your family on Thanksgiving Day.
Jurassic Park movie marathon—10 am-2 am, AMC For a marathon of TV viewing to mirror the wacky interplay between your family on Thanksgiving Day.
13th Annual National Dog Show—12 pm, NBC It’s that thing everyone accidentally ends up watching each year because no one bothers to change the channel when the parade is over. But also: cute dogs!
Football—all day, every channel If you must.
Best Bars in America marathon—8 pm- 4 am, Esquire Network This is less of a TV recommendation than it is a public service for Americans who have had just about enough “family time.”
Friday, Nov. 28
Pawn Stars marathon—8 am-11 am, History Put your time at grandma’s house to good use. Surely there’s some crazy antique lying around that could be your golden ticket.
Rambo movie marathon—11 am-12 am, AMC Because nothing says the holidays like Sly Stallone and blood.
Frosty the Snowman — 9 pm, CBS There are a shocking number of animated Christmas specials airing Friday night. Never too early, apparently! This classic is obviously the one you should watch.
Saturday, Nov. 29
NCIS marathon—11 am—12 am, USA Thirteen hours of NCIS is the background noise your holiday weekend’s Saturday desperately needs.
Vikings—3 pm-4 am, History This sounds like precisely the thing to accidentally watch 13 hours of Thanksgiving weekend and not feel guilty about it.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever — 8 pm, Lifetime Noted surliness expert Aubrey Plaza voices a celebrity cat in a Lifetime movie based on an Internet meme. Why have you not already set your DVR for this?
Punkin Chunkin: Superchunk! — 8 pm, Discovery Channel A contest far more captivating that the endless slog of football on Thanksgiving Day, this battle of creativity and ingenuity sees how far people can catapult silly crap into a cornfield.
Sunday, Nov. 30
Law & Order: SVU marathon—9 am—11 pm, USA Fourteen hours of SVU is the background noise your holiday weekend’s Sunday desperately needs.
Indiana Jones movie marathon—12:30 pm, Spike An Indiana Jones movie marathon is never not a good idea.
The Affair marathon—4 pm, Showtime The cable net will air its critically acclaimed, somehow both hypnotic and boring new infidelity drama The Affair all day Sunday, should you choose to end your Thanksgiving weekend giving side-eyed, suspicious glances to your partner.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation—10 pm, ABC Family It’s Sunday night of Thanksgiving weekend, and it’s time to face the truth: the next family holiday is right around the corner. Might as well laugh along with the Griswolds at the forthcoming dysfunction.