Here’s what’s up in the world of TV for Thursday, November 24. All times are Eastern.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC, 9 a.m. in all time zones): The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade might be turning 90, but it doesn’t look a day over 89! All the classic balloons and floats return this year plus awkward lip-synched performances from Regina Spektor, Tony Bennett, Grace VanderWaal, Sarah McLachlan, The Muppets, and more. There are also a whole bunch of Olympians on hand to appease any jocks that might be watching. Meanwhile theater nerds will be hooked by the performances from Holiday Inn, Cats, Paramour, Waitress, and Hairspray Live! But perhaps the biggest draw of all is recently departed Hamilton star Christopher Jackson, who will hopefully be reading a strongly worded letter against Donald Trump.
National Dog Show (NBC, 12 p.m.): Then let inertia be your guide by leaving the TV on after the parade and half-watching the 15th annual National Dog Show. As ever, John O’Hurley returns to host the event, which pits purebred against purebred for the title of Best In Show. Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are also on hand to serve as “reporters” because the National Dog Show enjoys toying the line between reality and Best In Show.
Mom (CBS, 9 p.m.): While most of the networks are airing special programming tonight, CBS barrels forward with its regular schedule. That includes a new episode of Mom, one of the best family sitcoms currently on TV. When Violet comes down with mono, Christy and Bonnie have to nurse her back to health. It sounds pretty heartwarming, but it might be a slightly edgy episode for a post-dinner family watch given that it’s called “Blow And A Free McMuffin.”
Premieres and finales
The Wonderful World Of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration (ABC, 8 p.m.): Not content to leave all the corporate sponsorship to Macy’s, Disney gets in on the profitable holiday spirit too. Julianne and Derek Hough host a concert special filmed at Walt Disney World Resort. Performers include Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, and Flo Rida. Also of interest, an “exclusive look” at Rogue One is set to debut during the special.
Christmas In Homestead (Hallmark, 8 p.m.): Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the holiday season, which, more importantly, means the kickoff to the made-for-TV Christmas movie season. This new one from Hallmark is particularly meta: A famous actress filming a holiday movie in small town Iowa falls in love with a local innkeeper. And in case that’s not enough of a premise, the innkeeper is also the town mayor and a single dad.
Anne Of Green Gables (PBS, 8 p.m.): For something equally schmaltzy, but maybe a little more highbrow, PBS debuts a made-for-TV adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel, Anne Of Green Gables. Martin Sheen lends the whole thing some gravitas as Anne’s kindhearted guardian. TV Guide is trying to sell the movie as an anecdote to post-election tension (“If you’re fearing a heated debate around the Thanksgiving table this year, PBS has your back with a special the whole family can enjoy no matter how they voted”). But if engaging with your relatives about politics is more your style, your What’s On Tonight correspondent thinks that’s a-okay too.
Gilmore Girls, “A Deep-Fried Korean Thanksgiving” (Netflix): The highly anticipated Gilmore Girls revival debuts tomorrow, which makes this the perfect time to do some last minute rewatching of the show’s original run. And what better episode to revisit than the show’s zaniest take on Thanksgiving? Lorelai and Rory try to cram four Thanksgiving meals into one day. Plus Kirk gets a cat, Lane gets a kiss, and Melissa McCarthy does some phenomenal drunk acting.