Thanksgiving TV Programming 2016


Thanksgiving Day in America in 2016 is Thursday, Nov. 24. As always, over the course of the holiday weekend, there will be plenty of Thanksgiving TV offerings to go along with your helpings of food. Here are some highlights.

Thanksgiving TV Programming 2016 (All Times Eastern)

The Middle: “Thanksgiving VIII” — Nov. 22 at 8pm on ABC. Frankie has come to the conclusion that April is not good enough for Axl and does everything in her power to keep her out of their annual Christmas family photo. But she finds herself vying for Axl’s attention by trying to rearrange timing for the family’s Thanksgiving dinner when she discovers that he plans to go to April’s multiple family get-togethers that day.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Mr. Santiago” — Nov. 22 at 8pm on FOX. At Amy’s (Melissa Fumero) intricately planned Thanksgiving dinner, Jake (Andy Samberg) goes “full Santiago” (binder and all) in order to impress her father (guest star Jimmy Smits), a former cop. With Jake and Amy’s focus elsewhere, Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) is left on turkey duty and Holt (Andre Braugher) helps Pimento (guest star Jason Mantzoukas) cope after learning he can no longer work for the NYPD.

American Housewife: “The Blow-Up” — Nov. 22 at 8:30pm on ABC. Katie (Katy Mixon) gets a boost from a surprising source when her self-serving mom Kathryn (guest star Wendie Malick, Hot in Cleveland) shows up for Thanksgiving.

New Girl: “Last Thanksgiving” — Nov. 22 at 8:30pm on FOX. Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is set on making the gang’s last Thanksgiving at the loft the best one ever, while playing nurse to her new wheelchair-stricken boyfriend, Robbie (Nelson Franklin). Meanwhile, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) have to babysit a heartsick Gavin (guest star Peter Gallagher) who’s just been dumped by his girlfriend.

This Is Us: “Pilgrim Rick” — Nov. 22 at 9pm on NBC. As Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and the three kids make their way to Rebecca’s parents’ house for their traditional Thanksgiving holiday, an unforeseen detour occurs. Kate (Chrissy Metz) makes two drastic life-changing decisions, Kevin (Justin Hartley) brings Olivia (Janet Montgomery) to Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) house for Thanksgiving, and Randall’s heart is broken when he learns about a lifelong secret his mother has kept from him.

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

100 Things About “The Hills” — Nov. 23 from 8am-8pm on MTV. MTV will air a marathon of The Hills, followed by Lauren Conrad’s special “That Was Then, This is Now” at 8pm. Immediately following at 9pm will be the premiere of “100 Things About The Hills” with Whitney Port, Heidi Montag, Brody Jenner, Stephanie Pratt.

Alaskan Bush People Marathon — Nov. 23 from 3pm-10pm on Discovery Channel.

Nineties Feast — Beginning Nov. 23 at 6pm on MTV Classic. To kick-off Thanksgiving weekend, MTV Classic will be airing a 90s music video block called “Nineties Feast,” continuing through to the wee hours of Sunday, Nov. 27. The five-day music block will include over 50 quintessential 90s music videos.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving — Nov. 23 at 8pm on ABC. Get out your toaster and a big bowl of popcorn, because Thanksgiving TV just wouldn’t be the same without this animated Peanuts classic, featuring Charlie Brown trying his Charlie-Brown best to host Thanksgiving dinner for his less than thankful pals. This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers follows immediately after.

Macy’s 90th Thanksgiving Day Parade Special — Nov. 23 at 8pm on NBC. Through archival footage and brand-new interviews, this hourlong tribute spotlights the event’s rich history, from the first-ever licensed character balloon — Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer’s famous Felix the Cat, which in this year’s parade will be re-created exactly as the black-and-white feline first appeared in 1927 — to the Macy’s Parade Studio’s latest innovations. Meanwhile, parade pros, hosts and a bevy of celebrity performers are primed to share their unique perspectives on this holiday tradition.

SNL Thanksgiving 2016 — Nov. 23 at 9pm on NBC. A feast of some of the best Thanksgiving-related Saturday Night Live sketches.

Chrisley Knows Best Marathon — Nov. 24 from 1am-11pm on USA Network.

Monsters Inside Me Marathon — Nov. 24 from 6am-midnight on Animal Planet.

Z Nation Marathon — Nov. 24 at 6am through Nov. 26 at midnight on Syfy.

The Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS — Nov. 24 at 9am live ET/CT/MT, tape-delayed PT on CBS. Parades are another Thanksgiving TV staple. This annual event will feature performances from Sting and Miranda Lambert, along with the Broadway casts of the hit musicals The Color PurpleSchool of Rock and On Your Feet!

Ghost Mine Marathon — Nov. 24 from 9am-3am on Destination America.

Alaska: The Last Frontier Marathon — Nov. 24 from 9am-midnight on Discovery Channel.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — Nov. 24 at 9am live ET/tape-delayed CT, MT, PT on NBC. Marching bands, musical performances, giant balloons and colorful floats abound in this annual turkey day tradition. And since it’s the 90th annual installment, NBC is celebrating with a look back at the rich history of this two-and-a-half-mile march through the streets of Manhattan.

Swamp People: “Swampsgiving” — Nov. 24 at 9am on History. Gator season has come and gone, but down in the swamp, life goes on for the beloved gator hunters of Swamp People. This episode offers viewers a glimpse of the world of the swamp in the off-season–in particular, the varied traditions surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday in the Atchafalaya River basin, and the ways in which all of these born hunters and fishers go about procuring their fish and fowl for the big meal.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles — Nov. 24 at 9:20am on Comedy Central. Three back-to-back airings of the 1987 John Hughes comedy classic.

Thanksgiving With The Duke — Nov. 24 beginning at 10am on AMC. A day of John Wayne movies.

Swamp People: “Swampsgiving 2” — Nov. 24 at 10am on History. It’s holiday time on the bayou and Swampers are preparing for their upcoming harvest feasts. They’re out to stock their tables full of traditional delicacies straight from the swamp. But when a family fishing trip turns into a race against the elements and a Swampers traps come up empty, both are forced to quickly find a new plan to save their family celebrations. And when a veteran hunter invites his new friends to the holiday cookout, a lively bet ensues, making this year’s holiday celebration one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Back to the Future Marathon — Nov. 24 from 10am-8pm on TNT.

Friends Marathon — Nov. 24 from 11am-4pm on TBS.

Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas — Nov. 24 beginning at 11:30am on Freeform. Freeform’s annual “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas” programming celebration features some of Disney and Disney∙Pixar’s classic films, including “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2,” as well as “Brave,” “Tangled,” “Mulan,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

The National Dog Show Presented by Purina — Nov. 24 at 12pm on NBC. Man’s best friends put on a parade of their own in this annual pup-ularity contest. John O’Hurley (Seinfeld, Dancing With the Stars) and expert analyst David Frei will return as hosts, Mary Carillo reports from inside the show ring, and Olympic greats Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will provide tail-wagging commentary as reporters and digital contributors. Over 190 breeds will compete for the coveted title of “Best in Show” including new breeds the American Hairless Terrier (terrier group), the Sloughi (hound group) and the Pumi (herding group).

The Simpsons Marathon — Nov. 24 beginning at 12pm on FXX. “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” FXX airs 600 consecutive episodes of The Simpsons in chronological order beginning today and ending on Dec. 6. This marathon will be the longest in TV history, surpassing the 552-episode Simpsons marathon FXX ran in 2014.

NFL Football: Minnesota at Detroit — Nov. 24 at 12:30pm on CBS. CBS’ coverage of the Lions’ annual Thanksgiving Day game marks the 60th year since the network broadcast its first Thanksgiving game.

Pawn Stars Marathon — Nov. 24 at 1pm to Nov. 25 at 4am on History.

South Park Marathon Nov. 24 beginning at 3:40pm on Comedy Central.

The Big Bang Theory Marathon — Nov. 24 from 4pm-8pm on TBS.

NFL Football: Washington at Dallas — Nov. 24 at 4:30pm on FOX.

Party Down Season 1 Marathon — Nov. 24 beginning at 7pm on Starz. Part of Starz’s “Throwback Thanksgiving” event, this marathon features Season 1 episodes from the cult comedy hit.

NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Indianapolis — Nov. 24 at 8:30pm on NBC.

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration — Nov. 24 at 8pm on ABC. Siblings Julianne and Derek Hough get goofy to emcee Disney World’s annual Turkey Day blowout, which also features performances from Kelly Clarkson and Garth Brooks.

Anne of Green Gables — Nov. 24 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). Martin Sheen stars as Matthew Cuthbert in this all-new revival of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved classic tale about a free-spirited and determined redhead named Anne Shirley. Ella Ballentine stars as Anne, a young orphan who is placed in the care of uptight and austere Marilla Cuthbert (Sara Botsford) and her kindhearted brother, and charms them with her romantic heart and thirst for adventure.

Courtesy of Breakthrough Entertainment/© 2015 Gables Productions Inc.

Search Party Marathon — Nov. 24 from 8pm-midnight on TBS.

Thanksgiving Weekend Binge-a-Thon — Nov. 24 beginning at 8:30pm on TV Land. Enjoy a feast of Thanksgiving-themed episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Roseanne and How I Met Your Mother during TV Land’s Thanksgiving Weekend Binge-a-Thon.

Modern Family: “Thanksgiving Jamboree” — Nov. 24 at 10pm on ABC. It’s going to be a Thanksgiving jamboree at the Pritchett-Tucker home this year and Cameron has spared no expense. While Phil tries to get used to Rainer Shine (Nathan Fillion) dating his daughter, Hayley has to break it to her dad that she would rather spend the rest of her holiday with her new boyfriend than stay for the traditional family football game. Meanwhile, Jay has to figure out a way to keep his blood pressure down on one of the most stressful days of the year as Gloria tries to show Joe that animals are our friends. Finally, Alex and Dwight get to know each other a little better than her Uncle Cam would like while Mitchell has to stop clowning around and tell Cam the truth.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life — Available Nov. 25 on Netflix. They’re back! This series of four 90-minute chapters (each spanning one of the four seasons, hence the show’s subtitle) catches us up with Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel), along with other favorite faces from the beloved 2000-07 series, including Scott Patterson as Luke Danes, Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore, Keiko Agena as Lane Kim, Sean Gunn as Kirk Gleason and Matt Czuchry as Logan Huntzberger. Original creator Amy Sherman-Palladino wrote and directed all the episodes along with her husband, Daniel Palladino.

Tanked Marathon — Nov. 25 from 6am-midnight on Animal Planet.

Star Wars Marathon — Nov. 25 from 6:45am-11pm on TBS. The three prequels and three original trilogy movies, shown back to back with limited commercial interruptions.

Ancient Aliens Marathon — Nov. 25 at 8am to Nov. 26 at 4am on History.

Roots — Nov. 25 beginning at 11am on Bounce TV. A marathon showing of the epic 1977 miniseries.

NHL Thanksgiving Showdown: N.Y. Rangers at Philadelphia — Nov. 25 at 1pm live on NBC. 

Gold Rush Marathon — Nov. 25 from 2pm-10pm on Discovery Channel.

College Football Nov. 25 beginning at 2:30pm live on CBS and ESPN. Black Friday college football action features Arkansas at Missouri (CBS); Baylor vs. Texas Tech (ESPN) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas; and Arizona State at Arizona (ESPN).

Party Down Season 2 Marathon — Nov. 25 beginning at 7pm on Starz.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town — Nov. 25 at 8pm on ABC. Thanksgiving TV starts to give way to Christmas TV as the weekend wears on. Fred Astaire narrates this timeless Rankin/Bass tale of how good-hearted orphan Kris Kringle (voice of Mickey Rooney) outwitted the Winter Warlock and Burgermeister Meisterburger to bring holiday joy to the children of Sombertown.

Frosty the Snowman — Nov. 25 at 8pm on CBS. The classic animated musical special returns, narrated by Jimmy Durante. Jackie Vernon provides the voice of the “jolly, happy soul” whose old silk hat full of magic brings him to life. The special is followed by the 1992 sequel, Frosty Returns.

Savage Kingdom — Nov. 25 at 9pm on Nat Geo Wild. Charles Dance of Game of Thrones fame narrates this natural history documentary series that follows warring animal clans battling for survival in a remote, drought-stricken region of Africa. Lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs are the royal families fighting for dominance amid rivalries, betrayals, battles and triumphs. Nat Geo Wild promises that the series, which was shot in 4K by a team that spent a year in the field, is “not your father’s wildlife special.” The first hour of the premiere episode, “Clash of Queens,” follows the lioness Matsumi, while the second hour catches up with Saba the leopard.

National Geographic Channels. Credit: Brad Bestelink

Spartacus: Blood and Sand Marathon — Nov. 26 beginning at 1pm on Starz.

Hatfields & McCoys — Nov. 26 beginning at 6pm on History. A re-airing of History’s 2012 miniseries.

Robbie the Reindeer — Nov. 26 at 8pm on CBS. CBS airs two Robbie the Reindeer animated holiday specials tonight, beginning with “Hooves of Fire,” in which Robbie (voice of Ben Stiller) competes against Blitzen (voice of Hugh Grant) in the Reindeer Races for a position on Santa’s sleigh team. Then in “Legend of the Lost Tribe,” Robbie must stop Blitzen from creating a Reindeer World theme park.

Legends of the Hidden Temple — Nov. 26 at 8pm on Nickelodeon. This new action-adventure film is inspired by the classic ’90s game show of the same name. Isabela Moner, Colin Critchley and Jet Jurgensmeyer star as three siblings who break away from a boring jungle tour and find themselves in a high-stakes obstacle course that they must complete in order to survive. Dee Bradley Baker reprises his role as the voice of Olmec, the game show’s talking head, and the show’s original host, Kirk Fogg, will also appear.

The Story of Santa Claus — Nov. 26 at 9pm on CBS. This animated musical holiday special features the voices of Ed Asner, Betty White and Tim Curry, and revolves around a gentle toymaker whose only wish is to deliver a toy to every child on Christmas.

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas — Nov. 27 at 7pm and Dec. 20 at 8pm on FOX. An encore of the holiday special based on the hit animated films.

Bob’s Burgers: “The Last Gingerbread House on the Left” — Nov. 27 at 7:30pm on FOX. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) gets roped into competing in a secret Gingerbread house-building contest. Meanwhile, Linda (John Roberts) and the kids decide to go caroling, but their neighbors are not in the Christmas spirit.

The Big Bang Theory: “The Platonic Permutation” — Nov. 28 at 8pm on CBS. Thanksgiving TV for 2016 comes to a close with this repeat episode. Sheldon and Amy try hanging out as friends when they spend Thanksgiving together at the aquarium. Also, Wolowitz reluctantly agrees to volunteer at the soup kitchen with Bernadette, Raj and Emily, and Penny discovers that Leonard knows more about her than she thought.