“Dancing With the Stars” finale, 9-11 p.m., ABC, with preview at
If you were betting
at the start of this week, you'd focus on the pros who are paired
Derek Hough has won
five times; now (with Bethany Mota) he's chasing his third title in
four years. Mark Ballas won early championships with Olympians Shawn
Johnson and Kristi Yamaguchi; this time (with Sadie Robertson) is his
eighth in the final four. Valentin Chmerkovsky (with Janel Parrish)
hasn't won, but his brother Maksim did; Witney Carson (with Alfonso
Ribeiro) is only in her second try.
II: “New Girl,” 9 p.m., Fox.
Comedies tend to be
in top form with Thanksgiving episodes. Now here's this season's
final new one.
has a fresh take on the holiday – each person bringing a date for
someone else. That notion can work wonderfully; three decades ago,
Sam and Diane gave each other hilarious “Cheers” dates. Now we
can look forward to some modern mismatching.
ALTERNATIVE: “Return to the Wild,” 9 p.m., PBS (check local
Growing up in a
financially comfortable (and emotinally difficult) family, Chris
McCandless was an athlete and an idealist. He graduated from Emory
University and, at 24, vowed to live alone in the Alaskan wilderness.
His body was found in an abandoned bus that explorers used for
That short life has
been the subject of a Jon Krakauer book, a Sean Penn-directed movie,
a documentary, several magazine articles and endless debates. Here's
another look, using fresh interviews and newly available letters from
“NCIS,” 8 p.m.,
CBS. Just as many viewers fret about Thanksgiving travel, this show
gives us a double nightmare: Tony, Ellie and her husband (Jamie
Bamber of “Battlestar Galactica”) are grounded at an airport that
faces a heightened terrorist threat.
“A Night at the
Movies,” 8-9:30 p.m. ET, Turner Classic Movies. George Lucas
discusses the fantasy classics, from “King Kong” and “Wizard of
Oz” to “2001” and “Back to the Future.”
Animated films, 8
p.m., cable. As the holiday nears, families can watch together.
Disney has “WALL-E” (2008); FX has “Madagascar 3” (2012),
which it reruns at 10.
Orleans,” 9 p.m., CBS. As the team prepares its annual Thanksgiving
dinner, it finds the re-emergence of a case that the medical examiner
(CCH Pounder) has studied for years. Dean Stockwell guests as the
councilman's dad, providing a “Quantum Leap” reunion with Scott
“Marry Me,” 9:01
p.m., NBC. Now that he's engaged to Annie, Jake figures he should
work harder at bonding with her parents. They're very different,
even though they're both guys named Kevin.
“About a Boy,”
9:30, NBC. Chris Diamantopoulos arrives as a handsome and charismatic
drama teacher. He casts Marcus as Romeo, appeals to his mom ... and
makes Will jealous.
“Jay Leno: The
Mark Twain Prize,” 10 p.m., PBS (check local listings). If you
missed this terrific special Sunday, catch it now. It ripples with
great “Tonight Show” clips and with barbs from Leno's friends.
“Success didn't give him a swelled head,” Garth Brooks says.
“Nature did that.”