MUST-SEE: “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,” 9 a.m. to noon, NBC
Each year, the
parade offers size and spectacle. This year, it has a dozen marching
bands, 1,000 clowns, 1,300 dancers and cheerleaders, 16 giant
balloons, Big Apple Circus, Cirque du Soleil and 27 floats, bearing
singers (Renee Fleming, Idina Menzel, Nick Jonas, KISS), Muppets and
The result annually
draws huge ratings for NBC, which adds some extra performances; this
year, it has the casts of five Broadway shows and its own upcoming
“Peter Pan.” CBS counters with music from Taylor Swift and the
Broadway casts of “Pippin” and “Matilda.”
“The McCarthys,” 9:30 p.m., CBS.
On Thanksgiving, the
family's big challenge seemed to be Jackie's sudden interest in
cooking. Alas, there's s steeper one: Gerard (Joey McIntyre) has
re-united with his acid-tongued girlfriend Katrina.
Think of it as a
heartwarming (sort of) holiday episode – the oft-squabbling
McCarthys are now united by the common cause of hating Katrina.
Despite a tendency to sometimes reach too hard for jokes, this is
mostly a sharp and funny episode.
ALL DAY: Football,
12:30 p.m. ET, CBS; 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox; 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC.
Thanksgiving football wallowed in mismatches. The Detroit Lions, who
started this custom, lost nine straight times, including scores of
34-12, 41-9 and 47-10.
But the Lions won
(big) last Thanksgivng and have been winning (small) this season.
They face the Chicago Bears to start a tripleheader; then it's
Philadelphia at Dallas and Seattle at San Francisco.
ALL DAY II:
There are some good
ones today, led by National Geographic's well-crafted “Life Below
Zero” (9 a.m. to 3 a.m.) and two terrific batches of network
reruns: FXX starts “The Simpsons” at 4 p.m., with the movie
(2007) at 10 p.m.; Pivot picks top “Friday Night Lights” hours,
from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
For a mini-marathon,
try “The Carbonaro Effect” -- a dandy mixture of magic and
hidden-camera – from 8-11 p.m. And more: “The Transporter” (a
Canadian action drama), 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., TNT; “Nature's
Weirdest,” noon to midnight, BBC America; “Blue Bloods,” noon
to 7 p.m. ET, WGN; “Pawn Stars,” 4-11 p.m., History; “Homicide
Hunter,” 8 p.m. to midnight, Investigation Discovery.
Dogs, noon to 2
p.m., NBC, 8-10 p.m., Fox. Fresh from the parade (which it repeats
from 2-5 p.m.), NBC has “The National Dog Show,” which draws big
ratings each year. At night, Fox debuts “Cause for Paws”;
produced by Hilary Swank (who hosts with Jane Lynch), it ranges from
rescue heroes to funny videos to stars – Josh Duhamel, Scarlett
Johansson, etc. -- introducing dogs for adoption.
“The Big Bang
Theory,” 8 p.m., CBS. Here's last season's Thanksgiving episode, a
funny one that finds everyone at the Wolowitz house ... where
Leonard fumes about Penny's past Las Vegas mistake.
Movies (each 2014),
8 p.m., cable. Family films include the dandy “Lego Movie” on HBO
and “Northpole” (great visuals, so-so story) on Hallmark. For a
different sort of family, “Lizzie Borden Took an Ax” is on the
Lifetime Movie Network.
p.m., CBS. No longer homeless – her mom became a building manager –
Christy worries about other relationships: Her parents are back
together and her ex-husband has a girlfriend.
“Two and a Half
Men,” 9:01 p.m., CBS. Now that his adoption plans have fallen
through, Walden tries fostering a 6-year-old ... with, at first,
p.m., CBS. A murder leads to a probe of the illegal diamond trade.
Non-Denominational Christmas Special,” 10 p.m., Comedy Central. The
channel assembles its stars for an hour that will be repeated at the
same time for four straight nights.