1) “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, NBC, repeats 2-5 p.m. Each year, this marks the start of TV’s Christmas season – this time, a season of change. The fuss of past years (shown here) will be gone. Floats will “parade” for one block, before the NBC cameras. There will be no spectators, no outside bands; some performances will tape in advance. The line-up has Broadway musicals (“Hamilton,” “Mean Girls,” “Get Ready,” “Jagged Little Pill”) and individuals — Dolly Parton, Bebe Rexha, Sofia Carson, Leslie Odom Jr.,, many more.
2) More Thanksgiving fuss, Thursday. After the parade, football takes over. It’s Houston-Detroit at 12:30 p.m. ET on CBS, Washington-Dallas at 4:30 p.m. on Fox, Baltimore-Pittsburgh at 8:20 on NBC. Also, NBC has the “National Dog Show” at noon. At 8, ABC reruns “Olaf’ and “Toy Story” cartoons; from 9-11 p.m., its “Magical Holiday Celebration” opens with a new song-and-dance number by Derek and Julianne Hough. Then the Hough siblings and Trevor Jackson introduce highlights from past years.
3) “NCIS, 8 p.m. Tuesday, CBS. It’s the 400th episode for a ratings-leader that seems eternal. “NCIS” just started its 18th season … and was spun off from “JAG,” which did 10 years. This hour goes back to when Gibbs (Mark Harmon) tackled his first case. For the seventh time, Sean Harmon plays a younger version of his dad. Sean, 32, has also been a surfer, stuntman and kick-boxer. He’s a physical sort, descended from football folks: His dad was a college quarterback; his grandfather won a Heisman.
3) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 8 p.m., Friday, NBC. One of TV’s all-time top moments returns. This started with the brilliant Dr. Seuss book, then was animated by Chuck Jones, the genius behind many Road Runner and Bugs Bunny cartoons. Boris Karloff provided the droll narration, with June Foray (the voice of Rocky J. Squirrel) as Cindy Lou Who. Thurl Ravenscroft (the voice of Tony the Tiger) boomed the song. That leads into the season’s lone new cartoon, “Minions Holiday Special.”
4) “Robbie the Reindeer: Hooves of Fire,” 8 p.m. Saturday, CBS. There will be a zillion cartoons in the next month, many of them bland. But the best arrive early, including this witty tale and (at 8:30) its sequel, with Ben Stiller as Rudolph’s son. CBS follows with “The Story of Santa Claus” at 9 p.m. Saturday. On Friday, it has the amiable “Frosty the Snowman” at 8 p.m. – colliding with NBC’s “Grinch,” ABC’s “Santa Claus is Comin to Town” and CW’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.”
5) “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” 8-10 p.m. today through Thursday, CW. Before triumphing with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Amy Sherman-Palladino gave “Gilmore Girls” that same sort of crisp dialog. It only won one Emmy (“Mrs. Maisel” already has 20), but ran for seven seasons, then had this Netflix mini-series. Lorelei is running the inn, her mother is widowed and her daughter visits after a career success. Past co-stars – Melissa McCarthy, Jared Padalecki and Milo Ventimiglia – also appear.
6) “Dancing With the Stars” finale, 8-10 p.m. today, ABC. We’re down to the final four – actress Justina Machado, rapper Nelly, ex-”bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe and Nev Schulman, the “Catfish” host. Each will repeat a past number and also do a freestyle. That makes it a busy night for Nelly, who will also do a medley of his hits – while his dance partner (Daniella Karagach) dances with her husband (Pasha Pashkov). Eliminated couples will return and Derek Hough, one of the judges, will dance solo.
7) “Black Narcissus,” 8-11:48 p.m. today, FX; then repeats to 3:36 a.m. A 1939 novel became a much-praised 1947 movie. Now it’s a three-part mini-series that FX inexplicably airs in one oversized chunk. A Mother Superior (the late Diana Rigg, in her final role) sends nuns to a mission in the Himalayas. Cultures clash and emotions simmer, The result is predictable, but these are subtly talented actors, working in gorgeous settings. This moves to Hulu, so you might want to see it in bite-sized parcels.
8) “Great Performances: Lea Salonga in Concert,” 9-10:30 p.m. Friday, PBS. At 18, Salonga was already a star in the Philippines, when she auditioned for the title role in “Miss Saigon.” She won Olivier and Tony awards and has gone on to star in cartoon movies (“Mulan,” “Aladdin”) and revivals of “Les Misereables” and “Once on This Island.” Now Salonga, 49, beautifully does songs from those, plus Broadway classics (“Music Man,” “She Loves Me”) and the movie “The Greatest Showman.”
9) “Fargo” season-finale, 10 p.m Sunday, FX. In a very “Fargo” way, this is fascinating and frustrating. In 1951 Kansas City, Loy (Chris Rock) is crumbling. He’s barely clinging to his crime empire and doesn’t know his son Satchel is alive and trying to get home. But the brainy daughter of a mortician showed what she had learned about a lethal nurse. That sets up tonight’s sbowdowns – lots of them. As usual, this is brilliantly written and filmed. Still, some viewers will wish it had a couple fewer endings.
10) New Christmas movies. The next five weeks will be overrun by bright settings and happy endings. Lots of new films are ar 8 p.m. on Hallmark — “A Christmas Tree in Colorado” Tuesday, “Christmas by Starlight” Thursday, “Five Star Christmas” Friday, Lacey Chabert in “Christmas Waltz” Saturday and Candace Cameron Bure in “If I Only Had Christmas” on Sunday. Lifetime has new 8 p.m. films on Friday through Sunday; Hallmark Movies & Mysteries adds “USS Christmas,” at 10 p.m. Saturday.