1) “Nature: Santa’s Wild Home,” 8 p.m., PBS. On the Northern edge of mainland Europe is Lapland (shown here), the legendary home of Santa Claus and the real home of giant herds of reindeer. This Finnish turf is both gorgeous and harsh. Summers are brief, beautiful and filled with mosquitoes; bears eat 80 pounds a day, to prepare for hibernation. Musk oxen don’t hibernate; they simply stand in the wintger cold, not moving. There are other fascinating scenes here, from soaring owls to orcas gulping swarms of herring.
2) “For Life,” 10 p.m., ABC. It’s a new world for the show and for its lead character, Aaron. In last week’s season-opener, he was freed from the prison where he got his law degree. Now he’s trying to help his prison friend Jamal (played by Dorian Missick, whose wife Simone stars in “All Rise”). Meanwhile, a former foe offers a work opportunity for Aaron and Roswell (Timothy Busfield).
3) Specials, NBC. At 8 p.m. is “Women of Worth”; stars – Eva Longoria, Viola Davis, Camila Cabello, etc. – honor non-celebrities who have done worthy deeds. Then – in a sharp change-of-pace – there’s a special from 9-11 p.,m., rerunning “Saturday Night Live” Thanksgiving sketches.
4) “The Masked Singer” and “I Can See Your Voice,” 8 and 9 p.m., Fox. On the eve of Thanksgiving (when they’ll have new episodes), both shows have reruns. “Masked” introduces Group B and “Voice” finds a duet partner for Pat Monahan of Train. CBS counters with two new “Amazing Race” hours.
5) Also: Many families may find themselves at home, just when they thought they’d be traveling to a Thanksgiving feast. Alternatives include 8 p.m. movies: “The Polar Express” (2004, AMC) has splendid visuals and an OK story; “Good Morning Christmas” (new, Hallmark) stars Alison Sweeney, whose Hallmark films tend to be a cut above the rest. Also, Freeform has animated films – “Penguins of Madagascar” (2014) at 5 p.m., “Little Mermaid” (1989) at 7 and “Tangled” (2010) at 9.