Thanksgiving TV Classics

While the food is cooking — here's entertainment

Turkey Day and all of its traditions fill our homes, our minds, our hearts.

This major holiday also offers annual classics, football, and much more on television to express how we’re feeling, take us away from political stress, or make us laugh.

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There are plenty of Thanksgiving offerings for us to view. Here are five:

As on every Thanksgiving Day, NFL players will be taking the field for special games this year. If you don’t feel like watching football all day — pick just one. But it is possible to watch pretty much all day long if you so choose.

At 12:30 p.m. ET, the Minnesota Vikings will be playing the Detroit Lions on CBS. At 4:30 p.m. ET, the Washington Redskins take on the Dallas Cowboys over at Fox. Finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Indianapolis Colts at 8:30 ET on NBC to close out the holiday. While you relax in your food coma, you can take part in the Thanksgiving tradition of watching athletes work off all the calories.

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National Dog Show
If football isn’t your kind of competition for Turkey Day, then look no further than the always properly counter-programmed National Dog Show, which will air at noon on NBC. Dog shows may sound ridiculous, but they’ve gotten more and more popular over the years.

You can watch plenty of well-groomed dogs behave far better than yours ever will. The show is presented by Purina, which has been donating $1 for every pet-related post on social media that includes @purina or #dogthanking all of November. The goal, they say, is to raise up to $50,000 to donate to pet health research.

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‘The 90th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’
Talk about tradition. This is the 90th year Macy’s is hosting its annual New York City Thanksgiving parade. The three-hour special includes 16 larger-than-life character balloons, more than 1,000 cheerleaders, 26 floats, 16 marching bands, and more. Announcers for the day are NBC’s Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker. Musical performers include Tony Bennett and many Broadway stars.

Note: This year, the NYPD’s counterterrorism chief said the Thanksgiving Day Parade route will be lined with 81 sand-filled garbage trucks designed to prevent a lone-wolf attack like the one in France that killed 86 and wounded hundreds more during the summer, reported the New York Post this week.

No one is rejoicing in Thanksgiving quite like the Food Network.

The parade begins airing at 9 a.m. ET on NBC.

Food Network
Sure, Thanksgiving is about family, giving to others, being thankful, togetherness and all that fuzzy goodness, but it’s also about food — wonderful, delicious food that accommodates no diet and every diet. With food being such an essential piece of the holiday, no one is rejoicing in Thanksgiving quite like the Food Network.

After celebrating Thanksgiving recipes throughout November on its various shows, the network will be “all Thanksgiving, all the time” on Thanksgiving Day. Programs like “Guy’s Big Bite” and “Trisha’s Southern Kitchen” will be delving into the holiday and all its savory pleasures, so if the feast at the table isn’t enough for you, then Food Network has you covered all day.

‘The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration’
Adding Thanksgiving-themed shows to its annual Christmas extravaganza, Disney will air a special, hosted by “Dancing With the Stars” siblings Julianne and Derek Hough. The show features live music and is set against the backdrop of the company’s theme park. It airs at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Part of Disney’s “Share the Joy” campaign, the first Thanksgiving special will include musical acts Garth Brooks and Kelly Clarkson and will show families wandering the Walt Disney World Resort grounds as they’re granted various wishes — all in an effort to promote the giving nature of the holiday.

Related: Keep Your Politics Out of Gravy

A similar special entitled, “Disney Parks Presents: A Descendants Magical Holiday Celebration,” will air the following day — Black Friday. It will include music from the Christmas album, “Disney Channel Holiday Hits” and will show celebrities rewarding families around the country involved in charities with free trips to Walt Disney World Resort. The special airs on Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. ET on the Disney Channel.

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