Thanksgiving TV: Gaga, Elf, Bones, BTVS Marathons, + More

In between cooking, eating, shopping, or whatever your Turkey Day traditions may be, make the most of TV time with this guide to the best specials.
By: Lily Shavick
November 23 2011 7:38 PM

From the star-studded, yet surprisingly sentimental A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, to a Peanuts classic, plus staples like the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, and marathons including Buffy, Bones, Designing Women, Roseanne, rom-coms galore, holiday family favorites and James Bond movies, there is something for everyone on TV this year.

Here’s your Thanksgiving holiday weekend TV lineup, from prep to leftovers:

Wednesday, November 23

Modern Family: "Punkin Chunkin"
When an old neighborhood kid returns to town as a hugely successful internet billionaire, it gets Phil thinking of what could have been. Jay feels Manny could use a little dose of constructive criticism, and Cameron is offended when Mitchell questions the authenticity of his colorful childhood stories. It all comes to a head at Thanksgiving with the family divided between the "Dreamers" and the "Pritchetts" -- and nothing settles the score like a punkin chunkin challenge. Written by ABC Publicity (ABC, 9 PM ET/PT)

Thursday, November 24

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Parade celebrates its 80th Anniversary! First time parade host Meredith Vieira joins veteran Matt Lauer for this spectacular, annual celebration. Look for parade floats featuring stars Julie Andrews, Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Diana DeGarmo, Gloria Estefan, Renee Fleming, the cast of Disney Channel's High School Musical, Jonas Brothers, Barry Manilow, Sarah McLachlan, and Miss U.S.A 2006-Tara Conner. (NBC, 9 AM, All Time Zones)

The National Dog Show

NBC will present the 10th anniversary edition of its popular holiday special "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" following the telecast of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual special is hosted by John O'Hurley and expert analyst David Frei, the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network and America's foremost authority on the sport. For more details, click here. (2 PM in All Time Zones)

A Very Gaga Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, the ABC Television Network will air a 90-minute special, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. The broadcast, which was conceived and directed by Lady Gaga, offers an intimate look inside the private life of the award-winning artist as she performs eight songs in front of a small audience filled with her close friends and family. Performances include a duet of "The Lady is a Tramp" with Tony Bennett as well as her newest single, "Marry the Night," "You and I," "The Edge of Glory" and the holiday classic "White Christmas," among other hits. She also gives Katie Couric an in-depth interview at her former high school. (ABC 9:30-11:00 PM, ET)

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

It’s not holiday time of year until the football-headed little bald guy says so. Created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, plus, a special bonus, This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers, will air with the PEANUTS classic. In it, history comes to animated screen life in a captivating and informative program about the Mayflower voyagers. (ABC 8:00-9:00 PM)

MARATHONS

Take a little bit, or a lot, on your TV plate from the following all-day marathon treats:

Syfy will air a stylish James Bond movie marathon starting at 8:00 AM. From the first film, Thunderball, all the way through The Spy Who Loved Me to wrap things up at 3:00 AM the following morning.

Comedy Central keeps it light with movie favorites from 9:35 AM on in the order of: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, American Pie, the seminal classic, Clueless, and Just Friends.

TV Guide Network gives the gift of a Designing Women mini-marathon, 3 – 8 PM, so you can spend Turkey time with your sisters Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts and Jean Smart.

SOAPnet plays the crazy beautiful, lgbt-inclusive saga series Brothers & Sisters from 5 PM – Friday, 1 AM, in case you’d rather watch Sally Field play a crazy mom than be around your own.

USA brings the procedural that pleases all ages with an NCIS marathon from 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM, before turning on the modern classic Will Farrel holiday film, Elf, playing back-to-back beginning at 8 PM. Elf also boast a blond, singing Zooey Deschanel, in case you weren't aware.

Roseanne, the ‘modern family’ of their time, will be on Oxygen all day, from 7 AM – 7 PM.

TNT trots out no nonsense beauty Emily Deschenel with a Bones marathon all day beginning at 10 AM.

TBS takes on family-style service with a “Thanksgiving Movie Marathon” kicking of at 10 AM with Yours, Mine & Ours, 17 Again, Surviving Christmas, Guess Who and finishing thing off with Hitch, which needs about 40% more Eva Mendes screen time and less of the guy from King of Queens.

ABC Family comes through for the kid inside and households that need to keep the little kids busy while the parents toil away in the kitchen. Enjoy a crowd pleasing selection of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Monsters, Inc. and Wall-E. Tune in at 2 PM to take in the complete collection.

FX network has a movie marathon that starts with the lovely Rachel Weisz in Definitely, Maybe at 7:00 a.m. and includes Sanra Bullock in The Proposal, Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, Monsters vs. Aliens, starring the voice of Reese Witherspoon, and finishing things off is Kung Fu Panda , which includes sassy Angelina Jolie in the voice cast.

Chiller TV has gay favorite cult series Buffy the Vampire Slayer set to slay all morning, starting at 6:00 AM. Willow fans, take note!

Last but certainly not least, Lifetime will start things off with Whitney Houston in The Preacher’s Wife, before serving up a slew of holiday TV movies.

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