What’s on TV This Week: Thanksgiving Specials and Holiday Movies

What’s on TV This Week: Thanksgiving Specials and Holiday Movies

Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, Nov. 20-Nov. 26. Details and times are subject to change.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. While millions will be watching when the teams of the brothers Jason and Travis Kelce meet on the field, some eyes will be on the stands looking for Taylor Swift’s parents who it is rumored were coming to meet the Kelce family for the first time. (Maybe it’s time for Donna Kelce to lend the Swift family her half-Eagles, half-Chiefs jersey.) It’s unlikely that Swift will attend because she is performing in Rio on Monday, but because the Swift family are Eagles fans, they could still show up.

THE HOLIDAY (2006) 6 p.m. on AMC. I am thrilled to announce it’s time to watch this movie ad nauseam. The story follows Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who, after a bad breakup, decides to go to England for the holidays. Meanwhile Iris (Kate Winslet) is heartbroken from unrequited love and lists her house on a home exchange website. The two swap houses, and both end up finding love: Amanda with Iris’s brother Graham (Jude Law) and Iris with a retired movie producer (Eli Wallach)— in a friend way, don’t worry! Jack Black is also somehow in the mix. The whole movie is unabashedly charming, goofy and so cozy.

COUNTDOWN TO MACY’S THANKSGIVING PARADE 8 p.m. on NBC. While we prep our pumpkin pies or run into people we went to high school with at our hometown bars, workers in Midtown Manhattan are closing off roads and enlisting their highest voltage air pumps to prepare for the annual parade. This show gives a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s floats and a back story for each of them.

LOVE ACTUALLY (2003) 9 p.m. on AMC. Following a voice-over from Hugh Grant saying “if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around,” this movie starts five weeks before Christmas, and for that reason it has always been my and my mom’s holiday tradition to watch it during the week of Thanksgiving. (It also marks the timing of our annual fight about why I don’t like the Colin Firth story line and she does.) The movie follows different narrative threads — all of which are of course connected in one way or another — and features a star-studded cast, including Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and Keira Knightley.

97TH ANNUAL MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE starting at 8:30 a.m. on NBC. Cher, Brandy and Jon Batiste are a few of the artists set to perform this year, alongside balloons, floats, marching bands and performance groups.

NATIONAL DOG SHOW 12 p.m. on NBC. The National Dog Show took place in Philadelphia this past weekend but is being broadcast after the parade festivities wind down. This year, the German shepherd K9 Rom will be honored for its help in the search for the escaped inmate Danelo Cavalcante.

FRIENDS THANKSGIVING EPISODES starting at 11 a.m. on TBS. Some of the best episodes of TV shows are the ones in which Thanksgiving is the centerpiece. Specifically, I am thinking of the “Gossip Girl” episode with Jason Derulo’s song “Whatcha Say” playing over dinner-table drama and the “Gilmore Girls” episode with the mother-daughter duo going to four dinners. But if I had to choose a themed-episode favorite, it would be “Friends,” the one where they all play football to relive Monica and Ross’s glory of the Geller Family Cup. Other episodes in this marathon include “The One With Chandler in a Box,” “The One With the Rumor” and “The One With Ross’s Sandwich.”

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) 9 p.m. on E! It’s Christmas time, and George Bailey (James Stewart) is not feeling his best. His guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) shows him what life would have looked like without any of his contributions. “For a turkey dinner, with Christmas trimmings, is precisely what’s cooking at the end of this quaint and engaging modern parable on virtue being its own reward,” Bosley Crowther wrote in his review for The New York Times.

BYRON ALLEN PRESENTS THEGRIO AWARDS 8 p.m. on CBS. For a second year, this award show is honoring Black excellence, with the help of the hosts Sheryl Underwood and Roy Wood Jr. Mariah Carey is set to receive the Music Icon Award, and Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy and Don Cheadle will also be taking awards home. Boyz II Men, Jennifer Hudson, Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson are set to preform.

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS LIGHT FIGHT 10 p.m. on ABC. Another year, another season of this show that features people who are just really great at decorating their houses for Christmas. The first episode prepares you for the extra fun and creative light displays that are sure to be featured this season, with a look back at past year’s displays and competitions.

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