TV schedule includes parade, football and Michael Jackson
Thanksgiving Day usually involves some down time before and after the turkey feast. The TV schedule for Thanksgiving Day in 2012 is strong and includes the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, a feast of pigskin action (including three NFL match-ups and one college game), and a prime time special about Michael Jackson. There’s something for everyone, including the kids. Below are the top TV picks for Thanksgiving Day 2012. All times listed are EST.
9 a.m.: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The 86th annual event includes 16 giant character balloons, 40 novelty balloons, 28 floats, 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers, 900 clowns, and 11 marching bands. Keeping with tradition, Santa Claus makes a grand entrance at the end. Celebrity performers include Trace Adkins, Carly Rae Jepsen, Flo Rida, The Wanted, Karmin, Neon Trees, Cody Simpson, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Jennette McCurdy, Chris Isaak and Don McLean. The parade will be one of New York City’s first major events following Hurricane Sandy. “As it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy’s parade serves as a beacon of hope and renewal for all Americans,” explains Amy Kule, executive producer of the parade. 9 a.m.-12 noon on NBC.
12 Noon: National Dog Show. John O’Hurley hosts coverage of the annual event in Oaks, Penn., where more than 2,000 canines representing 187 breeds compete. A wire terrier named Eire won Best of Show in 2011. Two newly sanctioned breeds will be introduced in 2012. 12-2 p.m. on NBC.
12:30 p.m.: Houston Texans at Detroit Lions. Last season, a spectacular defense led the Lions to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. This season, they’ve been marked by inconsistent quarterback play from Matthew Stafford, but they’re still playing well. The Texans aren’t playing their best game right now, but on a national stage synonymous with football, they’ll want to make a statement. CBS.
4 p.m.: “A Family Thanksgiving.” A career driven attorney (Daphne Zuniga) gets a peek at a different path her life could take after she’s magically transformed into a wife and mother by a mystical stranger (Faye Dunaway). Stripped of the career that dominates her life, she learns the importance of family and has big decisions to make when she returns to her old life. 2010. Hallmark Channel.
4:15 p.m.: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys. For years, the NFL gave the Cowboys so-so opponents on Turkey Day and the game still got good ratings. With Robert Griffin III in Washington, the Redskins are infinitely more interesting in 2012. FOX.
6 p.m.: “Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.” A woman who is planning a Thanksgiving parade in Chicago clashes with a consultant brought in to keep the event expenses in check, but it’s not long before sparks start to fly between the pair. 2012. Hallmark Channel.
7:30 p.m.: TCU at Texas. Devonte Fields and Jason Vernett lead the TCU defense against Longhorns RB Jonathan Gray and WR Mike Davis in this new Big 12 rivalry. Texas won the last meeting in 2007 to go up 61-20-1 all time. The Horned Frogs are 4-1 on the road in 2012. ESPN.
8 p.m.: “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” In the 1973 special, Charlie Brown wants to do something special for the gang. The dinner he arranges is a disaster, but the ending is delightful. A bonus cartoon called “This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers” airs immediately afterward. It features the gang onboard the Mayflower in 1620. ABC.
8 p.m.: “Punkin Chunkin.” The annual pumpkin catapult contest is held in a Delaware cornfield. Hosts Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara examine the challenges facing each team in the 2012 contest. Science Channel.
8:20 p.m.: New England Patriots at New York Jets. Even though the Jets missed the playoffs last year, their seemingly endless storylines from Mark Sanchez vs. Tim Tebow make this team irresistible to watch. This nightcap is the highlight of Thanksgiving football and a great rival match. NBC.
9:30 p.m.: “Bad25.” Last year, ABC gave its viewers Lady Gaga. This year, Michael Jackson takes center stage on Thanksgiving night. “Bad25” celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” album. Director Spike Lee quickly dispenses with talk of the pop superstar’s struggles and dives right into the artistic perfectionism that drove him to achieve his career milestones. ABC.