Thursday is Thanksgiving and all the TV networks know how much you hate small talk with your relatives after the tryptophan coma sets in. The annual effort to make Turkey Day less awkward is filled with unexpected show marathons and TV specials you didn't even know you needed to see. Whether you want yuck it up, ponder the deep meaning of the universe or fall asleep looking at the Alaskan wilderness, they've got you covered. Surely, at least one of this year's marathons or specials will fit your family. If not, there's always the Yule log.
Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Tuesday, 8 p.m., ABC
The Peanuts gang made have returned to the big screen this year, but their true home has always been in our living rooms for the holiday. Two days before the great festival of eating, watch Charlie Brown get schooled on the importance of this national holiday.
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Thursday, 9 a.m., NBC
Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie anchor coverage of the 89th annual procession in New York. Performers will include Daughtry, Mariah Carey, Rachel Platten, Questlove, Cirque du Soleil, and the Radio City Rockettes.
McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade, Thursday, 9 a.m., WGN
Grand marshaled by actor David Arquette, Chicago's answer to the pomp and circumstance of the holiday season will run for three full hours at the same time as the Macy's parade. Take that New York.
Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride, Thursday, 9 a.m. Destination America
In place of the Yule log, Destination America would like you to fall asleep to the images of a train rolling through Alaska for five hours. That's it. Just five hours of scenery from the snowy hills to the frozen waters.
The All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration, Thursday, 8 p.m., Fox
For the second year, Hilary Swank and Michael Levitt will be bringing you a cavalcade of stars to sell you on pups looking for a home. Last year's two-hour special generated 4,500 adoption applications, according to Fox. Celebrity guests have included attractive dog lovers Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Emmy Rossum. No word yet on this year's stars but we can probably count on Swank to know some pretty famous people.
Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Concert, Thursday, 8 p.m., PBS
Folk legend Arlo Guthrie will wheel out his classic, 18-minute opus, Alice's Restaurant Massacre, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the tune. He'll give a full two-hour show on top of a live performance of Alice including Chilling of the Evening, City of New Orleans, Coming Into Los Angeles, Highway in the Wind, I Hear You Sing Again, The Motorcycle Song, My Peace, Pig Meat, and St. James Infirmary.
Sex and the City, Wednesday, 7 p.m., Oxygen
Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte will be all over E! and Oxygen all weekend long. It's the perfect time to crack a bottle of wine, and relive all those cringe inducing trysts that made the ladies cash out of dating in the early aughts and settle for the men we hated to love. The marathon picks up at noon on Thursday and rolls right through dinner time.
The Facts of Life, Thursday 9 a.m. TV Land
You take the good. You take the bad. You take them both and there you have... Tootie and Blair would love for you to stop on by the Eastland School for Girls and spend the holidays reliving a simpler time when all conversations happened in the kitchen and sharing hair appliances was the issue of the day.
The Godfather Trilogy, Thursday, 9 a.m., AMC
When AMC thinks of food and family, apparently the first name that comes to mind is Corleone. The Don and his family saga will be running continuously through the holiday so if you miss a shooting or a double cross you can always circle back around to it six hours later.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Thursday, 6 a.m., BBC America
It's an American holiday, so naturally we should celebrate our favorite French Star Fleet captain with the strapping British accent. Jean Luc Picard, Data and the Klingons are here to keep you company as you secretly wish for a rocket to ship your relatives to space on.
That 70's Show, Thursday, 6 a.m., IFC
Jackie and Kelso have a baby IN REAL LIFE. Now that you have that truth bomb ticking away in your brain, you can rewatch the series and try to find other mind warping fun facts about the sitcom and its cast. The marathon runs until 10 p.m. so there will be plenty of material to mine in the meantime.
Eat: The Story of Food, Thursday, 9 a.m., National Geographic Channel
NatGeo goes all educational on us by bombarding us with an entire day of series aimed at showing the pros and cons of the food we love so much we made a holiday for it. Be warned, the episode about sugar is not just an hour of candy popping across the screen.
James Bond Marathon, Thursday, 6:30 a.m., SyFy
Spectre's in the theaters but thee' much more Bond to be had if the body is willing. SyFy starts bright and early mixing the 007s and the eras to deliver a full day of spy action and hot ladies. The marathon includes Dr. No, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day.
MythBusters, Thursday, 3 a.m., Science Channel
Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage never met a widespread belief they didn't want to dispel. This turkey day, the guys tackle things we all need to get a handle on from the flu, to things MacGyver could and couldn't do, and whether you can make a stun gun from water.
The streaming giant would like to think of it as a legitimate programming network now and they've got a boat load of shows to prove it. If your only experience with Netflix Originals is House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, you can spend this holiday filling your queue with new series Master of None (pictured), River, Marvel's Jessica Jones and W/Bob and David. If you only have a couple hours to spare, try awards season contender Beasts of No Nation.