Thursday, November 27, 2003
Thanksgiving is tough on the networks. How do you program for viewers slipping into a coma from too much food, family and togetherness? Some turn to marathons in the hopes that repeat impressions will make up for deficient attention spans. Other stations simply program old movies, and still others turn to holiday musical specials, hoping we'll tune to something soothing as we sink into turkey-induced lethargy.
- Let's start with the marathons. Nothing says Thanksgiving like the urge to redecorate your neighbor's home. TLC offers five consecutive hours of "Trading Spaces" beginning at 4 p.m.
- Turner Classic Movies is not one to forget the hosts of the first Thanksgiving. It reels off 14 straight hours of American Indian-themed Westerns, from "War Paint" (5 a.m.) to "Bend of the River" (5 p.m.)
- No holiday season is complete without the senseless onslaught of repeated viewings of "A Christmas Story" (7 p.m., TBS), the sleeper 1983 comedy based on the recollections of radio raconteur Jean Shepherd. Tonight marks your first chance to watch it. It won't be your last.
- For the musically inclined, there's a choice between a crooner and cause.
"Harry for the Holidays" (9 p.m., NBC) showcases the "Will & Grace" star Harry Connick Jr. doing what he does best, singing the American musical standards popularized by Frank Sinatra and others. His guests include Marc Anthony, Whoopi Goldberg and Nathan Lane. Gee, with the exception of Anthony, they've all been stars on NBC sitcoms.
- Ageless rocker Neil Young headlines "Farm Aid 2003" (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings), performing with the help of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Brooks and Dunn, Sheryl Crow and others. This was taped in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 7.
- A raft of NBC sitcom stars, "American Idol" stars Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken, Hillary Duff and guitar-playing New Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams float by during the "77th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade" (8 a.m., NBC).
Moby appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Greg Kinnear on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).