What to Watch on TV Instead of Football on Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving Football

Getty Detroit Lions fans arrive at Ford Field prior to the start of the Thanksgiving game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Detroit Lions on November 26, 2015.

Thanksgiving falls on Thursday, November 28 this year, and in addition to being a holiday centered around sharing time and food with family and friends, it is also known by NFL fans as a great day to spend on the couch watching football. On Thanksgiving, the Chicago Bears play the Detroit Lions at 12:30pm, the Buffalo Bills play the Dallas Cowboys at 4:30pm, and the New Orleans Saints play the Atlanta Falcons at 8:20pm.

But if you’re not a football fan, you may be wondering what is available to watch instead. So if you’re looking for something to stream or watch on television as you relax with family and digest your Thanksgiving turkey, you’re in luck! There are a number of great options that have nothing to do with the NFL. Here are some of the alternatives we found:


The Purina National Dog Show

After the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, it has become a Thanksgiving tradition to watch the Purina National Dog Show. Beginning at 12pm ET, you can tune in to NBC to watch the country’s “best in breed” dogs compete for the national title of “Best in Show.” Whether you have a dog of your own that you want to sit back and watch television with (while you wait to see if their breed comes out on top), or you’re just looking for something pleasant to have on in the background while you cook your Thanksgiving dinner, the National Dog Show offers competitive spirit without the intensity of watching a football game.


The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration

At 8pm/7c, ABC will air its “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration” special. Hosted by Matthew Morrison, Emma Bunton, and Jesee Palmer, the Disney-filled showcase is meant to kick off the holiday season as well as offer a behind-the-scenes peek at Disneyworld and Disneyland’s newest attraction (opening in early December 2019): Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. The two-hour special will also feature performances by Portugal the Man, Ally Brooke, Pentatonix, Andy Grammer, and more.


Thanksgiving TV Show Episodes & Christmas Movies Will Air Throughout the Day

Throughout the holiday, expect networks to air Thanksgiving-themed episodes of their hit television shows, past and present. The television show Friends had several Thanksgiving episodes over the course of its 10 seasons, and according to Deadline, Friends Thanksgiving marathons will air across the country on the holiday.

Alternatively, if you have a streaming service such as Netflix or Hulu, you could easily find and watch The Office‘s Thanksgiving episode (season 7 episode 9), Cheers‘s “Thanksgiving Orphan” (season 5 episode 9), or It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Thanksgiving-themed season 9 episode 10.

Since Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season, many channels will also begin playing Christmas and holiday movies on Thanksgiving Day. Hallmark will be airing their original Christmas movies all day, and, as always, PIX11 will air March of the Wooden Soldiers at 9am ET and then again at 3pm ET.

Again, streaming platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ offer a number of Christmas movies to enjoy, so if you can’t find your favorite on the TV Guide, there are other places for you to look!


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