Thanksgiving 2020 TV Schedule: What to Watch Instead of Football

THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW -- 2020 -- Pictured: Norwich Terrier

NBC THE NATIONAL DOG SHOW -- 2020 -- Pictured: Norwich Terrier

There are actually quite a few things to watch on Turkey Day if football doesn’t trip your trigger. So here is a list of alternative TV programs, specials and marathons for Thanksgiving Day 2020.

All times Eastern.

Special Events

As always, there is the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is broadcast-only this year, no spectators allowed, but it should still be a lot of fun for viewers at home. It airs live from 9 a.m. to noon across all time zones on NBC. The Spanish-language broadcast airs at the same time on Telemundo. There will be a rebroadcast from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Performers include Jimmy Fallon and the Roots opening the show, plus Lauren Alaina, Ally Brooke, Sofia Carson, CNCO, Karol G, Tori Kelly, Patti LaBelle, Miss America 2020 Camille Schrier, Matthew Morrison, the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street. Leslie Odom Jr., Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, Pentatonix, Bebe Rexha, Jordin Sparks, Sebastián Yatra, and Brett Young, with Santa Claus himself closing the festivities.

There is also the CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration from 9 a.m. to noon, which features a holiday celebration featuring a tour of the most popular balloons, floats, and highlights from years past; Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight host; performers include Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, and the cast of Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen.

Immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the 19th annual National Dog Show, hosted by John Hurley and David Frei. It features more than 500 purebred dogs vying for “Best in Show.”

At 8 p.m., HBO has the premiere of The Mystery of D.B. Cooper, a true-crime documentary about the only unsolved skyjacking in U.S. history.

ABC has a holiday lineup airing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. that includes Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, Toy Story That Time Forgot, and The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration, which features original hosts Derek and Julianne Hough kicking off the night with a glittering new holiday performance, while Trevor Jackson hosts from Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Together, they will take viewers on a wintry ride through fan-favorite performances and new heartwarming family moments. Viewers will also get a brand-new sneak peek into Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure coming in 2021 to EPCOT in Florida.

FOX has new episodes of The Masked Singer and I Can See Your Voice from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Masked Singer is airing the Group C finals, where the three remaining Group C celebrities compete for the last two spots in the “Super Six.” The first four spots are already occupied by the Popcorn, Sun, Crocodile, and Seahorse.


Hallmark: Christmas movie marathon all day, which includes the world premiere broadcasts of A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado starring Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor, and Christmas By Starlight starring Kimberley Sustad and Paul Campbell. Other films airing on Thanksgiving are Christmas Cookies, One Royal Holiday, Christmas Under the Stars, Christmas Made to Order, A Wish for Christmas, Christmas Connection, The Christmas House, and The Mistletoe Promise.

Paramount: An all-day marathon of the Indiana Jones franchise of films.

POP: An all-day marathon of popular ’90s medical drama ER.

Starz: Revisit the War of the Roses miniseries The White Queen with this marathon.

USA: A marathon of the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter film franchise.

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