Thanksgiving Day TV: What's on the Menu This Year?

From the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, see what's on tap for Turkey Day television

Hooray for Thanksgiving weekend TV! It's nearly time for endless NFL football games, tons of rerun marathons, and your annual opportunity to watch earnest Americans catapult pumpkins into oblivion. Plus, if you need help with cooking, nearly every celebrity chef is offering advice. Here are some highlights from this year's lineup.

Holiday Specials:

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC and CBS, Thursday, 9 a.m. E.T.) There's something for everyone: floats, marching bands, and giant balloon characters drifting way too close to towering skyscrapers.

Punkin Chunkin (Science Channel, Thursday, 8 pm E.T.) According to the special's website, "backyard engineers turn pumpkins into projectiles." And it's oddly riveting.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (ABC, Thursday, 8 p.m. ET) The Peanuts crew celebrates the holiday around Charlie Brown's ping-pong table.

The Middle (ABC, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET) Norm Macdonald guest stars as Mike's (Neil Flynn) brother, who joins the family for Thanksgiving.

A Very Gaga Thanksgiving (ABC, Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET) Katie Couric interviews Lady Gaga. The singer also prepares deep-fried turkey and waffles and performs with Tony Bennett.


Cooking Shows:

Top Chef (Bravo, Thursday, 6 a.m. ET) The chefs prepare Thanksgiving dinner.

Rachael Ray (syndicated, Thursday) Celebrity chef Bobby Flay demonstrates his turkey carving abilities and shows viewers what to do with leftovers.

Martha and Friends — Martha's Best Thanksgiving (Hallmark, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET) Martha Stewart shows off her usual, picture-perfect take on the holiday's food and decorations. Then she answers viewers' Thanksgiving-related questions on The Martha Stewart Show at 1 p.m. ET.

Paula's Home Cooking (Food Network, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET) Paula Deen instructs viewers how to make fattening -- er, Southern -- dishes out of Thanksgiving leftovers.  

Barefoot Contessa (Food Network, Thursday, 1 p.m. ET) Ina Garten reveals that turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving, and shows viewers how to make herb-butter roast turkey, parmesan popover, and creme brulee.

Cake Boss: Family Feast (TLC, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET) It's a turkey cake for the bakery crew! The episode repeats at 11 p.m. ET.


Rerun Marathons:

The Godfather trilogy (AMC) The network carries on its tradition of airing the classic mafia movies, starting Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET. 

Millionaire Matchmaker marathon (Bravo, Friday at 11 a.m. ET through Saturday at 2 a.m. ET) Watch Patti Stanger try and try to make matches for some challenging millionaires.

Roseanne holiday episodes (Oxygen, Thursday at 7 a.m. ET through 7 p.m. ET). It's a series of dysfunctional holidays for the Conner clan!

Cake Boss marathon (TLC, Thursday at 6 a.m. ET through Friday at 3 a.m. ET) See Buddy and the crew create their confectionary masterpieces over and over again.

Bones marathon (TNT, Thursday, 10 a.m. ET through 8 p.m. ET). Want a little crime-fighting as a Thanksgiving side dish? This is your marathon!

NCIS marathon (USA, Thursday, 10 a.m. ET through 8 p.m. ET) And more drama to give you a break from your own family holiday drama.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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