Lady Gaga to Barbra Streisand: TV worth watching over the holiday

Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular, Thanksgiving night at 9:30 Photo: Lady Gaga and the Muppets (ABC)

WASHINGTONNov 27, 2013 —The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, and with it comes a lot of traditional TV programming. Thanksgiving Day kicks off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at 9 A.M. EST on NBC. In recent years the parade has become more commercial than celebratory in nature, but as long as they have the Underdog balloon it is still worth watching.

Immediately following the parade on NBC is the National Dog Show where more than 2000 canines representing 150 breeds compete. This two-hour dog lover’s extravaganza is a must see and a great warm up for Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl” in February.

It certainly wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without football to watch between putting together the green bean casserole and basting that ubiquitous bird. Starting at 12:30 p.m. on FOX, the Lions will host the Packers. The Packers have won 14 out of the last 15 games these two have played, but the Packers are winless since QB Aaron Rodgers’ injury on Nov. 4.

At 4:30 p.m. on CBS, the Dallas Cowboys host the Oakland Raiders. Dallas is currently tied for the division lead with Philadelphia, but never count out those bad boys from Oakland when they take on the Cowboys.

At 8:30 p.m. on NBC the Baltimore Ravens host the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams have identical records with five wins and six losses. But Baltimore has only one loss at home this season so Steelers fans may have to wait awhile for another reason to be thankful.

At 9:30 p.m. on ABC, Lady Gaga & the Muppets celebrate the holidays with guests Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and RuPaul. This decidedly non-traditional show is new to the holidays, but what is not to love about Lady Gaga and Kermit singing a duet? (Pssst! Don’t tell Miss Piggy!)

Friday, November 29

For TV traditionalists, those Ghosts of Christmas Past, it doesn’t get any better than “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” ABC is airing this perennial favorite at 8 p.m., followed by “Shrek the Halls.” At 9 p.m. on CBS Garth Brooks takes the stage for a live performance from the Encore Theater in Las Vegas.

Another big name entertainer takes the stage at 9 p.m. on the PBS series “Great Performances.” Barbra Streisand performs at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center where she’s backed by a 60-piece orchestra and joined by Il Volo, Chris Botti and son Jason Gould.

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Saturday, November 30

For those who aren’t fans of college football, Saturdays in November are otherwise all about reruns. The one new show with possibilities is “Atlantis,” which airs at 9 p.m. on BBC America.

American TV is already in the midst of an ongoing British invasion that includes popular shows like “Downton Abby,” and the recent 50th anniversary celebration of the venerable but dramatically updated “Dr. Who.”

Even domestic fare is peppered with this Brit presence. The eponymous American anti-hero of the late, lamented Fox series “House” was portrayed with astounding authenticity by British comic and musician Hugh Laurie and will likely remain in reruns forever. Currently, “The Walking Dead” and “Homeland” are just two of the great shows that feature British actors in prominent roles. As long as the imports are as top shelf as these, we welcome any and all input from across the pond.

Aside from consuming mass quantities of Thanksgiving leftovers whilst firmly ensconced on the couch watching holiday fare on your flatscreen, there’s always Black Friday shopping, of course, that happy time of year when retailers try to take what’s left of your paycheck after Federal, state and local governments take their ever larger cut.

But consider: instead of dashing out over the holidays to spend too much money on silliness and ephemera–via credit cards that boast reasonable 24.5 percent APRs–consider making a donation instead to the “Wounded Warrior Project.” This is a great organization, and helping them out is a truly  great way to show how thankful we are for the freedoms we enjoy.

As for us, we will be back with our final live chat during “The Walking Dead” at 9 p.m. on Sunday night. Until then, be happy, be safe, and be thankful.


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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