Thanksgiving day TV marathons to be thankful for: Your viewing guide

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There’s not much you can do when that inevitable turkey coma sets in today so instead of fighting those couch potato urges, indulge in some Thanksgiving TV. Fortunately, there are plenty of TV marathons to be thankful for this year. Whether you’re craving something manly, in a nostalgic state of mind, or schadenfreude is the name of the game, there’s something to feast your eyes on.

Oldies, But Goodies
As you’re reminiscing about the good ol’ days with family, it’s only fitting that you watch some cinematic masterpieces from yesteryear. First up is a jumbo-sized James Bond movie marathon. Celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary with a two-day Syfyblockbuster fest from 12 a.m. to tomorrow, 5:30 a.m. I’m sure the release of the latest and highest grossing 007 installment, Skyfall, has opened up the age-old debate about the best Bond flick. The marathon includes Daniel Graig’s first two Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and the very first film from the franchise, Sean Connery’s Dr. No. If you’re more gangster than suave, AMC’s Godfather marathon is the way to go. With two consecutive airings of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II from 11:30 a.m. to tomorrow, 4:30 a.m., you’re sure to get your mafia fix (the third film is officially not worth watching).

Classic TV
Keeping with the theme of taking trips down memory lane, here are some old-school TV shows to balance out the classic movies. Your favorite gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows, will run on Chiller from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., while your favorite science fiction sitcom ALF will air from 6 p.m. to tomorrow, 6 a.m. on The Hub. You can also catch back-to-back episodes of I Love Lucy (noon to 4 p.m.) on TV Land followed by The Andy Griffith Show (4 to 9 p.m.).

Tough-Guy TV
If James Bond and Michael Corleone aren’t rugged enough, you can watch the manliest of men on reality TV. Spend the day with Swamp People (8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on History) and Wheeler Dealers (6 a.m. to tomorrow, 6 a.m. on Velocity). For even more life-threatening adventures, check out Alaska: The Last Frontier (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Discovery), Finding Bigfoot (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Animal Planet), and Wicked Tuna (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on National Geographic Channel).  Spike will also air Tattoo Nightmares followed by Ink Master from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Crime Procedurals
So many hookers, so little time! USA will air 24 hours of NCIS (the “Gibbs That Keeps On Giving” marathon) beginning at 6 a.m., while Oxygen will offer a half day of Law & Order: Criminal Intent from 2 p.m. to tomorrow, 2 a.m. If you like murder with a side of comedy, tune into Castle (10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on TNT) or Psych (6 a.m. to tomorrow, 6 a.m. on Cloo). You can also flip to A&E’s The First 48 (3 p.m. to tomorrow, 4 a.m.) for the real scoop.

Reality Bites
On top of you heavy heaping of tough-guy reality shows, add some voyeuristic series, with Breaking Amish (11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on TLC), Secretly Pregnant (2 to 10 p.m. on Discovery Fit & Health), and Million Dollar Listing (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Bravo). Or, if the thought of food doesn’t make you want to hurl, try some food programming with Best Sandwich (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Travel), Cake Boss (6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on TLC), and Restaurant Impossible (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Food Network).

From Wishbone to Funny Bone
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without friends and family. So tune into Friends (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on TBS) and family sitcoms Roseanne (2 to 6 p.m. on CMT) and Moesha (8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on BET). Hopefully watching other people’s lousy Thanksgivings (fingers crossed that Friends“The One With All the Thanksgivings” will air) will make yours better.

Get Your Genre On
Whether you’re a fan of the Wild Wild West or the Final Frontier, there’s a marathon out there for you. BBC America will air the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation from noon to tomorrow, 6 a.m. and History will rebroadcast its acclaimed miniseries Hatfields & McCoys from 6 p.m. to tomorrow, 4 a.m. There’s also an alternative for cult TV addicts in Friday Night Lights (1 to 8 p.m. on ESPN Classic).

Mixed Bag
If you prefer themed marathons, tune into Encore Love, Bio Channel, and FX instead. Encore’s “Tuneful Thanksgiving” marathon from 4:15 a.m. to tomorrow, 12:40 a.m. will include movie musicals La Bamba, Oklahoma!, Evita, and Rent. FX will air family-friendly animated features like Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Kung Fu Panda, and 14 hours of Shrek Forever After from 8 a.m. to tomorrow, 2 a.m. There’s also a belated Halloween paranormal series marathon from 8 a.m. to tomorrow, 4 a.m. (it continues on Saturday) with episodes of Paranormal State, My Ghost Story, and Celebrity Ghost Stories.

Read more:
Thanksgiving Film ‘Feast’-ival
10 Thanksgivings with ‘Friends’
Box office preview: ‘Breaking Dawn’ headed for Thanksgiving win, while newcomers hope to avoid turkey status


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