Thanksgiving 2018: What to watch on TV and stream online during the holiday celebrations

Thanksgiving is upon us and, whether you’re trying to defuse a brewing political argument or simply to provide your loved ones with a bit of entertainment, you might find yourself reaching for the remote during the celebration.

Between football games, the traditional Macy’s Parade, and the ever-so-lovely National Dog Show, there is no shortage of programmes to turn to.

And if television somehow fails you, there’s always streamers and their seemingly endless supply of holiday films to set a cheerful tone.

Here is everything you need to keep an eye on to make the most of your screen time on Turkey Day:

Three football games

The NFL has three games planned for football fans - or those who, like Chandler Bing in an episode of Friends, like to pretend they care about sports to avoid helping in the kitchen.

Tune into CBS at 12.30pm ET to watch the Chicago Bears face the Detroit Lions.

Switch to Fox at 4.30pm ET to see the Washington Redskins take on the Dallas Cowboys.

The third game of the day will be between the Atlanta Falcons and the New Orleans Saints, and it will air at 8.20pm on NBC.

Macys 92nd Thanksgiving Day Parade

Not a fan of football? Be first to grab the remote to tune into Macy’s annual parade at 9am ET.

The parade, which is scheduled to run until noon, will air on NBC, with Today hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Al Roker doing the honours.

Diana Ross, John Legend, Ashley Tisdale and the Muppets from Sesame Street are all scheduled to perform.

Those without a TV can watch a live stream of the parade on Verizon’s YouTube channel.

CBS will also cover the parade with Entertainment Tonight‘s Keltie Knight and Kevin Frazier.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2017

The National Dog Show

Perhaps the most underrated of all Thanksgiving TV offerings, the National Dog Show is the perfect way to recover from the emotional high of the parade before the excitement of turkey time.

The show will air at 12pm across all time zones - meaning that if you are celebrating in the East Coast, you may have to arm-wrestle your football-loving relative in order to watch some of the country’s most distinguished canines strut their stuff.

From the Bichon Frise to the Mastiff, 185 dog breeds will be represented during the two-hour special.

Literally all the Friends Thanksgiving episodes

They will be there for you. TBS will broadcast every Thanksgiving episodes ever featured on Friends, beginning at 1pm ET.

Alternatively, Netflix has all 10 seasons of the iconic sitcom on offer, so you can create your own, custom Thanksgiving Friends marathon.

May we suggest you begin with the iconic The One with the Football from season three, in which Ross and Monica delve deep into their sibling rivalry and fight for the coveted Geller cup?

A Christmas Prince - Trailer

Christmas films

Some say it’s never too early to get in the holiday spirit, so why not take advantage of Thanksgiving Day to set the tone for the rest of the season?

This could be the occasion to catch up on Netflix’s acclaimed 2017 romantic comedy A Christmas Prince ahead of the release of its sequel A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, coming on 30 November.

The streamer has also just released The Princess Switch, a Christmas romantic comedy starring Vanessa Hudgens, which is currently earning viral fame on social media.

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding - trailer


In this 2016 comedy available on Hulu, a group of young adults tries to enjoy a grown-up Thanksgiving together while working out the last of their growing pains - and it’s unclear which task is the most daunting.

A comforting choice for anyone looking to feel better about their slightly-more-chaotic-than-expected holiday season.

Just a lot of television

Several TV channels have marathons planned for those looking to spend as much time as possible reconnecting with their favourite shows.

UPtv has an ongoing, 153-hour Gilmore Girls marathon, which started on Monday and will continue through Thanksgiving Day until Sunday, 25 November, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Comedy Central also has a The Office marathon beginning at 2pm on Thanksgiving Day, featuring a string of Christmas-themed episodes.

The Office marathon - 2pm EST on Comedy Central

Freeform will air several family-friendly films on Thursday, including Mulan, Zootopia, and Ratatouille.

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