- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving is the start of TV’s annual holiday season blitz, with a bevy of special programs slated to roll out over the next few days and continue through year’s end.

Parades

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (9 a.m. Thursday, NBC) - “Today” hosts Meredith Vieira, Matt Lauer and Al Roker emcee the annual New York City staple, celebrating its 61st broadcast on NBC. The lineup includes Bello the clown, singer Andrea Bocelli, actor Alan Cumming, late-night host Jimmy Fallon, disco star Gloria Gaynor, Olympic figure-skating champion Sarah Hughes, actress Jane Krakowski, singer Cyndi Lauper, reggae stars Ziggy Marley and Judah Marley, season-five “American Idol” runner-up Katharine McPhee, Miss America 2009 Katie Stam, and the cast and Muppets of “Sesame Street.” The Broadway casts of “Shrek,” “Billy Elliott,” “Hair” and “Bye Bye Birdie”; Carly Simon; the Pizzarelli Quartet; actress Keke Palmer; and the world-famous Radio City Rockettes will perform.

Thanksgiving Day Parade (9 a.m. Thursday, CBS) - “Early Show” personalities Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price will headline the network’s coverage of the Macy’s parade, while “Ghost Whisperer” co-star Jamie Kennedy will serve as a roving reporter in the crowd. Scheduled performers include country music star Reba McEntire and the casts from Broadway’s “West Side Story,” “Ragtime” and “Dreamgirls.” Airing live from New York City.

Marathons

House (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, USA) - Back-to-back episodes star Hugh Laurie as the cantankerous and gifted physician.

MythBusters (9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, Discovery Channel) - Special-effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman separate fact from fiction.

Unsung (2 to 9 p.m. Friday, One) - Profiles of R&B; stars highlight Tony-winning singer Melba Moore; singers Minnie Riperton and Teena Marie; funk bassist Bootsy Collins; former Supremes member Florence Ballard; and the groups Klymaxx, Roger & Zapp, and Shalamar.

Movies

The Godfather (7:30 a.m. Thursday, AMC) - Spend your holiday with the family - the Corleone family, that is - in director Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning mob trilogy. The original 1972 film kicks things off, followed by 1974’s “The Godfather II” (11:30 a.m.) and 1990’s “The Godfather III” (4 p.m.).

James Bond (8 a.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Saturday, SyFy) - The cable network formerly known as the Sci Fi Channel will host a three-day showcase of films featuring author Ian Fleming’s world-famous spy, beginning with 1962’s “Dr. No.”

The Wrestler (8 p.m. Saturday, HBO) - Mickey Rourke’s Oscar-nominated turn as broken-down pro wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson is complemented by sterling performances from Marisa Tomei as his stripper girlfriend and Evan Rachel Wood as his estranged daughter. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Specials

The National Dog Show Presented by Purina (noon Thursday, NBC) - Canine competitors - including a bearded collie named Roy owned by District resident Ellen Charles - vie to become the top dog.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (8 p.m. Thursday, ABC) - The Peanuts gang heads to Charlie Brown’s house as he attempts to host the Thanksgiving Day feast.

Beyonce: I Am … Yours (9 p.m. Thursday, ABC) - The multitalented singer, dancer and actress offers footage of her performance this past summer from the Encore Theater at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Program highlights also include interviews, backstage moments and childhood footage of the star.

People of the Year (9 p.m. Thursday, NBC) - A look at the most fascinating and talked-about personalities of 2009 includes country music star Taylor Swift, octomom Nadya Suleman, Susan Boyle, Kobe Bryant, airline captain Chesley Sullenberger and hijacked ship captain Richard Phillips. Matt Lauer of “Today” hosts.

Paul McCartney: Good Evening New York City (10 p.m. Thursday, ABC) - The special includes the former Beatle’s performance in New York City last summer along with footage of the original Beatles concert at Shea Stadium 44 years ago.

25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert - (8 p.m. Sunday, HBO) - The stars take the stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate a quarter-century of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The show, taped at two concerts in October, features performances by the Jeff Beck Band; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Aretha Franklin; Metallica; Paul Simon; Simon & Garfunkel; Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; U2; and Stevie Wonder, among others.

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