Friday Fives: The Top Five Thanksgiving Television Shows

For this post celebrating Thanksgiving week, we turn on the television to present the top five Thanksgiving-related television shows.

They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. Psalm 145:7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Let them give thanks to the Lord because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam’s descendants.He gave plenty to drink to those who were thirsty. He filled those who were hungry with good food. Those who lived in the dark, in death’s shadow were prisoners in misery.They were held in iron chains because they had rebelled against God’s words and had despised the advice given by the Most High. Psalm 107:8-13

#5. Touched by an Angel: An Unexpected Snow 

The Story: From the first season of the series, this episode finds Monica and Tess making sure two women who are dating the same man meet via car accident. The three end up having to have Thanksgiving dinner together.  Like many in the Touched by an Angel series, the episode is well written, creative and truly reflects the nature of giving thanks.

Where You Can Find It: The first season of Touched by an Angel is available on amazon

#4. WKRP in Cincinnati: Turkeys Away

The Story: Many years ago I worked in radio and often heard that this famous episode was based on a true story. While I was never able to corroborate that, it certainly made for a classic television Thanksgiving episode. The General Manager of WKRP – Mr. Carlson played by Gordon Jump – decides that the perfect Thanksgiving promotion would be to throw turkeys out of a helicopter into a shopping mall below. The result is an episode that many who have seen it will remember with a laugh. There’s even a bit of poignancy.

Where You Can Find It: The full episode is available through imdb

#3 A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The Story: While it doesn’t have the cultural cache of A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is one of the greatest holiday television specials in history, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is the tenth Peanuts TV special by the great Charles Schulz. It debuted on CBS on November 20, 1973, eight years after the debut of its famous Christmas predecessor, and even won an Emmy.

Where You Can Find It: The full episode is available on YouTube

#2 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Story: There’s no deep meaning in this choice at number 2, just a memory of my Thanksgiving mornings growing up with the family being together with delicious smells wafting from the kitchen and using the parade as a kind of soundtrack for family conversation. Maybe there is some deep meaning there. First televised locally in 1946, it’s one of the longest consecutively-running television events in history. (It was almost canceled because of the Kennedy assassination but the show went on.)

Where You Can Find It: Every Thanksgiving morning on any one of several national networks.

Before you get to #1, some honorable mentions: 7th Heaven: Thanks and Giving; Friends: The One with All the Thanksgivings; The Waltons: A Thanksgiving Reunion; M*A*S*H: The Yalu Brick Road; Cheers: Thanksgiving Orphans; Full House: The Miracle of Thanksgiving.

#1 The Waltons:The Thanksgiving Story 

The Story: First airing on November 15, 1973 and showing during each Thanksgiving season since, it’s fitting that a classic Thanksgiving television episode is from Earl Hamner’s story of growing up in Schuyler, Virginia. Let’s be honest, The Walton’s is the perfect Thanksgiving series isn’t it? Thus, for me, this episode is the best Thanksgiving television show. If you haven’t taken the time to watch it in a while, set your DVR.

Where You Can Find It: The Thanksgiving Story Parts 1 and 2 are both available on amazon.


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