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For more than 30 years, John Kiesewetter has been the source for information about all things in local media — comings and goings, local people appearing on the big or small screen, special programs, and much more. Contact John at

Plenty Of Old Friends To See Thanksgiving Week On TV

Courtesy CBS
'Frosty The Snowman' airs on CBS again Friday night, Nov. 23.

Lots of old favorite shows and faces – many not necessarily holiday or Christmas related – fill the TV and radio airwaves Thanksgiving week.

Here's my first Holiday Programming list of the season, for Thanksgiving week. My huge annual Holiday Program Guide for shows Nov. 25 through Christmas posts Sunday, Nov. 25.

Credit Courtesy NBC Sports
The NFL Network's "A Football Life" profiles Cris Collinsworth 8 p.m. Friday.

Thanksgiving week highlights include the new A Football Life profile of Cris Collinsworth Friday; George Clooney headlining an all-star cast in the on the LA Theatre Works production of 8 on Saturday; Julia Louis-Dreyfus receiving the Mark Twain Prize Monday;  and LeAnn Rimes new It's Christmas Eve Hallmark Channel movie.

Old favorites returning again include the WKRP in Cincinnati turkey drop episode; The Grinch; Frosty the Snowman; Tim Allen's The Santa Clause; Santa Claus Is Coming To Town; The Andy Griffith Show jailhouse Christmas party; The Wizard of Oz; Finding Nemo; The Lion King; Ratatouille; the annual Turkey Confidential call-in show; public radio hosts Mark Perzel and John Birge; and the Ruth Lyons: First Lady of Television documentary about WLWT-TV's  daytime TV star in the 1950s and '60s.

Plus here's a DVR Alert for a couple of 1960s classics:  The Dirty Dozen with Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine and NFL great Jim Brown, and Paper Lion about George Plimpton's tryout as a Detroit Lions quarterback.  

Enjoy a visit with your old TV friends this week…. And watch for my annual Holiday Programming Guide to be posted Sunday, Nov. 25.

Credit Courtesy MTM Productions
The "WKRP" turkey drop episode airs Sunday and Thursday this week.


M*A*S*H (7 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Most of the camp gets sick after eating Klinger's Thanksgiving turkey.

WKRP in Cincinnati (7:30 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): The Big Guy (Gordon Jump) drops turkeys over a shopping mall parking lot in as a Thanksgiving promotion. As God is my witness, it's still one of the funniest TV shows ever.

Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa (8 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018. A businesswoman (Jill Wagner, Teen Wolf, Pearl in Paradise, Christmas Cookies) and a contractor (Mark Deklin, Major Crimes, Designated Survivor) reopen a small-town general store, where they find an old letter to Santa which was never opened.

The Lion King (8:55 p.m., Freeform): Disney's 1994 classic about a lion cub tricked by an evil uncle.

Credit Brian Douglas / Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel
Marian Carey and Lea Lachey preparing to film the concert scene for "A Christmas Melody" in 2015 at Kilgour Elementary School in Mount Lookout.


A Christmas Melody (6 a.m., Hallmark): Mariah Carey’s 2015 movie filmed in Cincinnati about a diva PTA mom (Carey) directing a school pageant. With Lacy Chabert, Kathy Najimy, Lea Lachey.

The Lion King (6:30 p.m., Freeform): Disney's 1994 classic about a lion cub tricked by an evil uncle.

Cinderella (8:30 p.m., Freeform): Lily James stars in the 2015 live action version of the classic fairy tale.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: The Mark Twain Prize (9 p.m., Ch 48, 16, 54 PBS): Julia Louis-Dreyfus is saluted by Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Keegan Michael Key and others.

Credit Courtesy PBS
Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepting the Mark Twain Prize in October.


Christmas in Love (6 p.m., Hallmark):  NEW for 2018. A small town bakery employee (Brooke D'Orsay, 9JKL, Miss Christmas) tries to convince the town's wealthiest resident (Daniel Lissing, When Calls The Heart) not to automate the bakery.

Christmas Joy (8 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018. A big-city market researcher (Danielle Panabaker, The Flash) goes home to help her ailing aunt and reconnects with her old boyfriend (Matt Long, Timeless).

Brave (9 p.m., Freeform): 2012 Pixar animated film about Princess Merida's using her archery skills to end a beastly curse.

Credit Courtesy ABC Television
"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" airs 8 p.m. Wednesday on ABC.


Every Good Thing (6 p.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): Host Elena See shares stories from listeners across the U.S.  giving thanks for their favorite classical music pieces.

It’s Christmas Eve (6 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018.  LeAnn Rimes stars as a school administrator assigned to her aging old high school, where she helps the struggling music department head (Tyler Hynes, Saving Hope) on the Christmas concert.

Brave (6:30p.m., Freeform): 2012 Pixar animated film about Princess Merida using her archery skills to end a beastly curse.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (8 p.m., Ch 9 ABC): Charlie Brown’s 1973 toast and popcorn dinner for the Peanuts gang.

Christmas at Grand Valley (8 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018. A burned-out artist (Danica McKellar, Crown For Christmas, The Wonder Years) comes home for the holiday and falls in love with a single father (Brennan Elliott, Curse of Chucky, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb).

Masterchef Junior : Celebrity Showdown (8 p.m., Ch 19 Fox): NEW. Eric Stonestreet, Lil Rel Howery, Alyson Hannigan, Terrence Howard and NFL vets Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith compete with past contestants or their own children.

Zootopia (8:30 p.m., Freeform): Disney's 2016 animated feature about a rabbit and fox solving a mystery.

SNL Thanksgiving (9 p.m., Ch 5, NBC):  Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving sketches.

Paper Lion (3:45 a.m., TCM): Sportswriter George Plimpton (Alan Alda) plays quarterback for the Detroit Lions in training camp to write Sports Illustrated story. Alex Karras, Lem Barney, John Gordy and other Lions players appear as themselves.

Credit Courtesy of NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal promotional photo for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


Beverly Hillbillies (7 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Elly won't let the family kill the Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving Parade (9 a.m.-noon, Chs 5, 12, NBC, CBS): NEW. Live coverage from New York of the 92nd annual parade features John Legend, Martina McBride, Barenaked Ladies, Sugarland, Bazzi, Ally Brooke, Kane Brown, Brynn Cartelli, Jack & Jack, Leona Lewis, Ella Mai, Tegan Marie, Rita Ora, Carly Pearce, Pentatonix, Anika Noni Rose, Ashley Tisdale, the Sesame Street Muppets and Diana Ross and her family.

Feast for the Ears:  (10 a.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): Mark Perzel presents traditional music and American composers in a warm, heartfelt celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Turkey Confidential (Noon-2 p.m., WVXU-FM 91.7): NEW. The Splendid Table host Francis Lam and former host Lynne Rossetto Kasper provide tips to callers and listeners in a live broadcast ease the stress for holiday cooks, hosts and dinner guests.

National Dog Show (noon, Ch 5, NBC): NEW. John O'Hurley again hosts the American Kennel Club competition.

Credit Ruth Lyons DVD

Ruth Lyons: First Lady of Television (2 p.m., Ch 5): Repeat of 2011 special about hugely popular WLWT-TV daytime TV host Ruth Lyons.

Ruth Lyons Special (4 p.m., Ch 5): WLWT-TV special about 50-50 Club host Ruth Lyons, who retired 50 years ago.

Ruth Lyons, Living Legend (4:30 p.m., Ch 5): Profile of former "50-50 Club" host Ruth Lyons.

Giving Thanks: (6 p.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): John Birge hosts a program that mixes a contemporary celebration of gratitude with classical music and stories of Thanksgiving.

Wizard of Oz (6:30 p.m., TBS): Dorothy (Judy Garland), Toto and the gang are off to see the wizard again.

Mary Poppins Returns: Behind The Magic (8 p.m., Ch 9 ABC): ABC's 20/20 goes behind the scenes of the new Mary Poppins Returns movie starring Emily Blunt produced by Walt Disney Pictures, a sister ABC company.

Christmas at the Palace (8 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018. A former professional ice skater (Merritt Patterson, The Royals, A Royal Winter, Unbroken, Ravenswood) falls in love with a monarch (Andrew Cooper, The Royals, The Way) while helping the king's daughter train for a Christmas ice show.

Ratatouille (8:30 p.m., Freeform): 2007 animated film about a rat (Patton Oswalt) and young kitchen worker.

Wizard of Oz (8:45 p.m., TBS): Dorothy (Judy Garland), Toto and the gang are off to see the wizard again.

WKRP in Cincinnati (9:30 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): The Big Guy (Gordon Jump) drops turkeys over a shopping mall parking lot in as a Thanksgiving promotion.

Christmas at Graceland (10 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018. Country singer Kellie Pickler stars as a Chicago executive assigned to help a small family bank in Memphis, where she meets her old boyfriend and former singing partner, in a film shot at Elvis Presley's estate.

Credit Courtesy NBCUniversal
The 1966 "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" repeats Friday night.


The Facts of Life (6:30 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): The girls prepare to go their separate ways for Christmas vacation. 

Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups (7:30 a.m., Freeform):  The playful pups grant Christmas wishes to boys and girls.

Matlock (10 a.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): A grumpy toy store owner is accused of killing his kind-hearted business partner.

Fred Claus (3:15 p.m., TBS): Santa (Paul Giamatti) bails out his brother (Vince Vaughn).

Wizard of Oz (5:45 p.m., TBS): Dorothy (Judy Garland), Toto and the gang are off to see the wizard again.

Light Up The Square (7:30 p.m., Ch 5): Sheree Paolello and Mike Dardis host the annual tree-lighting ceremony on Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati.

Credit Courtesy NBC Sports
Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels

A Football Life (8 p.m., NFL Network): NEW. A one-hour profile of Cris Collinsworth, the Fort Thomas resident and former Bengals receiver who broadcasts NBC's Sunday Night Football with Al Michaels. Along with highlights from Collinsworth's Bengals days and his 16 Emmy Award-winning TV career, producers also have video of Collinsworth racing a bay horse at Latonia Race Course in 1983 and doing Wimbledon features for HBO.

Frosty the Snowman (8 p.m., Ch 12 CBS): Jimmy Durante narrates the 1969 musical cartoon about the snowman who came to life.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (8 p.m., Ch 5 NBC): Boris Karloff narrates the classic 1966 classic cartoon.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (8 p.m., Ch 9 ABC):  Fred Astaire narrates a musical look at Santa from 1900.

Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (8 p.m., Hallmark): NEW for 2018. A career woman (Lacy Chabert, The Sweetest Christmas, Mean Girls, Party of Five) finds love (Brendan Penny, The A-Team) when she comes home to help her sick mother.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (8 p.m., TCM):  An inventor (Dick Van Dyke) takes his children on rides in his flying car.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (8 p.m., Ch 12.2 CW): Cartoon from 2000 based on the novelty Christmas song.

Love, Actually (8 p.m., TBS): Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Martine McCutcheon, Colin Firth and Emma Thompson star as London residents search for love weeks before Christmas.

DreamWorks Trolls Holiday Special (8:30 p.m., Ch 5 NBC):  Animated. Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) brings holidays to the Bergens.

Credit Courtesy CBS
Jonathan Winters narrates "Frosty Returns" on CBS.

Frosty Returns (8:30 p.m., Ch 12, CBS): Animated. Jonathan Winters narrates story of how a new snow removal spray threatens Frosty.

Finding Nemo (8:30 p.m., Freeform): Ellen DeGeneres stars as an insecure clownfish in this 2003 Oscar-winning animated film.

Andy Griffith Show (8:30 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Andy and Barney give a Christmas party in the jail for an inmate and his family.

Call Me Claus (midnight, Freeform): Santa asks a TV producer (Whoopi Goldberg) to replace him.

Credit Courtesy Pixar/Disney
A Clownfish (Albert Brooks) befriends an insecure Blue Regal Tang (Ellen DeGeneres) in the 2003 animated hit movie "Finding Nemo."


Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (7 a.m., Freeform): The Peanuts gang goes to Europe as exchange students in 1980.

The Dirty Dozen (3:15 p.m., TCM):  An all-star cast (Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy, Ernest Borgnine and NFL great Jim Brown) plays convicted murderers trained to kill German officers during World War II.

Beethoven's Christmas Adventure (8:30 a.m., Freeform): John Cleese narrates the story of how the St. Bernard rescues an elf and returns stolen gifts to Santa.

Finding Nemo (5:15 p.m., Freeform): Ellen DeGeneres stars as an insecure Blue Regal Tang befriended by a Clownfish (Albert Brooks) in this 2003 Oscar-winning animated film.

Christmastime In New Orleans (7 p.m., Ch 48 CET): NEW. A festive holiday special showcases the music, sights and acclaimed cuisine of New Orleans.

Credit Pete Souza / White House Photo
White House Photo
George Clooney

The Santa Clause (7:45 p.m., Freeform):  A divorced dad (Tim Allen) becomes Santa.

LA Theatre Works: 8 (8-10 p.m., WVXU-FM 91.7): George Clooney heads an all-star cast (Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Bacon, Christine Lahti, John C. Reilly, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Yeardley Smith, George Takei and Jane Lynch) in a radio drama directed by Rob Reiner about California's Proposition 8 in 2008, which stripped the freedom to marry from gay and lesbian couples. 8 recreates the court challenge through trial transcripts and interviews with the plaintiffs.

National Dog Show (8 p.m., Ch 5 NBC): Repeat of Thursday's American Kennel Club competition.

Robbie The Reindeer: Hooves of Fire (8 p.m., Ch 12 CBS):  Animated. Reindeer compete to pull Santa’s sleigh.

Christmas Everlasting (8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 Hallmark): NEW. A Hallmark Hall of Fame film about a corporate lawyer (Tatyana Ali, Christmas Everlasting, Wrapped Up In Christmas, The Young and the Restless) going home to Wisconsin to handle her older sister's estate and the family home, where she falls in love with her high school sweetheart.

Robbie The Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe (8:30 p.m., Ch 12 CBS):  Animated. Blitzen plans a reindeer theme park.

The Story of Santa Claus (9 p.m., Ch 12 CBS):  In this 1996 cartoon, a jolly old man and his wife (Ed Asner, Betty White) start the toy-giving tradition.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (9:50 p.m., Freeform): Jack Frost (Martin Short) tries to prevent Christmas.

Watch for my huge annual Holiday Program Guide for shows Nov. 25 through Christmas on Sunday, Nov. 25 at

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.