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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.Local media is still his beat and he’s bringing his interest, curiosity, contacts and unique style to Cincinnati Public Radio and 91.7 WVXU.Contact John at johnkiese@yahoo.com.

Eat, drink, watch, repeat: TV Kiese's list of Thanksgiving week specials and movies

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Courtesy ABC
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'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' airs Sunday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. on PBS, in addition to being available on Apple+.

The Peanuts gang, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, Ruth Lyons special and Feast For The Ears return Thanksgiving week.

I'm making my lists, and checking them twice. First comes the list of Thanksgiving and Christmas specials filling TV and radio airwaves Nov. 21-27, and then my huge annual Holiday Program Guide posts Sunday, Nov. 28.

During Thanksgiving week, viewers again will see plenty of their old holiday favorites – comfort food for the eyes and ears: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (Sunday on PBS and Apple+); Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Monday on CBS), Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns (Friday on CBS); Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town (Friday on ABC) and Robbie the Reindeer (Saturday on CBS).

Among the TV classics back with holiday episodes are Friends, Happy Days, M*A*S*H, Beverly Hillbillies, Gunsmoke and The Waltons (a good warm-up for the CW network's revival of 1970s drama with The Waltons: Homecoming Sunday night Nov. 28).

The Polar Express rolls again through TNT, along with National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Four Christmases, Barbara Stanwyck's Christmas in Connecticut and The Wizard of Oz, which has become a holiday staple. TNT also plans Star Wars, Harry Potter and superhero marathons through Christmas, but I'm not ready to declare Wonder Woman, Spider-Man or Aquaman holiday icons. If you want to see a holiday movie, just tune in the Hallmark and Lifetime channels 24/7 Thanksgiving week for too many movies to list here. (Spoiler alert! They always have a happy ending.)

For a real movie classic, catch Humphrey Bogart's Casablanca (8 p.m. Wednesday TCM) or the original Ocean's Eleven with Frank Sinatra (8 p.m. Friday on TCM) made in 1960 before George Clooney was born.

SANTA SCHOOL pbs 2021.jpg
Courtesy American Public Television
Wannabe Santa Clauses learn how to talk and walk like the jolly ol' guy in "Santa School."

New this year is a Blue's Clues and You Hanukkah special (Friday on Nickelodeon) and a visit to Santa School (Wednesday on WPTO-TV, Channel 14).

Thanksgiving week also brings a feast for the ears with, well, classical music WGUC-FM's Feast For The Ears (10 a.m. Thanksgiving). Cincinnati Public Radio also will broadcast the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's August Classical Roots concert (8 p.m. Sunday), and of course will offer Thanksgiving cooks advice on Turkey Confidential (noon on WVXU-FM 91.7).

Enjoy a visit with your old TV/radio friends Thanksgiving week… and watch for my annual Holiday Programming Guide to be posted Sunday, Nov. 28.

Here's my holiday highlights for Thanksgiving week:

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Courtesy Castle Rock Entertainment
"The Polar Express" airs Sunday Nov. 21 on TNT.

SUNDAY, NOV. 21

The Polar Express (2:45 p.m., TBS): A train conductor (Tom Hanks) takes a boy to the North Pole.

The Wizard of Oz (4:45 p.m., TBS): Dorothy (Judy Garland) and dog Toto discover they're not in Kansas anymore.

Four Christmases (6 p.m., TNT): A couple’s (Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon) holiday getaway plans fall apart.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (7:30 p.m., PBS, PBS Kids, Apple TV+): Charlie Brown’s 1973 toast and popcorn dinner for the Peanuts gang.

2021 American Music Awards (8 p.m., ABC): Live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Classical Roots 2021 (8 p.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): Selections from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's 20th anniversary "Classical Roots" concert August 15, 2021.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (8 p.m., TNT): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (10 p.m., TNT): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

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Courtesy CBS Television
CBS broadcasts "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" Monday, Nov. 22.

MONDAY, NOV. 22

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (8 p.m., CBS) Burl Ives narrates this 1964 beloved – but some say politically incorrect - animated classic featuring such songs as "We Are Santa's Elves," "We're A Couple Of Misfits," "Silver and Gold" and the title song.

TUESDAY, NOV. 23

The Waltons (noon, Ch 5.2, MeTV): Rose makes Thanksgiving dinner while the family visits John Boy in the hospital.

Actor Richard Thomas starred as John-Boy Walton in the CBS television series The Waltons.
Courtesy CBS
Richard Thomas starred as John Boy as "The Waltons" broadcast on CBS 1972-81.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 24

The Waltons (noon, Ch 5.2, MeTV): "Thanksgiving Story (Part 1)” features a turkey shoot, a school play about the Pilgrims and the big dinner.

Every Good Thing (8 p.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): Host Andrea Blain and classical music fans from all around the country give thanks and celebrate the gift of music.

Casablanca (8 p.m., TCM): An American saloon owner (Humphrey Bogart) in North Africa struggles with helping his former girlfriend (Ingrid Bergman) in 1942.

Santa School (9 p.m., Ch 14): NEW. A peek inside a Santa workshop, where men are taught how to dress, talk and walk like Santa Claus.

Saturday Night Live Thanksgiving Special (9 p.m., NBC): Thanksgiving sketches from SNL.

Christmas in Connecticut (10 p.m., TCM): A food writer (Barbara Stanwyck) hosts a Christmas dinner for her boss and a World War II hero in 1945.

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Courtesy of NBCUniversal
NBC and CBS broadcasts the 95th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

THANKSGIVING
95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (9 a.m., NBC, Peacock): Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker host the three-hour telecast featuring 15 giant character balloons, 28 floats, 36 novelty inflatables, 800 clowns, 10 marching bands and a wide range of performers from Carrie Underwood, Nelly, Jon Batiste and Kristin Chenoweth to Broadway stars from Wicked, Moulin Rouge! and SIX, the Radio City Rockettes and the Sesame Street Muppets.

CBS Thanksgiving Day Celebration (9 a.m., CBS): Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Keltie Knight co-host coverage of the New York parade above.

Feast for the Ears (10 a.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): Traditional music and American composers take center stage as host Mark Perzel presents a warm, heartfelt celebration of the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s the perfect accompaniment for your Thanksgiving morning activities.

The National Dog Show (noon, NBC, Peacock): John O’Hurley and David Frei co-host the 20th anniversary canine competition.

The Waltons (noon, Ch 5.2, MeTV): “Thanksgiving Story (Part 2)" ends with a big feast on Walton’s Mountain.

Turkey Confidential (noon, WVXU-FM 91.7): The Splendid Table to the rescue! Francis Lam again takes calls to assist Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers and dinner guests.

Friends (1 p.m., TBS): Start of a Friends marathon on TBS until 6 p.m.

95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2 p.m., NBC): Three-hour replay of this morning's Thanksgiving parade.

Giving Thanks: (6 p.m., WGUC-FM 90.9): A warm and festive celebration of the holiday with special guests Stanley Tucci and Naomi Shihab Nye, plus music from Eric Whitacre, Bach and Copland.

Four Christmases (6 p.m., TBS): A couple’s (Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon) holiday getaway plans fall apart.

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Courtesy MGM
"The Wizard of Oz" airs several times Thanksgiving week on TBS.

Happy Days (6:30 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): Mrs. Cunningham tells the story of the first Thanksgiving.

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

The Wizard of Oz (7:45 p.m., TBS): Dorothy (Judy Garland) and dog Toto discover they're not in Kansas anymore.

The Mountain Minor (8 p.m., CET Arts Ch 48.3): Cincinnati native Susan Pepper, now an old-time musician in North Carolina, produced this film about a musical family migrating from Eastern Kentucky to Cincinnati during the Great Depression featuring The Tillers, Ma Crow and Warren and Judy Waldron.

The Magic Maker (8 p.m., ABC): NEW. Magician Adam Trent helps a U.S. soldier magically reappear to his family after serving overseas, and teaches a nervous young man how to walk on water when proposing marriage to his girlfriend.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Now! (8 p.m., CW): NEW. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo gather for a 52nd anniversary special with host Janel Parrish to look at their auditions and solve a mystery.

America’s Funniest Home Videos (9 p.m., ABC): Repeat of a Thanksgiving-themed episode.

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Courtesy WLWT-TV
For the 11th year WLWT-TV broadcasts the 2011 Emmy-winning "Ruth Lyons: First Lady of Television" documentary.

FRIDAY, NOV. 26

Blue’s Clues and You! (11 a.m., Nickelodeon): Josh and Blue spin dreidels while trying to figure out the identify of their special guest for Chanukah.

The Wizard of Oz (noon, TBS): Dorothy (Judy Garland) and dog Toto discover they're not in Kansas anymore.

Ruth Lyons: First Lady of Television (2 p.m., Ch 5): Repeat of 2011 special about popular WLWT-TV daytime TV host Ruth Lyons, who retired in 1967.

Rick Steves’ European Christmas (2 p.m., Ch 48) Highlights of Christmas celebrations from seven countries in Europe.

Four Christmases (2:15 p.m., TBS): A couple’s (Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon) holiday getaway plans fall apart.

The Mountain Minor (5 p.m., CET Arts Ch 48.3): Cincinnati native Susan Pepper, now an old-time musician in North Carolina, produced this film about a musical family migrating from Eastern Kentucky to Cincinnati during the Great Depression featuring The Tillers, Ma Crow and Warren and Judy Waldron.

Light Up The Square (7 p.m., Ch 5): NEW. Live telecast of Fountain Square tree lighting.

A Loud House Christmas (7 p.m., Nickelodeon): NEW. The Emmy-winning animated series comes to life with a feature-length holiday movie about Lincoln Loud (Wolfgang Schaeffer) trying to bring his parents and 10 sisters all together for Christmas.

Four Christmases (7 p.m., TBS): A couple’s (Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon) holiday getaway plans fall apart.

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Courtesy CBS
"Frosty The Snowman" marches onto CBS again Friday Nov. 26.

Frosty the Snowman (8 p.m., CBS): Jimmy Durante narrates the 1969 musical cartoon about the snowman that comes to life.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town (8 p.m., ABC): Fred Astaire narrates 1970 Rankin-Bass Productions' animated special about Kris Kringle (Mickey Rooney), a young boy who desired to do good things for others.

Masters Of Illusion: Christmas Magic 2021 (8 p.m., CW): NEW. Dean Cain hosts hosts holiday-themed magic tricks.

Ocean's Eleven (8 p.m., TCM): Before George Clooney was born, Frank Sinatra was the original Danny Ocean in this 1960 caper to rob a Las Vegas casino with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Angie Dickinson and Joey Bishop.

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

The Mountain Minor (9 p.m., Ch 16): Cincinnati native Susan Pepper, now an old-time musician in North Carolina, produced this film about a musical family migrating from Eastern Kentucky to Cincinnati during the Great Depression featuring The Tillers, Ma Crow and Warren and Judy Waldron.

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (9 p.m., CW): Cartoon based on the novelty song.

Four Christmases (9:30 p.m., TBS): A couple’s (Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon) holiday getaway plans fall apart.

Beverly Hillbillies Thanksgiving 1968.jpg
Courtesy CBS
Casts from CBS' "Beverly Hillbillies," "Green Acres" and "Petticoat Junction" gathered for a Thanksgiving episode in 1968.

SATURDAY, NOV. 27

Beverly Hillbillies (6 a.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): The Clampetts fly home for Christmas to surprise Cousin Pearl.

Beverly Hillbillies (6:30 a.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): The Clampetts spend Christmas back home.

The Big Valley (noon, MeTV): An outlaw's girlfriend spends Christmas with the Barkleys.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (noon, TBS): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

Gunsmoke (1 p.m., Ch 5.2 MeTV): Chester is worried when his nomadic brother visits Dodge for Christmas.

Bonanza (2 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): A singer (Wayne Newton) comes home for Christmas with his scheming uncle.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (2 p.m., TBS): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

Christmastime In New Orleans (2 p.m., Ch 48): Holiday music taped at New Orleans' Saenger Theater.

The Mountain Minor (3 p.m., CET Arts Ch 4.3): Cincinnati native Susan Pepper, now an old-time musician in North Carolina, produced this film about a musical family migrating from Eastern Kentucky to Cincinnati during the Great Depression featuring The Tillers, Ma Crow and Warren and Judy Waldron.

Rawhide (3 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): The cowboys prepare a Christmas celebration for a sick Mexican boy.

Have Gun Will Travel (4 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): Duane Eddy plays a cowboy who arrives in town during Christmas with a pregnant wife.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (4 p.m., TBS): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

Wanted Dead Or Alive (4:30 p.m., Ch 5.2, MeTV): Randall tries to provide a Santa on Christmas Eve.

Rick Steves’ European Christmas (5 p.m., Ch 48): Highlights of Christmas celebrations from seven countries in Europe.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (6 p.m., TBS): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

Robbie The Reindeer: Hooves of Fire (8 p.m., CBS): Animated show from 1999 about reindeer competing to pull Santa’s sleigh.

The National Dog Show (8 p.m., NBC): Repeat from noon Thanksgiving.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (8 p.m., TBS): A Griswold family Christmas in 1989 with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo.

Robbie The Reindeer: Legend of the Lost Tribe (8:30 p.m., CBS): Robbie the Reindeer seeks help from a "lost" tribe of Vikings to defeat Blitzen's plans for a reindeer theme park in 2002.

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