There's no holiday quite like Thanksgiving. It's not patriotic like the Fourth of July. It's not religious like Easter; it's not consumer-oriented like Christmas. It's just a random Thursday when it's too cold to grill where everyone stays home and eats. For some, this makes it the best holiday of the year. For others, it makes it a bit of a scramble. How does one entertain all these people in your house until it's time to eat? Don't worry; television is here to save the day. These 2019 Thanksgiving TV marathons on basic cable prove that those who haven't cut the cord have tons of options.
For some, movie marathons are what's required to keep the family occupied because TV shows are too short to hold focus. But for those who find movies are long and boring or want to be able to dip in and out at will, these back-to-back 30-minute and one-hour sessions that run all day are perfect.
Even better, there are marathons for every type of person. From reality competitions to prestige dramas, there's something for everyone here. There's even the super traditional Thanksgiving episodes marathon ending with The Wizard of Oz, for those who still hold with the 1960s era tradition.
1. DIY Network
Spend the day on the couch, watching people build houses without plumbing, wifi, or sensible heating systems.
- 7 a.m. Building Off the Grid
- 3 p.m. Building Alaska
2. Discovery Channel
Discovery will take the family to places they'll never go with a morning on the Serengeti, and then hours of Expeditions Unknown, culminating in a new episode of Expedition Unknown: Rediscovered.
- 8 a.m. Serengeti
- 2 p.m Expedition Unknown
- 9 p.m. Expedition Unknown: Rediscovered
3. Food Network
Thanksgiving is a day about food, which is why watching competition baking all afternoon is the right thing to do.
- 1 p.m Holiday Baking Championship
- 8 p.m. Christmas Cookie Challenge
- 9 p.m. Santa's Baking Blizzard
Game of Thrones caught fire when HBO did a Season 1 marathon over Memorial Day weekend in 2011. It'll try to do the same for His Dark Materials on Thanksgiving.
- 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. His Dark Materials
Stare into other people's houses with an all-day real-estate show binge on HGTV.
- 7 a.m. My Lottery Dream Home
- 1 p.m. Flip or Flop
- 8 p.m. House Hunters & House Hunters International
Real Talk: This is the default marathon at my place this Thanksgiving. Forged In Fire is a great reality competition series. It's like SyFy's Face Off, but swords.
- 7 a.m. Forged In Fire
- 8 p.m. Forged In Fire: Bladesgiving
MTV will air nothing but Ridiculousness all day on Thanksgiving.
- 7 a.m. - 12mid Ridiculousness
Oxygen knows what women want on Thanksgiving: Murder.
- 7 a.m. Homicide for the Holidays
- 2 p.m. Snapped
- 9 p.m. A Wedding & A Murder
9. Science Channel
Like Discovery, Science Channel will take the family to places they've never seen. But here it's to discover stuff they never knew.
- 7 a.m. Secrets of the Lost
- 9 p.m. Bermuda Triangle New Secrets
10. Showtime 2
On Showtime, it's 12 hours of Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin fighting domestic terrorism.
- 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Homeland
11. STARZ Encore
Droughtlander doesn't technically end until 2020, but this marathon will quench many thirsts.
- 7 a.m. - 12 mid Outlander
The traditional Thanksgiving marathon of modern TV series celebrating the holiday is on TBS. These are all blocks of the thanksgiving episodes from Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, and Friends, followed by the holiday classic, The Wizard of Oz.
- 8 a.m. Bob's Burgers
- 11 a.m. Family Guy
- 1 p.m. Friends
- 6 p.m. The Wizard of Oz