Few turkeys are taking to the air today


November 25, 1993|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Contributing Writer

It's Thanksgiving Day, one of the few days on which network TV tries to do what once was a nightly goal: present programming the entire family can watch together and enjoy.

* "NFL Football" (4 p.m.-conclusion, WMAR, Channel 2) -- This year's traditional Thanksgiving Day game features the Dallas Cowboys against the Miami Dolphins. Thanksgiving seems the perfect day for this contest, because as much as I love the Dolphins, they're quite likely to get the stuffing beaten out of them. NBC.

* "Home Alone" (8-10 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Yessir, there's nothing like getting together as a family on Thanksgiving night to watch a movie about a kid whose parents leave him home alone at Christmas. NBC.

* "The Simpsons" (8-8:30 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- After leaving "The Tracey Ullman Show," these beloved cartoon characters established themselves by starring in a Christmas special. Since then, as a weekly series, the biggest holiday for "The Simpsons" has been Halloween, when the animators really go wild. Yet this 1990 Thanksgiving episode is anything but a turkey, and bears repeated viewing. Fox.

* "Murder, She Wrote" (9-11 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11) -- For this night only, CBS moves one of its Sunday powerhouses to Thursday, and presents a two-hour first-run episode of Angela Lansbury's amazingly durable and popular mystery series. Guest stars this week include Jackie Cooper, Martin Balsam and Greg Evigan. CBS.

* "This is Mariah Carey" (10-11 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- Indeed it is. And after her acoustic success on MTV's "Unplugged," Ms. Carey aims to win over more critics, as well as collect more fans, by presenting a one-hour holiday special that's part home movie and part music, including the songs "Dreamlover" and "Hero." NBC.

* "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m.-12:35 a.m., WNUV, Channel 54) -- Penn & Teller finally get to play the Ed Sullivan Theater -- by making another anything-goes visit to Letterman, the first since he changed networks. CBS.


* "The Neverending Story" (8-10:05 p.m., TNT) -- If you're looking for a wonderful family movie, one with all the right messages, skip "Home Alone" and watch this 1984 fantasy drama, which actually ends up being about the joys of reading.

* "The Wiz" (8:30-10:45 p.m., DIS) -- Michael Jackson, pre-surgeries, plays the Scarecrow, and Diana Ross, post-Supremes, plays Dorothy, in one of the gaudiest, godawfulest movie musicals ever.

* "Running Against Time" (9-11 p.m., USA) -- This is an exception to the adage "better late than never." It's a repeat of a 1990 television movie starring Robert Hays as a time traveler trying to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

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