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Fullervision's annual special feature celebrating the holiday season.

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Thanksgiving Fullervision Style 2007

Little Richard GEICO Thanksgiving Commercial
"Mashed potatoes, guh-rayvee, and cranberry sauce! Whooooo-hoo..." ~ Little Richard

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Thanksgiving countdown finished.

Posting for archival purposes for Thanksgiving Fullervision Style 2008:
THANKSGIVING ACROSS AMERICA MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS:
- 6abc/Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade (from Philadelphia), 9 AM
- America's Thanksgiving Parade (from Detroit), 10 AM
- H-E-B Holiday Parade (from Houston), 10 AM
- McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade (from Chicago), 10 AM
- Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", 12 N & 6 PM
- NFL Football: Packers @ Lions, 1 PM, Jets @ Cowboys, 4 PM, Colts @ Falcons, 8 PM

The Story of Thanksgiving

The story begins in England. A religious group known today as the Pilgrims were disillusioned with the Church of England and wanted to separate. Efforts to do this in England were futile due to the Crown's fierce resistance, so they moved at first to Holland until they were able to raise enough funds for a ship to the New World of America, which had been successfully settled since 1607. According to records, the group planned to experiment with a communist society where all the raised goods would be placed into a common store. In 1620, they landed and attempted to implement this economic system. Food shortages abounded, winter was long, and many died. The system was scrapped in the spring of 1621 and instead replaced it with open markets and an "every man for himself" system. With a market system in place, and a little bit of help from some gracious natives, the food supply grew to much higher levels and thus a feast was declared after harvest. The Pilgrim community was a devout one and thus gratitude to God was paid on this day of thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving Tradition

The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally a five-day weekend, from the Wednesday before through the Sunday after (although some businesses only give the Thursday and Friday off). The holiday is among the most observed holidays in the American calendar, with almost all businesses closing down at least on Thanksgiving Day itself, and its comparatively secular nature makes it an acceptable celebration for Christians and non-Christians alike. Also, Thanksgiving itself does not seem to have been commercialized to the degree of its nearby holiday, Christmas.
Usually the holiday begins the day before with preparations, either with travel (the AAA has determined that Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest time for travel all year) or by preparing the litany of food that serves as part of the celebration. The token Thanksgiving turkey (see "Food" below) is often left to roast overnight, or at least to thaw before being put into the oven Thanksgiving morning. The next morning, often some early breakfast is made (such as a pie), and any remaining dishes that need to be prepared are done at this time. At 9:00 am (ET), the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (among many other local parades) takes place and is televised across the country (see "Media Guide" below), featuring various marching bands, balloons, floats, and Broadway performances and concluding with Santa Claus and his reindeer right around noon ET. At this time, the NFL takes over the ceremonies with what is now a tripleheader slate of games, the first two featuring the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, with each taking on an AFC and an NFC team, rotating between the two each year. Some time during all the football, the main course is served (see "Food" below), and when all is said and done, everyone can kick back, relax, and digest all that food.
(Note: it is not necessarily true that the tryptophan in turkey is what causes people to become sleepy; in fact, it is usually the sheer volume of food that requires digesting that wears one down.)

Black Friday and Uses of Thanksgiving as a Benchmark

While Thanksgiving itself has not been commercialized to the degree of Christmas, it is often used as a benchmark when beginning the "holiday season." The Friday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the time when radio stations (particularly the 'elevator music' chick stations that air Delilah and the like) change formats to Christmas music for the season. The most notable of this type of usage is Black Friday, a shopping event that takes place at various retail outlets across the country. Among the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday (so named for both its notoriously chaotic nature and the fact that it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season that pushes businesses "into the black" or into profitability) events usually involve the "doorbuster" sale, which involves people lining up at the store's doors the morning after Thanksgiving. The store will open at 5 AM and the customers will swarm the store in a no-holds-barred free-for-all to grab the latest toys as the store usually runs out by noon. Various sites such as BlackFriday.info and TheBlackFriday.com have advertisements for many participating retailers. (For the record, the absolute busiest day of the year for shopping is in fact the Saturday before Christmas, largely due to last-minute shoppers.) The day after Thanksgiving is usually when many networks begin their Christmas specials and programming as well.

Thanksgiving Foods

Of course, the most common food that is ever eaten during the Thanksgiving holiday is roast turkey. Generally, how one roasts a turkey is by thawing it (using the "cold water" method, this takes about 30 minutes per pound, so obviously an overnight job), removing the neck and giblets, adding some crouton-based stuffing, and cooking the turkey at 325°F for 15 minutes per pound until the meat is at 180°F. Further details can be found from this Web site. In a crisis, call the Butterball Hotline at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (that is, 1-800-288-8372).
Another hotline that may come in handy is the Betty Crocker hotline (1-888-ASK-BETTY or 1-888-275-2388), for your non-turkey baking needs.
Other traditional Thanksgiving foods include:
  • Green bean casserole (recipe)
    A recipe using green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions. Nothing says "happy holidays" more, other than perhaps the turkey itself.
  • Cranberry sauce
    Available in the can in whole berry or jelly varieties.
  • Vegetables
    • Yams (recipe)
      Gotta have yams. Prepare them with brown sugar and vanilla for a Thanksgiving classic. (OK, technically they're called "sweet potatoes," but 1] they're not potatoes and 2] yam is more fun to say.)
    • Squash
      Acorn squash and butternut squash are the two most common varieties. Split the squash in half, sprinkle some brown sugar and honey or syrup in the cavities, and bake at 400°F for roughly an hour.
    • Mashed potatoes
      Well, you have to do something with the turkey gravy.
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pumpkin puree is mixed with sugar, milk and spices and baked in a pie crust. Other pies are popular as well.
  • Other traditional family favorites
By the way, don't forget the leftovers. You can make turkey soup, turkey sandwiches, all sorts of items with a used turkey. The meat usually lasts a couple of days in the fridge.

Media Guide (All times ET)

Friday, November 16, 2007
Various radio stations: Holiday music begins
This is the general date for which most of the "holiday music" stations change over from their regular format to 24/7 Christmas music. See Christmas Fullervision Style 2007 at the link above for stations making the changeover to the format.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007
4:00-5:00 PM Syndication: The Oprah Winfrey Show's Annual "My Favorite Things" Special
Watch as unsuspecting audience members get showered with tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts, mostly from sponsors (I presume).

8:00-8:30 PM ABC: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
The third of many Peanuts specials, this one focuses on an imposing Peppermint Patty forcing Charlie Brown to host Thanksgiving... and the resulting main course of toast and side dish of popcorn. The program will be followed by He's a Bully, Charlie Brown and regular schedule to follow.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
12:05-3:00 PM EIB Network (Radio): The Rush Limbaugh Show-- The True Story of Thanksgiving
The story of the Pilgrims as told by America's #1 talk show host... or a substitute (as Roger Hedgecock did in 2006).

Thursday, November 22, 2007
NETWORK PROGRAMMING FINALIZED. Highlights:
  • A Price is Right marathon will air on the East Coast only, prior to football. The shows will feature Drew Carey's first show as well as two other Carey-era programs.
  • NBC's coverage for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, including a list of guests, floats, balloons, and more, can be found here.
  • Since ABC isn't carrying any programming on the holiday this year, I've decided to clear that spot for WGN, who's carrying their Chicago parade and their annual Bozo the Clown special, as well as a list of marathon programming provided by the major TV stations.
  • Miracle on 34th Street returns to NBC after a year off the schedule. Also, NBC (after several years airing its regular schedule in prime time) has returned to airing movies as it did nearly a decade ago.
Time
NBC
CBS
FOX
Other
9am
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Parade coverage from across the USA
Local programming
Superstation WGN
10am
Chicago Thanksgiving Parade
11am
12n
National Dog Show
Presented by Purina
Local news
NFL Football:
Green Bay @ Detroit
Bozo, Gar and Ray:
WGN TV Classics
1pm
Price Is Right marathon
(East Coast Only)
2pm
Movie: Miracle on 34th Street
See also "Marathon Programming"
3pm
4pm
Local programming
NFL Football:
NY Jets @ Dallas
Regular schedule follows
Local programming
5pm
6pm
7pm

NBC
NFL NETWORK
FOX
ESPN
8pm
Movie: The Incredibles
NFL Football:
Indianapolis @ Atlanta
Movie: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
NCAA Football:
USC @ Arizona State
9pm
10pm
Regular schedule
Local programming
All day marathons (check with individual stations for details on times):
The following is a sampling of the more notable "marathon" programming being offered by some of the major cable stations across the country on Thanksgiving Day; as per my discretion, the ones listed here are a sample of both popular and interesting programming for Thanksgiving viewing. It is in no way complete (for instance, I chose not to list CMT's "I want to look like a high school cheerleader again!" marathon because I doubt anybody has ever watched that show... or wants to, especially in a marathon. Now, if they'd shown a Dukes of Hazzard or [especially] Hee Haw marathon, then I'd probably watch.). Some content may be inappropriate for younger viewers... it should be fairly obvious which programming I am talking about. So, in no particular order:
TNT: Charmed
TBS: Saved by the Bell, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Tyler Perry's House of Payne/Diary of a Mad Black Woman
Discovery Channel: Dirty Jobs
Spike TV: The Pierce Brosnan era James Bond films
TV Land: I Love Lucy
Cartoon Network: Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
Disney Channel: That's So Raven/Suite Life of Zack & Cody/Hannah Montana
Nickelodeon: Morning-- Complete retro "Nicktoons" series, Evening-- Rugrats movies
Bravo: Top Chef
USA Network: Law & Order
TLC: Little People, Big World
MTV: The Hills
VH1: Rock of Love
History Channel: American Eats
Game Show Network: Family Feud
ESPN: World Series of Poker
ESPN2: College basketball-- Old Spice Classic
Food Network: Various Thanksgiving themed food shows, beginning Wednesday night and ending Thursday at noon

Friday, November 23, 2007
ABC and CBS: NCAA College Football
CBS: SEC on CBS; LSU @ Arkansas (2:30 PM ET)
ABC: Texas A&M @ Texas (12:00 N ET) and Colorado @ Nebraska (3:30 PM ET)
The ABC games will be simulcast on Jones Radio Networks.
NBC: The Family Man, 8:00 PM ET
For the second year in a row, NBC airs this movie starring Nicholas Cage, a single, successful, middle-aged man who wakes up and finds himself a married father.

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