There’s hope! Striking writers and the networks that loathe them have agreed to resume contract talks after Thanksgiving. But then, it’s kind of a TV weekend. How to avoid the many repeats this holiday week? For starters, Ellen Degeneres may have canceled her trip to New York City this week—being protested would be such a bummer!—but she (and her contract with Warner Bros.) promise all new shows this week (NBC, 4:00 PM). Today: her guests are the Backstreet Boys! Oh, joy. Who needs writers?
Seriously, though. Tonight, you can avoid the networks and the work of writers all together and just stick to that old-school reality programming: documentaries. The Sundance Channel will be showing the Maysle brothers’ masterpiece Grey Gardens (7:15 PM) for the millionth time, while I Am an Animal: the Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA (HBO, 8:00 PM) will debut. It appears Sheila Nevins is starting to blur the lines between the titles of her Real Sex documentaries and, y’know, the ones that nobody watches.
ABC kicks off Tuesday with the repeat to end all repeats! It’s a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (8:00 PM), written in 1973. They follow that up with He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown (8:30 PM), based on the last original script penned by Charles Schulz. Of course, a dead writer can’t strike. He’s hired!
Truth be told, most all network programming is brand new tonight, including House (Fox, 9:00 PM). But if you’re finding Tuesdays a bit tedious—I surely am—perhaps it’s time to invest some money in—gulp—Showtime, which is sporting the promising programming trio of Brotherhoood (8:00 PM), Dexter (9:00 PM), and Weeds (10:00 PM and 10:30 PM). Whatever happened to Shannon Tweed? Oh, right, that’s Cinemax. (Whatever happened to Cinemax?)
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC, 10:00 PM) was picked up for a full season. It was the last of its Wednesday compatriots to get the nod. But get this—funny story—there’s no one to write the darn things. So, if you’re Peter Krause, and you’re feeling sorry for yourself, watch Hotel Rwanda (8:00 PM, MyNetworkTV). You’ll feel better about your situation in no time.
If you’re not Mr. Krause, however, perhaps you should check out Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, 9:00 PM). Each week, the show’s audience has increased 10 percent, while Private Practice’s (ABC, 9:00 PM) ratings have dropped since its boffo debut. What does it mean though if I still don’t want to eat the London?
It may be Thanksgiving, but get nap time over before prime time. Seth Green will join Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, 9:00 PM) as a patient for a two-episode arc. It’s sweeps and they’re obviously pulling out all the stops. Afterwards, ABC will premiere the second season of October Road (10:00 PM), otherwise known as that show with the girl from That ’70’s Show. Meanwhile, Tim Gunn will help the NYPD by prosecuting a policewoman for fashion felonies on Tim Gunn’s House of Style (Bravo, 10:00 PM).
On 20/20 (ABC, 10:00 PM): “A man whose entire body is covered in tattoos. A woman who sailed around the world in 71 days. Twenty-two people who crammed themselves in a Mini Cooper. A dog who can balance a glass of