What's Worth Watching: Anne of Green Gables, The Simpsons, Mom and more for Thursday, November 24

Matt Roush
Anne of Green Gables
Courtesy of Breakthrough Entertainment/© 2015 Gables Productions Inc.

Anne of Green Gables (8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): If the family is looking for something to gather around and watch while digesting Thanksgiving dinner, the tastiest option is a new TV-movie adaptation of L.M. Montgomery’s charmingly schmaltzy 1908 classic. Ella Ballentine is genuinely delightful in the title role as the beguiling orphan who takes profound wonder and mischievous pleasure in the natural splendor of her new home on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. Affable Martin Sheen takes an instant liking to her as kindly guardian Matthew Cuthbert, but the real journey of this story is getting his stern sister, Marilla (Sara Botsford), to warm up to the girl. (She thought she had ordered a boy.) You know it will happen, because who wouldn’t love Anne? (Followed by a rebroadcast of a 2005 film version of the equally durable Pollyanna, who’ll always be Hayley Mills to me.)

The Simpsons Marathon (starts at noon/11c, FXX): For roughly the next two weeks, the record-breaking animated sitcom embarks on TV’s longest-ever TV marathon, with 600 episodes airing in consecutive order, starting with “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” and concluding at midnight of Dec. 7 after a rebroadcast of the 27th “Treehouse of Horror” trilogy.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (starts at 9 am/8c, NBC): The tradition turns 90 this year, but the cavalcade of balloons, floats, marching bands and performing arts feels as timeless as the Radio City Rockettes, who’ll be on hand with Santa to officially inaugurate the holiday season. Today personalities Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker host the festivities, with performances including Tony Bennett, Kelsea Ballerini, Aloe Blacc and Broadway highlights from the revival of Cats, Waitress, Holiday Inn, Paramour and a preview of NBC’s next live musical, Hairspray. Stick around at noon/11c for The National Dog Show, with more than 2,000 breeds vying for the Best of Show title. John O’Hurley hosts with analyst David Frei.

Inside Thursday TV: Acorn TV, the premiere destination for streaming British and Australian TV, launches a fourth season of the classy Aussie dynastic drama A Place to Call Home, with two new episodes. (Additional episodes will premiere on Mondays.) … A special edition of ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration (8/7c) features Alessia Cara singing a show-stopper from Disney’s new animated hit Moana, with performances by Boyz II Men, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, One Republic, Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks and, inevitably, Mariah Carey reminding us “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” … Seeking respite from Thanksgiving repeats? Except for a repeat of The Big Bang Theory (8/7c), CBS’s lineup is all new, including Mom (9/8c), in which Christy (Anna Faris) and Bonnie (Allison Janney) tend to an ailing Violet (Sadie Calvano).