‘Dancing’ Finale, ‘Rudolph’ Shines Again, Assassination Revisited, ‘Joe’ at Thanksgiving

The final four teams go freestyle in the finale of Dancing with the Stars. The 1964 holiday perennial Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer makes an earlier-than-usual visit to CBS. Oliver Stone (JFK) rekindles his obsession with President Kennedy’s assassination in a new documentary on Showtime. Ordinary Joe marks its first Thanksgiving with emotional stories in all three timelines.

JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson on Dancing With the Stars
ABC/Eric McCandless

Dancing With the Stars

Season Finale

The show’s first all-female team of JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson are among the final four pairs competing in the grand finale, and odds have favored them throughout. Their freestyle dance to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” will set the bar, as NBA star Iman Shumpert, The Talk co-host Amanda Kloots and fitness guru Cody Risgby with their partners vie for the mirrorball trophy.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Rankin/Bass/Everett Collection

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

I blame Hallmark for getting TV’s yuletide ball rolling so early. We can usually enjoy this 1964 stop-motion animation classic while consuming the last of our turkey leftovers. But maybe it’s never too early to welcome back Rudolph, Hermey and the rest of the misfits for this holly-jolly holiday fable, narrated by Burl Ives as Sam the Snowman.

Pres. John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie arriving at
Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass

Documentary Premiere

30 years have passed since Oliver Stone stirred up conspiracy theories about the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in his controversial and Oscar-nominated film JFK. He returns to the subject on the anniversary of JFK’s shooting with a new documentary, asking historians and witnesses to examine a new archive of material that has been declassified and placed in the public record since his film’s release. Whoopi Goldberg and Donald Sutherland narrate.


Ordinary Joe

While we give thanks to this offbeat drama, which follows a not-so-average Joe (James Wolk) down three very different life paths, the show celebrates Thanksgiving in its fashion, which as usual plays quite differently for each of the Joes. The cop version is surrounded by family at a tense dinner, the rock star is feeling betrayed and the nurse is spending his first holiday apart from wife Jenny (Elizabeth Lail), deciding that it’s finally time to bring in some outside help to assist with their disabled son, Chris (John Gluck).

Inside Monday TV:

  • Chasing Ghislaine (streaming on discovery+): A timely three-part docuseries examines the history of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who became infamous as confidante and alleged sex-trafficking procurer for the late Jeffrey Epstein. As she faces trial in the U.S., this special (to air in its entirety on Investigation Discovery on Dec. 3) promises to shed light on her past and what led her to be involved with this notorious predator.
  • A Very Solar Holiday Opposites Special (streaming on Hulu): In a special episode of the animated comedy Solar Opposites, the crash-landed aliens in suburbia try to understand what’s up with all of these puzzling holiday festivities. Is this Santa guy even for real?
  • The Good Doctor (10/9c, ABC): In the 2021 winter finale, Shaun (Freddie Highmore) and fiancé Lea (Paige Spara) are diverted from their hunt for a wedding venue when they encounter a pregnant mother (Natalie Linez) seriously injured in a car accident.
  • Duty Free (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): A heartwarming Independent Lens documentary follows journalist Sian-Pierre Regis as he lifts the spirits of his 75-year-old immigrant mom after she’s laid off from her longtime hotel housekeeping job. They decide to fulfill her bucket list of things she’s always wanted to do, including skydiving and milking a cow.