Memorial Day Weekend 2017: All the Specials and Marathons You Should Be Watching

From Left: Michael Yarish/CBS; ©2016 ReelzChannel, LLC. All Rights Reserved; ©DreamWorks/Everett Collection
From Left: Mark Harmon (NCIS), Katie Holmes (The Kennedys after Camelot), Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan)

Happy Memorial Day… almost! If you aren’t spending the weekend at the beach or BBQing, and you do plan on parking yourself in front of your television for your extended weekend, we have just what you need.

Here’s a list of all the Memorial Day weekend specials and marathons you should check out. All times are Eastern unless otherwise noted.


60 Minutes (CBS, May 28 at 7/6c)
This special episode follows Ben Skardon, a WWII survivor who has been walking the Bataan Memorial Death March for 10 years and is the only survivor of the infamous 1942 march to do so. He plans to continue into 2018 – when he’ll turn 100 years old. Sharyn Alfonsi walked with Skardon in New Mexico during 2016’s event for this epic story.

National Memorial Day Concert (PBS, May 28 at 8/7c)
Airing live from Washington, D.C., Laurence Fishburne and Joe Mantegna cohost the 28th annual event saluting the last surviving Doolittle Raider, Colonel Richard Cole, and the 75th anniversary of the bombing mission over Tokyo, as well as the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and the Tuskegee Airmen. Featuring performances by Renée Fleming, Vanessa Williams, Scotty McCreery and more.

PBS Previews: The Vietnam War (PBS, May 28 at 9:30/8:30c)
Immediately following the Memorial Day Concert, PBS will be airing a special look into Ken Burns’ 18-hour doc, which comes out in full this September.

America: Promised Land (History, May 29 at 8/7c)
This two-night miniseries doc about America’s ancestors that helped populate the country kicks off on Monday.


El Rey’s Incredible Hulk Memorial Day Marathon (May 26 4/3c – May 29 at 4am)
Hosted by the Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, the four-day marathon includes all 85 episodes of the series and the 1977 movie that started it all.

Freeform’s Harry Potter Weekend (May 26 – May 28, plus a few bonus airings on May 29)
Everyone’s favorite boy wizard marathon kicks off Friday afternoon and technically ends on Sunday, though you can catch the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 re-airing from 1:30pm-8/7c on May 29 as well.

TCM Memorial Day Marathon (May 26 starting at 8/7c)
Four days full of war films including highlights like John Wayne’s The Wings of Eagles and The Dirty Dozen.

USA’s Memorial Day Marathon (May 27 – May 29)
Watch the NCIS gang solve cases from 10am-7pm on May 27, followed by a G.I. Joe movie marathon until midnight. On May 28, you can catch Law & Order: SVU from 10am-11pm. Finally on Memorial Day, USA will be airing a Chrisley Knows Best marathon from 6am-8/7c.

American Heroes Channel’s Salute to Sacrifice (May 27 at 8pm – May 29 at 10pm)
This third annual programming event features episodes of Against the Odds, Storming Normandy and a special airing of Commander in Chief: Inside the Oval Office in commemoration of JFK’s 100th birthday (May 28 10/9c).

IFC’s That ’70s Show Marathon (May 29, 6am-6pm)
The usual Monday night marathon is specially crafted for the holiday.

Reelz’s Kennedys Marathon (May 29 from 8am-11/10c)
Kicking off in the morning with 5 back-to-back episodes of The Kennedy Files, the marathon then transitions into Parts 1-8 of drama series The Kennedys starring Greg Kinnear and Katie Holmes, followed by this year’s The Kennedys: After Camelot.

Syfy Memorial Day Movie Marathon (May 29, 8:30am-3am)
Featuring Troy (2004), Pompeii (2014), 300 (2006), Armageddon (1998) and Dredd (2012).

CMT’s Nashville Marathon (May 29, 9am-8pm)
Don’t forget the tissues for this catch-up on the first half of Season 5.

Comedy Central Scrubs Marathon (May 29, 9am-4am)
Starting off with the series premiere episode, this marathon jumps around the beloved hospital comedy.

Destination America Paranormal Lockdown Marathon (May 29, 9am-12am)
Visit America’s greatest haunts with pro ghost hunters Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman.

FX Memorial Day Marathon (May 29, 9am-2:30am)
Family comedies dominate the day with airings of Rango, The Croods, Despicable Me 2 and more.

AMC War Heroes Day (May 29, 10am-5pm)
Back-to-back airings of 1976 flick Midway and Saving Private Ryan.

Food Network Memorial Day Marathon (May 29, 10am-8pm)
Fire up the barbie for this two-part marathon. Grilling-themed episodes of The Kitchen air until 1/12pm c, followed by an afternoon group of Chopped episodes, including the Grill Masters: Napa tournament.

Pop’s ER “Carol and Doug” Marathon (May 29, 10am-5pm)
The best Carol and Doug-filled episodes from the classic hospital series.