Best Bets

Nature

PBS | 8:00 pm
Physically small phenomena can yield big stories, as is confirmed by the new episode "Nature’s Miniature Miracles." The hour profiles such creatures as baby turtles and a mini-shrew known as a sengi, detailing how the challenges facing them haven’t prevented them from making their places within the animal kingdom. The variety of atmospheres in which they’ve learned to survive — from wide savannahs to the ocean depths — also is impressive. […]

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Empire

FOX | 8:00 pm
The Lee Daniels-produced music-industry drama launched its fourth season with "Noble Memory," a crossover story that concluded on "Star." That show’s Queen Latifah appears here, as her Carlotta has a showdown with Lucious and Cookie (Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson). Cookie also has other concerns, including Lucious’ nurse, Claudia — played by guest star Demi Moore, in the role she began in the final moments of the previous season’s finale. […]

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NOVA

PBS | 9:00 pm
For many creatures, defense mechanisms are built-in, such as claws and fangs. The new episode "Extreme Animal Weapons" examines such aspects of their physiology, and it also questions why certain examples — such as the horn of a rhinoceros — is so large in size, when something smaller might seem to get the job done just as well. Expectedly, the hour boasts plentiful footage of the animals considered. […]

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Saturday Night Live

NBC | 9:00 pm
Since the holiday is on the doorstep, so is this two-hour special first shown last year, compiling sketches from the distant and recent pasts of the late-night staple. One fun thing about such offerings is gauging how the humor has changed through different casts and eras of the show — and given what a principal theme of the episodes was during the Emmy-winning 2016-07 season, don’t be surprised to see some political comedy sneak in here. […]

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Modern Family

ABC | 9:00 pm
Guest star Nathan Fillion ("Castle") returns as television weatherman Rainer Shine, whose dating of Haley (Sarah Hyland) puts Phil (Ty Burrell) on edge when she’d rather be with her beau than with her family on the holiday, in "Thanksgiving Jamboree." Typically tense on Turkey Day, Jay (Ed O’Neill) tries to keep his nerves in check. Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) comes to terms with Cam (Eric Stonestreet). Sofia Vergara also stars. […]

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The Shannara Chronicles

SPIKE | 9:00 pm
Season 2 of this series adaptation of Terry Brooks’ fantasy novels comes to a close in two new back-to-back episodes. First, in "Wilderun," Eretria (Ivana Baquero) confides in Wil (Austin Butler) regarding a dark secret. Bandon’s (Marcus Vanco) most fervent desire is granted, but there’s a catch. Then, in the finale "Blood," Wil must take a stand to save the Four Lands. Later, he joins Mareth (Malese Jow) and Eretria to mourn the loss of one of their own. […]

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Criminal Minds

CBS | 10:00 pm
A Miami criminal boldly gives the media footage of his crimes in the new episode "Neon Terror." Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and the BAU have a lot to chew over as the agents dissect the felon’s psychology. Paget Brewster, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Adam Rodriguez, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler and Daniel Henney also star. […]

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

ABC | 8:00 pm
In this classic, animated "Peanuts" special from 1973, the pressure is on for Charlie Brown after pushy Peppermint Patty decides she and the gang will have Thanksgiving dinner at "Chuck’s" house, First, though, he has to submit to a mortifying ritual of fall: Lucy yanking the football away just as he tries to kick it. Still, everything ends happily as the gang gathers for an unusual feast prepared by Snoopy and Woodstock. "This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers" also is included in the hour. […]

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Damnation

USA | 10:00 pm
In a new episode called "One Penny," several local farms are under dire threat of foreclosure, leaving Seth and Amelia (Killian Scott, Sarah Jones) to find a way to rescue them. Meanwhile, Creeley and Bessie (Logan Marshall-Green, Chasten Harmon) are dismayed, to put it mildly, when the pair of them run afoul of the lethal Black Legion. Christopher Heyerdahl and Teach Grant also star. […]

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NCIS

CBS | 8:00 pm
Thanksgiving isn’t happy for Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his team, who are tasked to find a global arms dealer, in the new episode "Ready or Not." The case has a personal aspect for Sloane (Maria Bello), since the target killed an MI6 agent she knew well. Delilah (recurring guest star Margo Harshman) needs Abby’s (Pauley Perrette) help when she goes into labor early. Dan Lauria ("The Wonder Years") and Sarah Butler also guest star. […]