Thanksgiving episodes have pretty much become standard procedure for any prime-time show. Most feature contemporary settings or themes, but here are five shows whose Turkey Day plots involved Pilgrims and/or the first Thanksgiving:
MISTER ED (“Ed the Pilgrim,” 1962) TV’s most memorable talking equine explains how a horse was involved in the true story of Thanksgiving. It’s actually a ruse to get his owner, Wilbur (Alan Young), to give him some of the Thanksgiving dinner.
BEWITCHED (“Samantha’s Thanksgiving to Remember,” 1967) Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne) sends Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery); her husband, Darrin (Dick York); their toddler daughter, Tabitha (Erin Murphy); and their neighbor Gladys Kravitz (Sandra Gould) back to the original Thanksgiving in 1620. Darrin, being his usual hapless self, ends up being accused of witchcraft and put on trial.
THE BRADY BUNCH (“The Un-Underground Movie,” 1970) For an American history class project, Greg (Barry Williams) enlists his family to create a documentary about the first Thanksgiving.
THE MAYFLOWER VOYAGES ON THIS IS AMERICA, CHARLIE BROWN (1988) This episode of the eight-part animated series had the Peanuts gang telling the story of the 1620 Mayflower voyage from England to the New World.
THANKS (1999) This forgotten sitcom (it aired for just six weeks in the summer of 1999) focused on a young pilgrim named James Winthrop (Tim Dutton) who ran the Plymouth general store with his wife (Kirsten Nelson). Cloris Leachman played Grandma Winthrop.