What's On: A Very Cougar Thanksgiving
Modern Family is ditching the Thanksgiving celebration in favor of a blow-out birthday party (moon bounce, clowns and more!) but if you're looking for some tradition on ABC, tune into Cougar Town. Each week, Bill Lawrence's latest series gets closer and closer to peak-Scrubs quality and tonight's T-Day blowout could be the event that launches Cougar Town into the next strata of sitcom.
Cougar Town [9:30 PM, Cougar Town]
As Dan Byrd told Movieline, his character Travis will finally get a girlfriend and in tonight's episode, the family meets her at Thanksgiving dinner. Meanwhile, Bobby (Brian Van Holt) develops a nickname for Grayson (Josh Hopkins). Andy (Ian Gomez) and Ellie (Christa Miller) reignite the fire in their marriage with heartburn and Jules (Courteney Cox) ends up giving Travis and his new girlfriend a lesson on birth control.
Criminal Minds [9 PM, CBS]
It's hard to believe that the Tiffany Network is only ringing its hundredth episode of Criminal Minds tonight. But after four years on air, the series will wrap up its recurring Boston Reaper plotline by giving killer (C. Thomas Howell) one last shot at Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson). Minds has promised that its centennial episode will be its bloodiest yet. For extra gore, stay tuned for CSI: NY at 10 PM, in which Skeet Ulrich will guest star as "the Compass Killer."
Late Show with David Letterman [11:35 PM, CBS]
Guest: Natalie Portman; Performer: Adam Lambert. With all of the attention surrounding Adam Lambert's AMA performance, let's hope that Letterman segues the American Idol glam rocker's performance into an emotional sit-down, a la Kanye on the Jay Leno Show premiere. Meanwhile, Letterman veteran guest Natalie Portman stops by the Ed Sullivan Theater to promote Brothers. During commercials, flip to NBC to see Norm Macdonald on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
Steel Magnolias [9 PM, Oxygen]
Curiously, the Oxygen Network closes off its Thanksgiving-themed Roseanne marathon with a Steel Magnolias doubleheader. Maybe they just wanted to prove to viewers that once upon a time, there was a genre of film called female ensemble, which fed off snappy one-liners ("What separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize."), Dolly Parton's sunny disposition and a few tears -- instead of designer costume changes and male nudity.