LennoNYC (Monday, 9/8c, PBS)
While you're busy downloading the Beatles catalog from iTunes, make time for this excellent American Masters documentary about the last decade in the life of Beatle extraordinaire John Lennon, whose life was cut short 30 years ago next month. LennoNYC uses rare archival material including home movies and revealing audio outtakes from recording sessions to personalize this account of Lennon's life in his new adopted metropolis in the turbulent '70s. It's a love story at the intersection of art and political activism, tempered by a period of personal and domestic bliss with Yoko Ono (who is interviewed at length) and their son Sean. No Beatles or Lennon fan will want to miss this.
Glee (Tuesday, 8/7c, Fox)
It's a big night, relative-ly speaking, on Fox. First, living comedy legend Carol Burnett shows up on Glee as Sue Sylvester's "Nazi-hunting" mother Doris, and that should be good for a laugh. Meanwhile, it looks as if Kurt's dad and Finn's mom are about to tie the knot. Following Glee, we meet baby Hope's maternal grandparents on Raising Hope, played by comedy stalwarts Greg Germann and Valerie Mahaffey, as they visit the Chances for Thanksgiving. Naturally, it isn't long before their psycho side emerges and they kidnap the innocent baby.
Sondheim! The Birthday Concert (Wednesday, 9/8c, PBS)
You don't have to watch Glee to know that Stephen Sondheim, at 80, is the most revered composer/lyricist in the American musical theater, with a resume that includes West Side Story (lyrics) and such modern classics as Company, Sweeney Todd and A Little Night Music. This Great Performances concert is an all-star bonanza of his greatest material, capped by a diva-licious climax in which leading ladies, all in red, sit in a circle to belt out some of his most enduring works. Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Elaine Stritch, Patti LuPone, Donna Murphy, Marin Mazzie: It's Broadway nirvana. Earlier in the evening, PBS presents a fascinating National Geographic special, The President's Photographer: 50 Years in the Oval Office, which takes an intimate backstage look at the most powerful office in the nation through the lens of the photographers who follow the president most closely.
Beyonce's I Am... World Tour (Thursday, 9:30/8:30c, ABC)
Music to digest your turkey by. ABC steps up on Thanksgiving night with a 90-minute special following the R&B superstar on a 32-country, six-continent whirlwind tour from Croatia to Africa, Australia and China. Look for appearances by Kanye West and her husband, Jay-Z. Earlier in the evening, NBC puts the spotlight on Taylor Swift: Speak Now (8/7c), with performances in a variety of settings from her latest hit album. If you'd rather just kick back and laugh, Fox is offering the broadcast premiere of The Simpsons Movie (8/7c). Curl up with your "Spider Pig" and enjoy.
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