Xfinity Discovery Hub

November 15, 2018

Thanksgiving HBO Free Preview Weekend: What to Watch

Big Little Lies

UPDATE: The Thanksgiving Free Preview is over. But more awaits…
Have Xfinity Internet? You can stream HBO shows and movies during Xfinity’s HBO free preview weekend, happening December 29th through January 1st. Watch at and on the Xfinity Stream app. Learn more about the HBO free preview during New Year's weekend here.

There are dozens of reasons to be grateful on Thanksgiving Day: turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, just to name a few. But when your belt simply can’t expand another inch, you can settle in for the real highlight of the holiday weekend — binge-watching TV with the family. Nowhere are  there better movie and series offerings than on HBO, and this Thanksgiving weekend you can indulge for free during the free HBO Thanksgiving preview weekend from Wednesday, November 21 to Sunday, November 25. Here are some of the can’t-miss classics and new offerings available for fans to feast on.

HBO Shows and Series

The revered cable network is known for its innovative and award-winning programming. Here’s just a taste of the must-watch options:

Game of Thrones

The arrival of Thanksgiving tells us that “winter is coming,” and HBO just announced that season 8 of the spellbinding and explosively popular series will premiere in April 2019. Start binge-watching Game of Thrones, from the first season’s gripping “Baelor” episode (which gave viewers the first clue that in this show, no one is safe), to the third season’s “The Rains of Castamere” (dubbed the “red wedding” by fans), which pushed the boundaries of shock and awe, even for HBO’s standards. And in season 6? Well, we’ll avoid the spoilers and just say that nothing is forever in this world of dragons and fantasy, ruin and rebirth, and rage and redemption. Every episode through season 7 of the Emmy Award-winning show is available on HBO, so you can play Game of Thrones catch-up with the nine noble families fighting over the lands of Westeros.


If you like your holiday entertainment a little less dark (and a bit more like an exaggerated reality), then you should probably watch Veep. Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as Selina Meyer, the feckless Vice President of the United States, in this spoof on the American political scene. With her incompetent staff in tow, the series follows the VP as she works her way through the political system to the very top — blunders and all. Scene-stealing Tony Hale, who played the goofy Buster on Arrested Development, portrays Meyer’s flustered assistant and is reason enough for watching. A political parody at its best, Veep has won a whopping 17 Emmys, and you’ll see why after binging all six seasons.

Big Little Lies

HBO’s free preview weekend also allows viewers to check-out the limited series Big Little Lies: a dramatic and compelling book adaptation that cleaned house at last year’s Emmy Awards. The show features an all-star cast of heavy-hitting Hollywood actresses including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz. The HBO original, based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling book of the same name, follows this dynamic and complicated group of women as they battle their own demons, simultaneously band together and fall apart, and become entangled in a shocking murder investigation.

The series has been renewed for a second season, which is expected to air in 2019. Watch Big Little Lies and see what everyone has been talking about before the next chapter airs.

Movies on HBO

Thanksgiving is a big movie weekend, when lots of families head to the cinema to check out the box-office hits of the season. But there’s no reason to leave the comfort of your home to take in a blockbuster film — you can watch them on your TV, or even stream them on your mobile device. From classics to new releases, there is a large feast of options to sink your teeth into this Thanksgiving weekend. Take in last year’s Oscar-winning best picture, The Shape of Water, along with fellow nominees, The Post, Dunkirk, and Phantom Thread, just to name a few.

Of course, of all the movies to watch on Thanksgiving, a holiday film could rank at the top of your list, and HBO has plenty of those, too. Get in the spirit of the season with the comedy Four Christmases, or the classic A Christmas Carol.

For the Kids

Need to entertain the kids while preparing the turkey? Give thanks for 21 seasons of Sesame Street on HBO. Big Bird, The Grouch, and Mr. Snuffleupagus are all here to share decades’ worth of songs and lessons to live by.

But that’s not all HBO offers tots. An animated version of Goodnight Moon — with a perfect evening run-time of 27 minutes — features bedtime stories and lullabies. There’s also Pinky Dinky Doo, an animated series follows a curious and adventurous girl as she solves problems using her imagination.

When all the guests are gone and the dishes are done, you can watch HBO and see all the movies and series that have everyone buzzing, for free. Now that’s something to be thankful for!