The Beatles: Thanksgiving special coming to ABC?

Buried in the middle of a Billboard story about the business side of the new Beatles remasters is the following tantalizing paragraph: “And just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, sources say ABC is planning to air a two-hour prime-time special on Thanksgiving night that will feature Beatles footage and contemporary artists performing Beatles songs.”

Oh, really! ABC declined to comment when contacted by EW, but that’s no reason not to start getting extremely psyched. Speaking as someone who’s been DVRing and re-watching the old Beatles Anthology documentaries on VH1 the past couple of Wednesdays — still awesome, BTW — the phrase “two-hour prime-time special” is sweet music to my ears. Any amount of Beatles footage being aired on television = I’m sold.

And what about those contemporary covers? At the top of my list, naturally, would be Radiohead playing “Sexy Sadie” (which helped inspire “Karma Police”) or “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (ditto for “Paranoid Android”). Or how about Erykah Badu doing an extended funky jam on “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”? Over on the poppier side, I bet Adam Lambert could make a big old rocker like “Helter Skelter” his own. I could even see someone like Taylor Swift working wonders on a confessional pop tune like “I’m a Loser.” How about you? Name the artists you’d like to see take on the Beatles catalog in prime time, below.

More from EW’s Music Mix:
‘Rock Band: Radiohead': If only this game were real!
The Beatles: And their best song is…
Jimmy Page and Jack White talk about ‘It Might Get Loud,’ their new documentary with the Edge
Jason Schwartzman exclusive: Hear the theme song for his new HBO show here

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • AmyK

    How about none of them? Nobody can do it better than The Beatles so don’t bother. I already have the definitive history/bio of The Beatles on DVD, The Beatles Anthology. No need to add anything more since George is gone now.

    • Erel

      Thanks Wouter. I noticed the lmbuar part as well. I am just unsure, if it just seems like it, because of all the layers Ib4m wearing, or if Ib4m indeed a little rounded. I will keep it in mind thought. Do you have any suggestions about the head. It really bothers me, that I canb4t keep it in line.

  • Preston

    That will be HUGE! Everybody from fans to those who weren’t born in the band’s hit making prime, knows at least one Beatles song or more. They made catchy and melodic pop songs. I don’t know of any group that could have 27 Number One hits in a six-year period like they did! Their albums still sell in the millions every year. Almost every artist on the planet has performed, covered or done at least one Beatles song in their concerts and albums. The Thanksgiving special will be a ratings hit. Just think, having turkey and dressing with family and singing along to Beatles songs by contemporary artists in that two hour special. Adam Lambert could do it, Erykah Badu (I Want You–the most heavy metal that the Beatles got with the walls of guitars-still love it!) as well as current hitmaker Taylor Swift could perform the band’s songs in that special. Coldplay should do something and even Kanye West could do a hip-hop take of one of the Beatles songs.

    • Irma

      Max think you need mainstream TV uxposere, but then your credibility would go through the floor as a sell out. On reflection stay well outside the mainstream networks.Poor Glen Beck .a manic depressive recovering alcoholic.Dont touch or go anywhere near that brand label otherwise you are toast! Z

  • CRobber

    U2 already had an excellent version of Helter Skelter they could probably revive. Aerosmith did a kind of note-for-note, nothing special cover of Come Together a few years back. I like cover versions that take the original and spin it in a new direction. Jack White kind of operates in that mode all the time.

    Please no Kanye West: I already watched him butcher The Police and could not stomach another atrocity like that.

  • Sean

    Hey Simon, how bout we don’t turn The Beatles into American Idol. Do you have any respect for the Fab Four?

  • Mikie

    How about Yes performing “Every Little Thing”? While they’re not contemporary they performed that Beatles tune on their first album back in 1969, and brought it back for their 2004 tour.

  • Jason

    R.E.M. –> Here Comes The Sun
    U2 –> While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Bruce Springsteen –> Revolution
    Green Day –>

  • Jason

    R.E.M. –> Here Comes The Sun
    U2 –> While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Bruce Sprinsteen –> Revolution
    Green Day –> Strawberry Fields Forever
    The Killers –> Norwegian Wood
    Collective Soul –> Across The Universe

    • miasdad66

      Jason – Love your idea of Green Day for Strawberry Fields & REM on Here comes the Sun. Bruce would rock Helter Skelter or Revolution. Good ones Jason!

  • miasdad66

    Call me crazy,but 2 suggestions would be John Mayer performing “Across the Universe”, and Dave Matthews performing “Here Comes the Sun”. If this “special” really comes out it will certainly be appointment television. BTW TiVo is getting filled up with all Beatles-VH1 specials from this week. Loving the Anthology series again and Making of Sgt. Pepper was fascinating.

  • Jeff

    What about Rufus Wainwright doing “Across the Universe”? His cover was great!

  • Bill

    Just do 2 hours on them. No one else is worthy.

  • Erin

    I really agree with Jason’s picks. But I’d like to see more British bands in the mix. So…

    The Fool on the Hill–The Last of the Shadow Puppets

    Eleanor Rigby–Adele

    Taxman–Kaiser Cheifs

    and also, though not British…

    The Raconteurs–Lovely Rita

    Oh, and I think I’d like to hear Radiohead try “A Day in the Life.”

  • Dean

    Taylor Swift doing the Beatles? In that out of tune warble? I would rather listen to Ringo sing opera.

  • David Willis

    I think I would probably be bored by ABC’s TV Special. Last time I saw a Beatles special by that network (before the Anthology specials) they put out a similar show and it put me to sleep.

  • kayla

    Anything Beatles and I’m sold!! I’ve been watching the old Beatles anthology too. I love it. we can only hope this is true.

  • Tom

    I agree with AmyK. No other artist should touch these songs, they are perfect the way they are. American Idol made a mockery of them a couple years ago, that was painful enough.

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