These Are the Best TV Marathons to Watch on New Year's Day

From Chopped to The Twilight Zone to SVU, here's how to start 2020 on your couch.

couple watching tv

Whether your New Year's Eve is spent partying until dawn or staying in and going to bed as soon as the ball drops, New Year's Day is meant for relaxing. For most people, it's the last day of holiday vacation, so it should be spent wisely—preferably in cozy loungewear and with snacks handy. Luckily for those who want to glue themselves to the couch on Jan. 1, several networks are hosting 2020 New Year's Day TV marathons. From classic family comedies to addictive reality shows, there's something for everyone. Here are 10 of the best options to choose from.

Chopped (Food Network)

Food Network

Starting at 11 a.m., Food Network is airing eight full hours of Chopped, the competition show that challenges chefs who specialize in all different cuisines to create dishes from a basket of mystery ingredients, some of which seem almost unusable. The series—hosted by original Queer Eye food expert Ted Allen since its 2009 debut—has launched various spin-offs and special episodes. But this marathon is all good ol' fashioned original Chopped, which may inspire a resolution to be more adventurous in the kitchen.

National Lampoon's Vacation movies (IFC)

chevy chase in national lampoon's christmas vacation
Warner Bros.

At 9:15 a.m., IFC kicks off a marathon of Griswold family trips gone wrong. Gather your own adorably dysfunctional brood to watch National Lampoon's Vacation, National Lampoon's European Vacation, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation, all in a row. The latest in the long-running comedic franchise, 2015's Vacation, is the only feature missing, so you may have to seek it out on streaming to complete the set.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (USA)

stabler and benson in law and order special victims unit

Even if you've already seen every single case be solved, it's tough to resist a marathon of Law & Order: SVU, arguably the best in the franchise. Since 1999, a rolling cast of detectives and prosecutors have been handling New York City's most "especially heinous" crimes, often pulling from actual headlines. (And featuring many a future star in an early performance.) This marathon actually starts on Dec. 31 and rolls right through the next day, so that may be your New Year's Eve plans taken care of, too.

The Twilight Zone (Syfy)

frightened woman cowering from monstrous deformed face on the twilight zone
CBS Television Distribution

The Syfy network's Twilight Zone marathon is a New Year's tradition. Fans of the groundbreaking horror/science fiction anthology series know to tune in every year for iconic episodes like "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (featuring William Shatner as a passenger whose claims of a monster clinging to the aircraft are ignored) and "Eye of the Beholder" (a sharp commentary on the subjective nature of beauty). Be careful, however: The Twilight Zone takeover starts at 6 a.m. on Dec. 31 and ends early on the morning of Jan. 2. That's a long time to be trapped "between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge."

Sex and the City (E!)

the cast of sex and the city

On Dec. 30 at 6 p.m., E! is airing the first Sex and the City movie, and from then on out, it's episodes of the juggernaut HBO hit that revolutionized the "single girl" on TV. Spending the day with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) will feel like hanging out with your best friends—though, chances are, the SATC ladies spend way more money on shoes. So whip up some cosmopolitans and enjoy the fashion, the bonding, and the highs and lows of turn-of-the-millennium dating.

Doctor Who (BBC America)

doctor who
BBC America

The new season of the British sci-fi series premieres at 8 p.m. on New Year's Day, and with BBC America's week-long Doctor Who marathon, even a newcomer to the adventures of this face-changing time-traveling alien could catch up in time. On New Year's Day specifically, the most recent season—which introduced Jodie Whittaker as the first woman in the titular role—starts re-airing at 7 a.m. Tune in earlier, starting on Dec. 24, to catch episodes featuring past Doctors Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi, not to mention Christmas specials and even recreations of "lost" episodes from the series' original run.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Bravo)

margaret josephs teresa giudice and dolores catania on the real housewives of new jersey

Beginning at 12 p.m., Bravo is bringing you seven hours of The Real Housewives of New Jersey reruns, followed by a brand new episode of the current season at 8 p.m. Now in its tenth season, RHONJ has seen cast members come and go, some quite dramatically. The first event in this marathon is a special on the only cast member left from Season 1, Teresa Giudice, and her husband, Joe, whose legal issues (including prison time and deportation) have been fodder for the show over the past several years.

Ghost Hunters (FYI)

ghost hunters
NBC Universal

Another two-day marathon, the reality series Ghost Hunters is dominating the FYI network from 8 a.m. on Dec. 31 to 4 a.m. on Jan. 2 (with some time off for paid programming in the wee hours). The series—which ran from 2004 to 2016 on Syfy, then got revived on A&E this year—features professional seekers of the occult and the undead visiting the most haunted places in the country with their ghost hunting equipment. Not everything they experience is adequately explained, so be cautious if you get creeped out easily.

Chappelle's Show (Comedy Central)

chapelle's shows
Comedy Central

Dave Chappelle's Comedy Central series burned short and bright when the creator himself stepped away from its success. While it only lasted three seasons, critics and audiences fell for its audacious comedy, memorable characters, and searing social commentary. Starting at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1, you can watch the whole run of the show in one sitting, including renowned sketches like "Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories," "Player Hater's Ball," and "Racial Draft."

Criminal Minds (Sundance)

criminal minds

If you need your New Year's Day morning to yourself, this may be the marathon for you. The Sundance Channel hands over the reins to Criminal Minds at 3 p.m., so you can sleep in and still get 12 straight hours of the behavioral profiling procedural. Have no fear if you haven't watched before: Criminal Minds is very easy to jump into and the cases-of-the-week will keep you hooked. That's why it's been running for 14 seasons. For existing fans, this marathon is a good warm-up for the show's final season, which premieres Jan. 8 on CBS.

Sage Young
Sage Young is Best Life's Senior SEO Editor. Read more
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