Families gather together for Thanksgiving. And not everyone enjoys it. But chances are, even your worst holiday nightmare can't compare to the grim sibling dynamics described in "My Brother the Serial Killer" (9 p.m., ID, TV-14).
Clay Rogers recounts a harrowing tale of a violent, impoverished upbringing that turned him and his brother, Glen, into petty burglars at the age of 7. At first, Clay's story casts a fascinating light on the pathology of career criminals and their peculiar relationship with the authorities. Beaten and starved at home, Clay and Glen enjoyed robbing homes for money and valuables and never minded getting caught because the police treated them better than their parents did. They even gave them potato chips.
As a young adult, Glen parlayed his familiarity with police into a career as an informant, a gig that allowed him to pursue his criminal activities without much fear of prosecution.
Clay claims that his kid brother was regularly sexually abused by guards at one juvenile institution. This abuse, as well as the violence learned from his gun-happy moonshiner father and botched marriages, led Glen to a disturbed attitude toward women.
By the time the brothers were in their 20s, Clay discovered that Glen had added homicide to his list of crimes. That became hard for Clay to endure. He eventually turned Glen into the authorities, but only after convincing himself that a killer had all but possessed his little brother's soul and personality.
"Brother" has all of the elements of gothic horror: tales of brutality, bizarre and primitive religious rituals, arcane descriptions of tattoos and their powers, and even a strange scene of two men summoning the devil over a campfire. And this nonfiction account eventually tiptoes toward the granddaddy of all tabloid tales: the O.J. Simpson murder case.
Both Clay and his sister claim that Glen told them he had become good friends with Nicole Brown Simpson and her entourage. And both believe him perfectly capable of committing the infamous Brentwood carnage. After all, he told them of dozens of other murders, perhaps more than 70 total.
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---The finalists compete on "The X Factor" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---The gang discovers the Pilgrims' story in the 1973 special "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-G).
---John Candy and Steve Martin portray reluctant cross-country travelers in the 1987 comedy "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (8 p.m., CW).
---A scandal blows the lid on a history of abuse at a posh academy on "Law & Order: Special Vic tims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---Jay is encouraged to act his age on "Modern Family" (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
---Five victims appear to have been killed by a meteorite on "CSI" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---A series of crises punctuate Thanksgiving on "Chicago Fire" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---Jake worries about his past on "Private Practice" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14). "Nashville" is not on tonight, but it has been picked up for a full season.
---The Monsignor and Dr. Arden strike a devil's bargain on "Ameri can Horror Story: Asylum" (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
---A sports radio fixture gets a premium cable perch on "Jim Rome on Showtime" (10 p.m.).
---The 1981 thriller "For Your Eyes Only" (midnight, Syfy) kicks off a two-day James Bond movie marathon.
TCM offers two tales of the South, the beloved 1962 drama "To Kill a Mockingbird" (8 p.m.) and the 1939 melodrama "Gone With the Wind" (10:15 p.m.).
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---Money woes on "Whitney" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---Thanksgiving erupts on "Guys With Kids" (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
---The team fears the worst for children on a missing school bus on "Criminal Minds" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Tessa returns to the fold on "Suburgatory" (9:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).
---Will Ferrell and Tenacious D appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS, r).
---Chris Franjola, Sarah Colonna and Dov Davidoff are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Scarlett Johansson, Willie Nelson and Gary Clark Jr. appear on "Late Show With David Let terman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kris Jenner on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Tim Allen and Manny Pacquiao appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (midnight, ABC).
---Amy Poehler and Alicia Keys visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Tom Hanks and Phil Hanley on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS, r).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.