Nintendo made the Wii U's TVii functionality a big part of its E3 presentation this year, but don't expect to have it right out of the box. In a fact sheet in preparation for this weekend's system launch, the company confirmed that both the TVii and Video On Demand services won't be available until sometime in December.
The TVii feature, which lets you browse TV shows and set preferences according to your Mii profile, explicitly mentions a December release date. Video on Demand apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video, are slated for release "in the coming weeks" -- which, given a late November release, also probably means December. Once the VOD apps release, their content will be sorted into the TVii menus alongside standard television.
If you connect your Wii U to the Internet, you'll get a notification when these options become live. But if you were hoping to show off all the bells and whistles of your new console after the Thanksgiving parade, you'll have to scuttle those plans.