CBS edited 12 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere.
The American syndicated televison version features:
A voiceover for title card reading "Antarctica, 1982".
A voiceover added and film re-cut introducing each character and providing their back stories.
The version broadcast on television in the eighties ended with a few shots of a dog running, stopping to look around and heading off into the distance, leading the spectator to believe the Thing had survived. Also, the scene where a man's head tears itself apart from his body, grows legs and eyes and runs off, was cut.
The television broadcast version of The Thing sometimes has an unknown person narrate the beginning of the film. He introduces all of the characters as they appear and gives a brief blurb about their goals/reasons for being there. At the end of the film, the narrator returns once more to deliver a haunting speech, and then a shot of the Huskie running away from the burning base is shown. This version often appears on TNT or TBS. This version also has so much of the gore edited out that originally deleted scenes are used as time fillers to extend existing scenes.
The American syndicated television version has a slightly extended version of the scene where outside in the tractor Macready and Fuchs secretly discuss Blair's sanity. In the extended version Fuchs remarks that while Blair may be losing his mind he is still a brilliant scientist and his rantings should not be totally dismissed.
P.S. Tried doing a search for "the thing" to see if there were any pre-existing topics but got far too many results and couldn't find an 'advanced search' option. Feel free to merge this with any pre-existing topics, moderator(s).