TV celebrates the 4th with specials, marathons
Three networks mark the Fourth of July with specials on Friday. All of them feature musical performances from a wide variety of guests and, of course, fireworks. So, if you have an aversion to heat, humidity or pesky summer bugs, here’s a look at where to turn the dial to celebrate in the comfort of your own home:
* “A Capitol Fourth,” 8 p.m., PBS
Tom Bergeron is the host for this annual event broadcast from the U.S. Capitol’s west lawn. This year’s musical guests are doo-wop legend Frankie Valli, Broadway powerhouses Patti LaBelle and Kelli O’Hara, soul/R&B singer Michael McDonald, pop acts Jordin Sparks and Kendall Schmidt and country artist Sara Evans.
As always, the National Symphony Orchestra will also perform; new this year, John Williams will unveil a special arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” featuring the Joint Armed Forces Chorus, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and the Choral Arts Society of Washington.
* “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,” 8 p.m., NBC
“America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon helms this special from the Brooklyn Bridge. He’s joined by pop singers Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias and Lionel Richie as well as country acts Miranda Lambert, Hunter Hayes and the Zac Brown Band — all of whom will likely be outshined by the whopping 25-minute fireworks display.
* “Philly 4th of July Jam,” 8 p.m., VH1
Comedian Marlon Wayans hosts this concert in the City of Brotherly Love, which concludes with fireworks set off over the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art (aka the home of the “Rocky” steps). The Roots, taking a break from serving as Jimmy Fallon’s house band, headline the musical entertainment, joined by pop and hip-hop acts Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande and Aloe Blacc.
Fourth of July marathon highlights
* “America: The Story of Us,” 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., History (complete series)
* Classic patriotic films, 6 a.m. Friday to 6:30 a.m. Saturday, TCM
* “The Walking Dead” complete series, 9 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Sunday (followed by “Talking Dead” special previewing season five)
* “The Twilight Zone,” 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Syfy
* “The Andy Griffith Show,” 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., TV Land (also 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)
* “Awkward” season four to date, 11:35 a.m. to 6 p.m., MTV
* “The Game” complete season seven, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., BET
* “Mountain Monsters,” 4 to 11 p.m., Destination America (a St. Marys-based team hunts mysterious Appalachian creatures)
Scripted series premieres: “The 7D,” 10 a.m. Monday, Disney XD (animated comedy about the seven dwarfs, who help maintain order in the kingdom); “Finding Carter,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, MTV (drama about a teen reunited with her real family after finding out the woman she thought was her mother was actually her kidnapper); “Extant,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, CBS (sci-fi mystery about an astronaut who returns home inexplicably pregnant after a year in space; starring Halle Berry and Goran Visnijc).
Other series premieres: “My Dysfunctional Family,” 10 p.m. Saturday, CMT (reforming troubled teens and wayward parents); “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge,” 8 p.m. Sunday, CMT (pits regular folks against elite athletes); “American Muscle,” 9 p.m. Wednesday, Discovery (strength trainers work with pro athletes).
Season premieres: “Witches of East End,” 9 p.m. Sunday, Lifetime; “Ice Road Truckers,” 10 p.m. Monday, History; “The Bridge,” 10 p.m. Wednesday, FX.
Returning: “Bad Teacher,” 8 p.m. Saturday, CBS (eight episodes left, two air each week).
Season finales: “Undateable,” 8:30 p.m. Thursday, NBC (three episodes, possible series finale); “The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi’s Wedding,” 8 p.m. Sunday, Bravo; “Beauty and the Beast,” 9 p.m. Monday, CW.
Specials: “Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour,” 9 p.m. Sunday, NBC (behind-the-scenes concert special); “The ‘90s: The Last Great Decade?” 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday, National Geographic; “Inside the Walking Dead,” 10 p.m. Tuesday, AMC (behind-the-scenes documentary); “The iHeart Radio Ultimate Pool Party,” 8 p.m. Wednesday, CW (hosted by Nick Cannon with performances by Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Neon Trees, Iggy Azalea, Lil John and Tiesto).
Of note: “Pretty Little Liars” celebrates its 100th episode, 8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC Family.
Reach Amy Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.