Sounds of the Seasons — Music Choice, July 1-6. Patriotic music to celebrate Independence Day.
Twilight Zone Marathon — SCI FI Channel, July 2 at 8am ET through July 5 at 6am ET. The annual favorite. New to the network are episodes of the 1980s version of Zone, airing July 2 and most of July 3. Classic episodes air July 3 at 5pm to 6am on July 4. A viewer’s choice marathon of classic episodes airs all day July 4.
The Revolutionary War — Military Channel, July 4 at noon ET. 14-hour marathon of the documentary series about the American Revolution.
Moments in Time — Valley Forge: The Crucible — Military Channel, July 4 at 10am ET. All about the bleak winter of 1777-78, when George Washington tried to turn things around for America’s revolutionary forces.
Unsolved History: The Boston Massacre — Military Channel, July 4 at 11am ET. What really happened when British soldiers fired upon a crowd of colonists in an event that helped lead to revolution.
Summer Party Weekend Cooking Block — Food Network, July 4 from 7am-2pm ET. The best recipes to wow your guests at your next summer get-together. Includes premiere episodes of 30 Minute Meals, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Down Home With the Neelys, Cooking For Real, Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee and Giada at Home.
Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest — ESPN, live July 4 at noon ET. If you think you’ll be pigging out a lot this holiday weekend, check out the guys in this famed competitive eating race.
Secrets of the Founding Fathers — History (HD), July 3 at 8pm ET. Investigates the history and symbiology so prominent in the creation of the United States, and traces the intricate connections of the Founders with Freemasonry.
The Revolution — History (HD), July 4 8am-6pm ET. This 10-part documentary series chronicles the events leading up to the founding of our nation, from precipitating events that led to war with Britain to the ratification of the Constitution in 1787.
A Capitol Fourth — PBS (HD), live July 4 at 8pm ET (check local listings). Jimmy Smits returns to host this event, broadcast from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Barry Manilow opens and closes the broadcast with a medley of hits and patriotic classics, along with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Joining him are Aretha Franklin, Natasha Bedingfield, the cast of Jersey Boys, Michael Feinstein and classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen. Elmo and other Muppets from Sesame Street will also be on hand for the young ones. Everything culminates in a massive fireworks display. Replay airs at 9:30pm ET.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular — NBC (HD), July 4 at 9pm (check local listings). Natalie Morales and Tiki Barber co-host this event, featuring performances by Rob Thomas, Jewel and Karen Olivo (and rest of cast from Broadway’s West Side Story). For the first time since 2000, the country’s largest fireworks extravaganza (featuring more than 40,000 shells exploding at a rate of over 1,500 per minute) returns to the Hudson River to honor our nation’s independence, and to kick off the 400th anniversary of the exploration of the river by Henry Hudson.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular — CBS, live July 4 at 10pm ET (tape-delayed PT). Neil Diamond performs in this special hosted by Craig Ferguson. Diamond performs some of his classics with The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart. This is the orchestra’s 36th annual free outdoor Fourth of July concert. The final 21 minutes of the broadcast, featuring the fireworks display, are presented commercial-free.
1776 — TCM, July 4 at 10:15pm ET. The film version of the hit musical about the days leading up to the creation of the Declaration of Independence.
Capitol Fourth: © Eric Petersen/Capital Concerts
The Revolution: Credit: Eric Larson/History Channel