May 26--Television celebrates the lives and sacrifices of our veterans Memorial Day weekend with TV shows about heroes, TV and film marathons, and broadcast specials.
This national holiday, first observed May 30, 1868, is a way of thanking people to whom we owe our freedom -- those service men and women who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Here are some of the offerings available on a TV near you this Sunday and Monday. All programming is subject to change by the originating channels.
PBS, channel 11
Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna return as hosts of Sunday's "National Memorial Day Concert" joined in progress at 8 p.m. -- following the 6 p.m. "Oklahoma Strong, Coming Together in Faith" prayer and memorial service in Moore for Oklahoma's tornado victims -- and repeating at 8:30 p.m. Sunday in its entirety. The annual event honors people who have served and sacrificed to defend American freedom. Airing live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the concert features performances by the National Symphony Concert Orchestra; "American Idol" winner Candice Glover; a tribute to the "Greatest Generation," with remembrances of decorated soldier and actor the late Charles Durning; and, on the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, a tribute to the sacrifices of veterans who fought and died in the "forgotten war."
The all-star lineup also includes: Colin L. Powell, two-time Golden Globe award-winning actor Ed Harris, "Dancing With the Stars" finalist and classical crossover artist Katherine Jenkins; singer-songwriter and "The Voice" finalist Chris Mann, and Tony award-winning tenor Alfie Boe in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly. The audience will include hundreds of thousands at the Capitol, millions at home and U.S. troops serving around the world who will be watching on the American Forces Network.
TNT, cable 29
Noah Wyle is back with a Memorial Day marathon of the first season of "Falling Skies," kicking off at 9 a.m. Monday. Wyle plays a former college professor forced to become a resistance leader when aliens called skitters take over Earth. The entire second season will air starting at 9 a.m. June 1, and the new season kicks off at 8 p.m. June 9.
Discovery, cable 30
At 9 p.m. Sunday, Discovery airs the new special "D-Day in 3D" looking at how 3-D photography became a valuable tool in the Allies' victory on D-Day, June 6, 1944, during World War II. Spy planes used 3-D aerial photos to map Nazi defenses, and after years of studying those 3-D maps, it was concluded Normandy Beach was the best place to finish the war with the Germans.
USA, cable 34
USA has a "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" marathon from 9 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday.
A&E, cable 28
"Longmire" repeats from 1 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday.
Syfy, cable 45
At 8 a.m. Sunday, prepare for a marathon of "Paranormal Witness" designed to get viewers ready for the June 5 season premiere of the series. And, starting Monday at 7 a.m., Syfy will air a marathon of Roger Corman films, including "Camel Spiders," "Cyclops," "Supergator," "Dinocroc vs. Supergator," "Dinoshark," "Sharktopus," and "Piranhaconda."
AMC, cable 48
A war heroes marathon starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday with six classic war films, including "The Dirty Dozen," "The Longest Day," "Heartbreak Ridge" "The Green Berets" (45th anniversary), "Where Eagles Dare" (45th anniversary) and "Uncommon Valor."
History, cable 55
The History channel repeats its mega-hit miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton star in this drama that is preceded by the special "America's Greatest Feud: The History of the Hatfields & McCoys" at 3 p.m. Sunday.
National Geographic, cable 72
A group of recently wounded veterans from Afghanistan start to heal with a fishing expedition in the special "American Heroes Fishing Challenge," airing at 9 p.m. Monday. The active-duty military veterans travel from Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir military hospitals to New England to compete with 3,000 others in the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby. John Mayer created original music for the show.
STARZ Edge, cable 522
The theme is "I Need a Hero" with a marathon of heroic films starting at 11 a.m. with "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Spy Kids 3: Game Over," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "Men in Black" and "Resident Evil: Retribution."
STARZ, cable 390
Play catch-up with Encore's new series "Da Vinci's Demons," about the early life of a Leonardo da Vinci we never knew, with episodes four through six from 8 to 11:05 p.m. Sunday.
Encore Westerns, cable 529
This channel offers a six-gun salute to actor John Wayne with more than 12 hours of his films starting at 8:05 p.m. Sunday. The lineup: "West of the Divide," "Blue Steel," "The Man From Utah," "Randy Ride Alone," "The Star Packer," "The Trail Beyond" "The Lawless Frontier," "'Neath the Arizona Skies," "Texas Terror," "The Desert Trail," "The Dawn Rider," "Paradise Canyon," "The Train Robbers" and "Rooster Cogburn."
Rita Sherrow 918-581-8360
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