What's on,As America celebrates its 237th birthday, some big names intend to help, including a couple with ties to Pittsburgh.
Several networks will hold to tradition July 4 by offering star- studded Independence Day specials with an emphasis on music.
On PBS, Barry Manilow will return to "A Capitol Fourth" as he joins former "Smash" co-star Megan Hilty (a Carnegie Mellon University graduate), award-winning composer-conductor John Williams, "American Idol" winners Candice Glover and Scotty McCreery, Darren Criss ("Glee"), "America's Got Talent" alum Jackie Evancho (of Richland), the National Symphony Orchestra, and host Tom Bergeron on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
"America's Got Talent" also will be represented on NBC, as Nick Cannon -- that contest's host -- presides again over "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" in New York, with the musical guests including someone he knows quite well: his wife, recent "American Idol" judge Mariah Carey, with country superstar Tim McGraw also on the bill.
And in a year that has seen Massachusetts' capital deal with unexpected challenges, CBS is opting not to air the traditional "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular" nationally, though the network's local Boston affiliate still will carry the event.
Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winner Manilow has a huge catalog to draw from, with "Copacabana" always a particular crowd pleaser. He plans to deliver a good dose of his hits on "A Capitol Fourth" -- much as he's doing in his touring show "Manilow on Broadway."
Having been a fan of NBC's now-finished "Smash," Manilow is glad to be sharing the stage with Broadway veteran Hilty, who opened "A Capitol Fourth" last year.
"It was totally nerve-racking" last year, she admits, "but it's kind of a home away from home for me now. My boyfriend and I have been to Washington something like five times in the past year, so I think it'll be maybe a little easier this time. And I'm a big 'Fanilow,' so I'm really excited to get to work with him."
On the "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular," Cannon will be happy to introduce spouse Carey. "Oh, it's a great day for my whole family," the friendly personality maintains. "When we can both be a part of something, that really makes it special. We've done things like this quite a few times, whether it's the Fourth of July or Christmas or President Obama's first inauguration."
Independence Day actually has been a special time in the Cannon household "since I've been married for the last five years," he says. "We go away and see fireworks and dress up. I get dressed up like Uncle Sam. We take every holiday and try to be as festive as possible, so be able to do that in front of all of America is outstanding."
Jay Bobbin is a writer for Zap2it.com.,TV highlights
for the week of
June 30-July 6, 2013,SUNDAY
8 p.m. on ABC
Celebrity Wife Swap
Let's get ready to rummmblllle! In this new episode, wrestler Ric Flair sends girlfriend Wendy Barlow, aka ring valet Fifi the Maid, to live with fellow wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper, whose wife, Kitty, is shipped off to Chez Flair. Let's hope neither household keeps folding chairs around.
8 p.m. on PBS
Secrets of Henry VIII's Palace
Hampton Court is the ultimate royal pleasure palace, embodying the indulgent, grandiose kingship built by Cardinal Wolsey and developed by Henry VIII. Through its rooms, viewers can chart King Henry VIII's decline from fit young warrior to bloated womanizer and recall the vivid stories of the ladies who became his queens in this new special. Learn how William and Mary demolished half of the palace to replace it with an exquisite baroque structure.
8 p.m. on BET
BET Awards 2013
Chris Tucker hosts this annual celebration that honors the success of various artists and celebrities in the areas of music, acting and sports. R&B legend Charlie Wilson is slated to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, and basketball's Dwyane Wade is being honored with the Humanitarian Award.
9 p.m. on PBS
Lewis and Hathaway (Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox) are called in to examine the brutal death of a chemistry professor recently released from prison. There may be a connection to the discovery of a murdered Oxford student reported lost for 15 years. As more casualties and suspects emerge, Lewis considers his future on the force in the new episode "Inspector Lewis, Series VI: Intelligent Design."
9 p.m. on Showtime
The season picks up six months after LaGuerta's murder -- and Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is still managing life as a dad, brother and serial killer. Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) struggles to deal with the consequences of her actions in "A Beautiful Day." C.S. Lee and Desmond Harrington also star.
9 p.m. on Food Network
Food Network Star
In the new episode "4th of July Live," special guest Terrence Jenkins from "E! News" will host the finalists as they do live cooking demos with a few curveballs thrown in. Then, the finalists participate in a one-take show that helps the viewers at home with must-have recipes and tips for summer parties.
10 p.m. on NBC
When wealthy businessmen start succumbing to a mysterious virus, the ICC investigates and uncovers a link to an art-theft ring. A tense confrontation with the killer puts everyone's lives in danger in the new episode "The Terminator."
10 p.m. on Showtime
Liev Schreiber takes the lead in what is sure to be Showtime's next buzzed-about series as Ray Donovan, a Hollywood fixer who helps problems go away for celebrity clients. Of course, making problems go away in his own life is much tougher, as he must deal with his shady South Boston family, headed up by his menacing father (Jon Voight).
8 p.m. on NBC
American Ninja Warrior
Akbar Gbaja Biamila and Matt Iseman lead the new season of this extreme competition where contestants in five cities navigate a series of obstacle courses. The winners get to compete for a $500,000 prize.
8 p.m. on TCM
Carson on TCM
Johnny Carson's interviews with beloved screen figures over the years are repackaged into a series that offers an enjoyable trip down memory lane. The premiere features an interview with Drew Barrymore from 1982, the year she captured America's hearts as little Gertie in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." Also airing tonight are Carson's chats with Kirk Douglas from 1988, Mary Tyler Moore from 1978, Neil Simon from 1980 and George Burns from 1989.
9 p.m. on A&E
Jim (Matt Passmore) investigates the death of a bank vice president whose body is found in the vault in the new episode "Glade- iators!" She turns out to have had a double life -- bank executive by day, roller derby competitor by night -- but which side of her was targeted for murder?
9 p.m. on TNT
A witness flown into town by the LAPD to testify in a murder trial becomes the prime suspect in another homicide. Flynn (Tony Denison) is having major stress in both his personal and professional lives in the new episode "I, Witness."
9 p.m. on HBO
Movie: Gideon's Army
This documentary from Dawn Porter profiles several idealistic young lawyers who are serving as public defenders in the Deep South, an area with a tradition of being tough on crime. The pay is low, the caseloads are huge, but the reward comes in knowing they're making a difference.
10 p.m. on PBS
In "Special Flight," filmmaker Fernand Melgar ("The Fortress") chronicles life inside a Switzerland detention center for undocumented foreigners -- illegal immigrants and asylum seekers -- facing deportation to their native countries. Those who don't win asylum and won't leave voluntarily are sent home on the "special flights" -- chained to their seats and turned over to police when they land.
10 p.m. on A&E
It's opposite day in Absaroka County in this new episode. The Contrary Warrior, a Cheyenne who does the opposite of what's expected, gives Walt (Robert Taylor) a tip about the murder of a purported psychic, but all the clues he has are backward. A public debate about Branch (Bailey Chase) also requires his attention in "Tell It Slant."
10 p.m. on ABC
Savi (Alyssa Milano) nervously awaits the results of her baby's paternity test while trying to keep Harry (Brett Tucker) from finding out she's pregnant. April and Richard (Rochelle Aytes, Cameron Bender) find common ground when their daughters miss school in the new episode "Decisions, Decisions."
10 p.m. on NBC
This drama is about a "Survivor"-type competition with a couple of big differences: The setting is the opposite of tropical -- note the title -- and the frightening occurrences that the contestants thought were the producers' doing are very real ... and very deadly.
10 p.m. on Bravo
This new unscripted series follows crew members aboard a luxury charter yacht sailing the Caribbean. The 20- and 30-somethings do whatever it takes to keep the wealthy passengers happy, from serving food to doing laundry, in hopes of earning some good tips. With eight attractive young people living in close quarters, there's plenty of potential for drama.
9 p.m. on PBS
Mount Rushmore: American Experience
More than 500,000 tons of granite were removed from Mount Rushmore to create that iconic sculpture. Even more fascinating, however, is the story of its creation and the man who made it happened: sculptor Gutzon Borglum, whose previous project, a 400- foot Confederate monument that was never finished, left him a laughingstock.
9 p.m. on TNT
Rizzoli & Isles
Jane (Angie Harmon) is distressed to discover that her former colleague Rafael Martinez (Amaury Nolasco), with whom she had a complicated personal and professional relationship, is the new head of the drug unit. Maura (Sasha Alexander) investigates Hope (Sharon Lawrence) after receiving a disturbing tip from Cailin (Emilee Wallace) in the new episode "In Over Your Head."
10 p.m. on Food Network
"Jeopardy!" does a Teen Tournament; why not a cooking competition? The new episode "Teen Invasion" is actually the second "Chopped" competition for youngsters. Here, they wow the chefs with what they do with cereal and tuna.
10 p.m. on TNT
Pierce and Moretti (Eric McCormack, Rachael Leigh Cook) investigate a woman's report that her husband has been abducted by aliens, and they make a surprising discovery when they arrive on the scene. Pierce's relationship with Caroline (Kelly Rowan) is heating up in the new episode "Alienation."
10:30 p.m. on BET
Movie: Being Mary Jane
Gabrielle Union has the title role in this new TV movie, which is the pilot for a series debuting next year. Mary Jane is a television personality juggling her professional, personal and family lives as she looks to find Mr. Right. Omari Hardwick, Latarsha Rose, Lisa Vidal and Richard Roundtree also star.
8 p.m. on Food Network
Chef Robert Irvine's assignment in this episode isn't a troubled restaurant; it's a community center in Washington, D.C., called Horton's Kids, which feeds youngsters after school and offers cooking classes to families. First lady Michelle Obama has asked him to help renovate the kitchen and create a dining room and a community garden for those veggies that growing kids need in "White House Edition."
8:30 p.m. on ABC
Tony (J.K. Simmons) advises Jack (Kyle Bornheimer) on fighting back against the "bug guys," but he insists on standing up to their bullying on his own. Aunt Terry (Leah Remini) enters an art show determined to take home first prize in the new episode "Pest Side Story."
9 p.m. on TNT
Franklin & Bash
Rachel (Heather Locklear) makes a bet with Peter and Jared (Mark- Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer) on which case will bring the firm better publicity -- their "pirate law"-based defense of a fisherman or her wrongful termination case involving a self-described psychic. Pindar (Kumail Nanjiani) makes a discovery about a couch the guys rescue from the curb in the new episode "Captain Johnny."
10 p.m. on Comedy Central
Bender wants to be just like his idol, a folk singer who has been to jail 30 times. To do that, he needs a guitar just like his. After trying and failing to steal the original from a maximum security lockup, he attempts to make a copy using a 3-D printer in the new episode "Forty Percent Leadbelly."
10 p.m. on Food Network
Fall in! The owner of Buttons Restaurant in Texas asks Charles for help when he starts hearing complaints that his manager, a military veteran, is too strict. The staff is about ready to mutiny in the new episode "Armed Services."
5:30 p.m. on TCM
Movie: Yankee Doodle Dandy
James Cagney won his only best actor Oscar for his performance in this feel-good 1942 musical. As George M. Cohan, he gives free rein to the singing and dancing talent that he never got to show in all those gangster pictures. Joan Leslie and Walter Huston also star.
8 p.m. on ABC
In "Boss & Employee: Third Shift," teams of workers and managers attempt to stay in the game on such obstacles as the Miami Pound Machine and a nerd-themed Wipeout City.
8:20 p.m. on Cinemax
Movie: Beasts of the Southern Wild
Newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis made Oscar history with her performance in this 2012 drama, becoming the youngest best actress nominee in Academy history. She owns the screen as Hushpuppy, a 6- year-old whose Louisiana bayou home is threatened by global warming and the prehistoric animals it releases.
10 p.m. on Cinemax
Movie: The Sessions
Helen Hunt had been off the movie radar for a while when this 2012 drama brought attention to her again -- in part, due to her role as a sex surrogate hired by a poet (John Hawkes, as the real- life Mark O'Brien) who has lived much of his life in an iron lung. William H. Macy also stars in the film.
7:50 p.m. on Cinemax
Movie: Die Hard With a Vengeance
In this nonstop action-packed thriller, a former cop (Bruce Willis) forms an unlikely alliance with a hotheaded storekeeper (Samuel L. Jackson) in order to stop a psychotic bomber (Jeremy Irons) from wreaking havoc in New York.
8 p.m. on CBS
In a first for the series, a boss goes under cover a second time. Stephen J. Cloobeck, chairman and CEO of Diamond Resorts International, was featured in an episode that aired in January 2012. Since then, the company has acquired a new chain of resorts, and he dons a disguise again to see how the workers are adjusting. "Diamond Resorts: Take 2" also features the biggest reward payout, as Cloobeck distributes more than $1 million to deserving employees.
8 p.m. on ABC
Removing your own tattoos? Sounds painful, but two guys from Colorado have created a device that allows people to do it at home. Also in this episode: Three Rhode Island men seek an investment for their line of sugar-free, fortified nut butters; a California mom has designed a wristband to prevent motion sickness that also looks stylish; and an Arkansas woman has created a shoe that can be converted from a stiletto heel to a wedge.
8 p.m. on The CW
Skye (Jessica Lucas) comforts Edie MacDonald (Shauna Johannesen) - - the actress who plays Meadow on the television show -- who is being spooked by a pair of figurines from her childhood. Later, Skye and Jeff (Matt Davis) visit Edie's mother (Teryl Rothery). Peter (Ben Hollingsworth) continues spying on Skye in the new episode "The Prophecy of St. Clare."
9 p.m. on PBS
The Cleveland Orchestra in Performance: Boulez Conducts Mahler
The Adagio from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 10 is the only movement written solely by Mahler, who died before finishing the work. It's the centerpiece of this new special, which celebrates multiple milestones: Mahler's 150th birthday, the 100th anniversary of his death and Pierre Boulez's 45th year conducting the Cleveland Orchestra. Also on the program is the "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" song cycle, with vocal soloists Magdalena Kozena and Christian Gerhaher.
9 p.m. on BBC
James Spader plays an archaeological scholar hired by the U.S. government to decode the glyphs on an ancient arch in this sci-fi action film studded with special effects. Unbeknownst to all parties, it is a gateway to a dazzling universe governed by a menacing ruler (Jaye Davidson). Kurt Russell also stars in this 1994 fantasy-adventure.
10 p.m. on Animal Planet
When their daughter moves back in with them after college, an Oregon couple call on Pete to build them some more living space -- in a group of oak trees. Now all he has to do is get them to stop distracting him with ideas and requests so he can create a comfortable, spacious guesthouse in the new episode "Backyard Bungalow."
10 p.m. on Syfy
When Kiera (Rachel Nichols) suffers an emotional breakdown, a psychiatric protocol hidden in her brain chips is activated. A new chief takes the reins of Vancouver's police department in the new episode "Second Opinion."
10 p.m. on HBO
Life's Too Short Special
A follow-up to last year's series, this new hourlong special catches up with actor Warwick Davis, playing a fictionalized version of himself who's been trying to make his way back into the spotlight as Britain's go-to little person. Here, he continues to run his talent agency and claims he's a changed man with an exciting movie opportunity. Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Val Kilmer also appear.
8 p.m. on ABC
As Laila and Hank (Jacinda Barrett, Anthony Edwards) continue racing the Pyrates, "Molars" shares some of his findings with White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist), including a journal penned by his doppelganger. Arron and Rachel (Scott Michael Foster, Addison Timlin) suspect there's a mole in the FBI feeding information to the Shepherds in the new episode "Winding."
8 p.m. on HBO
Movie: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
Summer can be very long for a youngster with no real plans ... and a father who wants him to have some. Such is the plight of young hero Greg, again played by Zachary Gordon, in the third of the family-friendly comedies based on the books by Jeff Kinney. Dad (fellow returnee Steve Zahn) is intent on getting his video game- loving son out of the house and active. Greg's admiration of a young country club employee (Peyton List) may give him a good alibi.
9 p.m. on CBS
Our six-week peek into the Kings County District Attorney's Office ends here, and what a fascinating visit it's been. Although the cameras are leaving, rest assured that the drama will continue, as these dedicated prosecutors deal with more than 1,000 cases every week.
9 p.m. on ABC
666 Park Avenue
Conspiratii. The word keeps turning up in Peter Kramer's journal, but what is it ... or should that be who are they? Turns out it is a "they," and Detective Cooper (Teddy Sears) is one of them. He asks Jane (Rachael Taylor) to spy on the doings at the Drake for the group, but Gavin (Terry O'Quinn) is there first in the new episode "The Elysian Fields."
10 p.m. on MAX
Movie: The Island
Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson play clones who break out into the real world and try to avoid being captured for body parts. Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean and Steve Buscemi also star in this 2005 movie.
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