News Column

TV celebrates Fourth of July with concerts, tributes

July 4, 2013


July 04--Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Pitbull fire up the Macy's crowd, the game show "The Price Is Right" salutes our armed forces, Barry Manilow and friends celebrate at the Capitol and three cable channels get together for a "Music Independence Day."

It's all part of this summer's Fourth of July celebration of America's 237th birthday on TV near you.

'The Price Is Right'

The popular game show salutes the men and women of America's armed forces and military families at 10 a.m. Thursday on CBS, channel 6. Host Drew Carey will be joined on stage by members of the military who will compete for prizes that include a trip to Washington, D.C., a new car, a new grill, trip to Hawaii and a sailboat.

'Aerial America'

The Smithsonian Channel, DirecTV HD 565, celebrates America's birthday with a 30-hour marathon of its series "Arial America." Each episode features everything from the location's history to architecture to pop culture. The marathon continues at 4 a.m. Thursday with Arkansas and wraps up at 4 a.m. Friday with Rhode Island. Oklahoma will be featured at 9 a.m. Thursday.

'Philly Fourth of July Jam'

Hunter Hayes, John Mayer and The Roots will be among those performing at this free concert airing at 7 p.m. Thursday on VH1, cable 54, and live streaming on Also on the guest list are Jill Scott, Ne-Yo, Grace Potter and J. Cole. Headliner Demi Lovato had to pull out of the show due to tonsillitis. The event is expected to draw 500,000 to Philly's Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Philadelphia native comedian Kevin Hart will be your host.

'Music Independence Day'

This is a three-channel programming event designed to celebrate the day with a mix of music. The channels' parent company, Viacom, and Monster DNA Headphones will collectively match dollar-for-dollar fan support (up to $100 per tip and up to $500 per artist/band on first-come-first-serve basis, with a cap of $100,000) of unsigned artists via the Tip Jar feature on Artist Platform (Artists.MTV/VH1/CMT) during "Music Independence Day." Here's the lineup for each channel.

MTV: MTV throws a block party to celebrate the nation's birthday with Vampire Weekend, Iggy Azaela, Chance The Rapper and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino sharing hosting duties. The event, airing 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on cable 39, will feature a playlist that includes a musical mix of genres and spotlights independent artists. Also featured will be interviews and performances with artists including Ke$ha, The Wanted, Mac Miller, Hunter Hayes, Big Time Rush plus emerging artists Austin Mahone, Chvrches, Travi$ Scott, Joey Bada$$, Dillon Francis, Flume and Bloody Beatroots who talk about their favorite songs of the summer.

CMT: CMT celebrates with a BBQ playlist from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday on cable 44. Its theme will be music without boundaries and showcases artists from the most established to emerging artists on the fringes of country music. The playlist will include The Lumineers, Brandy Clark, Ella Mae Bowen, John & Jacob, Striking Matches, Maggie Rose, Luke Bryan and Oklahoma's own Carrie Underwood. The channel will also introduce Luella and the Sun and ask fans to leave a tip to help build the group's studio which recently burned.

VH1: VH1, cable 54, will celebrate America's Independence Day with blocks of your favorite music from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. Jim Shearer, host of "VH1's Top 20 Countdown, will also be based out of Philadelphia, in preparation for "Philly 4th of July Jam" which airs live starting at 7 p.m. During the day, VH1 will debut its new series 'Stop/Watch," which will feature a plethora of artists spanning all genres including Tulsa's Hanson.

'Macy's 4th of July Spectacular'

Macy's is throwing a party and its has invited Taylor Swift, Pitbull, Cher, Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw to help us celebrate Independence Day. The concert filled with chart-topping artists and more than 40,000 fireworks will air from 7-9 p.m. and will be followed, at 9 p.m. by an encore one-hour fireworks special on NBC, channel 2, cable 9. Usher is in charge of the overall design of the show titled "It Begins With a Spark." Your host will be Nick Cannon.

'A Capitol Fourth'

Tom Bergeron will be back as host for "A Capitol Fourth" with special guest Barry Manilow from 7-8:30 p.m. with an encore at 8:30 p.m. Thursday on PBS, channel 11.

Being broadcast live at 7 p.m., the birthday party will include performances by Candice Glover, "American Idol's" Scotty McCreery, Darren Criss, Jackie Evancho, Megan Hilty, the cast of Broadway's "Motown the Musical" and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly. Composer John Williams will conduct music from the film "Lincoln" and legendary musician and songwriter Neil Diamond will debut "Freedom Song (They'll Never Take Us Down)."

What's missing?

This year, unless you happen to live in the Boston, Mass., area and get WBZ-TV, you won't be watching the "Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular." CBS decided not to air the program due to declining TV ratings in recent years.

Rita Sherrow 918-581-8360


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