TV Highlights: Fireworks shows, Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN

July 3, 2011
HIGHLIGHTS

Don’t want to brave the crowds outside? We applaud you. Here are the TV options to still enjoy the fireworks:

“A Capitol Fourth” (WETA, MPT, WHUT at 8 p.m.)

Host: Jimmy Smits of “NYPD Blue” and, more recently, “Dexter”

Entertainment: Singers Little Richard and Josh Groban, “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, “Glee” token grown-up Matthew Morrison, “Dancing With the Stars” pros Mark Ballas and Chelsie Hightower, Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, and the National Symphony Orchestra with conductor Jack Everly.

Bonus: Steve Martin will apparently perform an original song he wrote for the occasion, about the midnight ride of Paul Revere . . . from the perspective of the horse.


The all-star line-up for “A Capitol Fourth” includes, from left, Steve Martin, Jordin Sparks, Jimmy Smits, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara. (Capital Concerts)

“Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” (NBC at 9)

Host: Nick Lachey, “The Sing-Off” host and former boy bander

Entertainment: Pop star Beyonce, country crooner Brad Paisley

Bonus: A special tribute to the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty

“Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” (CBS at 10)

Host: Michael Chiklis, of “The Shield,” a Boston native

Entertainment: Country singer Martina McBride, the Boston Pops

Bonus: McBride will perform some of her most famous songs along with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, which will be led by conductor Keith Lockhart.

In non-fireworks programming:

As is tradition, the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest (ESPN at noon) takes place in Coney Island, N.Y.; look for former champs Takeru Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut.

“Citizen U.S.A.: A 50-State Road Trip” (HBO at 9), a documentary in which director Alexandra Pelosi visits naturalization ceremonies all around the country, is previewed by Hank Stuever on Page .

When Kathryn and John discover Bay has been seeing Ty behind their backs, they insist that she invite him over for a family dinner on “Switched at Birth” (ABC Family at 9).

While Silas attempts to further his modeling career on “Weeds” (Showtime at 10), Nancy is shocked when Shane and Andy show up at her door in New York — especially since she thought they were in Copenhagen.

Cathy tries to get into a famous doctor’s (guest star Alan Alda) clinical trial for a cancer treatment on “The Big C” (Showtime at 10:30), but when it doesn’t work, she takes an unusual approach to find help.

Emily Yahr

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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