America's celebration of its independence will feature plenty of

festive fireworks -- as well as specials on ABC, CBS and NBC. PBS's "A Capitol Fourth" marks the occasion with its annual star-studded concert on the Mall. On cable, A&E's "Airline" is now flying out of BWI. "Capturing the Friedmans," a grim documentary that caught the attention of critics last year, comes to HBO. And the worldwide adventures of "Amazing Race" return to CBS.

an american celebration

at ford's theatre

Sunday at 10 p.m. on ABC

Kelsey Grammer returns for his third year of hosting the annual gala that benefits the historic theater.

This year's 24th televised edition includes a new element, as six recipients of the Medal of Honor will be introduced by actor Gary Sinise. The Medal of Honor is given in recognition of bravery, sacrifice and devotion on the field of battle.

The special was taped March 14 before a live audience that included President Bush and first lady Laura Bush.

Among the performers are Patti LaBelle, Jessica Simpson, David Spade, Rascal Flatts, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Brad Paisley, Michelle Williams, and Harold Wheeler and the American Celebration Orchestra.

BIG BROTHER

Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBS

He's not only watching, he's living with you and ready to vote against you.

The fifth installment of this reality series follows a group of strangers living together. No ordinary group rental, this home is totally wired, as cameras and microphones record everyone's every move, 24 hours a day.

Over a span of three months, the roommates will vote each other out of the house, each hoping to be the last one home and the winner of the $500,000 prize.

wide angle:

the russian Newspaper murders

Thursday at 9 p.m. on MPT

A new documentary looks at a surprising statistic for journalists in Russia, where a dozen have been killed during the past five years. Two successive editors of the only independent newspaper in Togliatti, an industrial city, were killed in a span of 18 months.

None of the journalists' killers have been brought to justice, yet Russia's few remaining independent reporters continue working to expose government corruption and organized crime.

more July 4 Fare:

n A Capitol Fourth, at 8 p.m. on PBS (story, page 6).

n Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular,

at 9 p.m. on NBC.

n Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular 2004,

at 10 p.m. on CBS.