What to Watch Wednesday: Your Guide to July 4th Marathons, Patriotic Specials, New Fare and More!
Forget the fireworks this July 4th — the real entertainment is on your TV as the networks unveil a bevy of catch-up marathons, patriotic specials and even a few new episodes of your regular faves (after all, not everyone is taking it easy!). Below, TVLine has compiled the best offerings, including a New Girl cram session curated by fans, journeys into space with the Browncoats and Trekkies, and some star-studded concerts. Enjoy!
6 am — noon Cake Boss (TLC) | Hey, it’s fewer calories than stuffing your face with the real stuff.
6 am – 10 am Necessary Roughness and Royal Pains (USA Network) | Before your barbecue gets going, here’s what the network is calling a “Catch-up and Mustard” marathon. (Get it?)
7 am – 8 pm The Revolution (History) | Celebrate Independence Day secure in your knowledge of how the holiday came to be.
8 am – 11 pm Firefly (Science Channel) | Viva la Browncoats!
8 am – midnight The Game (BET) | With the upcoming cast changes, this may be your last chance to see the Game you know and love.
8 am – 5 am Sunday Star Trek: The Next Generation (BBC America) | As Syfy is to Twilight Zone (see below), so BBC America is to Star Trek.
8 am – 5 am Sunday The Twilight Zone (Syfy) | Holiday + Syfy = Twilight Zone marathon.
8 am – 7 pm July Fourth Huboom-A-Thon (The Hub) | When the kids tire of playing outside, they can catch episodes of Transformers Rescue Bots (8 am – noon), The Super Hero Squad Show (noon – 4 pm) and Transformers Prime (4 – 7 pm).
9 am – 6 pm Band of Brothers (Spike TV) | Honor our fallen soldiers — played by an impressive cast of film and TV’s leading men (including Damian Lewis, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Neal McDonough and Donnie Wahlberg) — by watching this HBO mini from producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.
10 am – 7 pm Brothers & Sisters (SOAPnet) | For a different type of fireworks, check out nine episodes of Walker family drama.
10 am – 7 pm Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network) | If you can stomach it — and like to torture yourself with images of yummy food served in places you probably can’t get to today — spend the day with Guy Fieri.
10 am – 7 pm John Adams (HBO) | Paul Giamatti stars as the titular founding father and president in this miniseries, which chronicles his life from the Boston Massacre of 1770 through his death on July 4, 1826.
10 am – 6 pm Kendra on Top (WE tv) | Not as naughty as it sounds.
10 am – 11 pm NCIS (USA Network) | Did you think USA was going to let this holiday go by without a NCIS marathon?
11 am – 11 pm America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC Family) | Twelve hours of pratfalls, painful crotch injuries and mischievous pets. And if that isn’t American, I don’t know what is.
2 pm – 7 pm Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding (Bravo) | That’s a threat, not a suggestion.
3 pm Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest (ESPN) | No matter how much you gorge at this year’s BBQ, you ain’t got nothing on these guys.
5 pm – 10 pm Dallas (TNT) | Missed out on the recently renewed soap that’s filling the Revenge-sized hole in our hearts? Catch all of the previously aired episodes, followed by a new installment at 9 pm.
8 pm A Capital Fourth (PBS) | Dancing With the Stars‘ Tom Bergeron hosts the D.C.-set concert, featuring American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, Smash‘s Megan Hilty, Nice Work If You Can Get It stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara, The Voice champ Javier Colon and Glee belter Amber Riley.
8 pm – 10 pm New Girl (Fox) | Siri, what are the fan-favorite episodes airing tonight? They are “Thanksgiving,” “Valentine’s Day,” “Normal” and “Tomatoes.”
9 pm America’s Lost Treasures (National Geographic Channel) | Series premiere: Nat Geo offers up its variation on other people’s junk.
9 pm Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (NBC) | Regis Philbin takes the reins while Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney provide the entertainment.
10 pm Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (CBS) | Michael Chiklis hosts and soon-to-be Smash star Jennifer Hudson performs with the Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
10 pm Futurama (Comedy Central) | New episode: To get a photo of an elusive actor, Bender joins the paparazzi. Watch out, Bender; if it’s Alec Baldwin, he’ll drop you like you’re his Twitter account.
10 pm The Real World: St. Thomas (MTV) | New episode: Trey decides things are moving too fast after he and Laura share a kiss on a ferris wheel. Does this guy know he’s on MTV?
10 pm The Soup (E!) | New episode: Missing Community? Get your Joel McHale fix here with a July 4-themed special.
10:30 pm The Exes (TVLand) | New episode: Holly is surprised by Haskell’s hidden talents while on a practice date. That’s how they sucker you in, Holly!
Which of the above is must-see for you? Also, hit the comments to offer your own tune-in suggestions.