What to Watch Tonight

Your Guide to July 4th Specials, Marathons and More

July 4 TV Marathons

Poolside BBQs and fireworks are excellent ways to celebrate Independence Day, but we at TVLine are just as excited for the holiday television. To that end, we’ve curated a list of specials and marathons bowing Friday, July 4, including a staggering Walking Dead parade, a chance to bone up on Masters of Sex and, of course, the best light shows in the country. Here are 13 programs to keep on your radar this Friday. (More weekend programming will be covered in Saturday and Sunday editions of What to Watch.)

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  • Netflix
    Knights of Sidonia

    Series premiere, all 12 episodes: Based on the popular manga series by Tsutomu Nihei, Netflix’s first original anime series follows Nagate Tanikaze, a low-born youth who must defend the massive ship Sidonia against the alien race Guana.

  • IFC
    Batman

    (Through 5:15 pm) Biff! Thwak! The classic 1960s series officially joins IFC’s daily lineup, beginning with this marathon of memorable episodes.

  • Hallmark Movie
    'Gold Crown Christmas' Marathon

    (Through midnight Sunday, July 13) Talk about Christmas come early! This 10-day marathon of Yuletide flicks — eight to 10 to unwrap each day — includes Angel in the Family, Christmas in Canaan, Christmas Comes Home to Canaan, Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe, The Case for Christmas, The Ultimate Gift, Our First Christmas, November Christmas and The Christmas Card.

  • USA Network
    NCIS

    (Through 8 pm) Rule 39: There is no such thing as coincidence. Rule 41: There is no such thing as a holiday without an NCIS marathon.

  • Epix
    'American Psychos' Movie Marathon

    (Through 7:30 am Saturday) Because nothing says “Freedom!” like a celebration of cinema’s most messed-up characters, tune in for You’re Next, Breakdown, The Frozen Ground, The Usual Suspects, Primal Fear, Silence of the Lambs, Carrie (2013) and Texas Chainsaw.

  • Syfy
    The Twilight Zone

    (Through 8 pm) The annual spookfest returns, with such classic episodes as “The Hitchhiker,” “Eye of the Beholder” and, of course, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.”

  • BBC America
    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    (Through 6 am Saturday) Boldly go… to the couch, to revisit the journey of Picard & Co.

  • AMC
    The Walking Dead

    (Through 9 pm Sunday) Is your DVR nice and empty? You’ll need the space for this every-episode-ever marathon, as all four TWD seasons air back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

  • A&E
    Criminal Minds

    (Through 4 am Saturday) The marathon includes a grab bag of episodes from Seasons 4, 5 and 6.

  • GSN
    The American Bible Challenge

    (Through midnight) Thou shalt not overdo it with the cheeseburgers at this year’s barbecue.

  • Showtime
    Masters of Sex

    (Through midnight) Before Season 2 bows July 13, start catching up with the first six episodes of Season 1. (Episodes 7-12 will air Saturday, July 5.)

  • NBC
    Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular

    Live from New York’s East River, Nick Cannon (America’s Got Talent) hosts the special, with performers including (of course) Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert and Lionel Richie.

  • PBS
    A Capitol Fourth

    Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron leads the celebration from Washington, D.C., alongside the National Symphony Orchestra.