As America celebrates its 237th birthday over Fourth of July 2013, television networks will again have several programs of all types airing during the holiday, which falls on a Thursday this year but will perhaps carry over through the weekend for people able to take the Friday off. Various movies, music specials, documentaries, movie marathons and sporting events will air over Fourth of July 2013 week, and here are some notable ones.
FOURTH OF JULY 2013 TV PROGRAMMING
(All times are ET; check back for updates and additions.)
4th of July Music – July 2 at 12am through July 8 on Music Choice’s “Sounds of the Seasons” channel.
The Game Marathon – July 2 from 8am-5pm on BET. Episodes of The Game lead in to the beginning of new episodes, which start at 10pm with “The Busted Episode.”
NCIS Marathon – July 3 from 8am-midnight on USA Network.
Washington the Warrior – July 3 at 10am on History. Before George Washington became the “father” of his country, he was a soldier. This program looks at the side of Washington we don’t always think about, and begins in 1753, when the 21-year-old obtained an officer’s commission in the Virginia militia. By the time America declared independence, Washington was the consensus choice to lead the Continental Army.
Secrets of the Founding Fathers – July 3 at 12pm on History. This program investigates the history and symbology so prominent in the creation of the United States, and traces the intricate connections of the Founders with Freemasonry, other secret organizations and between each other.
The Men Who Built America Marathon – July 3 at 4pm until July 4 at 4:02am on History.
Duck Dynasty Marathon – July 3 at 7pm until July 4 at 4:02am on A&E.
Aerial America Marathon – July 4 at 12am until July 5 at 6am on Smithsonian Channel.
BBQ Pitmasters Marathon – July 4 at 6am until July 5 at 6am on Destination America.
“Explosive Love” Marathon – July 4 at 6am until July 5 at 4am on ID (Investigation Discovery). A full day of scorched tempers, eruptive romances and sizzling secrets from some of ID’s popular series. Episodes of Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? air July 4 6am-8am; Scorned: Love Kills July 4 8am-12pm; Poisoned Passions July 4 12pm-3pm; Fatal Vows July 4 3pm-6pm; Happily Never After July 4 6pm-July 5 2am; Scorned: Love Kills July 5 2am-4am.
Music Independence Day – July 4 from 6am-6pm on MTV, CMT and VH1. MTV, CMT and VH1 get back to their roots by devoting an entire day to music, both established stars and emerging artists.
“Stars, Stripes & Badges” Marathon: NCIS – July 4 at 6am until July 5 at 4am on USA Network.
Swamp People Marathon – July 4 at 7am until July 5 at 4:02am on History.
Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3 Marathon – July 4 at 8am until July 5 at 6am; and July 5 8am-9pm on BBC America.
Wimbledon Tennis: Ladies’ Semifinals – July 4 from 8am-1pm on ESPN.
Jefferson – July 4 at 8am on H2. A two-hour look at Thomas Jefferson’s complicated life and legacy.
The Twilight Zone Marathon – July 4 at 8am until July 5 at 6am on Syfy. The annual favorite programming stunt returns, with Syfy airing 22 straight hours of episodes from the classic anthology series, including memorable titles such as “Time Enough at Last,” “It’s a Good Life,” “The Eye of the Beholder” and “To Serve Man.”
The First 48 Marathon – July 4 from 9am-8pm on A&E.
Wicked Tuna Marathon – July 4 at 9am until July 5 at 3am on National Geographic Channel.
Washington’s Generals: “Benedict Arnold” – July 4 at 10am on H2. A look at the complicated and controversial American Revolution figure whose name has become synonymous with treason.
Life’s a Beach: Beverly Hills 90210 Independence Day Marathon – July 4 from 10am-7pm on SOAPnet. Nine hours of episodes from the original series.
North America Marathon – July 4 from 11am-6pm on Animal Planet.
The Revolution Marathon – July 4 at 11am until July 5 at 4am on H2. Several episodes of the series that chronicles the American Revolution.
National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets Double Feature – July 4 on ABC Family. ABC Family airs the Nicolas Cage films on Independence Day. National Treasure airs at 2:30pm and 8pm; National Treasure: Book of Secrets airs at 12pm and 5:30pm.
The Walking Dead Marathons – July 4-7 on AMC. Season 1 marathon: July 4 from 1pm-3am. Season 2 marathon: July 5 from 1pm-2:48am. Season 3 marathon: July 6 from 1pm-12:30am; and July 7 from 1pm-9pm.
Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest – July 4 at 1pm on ESPN. Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island, N.Y., is back in business after Superstorm Sandy to host the annual celebration of gastronomic excess. Joey Chestnut attempts to win a seventh straight title.
The 4th of July Marvelously Looney Marathon – July 4 from 3pm-6:30pm on The Hub. Episodes of Tiny Toon Adventures and The Super Hero Squad Show.
Property Wars Marathon July 4 at 5pm until July 5 at 3am on Discovery Channel.
Yankee Doodle Dandy – July 4 at 5:30pm on TCM. James Cagney stars in this musical portrait of composer/singer/dancer George M. Cohan.
Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq – July 4 at 7pm on HBO. James Gandolfini was an executive producer on this Emmy-nominated 2007 documentary in which the actor interviews 10 soldiers returning from the Iraq war, and reveal their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and their devotion to America.
1776 – July 4 at 7pm on Sony Movie Channel; July 5 at 1:30am on TCM. William Daniels plays John Adams and Ken Howard stars as Thomas Jefferson in this musical drama about the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Independence Day – July 4 at 8pm, July 6 at 5pm and July 7 at 2pm on A&E. The 1996 blockbuster about humanity fighting off an alien invasion, starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular – July 4 Live at 8pm on NBC. Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, Cher, Pitbull and Selena Gomez will be among the performers at this celebration of America’s birthday, hosted by Nick Cannon from along the Hudson River in New York. NBC will encore the second hour of the fireworks special immediately following the original live telecast.
A Capitol Fourth 2013 – July 4 Live at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). Tom Bergeron returns to host this celebration from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This Fourth of July 2013 concert stars music legend Barry Manilow, back by popular demand after his debut on the show in 2009. The program will also feature performances from Candice Glover; Scotty McCreery; Darren Criss; Jackie Evancho; Megan Hilty; the Broadway hit Motown: The Musical; and composer John Williams conducting his music from the film Lincoln. The proceedings end with fireworks, which will be captured by 20 cameras positioned around the city. PBS will re-air A Capitol Fourth immediately following its live broadcast, at 9:30pm.
Philly 4th of July Jam -- July 4 from 8-11pm on VH1 and Palladia. Kevin Hart hosts this third annual event, billed as the “Largest Free Concert in America,” which will also be live-streamed on VH1.com. Hometown favorites The Roots will again serve as musical curators for the event, playing their own set along with special guests John Mayer, Jill Scott, Demi Lovato, Ne-Yo, Grace Potter and J. Cole. Capping off the event will be a fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Stars, Stripes & Badges” Marathon: Law & Order: SVU – July 5 at 6am until July 6 at 1am on USA Network.
“Jump the Shark” Marathon – July 5 at 6am until July 6 at 6am on CLOO. CLOO airs 24 hours of infamous moments when famous TV series desperately tried to keep viewers’ interest through gimmicks that became known as “jumping the shark” thanks to a Happy Days episode in which the Fonz indeed literally jumped a shark. Shows featured during this marathon include Get Smart, Bosom Buddies, Family Ties, Laverne & Shirley, Mannix, House, The Unit, Mork & Mindy, Charlie’s Angels and, of course, Happy Days. The three-part “Hollywood” episode of Happy Days that inspired the “jump the shark” term will air during this marathon from 10-11:30am, and from 8-9:30pm.
Wimbledon Tennis: Gentlemen’s Semifinals – July 5 from 8am-2pm on ESPN.
Modern Marvels Marathon – July 5 from 8am-7pm on History.
Warehouse 13 Season 4 Marathon – July 5 from 8am-5pm on Syfy.
Storage Wars Marathon – July 5 at 9am until July 6 at 4:02am on A&E. Various episodes of Storage Wars, Storage Wars Texas and Storage Wars New York.
A Haunting Marathon – July 5 at 4pm until July 6 at 6am on Destination America.
Ancient Aliens Marathon – July 5 at 6pm until July 6 at 4am on H2.
American Pickers Marathon – July 5 at 7pm until July 6 at 4:02am on History.
Magic City Season 2 Catch Up Marathon – July 5 from 9pm-midnight on STARZ.
The Unit Marathon – July 6 at 6am until July 7 at 6am on CLOO.
Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Weekend – July 6-7 on ABC Family. ABC Family airs the first three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise this weekend, followed by the network television premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. July 6 schedule includes Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (9am); Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (12pm); and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (3pm). July 7 schedule includes Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (10:30am); Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (1:30pm); Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (4:30pm); and the network television premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (8pm).
Wimbledon Tennis: Ladies’ Final – July 6 from 9am-3pm on ESPN (replay on ABC 3-6pm).
Law & Order: SVU Marathon – July 6 at 9am until July 7 at 2am on USA Network.
Pawn Stars Marathon – July 6 at 7pm until July 7 at 4:02am on History.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Marathon – July 7 at 6am until July 8 at 4am on CLOO.
Hillbilly Blood Marathon – July 7 from 6am-2pm on Destination America.
Wimbledon Tennis: Gentlemen’s Final – July 7 from 9am-3pm on ESPN (replay on ABC 3-6pm).
NCIS Marathon – July 7 from 9am-11pm on USA Network.
Rom Com Marathom 2 – July 7 from 12pm-11pm on MTV. Funny ladies Nikki and Sara host this marathon of fan-favorite comedies beginning with Clueless at 12pm; followed by 13 Going on 30 at 2pm; and She’s the Man at 4pm. MTV will also be airing four new episodes of Girl Code back-to-back starting at 9pm.
Border Wars Marathon – July 7 from 12pm-9pm on National Geographic Channel.
Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks: Will Hart/NBC
National Treasure: © Disney. Credit: Robert Zuckerman