Happy 238th birthday, America!
Television will celebrate the Fourth of July on Friday with big names and big specials.
"Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" will offer what NBC bills as "the nation's largest display of patriotic firepower." In the New York special, the fireworks will be launched from barges on the lower East River. Pyro Spectaculars by Souza will showcase more than 54,000 fireworks and special effects, the American Pyrotechnics Association said. The two-hour special airs at 8 p.m. on NBC, which repeats the second hour at 10 p.m. The performers include Lionel Richie, Miranda Lambert, Hunter Hayes and Ariana Grande. Nick Cannon of "America's Got Talent" hosts this 38th edition of the holiday epic.
"American Idol" winners Phillip Phillips and Jordin Sparks headline "A Capitol Fourth" at 8 p.m. on PBS. The 90-minute special repeats immediately at 9:30. The talent lineup also includes Frankie Valli, Patti LaBelle, Michael McDonald, Sara Evans, the Muppets and singer-songwriter Kendall Schmidt ("Big Time Rush"). The program offers the chance to see Broadway favorite Kelli O'Hara, who will headline a revival of "The King and I" next season. Tom Bergeron of "Dancing With the Stars" hosts from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Jack Everly conducts the National Symphony Orchestra.
Actor-comedian Marlon Wayans will host the Philly 4th of July Jam, which will be simulcast from 8 to 11 p.m. on VH1 and Palladia. (It also will be live streamed on PhillyJam.VH1.com.) The performers include Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, Jennifer Hudson and Aloe Blacc. The Roots will perform and serve as the house band. The evening concludes with a fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
What of Orlando? WFTV-Channel 9's annual "Fireworks at the Fountain" from downtown airs at 9 p.m. Vanessa Welch and Jorge Estevez will host the live portions from Lake Eola. The special also incorporates fireworks displays from previous years around the region. The special repeats at 11 p.m. Friday on sister station WRDQ-Channel 27.
If you prefer political fireworks, Fox News Channel offers a "Kelly File Special: America" at 9 p.m. Friday. The program examines the film "America" -- a political documentary by filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza ("2016: Obama's America"). The special looks at the film's major themes, then Megyn Kelly debates those issues with D'Souza and Professor Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground.
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