To find a terrific list of 4th of July marathons and specials on TV today (july 4, 2011)–and you can still catch part of most of the marathons–go to TV Tango and a great list complied by Mike Vicic. All times are Eastern. Where a network also has a separate West Coast feed, that should also be West Coast time. Otherwise the West Coast time should be three hours earlier, and the Central time should be one hour earlier.
As for fireworks on national broadcast TV tonight, here’s what’s available. Please check your local listings for any local fireworks on TV in your area:
CBS–Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (10 pm -11 pm)
NBC–Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular (9 pm-11pm)
PBS–A Capital Fourth (8 pm-9:30 pm; 9:30 pm-11 pm on some PBS stations
If you want to see an absolutely stellar lineup of enjoyable, engaging fun movies on TV tonight, look no further than one of our TVWeek favorites, TCM.
First up on TCM is the annual 4th of July classic, "Yankee Doodle Dandy," starring James Cagney in his only Oscar-winning performance. It’s on a 8 pm ET, 7 pm CT and 5 pm PT. This 1942 film is unforgettably entertaining, and received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing (Original Story) and Best Supporting Actor for Walter Houston. Besides Cagney winning, it also won for Best Music and Best Sound.
Interestingly, Cagney–who was the first choice of George M. Cohan to portray himself (the movie is a biopic of Cohan)–only got the role, reportedly, because Fred Astaire turned it town. Astaire, of course, is the finest dancer to ever grace the screen, but after seeing Cagney in this role it’s hard to imagine Astaire doing it.
After ‘ Doodle Dandy Yankee" TCM airs the marvelous, tough-as-nails chronicle of crime "The Roaring Twenties" with Cagney and Humphrey Bogart (10:15 pm ET, 9:15 pm CT, 7:15 pm PT).
And after that TCM will show Paddy Chayefsky’s 1976 Oscar-winner for best original screenplay, "Network," the best TV satire the movies have yet made (12:15 am ET, 11:15 CT, 9:15 PT).
Then it’s time to set your DVRs the rest of the night/early morning to TCM as it follow’s "Network" with three funny Marx Bros. movies, "Duck Soup," "Monkey Business" and "Animal Crackers." From Woody Allen to Jerry Seinfeld to Judd Apatow and his protégés, many say funny business really starts with the Marx Bros. ("Duck Soup" shows at 2:15 am ET; "Monkey Business" at 3:30 am ET; "Animal Crackers" shows at 5:00 am ET.)
Again, please go to Marathons and Specials on TV today, July 4th, 2011, as compiled by TV Tango (in alphabetical order by network).
[Updated on July 5th to direct readers only to the TV Tango site to see the list of shows.]