What to watch on Friday, July 4...
MARATHON, 12am, Encore
Celebrate the U.S. of A.’s birthday in the traditional way: By watching it get blowed up but good over and over again, with 24 straight hours of Roland Emmerich’s 1996 alien invasion blockbuster.
MARATHON, 9am, AMC
The Walking Dead
The “Dead, White, and Blue Weekend” brings you all four seasons of zombie zaniness, capped off with a special Season 5 preview installment of Talking Dead, guest-starring Aisha Tyler, on Sunday at 9pm.
A Capitol Fourth
If you prefer your Independence Day festivities to feature Washington landmarks that haven’t been obliterated by space aliens, the Public Broadcasting Service and host Tom Bergeron have you covered. Slated acts include Frankie Valli, Patti LaBelle, Michael McDonald, the National Symphony Orchestra, and an arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner” by John Williams.
Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular
Nick Cannon hosts the Jack Donaghy-approved fireworks spectacular from New York City. Ariana Grande, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, and Lionel Richie are scheduled to perform, presumably by playing music and not by exploding in a flash of brightly colored lights over the East River.
– Fireworks, presumably? I dunno, look out your windows and let us know what you see.
8pm & 8:30pm, CBS
The midseason comedy didn’t get a passing grade from CBS, so it’s been sent to summer school to burn off its remaining coursework. (This concludes the contractually obligated school-related quips portion of the blurb.) The curriculum (whoops, had one more) starts with “Yearbook,” in which Ginny’s breakup interferes with her ability to help Meredith finish the class annuary. Then in “Divorced Dudes,” Meredith prowls a divorcee support group in search of eligible men.
10pm, BBC America
Georgie and Poppy are longing to stray right through the very heart of New York, New York. On the agenda: scouting the city’s famous Fashion Week and getting a crash course in coffee preparation from a genuine Williamsburg hipster.
What to watch on Sunday, July 6...
Last Tango in Halifax
Wedded life gets off to a stressful start for Alan and Celia, and not just because they have to return, like, 45 toasters because nobody knows how to use a bloody registry. Meanwhile, Kate wants to have a baby with Caroline, who’s hoping to buy John out of the house.
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour
The pop star takes her show around the world. Although the logline I found only mentioned Barcelona and Lisbon, so I guess it’s possible she just took her show around the Iberian Peninsula. You’ll have to watch and find out, I suppose.
SEASON 2 PREMIERE, 9pm, Lifetime
Witches of East End
Unsure exactly what happened after the portal opened, the Beauchamp witches are on the lookout for a mystical intruder that may have crossed over. Meanwhile in “A Moveable Beast,” Victor nurses the poisoned Joanna back to health, Freya has disturbing visions of Killian’s future, and Ingrid’s new somnambulism may lead her down a perilous path.
9pm, National Geographic
The ‘90s: The Last Great Decade
Rob Lowe narrates this three-part series, which continues Monday and Tuesday at 9pm and which may or may not be cobbled together from old VH1 specials and Buzzfield articles. Part one examines the Gulf War, the wackiness surrounding Bill Clinton’s presidential bid, and the rise of two of my generation’s troubadours: Kurt Cobain and Vanilla Ice.
9pm, BBC America
The boys head to Le Havre to nab a rogue merchant in “Commodities.” Here are some Official What to Watch Tonight Fun Facts about Le Havre: It’s one of France’s largest ports, a popular Euro board game is based on the city’s history as a trade center, and its name translates to “The Havre.”
Sookie’s plan to smack down the H-Vamps carries plenty of risks, but hey, this is True Blood, so what’s the worst that could go wro… um, actually, forget I said anything. In slightly less doomed pursuits, Pam gives Eric a pep talk, Jason considers his future with Violet, and Lafayette gets high with James.
“Penguin One, Us Zero” finds Kevin seeking professional help to cope with an unnerving string of events. Meanwhile, Tom and Christine land in a tricky spot, Jill and Aimee keep tabs on a fellow townsperson, and Meg grapples with letting go of the past.
10pm, WGN America
Alden’s trial is underway in “Ashes, Ashes,” roiling everyone in the town—except of course for Goodwife Nancy Grace, whose show has gotten a real bump from the nonstop coverage.
In “Exodus,” the 2nd Mass devises a cunning plan to bust out of the Espheni Ghetto, which almost certainly involves them all hiding behind potted plants and slowly inching toward the door every time the guards turn their heads. Elsewhere, Maggie confronts Lexi, and Anne flashes back to her stretch in the Espheni Tower.
Halt and Catch Fire
Cameron and Gordon are at loggerheads after she makes a breakthrough in “Landfall.” Caught in the middle, Joe realizes there’s only one fair way to settle their dispute: a hot-air balloon race around the world! Or, I dunno, something more suited to 1980s computer geeks maybe. Either way.
The violent murder of a championship boxer raises a host of questions in “The Combination.” Who could have been capable of pummeling a prime pugilist to death? Why did the victim apparently not defend himself at all? Is anyone actually watching this show to find out?
When Freddie needs new duds for a Doctor Who fan event, Stuart finagles a way to raise some dough on the sly. Meanwhile, Ash asks the duo for romantic advice; and Ash, Violet, and Penelope make a startling discovery on their shopping excursion.
And now, let’s all vote to crown the What to Watch Tonight Episode Title of the Week!