Television, like the good Americans who watch it, gets in a patriotic spirit this time of year.
No TV show is more star-spangled than "A Capitol Fourth 2003," which brings such performers to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for a live telecast climaxed by (what else?) a dazzling display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.
Dolly Parton, The Chieftains, John Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Barry Bostwick, Craig Bierko, Earl Scruggs, Jerry Douglas and others join Erich Kunzel and the National Symphony Orchestra, with a special tribute to composer John Williams, whose musical scores have adorned such classic films as "Jaws," "Schindler's List," "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and the "Indiana Jones" series.
The concert airs 8 p.m. EDT Friday on PBS (check local listings).
Other shows to look out for:
- When "Another World" premiered on the nation's TV sets in 1964, instant replay for sports events was just six months old and the Beatles had made their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" only three months before. But 35 years later, after 8,891 visits to mythical Bay City, Mich., this NBC soap vanished from sight. Starting Tuesday, "Another World" returns from the netherworld on Soapnet. The story picks up with the episode that originally aired July 1, 1987: The Cory and McKinnon families, as well as other Bay City neighbors, prepare for the wedding of M.J. and Adam. And if you don't know any of these fine folks, on-screen "Soapnotes" will help you along for the first couple of weeks. "Another World" airs weekdays at 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and midnight.
- What happens when a father butts heads with his community to defend the rights of his son? Out of 2,200 residents in the West Texas town of Lockney, Larry Tannahill was the only parent to object to the school board's new mandatory drug-testing policy three years ago. Tannahill, a third-generation cotton farmer, believed the testing was a violation of his 12-year-old son's Fourth Amendment rights. Forming an unlikely alliance with the American Civil Liberties Union, he sued to overturn the policy, and found his life forever changed. Just in time for Independence Day, "Larry v. Lockney" makes its broadcast premiere at 10 p.m. Tuesday, on PBS (check local listings), part of the "P.O.V." series of documentaries.
- Home & Garden Television observes Independence Day with "Restore America Honors," a one-hour special that's the first step in a yearlong on-air and online collaboration between HGTV, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Save America's Treasures, a partnership devised to help restore homes and landmarks that symbolize the nation's heritage. The special provides an overview of 12 historic sites, all of which will be showcased in-depth throughout 2003-2004 in individual episodes of "Restore America." They include Hartford's Mark Twain House and New York's Lower East Side Tenement Museum. "Restore America Honors" airs 8 p.m. Friday.