What’s Worth Watching: Fourth of July celebrations from Washington D.C., New York and Boston. Plus, a new ‘Unreal’.
A Capitol Fourth (8/7c, PBS; check local listings at pbs.org): With all due respect to the other cities in the game on the 4th of July, no other backdrop stirs up as much patriotic goodwill as the monuments of Washington, D.C. backlit by cascading fireworks—the climax of this enduring concert event now in its 36th year on PBS. Tom Bergeron hosts from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, as several milestones are celebrated: the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, with The Voice winner Alisan Porter belting “America the Beautiful,” and the 75th year of the USO, saluted by Colin Powell and singer Gavin DeGraw. Scott Hamilton leads a tribute to the Olympics Games, with another Voice champ, Cassadee Pope, performing her single “I Am Invinicible.” The talent roster accompanying the National Symphony Orchestra includes Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Glee’s Amber Riley, Younger’s Sutton Foster (a multiple Tony winner), Hamilton’s Christopher Jackson (the hit show’s Tony-nominated George Washington), America’s Got Talent discovery Jackie Evancho, Yolanda Adams and the cast of Broadway’s On Your Feet! Concluding, of course, with the fireworks display playing out against the bombastic sounds of the 1812 Overture.
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (8/7c, NBC): As the fireworks explode over the East River, headliners include Sara Bareilles, Meghan Trainor, Kenny Chesney, the appropriately named 5 Seconds of Summer and a true New York institution: the Radio City Rockettes.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (9/8c, CBS): This live show, from the Charles River Esplanade, features Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato and Little Big Town. And, of course, the aforementioned fireworks.
UnReal (10/9c, Lifetime): Seeking dramatic fireworks? Look no further than this searing behind-the-scenes melodrama about a fictional reality-TV show, which bucks the holiday trend by offering up a fresh episode on July 4. The tug of war over Rachel (Shiri Appleby) continues as new show-runner Coleman (Michael Rady) invites her to an awards show, while Quinn (Constance Zimmer) cozies up to the network’s new owner (Forever’s Ioan Gruffudd). On the show-within-a-show, Everlasting suitor Darius (B.J. Britt) must pick among the remaining beauties for his first overnight date.
Inside Monday TV: More conventional soap opera can be found on new episodes of Lifetime’s Devious Maids (9/8c) and ABC’s Mistresses (10/9c). … Fearless actor Idris Elba (Luther) returns to BBC America in a four-part reality series, Idris Elba No Limits, airing in its entirety in back-to-back episodes (7/6c), during which the international star takes on racing challenges in souped-up cars, boats and planes. … Fox quietly bids adieu to Houdini & Doyle (9/8c) with a puzzling case in which an entire village’s population dies simultaneously, save for a priest and a child.