Worth Watching: July 4th Celebrations, An ‘Outcry’ on Showtime, NASCAR-Indy Car Crossover
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
A Capitol Fourth (Saturday, 8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): The performances are pre-recorded, but the fireworks will be live during the 40th anniversary concert, which like this year’s Memorial Day event will be televised without a live audience. (Highlights from past years will be included.) John Stamos and Vanessa Williams host the concert, with performers from all genres of music including Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renée Fleming, Trace Adkins, The Temptations, Yolanda Adams and Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O’Hara. Stamos will lead a special segment honoring first responders and essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic, with This Is Us star Chrissy Metz singing “I’m Standing with You.”
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (8/7c, NBC): Fireworks have been going off throughout the boroughs of New York City all week in preparation for this annual concert, co-hosted by Today‘s Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman helps kick off the festivities, with performers including John Legend, the newly rechristened Lady A, Black Eyed Peas, The Killers, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley.
Outcry (Sunday, 10/9c, Showtime): An engrossing five-part investigative documentary follows the troubling case of Texas high-school football star Greg Kelley, who in 2013 was convicted of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old boy and sentenced to 25 years in prison without possibility of parole. Outcry follows the response of a divided community and those who supported Kelley in a bid for exoneration.
Inside Weekend TV: Racing history will be made on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track in a Motorsports Tripleheader on NBC, with the first-ever NASCAR-IndyCar crossover on the same weekend. The action begins Saturday at noon/11c with the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix, then at 3 pm/2c, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pennzoil 150 takes over the Brickyard, and on Sunday, the NASCAR Cup Series takes over the oval at 4 pm/3c with the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 (sounds timely)… What would a holiday weekend be without a marathon of Rod Serling’s classic The Twilight Zone, with landmark episodes airing on the Decades network, starting at noon/11c on Saturday and continuing through Monday at 7 am/6c… History revisits pivotal moments of crisis in America: Our Defining Hours (Sunday, 9/8c), a three-part miniseries that was created, commissioned and produced over 14 weeks during the pandemic… MeTV honors the late Carl Reiner on Sundays through July with back-to-back airings of some of his favorite episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show (Sunday, 10/9c), starting with a classic (“Coast to Coast Big Mouth”) that was also part of CBS’s tribute on Friday. You can never watch these often enough… Showtime’s Desus & Mero (Sunday, 11/10c) return from hiatus to join the network’s Sunday lineup.