TV column for Wednesday, July 4


TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: “A Capitol
Fourth,” 8 p.m., PBS, re-running (check local listings) at 9:30.

Stuffed with starpower, this has lots
of people with TV fame. There's this year's “American Idol”
winner (Phillip Phillips), last year's “Voice” winner (Javier
Colon) and big-voiced people from “Smash” (Megan Hilty) and
“Glee” (Amber Riley).

There's more, with country star Josh
Turner and Broadway's Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara. The show
has a new host Tom Bergeron, but returns a familiar face: John
Williams, 80, conduct his Olympic fanfare, in a tribute that has
tenor Russell Watson and Olympians, including Apollo Ohno.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE II: More Fourth of
July music, 9 p.m., NBC; 10 p.m., CBS.

You can cruise between two cities here.
Each has 20-plus minutes of fireworks – as does PBS.

On NBC, the city is New York, with a
famous New Yorker (Regis Philbin, 80) as host; the music is from Katy
Perry and Kenny Chesney. On CBS, it's Boston, with Keith Lockhart
conducting the Boston Pops along the Charles River Esplanade; Michael
Chiklis hosts and Jennifer Hudson sings.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: “New Girl,”
8-10 p.m., Fox.

The networks aren't tossing any new
reality shows into the mix tonight. “So You Think You Can Dance”
gets the week off and the season's best new show has four reruns.

Each focuses on Jess' dating
adventures. The first, played by Justin Long, is invited to
Thanksgiving dinner. The second is played by Ryan Kwanten (“True
Blood”); Jess wants a no-attachment fling on Valentine's Day. The
next two involve her fling with an older guy, played by Dermot
Mulroney.

Other choices include:

 

– “Dallas,” 5-10 p.m., TNT. As
first, TNT had planned to give the show a week off, simply rerunning
the previous ones. Now the reruns begin at 5 p.m., leaving room for a
new episode at 9; it's a messy one that starts with a punch to the
jaw and ends with pretty much everyone mad at everyone else.

– “The Middle,” 8 p.m., ABC.
After all those years of bad luck and disrespect, Frankie (Patricia
Heaton) finally reaches a breaking point in this rerun. She goes home
to her mother (Marsha Mason).

– “Up All Night,” 8:30 p.m., NBC.
Chris and Reagan try way too hard to befriend a hip couple.

– “Modern Family,” 9 p.m., ABC.
The first rerun has Manny's dad (Benjamin Bratt) pay an unexpected
visit. The second has Claire and Jay becoming way too involved in a
school “egg-drop” project.

– “America's Lost Treasures”
debut, 9 p.m., National Geographic. Each week, some likable experts
converge on a city, looking for items tied to history. In Austin,
they find lots of Texas flavor, from the saddle of a rodeo star to
the pistol of a famed Texas Ranger – as verified by his former
colleague, age 99. There's even a fiddle, reportedly played prior to
executions. There's a catch, though: From all of this, only one item
will be shown at a museum exhibit, making it all seem anti-climactic.

– “Futurama,” 10 p.m., Comedy
Central. After two reruns – Bender in witness protection, Leela
managing a presidential campaign – we get a new episode, with
Bender as a paparazzo.

– “Final Witness,” 10:02 p.m.,
ABC. Zack Bowen was a popular bartender and musician in New Orleans'
French Quarter, troubled by his military past in Iraq and Kosovo;
Addie Hall was a poet and dance teacher, with her own troubled past.
Their romance deteriorated after Hurricane Katrina; the story is told
here by friends, Zack's mom, Addie's boss and more.