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Weekend of Star-Spangled Programming on Television


Television programmers were thrown a bit of a curve with Independence Day falling on a Sunday for the first time since 1982. Some stations have scheduled holiday-related shows on Saturday and KTLA-TV Channel 5's commitment to Dodger baseball has caused an adjustment to the station's traditionally high-rated "Twilight Zone" marathon.

Still, there will be the usual lineup of musical specials, spectacular fireworks demonstrations, movies and sports.

Music/Fireworks: ABC presents a diverse collection of musical styles on its "Independence Day Concert" (11:30 p.m. Saturday, Channels 7, 3 and 42). Performers include Barry White, SWV, the Bee Gees, Snow, Sonia Dada and George Clinton. Jeffrey Osborne serves as host.

Famed film and television score composer John Williams, whose credits range from "Jurassic Park" and "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" to "Gilligan's Island" and "Lost in Space," conducts "Pops Goes the Fourth!" for the final time at 4:30 p.m. (with a replay at 9 p.m.) Sunday on cable's Arts & Entertainment Network. Williams is retiring as the conductor of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.

Robert Merrill, the United Air Force Band and the Singing Sergeants perform traditional American favorites in "The I Love America Concert," (6 p.m. Sunday, KOCE-TV Channel 50).

"A Capital Fourth" (8 p.m. Sunday on KCET-TV Channel 28, 5 p.m. on KVCR-TV Channel 24) has a touch of country with Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and Mary-Chapin Carpenter joining Rita Moreno and pianist Peter Nero and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel.

"Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks" (9 p.m. Sunday Channel 5, 8:30 p.m. WGN) features a performance by Larry Gatlin and high school cheerleading and marching band units.

Marathons: KTLA begins its biannual "Twilight Zone" marathon at 9 a.m. Sunday with "Kick the Can." "The Mighty Casey," the tale of a struggling National League team signing a robot pitcher, follows at 9:30.

The marathon is interrupted at 10 a.m. when a real-life struggling National League team, the Dodgers, takes the air. The marathon is scheduled to resume at 1:30 p.m. with "Long Distance Call" and continues until 9 p.m.

KABC-TV Channel 7 presents a mini-marathon of "Twilight Zone" episodes produced for CBS' 1985-87 revival and for syndication during the 1988-89 season from 3-6 p.m. Saturday.

Comedy Central has 66 hours of sketch comedy from noon today to 6 a.m. Tuesday, including extended blocs of "SCTV" (2-7 a.m. Sunday); "The Kids in the Hall" (2-7 a.m. Monday) and "Ernie Kovacs" (2-6 a.m. Tuesday) and salutes to Martin Short (4-8:30 p.m. today) and the late Gilda Radner (9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Sunday-Monday.)

Sports: Although baseball gets the most air time with five games both Saturday and Sunday, tennis figures to get the highest ratings.

NBC (Channels 4, 36 and 39) airs Wimbledon's women's final at 8 a.m. Saturday and the men's final at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Both will be shown on a delayed basis.

Ten baseball games will be aired by various broadcast and cable outlets. The Dodgers face Montreal at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday on KTLA. The Angels play host to the Cleveland Indians at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday on Prime Ticket.

A Southland tradition gets some live national television attention as NBC (Channels 4, 36 and 39) carries the 34th Killer Loop Manhattan Beach Open, the oldest professional beach volleyball tournament, at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Movies: Cable's Turner Network Television has marathons on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. A Western marathon is set for Saturday, including a pair of John Wayne films--"Fort Apache" (5 p.m.) and "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (7:40 p.m.)

Sunday's theme is "Salute to the American Spirit--A Day of Quintessentially American Stories," including the colorized edition of the 1950 version of "Father of the Bride" (7 a.m.) and "Meet Me in St. Louis" (12:10 p.m.).

War movies get the spotlight Monday with "Kelly's Heroes" (noon) and "They Were Expendable" (5:30 p.m.) among the choices.

America Movie Classics has a quintet of films on Sunday saluting the U.S. armed forces: "Follow the Boys" (10 a.m.); "Here Come the Waves" (12:30 p.m.); "Seven Days Leave" (2 p.m.); "Follow the Fleet" (3:30 p.m.) and "Star Spangled Rhythm" (5:30 p.m.).

The USA Network strings together 25 of its made-for-cable movies whose stars include Jane Seymour of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" fame and Pierce Brosnan, beginning at noon Saturday with "Nightmare on the 13th Floor."

Specials: "Kenny Rogers: Working America," a musical travelogue taking the singer-actor across the country, airs at 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday on the Family Channel.

Lionel Hampton, Ruth Brown, Carmen McRae, the O'Jays and Little Anthony and the Imperials are the honorees in "Celebrate the Soul of American Music," 8 p.m. Sunday on KCAL-TV Channel 9.

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