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WEEKEND TV

Lots of Specials, Marathons for Celebrating the Fourth

July 03, 1997|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There are numerous specials and marathons on tap for the Fourth of July weekend.

The History Channel offers "Independence Day: A History of the Fourth of July," today at 7 and 11 p.m. Harry Smith narrates the documentary.

KOCE is airing the 1997 Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade, Friday at 10 a.m. on Channel 50. Dawn Wells of "Gilligan's Island" is the grand marshal.

Jack Perkins and Mary Richardson are the hosts for A&E's "Pops Goes the Fourth," Friday at 4:30 p.m. The traditional concert from the bank of the Charles River features the Boston Pops Esplanada Orchestra, led by Keith Lockhart.

Patrick Duffy hosts the CBS special "What's Right With America," Friday at 8 p.m. on Channel 2. The docudrama celebrates America's rights and freedoms.

Florence Henderson is the host on the PBS holiday concert "A Capitol Fourth," Friday at 9 p.m. on Channel 28. This special, from Washington, D.C., features a 40th anniversary celebration of the Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim musical "West Side Story." Kenny Rogers, Deana Carter, Jon Secada, Maria Conchita Alonso and James Galway are among the performers. Erich Kunzel conducts the National Symphony Orchestra.

The Sci-Fi Channel presents "Aliens Among Us: Series Marathon," beginning at 6 this morning, featuring alien-themed episodes of "Ray Bradbury Theater," "Amazing Stories," "The Twilight Zone" and "Beyond Reality." On Friday, Sci-Fi offers a "V: The Miniseries" marathon, starting at 6 a.m.

Beginning Friday at 7 a.m., E! Entertainment Television presents 16 back-to-back episodes of its "Uncut" profile series hosted by Eleanor Mondale. Among the actors profiled are Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson and John Travolta.

Holy Batmarathon! FX is devoting the Fourth to the villains who made Batman and Robin's life in Gotham City a holy nightmare. The "FX Star-Spangled Batman Marathon," 7 a.m.-10 p.m., features episodes from the camp '60s series starring such bad guys as Joker, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, the Penguin and Catwoman.

The History Channel's "Great Ships Marathon," beginning Friday at 9 p.m., features such seafaring documentaries as "The Clippers," "Ocean Liners," "Tugboats" and "The Dreadnoughts."

Today

NBC's Wimbledon tennis coverage continues at 11 a.m. on Channel 4 with a women's semi-final match. The men's semi-final commences Friday at noon. The women's final is scheduled for Saturday at 6 a.m. and the men battle on Sunday at 6 a.m.

"America's Scenic Rail Journeys," at 8 p.m. on Channel 28, is a new six-hour series exploring some of the most spectacular rail journeys in the world.

Friday

KLCS-TV Channel 58 teams up with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to provide 6 1/2 hours of live coverage of the landing of a space probe on Mars, in "Mission Mars: A Celebration of Space," beginning at noon. The Discovery Channel will weigh in with a summation at 11 p.m.

Tim Conway hosts "The Beef: Neighborhood Beefs," at noon on the Family Channel. The investigative comedy focuses on strained relationships between neighbors.

Saturday

Joan Rivers and daughter Melissa report on the best and worst fashions from this summer's movies on "Summer Movie Fashion Review '97," at 3 p.m on E! Entertainment Television.

William Shatner hosts the documentary "TV Guide Looks at Science Fiction," airing at 8 p.m. on USA.

The Learning Channel's "The History of the Bathing Suit: Nothing to Hide," at 7 and 10 p.m., is a lighthearted look at the swimsuit.

Tawny Little and Alex Trebek are the hosts for "Live From the Hollywood Bowl" at 7:30 p.m. on KCOP-TV Channel 13. The fireworks spectacular, featuring the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under the direction of John Mauceri, includes music from "Victory at Sea," "The Magnificent Seven," "Ragtime" and "Hercules." Country singer Trisha Yearwood performs George Gershwin and Irving Berlin standards. The United States Marine Corps Band will perform Sousa marches.

Chris Douridas of KCRW-FM is the host of "Sessions at West 54th Street," at 11 p.m. on Channel 28. The new music series features informal interviews and performances from contemporary musicians. k.d. lang and Ben Folds Five are the first guests.

Sunday

"America's Favorite Commercials," at 6 p.m. on TBS, looks at how commercials have captured fashion trends, sexual climates, fads and personalities over the decades.

For "The Men Who Killed Kennedy," at 5 and 9 p.m. on the History Channel, filmmaker Nigel Turner interviewed more than 300 people and discovered new photographic and film evidence, which, according to the documentary, refutes the single gunman theory.

TBS honors the life of explorer Jacques Cousteau with a repeat of the 1995 retrospective "Jacques-Yves Cousteau: My First 85 Years," at 7 p.m.

"Exodus 1947," at 10 p.m. on Channel 28, chronicles the tragic voyage of 4,500 displaced European Jews bound for Palestine whose steamer was attacked by British warships, enforcing the blockade of "illegal" immigration to Palestine.

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