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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Music, fireworks for the Fourth

Mike Hughes Gannett News Service

Tonight’s must-see

“Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular,” 10-11 p.m., CBS.

Actually, there are three straight specials tonight, each mixing music and fireworks.

Catch them all and you’ll have two of the top country acts (Kenny Chesney and Rascal Flatts), plus two “American Idol” champs (Taylor Hicks and Jordin Sparks) and a runner-up (Katharine McPhee). You’ll have pop stars, a rock legend and more.

This one has the Boston Pops, Rascal Flatts and a promise: The 23-minute fireworks finale will be commercial-free.

Tonight’s must-tape

“John Adams,” 1-10 p.m., HBO.

Here’s the ultimate holiday film, focusing on one of the people who sparked the Fourth.

On one hand, this miniseries has rich detail. On another, it can be painfully distant.

Adams (Paul Giamatti) is depicted as a solemn, stifled man. “John Adams” has some early passion, then starts to fade.

Other choices include

“A Capitol Fourth,” 7-8:30 p.m., KUID; 8-9:30 p.m., KSPS (repeats at 9:30). From Washington, D.C., we get a rich blend of musical styles, plus some emotional readings. Jerry Lee Lewis, still rocking at 73, will be there. So will Hicks, Huey Lewis, Broadway’s Brian Stokes Mitchell and classical singers Hayley Westenra and Harolyn Blackwell.

“Dance Machine,” 8 p.m., ABC. There’s been an episode switch. This one has four contestants in their 20s, plus Mara Hall, 31, a Detroit teacher, and John Edwards, 62, an engineer from Redondo Beach, Cal.

“Heroes Among Us: The 2008 Hero Awards,” 8-10 p.m., MyNetwork. Dean Cain hosts a special honoring heroism in rescues, philanthropy and more.

“Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular,” 9-10 p.m., NBC. A lot will be packed into this hour. That includes Chesney, Sparks, Katharine McPhee, Natasha Bedingfield, Gavin DeGraw, the New York Pops and, of course, fireworks.