Sure, Sunday tends to be overcrowded with high-end TV like “Penny Dreadful” and “Halt & Catch Fire” but what do the other nights have to offer? Every Monday, we bring you five noteworthy highlights from the other six days of your upcoming week. This week, in honor of 4th of July, we decided to add a sixth program to our list of television we are looking forward to — after all, why not? In America, it’s go big or go home.
“Harry Potter: The Making of Diagon Alley” (One-Hour Special Presentation)
Monday, June 30th on NBC at 8pm
We may have declared independence 238 years ago, but America has still got one helluva post-colonial complex when it comes to Harry Potter — and the Royal family for that matter, particularly William and Kate — but we’ll save that conversation for another time. Universal Studios Orlando will open the doors to Diagon Alley, the most recent addition to the Harry Potter themed attractions which first debuted in 2007. Diagon Alley has been under construction for almost four years now. In “Harry Potter: The Making of Diagon Alley,” NBC’s Meredith Viera — yes, we are just as confused by the choice as you — goes behind-the-scenes and talks to project leaders about the groundbreaking technology involved in the construction of the attraction. Unless you’re on some kind of “anti-imperialist” cleanse in the name of freedom for the holiday this week, you can check out a sneak peak on “The Today Show” YouTube channel.
Last year’s breakout summer hit “Under the Dome” returns with a 13-episode second season. Based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, “Under the Dome” features an ensemble cast including “Breaking Bad’s” Dean Norris and takes place in the small town of Chester’s Mill, ME. The residents of Chester’s Mill have their lives turned upside down after a a transparent dome forms around their town and cuts them off from the rest of the world. If summer has dried up your TV slate, thee “Under the Dome” second season premiere might be worth a go — especially since Stephen King penned the script himself.
Based on the Funny or Die web series with the same name, Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” takes our favorite pastime on national holidays — which would be drinking — and combines it with history. Each episode, host Derek Waters is joined by an ensemble of guest stars who tell and perform re-enactments of stories from America’s past while drunk. Wipe away those tears of joy and if you haven’t already, catch up on Season 1 in full on the Comedy Central website.
Washington D.C.’s annual Independence Day celebration on Capitol Hill will feature performances by Frankie Valli, John Williams, Patti Labelle, Jordin Sparks, The Muppets and, of course, fireworks.
Philadelphia a.k.a. The City of Brotherly Love will celebrate America’s Independence with what is billed as the “Largest Free Concert in America.” This year’s roster of performers includes The Roots, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran and Aloe Bacc. Fireworks to follow.
“Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular” (Special Presentation)
Friday, July 4th on NBC at 8pm
Ariana Grande is the most patriotic of us all. With back-to-back performances at “Philly 4th of July Jam” and the Big Apple’s “Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular,” Grande is celebrating this country the way it’s meant to be celebrated: by over-working herself. Hosted by Nick Cannon, NBC’s “Macy’s 4th of July Spectacular” will also feature performances by Lionel Richie, Hunter Hayes and Miranda Lambert. Oh, and did we mention there would be fireworks?