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Every 2017 4th of July TV Marathon, Ranked by Watchability

If you find yourself on a couch this holiday, here's a comprehensive list of all your binge-watching possibilities.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Cayuga Prods./CBS/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5873732c)Burgess MeredithThe Twilight Zone - 1959Cayuga Productions/CBSUSATelevisionTv ClassicsTime Enough At Last

“The Twilight Zone”


And so we’ve arrived at an ultra-rare Tuesday national holiday in the States. For some, that means an extra-long holiday weekend. Others might be taking advantage of the day off by watching the Coney Island hot dog-eating contest and then departing from the living room for the remainder of the day.

But for those who will remain glued to the couch on this July 4th, the world of TV has once again provided a treasure trove of non-stop programming. By our count, 36 networks are devoting significant amounts of their Independence Day airtime to a single series. In the spirit of comprehensiveness and giving everyone an equal chance to join in on the fun, here’s a list of this year’s TV marathons, arranged by how well they’ll add to the quality of your holiday.

36. Discovery Life – “Body Bizarre”

Starting at 3 p.m.

There is an episode called “My Scrotum Won’t Stop Growing.” Perhaps not.

35. USA – “NCIS”

Starting at 6 a.m.

This is a network marathon slot that rightfully belongs to “Playing House” (or, at the very least, another chance to see the Phil Collins sequence from “Mr. Robot” Season 2).

34. CMT – “Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders: Making the Team”

Starting at 10 a.m.

It’s too early in the year to start thinking about football. Let the American people have their full, necessary break until fall. (Unless you want to show “Friday Night Lights” — we’d fully support that.)

33. TLC – “Untold Stories of the E.R.”

Starting at 3 p.m.

Fireworks-related injuries on the 4th of July are a serious problem. Maybe we hold off on hospital stories on a national holiday?

32. HGTV – “Beachfront Bargain Hunt”

Starting at 1 p.m.

It just feels unnatural to have a holiday marathon of any other HGTV show besides “House Hunters.”

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 03: (L-R) Joseph "Joe" Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano, and Brian "Q" Quinn attend the Impractical Jokers 100th Episode Live Punishment Special at the South Street Seaport on September 3, 2015 in New York City. 25654_003 (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Turner) *** Local Caption *** Joseph Gatto; James Murray; Salvatore Vulcano; Brian Quinn

“Impractical Jokers”

Getty Images for Turner

31. truTV – “Impractical Jokers”

Starting at 3 p.m.

Another case of a network passing up a perfect opportunity to get its fans hooked on a different original show. (If we had our way, this would a wall-to-wall day of “Jon Glaser Loves Gear.”)

30. Bravo – “Below Deck Mediterranean”

Starting at 6 a.m.

Because nothing says “America” more than being trapped all day on a 150-foot yacht.

29. History – “America: The Story of Us”

Starting at 7 a.m.

It might be a seven-year-old docu-series, but we don’t blame History for wanting to give people the chance to spend all day listening to Liev Schreiber.

28. VH1 – “Basketball Wives”

Starting at noon

With NBA free agency heating up, it’s a friendly reminder that changing teams affects more than just the players involved.

27. Oxygen – “Snapped”

Starting at 6 a.m.

Gather the family for a day of hot dogs, John Philip Sousa standards and a 21-hour marathon of grisly murders that stretches well into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“Blue Bloods”

John P. Filo/CBS

26. WGN America – “Blue Bloods”

Starting at 6 a.m.

This really should be an all-day tribute to “Underground,” but a holiday morning spent with Tom Selleck’s mustache is an acceptable consolation prize.

25. Science – “What on Earth?”

Starting at 12:15 a.m.

Travel on a whirlwind adventure through history’s grandest curiosities — a globe-hopping vacation squeezed into one day off.

24. Travel – “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations”

Starting at 5 a.m.

Sure, this series journeys across the world to fine culinary hidden gems, but it also goes to Buffalo! And the Twin Cities!

23. Disney XD – “Star vs. the Forces of Evil”

Starting at 6 a.m.

The day’s best (and only) animated binge watch with the tried-and-true “fun for both kids and adults” stamp of approval.

22. Animal Planet – “Treehouse Masters”

Starting at 5 a.m.

Perfect for the early risers who want to soak in the glory of nature before the bustle of the day really gets going.

21. OWN – “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Starting at 2 p.m.

The show is a TLC original, which makes this a difficult pick. But on a day of history, there’s far worse ways to spend it than with a close appreciation of genealogy.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Universal TV/Wolf Film/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886146at) Richard Belzer, Jerry Orbach Law and Order - 1990 Universal TV/Wolf Film USA Television

“Law and Order”

Wolf Film/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

20. WE – “Law and Order”

Starting at 2 p.m.

This is a side dish like baked beans and potato salad. Not completely necessary, but a tiny bit makes the day better.

19. AMC – “Vacation” Movies

Starting at noon.

This would be a strong contender for the upper slots if they threw in “Christmas Vacation.” Think of it! “Christmas” in July! It was right there.

18. DIY – “Pool Kings”

Starting at 10 a.m.

If you’re not within driving distance of a body of water, manmade or otherwise, it seems like watching architects design pools might bring some sort of secondhand refreshment.

17. Reelz – “Gangsters: America’s Most Evil”

Starting at 9 a.m.

Reelz could have opted for a Kennedy-related marathon, but this docu-series seems like a much more appropriate pick for the day.

16. fyi – “Storage Wars”

Starting at 9 a.m.

This is potent, weaponized reality show binge material. Odds are good that anyone watching one of these episodes is probably glued to the couch for the entire day.

15. NatGeo – “Wicked Tuna”

Starting at 6 a.m.

4th of July is known for its meat-heavy BBQ, but you have not one, but two extra seafood options, including…

Summer Bay engineer, Tim Boles sorts large crab with deckhand, Kyle Craig.

“Deadliest Catch”

Discovery Channel

14. Discovery – “Deadliest Catch”

Starting at 4 p.m.

…which has some extra poignancy this year, given the effects of climate change on the show’s production.

13. MTV – “Fear Factor”

Starting at 4 p.m.

We fully support anyone’s decision to watch people eat (and be surrounded in translucent tanks by) insects, instead of going outside to be swarmed by them.

12. Pop – “Dawson’s Creek”

Starting at 9 a.m.

As we gather on this holiday, let us reflect on the late 90s and early 00s and acknowledge our new, unofficial national anthem: “I Don’t Want to Wait.”

11. CNN – “The Eighties”

Starting at 4 p.m.

They don’t get as much attention as the day-to-day news cycle programming, so it’s easy to forget that CNN’s documentary programming is one of the network’s strongest assets.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount Television/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5884715x)Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden, Le Var Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina SirtisStar Trek - The Next Generation - 1987-1994Paramount TelevisionUSATelevision

“Star Trek: The Next Generation”


10. BBC America – “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

Starting at 7 a.m.

Season 6 might not be the most creatively successful run of “TNG,” but it’s got a few Ronald D. Moore-penned episodes and one features Picard stressing the importance of owning your own saddle.

9. Sundance – “Rocky” Movies

Starting at 3:30 pm


8. Comedy Central – “South Park”

Starting at 9 a.m.

They’re showing “Fishsticks,” which is a pretty fascinating time capsule of life in 2009.

7. BET – “The New Edition Story”

Starting at 1:30 p.m.

4.4 million people can’t be wrong.

6. TNT – “Animal Kingdom”

Starting at 6 p.m.

Credit TNT for being the only network to use the holiday as an opportunity to point potential new viewers toward an ongoing original show. If you haven’t dove into Season 2 yet, now’s your chance.

Veep - Gary Soup Tony Hale Season 6 Episode 3

5. HBO2 – “Veep”

Starting at 8:30 a.m.

A complete encore presentation of Season 6 is the perfect chance to see why we named “Veep” one of the 10 best TV shows of 2017.

4. Food Network – “Chopped”

Starting at 2 p.m.

It’s the platonic ideal of a reality competition show, especially on a day as food-centric as this one.

3. TVLand – “The Golden Girls”

Starting at 9 a.m.

They’re the family you secretly wish you had, so why not invite them over for the day?

2. E! – “Independence Day”

Starting at 6 a.m.

True patriotism, thy name is “eight straight showings of Roland Emmerich’s 1994 masterpiece.”

1. Syfy – “The Twilight Zone

Starting at 12:00 a.m.

Accept no substitutes. As long as there is a TV infrastructure to deliver humans a chance to watch “To Serve Man,” they will take full, rightful advantage.

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