Fourth of July 2016: What to Watch on TV This Holiday

3:30 PM 6/30/2016

by Meena Jang

Get into the patriotic spirit with films such as 'Saving Private Ryan' and Eddie Murphy's 'Coming to America,' or tune in to the latest episode of 'UnREAL.'

DreamWorks/Courtesy of Everett Collection

Fireworks, soccer and reality series reruns — there's something on TV for everyone this Independence Day. Those looking to celebrate the holiday with patriotic programming can catch The Hurt Locker on BBC America or Coming to America on Comedy Central, while others looking for a cozy night in can watch drama-filled reruns of The Bachelorette and Real Housewives or the newest episode of Lifetime's UnREAL.

Read on to find out when Macy's annual fireworks display will make it to your screen and what other specials will be airing on TV.

  • Independence Day

    HBO (6:55-9:20 a.m. PT)


    What better way to kick off Independence Day than by watching Independence Day? Starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, the original 1996 film (its sequel is in theaters now) about an alien attack on Earth airs early Monday morning.

  • UEFA Euro 2016 Soccer: France v. Iceland

    ESPN (9-11 a.m. PT)

    Getty Images

    Euro 2016 resumes over Independence Day weekend with matches between Wales and Belgium (July 1), Germany and Italy (July 2) and France and Iceland (July 3). On the morning of the fourth of July, catch a re-airing of Sunday's big game.

  • San Andreas

    HBO (9:20-11:15 a.m. PT)

    Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

    A few hours after Independence Day, HBO will air 2015's San Andreas, in which Dwayne Johnson plays a helicopter rescue pilot on a mission to save his daughter after a major earthquake hits California.

  • Coming to America

    Comedy Central (10:19 a.m.-1:03 p.m. PT)


    Released in 1988, the comedy stars Eddie Murphy as an African prince who, rebelling against an arranged marriage, travels to New York City in hopes of falling for and wedding an American woman.

  • Nathan's 2016 Hot Dog Eating Contest

    ESPN (12-1 p.m. PT)

    Screengrab/Nathan's Famous

    The annual hot dog eating competition, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, will see 2015 champion Matt Stonie face off against eight-time winner Joey Chestnut, and Miki Sudo compete against Sonya Thomas and other qualifying contestants. At last year's chowdown, Stonie beat out his competitors by consuming 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

  • Iron Man 3

    FX (12-3 p.m. PT)

    Courtesy of Photofest

    A Marvel marathon will be on the afternoon of July 4, with Iron Man 3 airing at noon, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Captain America: The First Avenger. In the third installment of the Iron Man franchise, Robert Downey Jr. battles against a mysterious enemy named Mandarin.

  • Jaws

    AMC (1-4 p.m. PT)

    Universal Pictures/Photofest

    Shark Week may be coming to an end on July 3, but Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic Jaws, about the hunt for a great white shark attacking visitors of Amity Island, will be airing on AMC the following day.

  • The Hurt Locker

    BBC America (1-4 p.m. PT)


    The 2008 drama, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, follows an army Sergeant (Jeremy Renner) tasked with leading a bomb squad through the Iraq War as he struggles to see eye-to-eye with his squad members. The Hurt Locker won six Oscars in 2010, including best picture and best director (a first for a female helmer).

  • Saving Private Ryan

    A&E (2-6 p.m. PT)


    Steven Spielberg's 1998 war drama about a U.S. Army Captain's (Tom Hanks) search to find Private James Ryan (Matt Damon), a lost paratrooper whose siblings have died in combat, will take up a four-hour block on A&E.

  • The Real Housewives of Orange County

    Bravo (3-7 p.m., 8-10 p.m. PT)

    Nicole Wilder/Bravo

    Bravo will be dedicated to Real Housewives all day long. Episodes of the New Jersey edition will air in the early afternoon, followed by blocks of Orange County reruns and unseen footage from season 10.

  • The Simpsons

    FXX (6 p.m.-12 a.m. PT)


    Revisit Springfield with back-to-back airings of Simpsons. Reruns of episodes dating back to 1991, all the way through 2013, will play from 6 p.m. to midnight.

  • Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular

    NBC (8-10 p.m. PT)

    Courtesy of NBC

    Macy's 40th annual fireworks fest returns to New York City's East River, where the nation's largest pyrotechnics display will shoot out from five barges. The 25-minute show will be preceded by performances from musical guests Kenny Chesney, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer and Pitbull. Tamron Hall and Willie Geist will host the 2-hour NBC special.

  • The Bachelorette

    ABC (8-10 p.m. PT)

    Veronica Gambini/ABC

    A rerun of the sixth episode of The Bachelorette will once again show the top 8 contestants — Luke, Jordan, Derek, Robby, Chase, Wells, James and Alex — duke it out for JoJo's affections. After you've watched (or rewatched) this episode, catch up on THR's power ranking of JoJo's remaining suitors.

  • Whose Line It Is Anyway?

    The CW (9-10 p.m. PT)

    Patrick Wymore /The CW

    Catch reruns of two 2015 episodes the improv show on Monday night. Host Aisha Tyler and regulars Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles are joined by guest comedians Greg Proops and Jonathan Mangum.

  • UnREAL

    Lifetime (10-11 p.m. PT)

    Michelle Faye/A+E Networks

    Season two of Lifetime's buzzy reality TV satire starring Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer will premiere its fifth episode on July 4. The newest episode, titled "Infiltration," sees Coleman (Michael Rady) and Rachel (Appleby) take their relationship to the next level and Everlasting suitor Darius (B.J. Britt) face an overnight date with a contestant.

    A rerun will also air from 11 p.m. to midnight.