July 3, 2015
By Amy Kuperinsky
The Great White from the 1975 movie ‘Jaws.’ There’s a ‘Jaws’ marathon all day on AMC on Friday, July 3. (Universal Pictures)
Fourth of July weekend is prime time to get some sun, take in a fireworks show or three, and barbecue all the livelong day.
But in case you want to take refuge from the heat — or rain, for that matter — there’s always your friend the television.
In recognition of the holiday, cable networks are offering a full lineup of TV and movie favorites this weekend, from today through Sunday.
Here’s a look at 20 TV marathons, along with where and when you can catch them. Happy Fourth!
What a perfect time to revisit the 1975 Steven Spielberg epic. This year marks the the 40th anniversary of the original don’t-go-to-the-beach freakout. AMC is airing ” Jaws,” “Jaws 2” and “Jaws 3” from noon to 10:45 p.m. tonight (July 3).
‘The Twilight Zone’
Every American holiday worth its salt calls for a marathon of the Rod Serling favorite. Catch the pig-faced drama and more from 8 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. on the Syfy channel on Saturday, July 4.
How appropriate — a great American story, with the familiar sights of patriot-era Philadelphia in the mix. Spike TV’s ” Rocky” marathon starts with the 1976 original at 9 a.m. July 4 and moves along to “Rocky V” (1990) at 7:30 p.m., then repeats the movie franchise, ending with “Rocky II” (1979) at 1 a.m. Sunday.
You can get in the spirit of Independence Day by transporting to the 18th century to watch Paul Giamatti play one of the Founding Fathers. The entire run of “John Adams” airs on HBO 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. on July 4.
Remember when it was 1996, and Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum were saving the world as Bill Pullman stood there looking really, really frazzled? Even if you don’t, you’ll have plenty of chances to relive the glory of “Independence Day” as it airs continuously from 1 p.m. July 4 to 1 a.m. July 5 on AMC.
What’s more American than a superhero? How about a mutant superhero? The “X-Men” movies air from 5:30 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. July 4 on HBO Zone.
‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’
Even BBC America gets in the spirit of the Fourth by hosting a marathon. Their show of choice sees Captain Jean-Luc Picard fearlessly leading his crew through space. A “Star Trek: The Next Generation” marathon runs all day Friday through 6 p.m. on July 4.
‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
What fun for children of the ’90s and early aughts. Watch Sarah Michelle Gellar in all her vampire-staking glory from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday on Pivot.
Even if 007 harks back to the motherland, he’s quite the rogue. Bravo is airing James Bond movies like “Die Another Day,” “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “Goldeneye” from 8 a.m. Friday, July 3 through 12:57 a.m. Saturday.
‘Saturday Night Live’
Celebrate American parody with the ultimate American sketch show. VH1’s “SNL” marathon, featuring specials like “Best of Will Ferrell” and “SNL: The Women,” runs from 11 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Ahhhhnold can be seen in full machine mode on both BBC America and IFC this weekend, because what’s more American than a robot from the future coming to save us from annihilation? “Terminator” movies air from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 4 and 8:30 p.m. July 4 to 5 a.m. July 5 on IFC. BBC America has its “Terminator” movies from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Maybe you’ll get some ideas for your own cookout by watching barbecue gurus work their magic on meat during Destination America‘s “BBQ Pitmasters” marathon, from 9 a.m. to 10 pm. on July 4.
‘The American Revolution’
This is a three-part series on the lesser-known figures in the Revolutionary War — ones not named Paul Revere or George Washington. 8 p.m. July 4 to 2 a.m. July 5 on the American Heroes Channel.
‘Sons of Liberty’
History presents its six-hour series about American revolutionaries — Sam Adams, John Adams, Paul Revere and John Hancock among them — from noon on Saturday, July 4 through 4:02 a.m. on Sunday, July 5.
‘America: The Story of Us’
History also has 12 hours of “the extraordinary story of how America was invented,” which canvasses 400 years, detailing technological and architectural developments along the way. The marathon runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 5.
‘Key & Peele’
In case you haven’t caught the caught the stylings of Comedy Central’s dynamic duo, they’ll be reigning supreme for nearly 13 hours on the cable network, from 10:18 a.m. through 11 p.m. Sunday.
The Fourth is all about red, white and blue, but how about the red pill or blue pill? Catch Neo, Morpheus and Trinity as they move through different realities in the Wachowskis’ franchise from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 4 on TNT.
‘Law & Order: SVU’
Celebrate our freedoms by watching the delivery of swift justice as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” rolls on through 6 p.m. Friday, July 3 on USA, then again from noon to 11 p.m. on the same network Sunday.
‘American Ninja Warrior’
Feel very proud or very lazy as you watch ordinary (in-shape) Americans conquer seemingly insurmountable obstacles from 8 a.m. Saturday to 12 a.m. Sunday on Esquire.
‘Alaskan Bush People’
Because what better time than the Third of July to watch … the “Duck Dynasty” of the great north? 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday on Discovery.