Between network, cable and streaming, the modern television landscape is a vast one. Here are some of the shows, specials and movies coming to TV this week, July 4-10. Details and times are subject to change.
MACY’S 4TH OF JULY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR 8 pm on NBC. The “Today” show anchors Craig Melvin and Dylan Dreyer return for a second time to host the 46th edition of the annual fireworks display. Viewers will have a front row look at explosions of color and sound against the backdrop of New York City’s summer skyline, with musical performances by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pitbull, and the cast of the Broadway show “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” plus other special guests. An encore presentation will follow at 10 pm
AMERICA OUTDOORS WITH BARATUNDE THURSTON 9 pm on PBS (check local listings). In the premiere episode of this six-part outdoor adventure show, the writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston explores Death Valley in California, introducing viewers to some of the people who inhabit that sweltering region — including an ultramarathoner who runs in the heat and an elder of the Timbisha Shoshone tribe. “This show is about breaking expectations,” Thurston, who is Black, said in a recent interview with The New York Times. When Thurston hears someone mention the outdoors, he has “a white guy in mind, with a beard, and he’s looking off into the distance, having just conquered something,” he explained. “And we did spend some time with people like that, but we also spent time with the original people on this land. It was a beautiful privilege that I got to interview people from three different Indigenous nations.” At 10 pm, PBS will premiere another expectations-breaking travel program, THE GREAT MUSLIM AMERICAN ROAD TRIP, in which the rapper Mona Haydar and her husband, Sebastian Robins, who are both Muslim, drive along Route 66 and explore the history of American Muslims going back to the 1800s. In a recent column, The Times television critic Mike Hale named the series one of 27 shows to watch this summer.
OSCAR MICHEAUX: THE SUPERHERO OF BLACK FILMMAKING (2021) 8 pm on TCM. Directed by Francesco Zippel, this documentary presents the life and work of Oscar Micheaux, a pioneer of the Black film industry. In a New York Times series of obituaries dedicated to African American figures the paper had originally overlooked, Monica Drake wrote that Micheaux “made you want to soak up the exuberance he clearly felt in delivering a whole new way of telling stories.” The 40 or so films that Micheaux wrote, directed and produced from 1919 to 1948, Drake continued, carried with them “the added excitement of Black characters doing things that at the time seemed unthinkable onscreen.” The documentary will be followed at 10 pm by one of Micheaux’s movies, THE SYMBOL OF THE UNCONQUERED (1920), a silent film in which a Black heiress fights off the Ku Klux Klan to save her land.
2022 NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE DRAFT — ROUND 1 7 pm on ESPN. The NHL draft is set to take place this year on July 7-8 in Montreal. In a three-hour special presentation of the annual meeting — in which every franchise team selects the rights to available ice hockey players — the Montreal Canadiens, who won the 2022 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall, followed by the New Jersey Devils and the Arizona Coyotes.
ANCIENT ALIENS 9 pm on History Channel. “Ancient Aliens,” one of History Channel’s longest-running shows, theorizes that extraterrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years. In Friday night’s episode, the show’s host, Giorgio Tsoukalos, looks back at some of the structures the series has visited all over the world — structures that, in his mind, provide proof of extraterrestrial contact. In 2018, on an assignment for The Times, Steven Kurutz went to meet fans of the show at AlienCon, a three-day gathering for “Ancient Aliens” devotees writing that only two hours into the conference, “500 years of accepted history and science were already being tossed out.”
THE GREAT AMERICAN RECIPE 9 pm on PBS (check local listings). In this reality competition show, home cooks from different regions of the United States showcase their signature dishes and compete to win the national search for the “Great American Recipe.” In the episode airing on Friday, “Love Language,” each of the eight remaining cooks will share a comfort food inspired by a loved one — from first-date meals to family favorites passed on through generations.
BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) 8 pm on TCM. Directed by Arthur Penn, this classic crime film dramatizes the history of the real-life bank robbers Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway), including the shooting and robbing spree they went on across the South during the Great Depression. In a 2007 article, The Times’s co-chief film critic AO Scott called the couple’s legend “a morality tale in which the wild energies of youth defeat the stale certainties of age, and freedom triumphs over repression.” The critic Bosley Crowther in his 1967 review, however, chided the film as a “cheap piece of baldfaced slapstick comedy,” adding that its “blending of farce with brutal killings is as pointless as it is lacking in taste.”
PATAGONIA: LIFE ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD 9 pm on CNN. In this series premiere, the Chilean-born actor Pedro Pascal (known for his role as Oberyn Martell on “Game of Thrones”) narrates journeys through the Patagonia region of South America. Across six episodes, the series takes audiences across windblown deserts, ancient forests and the high peaks of the Andes. With assistance from local experts, each episode showcases the region’s mammals, birds and insects — and the scientists who study them — along with populations that have evolved to live in these environments.
WHO IS GHISLAINE MAXWELL? 9:02 pm on Starz. The finale of this three-part documentary series, directed by Erica Gornall, tries to uncover the descent of Ghislaine Maxwell. An Oxford-educated socialite, Maxwell was convicted in December of conspiring with Jeffrey Epstein to groom underage girls, and was sentenced last month to 20 years in prison for aiding in Epstein’s abuse.