By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"A Capitol Fourth," 8 p.m., PBS. Tonight is stuffed with five specials that have Fourth of July themes. Let's single out this one because it starts first, has a great track record and is stuffed with stars. Jason Alexander hosts on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Elmo, the lovable "Sesame Street" character, sings a patriotic medley with Vanessa Williams. There are many more stars, including Stevie Wonder, Jo Dee Messina, JoJo, Michael Bolton, Cuba Gooding Jr. and the National Symphony, led by Erich Kunzel.
"A Hero's Welcome," 7 p.m., CBS. Patrick Duffy hosts this feel-good special, which re-creates heroic acts by regular people.
"House," 7 and 8 p.m., Fox. The first rerun has Cynthia Nixon as an intense gambler who suddenly has a seizure. The second ó a terrific and pivotal one ó has a snowstorm stranding House out of town with Stacy, whom he still loves. Now he must solve a tough case by phone.
"Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular," 7 p.m., NBC. Nick Lachey and Lionel Richie host this hour-long special that includes Liza Minnelli singing "New York, New York," backed by the New York Pops Orchestra. Bo Bice will sing the National Anthem, a cappella. The real star, however, is the fireworks show from five barges.
"NCIS," 8 p.m., CBS. Here's another chance to see this smart and fascinating episode. David Keith plays a Navy officer trying to embezzle money for the man who is holding his wife and daughter captive.
"Boston Pops 4th of July Spectacular," 9 p.m., CBS. Kevin Lockhart conducts his Boston Pops live at the Charles River Esplanade with Phil McGraw and his wife, Robin, hosting. This year, there will also be some local rock power: Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, from the Boston-based Aerosmith, will perform several of their bits.
"An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre: The July 4th Special," 9 p.m., ABC. This is a big night for Josh Turner, who sings in two July Fourth specials. He's in this one, taped in advance, and the Great American Country one, live. This show includes another country act, Lonestar, plus Broadway's Heather Headley, comedians Steve Bridges (doing political impressions) and Kevin Nealon, and Renee Olstead. She's the "Still Standing" co-star who just turned 17 and happens to be a terrific singer.