Independence Day arrives with marathons, musicals and traditional fare. Tom Bergeron hosts “A Capitol Fourth” (7 p.m., PBS). This is the first time the “Dancing With the Stars” personality has headlined the annual event. Celebrities and scheduled performers include “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, Broadway star Matthew Broderick, Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara and “Smash” star Megan Hilty. Look for the National Symphony Orchestra to perform rousing favorites, along with a special salute to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Phillips won’t be the only “Idol” star performing on Independence Day. Look, or rather listen, for Jennifer Hudson during the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” (9 p.m., CBS). Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”) will host and get a few chances to plug his forthcoming CBS series, “Vegas.” Keith Lockhart will conduct the Boston Pops Orchestra.
• Meanwhile, live from New York, Katy Perry performs on the “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular” (8 p.m., NBC). Kenny Chesney also performs, and Regis Philbin hosts.
• One of the Fourth’s proudest traditions continues on Syfy, with episodes of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” airing from 7 a.m. till 4 a.m. Thursday.
• With so much patriotic music in the air, Turner Classic Movies devotes the night to biographies of American popular composers and musicians, beginning with the holiday favorite “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (7 p.m.), starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan. Clifton Webb stars as John Philip Sousa in “Stars and Stripes Forever” (9:15 p.m.) from 1952. Two years later, Jimmy Stewart starred in “The Glenn Miller Story” (11 p.m.). Robert Alda plays George Gershwin in “Rhapsody in Blue” (1 a.m.) from 1945, and David Carradine portrays musical crusader Woody Guthrie in director Hal Ashby’s 1976 biography “Bound for Glory” (3:30 a.m.).
Tonight’s other highlights
• “Jim McKay: My World in My Words” (6 p.m., HBO) profiles the sportscaster whose role changed dramatically after the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich became the scene of a terrorist attack.
• “America’s Lost Treasures” (8 p.m., National Geographic) goes on a cross-country search for historical artifacts and museum-quality pieces linked to remarkable stories that are all but forgotten in attics and basements across the country.