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Published: 7/3/2011

Around the remote: Top television picks for this week

BY CHUCK BARNEY
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

DON'T MISS:

FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS -- It's birthday party time for the good ol' US of A and television wants in on the action. So if you can't make it out to your local fireworks display, just kick back and watch things go ka-boom on your TV screen.

First up is A Capitol Fourth (8 p.m. Monday, PBS), a big gala from Washington that features performances by Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Jordin Sparks, Little Richard, and Matthew Morrison. Jimmy Smits hosts the show, which culminates with some razzle-dazzle in the sky.

Then there's the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (9 p.m., NBC) from New York City with performances by Beyonce and Brad Paisley, and the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (9 p.m., CBS) with actor Michael Chiklis hosting the Independence Day festivities in Beantown.

OTHER BETS:

SUNDAY NIGHT: It may be summer, but Masterpiece Mystery! brings in some autumn-like chill. It's a case that has Poirot (David Suchet) investigating the death of a girl at a Halloween party. 9 p.m., PBS.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Christopher Titus: Neverlution is a new stand-up special featuring the former star of the dysfunctional family sitcom Titus. He cracks wise on topics that include politics, prescription drugs, childhood, and pop culture. 9 p.m., Comedy Central.

SUNDAY NIGHT: On The Marriage Ref, the panel of Regis Philbin, Tracy Morgan, and Susie Essman hear the case of a husband who thinks his wife has too many ponytails. Wow, alert the divorce lawyers. 10 p.m., NBC.

MONDAY: Citizen U.S.A.: A 50-State Road Trip is a patriotic travelogue from documentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi. She crosses the nation to attend naturalization ceremonies and listen to recent immigrants explain why they want to be Americans. 9 p.m., HBO.

TUESDAY: Maybe they'll bring along some bug spray. On a new episode of White Collar, Neal and Peter (Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay) go under cover as wealthy bachelors to catch a black widow. 9 p.m., USA.

TUESDAY: Teen Moms is back for another season and this time our embattled mamas face even more adversity in the form of the Terrible Twos. You may want to take cover under your blankie. 10 p.m., MTV.

WEDNESDAY: Stylish Jeff Lewis is back to guide us through Season 5 of Flipping Out. But since becoming an interior designer, he's more interested in tricking out homes than flipping them. 9 p.m., Bravo.

WEDNESDAY: A new episode of Behind the Music chills out with Ice Cube. The rapper/actor opens up about a 30-year career that has seen him go from a founding member of NWA, to a solo artist, to a movie star in films such as Boyz N the Hood and Are We There Yet? 10 p.m., VH1.

THURSDAY: Let the backstabbing and strategizing begin. Big Brother returns for its 13th season as a new batch of human lab rats turns on one another. That's entertainment? That's debatable. 9 p.m., CBS.

FRIDAY: Torchwood: Miracle Day, an adaptation of the creepy British sci-fi series, envisions a world where no one dies. It's not as alluring as it sounds. John Barrowman, Mekhi Phifer, and Bill Pullman head the cast. 10 p.m., Starz.

SATURDAY: A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! has The Fairly OddParents gang shifting into live-action mode for a 10th-anniversary movie. Drake Bell stars as a 23-year-old Timmy Turner. Also appearing are Jason Alexander, Cheryl Hines, and Steven Weber. 8 p.m., Nickelodeon.



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