Saturday TV: Francis Scott Key’s Song Turns 200

star_spangled_header1_0It’s one of the hardest songs to sing, especially at ball games But Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” has endured as our National Anthem from the time he unveiled it 200 years ago. It’s bicentennial is celebrated by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra live at the Pier Si Pavilion in a concert that featues Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Denyce Graves-Montgomery, Smokey Robinson and Kenny Rogers, on “Great Performances” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings).

John Lithgow and Jordan Sparks host the program, which includes ceremonial activities at Fort McHenry National Monument, where the banner’s wave after an attack by the British in 1814 gave the song’s inspiration.

The bands Little Big Town, Pentatonix and Train also play the event. Hope people don’t feel they have to stand through the whole thing. And there are fireworks, rockets’ red glare and all that.

Michael McConauthey stars in the movie that earned him so many honors earlier this year, “Dallas Buyers Club” (HBO, 8 p.m.), which makes its premium cable premiere. Of considerably less interest: Kellan Lutz in “The Legend of Hercules” (Cinemax, 10 p.m.).

Prime time college football includes Tennessee at Oklahoma (ABC, 8 p.m.), UCLA vs. Texas (Fox, 8 p.m.) and Notre Dame vs. Purdue (NBC, 7:30 p.m.), as well as Southern California at Boston College (ESPN, 8 p.m.).

Lauren Ambrose stars as a Civil War widow turned outlaw to protect her family in the TV movie “Deliverance Creek” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.) produced by romance novelist Nicholas Sparks.

CBS is almost being “Reckless” (CBS, 8 and 9 p.m.) the way they are burning off consecutive new episodes of the show.

The new kids’ sitcom “Nicky, Ricky & Dicky and Dawn” (Nickelodeon, 8:30 p.m.) is about 10 year old quadruplets. It’s preceded by another one about an eighth grader who is secretly a superhero, “Henry Danger” (Nickelodeon, 8 p.m.).

So new on the job and “Doctor Who” (BBC America, 9 p.m.) is sent to the end of the universe already.

Claire has a surprise meeting on “Outlander” (Starz, 9 p.m.). But I suppose most things that happen to her are surprising.

Nicki Minaj has nothing to do with the 1997 movie “Anaconda” (E!, 10 p.m.) with Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Jon Voight.

Luis Bunuel’s classic “Belle de Jour” (TCM, 8 p.m.) with Catherine Deneuve, is paired with the 1968 “Walk on the WIld Side” (TCM, 10 p.m.) with Jane Fonda and the 1932 “Frisco Jenny” (TCM, 12:15 a.m.). Later, it’s a Vincent Price double feature with “Madhouse” (TCM, 2 a.m.) and “House of Wax” (TCM, 3:45 a.m.).

Baseball today includes Yankees at Baltimore (Fox, 12:30 p.m.), San Diego at Arizona (Fox Sports 1, 8 p.m.) and Oakland at Seattle (MLB, 10 p.m.).

The Head and the Heart plays a replay of “Austin City Limits” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

There’s a season premiere on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 11:30 p.m.), but unfortunately it’s last year’s, with Tina Fey and Arcade Fire. This year’s season premiere is in two weeks.

This entry was posted in What's On TV. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  • Recent Posts

  • Categories



  • Archives

  • Google AdSense ads

  • Amazon associates