This July 4th, America's national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country's 236th birthday, as A CAPITOL FOURTH on PBS welcomes a brand new host, Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron.
Bergeron will lead an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of unrivaled musical performances, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. The multi award-winning event will feature AMERICAN IDOL winner Phillip Phillips; two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (SMASH); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of THE VOICE); multi-platinum, two-time Grammy nominated country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; world renowned tenor Russell Watson; actress and singer Amber Riley (GLEE);and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.
Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno will host a tribute to Team USA, honoring the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, featuring five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams conducting his "Olympic Fanfare." Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, A CAPITOL FOURTH will air live in HD onPBS Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide.
A CAPITOL FOURTH has truly becomeAmerica's favorite Independence Day celebration, and a cornerstone of PBS's annual programming line-up, as is evidenced by the ratings. During the 2010-2011 season, A CAPITOL FOURTH took the top prize, for the second consecutive year, as the number one rated program in primetime. With a 4.6 Nielsen rating A CAPITOL FOURTH reached over 11 million viewers.
"What an honor to be in the nation's capital for America's biggest birthday party," said Tom Bergeron. "Hosting A CAPITOL FOURTH enables me to celebrate two things I'm a big fan of - America and PBS!"
Added Executive Producer Jerry Colbert, "We are thrilled that Tom Bergeron will lead our nation in this star-spangled celebration. We are also humbled that the viewers have chosen this unique live television event as their favorite. With the eyes of America upon us, we join as one family to celebrate our freedoms, using the magical medium of television."