The union has 49 other states, but Massachusetts will make a particularly strong showing this Fourth of July.
The reason? The hosts of two of TV's biggest celebrations of America's birthday hail from there: Haverhill native Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars,” “America's Funniest Home Videos”) will make his “A Capitol Fourth” debut at 7 p.m. Wednesday on OETA-13; and at 9 p.m., Lowell-born, Andover-raised Emmy winner Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”) will preside over CBS' “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular,” for the second consecutive year.
Bergeron will have impressive talents to introduce on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. They'll include Oscar-winning film composer John Williams, conducting the National Symphony Orchestra (to be led for most of the evening by Jack Everly) in his “Olympic Fanfare.” Celebrating the upcoming Games in London, that segment also will feature eight-time medalist Apolo Anton Ohno, who knows Bergeron from having won Season 4 of ABC's “Dancing With the Stars.”
On the bill for “A Capitol Fourth” as well: two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara, current Broadway co-stars in the musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It”; “Smash” regular Megan Hilty; singers Josh Turner and Javier Colon; pop music's Kool & the Gang; and tenor Russell Watson, also featured on PBS' recent National Memorial Day Concert telecast.
“My agent is somewhat familiar with me being a tad curmudgeonly in guarding my summer vacation,” Bergeron says, “and not really wanting to do much, but this was an easy ‘Yes.' I was honored to be asked, and I'm very much looking forward to doing it.”
Bergeron confirms the occasion, the guests and the setting all contributed to “the carrot on the stick that I couldn't resist ... and particularly this year, an election year. All eyes are turned to Washington even more than usual, and it's a great time for a birthday party.”
For his latest Independence Day hosting stint on the Charles River Esplanade, with recent Queen's Diamond Jubilee conductor Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops, Chiklis — who returns to series work this fall opposite Dennis Quaid in the CBS drama “Vegas” — will have his own Oscar winner to present: “Dreamgirls” co-star and third-season “American Idol” finalist Jennifer Hudson. He doesn't deny having her on board has made him pretty popular in his household.
“To have her as the guest is thrilling,” Chiklis says, “and my children are completely crazed about it. Both my 18-year-old and my 13-year-old were screaming when I told them; they were jumping up and down. Jennifer crosses all demographics, because I think my wife and I are equally excited about it.”