Fourth of July Weekend TV Marathons Include 'The Walking Dead,' 'Masters of Sex,' & Some Forgotten Classics

Fourth of July: A day for barbecuing, setting off some firecrackers, and most importantly, watching hours of TV. Oh, is that not how our forefathers celebrated America's independence? To help you nail down your schedule for the long weekend, we've compiled a list of TV's best Fourth of July marathons, ranging from a zombie-tastic The Walking Dead binge to a Masters of Sex refresher before the show returns this month. Check out all the options the small screen has to offer.

The Walking Dead

Beginning July 4: 9 a.m., AMCYou'll want to get an early start for this one: AMC will start airing all of the hit zombie series from the very first episode at 9 a.m. July 4 and won't conclude until Sunday night at 9 p.m. with an episode of Talking Dead to preview the upcoming fifth season. Just try to avoid chowing down on some ribs or burgers while watching — all the gore may make you lose your appetite.

The Andy Griffith Show

July 4: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; July 5: 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.; July 6: 6 a.m. - 4 p.m., TVLandThis '60s sitcom is full of old time-y humor and all-around delight. And, if you've ever wondered where director and Arrested Development narrator Ron Howard got his start, this is it. Howard played Opie, a young boy who's full of mischief, and if you're lucky, you'll catch an episode featuring one of his all-out temper tantrums.

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NCIS

July 4: 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., CBSNothing like a police procedural to suck you in on a summer Friday. Sure, NCIS isn't quite groundbreaking, but it's the most-watched drama in the world for a reason. And that reason is probably because no one can resist Mark Harmon's charming ways. Right? Right.

Modern Family

July 4: 8 p.m. - midnight, ABCThe most recent season of Modern Family ended on a sweet and satisfying note, but that doesn't mean we're ready to wait months before the comedy starts up again. This weekend you can get your dose of this funny family with ABC's marathon. Bonus: This is one of the weekend's few night-time marathons, so you can still enjoy a day in the sun before succumbing to your sofa.

Masters of Sex

July 4 and July 5, ShowtimeTwo words: Lizzy Caplan. The one-time Mean Girls star plays a sex researcher in this period drama in a performance worth watching (and drooling over). The second season starts back up July 13, so catch up with this marathon before then.

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Ray Donovan

July 6, ShowtimeScandal's Olivia Pope is the go-to fixer in D.C., but Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber) takes care of high-profile folks on the other side of the country — not without ample drama though.

The Twilight Zone

Beginning July 4: 8 a.m., SyfyWithout The Twilight Zone, Syfy as a network might not even exist. The creepy show brought science fiction to the front of Americans' minds and paved the way for other likeminded shows — and, for Disney fans, it also inspired the chill-inducing Tower of Terror ride. Now that's cultural impact.

Image: AMC