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Stay Tuned column: Broadway smash ‘Hamilton’ makes its TV debut on Disney+

Melissa Crawley
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Lin-Manuel Miranda and the original Broadway cast of "Hamilton."

Hip hop meets American history to kick off a weekend of Fourth of July specials, while an investigative series explores a high school football star’s controversial conviction.

Dispatches: Weekly TV news

E! has ordered 10-episodes of “Celebrity Call Center.” The unscripted series will feature famous people giving advice on lighthearted, relatable topics to everyday people over the phone. Nick Cannon will executive produce and appear on the series, which is based on a British format. It premieres July 13.

Netflix gave a straight to series order for “Colin in Black & White,” which explores Colin Kaepernick’s high school years. The six-episode scripted drama will feature Kaepernick as the narrator, with an actor playing the younger version of the star quarterback. Ava DuVernay serves as executive producer.

Producers of “The Simpsons” announced that they will no longer have white actors voicing non-white characters, while Mike Henry wrote on Twitter that he has stepped down from the role of voicing the Cleveland Brown character on “Family Guy.” “I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color,” Henry said.

Contenders: Shows to keep on your radar

“Hamilton,” one of the most popular Broadway musicals ever, is coming to TV (July 3, Disney+). Disney’s plan was for a theatrical release on October 15, 2021, but the company decided to broadcast the filmed version of the musical earlier on its streaming service. The performance features the original cast and was filmed on Broadway in June 2016.

The popular book series, “The Baby-Sitters Club,” about a group of girls who turn the classic teen job into a business, gets a modern update on Netflix (July 3). Alicia Silverstone and Mark Feuerstein play doting parents, along with a cast of newcomers.

“Hanna” returns for season two (July 3, Amazon). In this installment, the titular highly skilled teenage assassin, played by Esme Creed-Miles, returns to infiltrate the secret conditioning school training future killers and destroy the shadowy government organization behind it.

With no crowds, Fourth of July celebrations look a little different this year but that hasn’t stopped NBC or PBS from broadcasting their annual programs. On NBC, it’s “Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular” (8 p.m. ET), with performances by Black Eyed Peas, The Killers, Lady A, John Legend, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley. On PBS, it’s “A Capitol Fourth” (8 p.m. ET), which is the country’s longest-running national Independence Day television special. Getting a jump on the festivities, The CW Network will air “iHeartCountry 4th of July BBQ” on July 3 at 8 p.m. ET, featuring country music artists Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina and Old Dominion performing live from the backyards of their homes.

Five-part investigative series, “Outcry” (July 5, Showtime, 10 p.m. ET), examines the story of Texas high school football star Greg Kelley’s controversial conviction for child molestation, and the search for truth that followed his sentencing. Focusing on the fight for both Kelley’s innocence and his guilt, the series follows three years of the appeal process and the effect it has on a divided community.

Report Card: Ratings winners and losers

Winners: BET renewed comedy series, “Twenties,” for a second season.

Losers: SyFy canceled “Vagrant Queen.”

Melissa Crawley is the author of “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television’s ‘The West Wing.’” She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at staytuned@outlook.com or follow her on Twitter at @mcstaytuned.

Savannah Morning News