PBS’ Gotham flagship sails with maritime spec

WNET to cover 4th of July tribute, 40,000-70,000 private watercraft expected

PBS Tri-State flagship Thirteen/WNET will produce and air live coverage of the largest Independence Day maritime spectacle in New York’s history on July 4 from 9 a.m.-noon.

“The Greatest American Fourth of July” will feature a flotilla of internationally made tall ships, warships, submarines and other watercraft gathered in the Hudson River. Three-hour spec will also include taped segments on naval history and coverage of the International Naval Review 2000 ceremony, during which a fleet of U.S. ships will make its “presentation of colors” to President Clinton.

“If turnout meets expectations, there will theoretically be enough boats on the river to enable someone to walk across it to New Jersey without ever touching water,” said Thirteen/WNET prexy William F. Baker, who’ll host the show along with a special surprise guest. Organizers expect 40,000-70,000 private watercraft to attend.

Spec will be available nationwide via PBS stations.

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