Pacific Palisades resident Tom Hanks, arguably the country’s most revered and beloved movie star, will host a 90-minute special, “Celebrating America,” on Wednesday evening, to salute the swearing in of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The show will be broadcast on ABC, CBS, NBC at 8:30 p.m. locally. Cable and satellite, like CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, are showing it in real time, starting at 5 or 5:30 p.m. Organized by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the show will replace the usual festivities, which have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A two-time Oscar winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, Hanks was a vocal Biden backer in last year’s election. He has starred in more than 30 movies, including “Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Bridge of Spies, “The Post,” “Cast Away,” “Sully” and most recently “Greyhound” and “News of the World.”
The Hanks-hosted special will pay tribute to “American heroes,” including frontline workers. Additional performers will include Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Ant Clemons and Demi Lovato.
According to the Inaugural committee, “The television special will showcase the American people’s resilience, heroism, and unified commitment to coming together as a nation to heal and rebuild.”
Biden and Harris will also deliver remarks during the special.
The parade and the Inaugural balls that are typically held on Inauguration day have been cancelled.
Lady Gaga is set to sing the National Anthem before Biden and Harris are sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, and Jennifer Lopez will give a musical performance.
The Foo Fighters, John Legend and Bruce Springsteen will offer remote performances, and Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington will introduce segments of the event.
After the inauguration, Biden and Harris, and their spouses, will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
They will be joined by former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and their wives.
The theme of the Biden-Harris inauguration is “America United.”