Get ready, all you couch potatoes! Lords of the remote! Champions of the recliner! And queens of microwaveable dinners! In case you haven’t noticed, the prospects for great new summer shows get better and better every year. This years’s awesome lineup is varied, original, and believe it or not- must watch TV. You’re going to need those commercial breaks because you DON’T want to miss a single moment of these shows, making a splash this summer on a TV screen near you!
Comedy Bang! Bang! - IFC June 8, 10/9c
Based on Scott Aukerman's award-winning podcast, this offbeat sitcom is about a late night talk show-within-the-show, peppered with sketches and featuring an insane list of some of the biggest names in comedy as guests. From a co-creator of “Between Two Ferns With Zack Galifiankis,” it promises “nonstop comedic absurdity with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.” The show cleverly riffs on the well-known format of the late night talk show. In each episode, Aukerman engages his guests with unfiltered and improvisational lines of questioning. Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Michael Cera (Arrested Development), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Ed Helms (The Office), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), Seth Rogen (50/50), Paul Rudd (I Love You, Man), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), “Weird Al” Yankovic (comedian/musician), and many others, all join in on the laughs with Aukerman and bandleader, one-man musical mastermind Reggie Watts (Conan).
True Blood - HBO June 10, 9/8c
This should be self-explanatory, since I’ll bet every single one of you out there has seen it! Right? For the rest of you- vampires, blood, sex. What’s not to love?
Dallas - TNT June 13, 9/8c
This is no reboot, but rather a continuation of the original CBS must-watch soap that drove fans crazy during its incredibly long run, from 1978 through 1991 on CBS. How TNT pulled it off we’ll never really know, but every one of every one’s most favorite (ever?) characters have returned, including J.R. (Larry Hagman), his wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), and now-grey haired brother Bobby (Patrick Duffy). The new show focuses on the younger generation’s evil machinations- particularly John Ross (J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son, played by Josh Henderson) and Christopher Ewing (Bobby and Pam’s adopted son, played by Jesse Metcalfe), both of whom got their start on Desperate Housewives. (BTW: Hope you’ve all feasted your eyes on those incredible beefy posters of the brothers TNT has put out :) Yummy!) Both characters were featured as children on the original series, but John Ross and Christopher are all grown up now, having become the J.R. and Bobby of the next generation. As you know, that means John Ross is a greedy oil baron, while Christopher is more focused on the preservation of the family’s legacy, Southfork Ranch.
Baby Daddy - ABC Family June 20, 8:30/7:30c
Think Raising Hope meets Three Men and a Baby. This new sitcom follows twentysomething Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeu), who becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she's left on his doorstep by an ex. He decides to raise the baby with his motley crew of helpers: mom Bonnie (Melissa Peterman), his brother Danny (Derek Theler), his best buddy Tucker (Tahj Mowry) and his gal pal Riley (Chelsea Kane), who has a secret crush on him. And no, the baby news does not diminish her feelings.
The Soul Man - TV Land, Wednesday, June 20, 10/9c
In this Hot In Cleveland spinoff, R&B singer Boyce "The Voice" Ballentine (Cedric "The Entertainer") leaves the glitz and glamour of being a soul superstar in Vegas to take over preaching duties as Reverend of his father's church in St. Louis, with his reluctant wife Lolli (Niecy Nash) and family in tow. So when will Betty White and the ladies drop by?
Inside Men - BBCA, Wednesday, June 20, 10/9c
This thrilling drama follows three security company employees who go through with a plan for a multimillion-dollar heist. The series is told entirely from their perspectives as they examine what they’ve done, what they’ve risked and the moral lines they’ve crossed. It stars Steven Mackintosh (Luther), Ashley Walters (Outcasts) and Warren Brown (Luther).
Tony Basgallop wrote the four-part series, with Hilary Salmon exec producing for BBC.
Snooki & JWOWW - MTV, Thursday, Jun 21, 10/9c
This Jersey Shore spinoff follows BFF's Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWOWW" Farley as they start a new chapter in their lives. In this 12-episode series, the real-life besties move to jersey City and move in together to take on their next big adventure. JWOWW's romance with Roger is getting serious and only time will tell what the future holds for the couple. As for Snooki's future, not only is she engaged but she’s pregnant! Now, as two women on the verge of adulthood, they've decided to have one unforgettable last hurrah, all while navigating the radical changes that life has thrown at them. And as Snooki and JWOWW soon discover, with your best friend by your side, there's nothing you can't face!
The Newsroom - HBO, Sunday, June 24, 10/9c
Aaron Sorkin, creator of Emmy-award winning political drama The West Wing, takes a look behind the scenes at a fictional nightly cable news show, called News Night. The show begins with unpredictable anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) alienating his entire staff by declaring that America isn’t the greatest country in the world during a high-profile speaking engagement, which quickly goes viral, causing them all to quit. On top of that, dealing with his demanding boss (Sam Waterston), a flighty producer (Emily Mortimer) and the show's largely unmotivated staff (Olivia Munn, Dev Patel and Alison Pill) has him wondering what he’s doing there altogether. The series will follow Will, the here-to-fore “Jay Leno of news anchors,” and his new and old colleagues struggling to regain the outstanding ratings ‘News Night’ once got. Jane Fonda, in her first major TV role, will recur as Leona Lansing, CEO of ACN's parent company.
Final Witness - ABC , Wednesday, June 27, 10/9c
The voices of the dead come to life in this true-crime series, which offers a unique look at some of the nation's most shocking murders. Each of the seven episodes will examine one case from start to finish, taking viewers inside the murder from the victim's point of view. Final Witness is a compelling hybrid of documentary and drama, featuring interviews with real-life witnesses, prosecutors, law enforcement, family and friends, along with riveting scripted scenes, which thrust viewers into the heart of each crime. Shot on location around the world, infused with an indie-band soundtrack and cinematic style, Final Witness creates an unforgettable look at the human psyche at its darkest.
Anger Management - FX, Thursday, June 28, 10/9c
Charlie Sheen returns to TV as ex-baseball player Charlie (can he ever play someone not named Charlie?) who becomes an anger management therapist with unconventional methods, but the real problem is he needs just as much counseling as his patients.The series is based on the Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler flick of the same name and also stars Selma Blair (as his therapist and possible love interest), Shawnee Smith (as his ex-wife) and fellow Chuck Lorre antagonist Brett Butler (as a bartender). Sheen's ex-wife Denise Richards - never one to turn down a chance to appear on one of his shows (see: Spin City, Two and a Half Men) - will guest-star as a business partner of Smith's character. And if the test audience is any indication, Sheen may be winning once again.
Brand X with Russell Brand - FX, Thursday, June 28, 11/10c
comedian and actor Russell Brand is tackling late night with this new comedy show, which looks nothing like a traditional talk show -- it's basically six half-hour comedy specials featuring Brand's signature style of stand-up, shot in front of a live audience. Brand has boasted that his plan is to "tell the honest truth about all sorts of things." Another reason to celebrate is FX's approaching comedy line-up. With two returning shows (Louie and Wilfred) and two new series (Anger Management and Brand X ), we'll hopefully have four reasons to laugh on Thursday nights.
Walking Dead Marathon - AMC, Saturday & Sunday, July 7-8, starting at 10:30 am
Based on one of the most successful and popular comic books of all time, written by Robert Kirkman, AMC’s The Walking Dead captures the ongoing human drama following a zombie apocalypse. The series follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), who are traveling in search of a safe and secure home. However, instead of the zombies, it is the living who remain that truly become the walking dead. Jon Bernthal (The Pacific) plays Shane Walsh, Rick's sheriff's department partner before the apocalypse, and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), is Rick's wife, Lori Grimes.
The Closer - TNT, Monday, July 9 , 9/8c
With The Closer wrapping up its final season with a bonus six episodes to launch the spinoff, Major Crimes, get ready to say goodbye to sassy Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick) forever. Over the past six years, Johnson has put some of Los Angeles’ most brutal killers behind bars. With her keen investigative instincts and brilliant interrogation techniques, she often closes her cases by eliciting a confession or trapping a suspect using sometimes-questionable methods. Now, Brenda’s tactics are coming under the scrutiny of the L.A.P.D.’s new Chief of Police, who is on the verge of announcing an extensive reorganization that could spell the end of the Major Crimes squad.
Perception - TNT, Monday, July 9, 10/9c
Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) plays an eccentric professor who assists a former student (Rachael Leigh Cook) now working for the FBI. Everything isn't always what it seems, and this new drama proves that one man's perception can be another man's truth ... and possibly another man's hallucination. Eric McCormack returns to TV as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a slightly unhinged professor and neuroscientist who helps the FBI out with tough cases.
Opening Act - E! Monday, Jul 9, 10/9c
A new reality series from "American Idol" producer Nigel Lythgoe, this one plucks musical acts from online obscurity, giving them a chance to be the opening act at huge concerts starring superstar artists like Rod Stewart, Brad Paisley and Nicki Minaj. Mary J. Blige will also star, helping Lythgoe choose the lucky groups. “This series is about truly talented, passionate people – they weren’t seeking fame, but thanks to Nigel, his team and the headliners, fame came knocking on their door,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! Entertainment. “With this unexpected break and whirlwind journey comes raw emotion, nerves, and intense preparation. The question is whether or not the opening acts can truly seize the moment and use this extraordinary opportunity as a stepping stone to the career they never thought possible.”
Trust Us With Your Life - ABC, Tuesday, July 10, 9/8c
Don't worry — this isn't some stunt-heavy trust-fall show. It's actually an improv series from the “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” guys. Celebrities will appear on the show, including David Hasselhoff, Jerry Springer, Florence Henderson, Mark Cuban, Jack and Kelly Osbourne, Ricky Gervais and Serena Williams. They will laugh along with us as Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Jonathan Mangum act out some key moments in each celebrity's life. Fred Willard will host.
Beverly Hills Nannies - ABC Family, Wednesday, July 11, 9/8c
A docu-series following nannies in Beverly Hills. Yep, it's another reality series in the most famous zip code in the world. This one is, as the title suggests, about the triumphs and foibles of 3 beautiful women and 2 handsome men, who work as nannies for the wealthiest families in town. Not so surprising, the show comes from the producers of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” Can you say "crossover"?
Political Animals - USA, Sunday, July 15, 10/9c
This summer’s can’t-miss series! Created by Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters) and Laurence Mark (Jerry Maguire), this six-part miniseries centers around Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver, the Alien movies), a politician with lofty ambitions. Having divorced her husband, former president Bud Hammond (Ciarán Hinds), she failed to win the nomination as a presidential candidate. She strikes an unlikely friendship with a journalist by the name of Susan Berg (Carla Gugino, ‘Watchmen’) who has spent most of her own career tearing Barrish down. Now Barrish is Secretary of State in her opponent Garcetti’s administration, (Adrian Pasdar, ‘Heroes’) and her son Douglas (James Wolk, ‘Happy Endings’) is her chief of staff.
Breaking Bad - AMC, Sunday, July 15, 10/9c
The much-anticipated fifth and final season of everyone’s cable favorite will be split into two seasons, according to star Bryan Cranston, with the first half airing starting in July, 2012 and the second half in 2013. The show picks up right where it left off in the jaw-dropping Season 4 finale. Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White, a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte), who suffers from cerebral palsy.. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis and a desire to secure his family's financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White's releases a man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.
Small Town Security - AMC, Sunday Jul 15, 11/10c
AMC’s new unscripted series, Small Town Security, focuses on a small, family-owned private security company located in rural Georgia. Executive produced by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver from Left/Right, Season 1 consists of eight, half-hour episodes. The show has been described by the network as "a cross between Christopher Guest's brilliant films and the sublime absurdity of The Office."
Sullivan and Son - TBS, July 19, 10/9c
From executive producer Vince Vaughn (Wedding Crashers) comes another show about a son taking over the family business! When big city lawyer Steve Sullivan (Steve Byrne) learns that his parents are planning to sell the family business, a legendary Pittsburgh bar named Sullivan & Son, he abruptly decides to take it over himself. How well this goes over with his girlfriend Ashley (Brooke Lyons, 2 Broke Girls), remains to be seen. Dan Lauria and Jodi Long co-star as Steve's Irish-American father, Jack Sullivan, and Korean mother Ok Cha.
3 - CBS, Sunday, Jul 22, 9/8c
Based on a hit Israeli reality dating show, this unscripted series follows three single women of different ages, life experiences and backgrounds, who meet for the first time with one common goal - to find true love. They meet hundreds of men who could possibly be their soul mates before they begin to narrow down their suitors. As they search for a partner, they share their lives with each other, and emotionally support one another during the dating and decision-making process.
Inspector Lewis - PBS, Sundays, July 8-29, 9/8c
Kevin Whately (The English Patient) returns as Inspector Lewis teamed with his cool, cerebral partner Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox, Becoming Jane). Lewis, the former working-class foil to the erudite Detective Inspector Morse, tackles murder and mayhem with the help of Hathaway. Guest stars include Toby Stephens (Jane Eyre), James Fleet (Little Dorrit) and Celia Imrie (Cranford).