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It’s getting warm girls, and you know what that means. The super hot summer television season is upon us, brimming over with many new shows to check out--some to love, some to hate. Actors we’ve grown to love are back in new shows, and fresh faces make their debut this season. New comedies. New dramas. A whole new world of reality! Which ones will make it and which ones will fade away? Well, that’s between you and your remote, so get ready, set, go! The summer TV season begins NOW…

Fear Itself
Premieres Thursday, June 5, 10PM ET on NBC
The only scripted show on NBC’s summer line-up is a horror anthology series. Each week there will be a completely new mini-movie designed to scare and surprise in the tradition of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “The Twilight Zone”. A new director and new stars craft new tales each week.

Celebrity Circus
Premieres Wednesday, June 11, 9PM ET on NBC
It’s “The Surreal Life” meets “Jackass” as celebrities train for high-flying performance events. As Rachel Hunter, Christopher Knight and Antonio Sabato Jr. among others learn how to swing on a trapeze and fly through the air, only one star can win.

Wipeout
Premieres Tuesday, June 24, 8PM ET on ABC
Contenders brave extreme obstacle courses that have been created for the maximum amount of difficulty, causing crashes, face plants and reality-TV slapstick. The winning contestant in each episode will score $50,000. The others will have to settle for being cheered on by host John Anderson, of ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

Baby Borrowers
Premieres Wednesday, June 25, 8PM ET on NBC
In this new reality series, several young couples are given children to care for, all at different ages. From infants to teenagers, America’s youth gets hands-on experience, albeit temporary, in what it’s like to actually raise a family.

Hopkins
Premieres Thursday, June 26, 10PM ET on ABC
ABC News had four months of unprecedented access within Baltimore’s John Hopkins Hospital, resulting in this six-part documentary. Footage involves plenty of patients and doctors in the throws of medical crises -- not to mention the doctor’s personal relationships in and out of the "office".

The Factory
Premieres Sunday, June 29, on Spike
Spike’s first original comedy series features four guys who work at a factory, but would rather be doing anything other than working at a factory. There’s a lot of improvisation going on here, which makes for some great moments. It also comes from the mind of "Strangers With Candy" co-creator Mitch Rouse, whose short-lived show was widely praised.

Secret Life of the American Teenager
Premieres Tuesday, July 1, 8PM ET on ABC Family
Relationships between families and friends are strained when teenagers Amy (Shailene Woodley, the first Kaitlin Cooper on The O.C.) discovers that she’s pregnant. We can only hope that creator Brenda Hampton puts her well-honed family-drama skills (“7th Heaven”) to good use in the 10 one-hour episodes. Casting 80’s teen idol Molly Ringwald should also help.

Greatest American Dog
Premieres Thursday, July 10, 8PM ET on CBS
Pageant dogs -- from the highly professional to the home-trained -- compete in challenges and games (with assistance and training from their owners, of course). The victorious pair will take home $250,000. That should buy a lot of doggie biscuits ... if that’s what you’re into. Pet expert and zoologist Jarod Miller hosts.

Flashpoint
Premieres Friday, July 11, 10PM ET on CBS
Who knew that law enforcement officers would be this busy ... in Canada? But they are, if this peek inside the tumultuous lives of cops in Toronto’s Emergency Task Force is any indicator. Among their varied tasks: negotiating and rescuing hostages; dealing with gangs, bombs, and suicidal teens; and making some inside deals in the process. For more on lead actor Enrico Colantoni, read Dishmag’s interview with him here.

Exiled
Premieres Monday, August 25, 10:30PM ET on MTV
“My Super Sweet 16” gets a makeover. The same spoiled kids who got a fancy party are now cast out to foreign lands to live with those less fortunate – for a few days. The show features the never-ending allure of watching rich brats make fools of themselves.

RETURNING SUMMER SHOWS

American Gladiators
Premieres Monday, June 2, 8PM ET on NBC
The extreme competition returns with a few new gladiators and some new events to push the limits of physical prowess even further. This time, the gladiators practically defy gravity with contests that take them airborne.

Nashville Star
Premieres Monday, June 9, 9PM ET on NBC
The TNN sensation makes its network debut on NBC this summer. New host Billy Ray Cyrus takes a break from “Hannah Montana” to mentor aspiring country artists. Basically, it’s “American Idol” in Nashville, so you know the drill.

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Premieres Thursday, June 12, 9PM ET on Bravo
Griffin and her "peeps" -- assistant Jessica, assistant’s assistant Tiffany, tour manager Tom and beloved mother, Maggie -- are back for a fourth season of the self-deprecating (and yet strangely self-aggrandizing) Emmy-winning peek into the actress/comedienne’s celebrity status (or lack thereof).

My Boys
Premieres Thursday, June 12, 9:30PM ET on TBS
PJ (Jordana Spiro), a 20-something sportswriter, navigates a male-dominated workplace and social circle of poker buddies -- including an ex, a Best Friend and her brother Andy (Jim Gaffigan). Speaking of, Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) will play his "work wife" in three episodes. And viewers will finally see who PJ invites to Rome in last seasons finale.

Weeds
Premieres Monday, June 16, 10PM ET on Showtime
Nancy Botwin’s (Mary-Louise Parker) life as a full-fledged dealer has become increasingly dangerous. The fourth season picks up after wildfires ravaged the neighborhood. Side (sad) note: Romany Falco’s character (Conrad) has been downgraded from series regular to recurring player. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Shear Genius
Premieres Wednesday, June 25, 10PM ET on Bravo
A second season of competitive high-end hairstyling returns, with a celebrity hairstylist and Allure beauty editor as new judges. Challenges (this time on live hair models!) for the 12 stylists range from cutting hair blindfolded to styling with food products such as caramel and mustard. Cut or get cut. And give those hair models a hand -- that is courage.

Burn Notice
Premieres Thursday, July 10, 10PM ET on USA
Ex-international spy Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) has a dangerous new mission, while he persists in hunting for the reason he was "burned" (blacklisted by his former employers). Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) has a multi-episode arc in this second season as Michael’s equal-parts sexy and lethal handler.

The Closer
Premieres Monday, July 14, 9PM ET on TNT
Kyra Sedgwick and the rest of the SAG-nominated ensemble cast continue to crack some major murder cases in LAPD’s homicide division. And Brenda (Sedgwick) continues to break stereotypes as the hard-nosed, whip-smart, commitment-phobic, junk-food-loving Southern belle interrogator.

Saving Grace
Premieres Monday, July 14, 10PM ET on TNT
Season 2 offers 15 episodes of Grace (Holly Hunter), another hardass female police detective on TNT. But the promiscuous binge-drinker is quite a different character than Brenda, and the series is different- with the help of Earl the angel, whose presence in Grace’s life explores faith in an imperfect world.

Project Runway
Premieres Tuesday, July 16, 9PM ET on Bravo
The fashion competition returns just four months after Christian Siriano was named its youngest -- and fiercest -- winner ever. This will also be the series last season on Bravo before it switches to Lifetime next fall. The move won’t put a damper on TV’s most glamorous show, though: word is that Nicole Kidman may appear on an upcoming episode.

Monk
Premieres Friday, July 18, 9PM ET on USA
The obsessive-compulsive Mr. Monk (multi-award winner Tony Shalhoub) returns for a seventh season. Expect a treasure trove of guest stars, wacky cases and the 100th episode on September 5. Sorry, but we just have to say it: We still miss Sharona (Bitty Schram). We’re obsessive that way.

Psych
Premieres Friday, July 18, 10 PM ET on USA
Shawn Spencer (James Roday) uses his sharp-as-nails observational skills and unusually acute detective instincts to solve cases for an ever-skeptical Santa Barbara Police Department (someone give those cops a clue). Best friend Gus (Dulé Hill) serves as sidekick and straight man.

Mad Men
Premieres Sunday, July 27, 10 PM ET on AMC
Thankfully, we get to get back to the business of following the tumultuous lives of the good (and so very bad) staff of New York ad agency Sterling Cooper. Will Betty and the kids return to Don? And what will happen to junior copywriter Peggy, now that she’s had a baby? Expect more of the razor-sharp dialogue for which this drama has won great acclaim.

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 81 - September 8943
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