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Premieres help cure summertime TV blues

  • Published Sunday, May 30, 2010, at 12:06 a.m.

The biggest bummer of summer used to be the barren wasteland on television. "Magnum P.I." would end for the season, and so would school. The French Open would kick "Days of Our Lives" off NBC, and life would suddenly have no meaning.

There was nothing left to do but listen to Michael Jackson cassettes, play in the sprinkler and dream about that glorious fall day when the new television season would begin again.

Life is so much more fair in summer 2010. That tennis tournament still kicks the soaps off the air, but who cares? Hope is apparently now plotting to kill Bo, according to the cover of Soap Opera Digest I saw in QuikTrip the other day, so what's the point?

In the modern world, there's no need to rely on soaps (or cassettes) for summertime entertainment because new shows premiere year-round.

Some of my favorites start their runs in the summer.

I'm particularly excited about the impending return of my Favorite Show of All Time, "Mad Men," which will start its third season on AMC on July 25.

Dates also circled on my calendar: June 27, when the foul mouthed buddies-in-Hollywood show "Entourage" returns to HBO, followed by one of my favorites from last year's premiere list, the smartly funny half-hour "Hung."

One of my other summertime pleasures, the chef-off "Top Chef" on Bravo, returns on June 16, and come July 12, I'll do my best to resist the seedy allure of "Big Brother 12." (I had mixed success with this plan in seasons 1 through 11.)

A few interesting new shows are premiering this summer, too, including a bunch of cop shows, such as TNT's "Memphis Beat" (June 22), ABC's "Rookie Blue" (June 24), and CBS's "The Bridge" (July 10).

There's also "Scoundrels," an ABC comedy/drama that starts June 20 and follows a family of small-time criminals, and "The Gates," an ABC vampire drama, which also starts June 20.

Speaking of "Vampires," the popular HBO drama "True Blood" will return on June 13, and over on Showtime, "Weeds" will light up a new season on Aug. 16.

Following is a list of some of the other television shows that will help cure your Bo and Hope blues this summer:

Monday

"True Beauty," 9 p.m., ABC

"Cake Boss," 9 p.m., TLC

Tuesday

"Wipeout" (sneak peek), 7 p.m., ABC

"Losing It With Jillian," 9 p.m., NBC

Wednesday

"America's Got Talent," 8 p.m., NBC

"Are We There Yet?," 8 p.m., TBS

"Toddlers and Tiaras," 9 p.m., TLC

Thursday

"Burn Notice," 8 p.m., USA

"Royal Pains," 9 p.m., USA

Friday

"Battle of the Wedding Planners," 9 p.m., TLC

June 6

"Next Food Network Star," 8 p.m., Food Network

"Drop Dead Diva," 8 p.m., Lifetime

"The Hard Times of RJ Berger," 10 p.m., MTV

June 7

"Lie to Me," 7 p.m., Fox

"Secret Life of the American Teenager," 7 p.m., ABC Family

"Last Comic Standing," 7 p.m., ABC

June 10

"So You Think You Can Dance," 8 p.m., Fox

June 13

"True Blood," 8 p.m., HBO

"HGTV Design Star," 9 p.m., HGTV

"Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami," 9 p.m., E!

"Holly's World," 9:30 p.m., E!

June 16

"Top Chef," 8 p.m., Bravo

June 18

"Cupcake Wars," 9 p.m., Food Network

June 20

"The Gates," 8 p.m., ABC

"Leverage," 8 p.m., TNT

"Scoundrels," 9 p.m., ABC

"The Real L Word," 9 p.m., Showtime

June 22

"Wipeout," 7 p.m., ABC

"HawthoRNe," 8 p.m., TNT

"Memphis Beat," 9 p.m., TNT

June 24

"Rookie Blue," 8 p.m., ABC

"Boston Med," 9 p.m., ABC

"Futurama," 9 p.m., Comedy Central

June 27

"Entourage," 8 p.m., HBO

"Hung," 9 p.m., HBO

June 29

"Downfall," 8 p.m., ABC

"Rescue Me," 9 p.m., FX

"Louie," 10 p.m., FX

July 7

"Minute to Win It," 7 p.m., NBC

July 8

"Big Brother 12," 7 p.m., CBS

July 9

"Eureka," 8 p.m., SyFy

"Haven," 9 p.m., SyFy

July 12

"The Closer," 8 p.m., TNT

"Rizzoli & Isles," 9 p.m., TNT

July 25

"Mad Men," 9 p.m., AMC

"My Boys," 9 p.m., TBS

July 27

"Masterchef," 8 p.m., Fox

July 29

"Jersey Shore," 9 p.m., MTV

Aug. 1

"Rubicon," 7 p.m., AMC

Aug. 9

"Bachelor Pad," 7 p.m., ABC

"Dating in the Dark," 9 p.m., ABC

Aug. 10

"Shaq Vs.," 8 p.m., ABC

Aug. 16

"Weeds," 9 p.m., Showtime

"The Big C," 9:30 p.m., Showtime

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