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7 Don’t-Miss Summer TV Shows

In ancient times, summer television was a vast wasteland of reruns and made-for-TV movies. Those of us who hate the sun were forced to count the days until fall, when the real TV series would return. No more! We live in a Golden Age of year-round spectacular programming. And in case you, too, are avoiding the beach this summer because you burn at the mere suggestion of sunshine, these are some of the shows that will keep you indoors for the next 90 days:

If you feel betrayed by Amazon’s Zombieland:

In the Flesh
Premieres June 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America
Luke Newberry stars as a poor guy named Kieren who suffers from PDS or “partially deceased syndrome.” As in, he’s a zombie. Kieren just wants to fit in when he returns to his hometown after going through zombie rehab. It’s a prodigal son story — with a son who has hankering for brains.

If you’re looking to kill some brain cells:

Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Premieres July 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW
Aisha Tyler hosts this reboot of a reboot in which improv actors (Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie) and special guest stars compete in increasingly improvisational games. This is the sort of show where you get to giggle over grown men wearing silly hats. It’s like one of those freeze pops that comes in a plastic tube: You know it’s not gourmet, but it tastes like home.

If you are too lazy to see a blockbuster in theaters:

Under the Dome
Premieres June 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS
A small town in Maine gets trapped under an invisible barrier. Horror, chaos, and political intrigue ensue. Adapted by Brian K. Vaughan from the novel by Stephen King, it features effects that look cinema-worthy, and the 13-episode arc appears to be a blend of horror, science fiction and action-suspense.

If you like procedurals, but wish they were more obscure and Scandinavian:

The Bridge
Premieres July 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX
Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir play detectives on the opposite side of the U.S.-Mexico border who must work together to find a serial killer. Thus far, the creepy-dark trailers aren’t hinting too much at the plot, but if it’s anything like its Danish/Swedish predecessor Bron, there will be a lot of tension, mystery and murder.

If you’ve been wondering why there are no TV shows about lesbian moms:

The Fosters
Premieres June 3 at 9 p.m. on ABC Family
ABC Family is developing quite the reputation for thinking outside the box when it comes to representation of not-so-typical families. This spring, its hit Switched at Birth featured an all-American Sign Language episode. Now the channel is giving us The Fosters, a show about a lesbian couple (Terri Polo and Sherri Saum) raising a complicated and blended family. From the previews, the show seems to be a typical ABC Family heartwarming drama (expect tears).

If you believe superheroes are made, not born:

The Hero
Premieres June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TNT
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson produces a reality competition show in which nine contestants compete in real-life physical, mental and moral challenges. One of them will be proclaimed “The Hero.” This sounds more like a plot for a movie starring The Rock than it does an actual reality show, but I’m dying to know what “moral” challenges entail. Deciding between saving kittens from a burning building and giving CPR to an old woman? I’ll have to watch to find out.

If you wish The Hunger Games was more realistic:

The Hunt
Premieres July 31 at 9 p.m. on The CW
Twelve teams of two enter “The Arena,” where they have no shelter, no resources and no means of escape. Sound familiar? Yup, someone did the inevitable and turned The Hunger Games into a reality show. Hopefully no 11-year-olds are injured in the making of this reality series. And no one ends up threatening double-suicide to win.


  • Bill T.

    I seem to remember that The Avengers, starring Patrick McNee and Diana Rigg, and The Prisoner were summer replacement shows in NYC, if memory serves.

  • Elias Algorithm

    What’s worse is that most of BBCAmerica’s programming is American programming!

  • eag46

    The return of Whose Line is it Anyway has me happier than I should be.

  • Bill T.

    What were you expecting?

  • demoncat_4

    one could also say the hunt is a tame version of battle royal too. looking forward to the dome. and also seeing how aisha does as host of the next go around of whose line is it anyway.

  • Dewayne Matteson

    Already seeing changes in the “Under The Dome” story that differ from the book, that do not make me happy.

  • Elias Algorithm

    Something I can’t get here by flipping channels. IFC gets V For Vendetta this month after a month on BBCA. BOTH ARE WRONG. It’s not British or Independant.

  • Elias Algorithm

    It’s the only one I’m delighted for. The only difference I see is no more pawing at the host because that’d just make us all jealous. AND IT PREMIERES ON MY BIRTHDAY.

  • HunterRose

    Under the Dome was soooo disappointing. It started off great, but the final reveal had my friends and I saying, “Really?!? That’s it?” To think he stole the idea from my childhood when I placed a glass over some ants. Oops, did I ruin it?

  • syvyn11

    Hopefully the CW will be more relaxed with some curse words and content. ABC cracked the whip on the guys on the old show. Remember Bill Cosby and Hitler?

  • Nick

    “The Hero” is just a played out concept. A bunch of self-absorbed people scream at one another about how important and deserving of respect they are, then occassionally run an obstacle course. Not exactly heroic, unless everyone to ever be on “Real World/Road Rules” deserves a medal for bravery.

  • batGRRRl4ever

    I like that In The Flesh has the first gay zombie protagonist :)

  • eag46

    I *DO* remember that! I think CW is a little more relaxed about language, but who knows. I hope Charles Esten can get time off from NASHVILLE to be on the show as Chip Esten again.

  • syvyn11

    I can’t wait for Propsie to guest. I’ll wager that he’ll be attacking Alisha as hard as he attacked Clive Anderson.

    Heck, Proops attacked the brits so much, we almost had another war with Great Britain.

  • alistaircrane

    Don’t forget Mistresses and returning shows Teen Wolf, Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, Dexter and Big Brother!

  • ATK

    In the Flesh is really good. Lost my taste for whos line a long time ago. Under the dome could be cool but I’d rather see an HBO style version of Luna Bros Girls. The rest im not really that hyped for. Looking forward to returning shows more than the new ones.
    6/2 Venture Bros. – Season 5
    6/9 Falling Skies – season 3
    6/13 Sullivan & Son – Season 2 10ep
    6/16 True Blood – Season whatever
    6/19 Futurama – the final, final season
    6/20 Wilfred – Season 3
    6/24 Under the Dome – CBS
    6/? Disney Shorts – new shorts including old characters (mickey)
    7/1 American Ninja Warrior – nbc 2hr premier – I miss original sasuke
    7/7 Avengers Assemble – official launch
    7/10 Camp – NBC comedy Rachel griffiths
    7/27 Axe Cop – Fox
    8/11 Hulk and the agents of smash – meh we’ll see what they do with all the modern hulk mythos

  • Jonny_anonymous

    Not Hunger Games, it’s Battle Royale

  • matt

    Not Battle Royale its The Running Man

  • matt

    Not The Running Man its The Most Dangerous Game

  • Bill T.

    You can always watch Hoarders and Duck Dynasty.

  • The One and Only

    TEEN WOLF:Season 3 kicks off tomorrow night(June 3)
    at 10:00pm on MTV. It’s the start of a 24 episode season.

  • Elias Algorithm

    I’d rather have a concussion brought on by roving weasel rape gangs.

  • toneloak

    That’s possible but so is that maybe they’ve finally found a way to inject some heart into this TV formula. Although the voting system sounds like crap on a stick.

  • Hunter

    Maybe because they use a lot of British actors and film a lot in the UK. More and more companies are turning to places like Canada for their productions because of the high costs, especially Union costs.

  • pablouk

    Nothing looked good

  • Jonny_anonymous

    How many of them are about teens?