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Cable Television Rundown: Summer TV Preview

Summer must officially be here -- The Hills season finale was on last night, what with the not-so-subtle shifting of the focus of the show from Lauren Conrad's totally hard problems to Heidi and Spencer's totally hard problems (AND the surprise return of Kristin Cavillari! Not bad, eh DoktorPeace?!) And what better way to finish off the Spring TV season with a wedding! They're reality television royalty, right? Man, I'm gonna miss them! What am I gonna do?

Don't worry. This isn't the last we'll see of Speidi this summer! In this month's Cable Television Rundown, I run down all the new shows that I'll be DVRin' all summer, both on cable and otherwise, along with the percentage likelihood that I'll actually watch all the episodes once they're on my DVR (thanks to Chris for letting me borrow his Off the Couch feature idear.)

Mondays
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (June 1, NBC) is actually starting its second season this summer. The premise according to NBC: "10 celebrities will be dropped into the heart of the jungle to face fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills." Woof. Heidi and Spencer will be there, along with Sanjaya, Janice Dickinson, Rod Blagojavech, and other fauxlebrities. I'll watch it if Speidi gets into any kind of actual trouble, but that's pretty unlikely. Still, it'll be on the DVR, but I'll give it a 14% chance of me actually watching all the episodes. Meanwhile, Make It or Break It (June 22, ABC Family) is about something-something teen gymnasts, on the ABC Family, and features Peri Gilpin of Frasier and Candace Cameron Bure of, of course, Full House. You KNOWZ I'll be over that, even if it's more unbearably boring than Secret Life, my watch-it-by-default-because-everyone-else-was-affected-by-the-writers'-strike standby last summer. I'll give it a 42% chance I'll stick it out longer than the first few episodes. Hey, at least Brenda Hampton isn't the showrunner, amiright? Nurse Jackie (June 8, Showtime...click the link for the pilot episode) is definitely DVR worthy (that is, if we can get a deal on Showtime this summer -- whaddya got for us, Dish Network?!) if only to get me some Edie Falco back in my life. A 91% chance of watching it all, provided someone can pitch in for the Showtime subscription. (Perhaps some kind of new three-months-free thing, Dish Network? Please?)

Tuesdays
10 Things I Hate About You (July 7, ABC Family) is gonna be a BLAST! Yes, it's based on the movie, yes, billed as a half-hour single-cam comedy, yes, it's on the reliably mindnumbing ABC Family, and yes, Larry Miller reprises his role as, well, I can't remember what he was in the movie, but it was something. This will hopefully be more Greek than SLAT, or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, I'll probably watch about 32% of this before I start watching Deadwood season two again. Life After People (History Channel, currently airing) is currently on, taking up room on my DVR, but from what I've seen, is totally captivating. It raises the important questions in life, like "What will the python population do after the human species is extinct? Certainly they will mutate, grow two heads, and take over the crocodile swamps!" Fantastic. Though I haven't watched more than a few minutes of any of it on my DVR yet, so I'll give it a 23% chance I'll actually watch any of it. Then there's Hawthorne (June 16, TNT), which will be attempt #3 (after Raising the Bar and Leverage) at trying to watch a scripted drama on TNT, this one, another strong female detective doctor thing, this time starring Jada Pinkett Smith. Hint: I probably won't watch it, at all.



Wednesdays
The Philanthropist (June 24, NBC) sounds on paper like it's gonna be stupid, just solely based on the title. But it's created by Tom Fontana, he of Homocide and Oz fame and also features Neve Campbell, who I was totally wondering about when she would appear on a television series again. And, best of all, supposedly Fontana wouldn't agree to doing it until NBC agreed to make it a darker series than the feel-good series they wanted Fontana and NBC came to an agreement to find a happy balance between feel-good TV and gritty realism. 67% chance I'll make it past the first two episodes. Dark Blue (July 15, TNT) will be attempt #4 at watching a TNT series (after Raising the Bar, Leverage, and Hawthorne), this one about the cops (obviously) and starring Dylan McDermott (the less personable of the Dermot(t) family, i.e. Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney, aka Dylan McDermot(t) Mulroney). Hint: I probably won't watch any of this, either. But thankfully we also have Michael and Michael Have Issues (July 15, Comedy Central) which, despite starring Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter sadly won't also feature David Wain, will inevitably be highly quoted and viewed by myself and the rest of the Blogulator contingent, and doubtlessly promptly cancelled at the end of its season. Oh well, at least we had our time to come in the future with this show.



Michael & Michael Have IssuesPremieres Wed, July 15, 10:30pm / 9:30c
Preview - The Farting Butterfly Sketch
comedycentral.com
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games


Thursdays
The Listener (June 4, NBC) is about a 25-year-old paramedic telepath. Kinda like me, right? I'll give this the old quarterlife try, to see if it truly does speak to me, a mid-20-something young professional who might not be telepathic, but certainly wish could read the mind of my wife sometimes, am I right men? Hmmm...I prospectively delete this from my DVR schedule. 16 & Pregnant (June 11, MTV) doesn't need to tell me anything more than the title. If it's half as awesome as the made-for-TV movie starring Kirsten Dunst, I'll be all over DVRing it for Brigitte and watching it out of one corner of my eye.



Saturday
Nothing on worthwhile on Friday, but I will set up Being Human (BBC America, July 25). It sounds quite a bit like Brigitte, Chris and my soon-to-be-produced screenplay My Auto Girlfriend as it is "a witty and extraordinary look into the lives of three twenty-somethings and their secret double-lives as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost." Of course, being that it's a British production, it will doubtlessly also include kind of cheesy SFX, witty dialogue, and almost too high of a level of competency. I'll probably watch all six episodes of the season, if the sheer level of competent, not-terrible sci-fi doesn't end up boring me.

Sunday
Thankfully Sundays will be good this summer, with the second season of the looking-like-it-might-actually-be-good True Blood and the soon return of Mad Men. And in addition, HBO's new comedy Hung (June 28) looks like it will positively extend HBO's good comedy streak that started with Summer Heights High. I posted a clip of the trailer in my last preview post but I'll do it again for good measure. (PUN!) Then I'll also set up the DVR for How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? (BBC America, June 14) which is some reality show about casting for The Sound of Music and I'll tape it for Brigitte cuz I love her soooooo much! Finally, what do you get when you cross a billionaire Treat Williams, a giant weather machine that goes awry and causes massive storms, James Van Der Beek, and NBC disaster-movie miniseries events? You get the event of the summer...The Storm (July 26). Well done, NBC. You are fully redeemed for the inevitable disaster that will be I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

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  1. Anonymous OHD | 10:50 AM |  

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA!

    A Ten Things TV SHOW?!

    WTF is this preview? It looks like a parody of the original. What is with that kid who's not Joseph Gordon Levitt's hands? Why does he hold them like that? WHY GOD WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?!

    10 Things I Hate About This TV Show Just From Watching the "Exclusive Look":

    1. The actor who plays Patrick
    2. The actress who plays Kat
    3. The actor who plays Cameron
    4. The actress who plays Bianca
    5. The lighting
    6. The music
    7. The dialogue
    8. The audacity of ABC Family thinking they can remake this classic movie into some bullshit TV show.
    9. The fact that Larry Miller can't get a job worthy of his talents (has anyone seen him on Law and Order y'all? TERRIFYING) so he has to stoop to this. He will be the only good thing about the show, though.
    10. Outdated pop culture references (Hannibal Lecter? What is this, 1996?).

    Anyone want to add to this list? I usually don't get worked up about remakes like most people because I just don't care that much, but this is an AFFRONT.

  2. Blogger qualler | 2:41 PM |  

    There's no doubt this show will be atrocious, I'm just hoping it will either be atrociously entertaining like SLAT or atrociously awful, like pretty much everything else on ABC Family (except for Greek, which is actually pretty decent.) I'll pretend the outdated pop culture references are meant to be ironic (they're not.)

  3. Blogger chris | 6:31 PM |  

    I know Nurse Jackie has all the makings of a great new show, but I just can't get interested in a medical show. I'm sure it's "more than just a medical show" blah blah but still, UCK. Hospital setting. Snoozefest.

    I think we need a party for THE STORM!!!!

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