Summer used to be reserved for getting out of the house to enjoy the weather and to drag your kicking-and-screaming kids to get their cheeks pinched by relatives they hardly know in a city they've never been visited. But thanks to cable's recent emphasis on transforming the warm-weather months no longer be a TV wasteland, those summer treks to family reunions are no longer a must—now you can just stay home and watch TV! This June is especially crowded with series premieres and returns, so we've singled out some of the highlights.
[ WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1 ]
*NEW* Franklin & Bash (9PM, TNT)
Starring: Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris!), Breckin Meyer (That guy from Clueless!), Malcolm McDowell
The Premise: Two streetwise lawyers win a big case against a stuffy law firm, which inspires the head of that firm to hire them in order to bring a little zaniness to the company.
Excite-o-Meter Says: (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest) 5. At this point, the only way we could get really excited for another lawyer show is if they're time-traveling lawyers. *lightbulb!* Note to self: pitch Time-Traveling Lawyer to NBC. But if YOU get excited about lawyer shows and you enjoyed CBS' now-canceled The Defenders, you'll probably like Franklin & Bash.
Men of a Certain Age (10PM, TNT)
Starring: Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, Andre Brougher
The Premise: Three buddies from college stick together and go through the ups and downs of midlife.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 9. This is one of the better "real-life" dramas on television right now, and it has an excellent cast.
[ THURSDAY, JUNE 2 ]
*NEW* Love Bites (10PM, NBC)
Starring: Greg Grunberg, Becki Newton, Jordana Spiro
The Premise: An anthology series set around romance, with two very different sisters at the center of it all.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 2. This show used to have tons of promise, but it really fell by the wayside after NBC decided to delay it due to what we can only assume was a lack of quality. We think this one is being burned off in the summer.
Childrens Hospital (Midnight, Adult Swim)
Starring: Malin Ackerman, Rob Corddry, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullaly, Henry Winkler
The Premise: What would happen if Grey's Anatomy injected itself with funny? Childrens Hospital, that's what.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 9. This is some of the funniest television on the air right now, in 15-minute spurts.
[ SUNDAY, JUNE 5 ]
*NEW* Teen Wolf ("After the MTV Movie Awards," MTV)
Starring: Tyler Posey, Crystal Reed, Tyler Hoechlin
The Premise: A high-schooler gets turned into a werewolf, but he doesn't play basketball in this very loose adaptation of the '80s hit flick.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 4. No Boof? No Stiles? Boo! This looks like an MTV attempt at getting its own Twilight.
The Glades (10PM, A&E;)
Starring: Matt Passmore, Kiele Sanchez, Carlos Gomez
The Premise: This hot and sticky drama follows a Chicago detective who took a job in South Florida thinking he was going to sit on his ass and work on his tan, but quickly discovered that the swamp has its own secrets.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 7. Another underrated show that provides plenty of fun.
[ TUESDAY, JUNE 7 ]
White Collar (9PM, USA)
Starring: Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Tiffani Thiessen
The Premise: A con-man-turned-singing-canary helps the FBI put away other criminals in exchange for not spending his life behind bars.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 8. Matt Bomer is a star-in-the-making, and this is one of USA's better series.
[ TUESDAY, JUNE 14 ]
Memphis Beat (9PM, TNT)
Starring: Jason Lee, Alfre Woodard, DJ Qualls, Sam Hennings
The Premise: An easy-going police detective who loves his city and Elvis puts bad guys away in Memphis.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 6. We love the setting of the show, but that's about it. It's solid, but is it great? Meh.
[ SUNDAY, JUNE 19 ]
*NEW* Falling Skies (9PM, TNT)
Starring: Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Dale Dye, Drew Roy
The Premise: Months after aliens invade Earth with the intention of kicking us out, a resistance has formed and is fighting back.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 7. The show has a solid post-apocalyptic feel that reminds us of Jericho and The Walking Dead, but can TNT sustain the production values and special effects that a mega sci-fi franchise needs? We're cautiously optimistic.
[ THURSDAY, JUNE 23 ]
Futurama (TBD, Comedy Central)
Starring: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, Maurice LaMarche
The Premise: Dude, you know what Futurama is about.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 7. Years ago, this would be a 10, easy. But the show came back from the dead with some rust on it last season, so we're thinking it will get the same ol' "not as good as the original run" complaint from us.
*NEW* Wilfred (10PM, FX)
Starring: Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann
The Premise: A depressed man sees his hot neighbor's dog as a pot-smoking, beer-drinking man in a dog suit.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 10. The original is absolutely brilliant, and FX is the perfect home for this offbeat dark comedy. Plus, original Wilfred Austrialia actor Jason Gann is involved, and that bodes well.
Louie (10:30PM, FX)
Starring: Louis CK
The Premise: Comedian Louis CK brings his unusual sense of humor in this freeform sitcom that's not a sitcom.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 8. It's not for everyone, and it's unlike anything else out there.
Burn Notice (9PM, USA)
Starring: Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless, Coby Bell
The Premise: Spy Michael Westen has been outed, so now he works as an unlicensed private investigator in Miami, where he continues to try to find out who "burned" him.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 4. The show has seen a drop-off in quality since its first season, but it's still capable of providing mindless fun at times.
[ SUNDAY, JUNE 26 ]
True Blood (9PM, HBO)
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Deborah Ann Woll
The Premise: Based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, this sexy drama follows a telepathic waitress and other residents of a sleepy Louisiana town in a universe in which vampires, witches, and werewolves are all real.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 9. Things are looking better for Season 4 than they were in Season 3, which could mean the show is about to return to the form it was in when it was the most exciting thing on TV.
Leverage (9PM, TNT)
Starring: Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, Aldis Hodge
The Premise: A team of con artists aims to take down the rich and the powerful in this modern-day Robin Hood story.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 7. Elaborate heists, funny characters, and slick style makes this a good summer diversion.
[ MONDAY, JUNE 27 ]
Weeds (10PM, Showtime)
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Justin Kirk, Kevin Nealon, Alexander Gould, Andy Milder
The Premise: After her husband's death, a widow turns to selling pot to support her family. This season will jump a few years forward in time and be set in New York City.
Excite-o-Meter Says: 6. This long-running series has jumped up and down in terms of quality; we're not sure what to expect this time around, but we doubt it can recapture the magic of the first two seasons.
Also premiering this June:
6/1 Ghost Hunters, Syfy
6/3 Whale Wars, Animal Planet
6/5 The Next Food Network Star, Food Network
6/5 The Real L Word, Showtime
6/5 Ice Road Truckers, History
6/6 Switched at Birth, ABC Family
6/6 Masterchef, Fox
6/6 Behind Mansion Walls, Investigation Discovery
6/7 Covert Affairs, USA
6/12 Bridezillas, WEtv
6/12 Amsale Girls, WEtv
6/14 HawthoRNe, TNT
6/14 Pretty Little Liars, ABC Family
6/15 Jon Benjamin Has a Van, Comedy Central
6/15 Devil You Know, Investigation Discovery
6/20 Intervention, A&E;
6/20 Hoarders, A&E;
6/21 Staten Island Cakes, WEtv
6/21 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show, ABC
6/23 Suits, USA
6/23 Rookie Blue, ABC
6/23 Wipeout, ABC
6/23 Expedition Impossible, ABC
6/24 Commercial Kings, IFC
6/27 The Big C, Showtime
6/29 Royal Pains, USA
6/29 Necessary Roughness, USA
6/29 Love in the Wild, NBC
6/30 Ugly Americans, Comedy Central
What will you be watching this month?