Skip to main content

What I'm Watching This Summer

I'm kind of bummed this summer as there doesn't happen to be a a lot on that I really want to watch.

The scripted front, decimated by the writers strike last winter, seems particularly hard hit and I'm absolutely crushed that we won't get new installments of summer series Damages, Big Love, and Flight of the Conchords, to name but a few. (Hell, I might be the only person who actually misses USA's The 4400, another dependable warm weather series.)

So what will I be watching this summer? Let's take a look.


Doctor Who (Sci Fi)
The fourth season of UK import Doctor Who continues this summer (or at least for a few more weeks) as the Doctor travels time and space with new companion Donna Noble (the delightful Catherine Tate). Coming up: look for a brilliant two-parter from fan favorite writer Steven Moffat (with Part One airing this week!) and the resolution to the subplot--one hopes--of the mysterious reappearance of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) who we last saw trapped in an alternate dimension by the Doctor in order to save her life and those of her parents. Is she tired of Jackie's nagging or is there something far more malevolent going on? (On air)

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List (Bravo)
Why is this on the list? Because I'm a glutton for punishment, apparently. But Griffin's can-do attitude in the face of constant adversity (and snarky comments about anyone and everyone) make for great reality television and that's about as "real" as I can get these days. No thank you, Heidi and Spencer, I'm perfectly fine living vicariously through insider/outsider Kathy Griffin. (On air)

Flipping Out (Bravo)
Jeff Lewis and Co. are back for a second season of OCD, tantrums, and Jenny's dancing. I became completely addicted to the exploits of Lewis and his abused staff of house flippers last year on Bravo and have been waiting with bated breath to catch up with them again. Will Lewis still be living at Ben Lomond? Will Jenny still be working for Jeff? And will the Trash Guy have finally earned Jeff's respect? On second thought, don't answer that. (On air)

Weeds (Showtime)
When we last saw Nancy, she was peeling down the street on a Segway after setting her house on fire. So what's up for this suburban pot dealing mom and her family? A change of scenery for one as Nancy, Andy, and the kids leave behind Agrestic for a beach town of Ren Mar on the Mexican border. And, oh, the end of "Little Boxes" as the theme song. (On air)

Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Showtime)
It's Doctor Who's Billie Piper as you've never seen her playing a twenty-something Londoner who keeps her true profession as a high class call girl from her friends and family. It's fluffy, funny, and well just downright fun and it's the perfect way to end your Monday blues. You'll thank me in the morning. (On air)

MI-5 (BBC America)
Another British import, MI-5 (aka Spooks in the UK) is perhaps the most single stressful hour on television each week and yet I can't get enough of their sleek espionage plots. Now airing Season Five (aka the season that former home A&E dumped on a single day and burned off), it's the perfect opportunity to jump in with new characters, compelling plots, and tension aplenty. (On air)


Burn Notice (USA)
I'm very torn about including this one on my summertime viewing list as I thought that the first season (the little I saw) was a bit of a let down but I'd follow Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer anywhere (she's slated to appear in a multiple-episode arc), so I might just have to tune in to Season Two and catch up on Season One courtesy of an Emmy screener box set. (Launches July 10th)

Mad Men (AMC)
Late to the party? Yeah, but better late than never as some say. Tune in to travel back in time to the world of 1960s advertising firm Sterling Cooper and stay for the cool clothes, characters, and craftsmanship. Will Don rise to the challenge of partnership after Roger Sterling's heart attack? Will Peggy recover from the emotional strain of her pregnancy and new position withing the agency? Mix yourself a martini and find out. (Launches July 27th)

Eureka (Sci Fi)
I'm a little burnt out on Eureka, which I feel really needs to challenge itself to do more than just scientific-disasters-of-the-week and give us some solid character development and story arcs rather than just procedural stories. (For an example on how to do both, just take a look at Bones.) Season Three sees the arrival of Frances Fisher as a corporate Fixer at Global Dynamics. Hmmm, do we think she'll stir things up in the sleepy little town? You betcha. (Launches July 29th)

Project Runway (Bravo)
It's the last season of Project Runway (the series' fifth) before it relocates to its new home on Lifetime and might just be the last season of the reality competition series I watch as I'm not too happy about the changes that the cabler plans to make to the series (also I'm not entirely sure that mass-appeal Lifetime will continue to skew to the same demo that Runway has done so). In any event, join Tim, Heidi, Nina, and Michael for yet another season of catwalks and catfights. Will the next Christian Siriano be among the 15 contestants battling for the top prize? Who knows, but the competition will likely be a little less fierce without the outspoken visionary designer. (Launches July TBA)


Primeval (BBC America)
Coming to BBC America's action/adventure Saturdays is new series Primeval (the digital cabler acquired two seasons of the series) about a group of scientists who investigate time-based anomalies for the British government and the prehistoric and extinct creatures that travel through these rips in the fabric of time and space. For one of the scientists, the mission is personal: Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) is in search of his wife Helen who disappeared while investigating one of these anomalies. Will he find her when he realizes there are an infinite number of worlds she may have ended up on? Find out this summer. (Launches August 9th)

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular (CBS); Deal or No Deal (NBC; 8-9:30 pm); America's Next Top Model (CW); Wife Swap (ABC); So You Think You Can Dance (FOX; 8-10 pm)

9 pm:
Criminal Minds (CBS); Celebrity Circus (NBC; 9:30-11 pm); Farmer Wants a Wife (CW); Supernanny (ABC)

10 pm: CSI: New York (CBS); Supernanny (ABC)

What I'll Be TiVoing

9 pm: MI-5 on BBC America.

If you missed MI-5 (aka Spooks) when it aired on A&E a few years back, you can catch it tonight on BBC America. On tonight's installment ("The Book"), Adam and the team investigate the murder of a former Home Office agent and the disappearance of a book he was writing that might expose a few government secrets.

10 pm: Top Chef Chicago: Watch What Happens Reunion on Bravo.

The gang from Season Four (and--ugh!--Andy Cohen) reunites one last time to dish dirt about what really went on in the kitchen and answer some viewer questions about the fourth season, bitter rivalries, and why Lisa felt the need to insultingly demand a congratulations from Richard and Stephanie.


Unknown said…
You're definitely not the only one who misses The 4400. I'm just glad they wrapped it (and The Dead Zone) up neatly rather than summarily canceling it (them).

I wish I got BBC America! I'll have to look for MI-5 on DVD.

I stopped watching Burn Notice when season 1 ended, but if Ms. Helfer is going to show up, perhaps I'll go back to it...
Asta said…
I wasn't blown away by Burn Notice when it first premiered, but it's one of those shows that improved as the season went on and I came to really care about all the characters, which is rare for me with a TV show. I'd recommend giving it a second chance on DVD or Hulu. That Tricia will be appearing is just an added bonus.
Deborah said…
If you're late to the Mad Men party, a Season 1 marathon will air July 20th on AMC from noon to, um, I guess 1am? 2am? 13 episodes.

We at Basket of Kisses (yes, I'm blogwhoring) have been documenting the atrocities of AMC, who have been deleting key scenes from reruns of Mad Men in order to squeeze in more commercials, but it's still totally worth it.

My summer watching is Mad Men, So You Think You Can Dance, and Project Runway. I miss the 4400 hardcore.
Anonymous said…
you aren't the only one who will miss The 4400.
It made summer Sunday nights so delightful and fun.
Anonymous said…
Personally, I don't think you need to be so sheepish or apologetic about wanting to watch My Life on the D-list. That show is consistently good. It's funny, unconfortable and sometimes heartbreaking.

I really liked Burn notice, at first. I thought it got a little stale, but looking forward to season 2, to see if they can breathe new life into it.

Glad you are finally on the Mad Men train.
Anonymous said…
I'm agreeing with skst here; The 4400 is sorely missed, but the ending was so clean...

As for Burn Notice, my parents are into it in a big way so I watch their DVR recordings when I can. It does some creative things, in my mind, so I'll keep watching but it's one of those gimmicks that people don't always do the best jobs keeping up with on season two.

( the same reason I'm worried about how Pushing Daisies and Chuck will keep their spark now that the novelty is gone )
Dani In NC said…
I'm another fan of The 4400 who will notice its absence this summer. My summer schedule includes So You Think You Can Dance, Mad Men, and My Boys. I'm considering Primeval. I've already been watching Doctor Who through, ahem, alternative methods and am considering watching Secret Life of a Call Girl through the same.
Dani In NC said…
Oh, how could I forget Army Wives! Loved that show last summer.
Unknown said…
I missed Burn Notice last Summer. I found it a couple of weeks ago on! I'm six in (out of 12). I'm trying to catch-up as fast as possible since it seems Hulu's want to remove the previous season when the new one begins. I'm enjoying it. Beats the heck out of Celebrity Re-hab Circus!
UKTVFan said…
I've been enjoying rewatching MI-5 on BBC America. All the episodes they have aired to date have previously been shown on A&E. Today, BBC America admin posted on their forum that they were cancelling MI-5 due to low ratings and airing repeats of BBC America Reveals.

Thank goodness an increasing number of American networks are airing British programs, since I can rely on BBC America less and less.

So skst -- don't feel too bad about not getting BBC America.
Page48 said…
I only discovered "MI-5" in time for it to suddenly disappear a few years ago. Enjoyed it while it was on, though. Will have to go back and start over some day.

I've watched "The 4400" a few times but never got even remotely hooked. Liked Joel Gretch in "Taken" a few years back, though.

I thoroughly enjoyed S1 of "Burn Notice" (and BTW, we all quit watching when S1 ended). Pitifully short season, though. Wonder if all Cylons have been invited to appear. Lucy Lawless dropped in last season, now Tricia. I do wish they would focus on the burn notice portion of the plot rather than the good samaritan mission every week, but it's easy watching nevertheless.

Having enjoyed James Nesbitt in "Jekyll", I'm currently watching his 3 parter "Midnight Man" which is also good viewing.

I watched the "Fringe" pilot circulating on the net (I know, my bad). I'll definitely be in for the duration, but I found the pilot to be disappointing in the sense that it lacked any real honest-to-goodness tension. No edge-of-your-seat stuff. That will have to be addressed. Sydney Bristow was always in danger. Danger is where tension comes from, and Olivia and friends are never really in harm's way in 1.1. Hopefully 1.2 will rectify that.

Other than the above, there's currently nothing on from Monday to Sunday.
Debsa said…
Burn Notice "(the little I saw) was a bit of a let down".

Obviously, you didn't watch the same show I did last summer. Sure Tricia will be a nice value add but the show is all about the Michael Weston character as played by the lovely
Jeffrey Donovan.
Anonymous said…
I loved Burn Notice and have been having my own little marathon now that season one is out on DVD. But then I suppose I'd be happy watching Jeffrey Donovan read from the telephone book ;-)

TxGowan said…
I watch a lot of tv.

Let's see: Doctor Who, Call Girl, Burn Notice, Mad Men, Eureka, Primeval, CHECK!

Also Venture Brothers, Swingtown, Robin Hood, Fear Itself, In Plain Sight, Charlie Jade, Monk, Psych, Stargate Atlantis and, yes I hate to admit it, Big Brother.

I'll check out Flashpoint and Middleman, too.

I've never gotten into The Closer, Weeds or Saving Grace, though I hear that I should.
Unknown said…
UKTVFan, Now that you mention it, A&E does show a number of BBC programs. I watched Hustle there.

Page48, I'll clarify: When I said "I stopped watching Burn Notice," I meant--of course--that I made a conscious decision not to continue watching when season 2 starts. (I use DigiGuide and I deleted the marker I had for the show.)
UKTVFan said…
skst, Hustle was on AMC.

Some time ago, A&E went the way BBC America seems to be going now. Before I even heard of BBC America, A&E aired British mystery programs like "Sherlock Holmes," "Dalziel and Pascoe" and "Silent Witness." Later there was "Midsomer Murders." Now I think A&E's programming is entirely reality, but I could be wrong as they are no longer on my radar.
Unknown said…
Gak! Of course it was. Silly me. All those networks starting with A look the same: A&E, AMC, ABC. :)
I am anxiously awaiting The Closer in July, I really love that show. I know people say they hate Kyra's accent, but it never bothered me and I just love all of the characters and the compelling stories.

I have been watching In Plain Sight, its not bad. Not fantastic, but I can see a LOT of potential once it finds its footing. The guy who plays her partner, Marshall, is great, as of course is Mary McCormack.
Anonymous said…
I know September is stretching it for "Summer" but I saw the first promo for Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia's new season this weekend!!
Anonymous said…
I still miss 4400 something fierce. I wanted to see how they would use their powers. I wonder what Baldwin's would have been.

Love me some Burn Notice, so I'll def. be watching that. Also, watch In Plain Sight, Army Wives, The Middleman (though probably not for much longer). I flove Flipping Out, but I haven't watched this season yet. I'll watch Weeds online or on dvd when it comes out. And I really enjoyed Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I think it's my favorite new show.

Popular posts from this blog

Pilot Inspektor: CBS' "Smith"

I may just have to change my original "What I'll Be Watching This Fall" post, as I sat down and finally watched CBS' new crime drama Smith this weekend. (What? It's taken me a long time to make my way through the stack of pilot DVDs.) While it's on following Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars on Tuesday nights (10 pm ET/PT, to be exact), I'm going to be sure to leave enough room on my TiVo to make sure that I catch this compelling, amoral drama. While one can't help but be impressed by what might just be the most marquee-friendly cast in primetime--Ray Liotta, Virginia Madsen, Jonny Lee Miller, Amy Smart, Simon Baker, and Franky G all star and Shohreh Aghdashloo has a recurring role--the pilot's premise alone earned major points in my book: it's a crime drama from the point of view of the criminals, who engage in high-stakes heists. But don't be alarmed; it's nothing like NBC's short-lived Heist . Instead, think of it as The Italian

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous season