ABC’s summer season is now in full swing with a slate of new series, including Desperate Housewives and True Blood hybrid The Gates, premiering this week as well as the return of everybody’s guilty pleasure summer show Wipeout. ABC also debuts new scripted series Scoundrels and Rookie Blue, game show Downfall and docu-series Boston Med based on the Peabody award-winning 7-part documentary Hopkins. TNT also rolls out new seasons of hit original shows, including one of my favorites–Leverage, and the promising new series Memphis Beat, starring My Name Is Earl‘s Jason Lee as a sexy police detective who loves the blues music of Memphis. The L Word fans will be glad to hear that this week Showtime debuts the reality spin-off of the hit show, accurately titled The Real L Word.
Sunday June 20th
– The hit TNT original series revolves around a group of thieves who use their skills to help those victimized by the rich and powerful. The season 2 finale ended in a cliffhanger as the matermind of the Leverage team Nathan Ford concealed a bullet wound to the stomach from his team and surrendered himself to his archnemesis Sterling, who now works for Interpol, in order for his team to escape via helicopter after pulling off a big con against a corrupt mayor. The third season opens with Nate in prison; he soon discovers that the prison is corrupt and the only way he can bring the crooked officials down is to get his team to help him stage his jailbreak. George Clooney’s girlfriend Elisabette Canalis joins the cast in a recurring role as a shadowy intelligence agent known as “The Italian,” who blackmails Nate into helping her bring down a financier.
Scoundrels, series premiere at 9pm on ABC
– Can a family of small-time criminals go legit? This one-hour dramedy series tells the story of the West family, who are forced to change their lifestyle after the career criminal patriarch gets a long-term prison sentence. Cheryl, loving mother of four and devoted wife, will do everything she can to keep her family together and on the straight and narrow. Grey’s Anatomy’s Leven Rambin aka Sloan Riley (Mark’s pregnant teen daughter), lands a regular spot as Cheryl’s daughter Heather West.
The Gates, series premiere at 10pm on ABC
– Perfectly described by Entertainment Weekly as “part Desperate Housewives, part True Blood,” although I doubt the offspring of this union is as exciting as its parents, this new series centers on the Monohan family who recently moved into an exclusive gated community in the suburbs. Things become complicated when the father, the new chief of police, must investigate neighbors in a missing-persons case his first day on the job. The Monohans will soon discover their neighbors are hiding a dark secret, like the fact that they are vampires. Unions will be complicated by friends with unnatural influence, insatiable housewives will struggle with ravenous cravings, and teenagers will be cursed with keeping their beastly instincts in check.
The Real L Word, series premiere at 10pm on Showtime
– The network that brought you successful lesbian series The L Word is cashing in on the franchise with the reality version! This new reality series follow a group of six successful and attractive lesbians in their daily lives at work and play in Los Angeles. You’ll quickly learn that real life, uncut and uncensored, is even more compelling than fiction. Meet Mikey, a tough and prominent fashion producer; Rose, the hard-partying real estate advisor; Tracy, a film and TV development executive; Whitney, the tattooed special effects artist; and Nikki, a talent rep and producer who’s engaged to Jill, a writer.
Monday June 21st
BrainSurge, season premiere at 6pm on Nickelodeon
Inedible to Incredible, series premiere with 2 back-to-back episodes at 10pm on TLC
– Every day, across the country, people sit down for some homemade meals … that are simply horrible. From the over-seasoned to the undercooked, these dishes kill the appetite rather than satisfy it. But hope isn’t lost for the home cook when Chef John Besh, New Orleans-based chef and owner of six acclaimed restaurants, arrives to rehab those recipes.
Tuesday June 22nd
Wipeout, season premiere at 8pm on ABC
The official season premiere of the veritable summer hit has arrived. Twenty-four contestants compete for the $50,000 prize on a new version of the obstacle course that includes an updated version of the Big Balls, a new Wipeout Zone, and 60 new obstacles. ABC promises this will be the most splashtastic season yet!
HawthoRNe, season premiere at 9pm on TNT
– The doors of Richmond Trinity have closed…permanently. That’s the dramatic reality that opens the second season of TNT’s medical drama starring executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith as Christina Hawthorne, a Chief Nursing Officer ready for battle on the front lines of a war against declining patient services and hospital budget cuts. As the second season of HawthoRNe opens, several Richmond Trinity doctors and nurses have been transferred to James River, a failing hospital in terrible shape. There, Christina butts heads with the ER’s head nurse, Gail Strummer, who is extremely set in her ways. This season, the workaholic Christina and Tom will try to forge a romantic relationship, especially now that he is no longer serving as Chief of Surgery and can devote more time to patient care and a private life.
Downfall, series premiere at 9pm on ABC
– This unique, high-stakes and adrenaline-pumping game show—puts contestants on top of a 10-story building to see who has the focus and fearlessness to avoid their own “downfall” over the edge… literally. Along the way, they’ll have the chance to win one million dollars and a slew of some incredible prizes. Fabricated facsimiles of all prizes will be placed on the largest conveyor belt ever seen on TV with a pile of cash at the end ranging from $5,000 to $1 million. In each round, players will try to answer all the questions before their prizes and cash go over the edge, off the roof, and sent crashing 100 feet to the street below. If the cash goes over the side of the building, then the game is over and that player is eliminated. In the last round, the player will stand on the conveyor belt holding all the cash, heading towards the edge of the building. They’ll need to answer all 10 questions correctly in time, or… it’s over the edge to their downfall.
Memphis Beat, series premiere at 10pm on TNT
– This new original series centers on Dwight Hendricks (My Name Is Earl’s Jason Lee), a quirky Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for blues music and a close relationship with his mother. He is “the keeper of Memphis,” a Southern gentleman who is protective of his fellow citizens, reverential of the city’s history and deeply rooted in its blues music scene. Despite his impeccable instincts as a detective, Dwight’s loose, relaxed style of police work rubs his demanding new boss, Lt. Tanya Rice (Alfre Woodard), the wrong way. But Dwight may eventually win her over to a Memphis state of mind, especially when he takes the stage at his favorite hangout to perform a legendary song or two.
Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, season premiere at 10pm on HBO
HBO’s monthly magazine style program explores the issues, controversies and personalities that are prevalent in the world of sports. The program is hosted by the titular correspondent Bryant Gumbel, one of the most accomplished broadcasters in television, hosting Today on NBC for over 15 years.
Thursday June 24th
Rookie Blue, series premiere at 9pm on ABC
– Self-described as the new generation’s cop show, served straight up with a twist of danger, sex and high-stakes drama. The series follows five officers from their first day on the streets—as they’re plunged into the world of big-city policing, where even the smallest mistake can have life-or-death consequences. The heart of this close-knit group is 26-year-old Andy McNally. Andy’s dad is a retired cop turned alcoholic. Andy’s a born rescuer, but she joined the force not just to help people but to discover a sense of family she’s never had. And she’s definitely found it among her fellow trainees—a group of young, ambitious twenty-somethings, carrying big guns and even bigger emotional baggage.
Futurama, season premiere at 10pm on Comedy Central
-The canceled futuristic animated comedy from the The Simpsons creator has finally been resurrected years later on a new network. Hapless NYC pizza guy Philip J. Fry makes a fateful delivery to a cryonics lab on New Year’s Eve, 1999 when he’s accidentally flash-frozen until the next millennium. Reawakened in 31st century New New York, he finds work at his great-great-etc. grandnephew’s Planet Express delivery service. Together with his hedonist robot buddy bender and cyclopsian love interest Leela, Fry travels to the farthest reaches of the universe. Along the way they discover strange alien life forms, velour-clad lotharios, freaky mutants, intergalactic conspiracies and the disembodied heads of celebrities throughout the ages. Get up to speed on all five seasons in 7 minutes here!
Raising Sextuplets, season premiere at 10pm on WE tv
– This reality series takes us behind the scenes into the controlled chaos of daily life at the house of the Masche sextuplets and their parents, Jenny and Bryan. Jenny and Bryan were the typical American couple before their babies were born: they both worked full-time, but still managed to make time for their individual interests as well as for each other. After their sextuplets were born, though, their lives have been turned upside down taking care of their new large family. The six episodes follow Jenny, Bryan and the babies over the course of half a year, starting when the sextuplets are 16 months old entering their terrible twos!
Boston Med, series premiere at 10pm on ABC
– This groundbreaking docu-series picks up where the Peabody Award-winning Hopkins left off, going even deeper into the lives of caregivers and the cutting edge medical cases they confront inside the walls of America’s top hospitals. In this original eight-hour series, the unforgettable stories of doctors, nurses and patients are adeptly woven to give each hour the pace and intensity of a drama. Whether it’s the young resident in crisis doubting that she’s good enough to become a Harvard-trained doctor, or the deployed soldier’s pregnant wife praying for a miracle surgery to save her baby, Boston Med is sure to touch your heart.