Whereas basic cable channels use the summer to dump projects that they couldn’t use for fall/spring schedule, premium channels use the time as a chance to air “sexier, more exciting shows.”
AMC premiered Mad Men and Breaking Bad in the summer. MTV aired Jersey Shore in the summer. It’s almost most like a trial balloon. If these shows can do well in the summer, then they can propel them in the regular season with better promotion. HBO did this with Game of Thrones, Girls and Boardwalk Empire. All three premiered in the summer and now air in the fall and spring. Only True Blood has remained a summer staple for HBO.
This summer their are no real highly anticipated shows but that doesn’t mean networks aren’t trying to find the next big thing. Yesterday I wrote about five reality shows you should watch this summer, but here are five original series you should watch this summer.
1. Family Tree (Premieres May 12 HBO, 10:30 PM)
From the mind of Christopher Guest (director of Best in Show and A Mighty Wind) comes Family Tree. The show follows Chris O’Dowd (the British policeman from Bridesmaids) as he searches for his family roots in Southern California. Of course, Christopher Guest’s usual cast of characters, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Fred Willard and Michael McKeon are involved. And HBO, monkey puppets and vestigial tails? How could this not be awesome?
2. Under the Dome (Premieres June 24 CBS, 10:00 PM)
I did say that basic cable television shows use their summer timeslots to premiere useless junk, Under the Dome is a big budget TV show based on a Stephen King book. The show takes place in small town that is one placed under a mysterious glass dome. As the majority of the town panics, a small group tries to maintain the peace. The show stars Mike Vogel and Dean Norris (Skylar’s brother from Breaking Bad).
3. Mistresses (Premieres June 4 ABC, 10:00 PM)
This show looks both absurd and terrible. Cue bad role model alert. Mistresses based on a British television show follows four women as the participate in “illicit and complex relationship.” Sounds like a trashy version of Desperate Housewives. Somehow Alyssa Milano got cast in this show.
4. Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous (Premiered May 2 MTV, 10:30 PM)
YouTube sensation Bo Burnham finally got his own television show this summer. The show follows a teenager who pays a TV crew to follow him 24 hours a day so he becomes an overnight celebrity. Sounds like an interesting concept on American’s obsession with celebrity culture. If this is as good as Awkward MTV has a solid 1 hour block.
5. Ray Donovan (Premieres June 30 ShowTime, 10 PM)
Dexter is ending, so ShowTime needs more original programming in their stable. Ray Donovan follows Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood “fixer” solving celebrities. Everything is going well until his father is released from prison (played by Jon Voight). Of course, Donovan can fix everything except for his family.
What are you excited to watch this summer?