Let’s hear it for summer television premieres


by A.C. Hall

Once upon a time, there was the television season that ran from fall to spring, and then the long, boring summer, when nothing worth watching was on TV.  Thankfully, in all their wisdom, TV networks realized that if they have good programming on during the summer, people will watch.  This means we get not one, but two new TV seasons per year, and with the fall/spring season winding down, it’s time to get acquainted with some of the new and notable shows that will be debuting soon.

The first new series debuting this summer hits this Thursday on ABC.  Black Box seems to be the spiritual successor to the medical drama House, as it follows a troubled doctor who tackles strange cases.  The twist is, the main character is actually bipolar and struggles to hide her condition, which is basically stolen directly from the superb HBO drama Homeland.  But if weird medical cases are your thing, Black Box might be worth checking out this Thursday, April 24, on ABC.

The summer premiere most people will be buzzing about happens on Monday, May 5, as the beloved show 24 returns to Fox for a special 12 episode new season.  Star Keifer Sutherland has done much in his long acting career, but he’s most known for his 24 character, Jack Bauer.  If you’re a 24 fan you’ll be watching this new season, and if you’re not, you’ll be hearing about this new season from everyone else in the world.  Either way, on May 5, Jack’s back on Fox.

On Tuesday, May 20, Fox looks to corner the summer market on action series as they debut Gang Related.  Created by the people behind the Fast and Furious films as well as some of those behind the excellent TV series The Shield, this police series follows a gang task force that is going to war with Los Angeles gangs.  The twist comes from the fact that a member of the task force is also working for one of the gangs, giving the show a fair bit of tension and drama.  Partnered with 24, this will make the Fox summer lineup a strong draw for those looking for high octane action.

If modern day action isn’t your thing, NBC hopes to entice your viewership with a pirate series called Crossbones.  Premiering on May 30, this new show stars John Malkovich as the legendary pirate Blackbeard.  Network television has never had a well made pirate show, and if this one is of high quality it just might be a summer sensation.  Malkovich is a fantastic actor, and it’ll be interesting to see what he can do with the character of Blackbeard. If reality television interests you, there are a few series to be aware of.  First is Bet on Your Baby, which premieres on Saturday, May 31 on ABC.  This game show/reality show hybrid sees parents betting on what their young children will do next, winning money to put towards their kids future education if they bet correctly.  Then there’s The Quest, a reality show that sounds almost too nerdy to be true.  Regular people are made to reside in a castle, while the show brings to life a fantasy scenario all around them.  This means they’ll be attacked by trolls, goblins, orcs, and all manner of fantasy creatures.  ABC has recruited some high level talent for the show, including some of those who did the Lord of the Rings film effects, but even that might not be enough to get anyone to watch when this odd show debuts on June 19.

This is just a small sample of the new shows debuting this summer, so be sure to pay attention to local listings, as even more shows will be premiering in Late June and early July.