What I’m most looking forward to as the summer season kicks in to high gear: “Breaking Bad” and “Burn Notice” start their final seasons, “True Blood” returns, and the Stephen King miniseries “Under the Dome” premieres. Also, on USA, fans get to see what happens after The Kiss on both “Covert Affairs” and “Suits.”
There is also the chance to watch the final episodes of several canceled shows as the networks burn off episodes before starting fresh in fall. That is, if they don’t change their minds. Networks are fickle that way.
Here’s a look at what’s on this summer, and when.
After being canceled, “The Killing” (AMC) got a second life. Season 3 starts a year after the Rosie Larsen case.
A couple of trashy reality shows return as well: “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (Bravo) and “Keeping up with the Kardashians” (E). Decide for yourself whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
“The Next Food Network Star” also returns. You can probably guess what channel it’s on.
Teri Polo and Sherri Saum play lesbian moms on “The Fosters” (ABC Family)
Sudser “Mistresses” (ABC) stars Alyssa Milano and Yunjin Kim. The title kinda says it all.
The soapy “Teen Wolf” returns to MTV.
Sharon Osbourne is out, Heidi Klum and Scary Spice are in, joining returning judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern on “America’s Got Talent” (NBC).
If you love Morgan Freeman and get the Science Channel, “Through the Wormhole” returns tonight.
Michael, Fiona and Sam are back…for now. “Burn Notice” (USA) begins its seventh (and final) season. After watching the first two episodes, I can say the show benefits from the blow-up Michael had with his friends in the finale. Too bad…I’m just going to miss it all the more.
If you watch anything on USA, you’ve been aware of the new crime show “Graceland” for months. Well, it’s finally premiering. If you’ve managed to escape the onslaught, the show revolves around a group of undercover agents who share a beach house.
Syfy’s “Continuum,” a crime drama with a time-shifting twist, returns for its second season.
If you have any tween fans of “iCarly” or “Victorious” in your house, you might want to set the DVR for Nickelodeon’s spinoff “Sam & Cat.”
As TNT’s “Falling Skies” returns, Anne is pregnant. Let’s just hope it’s not really an alien baby.
A couple of niche reality shows also returning: “HGTV Star”, with Sabrina Soto joining the judging panel, and the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers.”
Jon Tenney stars as a private detective in “King & Maxwell” (TNT).
ABC Family brings back “Switched at Birth” for its summer run.
TNT’s “Closer” spinoff “Major Crimes” is back.
“Pretty Little Liars” (ABC Family) returns. I’ve got to wonder if Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hannah would have an easier time if they told the truth, or at least ditched their smartphones. I also wonder about the future of Hannah’s relationship, since a planned “Liars” spinoff will feature boyfriend Caleb.
A sneak peak at “Twisted” aired after the “Pretty Little Liars” finale back in March, and its official debut is tonight. The thriller revolves around a teen who returns to town several years after killing his aunt, only to become a suspect in another killing.
Hank and his doctor’s bag are back on USA’s “Royal Pains.” Also returning to the network: sports drama “Necessary Roughness.”
Bar-based comedy “Sullivan & Sons” returns on TBS.
James Caan joins the Jeffrey Dean Morgan-helmed “Magic City” (Starz).
ABC is scheduled to burn off episodes of the canceled “Zero Hour.”
“True Blood” (HB)) is back, but without its creator. (Not the vampire kind… I’m taking about its showrunner, Alan Ball).
Animated “Futurama” (Comedy Central) begins its final season… again. This cancellation is probably going to stick.
Heather Locklear joins TNT’s “Franklin & Bash.”
“Hot in Cleveland” (TV Land) also returns.
Did you miss out on (or are just missing) the odd FX show “Wilfred,” about a man and his neighbor’s dog (which appears to him like a man in a dog suit)? If so, now’s your chance to catch Season 2.
ABC is scheduled to burn off episodes of the canceled “666 Park Avenue.”
Another crime drama, this one about an international agency, NBC’s “Crossing Lines” stars Donald Sutherland and William Fichtner.
“Devious Maids” (Lifetime) premieres, and “Drop Dead Diva” (also Lifetime) returns.
A town is trapped, well, under a dome in “Under the Dome” (CBS), a mini-series based on a Stephen King novel. I admit it… I’m setting up my DVR now.
MTV’s “Catfish” is back, and no doubt, more lying Internet daters will be unveiled.
“Rizzoli & Isles” and “Perception” return to TNT.
Reality show “Big Brother” returns to CBS. Expect the usual onslaught of thrice-weekly episodes, romantic hook-ups, backstabbing, and a twist that will likely fall flat.
The CW is scheduled to burn off episodes of the canceled “Cult.”
NBC is scheduled to burn off episodes of the canceled “Do No Harm.”
Serial-killer drama “Dexter” (Showtime) starts its final season. As one show ends, another begins: Showtime also debuts “Ray Donovan,” about a Hollywood fixer.
I admit it: I’ve watched. And I have absolutely no idea how they do it. I’m talking about NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” the competition for uber-athletes.
Drama “Camp” (NBC)stars Rachel Griffiths and is set at a summer camp.
Thriller “The Bridge,” about a killing on the border of Texas and Mexico, premieres on FX.
When we last saw Annie and Auggie on “Covert Affairs” (USA), they finally kissed. Tonight, we get to see the fallout. Let’s hope they don’t go the “it was all a mistake” route. And, oh yeah, there will probably be matters of national security to attend to.
USA’s “Suits” also returns. When we last saw Mike and Rachel, they finally hooked up. And there will be legal matters to attend to.
“Whose Line is it Anyway?” is back on The CW.
HBO’s “The Newsroom” is back.
Did you forget about “Unforgettable”? The CBS series, starring Poppy Montgomery, returns after more than a year.
The CW’s “Breaking Pointe” (about ballerinas, naturally) is back.
Good news for fans: AMC brings back “Hell on Wheels.” Bad news: They’ve stuck it on Saturdays.
The show I’m most looking forward to is back: “Breaking Bad” (AMC) starts airing its final eight episodes. What will happen to teacher-turned-drug-lord Walt and his student-turned-apprentice Jessie? I can’t wait to find out…although it will be sad to see the show go.
To fill the void, AMC also is premiering “Low Winter Sun.” AMC has a great track record with dramas. We’ll see.
AMC’s reality show “The Pitch” is back.
– Heather Chavez