Articles: TV Summer Spotlight




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By Laurence Washington

There’s nothing more tedious during the summer months than being subjected to reruns of  “CSI,” “Law and Order,” NCIS etc… However, the television fairy has blessed us boob-tube junkies with a second season of quirky doctors and nurses, sci-fi adventures, text happy teens, and a well endowed male prostitute, just to mention a few new characters expected to get us through the hot summer months.


Most Valuable Players: Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Vartan
Premise: Smith plays a headstrong head nurse in a big city hospital, who makes her own rules to save her patients.
Bottom line: This new TNT entry is dyed in the same cast as the cable channel’s other take-no-prisoners macho women characters of “The Closer” and “Saving Grace.” Could be an overdose of a good thing. Hide and watch. (Begins: June 16)

Most Valuable Players: Mark Feuerstein, Paulo Costanzo
Premise: Feuerstein plays a talented young doctor who is fired from his high profile gig at NYC hospital after he lets a hospital’s trustees die. Feuerstein becomes a private doctor in the Hampton’s catering to the rich and depraved.
Bottom Line: USA has had good luck with its other off beat summer fillers “Burn Notice” and “In Plain Sight.” Expect great things. (The Pain begins June 4)

Most Valuable Players: Host Marissa Jaret Winokur and a dozen real people.
Premise: Hey, wait a minute. Haven’t we already seen this shtick? Several times in fact. “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Biggest Loser?” Professional dancers pair up with over weight contestants who attempt to dance their way to a slim body. Of course what would a reality show be without judges and weigh ins.
Bottom Line: This show is proof positive that anybody can put on a reality show and get away with it. Oh, did we forget to mention that the former fatso gets a $100,000 prize if they don’t first receive a coronary? (The dancing begins June 29)

Most Valuable Players: MC Hammer and the Hammer kids.
Premise: Whatever happened to ‘90s rapper MC Hammer? He’s now a father of six kids who viewers get to watch dad take to school ect… You get the point. Just another day in the life of.
Bottom Line: Could be toxic. How many aging rock and rap star reality programs can the viewing public digest? However, Hammer is hoping “Run’s House” and Gene Simmons Family Jewels” Can’t touch this. (The Hammer drops June 14)

Most Valuable Players:
Premise: A candid look inside the lives of six wealthy NYC teens in their posh high school and their close society.
Bottom Line: Expect a lot of texting and gossip. (The prepping begins June 23)

Most Valuable Players: Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jane Adams
Premise: A depressed and divorced father of two moody teens thinks he’s found his calling after attending a self-help seminar. He becomes a male prostitute utilizing his biggest asset. Have you figured it out yet? The show’s title is a hint and a half.
Bottom Line: HBO has an impressive track record of original series. Hopefully the show’s producers play it smart and deal with the question of “what’s it like to sell yourself,” and not go for laughs with a bunch of dick jokes. (The hanging low begins June 28)

Most Valuable Players: Edie Falco, Peter Facinelli, Paul Schulze
Premise: Falco jumps from HBO “Sopranos” to Showtime as “Nurse Jackie” a NYC nurse whose heavy work load, home life and bad hair cut has her hopped up on prescription drugs in this dark comedy drama about a no-holds-barred ER nurse.
Bottom Line: Early reviews say “Nurse Jackie” is cutting edge and dark. Let’s hope so. There’s already enough run-of-the-mill medical shows. (The nursing begins June 8)

Most Valuable Players: James Purefoy, Neve Campbell, Jesse L. Martin
Premise: James Purefoy plays a divorced billionaire who decides to help people around the world by delivering vaccines and busting up a Parisian sex-trafficking ring, only to discover that helping people can be more complicated than tossing a few dollars their way.
Bottom Line: Word in the street is Purefoy fought NBC suits to keep his vision of his character from becoming a superhero type. At one point NBC even fired Purefoy, however, cooler heads prevailed and the show is true to Purefoy vision. Expect good things. (Saving the world begins June 24)


(Comedy Central)
Most Valuable Players: Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter
Premise: Live-action satirical comedy sketches in the tradition of “Robot Chicken.”
Bottom Line: Absurdity and maladjusted comedy can be fun. (Michael’s issues begin July 15)

(ABC Family)
Most Valuable Players: Lindsey Shaw, Meaghan Martin, Ethan Peck, Larry Miller
Premise: A reimagining of the 1999 film that uses the movie as a jumping off point to establish its own identity.
Bottom Line: The TV version of the film might not be a bad idea, since there’s a whole new generation what hasn’t seen the movie. Still, it would be nice if somebody in Hollywood had an original idea. (Things start happening July 7)

(Sci Fi Channel)
Most Valuable Players: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly
Premise: Two secret service agents are assigned to guard a warehouse full of supernatural stuff that the government doesn’t want the public to know about.
Bottom Line: Could be a fun adventure as the bantering agents, who also collect supernatural artifacts, match wits. (The warehousing begins July 7)

Most Valuable Players: Over weight single dating.
Premise: The producers attempt to prove the old adage that beauty is only skin deep, or a lot of skin meat is beautiful thing. Here’s the shtick: an overweight single guy searches for true love dating 20 plus size women.
Bottom Line: “More Love” might be the cure for reality show junkies. (The Big love begins July 28)

Most Valuable Players: Singles looking to date, or can’t find a date any other way.
Premise: The warning is on the label. Single people meet their blind dates in a dark room where they get to know one another, as viewers look on using night vision. When the lights come on, the couples decide if they like what they see.
Bottom Line: A new twist on the dating game and reality viewing. Could be a hoot, but nonetheless it is still just another entry in a long list of reality shows. (The dating begins July 20)


Most Valuable Players: Kara Cooney
Premise: Egyptologist Kara Cooney explore fascinating ceremonial rituals and customs of different cultures around the world.
Bottom Line: Exploring the bizarre history of cultures can be fun. (The rituals began July 20)

(Food Network)
Most Valuable Players: Brian Boitano
Premise: Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano trades in his golden skates for a wok and frying pan to cook meals for a series of guest stars top off my contemporary discussions.
Bottom Line: The show proves that anybody can have a culinary reality show. (Boitano fires up the grill Aug. 23)


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