Feb 282013

Summer TV Preview

The 2015 summer TV lineup looks as exciting and interesting as any in recent memory with many quality summer TV shows to choose from.  It appears that there will be something for everyone, from returning hit shows to new traditional shows to reality shows.  The summer TV schedule in 2015 offers a wide variety of choices for the television viewer and it offers the networks a chance to air certain shows that they feel are too experimental for the more popular fall and spring seasons, are designed for a particular audience that tends to watch TV in the summer, or is somehow perfect summer faire.  These summer TV shows give the networks a chance to promote their important fall TV lineup, often to the same group of viewers that might be interested.  In many cases the networks are truly hoping that a new summer TV show will be a hit, but they get to try it out in the summer to see if they are right.

Summer TV Shows Guide

What differences, perhaps besides the quality of the shows, do we find in summer TV shows?  Often we find the following:

  1. Networks try to stay away from scheduling shows on the weekends where people tend to be particularly busy in the summer.  While these are not the strongest spots in the fall and spring TV lineups either, they are often particularly avoided in the summer TV lineup.
  2. Networks might also focus a bit more on the later time slots, 10pm and 9pm, since with longer daylight people are often doing activities much longer in the summer months.
  3. The summer TV schedule often packs the more promising shows into one night, especially half-hour shows.  There is just not enough good TV to fill out an entire week, so having a designated night where they hope people will tune in is often the answer.
  4. The summer TV lineup provides a little less depth and fewer shows than the fall season, but there are still many choices in a variety of genres.  You may feel that it is important to choose carefully so you don’t miss out on what are usually a few hits during this season.

The summer TV schedule is tricky but that’s why we are here.  We want to provide you with not only information about when each summer TV series will be on, but also whether it is worth watching and whether it will fit your tastes.  You might use this page as a starting point and then use our previews and reviews on the other pages to do a little homework.  You can also use other sites for information and guidance

Summer TV Series Types

As usual, the summer is the time that we see three types of TV show from the networks:

  1. Reality shows.  Given that there is a lot of time to fill, networks need a cheap and easy way to produce interesting content.  Reality shows fill time well, and can still potentially be ratings earners.  In fact, some of today’s most popular reality shows in the fall and spring started out as summer TV or winter TV fillers.
  2. Summer Viewers.  Sometimes a summer TV series is there because its audience actually watches more TV in the summer than other times of year.  College students for example may be more likely to watch a show in the summer than the fall.  In a related way, sometimes summer TV shows are designed to capture a summer theme, fitting in nicely with what its potential viewers are interested in during summertime.
  3. Loyal Followings.  One factor that is particularly true of the cable channels like HBO and Cinemax is that TV shows that have such loyal viewers that time of year is not important.  Many viewers of these niche and often critically acclaimed cable shows look forward to focusing on them during the summer.

The Summer TV lineup can be confusing to navigate – its hard to know what is a rerun and what is new, and what might be promising and what is just poor quality filler.  That is why we are here.  We will provide not only specific previews and reviews of the best summer TV shows, but also more information like this that might generally help you navigate the summer TV lineup.

Don’t get depressed each summer, waiting for your favorites to return in late September.  Instead learn how to find the very best Summer TV shows!

Feb 152015

Summer TV premiers are those TV shows that are new to the network and debuting during the summer season.  Each summer there are several promising shows that fall into this category, and we hope to capture the best of the new summer TV schedule here.  There are reasons why a network decides to premiere a show in the summertime, and this post describes those reasons and how you might be able to pick out the best ones as the networks promote the possibilities.

Summer TV Premieres: What to Watch For

While there has been a gradual trend toward returning shows occupying the summer TV line-up, especially on cable, this does not mean that the major networks have abandoned the idea of rolling out summer TV premieres as well.  The bar is a little higher for these new summer TV shows, given that they are more expensive to produce and a bigger risk.  It’s too easy for summer TV premieres to get lost in the lineup behind these returning favorites.  All of that said, there remains a solid market for new summer TV shows, and certain trends that the networks follow when rolling them out.  We will cover the shows in the summer TV schedule that we feel have promise, but first we want to go over potential strategies that the networks will use to try to find success in this promising yet less popular season.

Summer TV Premieres Strategy

The networks must ask themselves what might work as far as the new summer TV shows they are considering.  What has worked in the past for them and other networks, what kind of show seems to do well.  This may start with an assessment of the viewers that seem to take a particular interest in the summer TV schedule, or maybe the genre that seems to do well during these months.  What has this led to in the past?  Here are some possibilities:

1. Summer TV premieres in recent years have included shows that have some sort of summer theme to them, whether about a summer camp or other summertime situation.  These shows may somehow “make sense” to the potential viewer during this time frame and therefore might resonate in a way that gets attention.

2. Some new summer TV shows have been in this season because they were not ready for the more popular spring season due to delays in production or issues that came up with the actors involved.  These new summer shows are not quite ready for the fall TV lineup, but are a little better than what is usually found in the summer.

3. Some summer TV premieres are experimental in some way, and the network does not want to take a chance that this experiment will not work.  The summer TV schedule gives the network just enough viewers to try things out without taking too much of a risk with advertising dollars.

4. Certain audiences are more likely to watch TV during the summertime, and some summer TV premiers may find themselves there to cater to these audiences which may include young adults and older adults, the former who are less scheduled up in the summer and the latter who do not have as much of a seasonal bias.

5. Finally, a new summer TV show may have certain themes that are similar to a promising fall TV show on the same network.  Debuting the show in the summertime allows the network to promote the fall show to an audience that is partial to that type of show.

As we get information and initial critical reactions to promising new summer TV shops this year we will cover them here.  As always we will try to focus on those shows that seem to have potential, whether because of initial positive reviews, or because the actors or producers have a track record of success.  Sometimes we might include a new show merely because it seems to have potential due to an intriguing story line or premise.  In the end we hope that this listing proves helpful, and as always we look forward to and appreciate your feedback below about summer TV premieres.

Jan 112015

It is now 2015 and like clockwork the networks are beginning to share information about potential new shows in their summer TV lineup in 2015.  Once again their looks to be a wide variety of summer TV series, many of which have the potential to hold viewer interest, help the networks promote their fall shows, and generally be entertaining and different.  As we’ve said, we enjoy covering the summer season for the latter reason – the shows tend to be a little different as networks are not as afraid to take chances when the stakes are not quite as high, and when the audience needs to be a little more excited to tune in.  SOme of the early highlights of the summer TV season in 2015 include:

With David Letterman retiring, popular Stephen Colbert will be taking his seat on The Late Show.  Will Mr. Colbert be able to take his incredible talent and wonderful sense of sarcastic humor and translate it in a way that will appeal to a broader audience.  Our guess is yes, and we look forward to the roll out of this new TV show in the summer.

There are many fans of James Patterson’s books out there, and that is no surprise.  This author is a master of tight plots, incredible suspense, wonderful character development, and of course great writing.  The fact that a new summer TV series in 2015 called “Zoo” will be coming out on CBS is potentially very exciting.

Aquarius on NBC starring David Duchovny may receive the most notice as far as new summer TV shows this year.  This show covers the law enforcement side of the search for and eventual capture and prosecution of Charles Manson, and it does so with very memorable characters and a thought-provoking plot.

Stephen Spielberg will be bringing a new summer TV series to ABC called “The Whispers“.  Fans of Ray Bradbury specifically and science fiction in general might really love this.  Basically this popular short story explored what would happen if an alien species went about taking over the earth through children.

Dec 162014

We will begin to hear about summer TV shows in 2015  soon.  The TV shows that are planned to come out during the summer season are announced soon after the new year, often in the late winter.  Of course there will still be additions to the summer TV lineup such as shows that were determined not to be strong enough for fall, or those that were meant for the spring but were delayed.  But in many cases there will be summer TV shows that were made as a fit for this specific time of year as far as viewer preferences and tendencies, and we will be sure to be ready with some initial summer TV previews and reviews.

Please feel free to write in if you hear of a summer TV show before we start reviewing any.  We will keep track of the announcements and then look for reviews, online previews, critic reactions, and any other information such as prior successes of writers and producers.  Our hope is to bring you this information early on, even if we have to add to it as time goes on and more information is released.  It can be quite exciting to look forward to a new summer TV series and follow its roll out well before the season starts.  Of course some of you want to just enjoy the current TV season and not worry about what the following season will bring until later on, and that is fine too.  WE hope you will check back late into the spring season and by then we’ll have many reviews and previews of the summer TV lineup available.

As always, the summer TV season promises to have some unexpected hits and some interesting and enjoyable TV shows in many genres.  Many viewers who have a busy summer time may appreciate the chance to turn to our website and sites like it to help narrow their choices as far as summer TV shows.  We hope to be helpful as the summer TV lineups for 2015 unfold!


Oct 022014

It is officially fall so its time for us to look back on our Summer TV Preview from this past summer and wonder about how we did.  Our aim, as always, was to point bout those summer TV shows that were worth watching and would gather both strong audiences and critical acclaim.  Of course given that the summer TV schedule is a challenging one it is often hard to know which summer TV shows will hit the mark, but that is what we are here to do.  So, how did we do?  Here are some notes:

Last Comic Standing was a summer TV series that truly delivered.  The quality of the comics that were chosen has never been higher, and there was true competition among very talented people toward the end.  This summer TV show was one that was popular with individuals, couples, and families, and it crossed many age lines as well.  Many people still remember their favorite comedian and favorite line.

The Quest was among those summer TV shows that did well with the critics but may not have yet found its footing as far as gaining a large audience.  That is not surprising because this summer TV series may have only appealed to smaller groups of viewers.  It’s positive reviews and position in this less competitive season may have earned this one another chance in the summer TV season in 2015.

Bachelor in Paradise did not disappoint fans of the popular Bachelor and Bachelorette series, but it may not have drawn many new viewers to the franchise.  That said, this show proved to be worthy of its place in the summer TV schedule and will likely return in some form or another next year.

Undatable had a lot of promise but did not hit its mark this past summer.  It is hard for a comedy series to do well in the summer TV lineup, and Undatable did not overcome the challenges to do so.


Jun 262014

New Summer Reality TV: Last Comic Standing

This summer TV show has not been around for a while so perhaps it does fall into our new summer TV series category.  A few tear’s ago Last Comic Standing developed a string following and was perfect summer faire, since it is light, easy to watch in parts, fun, and of course funny.  Now the show returns as a summer TV show in 2014 and it has all the ingredients to be a summer reality show hit.  First the judges and then the viewing audience will narrow down a group or promising yet very different comedians until there is one last comic standing. 

At the core of the show is a lot of talent in the judges and host.  JB Smooth is a perfect fit as host, while the highly talented judging table will include comedians Roseanne Barr, Keenen Ivory Wayans, and Russell Peters.  Whether it is Rosanne’s infectious laugh, Peters’ quick wit, or Wayans’ smooth and intelligent manner, the audience will be treated to a lot of knowledge and advice when it comes to comedy.  But of course the core of this summer TV show is the talent of the comedians themselves, and since this series draws out a lot of talent that is currently on the professional circuit there should be a lot of laughs.

Last Comic Standing starts with simple comedic performances in front of the judges so that the field can be considerably narrowed down.  Once that happens there will be fun contests, challenges, and situations that the contestants are put in, as well as more chances to perform on stage.  As with many shows in this genre, the judges may guide things but the home audience will ultimately decide who wins.  The Last Comic Standing will likely have a ton of talent and all of the contestants have the potential to make this summer TV show a real hit.

Jun 202014

The Quest: Summer TV Fantasy

What do you get when you combine “The Amazing Race and Game of Thrones and mix in a little science fiction fantasy?  You get “The Quest” a very interesting new TV show for the summer of 2014 that has a little something for everyone who enjoys reality TV and/or competition.  There are no stars but the characters will likely prove compelling and interesting, contestants who will wear medieval clothing or who will play fantasy characters such as orcs.  This new summer TV show creates an interesting fantasy world and then stages elaborate competition within it.

The plot and competition in this summer TV show could not be simpler: the real world contestants who are the “Heroes” need to save a kingdom overrun by bad characters as well as carefully set traps.  Whether they run into an orc or a sculpture that can shoot a harmful liquid, the heroes will need to complete challenges and save the day.  This is a role-playing game taken to about ten new levels, and the action and fun will be interesting to watch.

The great thing about “The Quest” is that it does not take itself too seriously.  The contestants are truly having fun and as much as the show tries to draw us into the fantasy world it also sometimes looks like a parody of sorts.  There is a combination of humor and seriousness, and the contestant’s natural competitive nature comes out yet they know that the whole idea is somewhat silly.  WE may see or hear about dragons and ogres, and the only thing keeping everything peaceful are a bunch of contestants who were recently living in the 21st century.

The Quest is a perfect sit for the SUmmer TV lineup with its light plot and constant action and adventure.  It may do very well with audiences that like both reality and fantasy, and those who enjoy human competition.


Jun 102014

Bachelor in Paradise: Summer TV Series

Bachelor in Paradise has potential as a top summer TV show.  While formerly the network brought us Bachelor Pad, and was successful in bringing that series into the summer TV lineup, this new spin-off offers some differences and changes to keep things fresh and interesting.  Set in a beautiful and secluded landscape in Mexico, this summer TV show brings popular fformer Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants who were not eventually matched into a beautiful house where they will try be matched not against one specific identified bachelor or bachelorette but with and number of people in the house.  Thus this show, like its Bachelor Pad predecessor offers a few things the main series does not, including breakups and betrayals.  One constant: Chris Harrison will preside overall it all.

Of course fans of the main TV series will want to know which former contestants are returning for Bachelor in Paradise.  Some of the names are (with their bachelor or bachelorette season in parentheses):

  • AshLee (Sean)
  • Ben (Desiree)
  • Clare (Juan Pablo)
  • Elise (Juan Pablo)
  • Michelle (Jake)Robert (Desiree)
  • A few men from the current season

As you can see ABC has carefully picked a cast from recent seasons of their hit shows, popular characters who tend to capture our attention on-screen for their personalities, antics, and choices.  This summer TV series may be rejuvenated by the changes in setting, and as with any unscripted show its success will hinge on what happens between and among the characters.   It has everything that can make a summer TV show be successful, including a summertime plot and setting, a light and easily enjoyable plot, and fast action and drama.  It also takes what was already a well received show and tweaks it so it stays fresh.  The potential is string for this to be one of the best summer TV shows there is, and certainly near or at the top of the reality TV lineup this summer.

May 072014

Summer TV Series Undatable

What do you get when you put together an ensemble cast that are all quite funny and in some cases comedians?  And then add a dose of a great premise that promises to lead to a lot of hilarity?  Perhaps you get a great new comedy, and a real gem in the ABC summer TV lineup of 2014.  Bill Lawrence was the producer of two popular TV comedies “Scrubs” and “Spin City”, and Adam Sztykiel produced the highly successful “Due Date” on the big screen, and now they are turning their attention to this new summer TV show that has great potential.

The show is about a group of friends looking to find relationships, but each has a hilarious tragic flaw or two that keeps getting in the way.  Whether they wear the wrong clothing, have a strange job, or otherwise have something that gets in the way, all of the funny characters find themselves “undatable” and the result is a lot of fun and laughs. The cast includes Danny (Chris D’Elia from the successful “Whitney”), Justin Kearney (played by talented comedian Brent Morin), Burski (hilarious comedian Rick Glassman), Shelly (another great comedian Ron Funches) and Brett (David Fynn from of all places “Game of Thrones”).  The action almost always takes place at Justin’s bar, where they interact with each other and various patrons who come in.

In the early episodes we are introduced to each of the characters flaws and undatable habits, and also we see Danny’s recently divorced older sister Leslie (Bianca Kajlich who was  star of “Rules of Engagement”), who plays an important role alongside the group of guys – think Jess from New Girl.   The comedy is fast and furious, but there is depth to the characters that make the series wonderful to watch and follow.  This summer TV show has real potential, and may fit well in the summer TV lineup because it is light enough and fun to watch.

Apr 222014

Summer TV Action: Crossbones

This one is different.  Destined to easily capture the attention of any summer TV viewer who likes action and adventure, Crossbones will then move on to attract a wider variety of viewers who find the show interesting and incredibly well acted and produced.

Crossbones is set in 1715 in the Bahamas on the island of Santa Campana.  A pirate named Edward Teach – you may know him as Blackbeard – is the leader of a large group of thieves and generally unsavory characters.  The island is positioned perfectly so that Blackbeard can attack incoming ships that are on a major trade route.  In fact, for a while he is a threat to major global commerce.

Viewers may be captivated by this interesting and exciting period show even before they find out that the main character will be played by John Malkovich.  In fact all of the acting, the sets, and the action are incredibly well done in this new summer TV show, perhaps a perfect fit for viewers looking for something exciting and fun during the summer months.

The initial shows are centered around Blackbeard’s desire to capture the first longitude chronometer.  This may seem simple until you realize that th that device may powerfully transform sea-trade and global commerce.  When he attacks a vessel an English spy destroys the device before he is captured, and while in captivity he tries to reassemble the device.  The greater overall plot involves a plan that could not be any more important and powerful, potentially leading to a threat to the crown in England.

This summer TV show does not take long to get going, so it’s worth at least a few episodes’ try starting at the end of May.  See if NBC truly has a hit with the new Summer TV show in 2014, a show that really does have something for everyone.

Apr 132014

Summer TV Series: NY Med

Seldom does a really good show fly under the radar, but when it first did, NY Med did not gain the notoriety that was expected, but its following was strong and people really enjoyed it.  This real-life reality show took a full two years to produce and even brings a new city into the mix by including Manhattan’s New York Presbyterian Hospital as well as the trauma surgeons at Newark’s University Hospital.  The latter opens the door to life in an ER in a particularly violent city.  This series truly offers something for everyone, with human drama between the real life characters, humor (particularly emanating from the ER nurses who seem to have more than their share of drama in their own lives, and ER drama.

One character who seems to stand out Dr. Mehmet Oz who seems to be a gifted surgeon who would almost seem out-of-place if we did not get to know his passion for saving lives in a city hospital.  This summer TV series  will continue to captivate and will likely help ABC Tv promote its fall lineup while not losing too many viewers in this summertime.  Like many good summer TV shows, NY Med is well-rounded, fast-paced, and fun to watch.  It fits well with what we have described as the perfect type of summer TV show.  And given the fact that the show has not been on for two years it may feel more like a new summer TV show in 2014 than a returning favorite.

NY Med is a realty show with amazing potential, given how the medical genre has not been well covered before among reality TV shows.  Other genres such as singing competitions and challenges seem to be getting overplayed, so this new summer TV series may truly have what it takes!