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What’s on the Box This Summer? 10 Shows You Won’t Want to Miss

By on May 27, 2012
Image © ChevronOne

Image © ChevronOne

Make way for Summer! With a slew of season finales now firmly behind us (Goodbye Fall TV!) the time has come to usher in a bumper crop of Summer favorites for those long hot nights ahead. We’ve poured over the TV schedule for the next three months and handpicked 10 ‘Must-See’ new and returning shows you just won’t want to miss. We kick off on June 3rd with the return of Drop Dead Diva and finish up just in time for Fall with Hell on Wheels. Whether you’re a scifi nut, a corporate boardroom fan or a drama queen, everything you need to know about Summer is right here.


1. Drop Dead Diva

Drop Dead Diva’s fourth season (consisting of 13 new episodes) returns to Lifetime (the home of strong female leads!) on Sunday, June 3 at 9 p.m.

Created by Josh Berman (The Mob Doctor) this delightful legal-comedy-drama-fantasy stars Brooke Elliott as a plus size woman whose body is inhabited by the soul of a fashion model. The premiere episode features E! reality star Kim Kardashian’s debut as famous relationship expert, Nikki LePree.


2. Saving Hope

New medical drama Saving Hope kicks off on NBC on Thursday, June 7 at 10-11 p.m. ET.

Starring Smallville‘s Erica Durance, Stargate’s Michael Shanks and The Vampire Diaries‘ Daniel Gillies, the show centers on Zion Hospital’s chief of Surgery Charlie Harris (Shanks) who falls into a coma following a car accident which leaves his fiancee Alex (Durance) unscathed. Now the comatose Harris, a confirmed atheist, roams the hospital halls in ‘spirit’ form, unsure of he is a ghost or a figment of his own imagination. As Harris struggles to keep hope alive that he will one day be able to return to his body, matters are complicated by the presence of Alex’s old boyfriend (Gillies) a competent doctor who may still have feelings for her.


3. Burn Notice

Burn Notice returns for a sixth season of 16-18 episodes on USA on June 14 at 10-11 pm ET.

Season five saw Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) finally coming face to face with Anson Fullerton (Jere Burns) the man who burned him, and forced to partake in increasingly dangerous missions at his behest. The new season picks up after Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) turns herself in on charges of terrorism in order to save Michael. With Fiona in federal custody, Michael and his crew must band together to rescue their friend from a lifetime prison sentence.


4. Dallas

Less a reboot and more a continuation of the iconic 1978 TV series, Dallas premiers with a two hour event on TNT, June 13 at 9/8c.

The Ewings are back! Larry Hagman, Patrick Ewing and Linda Gray reprise their iconic roles as J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing, whose secrets, schemes and betrayals are the stuff of television lore. Dallas stars Josh Henderson (Desperate Housewives) as John Ross, JR Ewing and Sue Ellen Ewing’s son, who is determined to undermine his grandmother’s legacy by drilling for oil on Ewing land. Jesse Metcalfe (John Tucker Must Die) is Christopher, Bobby’s adopted son, who hopes to take the family business in the new direction of alternative energy sources. Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious movies) plays Elena Ramos, John Ross’s girlfriend and Christopher’s former fiancée. Julie Gonzalo (Veronica Mars) is Rebecca Sutter, Christopher’s current fiancée, who is trying to find her place in the vast Ewing family tree. And Brenda Strong (Desperate Housewives) is Ann, Bobby’s wife, whose beauty and grace are matched by a fierce resolve to maintain peace within the family.



5. Suits

Suits returns for season two on Thursday June 14 at 10 pm ET on USA.

Suits delves into the fast-paced, high-stakes world of a top Manhattan corporate law firm where hotshot associate Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht, “Love and Other Drugs”) makes a risky move by hiring Mike Ross (SAG Award nominee Patrick J. Adams), a brilliant but unmotivated college dropout, as his new associate. With a photographic memory and the street smarts of a hustler, Mike proves to be a legal prodigy despite the absence of bona fide law credentials, relying heavily on the firm’s best paralegal, Rachel (Meghan Markle, “CSI Miami”), and Harvey’s no-nonsense assistant, Donna (Sarah Rafferty, “Brothers & Sisters”), to help him serve justice.

In the sophomore season of the critically acclaimed drama, Mike’s future hangs in the balance when a friend threatens to expose him. Harvey attempts to guard his secret from the firm’s top suit, Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres), while she faces even bigger problems when the other half of Pearson Hardman reemerges on the scene.


6. Falling Skies

Alien invasion drama Falling Skies returns to TNT for a second run of 10 episodes on Sunday June 17 at 9-10 pm ET.

When we last saw Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) he was being led, willingly, on board an alien craft in search of answers. Fast forward three months and the rebel humans are holding their own against the Skitters and Mechs. However, the physical changes the harness has wrought on Tom’s son Ben may be cause for alarm for both sides. Watch the first three minutes of episode 2.01 ‘Worlds Apart’ below.


7. The Newsroom

The Newsroom premieres June 24 on HBO at 10 pm ET.

This new political news drama from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin stars Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, a cable news anchorman whose attempt to reinvent his program and report actual news, instead of fluff pieces, causes controversy for his network and the news industry as a whole. The Newsroom  also stars Dev Patel, Sam Waterston, and Jane Fonda, and is scheduled to air Sunday, June 24 on HBO.


8. Leverage

Caper Drama Leverage returns for a fifth season on Sunday July 15 at 8 pm ET on TNT.

The show features a unique five-person team – a grifter, a thief, a hacker a retrieval specialist and their boss, former insurance investigator Nathan Ford, who uses their skills to right corporate and governmental injustices inflicted on ordinary members of the public. In the premiere episode of Leverage’s upcoming fifth season, Cary Elwes will guest star as “Scott Roemer,” the unscrupulous and arrogant owner of Global Transit Airlines who fancies himself a modern day Howard Hughes. When the leverage team cons Mr. Roemer into thinking he has an opportunity to steal the actual Spruce Goose, he takes the bait … and the plane. Or so he thinks.

Leverage guest star Treat Williams. Image courtesy and © TNT


9. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad returns for a fifth and final season, Sunday July 15 10/9c on AMC.

Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family’s financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White’s releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.


10. Hell on Wheels

AMC’s gritty Western drama Hell on Wheels returns for a second season of 10 episodes on Sunday August 12 on AMC at 9/8c.

Starring Anson Mount as a man on a mission of revenge, the freshman season finale ‘God of Chaos’ saw things come apart for Cullen when he took the life of an innocent man. Can he be redeemed? Will he return to the railroad? and what about his relationship with Lilly Bell? Tune in and find out!


  1. Tigerlylli

    May 27, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    Your lists are always spot On Jen, but you’re missing USA’s newest hit Common Law! I’ll let it slide since it premiered 2 weeks ago so it’s technically not a summer show.. Lol.

  2. Ruth

    May 28, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    “Saving Hope” looks good. Love the supernatural aspect and the hopeful (pun intended) message. I’ll definitely be watching it this summer.