Prime Time TV: The Summer Line-Up

We like TV. I’m not sure I’ve ever stated as much. But we do. We watch a great number of programs. Some of our favorites (in no particular order) are: Top Chef, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, House, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights and Southland.

After I had my son, watching movies became a delicacy. It’s not that we didn’t want to see movies anymore, it’s that we could never be sure when we’d have two uninterrupted hours in order to do so. So we gave up trying and turned more toward prime time television for entertainment.

Having a DVR makes watching TV with a baby even easier. Now, we can easily sit through two sitcoms, sometimes more. I look forward to watching TV! There are some weekdays I actually get excited about that night’s lineup. Judge all you want to, but I’m not at all ashamed of this anymore. (I swear I read books as well!)

All this to say: I enjoy watching TV, which is why I get a little bummed in the summertime; saying goodbye to prime time television can be difficult when you rely on it for downtime or entertainment.

Over the weekend I began perusing online and reading about the major networks’ upcoming summer television programs. And I figured: why not compile the information and share it? I don’t know if it’ll be useful or not, but here is what I learned.

Mad Men is scheduled to premier sometime in August. Naturally, Toby and I have been waiting for this. It’s seriously one of the best shows (if not the best) I’ve seen on TV. For those of you who haven’t watched the first two seasons, you simply must. 

Otherwise, I am most excited about season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance. I came late to this program and I absolutely love it. It premiers this Thursday on Fox!

Another program that piqued my interest (although I’m a little embarrassed to admit it because I think it could very well suck) is Jingles premiering on CBS. This show will either bomb entirely or it’ll be awesome. I see no in between on this one. 

Here is snapshot of some of the upcoming new (and some repeat) shows on all four major networks. 


Greatest American Dog: premieres Thursday, July 10th at 8:00 PM (ET). Synopsis

Million Dollar Password:  Password premieres Sunday, June 1st at 8:00 PM (ET). Synopsis

Jingles: premieres Sunday, July 27th at 8:00 PM (ET). Synopsis

Big Brother: premiering Sunday, July 13th at 8:00 PM (ET). Beginning July 15th it will air on Tuesdays at 9:00 PM (ET) and Wednesdays at 8:00 PM (ET). Synopsis


The Philanthropist: premieres on Wednesday, June 24 at 10 PM (ET) Synopsis

Merlin: premiers on Sunday, June 21 from 8-10 PM (ET).  It will also air from 8-10 PM on June 28. Its normal airtime (starting July 5) is on Sundays at 8 PM (ET) Synopsis

The Listener:  premieres on Thursday, June 4 at 10 PM (ET) Synopsis

Law & Order: Criminal Intent: starts Monday, June 8 at 9 PM (ET) Now, with more Jeff Goldblum!

Great American Road Trip: premieres on Wednesday, July 1 at 8 PM (ET) Synopsis

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!: will air Monday through Thursdays for three weeks beginning June 1 at 8 PM (ET), and then Monday through Wednesday at 8 PM (ET ) at the end of June Synopsis

America’s Got Talent: two nights and starts on Tuesday, June 23 at 9 PM (ET) and Wednesday, June 24 at 9 PM (ET). Synopsis

The Meteor: (A miniseries) airs on Sunday, June 7 at 9 PM (ET) and Sunday, June 14 9 PM (ET) Synopsis

The Storm: airs Sunday, July 19 at 9 PM (ET) and Sunday, July 26 at 9 PM (ET). Synopsis

Dateline NBC: moves to Mondays at 10 PM (ET)


The Bachelorette: Debuts Monday, May 18 at 9 PM (ET), then moves to its 8 PM time period. (With Jillian Harris.)

Here Come the Newlyweds: Monday, May 25 at 10 PM (ET) Synopsis

Wipeout: Wednesday, May 27 at 8 PM (ET) Synopsis

The Goode Family: Wednesday, May 27 at 9 PM (ET) Synopsis 

The Superstars: Tuesday, June 23 at 8 PM (ET) Synopsis

I Survived a Japanese Game Show: Wednesday, July 8 at 9 PM (ET) Synopsis

Dating in the Dark: Monday, July 20 at 10 PM (ET) Synopsis


Glee – Premiers Tuesday, May 19 (right after Idol) at 9 PM (ET) (Thanks, Kizz!) Synopsis

So You Think You Can Dance – Thursday, May 21 8:00 PM (ET/PT) (Once the DANCE auditions conclude, weekly performance shows will air Wednesdays (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), and weekly results shows will air Thursdays at 9:0o PM ET/PT) Synopsis

Mental – Friday, May 22 at 9 PM Synopsis

Hell’s Kitchen – Tuesday, July 21 at 8:00 PM (ET/PT). Synopsis

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? – Friday, May 22 at 8:00 PM (ET/PT) Synopsis

Other Shows of Note

Season 4 of Dexter is set to begin sometime in September on Showtime.

A new show called Nurse Jackie premiers on Showtime on June 8 at 10:30 PM (ET). Starring Edie Falco. Synopsis

Season six of Project Runway is FINALLY going to air on Lifetime television sometime this summer after sitting in purgatory due to a nasty lawsuit. (Lifetime won.)

That’s all I got. And we’ll see how much I actually watch. For me, this is like looking at a menu at a restaurant whenever I’m really hungry; I know I won’t get to sample much, but it’s fun to imagine doing so. Although, even if I did have the time, I’m not usually one for reality TV (with a few exceptions, of course) and summer TV is all about the reality television. But we’ll see!


  1. Dexter is on Showtime, no?

    I don’t have kids, but time management is definitely an issue. TV is just so much easier to squeeze into my schedule.

    Mad Men is my favorite show right now by far. Can’t wait until August.


  2. Yes! Thanks Sarah. Fixed.


  3. Thanks for this!

    I’ve heard great things about this show, Glee, that starts on Wednesday. I’m also a fan of all the stuff on TNT and USA (Saving Grace, The Closer, Burn Notice, etc.).

    Happy Watching!


  4. Kizz: Perhaps I’ll add to this post. I know this sounds completely nerdy (pathetic, maybe?) But I was thinking of creating an actual graphic—like a calender of everything.

    Apparently, I’m itching to info design. heh

    Totally didn’t attempt TNT, USA and the like!


  5. Don’t feel ashamed. We love tv too.

    For the summer downtime, I have actually saved on DVR 6 weeks of un-watched Grey’s Anatomy that I plan to start watching soon (I have a vague idea of what’s happened, but I still want to watch).
    I always look forward to Big Brother! I really like a select few reality shows (BB, Survivor, Hell’s Kitchen).
    Other than that, I watch Animal Planet’s Animal Cops:Houston!


  6. The show Merlin is really good. My partner and I both really enjoyed it and we can’t say that about many television shows.


  7. Unfortunately, even though Glee is premiering tomorrow, the rest of the episodes won’t air until September.

    For me summer is all about so you think you can dance. we’ve also fallen way behind on lost (have the last 12 episodes saved on the dvr) so we’ll catch up on that, and then usually we pick a show to get on dvd that we’ve been wanting to see but haven’t had the time to.


  8. Erica: I haven’t EVER seen Lost. Not an episode. Not a one.

    Maybe it’s time to get sucked in and became a raging lunatic on Twitter and elsewhere.


  9. Just surprised you didn’t mention more cable-based shows since one of your favorites (Mad Men) is on cable. TNT has returning ones (We love Leverage), as well as new ones (the one with Jada Pinkett Smith looks interested to me). I know USA has to have some too…


  10. Kelly: There is only so much time in a day! Compiling this information (putting it together in relatively decent order) took some time. But it’s good that people like you are willing to add to it! I will check out some of those yo mentioned.


  11. OH! Thanks so much for this post! I haven’t lived in North America for yonks, but we will be moving back in a few months when the husband takes up his new job, and it is very important that we know what TV is out there whilst we wait to make friends…

    And Mad Men is amazing. I am so stoked it will be back. S2 just ended over here, though, thanks to my American i-tunes account, we were able to buy it early.

    I too have never seen an episode of Lost. We have decided to wait until it is all over and then box-set it. I don’t want to get caught up in it only to have to WAIT for new episodes. How archaic!


  12. I did a little research for you! From

    TNT has announced its summer schedule, pairing new shows Hawthorne and Dark Blue with established shows Saving Grace and Leverage. The new lineup will give TNT a two-hour block of dramas on Monday through Wednesday nights. TNT’s summer kicks off June 8 with the fifth-season return of The Closer in its regular Monday 9 pm slot, followed by the second season premiere of Raising the Bar at 10 pm/ET.

    Saving Grace, which TNT originally launched off the back of The Closer, will now be utilized to launch Hawthorne on Tuesdays starting June 16. Starting its third season, Saving Grace will run at 10 pm/ET, leading out of Hawthorne, which stars Jada Pinkett Smith as a single mom and the director of nursing at a North Carolina hospital.

    Then on Wednesdays starting July 15, the second season of heist drama Leverage will run at 9 pm/ET, into the new Jerry Bruckheimer cop entry Dark Blue, which centers on undercover LAPD cops.


  13. Thanks, Kelly! I have to admit, I haven’t really discovered TNT much. I will give Leverage a shot.

    I wonder if they are OnDemand anywhere….


  14. Michele Chaves May 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    There was a good story with the creator of “Glee” on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. Sounds like a funny show.


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