Make us your home page

Summer TV isn't all bad; check these shows out

As the pungent aroma of hotdogs and fireworks fades from your memory, the last thing on your mind this Independence Day weekend might be watching television. • Which is too bad. Because we're not even halfway through the season, and already there are enough great series to turn NBC into a watchable network again. • Here's what's working so far in summer TV. You can find links to watch episodes at The Feed (

The Closer

9 p.m. Mondays, TNT: Producers continue to find ways to stretch this super-appealing workplace family in new directions. Last week, scrappy Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson's FBI agent husband — played by the highly underrated Jon Tenney — pushed his spouse (Kyra Sedgwick) into investigating a murder for his office just by asking for a little help and counting on Brenda to be Brenda.

Burn Notice

9 p.m. Thursdays, USA: Centered on Jeffrey Donovan's superspy Michael Westen, who's stuck in Miami, this is just another excuse to send a compelling family of characters through a wild series of espionage-tinged adventures. A recent episode featuring The Shield's Jay Karnes as an old nemesis returning to mess with Michael was a particular standout.

Nurse Jackie

10:30 p.m. Mondays, Showtime: Picked up for a second season before the closing credits rolled on its debut episode, Edie Falco's hospital drama about a super-righteous, pill-popping emergency room nurse is wonderfully dysfunctional and provocative. Nurses don't know whether to cheer a hero who flushes a rapist's ear down a toilet, or protest a character who ingests ground-up Percocet as if it were Splenda.

Late Show With David Letterman

11:35 p.m. weeknights, WTSP-Ch. 10: Tasteless as his Sarah Palin jokes were, Letterman turned up the heat during Conan O'Brien's ascendancy to the Tonight Show, establishing dominance as the new King of Late Night. While O'Brien was chilling with comic Norm MacDonald, Letterman had newsmaking appearances by Howard Stern and Julia Roberts. Small wonder Dave has closed the ratings gap in weeks.

Rescue Me

10 p.m. Tuesdays, FX: Denis Leary's on-the-edge NYC firefighter Tommy Gavin is struggling with increasingly intense hallucinations, an increasingly obvious fall off the wagon and a precarious arrangement with both an ex-wife and ex-lover for friendship with benefits. And it's still a sidesplitting comedy.


Warehouse 13, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sci Fi (which on Tuesday becomes Syfy): In some ways, this is a typical Sci Fi series set-up: An odd-couple pair of Secret Service agents whisked away to a mysterious compound are tasked with guarding and recovering the world's weirdest objects. But Saul Rubinek is quirky and compelling enough as Warehouse 13's nerdily enigmatic caretaker that this feels a little fresher than you might expect.


10 Things I Hate About You, 10 p.m. Tuesday ABC Family: Fans of the Heath Ledger film may gasp to see its premise reduced to an ABC Family trademark, featuring two totally dissimilar sisters heading to a new high school after the death of their mother. Because it's ABC Family, the show tries fudging with the typical character types, like casting a black actress as the Type A head cheerleader who runs the school with an iron fist (typically a blond snob). But even comic character actor Larry Miller, doing yeoman's work as the girls' super-protective physician dad, can't make this debut more than kind of interesting.

the list

The best thing about a summer TV season clogged with reality TV and burn-off shows: gonzo show titles! Here's a short list of shows you should watch just because of their names:

I Survived a Japanese Game Show,

9 p.m. Wednesday, WFTS-Ch.


I Didn't Know I

Was Pregnant

9 p.m. Wednesday, TLC.

Drop Dead Diva,

9 p.m. July 12, Lifetime.

Dating in the Dark

10 p.m. July 20, WFTS.

Shark Week:

Blood in the Water

9 p.m. Aug. 2, Discovery


How'd You Get

So Rich?,

10 p.m. Aug. 12, TV Land Prime

Summer TV isn't all bad; check these shows out 07/04/09 [Last modified: Saturday, July 4, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours