Summer TV preview

WEEKEND previews this summer's big TV seasons



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“Dallas” — Season 1 (TNT), June 13

With the reboot of 1980s sensation “Dallas,” TNT is taking audiences back to the Texas cattle ranch where all the seduction and scandal first started. Original cast members Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray and Larry Hagman will return, joining newcomers Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives”) and Josh Henderson (“90210”). The remake will focus on these two characters, the future of the Ewings’ dynasty and their quest for power in the Lone Star state.
Hype: 6
Expected Quality: 4
—Bridget Ameche

“The Newsroom” Season 1 (HBO), June 24

Maybe it’s just the hype around our own IDS newsroom, but it seems like HBO desperately needs a whip-smart political drama in its lineup. And who better to deliver than Aaron Sorkin? He’s on a roll with “The Social Network” and “Moneyball” and needs another home run on television since striking out with “Studio 60.” Jeff Daniels plays a frustrated liberal broadcaster combatting some rampantly idiotic American ideologies. It goes without saying that the stories will be ripped from the headlines, but we’re stoked for the cast that also includes Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterston.
Hype: 9
Expected Quality: 9
—Brian Welk

“Anger Management” Season 1 (FX), June 28

After taking a year away from the small screen, Charlie Sheen returns this summer in the FX series “Anger Management.” Based off the 2003 film of the same name, the show follows Charlie Sheen as Charlie Goodson, a former minor-league baseball player with past anger problems. His ex-wife/therapist and obsessive-compulsive daughter further complicate Goodson’s chaotic life. Deviating from FX’s penchant toward original concepts, “Anger Management” is an interesting attempt to popularize an overrated movie and actor.
Hype: 4
Expected Quality: 3

—Bridget Ameche

“Louie” Season 3 (FX), June 28

Season 2 of FX’s “Louie” has been widely acclaimed as one of the best single seasons in the history of comedic television. Naturally, that means Season 3 will be preposterously overhyped. Look for Louis C.K. to very nearly reach critics’ sky-high expectations. This is the best show on TV right now, and it’s unlikely it would run out of steam.
Hype: 10
Expected Quality: 9
—Brad Sanders

“Wilfred” Season 2 (FX), June 28

“Wilfred” tried so hard to be a darkly funny cult show right out of the gate. At it’s best, it was a wacky and surreal show that was perversely endearing. At its worst, it was a wacky and surreal show that was just plain perverse. Season 2 will introduce Allison Mack (“Smallville”) as Elijah Wood’s new love interest, and two teasers show that Wilfred the dog (Jason Gann) will still be up to his mean-spirited tomfoolery. Between “Louie” and some other new FX comedies, this will be a make-or-break season.
Hype: 6
Expected Quality: 6
—Brian Welk

“Weeds” — Season 8 (HBO), July 1

I used to think Nancy Botwin could sleep her way out of any situation. Whether it was local law enforcement or Mexican drug lords, Nancy would bat those big brown eyes of hers, and everything would be okay. That has gone on for way too long. Season 7, which saw the cast move to New York City and Nancy inexplicably get out of jail, was pretty awful. With a “cliffhanger” in that story line leading up to Season 8, it pains me to say it might be time to kill off the Queen of Ganga (off with her head!).
Hype: 2
Expected Quality: 3
—Jonathan Streetman

“The Closer” Season 7, part 2 (TNT), July 9

Kyra Sedgwick and “The Closer” return this summer for the eighth and final season of this crime thriller. Audiences have watched as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson put Los Angeles’ criminals behind bars. In Season 7’s finale, Johnson faced a federal lawsuit and a murder linked to the Turell Baylor’s case that started the lawsuit. Rumors suggest “The Closer” will get a spin-off series where Johnson will play a minor role, which will depend on the outcome of her federal trial.
Hype: 6
Expected Quality: 7
—Bridget Ameche

“Breaking Bad” Season 5 (AMC), July

The AMC hit “Breaking Bad” returns this July for its fifth and final season. Protagonist Walter White and the rest of the cast will deal with the fallout of leading methamphetamine distributor Gus Fring’s death in last season’s dramatic final episode. How will Fring’s death affect plot lines? What about White’s fragile, emotional psyche? The final season will have the answers, though it will make you wait for them. It will begin this summer and then take a break after the first eight episodes. The suspense is sure to make this wildly successful series even better.
Hype: 10
Expected Quality: 10
—Bridget Ameche

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