I can remember back when the summer months meant we couldn’t find anything new to watch on television… maybe a reality program here, or a two-hour made-for-TV-special there, but no new series.
But not anymore.
The last two weeks, we discussed all of the terrific summer nighttime television shows specific to TNT… but TNT is not alone.
The USA Network also has some of the best summer programming of any other channel today. This year, I count six series (five returning favorites and one new) that my household will watch, keeping our TV schedules full of unique summer television amusement.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll discuss these USA series. First up, three of the network’s veteran programs, premiering in their third, fifth, and seventh seasons this June…
Why is Burn Notice white hot? Sexy stars, massive explosions, and intricate plots combined with explorations of relationships between family members, best friends, and lovers make for some of the best programming on television today.
Burned by the U.S. government, former spy Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) wakes up bruised and sore in a run-down Miami motel with no memory of how he got there. A burned spy has nothing—no job and no money. It’s as if the last few years of Michael’s life didn’t even happen. He takes on odd jobs as a private investigator to make some cash, and builds a team of former acquaintances, ex-girlfriends, and family members to help him unravel the truth behind why the CIA blacklisted him AND discover who was the mastermind behind his burn notice.
Michael’s team consists of Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), a former Navy SEAL and friend who was forced to inform on Michael to the FBI; Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar), Michael’s ex-lover and current girlfriend, and a former IRA agent who doubles as an arms dealer and bounty hunter; Madeline Westen (Sharon Gless), Michael’s chain-smoking mother; and, the most recent addition, Jesse Porter (Coby Bell), a former counterintelligence agent that Michael accidentally burned while uncovering truths behind his own burn notice.
Every season answers a few more questions pertaining to Michael’s burn notice, but similarly adds even more fuel to the fire.
Season seven premieres Thursday, June 6th.
Necessary Roughness follows Dani Santino (Callie Thorne), a New York woman attempting to balance her family and her career following a recent divorce. She accepts a position as a therapist for a professional football team, and is assigned to assist the team’s star receiver in actually catching the ball. She sees other clients, sometimes a new client per episode, but primarily Dr. D focuses her time and energy on the New York Hawks and T.K. (Terrance King, aka Mehcad Brooks).
The series also stars Scott Cohen as Nico, the team’s head of security, and Marc Blucas as Matt, the team’s general manager… both of whom are Dani’s love interests.
As an added bonus, the show is inspired by a true story.
Season three premieres Wednesday, June 12th.
Royal Pains stars Mark Feuerstein as Dr. Hank Lawson, a former New York Emergency Room doctor dismissed after an alleged wrongful death case. He moves to the Hamptons and begins making house calls to the rich and famous as a “concierge doctor,” and sometimes even helps the less fortunate. Hank’s company, HankMed, also consists of his brother/CFO (Evan played by Paulo Costanzo) and his invaluable assistant (Divya played by Reshma Shetty).
The series also stars Henry Winkler as Hank and Evan’s father, Eddie Lawson, and Campbell Scott as Boris Kuester von Jurgens-Ratenicz (isn’t that a great name?!?!).
Season five premieres Wednesday, June 12th.
Do you enjoy any of the above USA Network original programs? Which one are you most looking forward to and why? I’d love to hear from you!