TNT –Terrific (Summer) Nighttime Television Continues…

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.

TNT has some of the best summer programming of any network today.  This year, I count six series (five returning favorites and one new) that my household will watch, keeping our TV schedules full of terrific (summer) nighttime television.

Last week, we shared three of the network’s veteran programs premiering in their third and fourth seasons later this June.  And today, we’re talking about two more of TNT’s returning hits PLUS a new freshman series starring one of my faves…

*****

King & Maxwell

Based on the novel series of the same name by David Balducci, King & Maxwell stars Jon Tenney (Sean King) and Rebecca Romijn (Michelle Maxwell) as two former Secret Service agents now working together as private investigators to solve crime—by whatever means necessary.

Together they have an abundance of previous life experiences under their belt, making them two of the best at what they do—despite losing his job in the Secret Service (the president he was assigned to protect was assassinated), King attended law school and knows the legal system.. while Maxwell, a former Olympic athlete, uses her attributes and her connections to aid in the investigations.  And as with any good television partnership, opposites attract.

The new series also stars Michael O’Keefe (Caddyshack) as Frank Rigby and Chris Butler (The Good Wife) as Darius Carter, two FBI agents who clash a bit with King and Maxwell’s methods.

King & Maxwell premieres June 10th.

*****

Major Crimes

Over the last few seasons of The Closer, we tolerated Captain Raydor (Mary McDonnell) as she terrorized Brenda Leigh, leading all of the officer-involved investigations (kind of like Internal Affairs).  But we also witnessed a softer Captain Raydor who stood by Brenda Leigh and did everything in her power to protect our favorite Deputy Chief.

And last summer, we watched Captain Raydor take over Brenda Leigh’s team.  That’s right—Raydor stepped in following Brenda Leigh’s departure and took over the Major Crimes Division, including almost the entire cast of The Closer (Provenza, Flynn, Tao, Sanchez, Buzz, Taylor, and even Fritzy on occasion.)

While it wasn’t quite the same without our favorite Southern belle, the series kept this Closer fan watching.  I expect some changes in season two, like the addition of new characters (Nadine Velazquez from My Name is Earl) and perhaps seeing less of a few of the cast members we love (King & Maxwell’s Tenney), but I am still looking forward to the return of Major Crimes.

Season two of Major Crimes premieres June 10th.

*****

Perception

I don’t know much about Perception, other than it stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a neuroscience professor who suffers from schizophrenia.  Despite his internalized demons and hallucinations, he is a brilliant man who assists the FBI with complex cases.

The series also stars: Rachael Leigh Cook as Special Agent Kate Moretti, a former student of Dr. Pierce, and the FBI agent responsible for adding him to the team of investigators; Kelly Rowan as Natalie Vincent, Dr. Pierce’s imaginary best friend… who it turns out is based on a woman (Caroline Newsome) that Dr. Pierce saw once at a party and became infatuated with; and Arjay Smith as Max Lewicki, Dr. Pierce’s live-in teaching assistant who helps keep the good doctor’s real-life and hallucinations straight.

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know much about Perception.  I watched a few episodes but the series didn’t grab me in a way that makes me want to watch every single episode immediately.  And when my DVR crashed, I lost the rest of the first season… thus, I haven’t seen every episode.  However, the fact that TNT is bringing it back gives me hope.  Maybe the network will offer the first season online or via OnDemand and I can catch up before the premiere of the new season?

Season two of Perception premieres June 25th.

*****

Did you enjoy Major Crimes or Perception last summer?  Will you check out King & Maxwell?  I’d love to hear from you! 

TNT – Terrific (Summer) Nighttime Television

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.

TNT has some of the best summer programming of any network today. This year, I count six series (five returning favorites and one new) that my household will watch, keeping our TV schedule full of terrific nighttime television.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll discuss these TNT series.  First up, three of the network’s veteran programs, premiering in their third and fourth seasons this June…

*****

Falling Skies

Falling Skies follows a group of survivors led by Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) after aliens invade and attack our world as we now know it.

As if the practically complete destruction of our planet wasn’t bad enough, the aliens want our few surviving children and plan to attach a horrendous apparatus to the children’s spines (the harness). This device controls the children—but what are the visitor’s end goals?

The series also stars Moon Bloodgood as Anne Glass, the resident doctor among the survivors, and Will Patton as Captain Dan Weaver (the title “Captain” should give plenty enough away about his role among the survivors).

I didn’t pay much attention to the first season of Falling Skies… but my guy LOVED it. And yes, I used all caps because he rarely shows this much excitement about a television program. So, I tuned in with him for most of season two, and I must admit, I found myself enthralled and asked him to not watch any more of the episodes without me. Aliens usually aren’t my thing, but Falling Skies I can do.

Season three premieres June 9th.

*****

Franklin & Bash

They’re Totally Lawyers. Totally.

Jared Franklin (Breckin Meyer) and Peter Bash (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) have been friends since high school. And now they live together, party together, and work together, yet never seem to tire of one another. The two are quite unconventional, especially when it comes to the cases they choose to represent and how they win over the courtroom…

It all started with the two sitting at a diner, watching the traffic in Los Angeles while they banter back and forth like best friends do. When a fender-bender takes place directly in front of them, they race out to the scene and immediately offer their business cards and legal representation to the driver responsible for rear-ending another car.

Why is the driver not responsible for the crash when he clearly bumped into the car in front of his? Franklin and Bash explain that it is because the driver was distracted by the interactive advertising sign yards ahead flashing images of a sexy young woman. The young and unconventional (really unconventional) attorneys take the case to court and prompt the beautiful girl in the ad to unbutton her shirt while on the witness stand, thus proving her chest to be guilty of causing an unnecessary distraction to those driving. With that, they win their case against a large and successful law firm.

Witnessing and enjoying the unique techniques of Franklin and Bash, Stanton Infeld (played by Malcolm McDowell) offers the two friends jobs at his very successful and large law firm. Along with their ex-con assistant, Carmen, and their agoraphobic clerk, Pindar, the two join the firm and later become partners.

The series also stars Reed Diamond as Damien Karp, the obvious successor to his uncle at the firm and the classic jerk, as well as Garcelle Beauvais as Hanna Linden, another lawyer at the firm with previous romantic ties with both Damien and Franklin.

Meyer and Gosselaar have great comedic timing and a perfect on-screen chemistry, leaving one to forget they are actually playing characters on television (not to imply they aren’t hilariously funny and friendly in real life because they probably are). And remember, Franklin and Bash are quite unique… the successful bachelors throw weekly parties, and their famous “Margarita-Mondays” have already saved one of their cases and provided them the vision to defend another case successfully.

See? Unconventional… and fun.

Season three premieres June 19th.

*****

Rizzoli & Isles

Based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen, Rizzoli & Isles follows Boston detective, Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon), and her best friend/medical examiner, Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), as they solve crime together.

The two friends couldn’t have less in common — Rizzoli hails from a working class family; her dad’s a plumber, her younger brother (Colin Egglesfield) has just been released from prison, and her other little brother (Jordan Bridges) idolizes Rizzoli and is following in her footsteps, much to the dismay of their overbearing mom (the fabulous Lorraine Bracco). Meanwhile, Isles’ biological father (John Doman) is a Boston mafia boss. She was raised by her adopted parents (her mother is played by Jacqueline Bissett) where she learned to focus on her studies, and adapted a fabulous sense of style… how many medical examiners do you know who perform autopsies in stilettos?

But regardless of their differences, the girls have each other and they make for one of the best crime-fighting duos on television today.

The series also stars Lee Thompson Young as Rizzoli’s partner, Detective Frost, and Bruce McGill as Rizzoli’s former partner/senior detective, Vince Korsak.

If you liked Crossing Jordan, you’ll also like Rizzoli & Isles. Season four premieres June 25th.

*****

Come back next week when we share two more returning TNT summer favorites PLUS a new series that we can’t wait to check out (hint: it stars Jon Tenney from The Closer)!

Do you enjoy any of the above TNT original programs? Which one are you most looking forward to and why? I’d love to hear from you!

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