Your Official Guide to Summer TV

Well, it is finally getting to be that time when Summer TV is actually a thing, rather than the absence of a thing. Do you find that you get itchy and hard to pin down in the summer, despite not being a student or a small child? (Unless you are one or the other, in which case clearly I am not saying you don't exist. Don't get all #notallsmallchildren on me.) One reason I'll never leave Austin, but can't live anywhere else in Texas, is about the summer weather here. Nothing like it! Except maybe being microwaved in a very large microwave oven to a simmering boil. But what is to watch until then?

This week has already given us Orange Is The New Black's second season on Netflix, the NBA finals, and the return of Comedy Central's late-night Half Hour. The former Learning Channel offers up Sister Wives and Return To Amish, and OWN's back with another season of Life With La Toya. If you like your freaky extra freaky-deaky, there's always Finding Bigfoot and Keeping Up With The Kardashians, or if you have found this website by accident but still love monsters, you might enjoy Duck Dynasty, or CMT's Dog And Beth. Drama-wise, Power premiered this week on Starz, TNT offered up Major Crimes and Murder In The First, while USA brought back Royal Pains, Suits and Graceland. We also got new episodes of Pretty Little Liars and Chasing Life on ABC Family, a channel that sounds like something it really is not.

The week of June 15, ABC's got the fifth season of Rookie Blue rolling out, that show Wipeout where the people almost die, and Rising Star, which I guess is like American Idol without judges? Which is fine, but no Seacrest is a dealbreaker. ABC Family finally brings back the best show on television, The Fosters, along with the third season premiere of Switched At Birth. BBC America's bringing drama—The Musketeers—and comedy—Almost Royal, while basically the same thing happens over on TLC, with the fourth season premiere of Honey Boo Boo. There's a new cartoon that sounds cute, called Kid President, coming on the Hub. Other dramas include new seasons of Rectify, Rizzoli And Isles, and Perception; more post-apocalyptic fare can be found on TNT (Michael Bay's The Last Ship) and Syfy (a second season of Defiance; new angel drama Dominion).

June 22 begins a week of high-profile dramas: True Blood, Tyrant, and Girl Meets World all take their bows. You've also got Falling Skies, Covert Affairs and N.Y. Med (ABC) coming in this week, the final season of Wilfred on FXX, and that new Tori Spelling/Jennie Garth comedy Mystery Girls on ABC Family. Most importantly (well, besides Teen Wolf's return), the most revered sign that summer is upon us—Big Brother—finally makes its 16th debut.

By June 29, So You Think You Can Dance will still only be getting into live performances. CBS is bringing Under The Dome and Unforgettable back once again, and introducing a new drama, Reckless, which notably stars Cam Gigandet as an attorney at law. PBS is offering up some esteemed old-people romances in both straight (Last Tango In Halifax) and gay (Vicious) versions, with Endeavor's second crimesolving season sandwiched between them. Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out makes its fourth season debut on MTV2, Comedy Central premieres second seasons of their beloved series Drunk History and Nathan For You, and this is also the week that HBO's Leftovers finally drops.

July 6 brings out the second season of Hemlock Grove on Netflix, a new MTV drama called Finding Carter, and the fifth season of Ridiculousness. Witches of East End and The Bridge both make their second-season debuts, and the highly anticipated CBS drama, Extant, and NBC's equally exciting Welcome To Sweden and Working The Engels are finally arriving.

By mid-July, you're looking at new seasons of Real Housewives of New Jersey, Sex in the Wild on PBS, Leann and Eddie on VH1, and Ray Donovan. FX comedies Married and You're The Worst will also be airing, at least for a while. In happier news, Masters Of Sex and The Strain (FX) are also premiering.

The week of July 20, the presently announced new series/seasons seem to be reality shows, for the most part: Hotel Hell on FOX, Face Off on Syfy, Bring It! on Lifetime, and Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC. Lifetime's got a thriller about fertility coming, called The Lottery, but other than that—also, what? That sounds amazing—this far into the summer, the drama slate's pretty set.

End of July, you've got the fourth season of The Killing (Just six episodes! Last season was really good!) on Netflix, and a grip of historical dramas: Poirot, The Honorable Woman on Sundance, WGN tries again with Manhattan (as in Project), Scottish sci-fi historical romance Outlander on Starz, and Hell On Wheels at AMC. VH1 has an interesting take on the Duets concept with Soundclash, and ABC's offering both The Quest (like, live-action Dungeons & Dragons or something?) and Bachelor In Paradise. Lots of new comedy, though: nightmare scenario Partners (Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer?) should pair well with Anger Management on FX, Garfunkel and Oates are taking their shtick to IFC, and Chris Lilley's back with more of the same on HBO (Jonah From Tonga). Showtime's putting up Morgan Spurlock's series, The Seven Deadly Sins, while Cinemax finally seems to have their head in the drama game, pairing Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen for The Knick, a period piece about doctors in 1900 New York City.

The rest of August brings us more Dallas and Franklin and Bash on TNT, along with their new show Legends, featuring Sean Bean as an FBI undercover who maybe forgot who he actually is? By the end of the month football will have well and truly descended on us, but before that we also get the T.I. and Tiny and Atlanta Exes premieres on VH1, Jack Davenport as a 1961 London gynecologist in PBS's Breathless, and some reality surprises: A new cycle (21!) of America's Next Top Model, the 16th season of The Biggest Loser on NBC, and something called Wizard Wars on Syfy which is probably just like one of those two.

Trailers/clips for selected shows are in the comments. What do you think about all this? Isn't it so weird how many of these shows are still on, even though you thought they were cancelled years ago? The things that go on when you're not looking! They could fill a book. So, is there anything in particular you're dying to see, and if so: Why?

[Images via MTV, CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO, Netflix, Michael Muller, and BBC America]

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