Traditionally, summertime has been the time of reruns, game shows, and the TV shows that networks knew would not succeed during the normal television watching season between fall and spring. Networks would air remaining episodes of cancelled shows, and no new quality programming would generally air between June and August.
The new television landscape, with many of the most critically acclaimed and artistically adventurous shows now airing on cable TV, has changed all of that. Now, many of the best shows currently on television have seasons airing throughout the summer, avoiding the competition of big network shows and providing an alternative to reruns and reality shows. The two most anticipated cable TV shows this summer are an old favorite and a new drama.
Let’s start with the new drama and save the best for last. Aaron Sorkin’s series “The Newsroom” debuts on HBO June 24. The series stars Jeff Daniels and focuses on the behind the scenes action at a 24-hour cable news network, and early previews have it looking like it might be a satire of the Fox News empire. Sorkin’s had success on the big screen of late, having written the screenplays for the hits “Moneyball” and “The Social Network,” but his last TV show, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” was a major disaster. Hopefully, the freedom of content available on premium cable in general and HBO in particular will mean better results from Sorkin this time around.
The fifth and final season of “Breaking Bad,” AMC’s acclaimed drama, begins July 15 and will be the highlight of the summer for many fans of serial television. The show, which began with a simple gimmick—high school chemistry teacher gets cancer, must make meth to be able to provide for his family—has turned into television’s best drama, a dark, often brutal show that shows just how bad people can be. Get the Emmys ready for stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as the show winds down its historic run.
There are plenty of other shows beginning this summer. Check out this article from the OC Register for some more listings.