School may be out, but TV's still on with a bevy of summer offerings | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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School may be out, but TV's still on with a bevy of summer offerings

Nik Wallenda walks across a 2-inch wire 1500 feet above the ground to cross the Grand Canyon for Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda on the Discovery Channel, Sunday, June 23, 2013 at the Grand Canyon, Calif. School may be out, but TV's still on with a bevy of summer offerings. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tiffany Brown/AP Images for Discovery Communications)
June 27, 2013 - 11:20 AM

School's out, but is TV in? With television now a 52-weeks a year business, plenty of new offerings are available this summer. Some are the usual mindless distractions — witness Nik Wallenda's tightrope stunt across the Grand Canyon last weekend — plus all those dumb guilty pleasures like "Big Brother" and "America’s Got Talent."

Yet summer has also been the time of year when two of TV's most intense dramas — "Breaking Bad" and "Dexter" — return, this year for the last time.

So something for everyone, just like the rest of the year. A look at what might lure you back indoors — or keep you close to your tablet:

NEW CANADIAN ORIGINALS

"The Amazing Race Canada" (CTV, July 15). Olympic hero Jon Montgomery will get to gulp beer from coast to coast as he hosts this all-Canadian version of the popular reality series. "Body Break" fitness couple Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod are among the competitors. The entire series stays within our borders, eliminating hundreds of hours of delays going through customs. Talk about a road block!

"Satisfaction" (CTV, Mondays). This made-in-Toronto comedy stars Luke Macfarlane ("Brothers & Sisters"), Leah Renee ("The Playboy Club") and Ryan Belleville ("Almost Heroes") as a couple and their buddy all crammed into the same downtown apartment. Hilarity ensues. Several guest stars are scheduled, including Jerry O'Connell, Jessica Pare ("Mad Men") and Andy Kindler.

NEW SCRIPTED IMPORTS

"Ray Donovan" (The Movie Network/Movie Central, premieres Sunday). Liev Schreiber stars as Donovan, L.A.'s best professional fixer, the kind of guy who could get even Rob Ford or Paula Deen out of a jam. There are several big names among the cast, including Jon Voight as Donovan's bad news dad and Elliott Gould as his mentor and partner. There is something 'seen it before,' however, to this slick antihero who helps others but can’t straighten out his own messed up family.

"The Bridge" (FX Canada, July 10). Two detectives, one American, one Mexican (Diane Kruger, Demian Bichir), team up to hunt down a cross-border serial killer. Based on a Danish/Swedish drama

"Camp" (NBC, premieres July 10). Rachel Griffiths ("Brothers & Sisters") stars as a camp counsellor in this bit of summer fluff shot in Australia.

Starting Aug. 4, Showcase has the Brit hit "Broadchurch," an 8-part murder mystery starring David Tennant ("Doctor Who").

ALREADY STARTED

"Under The Dome" (CBS/Global, Mondays). Millions caught the series premiere last Monday and may now be trapped under this dome, which inexplicably landed with a thud over a small U.S. town. Canadian Rachelle Lefevre plays a newspaper editor and Dean Norris from "Breaking Bad" is suspicious sheriff "Big Jim" Rennie. From master of suspense Stephen King.

"Saving Hope" (CTV, Tuesdays). A show with perhaps the dumbest premise ever — a love triangle set in a hospital where one guy is in a coma — became last summer's biggest scripted hit in Canada. Buddy has now woken up and he sees dead people. Guest stars Erin Karpluk, Peter Keleghan, Gregory Smith and Jason Priestley join regulars Michael Shanks, Erica Durance and Daniel Gillies.

Also already underway: Marc Cherry's "Devious Maids" (Sundays on Lifetime) and the drug cop drama "Graceland" (Thursdays on Bravo).

RETURNING DRAMAS

"Dexter" (The Movie Network, premiering Sunday). The eighth and final season finds our hero (superbly played by Michael C. Hall) still trying to juggle life as a dad, brother and serial killer. A murder at the end of last season had tilted this stayed-too-long series towards what should be a bloody interesting conclusion.

"The Newsroom" (HBO Canada, returns July 14). If you like great characters and actors who all speak like Aaron Sorkin, this show's for you. All that smartypants dialogue wears me down after a while.

"Breaking Bad" (AMC, returns Aug. 11). There can be no happy ending for Walter White (Bryan Cranston) as this edge-of-your-seat thriller heads to the big Meth bust in the sky. The same night "Bad" returns, AMC launches its new drama, "Low Winter Sun." The corrupt cop caper is based on a British miniseries, with the setting shifted to Detroit.

Also back are "The Listener" (CTV), "Continuum" (Showcase), "Rookie Blue" (Global), "Rizzoli & Isles" (Bravo), "Suits" (Bravo), "True Blood" (HBO Canada), "Perception" (Bravo) and "Magic City" (Super Channel).

RETURNING COMEDIES

The countdown to the final episode of Winnipeg-produced "Less Than Kind" is on at HBO Canada (Sundays). "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" comes to FX Canada with a catch up airing of Season 8 beginning July 4. "Wilfred" is also back Thursdays on FX Canada. CTV has the new season of "Hot in Cleveland" Sundays.

NEW AND RETURNING REALITY SHOWS

"Supermarket Superstar," kind of a "Dragons' Den" for the food industry, launches July 22 on Lifetime. Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson pushes nine beefy contestants past their limits in "The Hero" (Thursdays on Slice). "Summer Camp" (July 19, Slice) is basically "Big Brother" at the beach.

Otherwise "Big Brother" is back for a 15th season (airing constantly on Global/CBS). Also back: "America's Got Talent" (City), "The Bachelorette" (ABC/OMNI), "MasterChef" (CTV/Fox), "So You Think You Can Dance" (CTV/Fox) and "An Idiot Abroad" (Discovery).

Improv fans can rejoice July 16 when "Whose Line is it Anyway?" finally returns with all new episodes on The CW. Best news of all: Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles and Wayne Brady are all back.

___

Bill Brioux is a freelance TV columnist based in Brampton, Ont.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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