The 2011-2012 television season is technically over, but not even the big networks go quiet for the summer these days, stacking their schedules with reality shows and new (if frequently flimsier) scripted series. And summer is really cable's time to shine -- while "Game of Thrones," "Mad Men" and "Girls" wrap up their seasons in the next few weeks (on June 3rd, 10th and 17th, respectively), new and familiar shows and documentary broadcast premieres fill the next few months, including the return of two of the best shows on air, "Breaking Bad" and "Louie." Here's a look at the highlights from the next three months on the small screen:
Sunday, June 3 on Hulu (U.S. Series Premiere)
U.K. TV stalwart and "Pirates of the Caribbean" villain Tom Hollander plays the Reverend Adam Smallbone in this BBC 2 sitcom about an Anglican priest who's moved from a small rural parish to chaotic East London, where he tries to adjust to the issues of running a church in the city. Hollander was nominated for a 2011 BAFTA for male performance in a comedy role for the series.
Sunday, June 3 at 10pm on A&E (Series Premiere)
A&E's bid for a "Justified"-style regional crime drama is set in the fictional Absaroka County in Wyoming, where Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) keeps the peace while trying to recover from the death of his wife a year ago. Katee Sackhoff, who's bounced around the small screen without finding a satisfying role since the end of "Battlestar Galactica," will play Walt's new deputy, a Philly transfer not used to rural life -- Lou Diamond Phillips and Bailey Chase are also in the cast of the show, which is adapted from Craig Johnson's mystery novel series.
Sunday, June 3 at 11pm on MTV (Season Premiere)
MTV's transformation of the 1985 Michael J. Fox comedy into a broody supernatural drama populated with pretty people with minimal body fat returns for a second season on June 3rd right after the MTV Movie Awards before settling into its regular Monday at 10pm timeslot on June 4th.
Monday, June 4 on Hulu (Series Premiere)
The tagline of Kevin Smith's new half-hour movie review show on Hulu is "Tell Me What You REALLY Think," which is amusing, given how sensitive the "Clerks" filmmaker has been about critics' takes on his own work. In promos for the series, Smith has promised that he and the 50 fans he'll take with him to see a new blockbuster and then discuss it will "revere" movies rather than review, which seems to presume they're going to like everything they see. Smith, at least, has always been good at talking, and it'll be interesting to see how he balances all the critiques he's leveled at critics against being on that side of the equation himself.
Monday, June 4 at 10pm on the Sundance Channel (Series Premiere)
A "Sex in the City" for the wheelchair-bound, the Sundance Channel's new nonfiction series follows four beautiful, ambitious women living with paralysis in Hollywood. The half-hour show, produced by Gay Rosenthal of "Little People, Big World," promises to challenge expectations of portrayals of disabilities on television.
TNT's "&" buddies series return, with the female-led procedural "Rizzoli & Isles" now getting paired with the bro-lawyer dramedy "Franklin & Bash" on Tuesday nights. Both shows have the watchabe but disposible quality of USA network knock-offs, though "Rizzoli & Isles" has attracted some extra attention for the way it teases the extremely close but apparently platonic friendship between its central characters (played by Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander), who've been labeled "TV's gayest non-gay couple."
In honor of LGBT Pride Month, Showtime's airing a trio of docs that deal with gay, lesbian and transgender themes on the night of the 7th, some of them U.S. broadcast premieres -- like "Orchids: My Intersex Adventure" (7pm), an auto-biographical 2010 doc about Australian filmmaker Phoebe Hart's discovery that her parents kept secret from her that she was born intersex. "No Look Pass" (8pm) profiles Harvard basketball player Emily Tay, a first-generation Burmese immigrant who's hiding her homosexuaity from her parents. And "Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston" (9:30pm) looks into the life of the legendary '70s designer.
The newest ventures into alt-comedy from the network that brought you "Portlandia" are based around satirical takes on talk and game shows. "Comedy Bang! Bang!" (10pm) is adapted from Scott Aukerman's much-beloved podcast of the same name, and features Aukerman as the host of a surreal talk show alongside his band leader Reggie Watts. "Bunk" (10:30pm), hosted by Kurt Braunohler, pits a panel of comedians against each other in inane challenges to win completely strange prizes, and is the first-ever comedy from the New York Television Festival to be greenlit to series.