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Meth Dealers, Cable News Dramas and the Return of 'Dallas': A Summer TV Preview

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire May 30, 2012 at 1:21PM

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:
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'We Were Here' Airs on PBS on June 14th
'We Were Here' Airs on PBS on June 14th

"The Runaway"
Saturday, June 9 at 10pm ET on Ovation (U.S. Series Premiere)

The six-part UK mini-series kicks off on June 9th as part of Ovation's "The Best You've Never Seen" programming block, an adaptation of novelist Martina Cole's "tale of star-crossed lovers struggling for redemption against a background of crime and corruption" set in '60s and '70s London and starring Joanna Vanderham and Jack O'Connell, with Keith Allen, Ken Stott and Alan Cumming (playing colourful transvestite Desrae) fill out the cast.

"True Blood"
Sunday, June 10 at 9pm on HBO (Season Premiere)

HBO's glorious guilty pleasure is back for a fifth season, the final one as showrunner for creator Alan Ball and one that promises to find Bon Temps, Louisiana in even more magical chaos than before. Last season ended with the apparent death of several characters, but the show's never been shy about introducing more, and early spoilers have promised the addition of more vampires and other impossible creatures to the cast, some of whom will inevitably end up in some kind of love triangle with waitress-turned-supernatural investigator Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin).

"Bunheads"
Monday, June 11 at 9pm on ABC Family (Series Premiere)

"Black Swan" it is probably not, but this new ABC Family series set at a dance school could be interesting anyway -- it's the creation of Amy Sherman-Palladino of "Gilmore Girls." Broadway star Sutton Foster plays a Las Vegas showgirl who ends up heading up dance classes in a quiet coastal town after impulsively marries a man and moving there with him.

Thorne

"Thorne: Sleepyhead," "Thorne: Scaredy Cat"
Tuesday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 13 at 9pm on Encore (U.S. Series Premiere)

David Morrissey (recently cast as the Governor on "The Walking Dead") plays Detective Inspector Tom Thorne in this pair of U.K. mini-series based on the novels of Mark Billingham. A great detective but a haunted man, Thorne faces up against two brutal serial killers in the series, one obsessed with leaving young women paralyzed, the others seemingly working in tandem. Eddie Marsan, Aidan Gillen, Natascha McElhone and Sandra Oh all appear in the series, which has an ominous air unlike your usual crime dramas.

"Dallas"
Wednesday, June 13 at 9pm on TNT (Series Premiere)

Who isn't at least a little bit curious about this revival of the primetime soap? It is, after all, a continuation of the original series that will introduce new Ewings while bringing back original castmembers Larry Hagman (as J. R.), Linda Gray (as Sue Ellen), Patrick Duffy (as Bobby) and others -- which shows an impressive devotion to continuity, or a commentary on certain post-"Dallas" careers.

"We Were Here"
Thursday, June 14 at 10pm on PBS (U.S. Broadcast Premiere)

David Weissman's heart-wrenching doc about how the AIDS epidemic affected San Francisco plays as part of the tail-end of this season of doc series Independent Lens. Check out our interview with the director here.

"41"
Saturday, June 16 at 9pm on HBO (Broadcast Premiere)

Directed by Jeffrey Roth ("The Wonder of It All"), George H. W. Bush documentary "41" is produced by old friend of the family Jerry Weintraub and is slated to air two days before the former president's 88th birthday, so you shouldn't expect anything other than fondness in the film, which will at least offer the so far unheard tale of his life in his own words -- he hasn't yet written a memoir.

One Nation

"One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss and Betrayal"
Monday, June 18 at 9pm on HBO (Broadcast Premiere)

HBO's summer doc season kicks off with this look at our complex relationship with man's best friend from trio of filmmakers Jenny Carchman, Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Amanda Micheli, which goes from shelters to the horrors of a puppy mill to a Florida couple who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to clone a beloved pet.

"Inside Men"
Wednesday, June 20 at 9pm on BBC America (U.S. Series Premiere)

This four-part British heist series stars Steven Mackintosh, Ashley Walters and Warren Brown as a trio of men working in a cash counting house who decide they want their own piece of the action -- written by Tony Basgallop (of "Being Human") "Inside Men" differs from the usual crime dramas in being about everyday workers who have to figure out how to be criminal and what it means to cross that line.

"Futurama"
Wednesday, June 20 at 10pm on Comedy Central (Season Premiere)

Matt Groening's delightful animated sci-fi comedy returns for a seventh season on what's been an erratic run spanning networks, cancelations and TV movies. This season will be split into two, with the first 13-episode half kicking off with a double-feature on June 20th and the second half set to air in 2013. Not confusing at all!

This article is related to: Television, TV Features





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