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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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Jeff Daniels in 'The Newsroom,' starting on HBO June 24
John P. Johnson Jeff Daniels in 'The Newsroom,' starting on HBO June 24

"My Reincarnation"
Thursday, June 21 at 10pm on PBS (Broadcast Premiere)

The new season of PBS doc series POV kicks off with Jennifer Fox's film about exiled Tibetan Buddhist master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Western-born son, Yeshi. While both POV and Independent Lens have faced scrutiny for schedule changes this year that have made the series hard to find, the line-up of films POV has on offer make it well worth seeking out, wherever it's ended up on your local station.

"The Newsroom"
Sunday, June 24 at 10pm on HBO (Series Premiere)

Some of us may not have realized quite how much we missed the rhythms of Aaron Sorkin's small-screen dialogue until we started seeing trailers for his new HBO series "The Newsroom," which stars Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, anchor of an embattled cable program called "News Night." Sure, the relationship between Daniels and Emily Mortimer, who plays the show's executive producer Mackenzie MacHale, looks right out of "Sports Night" -- so what? "Sports Night" was great, and any promise of more Sorkin workplace walk-and-talk is more than welcome. It'll be interesting to see how Sorkin uses the freedom afforded him on a premium cable network, and how he takes on the world of cable news -- one in need of closer examination and one ripe for drama.

ME at the ZOO

"Me @The Zoo"
Friday, June 25 at 9pm on HBO (Broadcast Premiere)

The age of internet celebrity gets explored via the life and times of Chris Crocker, who attained viral stardom when he entreated the world to "Leave Britney alone!" in a YouTube video. Named for the first video ever to be uploaded to YouTube, Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch's doc premiered at Sundance earlier this year. Take a look at Indiewire's interview with the filmmakers and their subject here.

"Anger Management"
Thursday, June 28 at 9pm on FX (Series Premiere)

Whether or not the world wants a new Charlie Sheen show, that is what the world is getting. After a spectacular public meltdown last year leading to his firing from "Two and a Half Men," Sheen is back on the small screen in this series adapted from the 2003 movie of the same name, with the star taking on the role played by Jack Nicholson, that of a "non-traditional" therapist. "The Drew Carey Show" co-created Bruce Helford will serve as show-runner and executive producer, while Shawnee Smith and Selma Blair will co-star.

"Louie"
Thursday, June 28 at 10:30pm on FX (Season Premiere)

What sad, surreal and funny adventures will Louis C.K.'s alter ego get up to in the third season of his innovative single-camera comedy? As the writer, director and star, C.K. has been able to broadcast as clear and distinctive a voice as TV contains right now in his show about a divorced single dad living in New York and working in comedy. Last season offered a range of creative highs, from Louie received showbiz advice from Joan Rivers to his being kept safe while on a USO tour in the Middle East by a duckling his daughter packed, with his knowing, in his bag. It's hard to think of how C.K. will top that in this season, but we have high hopes.

"XIII"
Friday, June 29 at 9pm on Reelz (U.S. Series Premiere)

Stuart Townsend plays the enigmatic title character in this Franco-Canadian series based on a Belgian graphic novel (got that?) about an amnesiac secret agent trying to figure out his past. Aisha Tyler and Virginie Ledoyen co-star in the series, which has recently been renewed for a second season back in Canada with Roger Avary attached to write the season premiere.

Weeds

"Weeds"
Sunday, July 1 at 10pm on Showtime (Season Premiere)

Now on its eighth season, Jenji Kohan's comedy about widowed mother Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), who starts selling weed to support her family, has come a long, crazy way from its suburban roots, with its characters having gone on the run to the Mexico border, then to Seattle and into the Midwest. Characters have murdered, have gone to jail and have relocated to Europe, which really means that anything could (and probably will) happen when it returns to take up with the family in their new home in Connecticut.

"Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present,"
Monday, July 2 at 9pm on HBO (Broadcast Premiere)

Matthew Akers' documentary follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, one that became a sensation thanks to the title work, in which Abramović sat silent and immobile in the atrium of the museum as visitors lined up to sit with her.

"Episodes"
Sunday, July 1 at 10:30pm on Showtime (Season Premiere)

Matt LeBlanc returns to the role that nabbed him a Golden Globe Award last year -- playing himself -- in this showbiz satire about a happily married pair of British sitco creators (played by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Greig) who are disastrously hired to remake their own series for an American audience.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features






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