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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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Chloe Sevigny as Mia in 'Hit and Miss'
The Brooklyn Brothers Chloe Sevigny as Mia in 'Hit and Miss'

"The City Dark"
Thursday, July 5 at 10pm on PBS (Broadcast Premiere)

Filmmaker Ian Cheney explores the physical and spiritual consequences of light pollution in this documentary (airing as part of POV) that marries poetic visuals of the night sky to score that won a prize at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival.

"Hit and Miss"
Wednesday, July 11 at 10pm on Direct TV's Audience Network (U.S. Series Premiere)

Chloë Sevigny plays a pre-op transsexual contract killer in this British series. Really, what else do you need to know? The series is from Paul Abbott, creator of "Shameless" and "State of Play."

"Breaking Bad"
Sunday, July 15 at 10pm on AMC (Season Premiere)

When we last left Walter White (Bryan Cranston), he and Jesse (Aaron Paul) were finally freed from the clutches of Giancarlo Esposito's ominous Gus Fring, though it came at a new low for Walter, who has slowly and brilliantly transformed from antihero to genuine bad guy over the course of Vince Gilligan's brilliant series. July 15th marks the start of the fifth and final 16-episode season of the series (like "Futurama," it will be split in two, with the second half airing in 2013), and raises the question of whether we'll see redemption for Walter or a further spiraling down into self-deluding villainy. Either way, it's going to be great to watch.

Political Animals

"Political Animals"
Sunday, July 15 at 10pm on USA (Series Premiere)

Sigourney Weaver plays a Hillary Clinton amalgam Elaine Barrish, a divorced former First Lady turned Secretary of State in the USA network's prestige bid, a six-episode mini-series created by Greg Berlanti (of "Everwood" and "Jack & Bobby"). The rest of the cast is impressive, too -- Ciarán Hinds as Elaine's ex husband, Adrian Pasdar as the current president who defeated Elaine in the presidential primaries, Dylan Baker as the V.P. and Ellen Burstyn as Elaine's one-time showgirl mother.

"The Promise"
Saturday, August 11 on Hulu (U.S. Series Premiere)

Peter Kosminsky ("White Oleander") wrote and directed this four-part mini-series about a young British girl (Claire Foy) who travels to Israel/Palestine to retrace the steps of her grandfather (Christian Cooke ), a British soldier stationed there as part of the peace-keeping force in the 1940s. For the most part well-reviewed in its native U.K., the series was also responsible for some controversy from a few who thought it anti-Israel in sentiment.

"Hell on Wheels"
Sunday, August 12 at 9pm on AMC (Season Premiere)

It's not on the level of "Mad Men" or "Breaking Bad," but AMC's western "Hell on Wheels" attracted enough of a following to earn a second season about the journeys of former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) as he tries to track down the men who murdered his wife. The show certainly is due a salute for most unusual cast, with Common, Colm Meaner and Tom Noonan among the regulars.

"Copper"
Sunday, August 19 at 9pm on BBC America (Series Premiere)

BBC America, better known as a home for imported U.K. programming, tries an original scripted series of its own -- the network's first -- with "Copper," a "Gangs of New York"-style period drama set in 1860s New York City and centered around an Irish-American policeman (Tom Weston-Jones) working in Five Points. The show was co-created by Tom Fontana (the man responsible for "Oz"), is executive produced by Barry Levinson and also stars Franka Potente as the madam of a brothel.

This article is related to: Television, TV Features






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