In past years the summer TV season has been sort a grave yard for viewers. Networks have typically used the summer months as a dumping ground for cheap programming like reality shows and first-run shows that were yanked during the season along with reruns of your favorite shows. As you can see . . .not much worth watching on TV. If you were like my family, going to the movies and renting DVDs were our escape until the fall television season started.
Well, that has changed recently thanks to cable. Cable networks like FX, USA Network, HBO, Showtime, Sci-Fi, and TNT have put the traditional networks on notice by running original programming during the summer months. I know what you thinking, that these new shows are just fillers without any substance to them. On the contrary, cable networks are producing some of the best show on TV to date – great writing, wonderful dialogue, outstanding acting, and adult/edgy themes. Take Mad Men (produced by the people who created the Sopranos on HBO) and Rescue Me, both are well-written and well-acted shows, but due to the adult themes these shows would never be seen on the Big Four. Thankfully cable is not afraid to take that chance.
Cable networks are demonstrating to the traditional networks that audiences will flock to original program on cable if the shows have quality and have unique themes. For example the Closer on TNT drew 8.8 million viewers for its third season opener. Wow!!! Some traditional network shows would kill for numbers like this. Just imagine if the Closer was on the Big Four…we are talking CSI ratings I bet. Ratings is just one of many examples of the success of these shows. Another example would be the amount of Emmys cable has receiving over the last few years for shows like for Shield and Monk to name a few. Who would have thought that cable could be this good!?!
Any way, I have put together my list of can’t miss shows below. I would love to hear from you if my list is dead on or if your favorite cable show needs to be added to the list.
Here is my list of can’t miss summer cable shows (in no particular order)
- Eureka – Sci-Fi Channel
- Dr. Who – Sci-Fi Channel
- Mad Men – AMC
- Burn Notice – USA Network
- Monk – USA Network
- Psych – USA Network
- Rescue Me – FX
- Army Wives – Lifetime (my wife’s suggestion to this list)
- Jekyll – BBC America
- Damages – FX