Obviously, the MOST anticipated premiere of summer ’12 is RuPaul’s Drag U (tonight at 9 on Logo!) But what about scripted shows? With season five of Mad Men and season one of Girls over, it’s easy to believe that quality scripted TV will be in short supply. However, there are some dramatic hits coming back, and none plan to just fade behind the likes of Matthew Weiner and Lena Dunham. Here’s a list of what’s to come and when.
When: Sunday, July 15, 10pm
Why: If you weren’t a fan of this show before, the season four finale inevitably changed your views by having one of the most impressive twists TV has seen in a long time, not to mention continuously flawless performances from Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. With only one season left (tantalizingly split into two, eight-episode parts), the conclusion to Walter White’s saga is surely the event of this summer and next. (Here’s the first real-footage teaser.)
When: Sunday, June 24, 10pm
Why: Jeff Daniels? Jane Fonda? Aaron Sorkin? The previews for this upcoming show have been nothing but promising, and with the same team that brought us The West Wing, this will probably be like the cinematic classic Network if it were a series. In other words, most likely incredible – even if The New Yorker’s TV critic already hates it.
When: Thursday, June 28, 10:30pm
Why: If the black-and-white, Woody Allen-parodying previews haven’t grabbed your attention yet, perhaps you should actually get acquainted with the first two seasons of this low-budget hit about a divorced New York comedian raising two daughters (along with general mayhem). This’ll be the first season that renaissance man Louis C.K. won’t be doing the editing all on his own, and considering how great this show has been so far, the only way to go is up.
When: Thursday, June 28, 10pm
Why: FX has been doing really well for itself in recent years, and one of the reasons is this bizarre-yet-addictive show. It draws you in with a grown man in a ratty dog costume, but keeps you watching with actual substance and a performance from Elijah Wood, who never seems to be in enough films.
When: Sunday, July 1, 10pm
Why: Having made it to a whopping eighth season, this show chronicling Nancy’s crazy life only gets more intense every year, since, you know, Nancy and her family got shot in the last episode. This one definitely wins the cliffhanger award.
When: Monday, July 9, 9pm
Why: It’s the season finale, and while the spin-off Major Crimes is underway, fierce Brenda Leigh Johnson was undoubtedly an audience favorite, and she will be missed.
When: Tuesday, July 10, 9pm
Why: With the promise of a sexy romance (set up with Laura Vandervoort being a new addition to the cast), audience-favorite Matt Bomer will return to the small screen, filmed in equally-sensual Puerto Rico. It’s the perfect show to balance out the grittiness of Breaking Bad and silliness of, well, almost everything else.
When: Wednesday, July 11, 10pm
Why: The final season of this hit drama is almost here, and the always-great performances of Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are meant to be savored while they last.