Tube Talk: Old and new summer series

By Paula Hendrickson
Contributing Writer

Summer viewing heats up even more this week with the season openers of several new shows. Some are new, others are old favorites.

Fans of The Closer can expect a couple of changes when the series returns to TNT July 12. First, Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) and her team of detectives are moving to an office in a new, high-tech building filled with security gadgets that are guaranteed to annoy Brenda, and Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey), too, no doubt. Second, the cute little kitten Brenda’s husband gave her at the end of last season? It’s grown into a big cat.

Another hot cable series returning soon is White Collar, starring Matt Bomer as criminal mastermind Neal Caffrey who got out of prison by striking a deal to help the FBI track other criminals. Tim DeKay plays Peter Burke, the agent he’s partnered with. Last season ended with Caffrey’s girlfriend dying in an airplane explosion. The new season starts with Caffrey hunting down who killed her.

There are several promising new shows this summer, too. Here are a few you might want to check out:

→ The Choir—If you like Glee, you’ll probably enjoy this award-winning British reality series on BBC America. Instead of being a competition like last December’s The Sing-Off, The Choir is more like a docu-soap. You follow choirmaster Gareth Malone as he recruits and trains a rag-tag group of singers—much how Mr. Schue rounded up members for the show choir on Glee. You become invested in the singers as they rehearse—building both their musical skills and their confidence—and compete against other choirs.

The Glades—A&E’s new dramatic series follows disgraced Chicago cop Jim Longworth (played by Australian actor Matt Passmore) to sleepy little Palm Glades, Fla., and his new job with the state police. Longworth realizes life won’t be so easy in the Sunshine State when bodies start popping up every time he tries to squeeze in a round of golf.

Covert Affairs—USA’s newest scripted series debuts immediately following White Collar. The new show pairs novice CIA agent Annie Walker (Piper Perabo from The Prestige, The Lazarus Project) with Auggie Anderson (Ugly Betty’s Christopher Gorham), a blind tech expert who coaches her through her first field assignments. The cast includes other familiar faces: Peter Gallagher (also doing a guest stint on FX’s Rescue Me this summer) and Kari Matchett (Invasion, ER) as Annie’s married-but-feuding bosses, Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes) as a flirtatious fellow agent, and Anne Dudek (House, Mad Men) as Annie’s sister.

With these shows and more to choose from, that old notion that there’s never anything but reruns on TV during the summer seems to be a thing of the past.

Programming notes

The Choir premieres Wednesday, July 7, on BBC America at 9 p.m.

The Glades premieres Sunday, July 11, on A&E at 9 p.m.

The Closer returns Monday, July 12, on TNT at 8 p.m.

White Collar returns Tuesday, July 13, on USA at 8 p.m.

Covert Affairs premieres Tuesday, July 13, on USA at 9 p.m.

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, Television Week and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to

From the July 7-13, 2010 issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!