Beating The Summertime Blahs

Yes, the usual seasonal fare is rejects and retreads, but this year the networks have come up with a few off-the-wall shows worth checking out

Summer television: the term alone is enough to conjure up the hot-weather blahs. Viewers know the drill all too well by now. Once the May sweeps are over, the network schedules become almost wall-to-wall reruns, occasionally interrupted by new episodes of series we thought we'd seen the last of and batches of rejected pilots gathered into umbrella series with disingenuous titles like Summer Playhouse.

For network executives, that blah feeling has become a recurring stomachache. Every summer the three-network share of the TV audience shrinks further, as viewers flee to other options on cable. (This year combined ratings for the Big...

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