Summer Television 2009

"Summer is typically a wasteland for avid TV viewers. It's when the major networks go into hibernation and boring reruns fill the small screen." -- Chuck Barney, Contra Costa Times

The dog days and nights of summertime used to be a void for television addicts -- nothing on but countless repeats of shows we'd seen before or didn't want to watch the first time they'd aired. Summer TV meant baseball games and maybe the Summer Olympics every four years, nothing more. The months of June, July, August and early September were times to spend outdoors, at a park or beach or air conditioned movie theater. If we wanted to escape into fictional worlds, we had to rely on books.

Not any more. Now there are new television series debuting all the time, including those days once reserved for the waste heap of the boob tube.

Here are some of the programs that might grab our attention until the real television season begins in the fall.

Big Brother 11 (CBS) -- Yes, this reality competition show is a guilty pleasure of mine.

Entourage (HBO) -- Vince, E, Turtle, Drama, and Ari return for more Hollywood hijinks. This is one of the best shows on TV.

Eureka (Sci Fi) -- More mind-twisting adventures take place at the secretive enclave of scientists.

Hell's Kitchen (FOX) -- Chef Gordon Ramsay selects another winner in this culinary battle.

Merlin (NBC) -- The British series retells the story of Camelot's legendary sorcerer.

Torchwood: Children of Earth (BBC America) -- Captain Jack and his team continue to battle alien baddies in this mini-series sequel.

True Blood (HBO) -- Anna Paquin returns for a second season as Sookie, the mind reading Southern waitress in a world of vampires and shape shifters.

Warehouse 13 (Sci Fi) -- Secret service agents protect historic, supernatural objects.

Also, you'll have the chance to see the final episodes of shows that have been officially cancelled, such as Pushing Daisies and Kings. So there's bound to be something on TV for us to watch when it's raining or humid outside.