Summer Television 2013

It is time once again when the heat and humidity outside rise, when you've run out of sunblock, when you just want to relax with a cool lemonade in your hand, sit back, and watch some television.  Forget old-fashioned reruns, nowadays the boob-tube has a year-round cycle of original programming. Here's what's on the air during these warm weather months in the United States.

New Shows

Beware the Batman (Cartoon Network) - Unlike the campy tone of the previous Caped Crusader cartoon Batman: The Brave and the Bold, this new one will have the Dark Knight engaging in a bit more serious adventures as he teams up with Katana and Alfred Pennyworth to battle villains, such as Ra's al Ghul and Anarky, just to name two of Batman's rogues gallery.

The Hero (TNT) - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson hosts this reality competition that tests the competitors' strength, courage, and integrity in physical, mental, and moral challenges until only one is left standing.

Hollywood Game Night (NBC) - Hosted by Jane Lynch, this new game show pits celebrities against fans in party games that include trivia, for a chance to win a monetary prize.

The Hunt (CW) - Consider this reality show a cross between Survivor and The Hunger Games.  Teams of two compete against each other to survive in the wild without food, drink, or shelter.

In the Flesh (BBC America) - Are you tired of zombies yet?  Here's another take on the angsty undead melodrama that the movie Warm Bodies covered. Unlike that Romeo and Juliet love story, this one follows a teen who committed suicide but returns to this mortal coil.

Marvel's Avengers Assemble (Disney XD) - I saw the preview for this and if you enjoyed the movie, you'll likely love this too as the Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow return (in animated form) to save the world.

Primeval: New World (Syfy) - Here's a spin-off of the British hit about time-hopping dinosaurs and other creatures, this time set in Canada.

Sinbad (Syfy) - The legendary fantasy adventures of the sea-faring hero are now set in modern times.

Under the Dome (CBS) - Stephen King's novel is brought to the TV screen, telling the tell of a small town trapped beneath a peculiar and impenetrable force field.

Whodunnit? (ABC) - Another day, another new reality show. This time, contestants are given mysteries to solve. Think of it as a murder mystery dinner theater on television production scale.

Returning Shows

America's Got Talent (NBC) - The shuffling of the judges continues, but the success or failure of this season will depend on the level of "talent" on the stage.

Being Human (BBC America) - The original British version of the vamplire/werewolf/ghost trio continues. Don't confuse this with the American remake (which was still surprisingly good).

Big Brother (CBS) - This is one of my wife and my guilty TV pleasures.  Forgive us.

Dexter (Showtime) - If you're a fan of this serial-killer-with-a-heart-of-gold drama, this is the beginning of the end.  If you've never seen it, now's your chance before the series concludes.

Falling Skies (TNT) - Many fans are happy to see this show return -- it's an above-average science fiction alien invasion show.

Futurama (Comedy Central) - Last chance to catch new episodes of this terrific cartoon series.

The Newsroom (HBO) - I wasn't too impressed with the first season, but maybe it will redeem itself.

Through the Wormhole (Science Channel) - Morgan Freeman again hosts this documentary series that explores intriguing questions about live and the universe.

True Blood (HBO) - Unlike Game of Thrones, this series has strayed from the original source material enough times to make viewers genuinely not know what to expect.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (CW) - While not as good as the original, you can probably still expect some chuckles from this improv show.

Awards and Sports

The 2013 ESPY Awards (ESPN) - July brings us this awards ceremony that honors the best in sports achievement, hosted by Jon Hamm.

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards (MTV) - MTV throws its annual bone to music videos, even though it rarely airs music videos anymore. This year the ceremony is taking place at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The 67th Tony Awards (CBS) - The awesome Neil Patrick Harris again returns to host the celebration of Broadway's finest.

Yes, there's a lot I haven't mentioned -- returning shows that some of you might love, such as Breaking Bad, Teen Wolf, Ice Road Truckers, Wilfred, Pretty Little Liars, and the terrible Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, not to mention the new shows vying for your undivided attention -- Twisted, Crossing Lines, Mistresses, and Hooter's International Swimsuit Pageant. Check your local listings for more.