What’s New in Television: June 2011

While the broadcast television season may be over cable more than fills the gap in your lives with dozens of new series this month.  So without further ado, it is time to take a look at some of the new offerings being served up by the networks this June.

Franklin & Bash – TNT is going to launch a law drama with Mark-Paul Gosselaar if it kills them.  After Raising the Bar flopped a few years back, Franklin & Bash comes kicking and screaming into our lives, but don’t worry folks it’s not just a legal show, it’s a legal comedy.  Those groans that you hear are indeed coming from every person who watches the trailer below.  A challenge to the audience, watch the first season and see if you can remember who is Franklin and who is Bash.  Franklin & Bash airs on Wednesday at 9 ET on TNT and debuts on June 1st.

Love Bites – The show where the question of your ownership of a pushup bra or lack there of qualifies as serious drama.  Love Bites was supposed to appear on the Fall 2010 NBC schedule.  However casting changes and the departure of the series creator Cindy Chupack pushed the show back to mid-season.  A subsequent reduction in the order of the number of episodes and the casting of most of the series stars in other pilots spelled a death knell for the show before NBC announced it was being dumped into the summer.  Love Bites airs on Thursday at 10 ET on NBC and debuts on June 2nd.

Teen Wolf – Substitiute Tyler Posey for Michael J. Fox and lacrosse for basketball and you get the modern day retelling of the 1980s classic teen wolf.  Guaranteed to have less sex and drug usage than MTV’s adaptation of Skins, Teen Wolf strives not to be a comedy like its prior version but the network’s attempt to capitalize on the Twilight phenomenon.  Teen Wolf airs on Monday at 10 ET on MTV and debuts on Sunday, June 5th at 11 ET.

Jon Benjamin Has a Van – The busiest voice actor on television gets a chance to show is mug on the tube again.  Jon Benjamin Has a Van is a newsmagazine-style sketch show starring Benjamin as an investigative reporter hitting the streets in his custom van to do human interest stories.  I for one will have a very hard time not imagining that Sterling Archer is running around New York conducting guerrilla-style interviews.  Jon Benjamin Has a Van airs on Wednesday at 10:30 ET on Comedy Central and debuts on Tuesday, June 14th.

Falling Skies – It’s aliens!  And Noah Wylie!  And the end of days!  Noah Wylie is apparently sick and tired of doing television movies about librarians and therefore has decided to play a history professor this time, albeit one that is constantly running away from invading aliens.  Two years in the making and likely TNT’s most expensive series ever, Falling Skies looks to put TNT on the map for something other than pleasant but forgettable character dramas.  Falling Skies airs on Sunday at 9 ET on TNT and debuts on June 19th.

Combat Hospital – Remember M*A*S*H?  ABC hopes that you don’t otherwise it will be quite obvious how far creativity has fallen when they put a watered down version of the eponymous CBS series on television this summer.  Of course since Combat Hospital is a Canadian-British co-production, it will cost ABC next to nothing to throw on the air, so why not.  Combat Hospital airs on Tuesday at 10 ET on ABC and debuts on June 21st.

Expedition Impossible – Years ago Mark Burnett (before anybody really knew who he was) created an adventure race that he called the Eco-Challenge which over the course of nearly a decade featured teams from across the world in a multi-disciplinary, week-long adventure.  Nearly ten years after that event was discontinued, Burnett is back with Expedition Impossible which is equal parts Eco-Challenge and The Amazing Race, minus the hotels of course.  Expedition Impossible airs on Thursday at 9 ET on ABC and debuts on June 23rd.

Suits – Do you like the nearly interchangeable USA suite of shows?  Do you like legal shows?  Then Suits is for you.  Of course USA can’t put a show on the air without a twist, so Suits naturally features a college dropout who becomes a legal genius.  Why not.  Suits airs on Thursday at 10 ET on USA and debuts on June 23rd.

Wilfred – Like most comedies, Wilfred begins with an attempted suicide…and a man in a dog suit.  Wilfred is based upon the Australian series of the same name and stars Elijah Wood as Adam who attempts to build a relationship with Sarah as her dog Wilfred gets in the way.  Wilfred should fit well in a comedy block with Louie on FX this summer.  And by fit well, I mean garner low ratings.  Wilfred airs on Thursday at 10 ET on FX and debuts on June 23rd.

Commercial Kings – Starring Youtube mavens Rhett and Link, Commercial Kings features the duo hopping around small towns throughout the country to film commercials for local businesses.  As a late night television aficionado, Commercial Kings has promise and hopefully continues the string of small but stable successes for IFC.  Commercial Kings airs on Friday at 10 ET on IFC and debuts on June 24th.

Necessary RoughnessNecessary Roughness stars Scott Bakula as 34 year old former high school star Paul Blake to help Texas State University rebuild its football program after NCAA sanctions…what’s that you say?  Not the 1991 movie?  They stole the name for a tv series?  With a lady doctor?  Really?  I guess?  No, probably not going to watch it.  Necessary Roughness airs on Wednesday at 10 ET on USA and debuts on June 29th.

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