Thursday, June 2 (NBC)
Series Debut: This “romantic anthology” series (ask your grandparents about Love American Style and The Love Boat, kids) has been collecting dust for over a year because star Becki Newton (Ugly Betty) got pregnant, various co-stars and creatives quit, NBC was on the verge of being folded into Telemundo and, as Grandma and Grandpa will tell you, this idea wasn’t fresh even in the ’70s. Still, Newton’s considerable comic charm can carry almost anything (see: Ugly Betty, Seasons 3-4) and, at the very least, Love Bites eliminates any chance of seeing Outsourced reruns this summer—score!
Thursday, June 2 (Adult Swim)
Season Premiere: Is there room for three shows about pretty, self-absorbed doctors who endanger patients and dangerously over-act! on Thursday nights? Move over, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice—Childrens Hospital is relocating from Sundays. Rob Corddry’s medical satire (which also stars Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally and Henry Winkler, all in a 15-minute midnight cable show) is as bizarre as anything on Adult Swim but nails the comedy gold through actual writing (take note, Tim & Eric). Can’t wait for July’s spin-off, National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle (NTSF:SD:SUV), which already looks better than Flashpoint.
Sunday, June 5 (MTV)
Series Debut: So MTV canceled Warren the Ape to make room for … this? Even though it’s supposed to be as “serious” and “angsty” as Twilight or The Vampire Diaries, this new Teen Wolf is funnier than the two ’80s movies combined. First red flag? “Teen” Scott (Tyler Posey) plays lacrosse—lacrosse!—not basketball, which makes Teen Wolf 4.0 even more Canadian than Michael J. Fox. But, since it debuts after the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, and the network’s audience is young, dumb and full of cumulative conditioning, Teen Wolf will be a howling hit. Sorry.
Sunday, June 5 (A&E)
Season Premiere: The Only TV Column That Matters™ has a theory on how The Glades became a surprise hit for A&E in 2010: With the sunny setting (the Florida Everglades, natch), wittily unthreatening star (wittily unthreatening Matt Passmore) and no-heavy-thinking crime-solving (most of the homicide cases seem to lead to a golf course), millions of inattentive channel-surfers thought they’d landed on a new USA Network series, like Remedial Burn Notice. Since A&E can’t make a real crime drama stick—don’t expect to ever see Breakout Kings again—The Glades will do as good summer fun, like …
White Collar, Covert Affairs
Tuesday, June 7 (USA)
Season Premieres: As USA “Characters Welcome” dramas go, both White Collar and Covert Affairs are fairly complex and layered—we’re not talking Mad Men here; more like a good stack of nachos. White Collar is about a master con man (Matt Bomer) who works as an FBI consultant in order to stay out of prison; Covert Affairs follows a CIA trainee (Piper Perabo) who’s suddenly called up to work in the field; both series have conspiratorial subplot threads that are consistently more interesting than their quickly resolved Cases of the Week. Together, it’s June’s best two hours on cable, unlike …
Franklin & Bash, Men of a Certain Age
New Series/New Season: New legal dramedy Franklin & Bash pairs Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar as wacky lawyers working for Malcolm McDowell—somehow, it’s even worse than it sounds. Immediately following, it’s the second-season premiere of Men of a Certain Age … Well, not immediately: Ray Romano and Scott Bakula didn’t charge up their Rascals.