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On View : Summer Exposure

June 25, 1995|TED JOHNSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The networks have given in to the sunshine.

For years, TV executives saw opportunity in launching new shows during the summer months, only to watch the recent likes of "Hotel Malibu" and "Johnny Bago" quickly bite the dust. This year, however, their schedules are chock-full of reruns or new episodes of shows that didn't make the fall cut.

Among them: The now-canceled "Northern Exposure" returns July 5 at 9 p.m. with the first of three original episodes, including a finale (shot as a season finale before writers knew it actually would be a series ender). Perhaps it's fitting, given that the drama is one of the few shows that became a hit after its own summer debut.

Even though there's a drought of new fare on the networks, there still will be a bevy of documentaries, stand-up and sketch comedy series and original movies on cable. And one summer staple that defies categories, "The Real World," begins its fourth season on MTV this week with a group of roomies sharing a London flat.

Here's an overview of what's new (exact air dates for some shows were not available). Sit back and channel surf.

New Series

Aeon Flux (MTV): "Liquid Television's" animated secret agent gets her own show. Mondays at 10 p.m., premieres Aug. 7.

The Clinic (Comedy Central): Adam West plays an alcoholic administrator who presides over the warped staff of a Northern California medical clinic. August.

Comedy Product (Comedy Central): Janeane Garofalo hosts a sketch/stand-up series aimed at twentysomethings. Saturdays at 10 p.m., premieres July 15.

Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist (Comedy Central): Animated comedy about a wry psychiatrist (the voice and likeness of Jonathan Katz) and his patients. Sundays at 10:30 p.m. and Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.

Hollywood Lives (Disney Channel): True stories of nine young performers seeking a big break in Hollywood. Thursdays at 7:30 p.m, premieres Aug. 3.

Howie Mandell's Sunny Skies (Showtime): The surgical glove-wearing comic stars in a new sketch comedy. Fridays at 11:30 p.m., premieres July 14.

Road Rules (MTV): It's "The Real World" on the road, as five strangers go cross-country in a Winnebago. Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m., premieres July 12.

Sherman Oaks (Showtime): In this sitcom, a filmmaker finds a new subject: a middle-class family in the Valley. Sundays at 11 p.m. starting Aug. 6, premieres July 16 in same slot.

World Premiere Toons (Cartoon Network): A new set of shorts, featuring characters like "Pfish and Chip" and Capt. Buzz Cheeply, a space captain searching for a Laundromat. Sundays at 4 p.m.

Original Movies

Body Language (HBO): Tom Berenger as an attorney who defends a Mafia thug. July 22 at 8 p.m.

Convict Cowboy (Showtime): A lifer at a Montana prison ranch (Jon Voight) gets a newly sentenced inmate (Kyle Chandler). July 16 at 8 p.m.

Dancing in the Dark (Lifetime): Victoria Principal as a woman who is committed when she accuses her father-in-law of making a sexual advance. July 5 at 9 p.m.

Down, Out and Dangerous (USA): Richard Thomas as an escaped convict who torments an unsuspecting family. Aug. 23 at 9 p.m.

The Four Diamonds (Disney Channel): A 12-year-old cancer patient writes a medieval tale that reflects his struggle against the disease. August.

Hiroshima (Showtime): A three-hour documentary/dramatization on the events leading up to the dropping of the bomb. Aug. 6 at 8 p.m.

Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron (Showtime): Sean Astin and Christopher Plummer in the author's satire about a future where everyone is absolutely average. Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.

Letter to My Killer (USA): A blue-collar couple (Mare Winningham and Nick Chinlund) crack a murder and try to outwit the perpetrators. Aug. 9 at 9 p.m.

Little Lord Fauntleroy (Disney Channel): A new telling of the tale of a boy who believes he's the heir to a royal English fortune. July 14 at 5 p.m.

A Mother's Prayer (USA): An AIDS-stricken mother (Linda Hamilton) tries to find a home for her son. Aug. 2 at 9 p.m.

Roger Corman Presents (Showtime): The B-movie king launches 13 new sci-fi horror flicks. July 11 at 9:30 p.m.

The Sister-In-Law (USA): A woman (Kate Vernon) seeks revenge on the wealthy man (Kevin McCarthy) who killed her parents in an auto accident. July 12 at 8 p.m.

Sahara (Showtime): James Belushi in a remake of the Humphrey Bogart classic of a World War II tank commander leading troops through the desert. July 30 at 8 p.m.

The Tuskegee Airmen (HBO): Laurence Fishburne stars in the tale of the first squadron of African American Army fighter pilots in World War II. Aug. 26 at 8 p.m.

Wounded Heart (USA): A Wall Street whiz (Paula DeVicq) returns to her rural Texas home after her father (Stuart Whitman) suffers a stroke. Aug. 16 at 9 p.m.

Documentaries

Carrie Fisher: The Hollywood Family (A&E): Stardom, through the eyes of Tinseltown-bred Fisher. Aug. 13 at 9 p.m.

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