IT'S a busy summer in the vast wasteland, with more new shows than you can shake a stick at. That's exactly what you'll want to do to some of them, but only the most tube-averse won't find some reason to stay inside.
Reality, or something called it, still rules the 'waves. In the celebrity division are "House of Boateng" (Sundance Channel, beginning June 22), focusing on British designer Ozwald Boateng as he tries to crack America; "Driving Force" (A&E, July 17), about champ drag racer John Force; and "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels" (A&E, Aug. 7), which kicks it "Osbournes"-style with the KISS tongueman. "Who Wants to Be a Superhero?" (Sci Fi Channel, July 26) is a contest for those who do, while the normally abnormally gifted compete in "America's Got Talent" (NBC, June 21), with Regis Philbin in for Ted Mack.
New summer dramas include USA's "Psych," with James Roday as a modern Sherlock Holmes (July 7); "Windfall" (NBC, June 8), in which Luke Perry and friends share a lottery jackpot; "Saved" (TNT, June 12), with Tom Everett Scott as a paramedic on the edge; and Showtime's "Brotherhood" (July 9), which wants to do for Irish Americans what "The Sopranos" has done for the Italian.
"The Dudesons" (Spike TV, July 6), from Finland, is a stupid people tricks show in the "Jackass" mold; from there it's only a short conceptual hop to Cartoon Network's "Death Clock Metalocalypse" (Aug. 6), about a Norwegian heavy-metal band. Comedy of the semi-improvised kind rears its head in "Lovespring International" (Lifetime, June 5), about a dating service, and "Dog Bites Man" (Comedy Central, June 7), about a news team. More conventionally structured but something new is "Lucky Louie" (HBO, June 11), the Louis CK dark family comedy, with bad words. And Dave Chappelle's lost third season finally arrives on Comedy Central (July 9).
-- Robert Lloyd