It's been almost 20 years since Fox broke the mold and starting airing new shows during summer (ahh...the halcyon days of 90210: The First Generation). But now it's de rigueur. This July alone, CBS debuts three series and trots out the Julie Chen vehicle -- Big Brother. Quelle Fun! Time to get a big old bag of popcorn, curl up on the couch and read US Weekly because your other choice is to watch one of these...
The Greatest American Dog -- (July 10, CBS) -- Don't know if you've been paying attention to their ads, but it's clear the "Who Let the Dogs Out!" campaign didn't test well. They've schmaltzed up the spots and they look like they're for Extreme Makeover: Dog Edition. Either way, this show is going to suck. I've already seen the skateboarding Bulldog on YouTube and the iPhone ads. Until Rover can turn a Goofy-Footed Agro Backside 900 like Tony Hawk, I don't care. And neither should you.
Flashpoint -- (July 11, CBS) -- It's a bunch of shows you never watched combined into something vaguely palatable -- think of it as televised Scrapple. It appears to be part STANDOFF part NCIS with a dash of THE UNIT. It debuts on a Friday in July, so I wouldn't get too invested in this one. In fact, by the time you read this posting, it will already be off the air.
Big Brother -- (July 13, CBS) -- Just months after the riveting conclusion of Big Brother: Writers' Strike Edition, a new crew will gather together in a gussied up double wide in Culver City and allow us to watch their less-than-interesting lives. Here's my prediction: men won't wear shirts, women will wear bikini tops and shorts, alliances will be formed and broken, there will be a "shocker that'll throw the Big Brother house into disarray" and in spite of average ratings, BB will be back next summer. How close am I?
Jingles -- (July 27, CBS) -- There are infomericals, there are product placements, there are shows like Viper and then there's Jingles. Produced by "Reality" (or are we using "non-scripted" these days) King Mark Burnett, this show gives participants the opportunity to write ad jingles for real products. Seems like a great idea. CBS wins with ratings. The product wins with publicity and a killer new ad slogan they got on the cheap. The only loser in this game is the contestant who, by winning, gets to be a junior copywriter at an ad agency. You know the economy is bad when people are competing for a $40,000/yr job.