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USA launches bulk of summer schedule this week

Courtesy photo
Mark Feuerstein, with guest star Lisa Lapira and the rest of the HankMed crew return to work at 9 p.m. June 12 when the new "Royal Pains" season begins on USA. (Photo by Gene Page/USA Network)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For me, summer TV officially starts at 9 p.m. Thursday . That's when USA kicks off the final season of its spy drama, "Burn Notice."

Michael & Co. have been through a lot in the past six seasons, and I'm sure these last 13 episodes will be no different. Just because Michael's taken care of the people who burned him doesn't mean he's done. I'm sure he and the gang will have no problem finding trouble to get into here in the homestretch; they certainly never have before.

It's followed by the new series "Graceland." In a drug raid, the U.S. government seizes a Southern California beachfront mansion, which now houses undercover DEA, FBI and Customs agents. It's "based on true events" and stars Aaron Tveit ("Les Miserables"), Daniel Sunjata ("Rescue Me"), Vanessa Ferlito ("Death Proof"), Brandon Jay McLaren ("The Killing"), Serinda Swan ("Breakout Kings") and Manny Montana ("East L.A.").

I'm looking forward to Wednesday night even more, though. That's when "Royal Pains," my second favorite USA show behind "Psych," starts its fifth season at 9 p.m. While I'm excited for its return, I'm a little disappointed with where it's picking up.

At the end of the winter special with Evan and Paige's wedding, Hank was headed into major surgery for a head injury resulting from Boris' mansion's explosion in the season four finale. According to the synopsis, this episode/season begins as "Hank gets back to work after recovering from surgery." I know Hank can't be sidelined with a huge recovery because then there would be no show, but I'd like to have seen them commit to it for at least an episode or two.

"Royal Pains" is followed by "Necessary Roughness," which will see some new faces in Dr. Dani's world. Most notably is John "Uncle Jesse" Stamos as the founder of a sports and entertainment management company who really, really wants Dani to join his team.

Joining him is David Anders (most recently seen as Dr. Whale/Dr. Frankenstein on "Once Upon a Time") as his right-hand man. Also new is Karissa Lee Staples (of the Canadian sitcom "What's Up Warthogs!") as Dani's assistant.

Fans of other USA shows will have to wait for their favorites to come back. "Suits" and "Covert Affairs" return July 16; "White Collar" won't start again until fall. ("Common Law" and "Fairly Legal" were canceled after last season.)

***

Scripted series premieres: "In the Flesh," 10 p.m. Thursday, BBC America (miniseries about zombie rehabilitation); "Sam & Cat," 8 p.m. Saturday, Nickelodeon (polar opposites live and work together; titular characters are from "iCarly" and "Victorious"); "Sinbad," 9 p.m. Saturday, Syfy (the legendary sailor travels the seas to find a cure for his curse); "Primeval: New World," 10 p.m. Saturday, Syfy (prehistoric creatures wreak havoc in modern-day Vancouver); "King & Maxwell," 10 p.m. Monday, TNT (Secret Service agents-turned-private investigators, based on David Baldacci characters); "Twisted," 9 p.m. Tuesday, ABC Family (mystery about a teen fresh out of juvie who returns home and soon becomes a murder suspect).

Other series premieres: "The Hero," 8 p.m. Thursday, TNT (action competition hosted by The Rock); "72 Hours," 9 p.m. Thursday, TNT (weekly treasure hunts in exotic locales); "The Winner Is...," 10 p.m. Monday, NBC (singing competition with "Deal or No Deal"-style bargaining component, hosted by Nick Lachey); "Deon Cole's Black Box," 10 p.m. Monday, TBS (comedy commentary on outrageous video clips); "Street Outlaws," 10 p.m. Monday, Discovery (underground car racing); "My Teen is Pregnant and So Am I," 10 p.m. Tuesday, TLC (mothers and daughters pregnant at the same time).

Season premieres: "Continuum," 10 p.m. Friday, Syfy; "Xtreme Waterparks," 8 p.m. Sunday, Travel Channel; "Falling Skies," 9 p.m. Sunday, TNT; "Ice Road Truckers," 10 p.m. Sunday, History; "Major Crimes," 9 p.m. Monday, TNT; "Fast N' Loud," 9 p.m. Monday, Discovery; "Shipping Wars," 10 p.m. Tuesday, A&E; "Couples Therapy," 10 p.m. Wednesday, VH1; "I'm Having Their Baby," 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oxygen.

Midseason premieres: "Switched at Birth," 8 p.m. Monday, and "Pretty Little Liars," 8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC Family; "Ghost Hunters," 9 p.m. Wednesday, Syfy.

Season finales: "Men at Work," 10 p.m. Thursday, TBS; "Awkward," 10 p.m. Tuesday, MTV (with after show at 10:30; series marathon 3a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday: season two starts 9 a.m., season three at 3:20 p.m.; season three marathon again 5:25 p.m. Tuesday); "Who Gets the Last Laugh?" 10 p.m. Tuesday, TBS; "The Real World," 10 p.m. Wednesday, MTV (reunion show immediately follows).

Specials: "The 67th Tony Awards," 8 p.m. Sunday (hosted by Neil Patrick Harris); "Matthew Morrison: Where It All Began -- Live From the Bushnell Theater," 7 and 11:30 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Tuesday, PBS; "Guys Choice Awards," 9 p.m. Wednesday, Spike.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com.


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