CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- CBS' 13-episode summer series "Under the Dome," premiering at 10 p.m. June 24, is based on the Stephen King book of the same name. In it, a large, clear dome inexplicably cuts the residents of a small Maine town off from the rest of the world.
When it comes to new summer shows, I'm not very impressed so far.
The best one for me is "The Goodwin Games," and it's almost over. Fox only ordered seven episodes of the sibling sitcom, and Monday night is episode No. 5.
Sure, it's not the best sitcom ever, but I'm enjoying it far more than I did "Ben & Kate," which the network let limp along for 13 episodes this fall before shelving it. I don't know why Fox thought "Goodwin Games" was so terrible it didn't even warrant a midseason showing. It's worth watching for Becki Newton alone; the former "Ugly Betty" mean girl is a delightful comedienne and needs a show of her own, ASAP.
I do have a few newbies from last week recorded that could be decent: USA's "Graceland," TNT's "King & Maxwell," Syfy's "Sinbad" and ABC Family's "Twisted." (I've seen the pilot of ABC Family's "The Fosters," but that's not enough to go on.)
There are still at least 14 new shows to debut this summer, though, and here are three I'm looking forward to (in order of premiere date):
• "Devious Maids": 10 p.m. June 23, Lifetime. This Sunday soap from "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry is about four maids in Beverly Hills who balance their ambition with the demands of their rich and famous employers (of whom Susan Lucci is one).
I'm interested in part because "Housewives" started out fun but mainly because I'm diggin' the cast: Ana Ortiz ("Ugly Betty"), Judy Reyes ("Scrubs"), Roselyn Sanchez ("Without a Trace") and Dania Ramirez ("Heroes"). I also think its cool that Lifetime will make the show, which is based on a Mexican telenovela, available in both English and Spanish the Monday following each episode.
• "Under the Dome": 10 p.m. June 24, CBS. I'm not a Stephen King fan, so I haven't read the source material for this 13-episode sci-fi tale of a small Maine town sealed off from the rest of the world by a large, clear dome. Besides that nifty premise, though, another reason to get excited is that it's a miniseries, so you know you won't be left hanging when the last episode airs (unless the show wants you to be, of course).
Again, part of the draw for me is the cast -- first and foremost, "Breaking Bad's" Dean Norris. It also includes Mike Vogel (most recently of A&E's "Bates Motel"), Rachelle Lefevre ("Twilight"), Jeff Fahey ("Lost"), Britt Robertson ("The Secret Circle"), Aisha Hinds ("True Blood") and Princeton, W.Va., native Kevin Sizemore (playing Paul Randolph).