The summer television season officially kicks off tonight with NBC's The Listener, but that's only the beginning as several beloved series return and a few new shows pop up hoping to win our affections. Here's the complete summer lineup in the order they premiere, after the jump.
Primeval, BBC America. Premiered May 16 and airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Yes, Primeval actually jumped the gun and made its American debut in May. But there's no denying it's a true summer series in the best sense in the way only a dino/monster mash like this can manage. The ITV show (which airs in the U.S. on BBC America) killed off a main character last week, and it's only three episodes into the season. Primeval will complete its third season on July 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, just as the BBC's new import, Being Human, begins.
The Listener, NBC. Premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. and airs Thursdays at 10 p.m.
This Canadian/NBC production explores the life of Toby Logan, a 25-year-old paramedic who is also a telepath. Toby suddenly begins to "hear" people in trouble and decides to try to help people in crisis by using his gift. The Listener was created by Michael Amo and stars Craig Olejnik, Ennis Esmer and Colm Feore. The series kicks off its American debut on NBC with a two-episode premiere tonight and then moves to its regular timeslot on Thursdays at 10 p.m.
True Blood, HBO. Premieres June 14 and airs Sundays at 9 p.m.
Alan Ball's sexy and spooky vampire series returns for its second season as telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse once again finds herself up to her pretty neck in adventure when she and Bill head to Dallas to hunt for a missing vampire. This season is loosely based on the second novel in Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse book series, Living Dead in Dallas. Twelve episodes are being produced.
Saving Grace, TNT. Premieres June 16 and airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m.
Grace is back for a third season, in which she will once again face some big issues as she tries to help one of Earl's other charges. The personal lives of Butch and Rhetta will also be more deeply explored. TNT is producing 15 episodes of Saving Grace.
The Othersiders, The Cartoon Network. Premieres June 17 and airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
This new live-action half-hour reality series from the Cartoon Network offers up a little ghost hunting for the teen set. Five California teenagers take a scientific approach as they check out some very scary locations, complete with Ghost Hunters-type equipment. At the end of each episode the teens vote as to whether they feel a location is haunted. Fourteen episodes have been ordered.
Merlin, NBC. Premieres June 21 and airs Sundays at 8 p.m.
What would happen if Merlin and Prince Arthur met in Camelot as young men before they became legends? This English series explores the making of the legends as the two men discover their destinies. Merlin stars Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head and John Hurt. Thirteen episodes were produced and have already aired in the United Kingdom, where a second season is in production.
Impact, ABC. Premieres June 21 and 28 at 9 p.m.
Let's call this one When Worlds Collide. The moon's orbit is altered after a collision with a brown dwarf star. When scientists realize the moon is actually on a collision course with Earth, they race to save humanity in this four-hour miniseries, which will air over consecutive Sundays. Impact stars David James Elliot, Natasha Henstridge, Stephen Culp and James Cromwell. The mini was written by Michael Vickerman and directed by Michael J. Rohl.
Doctor Who: The Next Doctor, BBC America. Premieres June 27 at 9 p.m.
You've got to love a Doctor Who Christmas special in June! David Tennant returns as The Doctor for another battle with the Cybermen. It's Christmas Eve 1851, and the Doctor arrives in London to investigate some mysterious deaths only to find another Doctor (David Morrissey) with his own sonic screwdriver. And it looks like this time it may take two Doctors save the Earth and stop the rise of the CyberKing. The Next Doctor is the U.S. premiere of the first of two Doctor Who specials we'll see this summer.
Warehouse 13, SCI FI. Premieres July 7 at 9 p.m. and airs on Tuesdays.
This new dramedy from the reinvented SCI FI follows the adventures of two Secret Service agents, Pete (Eddie McClintock) and Myka (Joanne Kelly), who end up tracking down mysterious artifacts for the super-secret government facility known as Warehouse 13. Saul Rubinek plays the Warehouse's quirky caretaker, Artie. The premiere kicks off with a two-hour pilot and is from executive producers Jack Kenny and David Simkins. Thirteen episodes have been ordered.
Ghost Hunters International, SCI FI. Premieres July 8 at 9 p.m. and airs on Wednesdays.
The globe-trotting ghost hunters begin a second season that will include investigations in Austria, Ireland, Northern Italy, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Tasmania and Vietnam. Six episodes will air this summer, with the remainder of the season continuing in 2010. Ashley Godwin joins the team as a replacement for Angela Alderman.
Eureka, SCI FI. Premieres July 10 and will air Fridays at 9 p.m.
There's plenty of challenges for the residents of Eureka when the series returns for
its fourth the second half of the third season. Allison's pregnant with Stark's baby, and Carter was fired as the town's sheriff. The 4400's Billy Campbell will pop by for a guest turn, and Jaime Ray Newman will star in a recurring role as Tess Fontana, a character who plans on reopening Section 5.
Meteor, NBC. Premieres July 12 and 19 at 9 p.m.
NBC isn't going to let ABC have all the Impact fun. The network has its own four-hour miniseries, this one about two massive rocks that collide in space and head toward Earth. Meteor is from RHI Entertainment and executive producer Robert Halmi Jr. The mini stars Billy Campbell, Christopher Lloyd and Jason Alexander. It will air over consecutive Sundays.
Torchwood: Children of Earth, BBC America. Premieres July 20 and will air five consecutive nights at 9 p.m.
Finally! Yes, Torchwood is back, but it's going to look a bit different to viewers. The special third season is only five episodes long, but those episodes will air over consecutive nights and tell one complete tale. In the story all the children on the Earth suddenly stop, and Torchwood discovers an alien threat is behind things. Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd), Rhys (Kai Owen) and PC Andy (Tom Price) return for the third season. Torchwood: Children of Earth will be the first series on BBC America to be simulcast in HD. Being Human and Doctor Who will also be premiering in HD.
Being Human, BBC America. Premieres July 25 and will air Saturdays at 9 p.m.
It sounds like a joke. What happens when a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost share a flat? They end up with their own series, of course. Being Human explores the housemates' lives as they try to live normal lives with their abnormal conditions. The six-episode series stars Aidan Turner, Russell Tovey and Lenora Crichlow. A second eight-episode season of the BBC/BBC America co-produced series has been ordered.
Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, BBC America. Premieres July 26 at 8 p.m.
The U.S. premiere of the first of the last four Doctor Who specials featuring David Tennant will have the Doctor joining forces with the mysterious Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan) when a London bus ends up on a detour to an alien world. The strange planet has secrets hidden in its sand and a deadly Swarm headed toward the bus passengers.
The Storm, NBC. Premieres July 26 and Aug. 2 at 9 p.m.
RHI Entertainment's second big disaster miniseries shows what happens when you mess with Mother Nature. Treat Williams stars as a billionaire who funds a project that attempts to control the weather. Things don't go well. James Van Der Beek, Teri Polo, John Larroquette, Luke Perry and Marisol Nichols also star. Like the other miniseries this summer, The Storm premieres on consecutive Sundays.
Ghost Hunters, SCI FI. Premieres Aug. 19 and will air Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
The ghost-hunting plumbers are back to continue their fifth season with an investigation of the Mudd House in Maryland, the Union County Courthouse in New Jersey and the Edgewood Plantation in Virginia. There promises to be more debunking and more shocking moments that even the seasoned investigators will find difficult to explain.