The networks are already hyping their fall lineups, but what about the summer filler shows? Aren’t they worth rampant speculation about each program’s shot at success? We did the research.
National Bingo Night, airs 5/18 on ABC
The premise: In-studio contestants and at-home viewers play for cash jackpots and Kmart shopping sprees. A British host makes it sound classy.
Why we’re supposed to watch: Deal or No Deal is too mentally taxing.
Why we won’t: Our grandparents will be bogarting the TV.
Ex-Wives Club, airs 5/28 on ABC
The premise: Recent divorcées learn about letting go, moving on, and stealing viewers from Dr. Phil.
Why we’re supposed to watch: To learn from divorce experts Marla Maples (married six years), Angie Everhart (three months), and Shar Jackson (never been).
Why we won’t: All this healing … where's the revenge? (We're looking at you, K-Fed.)
Traveler, airs 5/30 on ABC
The premise: Jay and Tyler are falsely accused of terrorism. Their friend Will could get them off the hook if he hadn’t disappeared, leaving no trace of having ever existed.
Why we’re supposed to watch: Tyler is played by Logan Marshall-Green (The O.C.’s Trey Atwood), so if you need additional payback for that time he tried to rape Marissa, try watching him run from the FBI.
Why we won’t: We’re baffled by the idea of white people getting accused of terrorism.
The Next Best Thing, airs 5/30 on ABC
The premise: Celebrity impersonators compete for $100,000, followed by immediate obscurity.
Why we’re supposed to watch: Because real celebrities won’t be returning to prime time until September. And we like fake celebrities.
Why we won’t: Because real celebrities are more fake.
Hidden Palms, airs 5/30 on CW
The premise: Johnny, a newly rehabbed teenager, moves into a country-club community with his mother and stepfather, a year after his real father committed suicide. He meets a MILF on the prowl, as well as a number of rich, loner kids, including a science nerd who conducts experiments in her garage and a guy whose best friend lived in Johnny’s house before dying mysteriously. And his AA sponsor is a drag queen.
Why we’re supposed to watch: It’s like The O.C. meets Desperate Housewives meets Veronica Mars. Plus a drag queen!
Why we won’t: The show’s synopsis ends, “Growing up may be the biggest mystery of all.”
Pirate Master, airs 5/31 on CBS
The premise: Sixteen contestants live on a boat, search for $1 million worth of booty, wear kerchiefs.
Why we’re supposed to watch: Pirate humor's still huge! Have you heard the one about the new pirate movie?
Why we won’t: … oh, you've heard that one? Never mind.
Creature Comforts, airs 6/4 on CBS
The premise: Mundane chatter from everyday people is suddenly made interesting when put in the mouths of animated critters.
Why we’re supposed to watch: Aardman Animations, the team behind Wallace and Gromit, bring the talking animals to life.
Why we won’t: We don’t do talking animals.
Age of Love, airs 6/18 on NBC
The premise: On this dating show, tennis star Mark Philippoussis must choose between women in their twenties and forties.
Why we’re supposed to watch: To answer that ancient, burning question: Which is sexier, a lack of worldly knowledge or the recent appearance of fine lines?
Why we won’t: We can’t use the word “cougar” without thinking this show would be much cooler if Philippoussis had to battle actual mountain lions. —Lindsey Thomas