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Drama TV Series: Summer 2012

Updated on May 5, 2013

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In this Hub, I discuss the upcoming DramaTV shows that will premiere in the summer of 2012. Information you'll find will concern the plot of the show, the actors that are in it and other shows you might know them from. When available, I have included a preview for them, plus my thoughts on the shows. As always, you'll find a list of Do's and Don'ts at the bottom.

If you're more interested in other genres or drama series that will premiere in the fall of 2012:


Aaron Sorkin, creator of Emmy-award winning political drama ‘The West Wing’, brings us ‘The Newsroom’, a drama series set behind the scenes of fictional cable news show ‘News Night’. Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels, ‘Dumb & Dumber’), the “Jay Leno of news anchors”, has always kept his political views to himself. However one day, he is no longer able to restrain himself and expresses a series of unpopular views during a live interview. Before long, the clip goes viral and the damage is done. The series will follow Will and his new and old colleagues struggling to regain the outstanding ratings ‘News Night’ once got.

Other members of the staff of ‘News Night’ include the shows new executive and associate producers Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer, ‘Scream 3’) and Maggie (Allison Pill, ‘Midnight in Paris’). Sam Waterston (‘Law & Order’) stars as the president of the cable network ACN where ‘News Night’ airs. Also, there is a recurring role for Jane Fonda (‘Monster-in-Law’) as CEO of the parent company of ACN. Dev Patel (‘Slumdog Millionaire’), Olivia Munn (‘The Daily Show’) and Thomas Sadoski (‘As The World Turns’) co-star. ‘The Newsroom’ premieres on June 24th on HBO.

From the trailer, this looks like it is going to be a solid show. The biting dialogue is a good reminder of the quality of ‘The West Wing’ and the trailer as a whole is a great way to start a series. I have quite high expectations of this show and would recommend you to keep an eye on it, if you have HBO.


‘Major Crimes’ is an all new drama series on TNT. The series is a spin-off of the well-known series ‘The Closer’ and premieres on August 13th, but no airing time has been specified. The show stars most of the original ‘The Closer’ cast members such as Mary McDonnell as Captain Sharon Raydor and Raymond Cruz as Detective Julio Sanchez. At least two actors are added to the cast, Kearran Giovanni (‘One Life to Live’) will take on the role of Detective Amy Skyes and Graham Martin (‘The Bill Engvall Show’) stars as Rusty.

Since the premiere date isn’t in the near future no trailer has been released so far. However, ‘The Closer’ was a very popular TV series and if they keep up the good work this will probably be a solid hit. As of now, no details about the plot are available. This definitely is a show to keep an eye on.


On the 9th of July TNT will premiere the new crime drama series ‘Perception’, formerly known as ‘Proof’. The series will revolve around Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack, ‘Will and Grace’), a neuroscientist who is recruited by the FBI to help solve their most complex cases. Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook, ‘She’s All That’) is a special agent with whom Pierce works closely.

This behind the scenes clip gives a good impression of what the show will be like. What makes this show special is that Pierce himself shows symptoms of schizophrenia. In a way, this helps him solve the cases Moretti brings to him. Pierce has hallucinations which give him clues that help him solve the case. This combination sounds promising, but it could also be quite difficult to pull off. It might be incredible if Pierce talks a lot with his hallucinations in public. In normal conditions one would lose face and would probably be sent to an institution.


On USA Network, the political drama series ‘Political Animals’ will premiere on July 15th at 10/9c. Created by Greg Berlanti (‘Brothers & Sisters’, ‘Everwood’) and Laurence Mark (‘Jerry Maguire’), the show centers around Elaine Barrish (Sigourney Weaver, the ‘Alien’ movies). After she divorced former president Bud Hammond (Ciarán Hinds, ‘Rome’), she failed to win the nomination as presidential candidate. Now, she is Secretary of State in her opponent Garcetti’s (Adrian Pasdar, ‘Heroes’) administration and her son Douglas (James Wolk, ‘Happy Endings’) is her chief of staff.

Barrish tries to keep the former First Family together while simultaneously dealing with crises at the State Department. All this is a lot harder than it would seem, as Douglas’ twin brother T.J. (Sebastian Stan, ‘Gossip Girl’) struggles with an addiction and former President Hammond is still very much in love with is ex-wife.

Although rumored to be a miniseries, ‘Political Animals’ was actually just ordered straight-to-series (without reviewing a pilot episode first) and with a short first season so that it could premiere this summer. Of course, USA Network aims to premiere the series just when the real-life presidential campaigns launch. After the first season, the network will consider renewing ‘Political Animals’, the same as any other new series.


On June 13, ‘Dallas’ will premiere on TNT at 9/8c. The show is a continuation of the hit prime time soap of the same name that ran from 1978 through 1991 on CBS. Some of the original characters, including J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) and his wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), and Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) will return to the show. J.R.’s former nemesis, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), will also appear in a multi-episode arc. However, the show will focus mainly around John Ross Ewing III (J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son) and Christopher Ewing (Bobby and Pam’s adopted son). Both were born and featured as children during the original series. They will be portrayed by Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe, respectively (both ‘Desperate Housewives’).

John Ross and Christopher are all grown up now, and have become the J.R. and Bobby of their generation. For those who haven’t seen the original series, that means John Ross is a greedy oil baron, while Christopher is more focused on the upkeep of Southfork Ranch. Additionally, Christopher is starting to expand his work to alternative energy.
All in all, this series looks promising and the trailer gives a great first impression. Of course, this continuation will never reach the numbers of viewers the original series did, because it is now on TNT instead of CBS and because average viewership has been declining for some decades now. However if ‘Dallas’ is able to attract only part of its former audience and maybe engage some new viewers, it could become a great success.


This season on ABC Family a new drama series called ‘Bunheads’ will premiere. The series will start airing on June 11th. The show is created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, who also created the hit series ‘Gilmore Girls’. Sutton Foster (‘Shrek the Musical’) will star as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who tries to make it outside of Las Vegas. A man offers help and she impulsively marries him. Through him Michelle gets a job at her mother-in-law’s dance school.

This show looks promising, mainly because Amy Sherman-Palladino is the creator. She worked on some great shows like ‘Roseanne’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’, so she knows what the audience likes. However, the story of this show lacks originality. The premise of a dancing underdog has been done before, and usually it only attracts a certain kind of viewer. However, luckily for this show, those are exactly the people watching ABC Family. ‘Bunheads’ might just become a success on this network.


On August 19th at 9/8c, BBC America’s first original scripted series will premiere. Previously, BBC America only aired shows originally from the UK. ‘Copper’ is a drama series set in New York in the 1860s. The series centers on Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones, ‘Spooks’) an Irish immigrant and cop who tries to keep the peace in the notorious Five Points neighborhood. Meanwhile Corcoran searches for information about his wife’s disappearance and the death of his daughter.

The show is created by Tom Fontana (‘Oz’) and Will Rokos (‘Southland’), both of them have been nominated for prestigious awards. With such good creators the series will probably be well put together. The trailer doesn’t release a lot about the storyline, but the disappearance of Corcoran’s wife should be able to generate an interesting first season. Nowadays, historical dramas are quite popular, but they are difficult to make, because the show has to be historically correct. Being their first original series, BBC America will want to do this right.

Which of the upcoming drama series listed above do you like best?

See results

Do's and Don'ts

Finally, I'll give you my advice on what to watch and what to avoid. Of course, everyone has their own taste, so you might not agree. Let me know in the comments section what you think about these shows!





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    • profile image

      Major Crimes -huh? 5 years ago

      The cast of Major Crimes looks like 'Fritz' is still on the will they explain Fritz there without Brernda?

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      Hi penguinsNcookies,

      The number of shows surprised me as well. However most of these shows are on cable (actually all of them, I think). Since the regular broadcast networks start to go on repeats and summer programming, now is the time for cable to 'attack', with hopefully great shows to get us through the summer!

    • profile image

      penguinsNcookies 5 years ago

      Wow, I had no idea there were so many new shows for this summer. That's quite a lot of scripted drama to watch over the regular season hiatus. I'm looking forward to Dallas. Thanks for the list of shows! Great hub!

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      Hi Marty,

      No, they're not all that exciting. However I do like The Newsroom so far. Perception could be great but I'm a little afraid that it'll just be weird.

      I'm not watching The Closer myself, so I'm not too sure about Major Crimes. I wonder if it's watchable without having seen The Closer.

      The preview of Copper is indeed short, maybe a little too short for my taste. The origin of the word copper actually lies in New York in the 1920's, because the police officers used to have copper buttons on their uniforms. In American English, police officers are still called 'cops', but I don't think the usage of 'copper' is common practice in the US. Then again, British influence isn't that surprising since the show is BBC America's ;)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • profile image

      Martyv25 5 years ago

      Hey Robin great hub as always and thanks for the info, I can't say that I'm that excited about many of those shows, on the page Perception was the one which jumped out at me, then I watched the trailer. I will probably watch a couple of episodes and see how it goes.

      I've never heard of The Closer, we don't get that here in England, but I may give Major Crimes a go with the first couple of episodes.

      I like the look of Copper, maybe because the preview is short and doesn't give much away. Copper is a word we use to describe the Police in England, is that the same in America? I'm thinking with a name like that the show may have a slight English influence.

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      I think my favorite is The Newsroom. Perception could be interesting too.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Looking forward to watching Dallas! :)