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Hot summer nights

A look at upcoming skeins

GAMESHOW MARATHON
Where: CBS
Who: Ricki Lake
When: May 31
What: What’s old is new again. Trying to cash in on the current gameshow craze — NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” remains hot — the Eye brings back classics like “Match Game,” “Card Sharks” and “Let’s Make a Deal” in a round-robin elimination format.
Why it’s cool: Summer seems the perfect season for this comfort-food programming, which will ring nostalgic for all the baby boomers who tune in.
Why go fishing instead: A lot depends on the charm of Lake. If she’s as likeable as Howie Mandel is on “Deal,” this one’s a winner. If not, and she ruins all those feel-good memories, her career will end up in the … fill in the blank.

THE HILLS
Where: MTV
Who: Lauren Conrad
What: After leaving her idyllic life in “Laguna Beach,” Conrad and three friends drive all the way up the 405 Freeway to scary Los Angeles.
Why it’s cool: While it would be nice for Conrad to succeed in the fashion business, it would make better TV if her dreams turned into roadkill. But that’s just too mean.
Why go fishing instead: Taking this O.C. fish out of Laguna’s warm water might temper the drama a bit.

WINDFALL
Where: NBC
Who: Luke Perry, Lana Parilla, Jason Gedrick, Sarah Wynter
When: June 8
What: The numbers come in for 20 lucky lottery winners, as they find themselves with all the cash they’d ever need. But now what to do with it?
Why it’s cool: For everyone who sees some lucky schmo win a few million and wishes them nothing but grief from now on, this is your show.
Why go fishing instead: Mostly on the reality side, the sordid tales of the rich and famous dominate TV as it is. Enough with these characters already, real or fictional.

LUCKY LOUIE
Where: HBO
Who: Louis C.K., Pamela Adlon, Mike Hagerty, Laura Kightlinger
When: June 11
What: Based on the comedy of Louis C.K., a blue-collar family — his wife is the breadwinner and he’s a part-time mechanic with little ambition — tries to make ends meet.
Why it’s cool: HBO, which was one of the leading advocates of the single-camera sitcom, returns to comedy’s roots with a before-a-live-audience skein that could make for a great companion to “Entourage.”
Why go fishing instead: Let’s hope this laffer is better than HBO’s latest comedy, the well-intentioned but misfire “The Comeback.”

SAVED
Where: TNT
Who: Tom Everett Scott, Omari Hardwick, Elizabeth Reaser
When: June 12
What: A paramedic who dropped out of high school, Scott gets a rush helping to save the lives of others while his own life is teetering on the edge.
Why it’s cool: Scott (“That Thing You Do,” “Philly”) seems extremely affable and makes you want to like him.
Why go fishing instead: TV has its fill of the dead and dying. If they focus too much on the patients and not the leads, it could be DOA.

BROKEN TRAIL
Where: AMC
Who: Robert Duvall, Thomas Haden Church
When: June 25
What: In the waning days of the Old West, Duvall and Church set out for a horse drive from Oregon to Wyoming and rescue Chinese girls sold into prostitution.
Why it’s cool: Anything with the magnificent Duvall is worth watching and his love of the West — think “Lonesome Dove,” “Open Range” — always raises the genre a notch.
Why go fishing instead: With HBO’s brilliant Western “Deadwood” on the air at the same time, fans of the genre might not be willing to spread themselves thin.

BLADE
Where: Spike
Who: Kirk Jones, Jill Wagner, Neil Jackson, Jessica Gower
When: June 28
What: Based from the comicbook — and made famous by the Wesley Snipes pics — a half-man/half-vampire saves the world from demonic possession.
Why it’s cool: A little bit Dracula, a little bit Buffy, if done right this could make for mindless great viewing.
Why go fishing instead: If done wrong, however, auds will bail out quickly.

PSYCH
Where: USA
Who: James Roday, Dule Hill, Corbin Bernsen
When: July 7
What: An upstart police consultant solves crimes by using such a keen sense of observation his older colleagues are convinced he’s psychic.
Why it’s cool: Cut from the “Monk” mold of eccentrics who use unorthodox methods to solve mysteries when ordinary folks would be flummoxed.
Why go fishing instead: For the same reason. USA struck gold with an OCD’d Tony Shalhoub and the odds are against it hitting big again.

BROTHERHOOD
Where: Showtime
Who: Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke, Annabeth Gish, Fionnula Flanagan
When: July 9
What: Brothers from Providence, R.I., whose loyalty to each other often gets in the way of their ambition for power.
Why it’s cool: Sibling conflict can make for compelling drama and, following up the family turmoil of “Huff,” Showtime seems to have found its niche.
Why go fishing instead: Might be too heavy and dark in tone for summer, where audiences sometimes prefer lighter and frothier fare.

EUREKA
Where: Sci Fi Channel
Who: Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton
When: July 18
What: In the small Pacific Northwest town of Eureka, the feds have been holing up the world’s geniuses. When a marshal accidentally uncovers what they’ve been working on, he must learn to deal with the town’s eccentric population.
Why it’s cool: Sci Fi is golden right now and anything it launches is worth investigating. With an “X-Files” vibe to this, the premise sounds intriguing.
Why go fishing instead: Geniuses don’t exactly make for compelling TV,
unless, of course, they’re on “Beauty and the Geek.”

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