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Originally published Monday, June 2, 2014 at 6:15 AM

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14 TV shows worth watching this summer

A long list of shows worth checking out this summer on TV or your computer. Some are new, like “Crossbones,” with John Malkovich; others are returning, like “Orange is the New Black” and “True Blood.”

McClatchy News Service


There’s a temptation to dedicate these precious days of summer to fishing, grilling and softball. But don’t completely neglect your good friend television, which kept you company during the bitter winter season. Whip up a pitcher of lemonade, and start penciling in these premieres. Check your local listings for times:

“Crossbones”: How do you like your John Malkovich served? If it’s with a heavy helping of looniness, you’ll be hooked on his version of Blackbeard in this series set in 1715 Bahamas. It’s created by Neil Cross, who also cooked up “Luther.” Now airing Fridays on NBC.

“Jennifer Falls”: Emmy winner Jaime Pressly returns as a working mother who loses her job and has to move back in with mom (Jessica Walter). The most compelling draw is the reunion of “Arrested Development” stars Walter and Jeffrey Tambor. If only they can persuade Jason Bateman to play a nutty neighbor. Premieres Wednesday, June 4, TV Land.

“Orange Is the New Black”: Lorraine Toussaint (“Any Day Now”) joins everyone’s favorite cell block for season two of this underground sensation. Look for even more violence and crazy twists. Friday, June 6, Netflix.

“Murder in the First”: If at first you don’t succeed, film, film again. Producer Steven Bochco recycles his “Murder One” concept of covering a single court case for a season with the help of Taye Diggs, Steven Weber and Kathleen Robertson. Monday, June 9, TNT.

“The Leftovers”: “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof goes even deeper into what-in-the-world territory with this sci-fi thriller about folks who got turned away from the pearly gates of heaven when the Rapture came. The upside: No long lines at Taco Bell! Amy Brenneman, Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler are among the stranded. Sunday, June 15, HBO.

“The Musketeers”: Like Robin Hood and Sherlock Holmes, these swashbuckling heroes never seem to go out of style. The action is fast-paced and irreverent. Saddle up! Sunday, June 22, BBC America.

“True Blood”: It’s the final season for this six-year-old series and while I would have put a stake through its heart years ago, I’m sure there are plenty of die-hard (pun intended) fans who crave one more summer of Sookie. Sunday, June 22, HBO.

“Taxi Brooklyn”: This cop sitcom features Chyler Leigh as a detective who hires a recent immigrant to be her personal driver after the boss takes her keys away. Sounds fairly preposterous, but it’s based on a wildly successful French movie franchise, and we all know the French have great taste in comedy. Wednesday, June 25, NBC.

“Young and Hungry”: Emily Osment steps out from Miley Cyrus’ shadow to play a personal chef to a young Silicon Valley millionaire. Sounds like a gender-swapping “Who’s the Boss?” Ashley Tisdale is an executive producer, which means there will be at least one cheerleading scene. Wednesday, June 25, ABC Family.

“Under the Dome”: There wasn’t any plan to bring back this Stephen King project, but when 13 million people check you out in the middle of summer, there’s gonna be a comeback. Monday, June 30, CBS.

“Vicious”: If Mitchell and Cameron can get married on “Modern Family,” then PBS can get behind this six-part Britcom starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a longtime bickering couple. Sunday, June 29, KCTS.

“Extant”: Halle Berry makes network TV safe for other movie stars in this thriller about an astronaut who gets some sort of nasty virus during her year in space. And you thought your spring allergies were bad. Steven Spielberg is among the executive producers. Wednesday, July 9, CBS.

“Welcome to Sweden”: This may be the closest thing Minnesotans will get to a homegrown sitcom, as Greg Poehler (aka Amy’s brother) quits his American job to move to Scandinavia to be with his girlfriend. This is already a big hit overseas, and we all know the Swedes have great taste in comedy. Thursday, July 10, NBC.

“Masters of Sex”: Last fall’s most pleasant surprise returns to prove, against all odds, that science can be sexy. Courtney Vance and Rene Auberjonois join in the fun. Friday, July 13, HBO.

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