It's officially almost summer, which means basic cable is ascendant. Between them, USA, TNT and ABC Family own the summer, with a host of new and returning shows. Here are a couple to look out for this week:
"Burn Notice." If there were an Emmy for most entertaining and informative voice-over, the USA spy thriller would win it. From the very first episode, six years ago, Jeffrey Donovan's Michael Westen has chronicled his life as a "burned" CIA operative, stripped of identity, money and contacts and dumped in Miami. He has explained all manner of trade secrets, shown MacGyver-like ingenuity with household objects, traded barbs and bullets with an assortment of bad guys and assembled one of the best teams in the business, including Sharon Gless as the chain-smoking Mama Westen. Now entering its seventh and final season, "Burn Notice" is doing what any good spy knows to do: tying up all the loose ends. Having achieved the narrative's primary goal -- discovering who burned him -- Westen now has to prove he is worthy of being a spy in good standing. Then he needs to walk away, something he promised his trigger-happy girlfriend Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) he'd do last season. It won't be easy -- Fiona and the rest of his team are scattered while he's in deep cover in the Dominican Republic -- but nothing on "Burn Notice" is ever easy. It's just smart, witty, blow-out-the-windows good fun. And once it ends, who will explain to us how to set off three bombs with only one detonator? USA, Thursday 9 p.m.
"Pretty Little Liars." It is impossible to overstate the level of devotion tween, teen and fully adult fans feel for this show and the novel series upon which it is based On social media, they make "Scandal's" gladiators look like a bunch of ambivalent slackers. A demographic bullseye, "PLL" combines "Mean Girls" with "The Mentalist" and gives it a "Seventeen" makeover, creating a whole new genre: "Who dunnit and what did she wear?" For three seasons a quartet of lovely young high school students living in idyllic Rosewood, Pa., have been haunted by the disappearance and apparent death of their former queen bee, Alison (Sasha Pieterse). Stalked by the anonymous Poison Pen (and Texter) A, who seems to know their every move, Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) must deal with all the "normal" drama of adolescence--affairs with teachers, adulterous fathers, homophobic mothers--while tracking down a murderer. With an alarmingly high body count and more plot twists than "Game of Thrones," "Pretty Little Liars" is Going into season four, the big question is: Who is the girl in the red coat, what is she up to, and where can I get one just like it? ABC Family, Tuesday 8 p.m.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun