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Remember the old conventional wisdom about summertime as a time of reruns -- "doldrums" of the TV season, as the cliche-gang used to say?

In today's era of tumultuous media change, that thinking is about three cycles behind reality. The most recent cycle found top cable channels like TNT taking advantage of network dinosaur-think to counterprogram with many of its best series like The Closer in the summer.

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And now with their reality changed, the networks are back in the summertime game. As Jeff Zucker, the CEO of NBC Universal said last week, with 60 percent of his company's profits coming from cable, he now thinks of NBC at its "core" as a cable company, not a network. And so, NBC is programming the summer with gusto, starting tonight at 8 with a two-hour premiere of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

At 9, TLC offers a double dip of Jon & Kate Plus 8 -- including a trip to Baltimore's Charm City Cakes. I'll be reviewing those episodes right here.

I'll also review Conan O'Brien's first edition of The Tonight Show right after that program ends. Busy night for the doldrums of summer, huh?

And it doesn't slow down in coming days. Next Monday brings new seasons of Weeds (Showtime) and The Closer (TNT), plus the launch of Edie Falco's new medical drama, Nurse Jackie (Showtime).

I screened all three. As always, I love The Closer and I'm not that crazy about Weeds. I am intrigued by Nurse Jackie, even though I am a little disappointed that the series seems so much like a female version of House, with Falco's character hooked on pain killers and a dark view of life. I like the world view, not the meds.

On June 14th, HBO starts a new season of the only Sunday night drama since The Sopranos to find solid ratings traction, True Blood. On June 16, TNT debuts Jada Pinkett Smith's new medical drama, Hawthorne, starring Smith as a hard-driving nursing supervisor. I saw the pilot, and I am thinking Grey's Anatomy.

You'll find previews of the scripted series and reviews of some of the reality series here. And always, lots of commentary as to what I think TV is telling us about who we are and where we seem headed in this summer of unemployment, economic anxiety and vast social change.

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