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A summer without repeats

June 10, 2012
By KATHRYN SPIRA , For The Leader Herald

Some of the cable TV channels have turned the standard summer "repeats schedule" on its head.

I've been watching some new original, hour-long dramas developed by USA and TNT cable channels the past couple of years. And they seem to add at least one new show per year, giving the former four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX) a run for the money.

I started out watching "Royal Pains," about a concierge doctor in the Hamptons, the past couple of seasons. I like way the medical show is presented with a different spin than the traditional medical mysteries of the past that were presented like a soap opera. It's quite a bit different from either of the network shows like "ER," and "Grey's Anatomy."

Then there is the sports psychologist show "Necessary Roughness" that deals with the super egos of sports superstars and how to keep them from self-destructing.

Another show starting a new season this past week was "Rizzoli and Isles," an obvious take-off on the old "Cagney and Lacey," sisters/partners in crime solving formula.

"Franklin and Bash" are unconventional lawyers who take on cases for fun and profit with a seeming lack of respect for authority or decorum or for anyone else in the legal profession.

Herman especially likes a show called "Suits," about a law firm employing a protg who is practicing law without a license, although he has passed the bar for others who couldn't.

He also likes shows on the SyFy Cable network like the light-hearted "Eureka," about a town full of scientists and future thinkers who push the boundaries of reality and "Alphas" about people with special powers who are hunted by the government. I'm not a science fiction fan and so I don't follow those shows.

Since these shows have weathered a couple of seasons, it looks like they will be around awhile and I encourage you to check them out for summertime viewing.

New seasons began Tuesday for "Rizzoli and Isles" and "Franklin and Bash" on TNT, while USA's new season of "Royal Pains" and "Necessary Roughness" started Wednesday. But if you missed any episodes, between repeats, HULU, Netflix and Amazon as well as the cable channel sponsored websites, you should have no trouble keeping up.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at



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