This summer TNT will once again be airing new episodes of multiple original series. Their slate is a combination of new shows and returning ones. Even better than that though, most of the series are good fun to watch. Their lineup of originals includes: The Closer, Saving Grace, Wedding Day, Dark Blue, Raising the Bar, Leverage, and Hawthorne. The network has divided the premieres of these shows into three different nights in June and July.
First up, on June 8 at 9pm, the fifth season of The Closer will begin. The show, featuring Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, has been one of the shows that TNT has built its brand around in recent years. Sedgwick has been nominated for multiple awards for the series and brought home a Golden Globe in 2007.
On the same night, immediately following The Closer, TNT will be airing the second season premiere of Steven Bochco's Raising the Bar. The show, which stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, is one that I was very ambivalent about during its first season. It seemed like no more than your typical lawyer drama featuring public defenders and assistant district attorneys. The first two episodes of the second season do seem moderately more interesting; it is as though the show has found its niche. The show no longer has to spend copious amounts of time introducing us to characters we already know and mostly understand, and can just get down to storytelling and ridiculous antics – two things that are done very well in the first episodes of the new season. Raising the Bar last year did not earn a Season Pass on my TiVo, but season two will.
TNT's next premiere night is June 16, and on that night the network will deliver two new shows and one returning series: Wedding Day, Hawthorne, and Saving Grace. Taking the last — and the show that airs at 10pm — first, Holly Hunter is back as the troubled-but-great-at-her-job police detective Grace Hanadarko. She doesn't quite see dead people, but she does regularly get messages and advice from her "last-chance angel," Earl. The series, not quite as decorated as The Closer, has still earned Hunter two Screen Actors Guild nominations. While Saving Grace has never quite been my cup of tea, it does have the hallmarks of a well-produced, potentially interesting series and asks questions of itself and the audience.