Tube Tops

by Bill Frost

There are 500 channels and nothing's on, you say? Here are 35 more ways that the tube will turn you into a boob this summer. Enjoy!

Hit Me Baby One More Time (NBC, Thursdays) Reality/Music: Has-been rock stars compete in a TV battle of the bands, because "music lovers" can't vote on American Idol until, like, January!

The 4400 (USA, Sundays) Sci-Fi: The alien abductees are (still) back, and no one can (still) figure out what the hell is up with the 4400, or what happened to the comma.

Entourage (HBO, Sundays) Comedy: Season 2 of HBO's best comedy not named Curb Your Enthusiasm. Vince and his posse are Sundance-bound with his indie-flick Queens Boulevard, but he'll need to do a studio blockbuster to pay the bills ... and it's Aquaman ("Spider-Man--underwater!").

The Comeback (HBO, Sundays) Comedy: Ex-Friend Lisa Kudrow stars in a cinema verite series about a reality series about her new network series -- follow? Show within a show within a show, and funny as hell. Think This Is Spinal Tap meets The E! True Hollywood Story.

Six Feet Under (HBO, Mondays) Drama: In the fifth and final season, everybody's miserable, some are going nuts, and the once-perfect comic/tragic balance of the show is as dead as Lisa (and she won't even stay dead). Maybe Carnivale wasn't so bad, after all.

Fire Me, Please (CBS, Tuesdays) Reality/Competition: Unbeknownst to the boss, employees compete to be fired on their first day on the job. There's a reality show for that?

The Inside (Fox; Wednesdays) Drama: Imagine the hard-boiled cases and procedurals of Law & amp; Order: Special Victims Unit, with the great hair of Profiler. Enjoy.

The Real Gilligan's Island (TBS, Wednesdays) Reality/Competition: Angie Everhart is one of the Gingers. This competition was over before it started.

The Cut (CBS, debuts Thursday, June 9) Reality/Competition: Tommy Hilfiger hosts a fashion-designer smackdown while fielding calls from Project Runway's lawyers.

Into the West (TNT, debuts Friday, June 10) Drama/Miniseries: Epic tale of clashing cultures in the Old West, only they can't swear like they do on Deadwood because this is basic cable -- hence, nowhere near as much fun, c--ksuckers.

P. Diddy Presents: The Bad Boys of Comedy (HBO, debuts Friday, June 10) Standup Comedy: And if there's anyone funnier than P. Diddy, bring 'em on.

The Dead Zone (USA, season premiere Sunday, June 12) Sci-Fi: Will Johnny finally use his psychic powers to prevent the foretold apocalypse, or just keep saving hot women in peril?

The Closer (TNT, debuts Monday, June 13) Drama: Kyra Sedgwick stars as a tough ex-CIA agent slumming it with the LAPD. It's The Shield with fab hair and smart pantsuits.

Reno 911! (Comedy Central, season premiere Tuesday, June 14) Comedy: The entire sheriff's department is fired after they fail to bring in Dave Chappelle.

30 Days (FX, debuts Wednesday, June 15): Super Size Me's Morgan Spurlock has people switch environments for a month. McDonald's won't be advertising.

I Want to Be a Hilton (NBC, debuts Tuesday, June 21) Reality/Competition: Who wants to be a stupid, spoiled whore? At least 14 contestants.

Rescue Me (FX, season premiere Tuesday, June 21) Drama: Denis Leary is back for a second season of alcoholic-psychotic-divorcee-firefighter antics. Cool show.

The Real World: Austin (MTV, debuts Tuesday, June 21) Reality: Good luck getting booze on Sunday, kids.

Empire (ABC, debuts Tuesday, June 28) Drama/Miniseries: Epic tale of Octavius, he who would become Augustus and eventually battle Marc Anthony for the love of J.Lo ... wait, it was Marc Antony.

Stella (Comedy Central, debuts Tuesday, June 28) Comedy: Michael Ian Black and pals go nuts in live-action version of their popular stage show. So, stage shows aren't live-action?

Being Bobby Brown (Bravo, debuts Thursday June 30) Reality: Also known as Cops.

Big Brother (CBS, season premiere Thursday, July 7) Reality: It. Will. Never. End.

Mind of Mencia (Comedy Central, debuts Thursday, July 7) Comedy: Standup Carlos Mencia goes nuts in a live-action version of his live-action comedy act.

Monk (USA, season premiere Friday, July 8) Mystery: The continuing adventures of the OCD Matlock.

Rock Star: INXS (CBS, debuts Monday, July 12) Reality/Competition: The Australian rock band who dropped off the radar years before Michael Hutchence died search for a new lead singer. The prize: Performing at the finest state fairs and mall openings.

Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi Channel, season premieres Friday, July 15) Sci-Fi: If you can tell these apart, you probably don't have a date on Friday night, anyway.

So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, debuts Wednesday, July 20) Reality/Competition: American Idol for dancers. Yes, it is a bad idea.

Over There (FX, debuts Friday, July 22) Drama: It's The Shield meets Three Kings in Iraq. In other words, breezy summer fun!

Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (Bravo, debuts Wednesday, July 27) Reality/Comedy: The kooky redheaded comedienne goes all Curb Your Enthusiasm by way of The Anna Nicole Show ... or something.

The Law Firm (NBC; debuts Thursday, July 28) Reality/Competition: David E. Kelley's reality show pitting 12 lawyers against one another for $250,000 -- which is, like, nothing in lawyer money, so why?

Wanted (TNT, debuts Sunday, July 31) Drama: Gary Cole (aka Office Space's Lumbergh) tracks fugitives in L.A. "Um, yeah ... I'm going to need you to drop your weapon, OK? Great ..."

Situation: Comedy (Bravo, debuts Tuesday, Aug. 2) Reality/Competition: Will & amp; Grace's Sean Hayes searches for America's next top sitcom writer. Hopefully, he'll hire him for Will & amp; Grace.

Barbershop (Showtime, debuts Wednesday, Aug. 10) Comedy: It's like the movie. Actually, it's exactly like the movie. Only shorter.

Weeds (Showtime, debuts Wednesday, Aug. 10) Comedy: Mary-Louise Parker as a suburban mom who resorts to selling pot to make ends meet when her husband suddenly dies. Or, Desperate Housewives meets Half-Baked.

Tommy Lee Goes to College (NBC, debuts Tuesday, Aug. 16) Reality: Tommy stars in what has to be the biggest waste of tuition since ... well, my college days.

Publication date: 06/09/05