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Dog-day TV – Pueblo Chieftain

It’s June now, which means no more of Scotty McCreery’s boyish smirks on ‘‘American Idol’’ or Kirstie Alley dropping dress sizes on the ‘‘Dancing With the Stars’’ diet plan.
 The summer TV shows are beginning to swarm in like fish flies on a steamy night. Television can’t beat sitting on your porch sipping lemonade and watching the neighborhood dogs go by. Well, maybe FX’s ‘‘Wilfred’’ could, for reasons that soon will be clear.
 These are a few old favorites and new curiosities that I’m planning to check out. But if a Boston terrier or corgi walks past a nearby window while they’re on, all bets are off. (All program times are local.)
 ‘‘Platinum Hit’’ (Bravo, 8 p.m. Mondays): This is a songwriting contest featuring people who behave as if they’re on a singing contest. In the first episode, contestants teamed to write a song about Los Angeles. The winners came up with this distinctive line: ‘‘L.A., my cit-ay.’’ No way? Way. I mostly tuned in to see if Kara DioGuardi has dropped her ‘‘American Idol’’ habit of acting like the most insightful, sincere person in the world. Good news: She’s scaled it back a little.
 ‘‘Hot in Cleveland’’ (TV Land, 8 p.m. Wednesdays): Did you ever indulge in a rerun marathon on a humid summer day? Where you stay on the couch and watch ‘‘Bewitched’’ or early ‘‘M*A*S*H’’ episodes — you know, the funny ones? Betty White’s retro-cool sitcom with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendy Malick is the next best thing. It’s like being back in the 1970s, but with central air conditioning.
 ‘‘Love Bites’’ (NBC, 9 p.m. Thursdays): From the promos, this seems like ‘‘Love American Style’’ for the new millennium. It has three somewhat linked stories about romance each week. Bring on the heart-shaped logos! Actually, it only took a commercial featuring Craig Robinson, who plays Darryl on ‘‘The Office,’’ to make me want to tune in last week. If only they had put him in a hot-tub time machine.
 ‘‘Rescue Me’’ (FX, 11 p.m. Wednesdays, season debut July 13): This is the final season of Denis Leary’s often bleak and sometimes infuriatingly outlandish series about New York firefighters in a post-9/11 world. Despite its excesses, it achieves greatness in all its messiness. If you’ve been following the tortured path of Leary’s character, Tommy, you’ve got to find out what ultimately happens to him.
 ‘‘Food Network Star’’ (Food Network, 7 p.m. Sundays): The subtitle should be ‘‘Will We Ever Find Another Guy Fieri?” Still, after ‘‘Chopped’’ and ‘‘Top Chef,’’ this is the best show about talented cooks handling pressure in the kitchen and in front of the camera. And thankfully, it’s usually a cake-free zone.
 ‘‘Rocco’s Dinner Party’’ (Bravo, 9 p.m. Wednesdays): Cooks vie for a chance to be in charge of one of Rocco DiSpirito’s glamorous celebrations. But they had us at Liza Minnelli, who appears in the show’s ad on Bravo. How does she know Rocco? Does she sing at dinner parties? In a sequin dress and black tights? Life is a Rocco-hosted cabaret.
 ‘‘Men of a Certain Age’’ (TNT, 8 p.m. Wednesdays): After kicking off with an impressive first season, the show has been maintaining a snail’s pace and revisiting familiar territory. But now that it’s back to finish its second season, Ray Romano, Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula deserve another chance. We love you guys, but you’ve got to attack some of those middle-age issues instead of just wallowing for weeks in them.
 ‘‘Finding Sarah’’ (OWN, 7 p.m. Sundays): A healing journey with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. No word on whether there’ll be a guest appearance by Princess Beatrice’s royal wedding hat.
 ‘‘Wilfred’’ (FX, 11 p.m. Thursdays, series debut June 23): Love the concept. Elijah Wood is a depressed guy who is the only person who sees his neighbor’s pet as a sarcastic man in a dog suit. Like a poker hand where the chips are all in, this is either going to be an awful modern-day ‘‘Mr. Ed’’ or an experience more fun than a parade of a thousand pugs.
 ‘‘Web Therapy’’ (Showtime, 11 p.m. Tuesdays, series debut July 19): If you saw Lisa Kudrow on HBO’s ‘‘The Comeback,’’ you would follow her to the comedy ends of the Earth. Or to pay-cable for this series, which started out on the Web. She plays a sort-of therapist without any obvious gift for helping people. This is what summer is about — old ‘‘Friends’’ and good times.


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