With your favorite network shows on summer hiatus or in reruns, this is the perfect time to do "the shuffle."
The moves are easy. Just take a chance on some gems that didn't get your attention the first time around, because they conflicted with your can't-miss programs.
Who knows? By the time fall rolls around, you might have a new dance partner.
If you watched Dancing With the Stars, now try Raising Hope: Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt are among the Emmy-worthy hot-steppers making this blue-collar comedy a worthy successor to Malcolm in the Middle and My Name Is Earl. There are no hot-to-trot dance numbers, but if you wait long enough, Cloris Leachman is bound to strip down to her underwear and dash across the living room. Hope airs at 9 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through July 5, Fox. Also, 22 episodes are available at Hulu.com.
If you watched The Good Wife, now try Parenthood: Network execs should serve jail time for programming two of TV's best dramas against each other, a one-sided contest that almost kept Parenthood from getting renewed. Wife gets high marks for its string of surprising twists, but Parenthood pulls off an even trickier feat by creating a family drama that's far from square. Parenthood is not in summer reruns, but the entire second season is at Hulu.com.
If you watched American Idol, now try The Middle: The family that sang together will laugh together once it gets hooked on this G-rated sitcom that confirms no one does exasperation better than Everybody Loves Raymond veteran Patricia Heaton. Double entendres and raunch are nowhere to be found, which might be reason enough to give this a go. Thank goodness it's also hilarious. The Middle airs at 8 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, ABC.
If you watched Big Bang Theory, now try Community: Creator Dan Harmon is both genius and sadist, challenging his cast, led by Joel McHale, with complex setups ranging from clay animation adventures to paintball wars. Their pain is our reward. Big Bang might deliver more laughs, but Community aims higher, almost always scoring an "A." Community airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays, NBC. Five episodes are available at NBC.com and Hulu.com.
If you partied on Friday nights, now try Nikita: The CW's only show for grown-ups moves to a more viewer-friendly Thursday slot for summer, providing the opportunity to see Maggie Q rock both a secret spy organization and a bikini. Those who think the La Femme Nikita concept, which has had numerous incarnations over the years, has run its course underestimate the show's writers and star. Nikita airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays on The CW, with six episodes available at Hulu.com.