<p>Rhona Mitra in a scene from &quot;The Gates.&quot;</p>

Rhona Mitra in a scene from "The Gates."

Credit: ABC

So, did anyone actually watch 'Scoundrels' or 'The Gates'?

Checking in on two lousy summer series.

I'm curious if anyone bothered to watch last night's debuts of "Scoundrels" and "The Gates" on ABC. I wasn't a fan of either one, while Fienberg hated "Scoundrels" but was at least lukewarm on "The Gates."

Anybody making room in their summer schedules for either one?

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<p>What does this picture have to do with this week's theme game?</p>

What does this picture have to do with this week's theme game?

Credit: FOX

There is a new set of pictures. Discuss. (First day of summer edition.)

What do these four pictures have in common?

Been a while since I did one of my Guess the Logo games, and even longer since I put any effort into making them even slightly difficult to guess. I'm sure this particular theme will be cracked within 30 seconds of my posting it, but I at least had fun deciding on these four as the representatives of that theme.

As on the old blog, I'm open to any and all suggestions for themed groupings. Shoot an e-mail to sepinwall@hitfix.com if you have any ideas in mind. Frankly, one of the reasons they've been so rare on the new blog is that I had started to run out of good ideas on the old one, and was mainly leaning on your suggestions (most of which were used up before the move to HitFix).

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<p>Khandi Alexander in a scene from the &quot;Treme&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Khandi Alexander in a scene from the "Treme" season finale.

Credit: HBO/Paul Schiraldi

Interview: 'Treme' co-creator David Simon post-mortems season one

On music, anger and Katrina.

What's your follow-up act when your previous series is held up by those who saw it as the greatest drama ever produced for television? Well, if you're "The Wire" co-creator David Simon, it's "Treme," the weekly love letter to New Orleans and its people - specifically to its musicians and those musically-adjacent - in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The passion "Wire" fans had for that show brought expectations to "Treme" that the new series couldn't possibly meet - especially since Simon and co-creator Eric Overmyer were not trying to do "The Wire: New Orleans." The overwhelming focus on character over plot was a jarring shift for many, as was the anger towards the outside world expressed by the characters played by Steve Zahn and John Goodman, whom some viewers assumed were just mouthpieces for the creative team.

I learned quickly to accept "Treme" as its own thing, and while I had some issues with the first season (particularly with the character of Sonny, whom Simon and I talk about in this interview), I loved the warmth of it, and the performances (both acting and music), and the sense of place and community and time it gave me. You can read my review of the finale here, and after the jump is a very long interview with Simon about the first season, and about some of the reactions to it. If you've read a Simon interview before, you won't be surprised to find the man to be his usually blunt (and profane), unapologetic self.

At the very end of the interview, we spent a few minutes looking ahead to some events from New Orleans in the second post-Katrina year that might be incorporated into "Treme" season two; I put a warning before that section so that if you view history as a spoiler, or simply don't want to know anything, you can stop reading.

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<p>Big Chief Lambreaux (Clarke Peters)&nbsp;out for a stroll in the &quot;Treme&quot;&nbsp;finale.</p>

Big Chief Lambreaux (Clarke Peters) out for a stroll in the "Treme" finale.

Credit: HBO/Paul Schiraldi

'Treme' - 'I'll Fly Away': Stormy weather

A finale flashback puts the season into a new perspective.

"Treme" ended its first season tonight. I did a very long interview with co-creator David Simon about the show and some of the reaction to it, and I have a review of the finale coming up just as soon as I call my shot...

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<p>Get out of Lafayette's dreams and into his car!</p>

Get out of Lafayette's dreams and into his car!

Credit: HBO

'True Blood' - 'Beautifully Broken': I hate werewolf Nazis

Eric explains the enemy to Sookie, and there's a new vamp in Bon Temps.

Once again, I watch but don't much care for "True Blood," but I know that enough of you do that I'm going to provide these weekly posts to discuss the episodes after I've seen them. (I've watched the first three in advance; I'm not sure whether HBO will keep providing them in that fashion or if I'll be watching live or on a DVR delay as the season moves along.) 

Anyway, just as soon as a baby armadillo sleeps under my bed, what did everybody think of episode two?

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<p>The Silurian tries to bait Rory on &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

The Silurian tries to bait Rory on "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' - 'The Hungry Earth' & 'Cold Blood': Rory and the reptiles

A two-parter rewrites history and the season.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I decided to wait for the end of the latest "Doctor Who" two-parter before reviewing it as a whole. Spoilers coming up just as soon as I'm authorized to negotiate on behalf of humanity...

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<p>Is Hugh Laurie still an Emmy lock for the &quot;House&quot;&nbsp;season premiere?</p>

Is Hugh Laurie still an Emmy lock for the "House" season premiere?

Credit: Fox

If I had an Emmy ballot: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

Our final acting category is maybe the toughest of them all to sort out.

Emmy Week (and a half) at HitFix continues with a look at Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama, which in some ways was the hardest category I had to deal with.

As usual, Fienberg and I are going with the official Emmy ballot, and approaching the matter in two ways: Dan speculates on who will be nominated (along with some wishful thinking), while I say who would be on my hypothetical ballot.

Dan's gallery is up, and after the jump are my (tough) choices...

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<p>Casey (Lizzy Caplan)&nbsp;gets into character on &quot;Party Down.&quot;</p>

Casey (Lizzy Caplan) gets into character on "Party Down."

Credit: Starz

'Party Down' - 'Cole Landry's Draft Day Party': Coming out for the team

Lydia looks for a sugar daddy again, and Ron has a medical concern.

A review of tonight's "Party Down" just as soon as I rehearse the "you have embarrassed me" speech...

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<p>Landry (Jesse Plemons) tries to calm down Julie (Aimee Teegarden)&nbsp;on &quot;Friday Night Lights.&quot;</p>

Landry (Jesse Plemons) tries to calm down Julie (Aimee Teegarden) on "Friday Night Lights."

Credit: NBC

'Friday Night Lights' - 'In the Bag': Don't fence me in

With Saracen gone, the series focuses on the new kids.

Once, again, I reviewed all the episodes for this season of "Friday Night Lights" on my old blog as they aired on DirecTV. Because I can't bring content from the old blog over here, each week I'm going to link to those reviews so you can see what I and the DirecTV audience thought of them back in the fall, then discuss them here.

This week: "In the Bag," in which Julie copes with Matt's absence, Luke works too hard at the farm, Becky's dad comes back into the picture, and Vince puts his trust in Coach (and vice versa). Go read the review  and - keeping in mind that we will not be discussing, or even hinting at, anything that happens in episodes that have yet to air on NBC - tell me what you thought of the episode.

 

 

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<p>Virginia Madsen and the gang from &quot;Scoundrels.&quot;</p>

Virginia Madsen and the gang from "Scoundrels."

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Scoundrels' & 'The Gates' on ABC

Not all summer scripted programming is created equal.

I don't want to come down too hard on ABC for its new summer dramas "Scoundrels" and "The Gates," which premiere Sunday at 9 and 10 p.m., respectively. I'm a fan of scripted TV, and have been arguing for years that the broadcast networks were making a mistake filling their summer schedules with nothing but reality shows and letting cable channels like USA and TNT dominate the summer scripted market. And if faced with a choice between the two rookie dramas or more time watching people fall on their faces on "Wipeout" or Chris Harrison talk about people's journeys, I'd go with the dramas.

But where, say, Fox is airing summer dramas it actually believes in (both "The Good Guys" and "Lie to Me" are also on the fall schedule), "Scoundrels" and "The Gates" (and the cop drama "Rookie Blue," which debuts next Thursday) are cheap, dull filler programming ABC seems to be running so the network can claim it's at least making an effort at non-reality summer TV.

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