Summer television used to be a wasteland, nothing but reruns and a handful of originals that weren’t worthy of airing during the fall, winter or spring.
But thanks largely to the ambitious and inventive offerings on cable, the TV landscape has transformed into a bountiful programming paradise.
Here are 10 promising new shows that will help make this a standout summer.
“The Haves and the Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor”: Tyler Perry brings not one series but two to the Oprah Winfrey Network.
“The Haves and the Have Nots” is an “Upstairs, Downstairs”-style soap set in Savannah, Ga., with a politically powerful family leading a scandalous life.
Cast includes John Schneider (“The Dukes of Hazzard”) and Renee Lawless (“Wicked”).
“Love Thy Neighbor” is a sitcom set in a family restaurant that serves good food, big laughs and life lessons.
“The Haves and the Have Nots” began at 9 p.m. Tuesday and “Love Thy Neighbor” premieres at 9 tonight on OWN.
“Graceland”: FBI rookie Mike Warren graduates at the top of his class, anticipating a routine D.C. desk job, but winds up doing undercover work in sunny Southern California.
Headquarters is a beachfront mansion known as Graceland (so named because authorities confiscated it from a drug lord obsessed with Elvis).
Cast includes Daniel Sunjata (“Rescue Me”), Aaron Tveit (“Les Misérables”) and Vanessa Ferlito (“CSI: NY”).
Premieres at 10 p.m. Thursday June 6 on USA.
“Primeval: New World”: This 13-episode adventure series is a spinoff of the dinosaurs-among-us show that was a hit in the U.K. (and in the States on BBC America).
Evan Cross is a billionaire techno-genius, haunted by personal tragedy, who has dedicated his life to investigating space-time anomalies and protecting the public from the prehistoric and futuristic beasties swept into our world.
He has assembled a team of experts to help. Very important detail: The dinosaur effects are top-notch.
Cast includes Niall Matter (“Eureka”), Sara Canning (“The Vampire Diaries”) and Danny Rahim (“EastEnders”).
Premieres at 10 p.m. Saturday June 8 on Syfy.
“King &Maxwell”: This private-eye drama teams Jon Tenney with Rebecca Romijn as author David Baldacci’s mismatched Sean King and Michelle Maxwell.
They’re former Secret Service agents who clash over everything, from her garbage-filled car to his preference for wine over beer, but they make a fine team.
Michael O’Keefe (“Michael Clayton”) and Chris Butler (“The Good Wife”) co-star as FBI Agents Rigby and Carter, rivals who dislike King and Maxwell’s style.
Premieres at 10 p.m. Monday June 10 on TNT.
“Devious Maids”: This darkly comic drama, the first new TV project from writer-producer Marc Cherry since he wrapped “Desperate Housewives,” focuses on a close-knit group of five Beverly Hills maids who aspire to more than toiling away for rich and famous families.
Cast includes Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”), Dania Ramirez (“Entourage”), Judy Reyes (“Scrubs”), Roselyn Sanchez (“Without a Trace”), Edy Ganem (“Livin’ Loud”) and Susan Lucci (“All My Children”).
Premieres at 10 p.m. Sunday June 23 on Lifetime.
“Under the Dome”: This 13-episode miniseries is based on Stephen King’s 2009 bestseller, in which the small Maine town of Chester’s Mill is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous invisible barrier of unknown origin.
Cast includes Mike Vogel (“Bates Motel”), Rachelle Lefevre (“Twilight”) and Dean Norris (“Breaking Bad”). Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television.
Premieres at 10 p.m. Monday June 24 on CBS.
“The Bridge”: This edgy crime drama follows two police detectives, one American, one Mexican, as they pursue a serial killer working on both sides of the El Paso-Juarez border.
The series is based on a Danish-Swedish drama of the same name. Cast includes Diane Kruger (“National Treasure”), Demian Bichir (“The Heat”), Annabeth Gish (“The X-Files”), Ted Levine (“Monk”) and Matthew Lillard (“The Descendants”).
Premieres on Wednesday July 10 on FX (time to be announced).
“Cedar Cove”: This series, starring Andie MacDowell, is TV’s version of a warm blanket and fuzzy slippers. It’s built for comfort. MacDowell plays Olivia Lockhart, a beloved bicycling judge in a small town.
It’s based on a bestselling book by Debbie Macomber.
Premieres at 8 p.m. Saturday July 20 on Hallmark Channel.
“Arrested Development”: This oddball comedy was a ratings-challenged cult favorite that ran for three seasons on Fox (2003-06). Ever since, devoted fans have been begging creator Michael Hurwitz for more misadventures of the delusionally dysfunctional Bluth family.
Now they’ve got their wish in the form of 15 episodes available on Netflix.