A look at new and returning sci-fi and fantasy series airing new episodes during Summer 2009.
May 16 A new season of Primeval sees Cutter and his crew recovering from having lost Stephen and encountering new and more dangerous critters. As he fights to re-focus his embattled team, the anomalies continue to present an unrelenting series of threats. If the team thought the Mammoth was a tough nemesis, then the Giganotosaurus is truly epic. Bigger and badder than a T-Rex, the dino-hunters are faced with the one predator they fear the most. Meanwhile the cloak of secrecy behind which the team has been working is in jeopardy. Questions are being asked and the conspiracy spreads its net wide. Jason Flemyng joins the cast as Danny, along with Laila Rouass as sexy archaeologist Sarah Page.
May 30 After months of dithering, ABC finally announced in April its plans for the three unaired episodes of Pushing Daisies: they'll be burned off Saturday nights at 10 starting May 30. These three remaining stories, "Window Dressed to Kill", "Water and Power", and "Kerplunk", are packed with goodies, including a string of bizarre murders, the return of the Darling Mermaid Darlings, and another musical number from Olive ("Hello" by Lionel Ritchie). Guest stars include Richard Benjamin, George Segal, David Arquette, Robert Picardo, Wendie Malick, Nora Dunn, Wilson Cruz, and Michael McDonald.
3. True Blood
June 14 A whole new season of vampire sex in the bayou is in store as a sophomore season of True Blood begins on HBO. The 12-episode season sees new vamp-related problems for the telepathic Sookie (Anna Paquin) and the folks in Bon Temps. Sookie continues her uneasy relationship with the vampire hierarchy, helping Dallas-based vamps find a lost member. New characters in season 2 include Daphne (Ashley Jones), a new waitress and potential love interest for the shapeshifter Sam (Sam Trammell); Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), from the anti-vamp Fellowship of the Sun church that Jason (Ryan Kwanten) becomes involved in; and Sophie-Anne Leclerc (Evan Rachel Wood), the vampire Queen of Louisiana. Bet you didn't know there was one.
4. Eli Stone
June 20 As with Pushing Daisies (see above), ABC canceled Eli Stone before it had finished broadcasting all of the episodes it had on tap. Four episodes remain in the cutthroat-lawyer-turned-prophet drama, and ABC will be burning them off in the same slot established for the remaining Pushing Daisies episodes -- Saturdays at 10. These episodes, "Sonoma", "Mortal Combat", "Tailspin", and "Flight Path", see Eli continuing to fight injustice and greed in the courtroom while trying to figure out how to respond to his visions. Guest stars in the finale include Jaime Murray (Dexter, Valentine) and Gregory Smith (Everwood).
June 21 The 13-episode series Merlin, having aired in the UK on BBC1 starting last September (to strong ratings and decent critical response), is finally coming to NBC this summer starting June 21. Merlin continues the trend of reinventing established characters using younger and younger actors: this age-regressed, Doctor Who-influenced version of the classic story stars Colin Morgan (who appeared in season 4 of Doctor Who) as the gifted young sorcerer, who comes to befriend the arrogant prince Arthur (Bradley James). Unfortunately, Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head), is opposed in principle to all forms of magic -- he's even imprisoned the last dragon.
6. Warehouse 13
July 7 The rebranding of the Sci Fi channel as Syfy will take place on July 7, and that's the day the network is launching its latest original scripted series. Like stablemate Eureka, which returns later the same week (see below), Warehouse 13 is a comedy-drama -- in this case centering on two Secret Service agents who are transferred to a mysterious top-secret storage facility in South Dakota that houses various strange objects. The cast includes Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, CCH Pounder, and Saul Rubinek (Eureka, Stargate Atlantis).
July 10 You thought it was just Battlestar Galactica that stopped in the middle of a season and then vanished for the better part of a year. Nope! The quirky comedy-drama Eureka, about the secret town full of strange geniuses and stranger inventions, will finally get around to finishing season 3, which halted back in September with the town nearly crumbling to rubble and poor Sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) getting the axe. The remaining 10 episodes will move to Fridays on Syfy, picking up with the town and Carter not reacting too well to the sheriff's dismissal. Upcoming guest stars include Brian Krause (Leo from Charmed) and Leela Savasta (Tracey Anne from Battlestar).