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Summer TV: Preview 23 June shows

From ”Swingtown” to season 4 of ”Weeds,” ”Nashville Star” to ”I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” go inside the new and returning series that are delivering fresh episodes this month

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Grant Show, Lana Parrilla, ...
Cliff Lipson

SWINGTOWN
CBS · June 5 · 10 PM · New show

The Scoop Will America embrace Swingtown? A partner-sharing show whose pilot episode features its protagonists doing drugs and engaging in a foursome? A show that’s…on CBS? (Shhh! No one tell Andy Rooney.) But before you whip out a picket sign — or set a TiVo Season Pass — Swingtown‘s residents have another little secret to share: This series isn’t about how many spouses they can cram into a bed. It’s an intricate serial whose characters grapple with issues of identity, fidelity, morality, and love. It’s also a nostalgic nod to summer 1976, a time when it was cool to be an American, when everything crackled with opportunity, when there was no AIDS. So sure, come for spouse swapping — stay for a daring multigenerational relationship drama! (Picture a foursome involving The Wonder Years, Boogie Nights, The Ice Storm, and Dazed and Confused.) ”There was just more optimism and fun and mischief in the mid-’70s,” says Swingtown creator-exec producer Mike Kelley of his desire to Hustle down memory lane. ”It kind of fell apart in the ’80s, but for a moment there everything seemed very bright and possible, so I wanted to capture that.”

The story revolves around pre-yuppies Bruce and Susan Miller (Jack Davenport and Molly Parker), who relocate to a well-manicured suburban neighborhood and quickly discover that the stylish couple across the street, Tom and Trina Decker (Grant Show, with mustache, and Lana Parrilla), loooove to share. When the Millers sample-swing at a groovy Decker party, Susan’s best friend from the old hood, Janet (Miriam Shor), registers her disapproval, while her husband Roger (Josh Hopkins) tries to contain his curiosity. Oh, there’s also a coked-up, negligeed neighbor with hubby issues of her own.

What Will the Neighbors Say? That’s a lot of risqué activity for the oldest-skewing broadcast network, but Kelley feels comfortable with his randy series’ home: ”We’re ready to live or die by our double-edged sex sword. I feel like we’ve found the right place for us, and I hope that audiences will come to the party — because we’re certainly throwing one.” —Dan Snierson

This Swingtown preview is excerpted from the Entertainment Weekly Summer TV Preview issue, on sale now.

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