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Hot Summer TV: August

”Weeds,” ”Rubicon,” ”Flipping Out,” and more in your monthly guide to summer shows

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Melissa & Joey ABC Family, Aug. 17, 8 p.m.
Gen-X nostalgia alert! Sabrina the Teenage Witch‘s Melissa Joan Hart and Blossom‘s Joey Lawrence, both 34, return to their sitcom roots on Melissa & Joey. She’s a party girl- turned-local politician, he’s the bankrupt financial adviser who moves in to help her care for her sister’s kids. In a word: Whoa! — Jennifer Armstrong

Q&A
EW: Why did you want to return to sitcoms?
Melissa Joan Hart Right after Sabrina, I thought I wanted a big dramatic role to really break out. Like maybe if I do a British accent or play a transsexual I can win an Oscar. Then I did an episode of Law & Order, and I was like, No. It’s so much more comfortable for me to be in a situation where I make people laugh.
Joey Lawrence It just made sense. We did this ABC Family movie together, My Fake Fiancé, and it did really well. So we wanted to do a romantic-comedy TV show, sort of a Mad About You.

Did you guys know each other back when you were child stars?
Lawrence We used to go on the same auditions together. The very first thing we tested on together was a Ron Howard pilot [in 1983] for NBC called Little Shots. We both tested for that, and I ended up doing it. It didn’t go anywhere, though.
Hart I learned to ride a bike that day. I didn’t get the part, and I think that’s why, because I couldn’t fake it. I couldn’t ride a bike.

Is Melissa & Joey geared toward kids and families, like your other shows?
Lawrence No, ABC Family’s really pushing the limits. It’s not anywhere near the Disney Channel. We’re talking about vaginas — with all due respect, ladies. Hart We don’t cross the line, we’re not HBO. But don’t let your 8-year-old watch.

So it’s like Who’s the Boss? — with edge?
Hart It’s got that setup, that’s about it. It’s less Who’s the Boss? and more like [The New Adventures of] Old Christine. My character can’t really take care of the kids, but she knows what she’s drinking that night.
Lawrence And my character’s kind of like Bruce Willis from Moonlighting. Certainly not like Tony Danza, with aprons and stuff.


Rubicon AMC, Aug. 1, 8 p.m.
The Pacific‘s James Badge Dale plays an analyst at a political think tank who begins to unravel clues to a conspiracy orchestrated by his bosses in AMC’s newest drama. Intrigue follows.

Bachelor Pad ABC, Aug. 9, 8 p.m.
Chris Harrison hosts this reality spin-off as 20 former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants return to play house, hoping to catch the love bug — and avoid the dreaded hot-tub rash.

Weeds Showtime, Aug. 16, 10 p.m.
We finally learn what will become of the Botwins after Shane killed Pilar in last season’s shocking finale.

Emmy Awards NBC, Aug. 29, 8 p.m.
From Late Night to Emmy night, first-time host Jimmy Fallon takes the stage.

Flipping Out Bravo, August TBD
Everyone’s favorite obsessive-compulsive is back, flipping homes and freaking out. — Archana Ram

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