By Tanner Stransky
Updated April 06, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

For the most part, television on the broadcast networks sucks during the summer. I know this. Viewers are out of town or at the beach and, thus, not turning on their TVs (well, maybe they’re watching cable instead), so the networks don’t put much effort into what they air. See: NBC’s freakfest America’s Got Talent, CBS’ freakfest Big Brother, and ABC’s freakfest Wipeout, etc.

So I don’t know why in the world I was shocked this afternoon when I got an e-mail from CW publicity announcing two inane-sounding reality series that are debuting this summer. First, Hitched or Ditched (pictured), an hour-long show premiering May 27. Each week, it’ll follow a different long-term couple who have to decide whether to get married or break up entirely. According to the release, the couple will be “put through a series of personalized exercises that test their relationship, all while planning their dream wedding.” (Or, rather, what it should say: “We’ll drag out these couples’ in-laws and bring up past secrets to make them start to hate on each other.”) There’s no word on what the challenges will be, but you can bet the producers will try their darnedest to tear these couples apart in the most atrocious ways imaginable. Ahh, the beauty of summer TV!

And then we’ll get Blonde Charity Mafia. First, I was intrigued by this possibility — any show with the word mafia, especially when it doesn’t have to do with actual gangsters and it is paired with the word “blonde,” sounds like a great idea to me. But, again, inanity seems to rule here: The show, which debuts July 14, is about “D.C.’s most influential 20-something Alpha Girls.” Charity bitches, basically, with nothing better to do but rattle on with each other about their exploits. Influential? Highly doubtful. Looks like the only folks they’ll influencing is other silly girls who’ll think that they, too, can have a ripoff of Bravo’s The Real Housewives franchise.

My suggestion to The CW: Ditch this stuff and just do marathons of Gossip Girl and 90210. But what do you think, PopWatchers: Will you watch Hitched or Ditched and Blonde Charity Mafia? Do they have a shred of potential? Do you even watch network TV in the summer? Could these two shows be any worse than The CW’s past major dud Farmer Wants a Wife?

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