TNT Ignites This Summer

Kyra Sedgwick returns in "The Closer"

TNT knows drama. It also knows that summer is fast on its way (hopefully sooner rather than later here in Wisconsin), and that’s the time when cable brings out a lot of its programming heavy-hitters, both in the form of returning series and premieres. TNT has a nice mix of both coming mid-year:

The Closer (Season 5, June) — Kyra Sedgwick is back in ad-supported cable’s No. 1 series of all time, as Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a former Atlanta detective who now heads a special LAPD homicide unit.

Raising the Bar (Season 2, June) — Last year’s premiere of this legal drama was seen by 8.6 million viewers, the largest ever audience for an ad-supported cable network series launch. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek star in this series that follows the lives of young lawyers who work on opposite sides — the public defender’s office and the district attorney’s office.

HawthoRNe (Series Premiere, June) — Jada Pinkett Smith becomes the latest film actress to be drawn to a TNT project. In this character-driven medical drama told from the nurses’ point of view, she plays a forceful, yet caring, director of nursing at a Virginia hospital. Recently widowed, she also must take on the equally important role as mother to a teen daughter. Michael Vartan costars.

Saving Grace (Season 3, June) — Gutsy Oklahoma City police detective Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter) investigates more brutal crimes while also trying to deal with her emotionally fragile partner and figure out the latest cryptic message from her last-chance angel.

Wedding Day (Series Premiere, June) — Unscripted series that gives deserving couples a helping hand in making their wedding day magical. Each week, celebrity event planner and chef Alan Dunn, and celebrity wedding planner Diann Valentine, host as family, friends and community come together to create a dream wedding. Along the way, we get to learn each couple’s story, from their first date to the big moment.

Leverage (Season 2, July) — After a successful run last winter, Timothy Hutton and his gang of outlaws are back with more elaborate scams designed to exact revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize people.

Dark Blue (Series Premiere, July) — Dylan McDermott tries his hand at another series, this one from producer Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI). He plays the leader of a crack undercover team of police officers who are so covert that many of their own colleagues don’t even know they are involved.

Karen Neal/TNT