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Hot (cable) fun in the summertime

Forget all this talk about how we're moving toward a 12-month-a-year TV season. We're already there. The Madmen2 past few days have been rife with reports of cable networks renewing hit seriesthat debuted this summer: Syfy picked up its X-Files-with-a-laugh show Warehouse 13, Lifetime its hottie-reincarnated-as-fatty Drop Dead Diva, USA its life-among-the-filthy-rich Royal Pains as well as the spy action-comedy Burn Notice, a summer hit three years running. And the return of AMC's Mad Men, another summertime regular, rolled up monster raters the likes of which basic cable nets rarely see at any time of the year. The broadcast networks haven't had much summer success because, despite all their talk about a new model, they keep plugging in second-string shows between June and August. But TV's not all about broadcast anymore, even if the networks haven't figured that out yet.

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Anne Louise Bannon

Of course, it doesn't hurt that all of the above shows are better than a good chunk of what's on the broadcast nets. Why couldn't Pushing Daisies or Eli Stone have ended up on cable? We'd still have them.

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