10 Upcoming TV Shows We Can’t Wait to See

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In the dead of summer, now that Tremé has finished airing its first season and Gossip Girl and 30 Rock are in reruns, we overdose on bad reality programming (and True Blood) and start to despair about the dearth of good TV. Then we cheer ourselves up by getting psyched for all the new series we’ve heard about but haven’t seen yet. After the jump, we list 10 series we’re looking forward to at all stages in the development process. Lift our spirits by suggesting even more exciting projects we missed in the comments.

On the Road with Austin & SantinoWhat is it? Former Project Runway also-rans Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice “travel to and immerse themselves in the culture of small towns across America to create new, dream-come-true looks for special women in unique situations as they celebrate such life milestones as anniversaries, birthdays, balls, graduations and bachelorette parties” in this Lifetime reality series.Why we’re excited: As each new season of Project Runway yields diminishing returns, we can’t wait to see two of the show’s most entertaining personalities back on TV. Their wardrobes alone promise to provide more entertainment than we’re used to seeing on basic cable.Air date: July 29

Boardwalk Empire What is it? Okay, if you haven’t heard about this show yet, we hope you’re sitting down. Martin Scorsese and Sopranos writer Terence Winter have combined their gangster-loving chops to create a series set in 1920s Atlantic City. It stars the wonderful Steve Buscemi as Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a crooked politician-cum-mobster. Why we’re excited: Aside from the obvious, we’re loving the lush cinematography and glitzy, gritty Prohibition-era costume and set design. Air date: September 19

Undercovers What is it? Lost mastermind J.J. Abrams switches from ABC to NBC for a spy drama following a retired CIA agent-turned-caterer couple who have been called back to duty. International intrigue ensues. Why we’re excited: Even after a disappointing Lost finale, we’re willing to give the never-boring Abrams another chance. And we’re encouraged by early reports that Undercovers is fast-paced and funny. Air date: Fall 2010

Hellcats What is it? Marti is a smart college student studying to be a lawyer. When she loses her scholarship, she bites the bullet and joins the cheerleading squad to finagle some funding. Why we’re excited: From the previews we’ve seen the dialog seem quick and funny. If it’s even half the campy fun Bring it On was, we’ll be hooked. Air date: September 8

Outsourced What is it? Todd Dempsy (Ben Rappaport) is the manager of an order processing call center that’s about to be outsourced to India — and he’s going with it. Adapted from a 2006 film by the same name, Outsourced is a sitcom about culture clash. Why we’re excited: Because it seeks to make light of something many jobless Americans will have a hard time finding funny, the series is already generating controversy. Personally, we think it’s possible to make a hilarious show and manage to sneak in some pointed cultural criticism. Plus, NBC must think mighty highly of Outsourced to add it to their stellar Thursday-night lineup. Air date: Fall 2010

The Borgias What it is: Now that The Tudors has wrapped, it’s time for Showtime to move onto an even more dysfunctional noble family! Jeremy Irons stars as the staggeringly corrupt Rodrigo Borgia, 15th-century Italian pope and all-around disgusting human being. Why we’re excited: As Renaissance history buffs, we know the Borgia family will make for good TV. And the exterior shots of gorgeous Italian scenery are just lovely. Air date: 2011

Tilda What is it? Diane Keaton will star in this HBO comedy series about a Hollywood blogger based on Deadline‘s Nikki Finke. But, as indieWIRE points out, there are some differences between the character and her inspiration: “She does leave her house, meets people for meals, and doesn’t drink or do drugs.” Why we’re excited: Well, for one thing, the series appeals to our gossipy instincts. And we’re also anticipating a media circus following the legal kerfuffle the show has already generated. Air date: TBA

All Signs of Death What is it? HBO’s master of the morbid, Alan Ball, follows up two very different but equally classic series, Six Feet Under and True Blood, with yet another death-obsessed series. All Signs of Death will be based on Charles Huston’s novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, about a 20-something with a mysterious aptitude for crime-scene clean-up. Why we’re excited: We’ve seen Ball do realism and pulp, so we’re betting he’ll be wonderful at noir. And we’ve heard great things about the book, too. Air date: TBA

Stitch ‘n Bitch What is it? Yes, it’s another HBO series! The single-camera comedy will star co-writers (and BFFs) Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat as artist wannabes making the cross-country pilgrimage from hipster mecca Williamsburg to hipster mecca Silver Lake. Why we’re excited: Honestly? Because we are the demographic for this show. And we love these actresses. Air date: TBA

“Untitled Reggie Watts Project” What is it? We’re not sure yet! And we’re not confident Comedy Central is, either! Why we’re excited: Because Reggie Watts brings comedy to a new, weird level. He’s musical, multi-talented, and utterly hilarious. Air date: TBA