School may be out but that doesn't mean TV is. In fact, with the resurrection of scripted summer TV (thanks, "Under the Dome"), not to mention the usual reality fare that comes with the heat and humidity ("Big Brother," "So You Think You Can Dance" and the upcoming "The Amazing Race Canada"), there's a lot to choose from if you're stuck inside or just feel like getting out of the heat and being a couch potato.
But the small-screen fun isn't just for the grown-ups. For those of you who may or may not be stuck at home with the young ones and need a break every now and again, our favourite kids' channels are here to help us in our time of need. Sure, there are the shows we know and love ("Kickin' It," "Gravity Falls," "Adventure Time With Finn & Jake," "Pretty Little Liars," "The Fosters," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "The Looney Tunes Show," just to name a few of my personal faves), but here are a few highlights kids and teens should be looking out for this hot TV season:
Unlike its current lineup of dramas ("Switched at Birth," "Twisted," "The Fosters") and comedies ("Baby Daddy," "Melissa & Joey") ABC Spark is embarking on a new unscripted docu-series. "The Vineyard" is set in Massachusetts -- Martha's Vineyard, to be exact -- and centres on 11 locals and "wash-ashores" who spend the summer together, hanging out at the island's iconic Black Dog Tavern. The cast is comprised of a Latin pop princess (seriously?), an aspiring writer (who will undoubtedly gather a ton of material), a player who is preparing for medical school (ugh) and a hopeless romantic (who will likely fall for the pre-med stud, double ugh). There will be romantic reunions, short-term hookups, friendships and rivalries -- what summer in a beach town like this is made for. Is it just me or does it sound like a mix of "Jersey Shore" and the beach club episodes from "Saved By the Bell"? Giddy. Up. <em>"The Vineyard" premieres Tuesday, July 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.</em>
"Teen Beach Movie"
Life's a beach party, as far as Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell are concerned. The "Austin & Ally" and "The Fosters" stars, respectively, play boyfriend and girlfriend Brady and McKenzie, surfers who mysteriously wind up in a '60s-set movie called "West Side Story," reminscent of the Frankie and Annette days. (For those who are too young, Google Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, k?). It's also a little like "Grease," with the T-Birds vs. the Scorpions, but in "Teen Beach Movie"'s case, it's bikers versus surfers as the two sides battle for control of their favourite hangout. Thankfully there's no real fighting here and in true classic beach party form, everyone bursts into song and dance. (FYI, this is a dream of mine, where I can spend a day dancing around and singing my words.) Surf's up, indeed. <em>"Teen Beach Movie" premieres Friday, July 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.</em>
"The Next Star"
The talent competition is back for its sixth season, and while judges Keshia Chanté, Tara Oram and Mark Spicoluk return as this year's judges and mentors, Adam Ruggiero is not. He has been replaced by Carlos Bustamante, who YTV fans know as the host of "The Zone." Over 5,000 young aspiring singers auditioned across the country and the finalists will try and make their dreams come true like previous contestants Victoria Duffield and Alyssa Reid before them. <em>"The Next Star" premieres Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m. ET.</em>
"Ready, Steady, Wiggle!"
OK, this one really is for the parents, because I'm pretty sure the little ones aren't perusing the Internet. Sure, there are the tried-and-true shows that keep the tots occupied (I'm looking at you, "Mike the Knight," "Bubble Guppies," "Octonauts" and "My Big, Big Friend") but if you moms and dads are looking for some human interaction, why not turn to The Wiggles? "Ready, Steady, Wiggle!" takes the trusty children's music group from Australia into a whole new generation as Anthony, Simon, Lachlan and Emma perform brand-new songs that will undoubtedly turn into instant classics for the kiddies. <em>"Ready, Steady, Wiggle!" premieres Monday, July 8 at 4 p.m. ET.</em>
"Jake And The Never Land Pirates"
From the beginning of July to the end of August, preschoolers can spend their summers in a world of pirates and princesses. Jake and Sofia (that would be Jake of "Jake And The Never Land Pirates," and "Sofia The First" herself) partner up in back-to-back airings. Whether Jake, Izzy and Cubby are battling Captain Hook and Smee so they can count their gold goubloons, or Sofia hiding her magic amulet from Cedric while learning what it takes to be royalty, it's guaranteed to always be an adventure. <em>"Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Sofia The First" air back-to-back weekdays beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.</em>
"Sofia The First"
<em>*same as previous slide*</em> From the beginning of July to the end of August, preschoolers can spend their summers in a world of pirates and princesses. Jake and Sofia (that would be Jake of "Jake And The Never Land Pirates," and "Sofia The First" herself) partner up in back-to-back airings. Whether Jake, Izzy and Cubby are battling Captain Hook and Smee so they can count their gold goubloons, or Sofia hiding her magic amulet from Cedric while learning what it takes to be royalty, it's guaranteed to always be an adventure. <em>"Jake and the Never Land Pirates" and "Sofia The First" air back-to-back weekdays beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.</em>
Like "Pretty Little Liars," "Teen Wolf" and "Awkward," this one's for the bigger kids -- and us kids at heart. "Degrassi" is not the "Degrassi Junior High" or "Degrassi High" (or, if you're like me, "The Kids Of Degrassi Street") with which we grew up. It's darker, it's racier and for us parents out there, the scariest show on television because if this is a reflection of what's going on in high schools today ... damn. The 13th season of the iconic series kicks off with special hour-long episode "The Time Of My Life." Imogen will do what she has to do to stay with Fiona; Clare tries to move on without Eli; and Mo risks his relationship with Marisol. With the eventual departures of some beloved characters, three new faces are also introduced: fashionista Zoë Rivas (Ana Golja), athlete and former prep-school kid Miles Hollingsworth III (Eric Osborne), and sarcastic Winston "Chewy" Chu (Andre Kim), who will, no doubt, add more drama to the scariest high school ever. <em>"Degrassi" premieres Thursday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET.</em>
This one sounds a little like "Richie Rich" -- a 12-year-old super-rich genius longs for real friends so he asks his parents to remove him from his posh 154th-floor penthouse to summer camp. Silly rabbit. McGee's yearning for an ordinary life goes from privileged to paranormal when it is soon discovered by him and all the other campers that Camp Lakebottom is kind of haunted; the cabins are possessed and the counsellors are creepy -- and not in the teenage way. Sounds like a freaky good time. <em>"Camp Lakebottom" premieres Thursday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET.</em>
"Phineas And Ferb: Mission Marvel"
If the Musical Cliptastic Coundown on Friday, July 12 on Family isn't enough for "Phineas And Ferb" fans, then this is definitely the special for you, in the same vein as "Summer Belongs to You" and "Across The 2nd Dimension" (the latter, in particular, is truly a fantastic movie that has brilliant writing that kids and adults will find funny and heart-warming). In "Mission Marvel" the famous stepbrothers, who aren't too young for any adventure, team up with Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and Iron Man after the superheroes are weakened after Dr. Doofenshmirtz's latest invention wipes out their powers. So who else but Phineas and Ferb to the rescue? Sounds awesome, right? <em>"Phineas And Ferb: Mission Marvel" premieres Sunday, August 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET.</em>