Asinine airwaves

Ah, summer, when global warming is at its best. It’s a time for cold beer, hot barbecue, unflattering short shorts and, of course, soul-suckingly awful television.

Ah, summer, when global warming is at its best. It’s a time for cold beer, hot barbecue, unflattering short shorts and, of course, soul-suckingly awful television. The network execs appear to have pulled out all the stops this year, dreaming up all sorts of reasons not to ever have to peel your sweaty-ass cheeks off the couch. And by “pulled out all the stops” I mean “apparently bludgeoned themselves repeatedly with a large, radioactive rock.” Among the highlights for this year’s season of stupidity:

Age of LoveNBC, premieres Monday, June 18, 9 p.m.

Tennis pro Mark Philippoussis, says NBC, may possibly be America’s most eligible bachelor (read: America’s biggest meat head). Watch two sets of women, one in their 20s (the “kittens”) and the other in their 40s (the “cougars”), as they try to solve the question of which generation is more pathetic: the one that just barely missed the baby boom, or the one that just barely missed Gen X? One “lucky” contestant will get the dubious honor of having Philippoussis say he will go on a date with them on TV before immediately dumping them.

America’s Got Talent 2NBC, premieres Tuesday, June 5, 9 p.m.

Jerry Springer hosts as David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan and newcomer Sharon Osbourne make lots of not funny (but possibly drunk!) comments as they judge dozens of not funny contestants performing their not funny talents on a show that’s really, really not funny.

Pirate MasterCBS, premieres Thursday, May 31, 8 p.m.

Watch as 16 competitors share their collections of MP3s with their friends! Then, in a moment of suspense, one contestant will upload a grainy handheld video of a blockbuster movie to his personal website! If only Pirate Master was actually that cool. The actual show, according to the official promo spot, apparently features 16 Americans dressed in period clothing jumping off a pirate ship into the ocean. Unfortunately, they make it back to the boat.

Creature ComfortsCBS, premieres Monday, June 4, 8 p.m.

Aardman Studios, creators of Wallace and Gromit, import this U.K. hit to the U.S. this summer, a half-hour take on their longtime series of shorts of stop-motion claymation animals overdubbed with interviews with real people. Actually, this show could be awesome.

The Next Best Thing: Who is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?ABC, premieres Wednesday, May 30, 8 p.m.

A bunch of non-celebrities impersonate celebrities while not-quite-celebrity judges Elon Gold, Jeffrey Ross and Lisa Ann Walter make fun of them. Which is pretty much all you need to know about this show, except for one thing: its executive producer is Peter Engel, who also worked on Saved by the Bell, so now you know it has to be awesome.

Fast Cars & SuperstarsABC, premieres Thursday, June 8, 8 p.m.

Jewel has come a long way since living in her van. Now some ABC execs apparently think it would be a good idea to let her drive a racecar. The singer/poet, along with William Shatner, John Elway and other celebrity wash-ups/pop-culture walking jokes will be paired with Gillette’s hot-shot young stock-car racing team. Unfortunately, they will be teaching them how not to drive into a wall at 180 mph. Apparently, we’ll have to wait until next season for Celebrity Deaths 2: Return to the Thunderdome. Now that’s a show worth waiting for.