Summer television used to mean reruns. This year, it's gone to the dogs.
Several nNew shows star dogs and their owners in need of help. CBS has the lone network show in "Dogs in the City," starring comic, dog trainer and businessman Justin Silver, which premieres Wednesday night. It's joined by documentaries on PBS and HBO and a series in the works for the Disney Channel, among others.
Documentaries are exploring the rewards and redemption of shelter dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says between 5 million and 7 million companion animals enter shelters every year, and between 3 million and 4 million of them are euthanized.
"Shelter Me," a PBS documentary, is narrated by actress Katherine Heigl and follows an animal control officer, adoption workers, female inmates who train rescue dogs and vets who acquire former shelter dogs. "Shelter Me" will air across the country sometime in June.
HBO will premiere a documentary called "One Nation Under Dog: Stories of Fear, Loss & Betrayal" on June 18 at 9 p.m. The film looks at America's obsession with dogs, how far individuals will go for their pets and what it will take for people across the country to treat all dogs humanely.
The Disney Channel also has a new dog show in the works for the fall, and while it does involve a rescue dog, that's where reality ends. The live-action, multicamera series is called "Dog With a Blog" and revolves around a dog named Stan (who is really a 4-year-old named Kuma).