World cuisine: Gordon Ramsey’s Great Escape returns to BBC America. *Newscom photo
World cuisine: Gordon Ramsey’s Great Escape returns to BBC America. *Newscom photo

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10: Summer TV is not what it used to be.

No longer the season of re-runs, the summer schedule now comes with lots of new programming.

In fact this year alone, from June 1 until the end of August, more than 80 new shows will have debuted. 

Here are just a few picks to brighten up your summer evenings.

Home decor

HGTV is blitzing the airwaves with new programming this summer, bringing out no less than 12 new titles, hosted by renowned designers and experts, and offering plenty of interactive opportunities for viewers.

Check out Run My Makeover, where each episode engages the talents of armchair designers like you and me, who give their input online at

Dina’s Party premieres Friday, August 15, at 11 pm.

Host Dina Manzo gained her fame in Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Each week, the interior designer and special events planner and her staff will go to a different client’s home and transform it, creating a sumptuous special event, whether it is a wedding, graduation party or lavish baby shower. 

A new series of The High Low Project  will screen on Mondays at 11 pm.

This one sounds like fun for the budget-conscious (who isn’t these days?).

Host and designer Sabrina Soto starts each show by creating the homeowners’ dream room with luxurious furnishings and expensive wall and window treatments.

Then, step by step, she goes back in and replaces all the costly, high-end items with budget-friendly finds that end up duplicating the look.

The happy homeowners discover that they can live in high style at affordable prices.

Showcase Showdown premieres on Monday, August 29th, at 11 pm.

This new series is a home makeover competition in which each episode selects two professional interior designers and gives them identical budgets.

Each then takes over a home and works their magic. In the end, the public votes for the winner.

Firefighting drama

 Rescue Me – on FX, Wednesdays, 11 pm.

Having just launched its seventh and final season, this popular series starring Denis Leary as a New York City firefighter will provide drama right up until the September 7 season finale.

This gives Leary’s troubled character, Tommy Gavin, just a short time to come to terms with his many demons and make a final quest for redemption.

Culinary travels

Gordon Ramsey’s Great Escape – on BBC America, Tuesdays at 10pm.

Iconic chef Gordon Ramsey is back for the second season of this tantalizing show, which is part cooking lesson and part travel documentary. 

Last season, Ramsey took us to India, where he explored some the sub-continent’s most exciting cuisines.

This year, it’s on to Southeast Asia, for some more exotic travels and challenging recipes.

Expect off-the-beaten-path adventures in Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Thailand, where you’ll experience breathtaking scenery and exciting new dishes. 

This is extreme cooking at its best.

Ghostly tales

Ghost Hunters International – on Syfy, Wednesdays at 10 pm.

This Syfy original series is the spin-off of Ghost Hunters, which focused solely on the US.

Now the search for paranormal activity has gone global.

Join the show’s team of experts, who travel with a sophisticated array of high-tech devices, as they visit some of the world’s most infamous haunted places.

I don’t recommend watching this show if you’re at home alone.

Universal questions

Curiosity – on Discovery Channel, Sundays at 9 pm.

This new series from Discovery delves into some of the most challenging questions posed by science, technology and society.

Is it likely that there is an alternate universe?

What if humans could live forever?

Are some people genetically prone to violence?

This show takes the viewer on a “global journey of learning and surprises”.

Each episode will feature a different celebrity host. Some of the names on the roster include Stephen Hawking, Morgan Freeman, Michelle Rodriguez, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Spurlock, Adam Savage, Mike Rowe and Robin Williams.

Surf around and you will find plenty of new ways to entertain and enlighten yourself this month.