“Burn Notice” season premieres tonight on USA Network (kind of)

By Tom Comi

Since Michael Westen is such a great spy, perhaps his next assignment can entail figuring out why USA Network found the need to cut the latest season of his show Burn Notice in half.

I couldn’t be happier that my favorite drama is returning tonight (10pm ET), but it’s technically not a premiere since we are still in season 5. That didn’t prevent the network from referring to its last episode in June as the “mid-season summer finale,” a secret code I’m still trying to decipher.

Semantics and programming strategies aside, it’s a very good thing that Burn Notice is back on the air for six more episodes this year (season?). There is no other drama on TV that combines riveting plots, huge explosions, exciting car chases, sexy characters and dry wit so expertly.

For those not familiar with the show, Jeffrey Donovan plays Michael Westen, a former government spy who was burned (hence the name) and forced to find out on his own who betrayed him. In the meantime, he takes on local jobs in Miami with his girlfriend (Gabrielle Anwar), friend (Bruce Campbell) and fellow burned spy (Coby Bell). Adding a personal side — and many funny moments — to the storylines is Sharon Gless, who plays Michael’s chain-smoking mother.

When we last left Michael, he was actually working for his former agency (yes, the one that screwed him over), and he is now forced to help an enemy in order to protect his family and friends. Among the guest stars in upcoming episodes are Dean Cain, Eric Roberts and Jere Burns.

We assume he will find a way to make things work, because he always combines his great skills, mind and athletic ability to squeeze out of jams. Oh, and there’s also the reality that USA Network would otherwise not have a lead character for the beginning of it several season sixes next year.

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© USA Network. Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert

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