Paramount hits the mark with television series

Kudos to the rebranded Paramount Network. Formerly known as Spike TV and even before then The Nashville Network, Paramount has brought us three good television series over the last few months, including two for the summer.
In February, the network launched its first series, Waco. The six-part series followed the story of the Branch Davidian group from the day federal agents arrived to the day the compound burned down. 
It gave people a look inside the compound and talks to have people leave.
During that series, the network began promoting Yellowstone, featuring Kevin Costner. I have watched the first two episodes and was immediately hooked, mainly because I am a Costner fan.
The network describes the show as “a drama series that follows the Dutton family, led by patriarch John Dutton (Costner). The Duttons control the largest contiguous ranch in the U.S. and must contend with constant attacks by land developers, clashes with an Indian reservation and conflict with America’s first national park.”
The first three hours that have been aired are worthy of Emmy Awards and I hope it gets some consideration. 
The final series the network has released is American Woman, featuring Alicia Silverstone. The series follows an unconventional mom named Bonnie (Silverstone) struggling to raise her daughters with the help of her two best friends Kathleen (Mena Suvari) and Diana (Jennifer Bartels) as they discover their own brand of independence amid the rise of second-wave feminism in the 1970s.
Paramount is offering some good television during the hot summer days.
One returning show on another network, The Last Ship, is ending its five-year run on TNT this summer. The final season will officially begin Aug. 19 and we will be jumping ahead in time with our favorite crew on the USS Nathan James.
According to the teaser following last summer’s finale, the crew will be battling enemies in Latin America. I can’t wait to see how Capt. Tom Chandler and his crew save the world this summer.
I have also hit Netflix to watch The Crown, a show that depicts the life of Queen Elizabeth after her father died. The writing is great and gives people a chance to see what happens behind the scenes of the royal family. 
The third season is expected to be released next year. I can’t wait to see how this show jumps ahead in time.
I have come to appreciate the West Texas heat. After spending a week in Southwest Louisiana, I can admit that I am no fan of humidity. I have written several times of the humidity of my hometown, but it seemed even more unbearable this time around.
I got out of the car at church and the sweat immediately started flowing. Thank goodness the air conditioners were working overtime that Sunday morning. It did not end there, but with the help of a swimming pool at my mother-in-law’s house, I was able to get some relief.
It was in that pool that Andrea and I learned that Adalae was becoming a fish. She loved the water and began floating without us. 
After seeing her excitement, we decided to see if she was more adventurous and made a trip to Adventure Cove in Abilene. She floated down the lazy river like a pro, floating on her back and chest while enjoying the cool water. I will have to admit she was wearing a Puddle Jumper the entire time.
More trips to water adventures in other areas of West Texas are forthcoming and our little fish will be swimming until it is too cold for us.
Before I forget, I want to wish everyone a happy Fourth of July holiday. 
Head out to Towle Park Wednesday and enjoy all of the attractions and the fireworks show.

Ben Barkley is the managing editor of the Snyder Daily News. He has covered news and sports for more than 25 years in Louisiana and Texas. Comments about his column can be emailed to

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