Were these yards that got brown in the summer planted in the spring or the fall? Even good fescue goes dormant in the heat if it hasn't had enough time to develope a goop root system.
My soil is straight clay so water runs off in the rain and it just gets ugly when it gets hot. My tenative strategy is to aerate heavily, fert and overseed in the fall, then aerate, overseed, fert and compost as soon as it warms up in the early spring. I figure two aerations and a compost topdress should help with the soil's water holding, and the combination of well developed roots and a thick stand from two overseedings should perform as good as anything else in our conditions.