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30 Shows to Watch This Summer

Jan 10, 2024


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The highlights includes new seasons of "Black Mirror," "Reservation Dogs," "What We Do in the Shadows" and "The Witcher."

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By Mike Hale

This summer, there's nothing so new on television as something old. Series are emerging two years ("The Witcher"), four ("Black Mirror"), eight ("Justified: Primeval City"), 10 ("Futurama") and 25 ("The Full Monty") after you last had to think about them or the works from which they have been spun off.

On the other hand, it's also a bountiful summer for newer favorites, full of the second or third or fourth seasons of popular or praiseworthy (sometimes both) recent shows like "The Bear," "Heartstopper," "How to With John Wilson," "Never Have I Ever," "Only Murders in the Building," "Physical," "Reservation Dogs" and "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan."

One final thing to say about the new normal on TV: More than a few of those buzzy shows will be ending this summer. The minimum benchmark for long-term success used to be 100 episodes; now you can take a bow at 18 or 24. At least it looks as if we’ll always have "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

Here are 30 shows to keep an eye out for this summer, in chronological order. Premiere dates are subject to change.

Lily-Rose Depp as the titular idol and the Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) as her Svengali in the series already established as the hate watch of the summer, clearly to the delight of its creators (who include Sam Levinson of "Euphoria") and its network. (HBO, Sunday)

Joe Barton, the creator of the wildly entertaining yakuza-in-London series "Giri/Haji," created and wrote this time-jumping blend of science fiction and international crime drama. Paapa Essiedu plays a London app developer who seems to be the only person who notices that time keeps resetting, until he's recruited by the shadowy international agency that's resetting it. (TNT, Sunday)

The distinguished documentarian Steve James, who made his name with "Hoop Dreams," returns to basketball with this four-part "30 for 30" series about the free-spirited big man Bill Walton, a sports star who was not made for our times. (ESPN, Tuesday)

It takes a certain sort of genius to milk 16 seasons (with two more already committed) out of the premise that Philadelphians are stupid. (FXX, Wednesday)

The young Scottish actor Lewis Gribben has won acclaim for his performance in this bittersweet British drama about a teenager venturing into the world after being kept in loving captivity by his father for most of his life. (Hulu, Wednesday)

Netflix's crowd-pleasing comedy about an Indian American high schooler heads toward graduation; its fourth season has been announced as its last, so Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) won't be repeating senior year. (Netflix, June 8)

Chris Messina stars as a struggling tennis pro and Kaley Cuoco as a struggling, pregnant real-estate agent (and true-crime buff) whose marriage is drifting; when she decides that someone close to them is a serial killer, they suddenly find themselves with a new business opportunity. It's a sendup of true-crime obsession in the vein of "Only Murders in the Building," but relocated to Southern California and more aggressively morbid in its humor. (Peacock, June 8)

The simple act of naming the book that this series is based on would violate the stringent spoiler rules set up by Apple and the show's creator, Akiva Goldsman. So while you Google it, we’ll just say that the series co-stars Amanda Seyfried, and you should never miss a chance to watch her. (Apple TV+, June 9)

The coziest of cozy British mysteries, based on G.K. Chesterton's stories about a crime-solving priest in the Cotswolds in the 1950s, reaches its 10th season with an 11th on the way. (BritBox, June 13)

Whether or not you were a fan of the 1997 film about stripping British steelworkers, or of the musical that was derived from it, it's of at least academic interest that many of the original cast members, including Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, Lesley Sharp and Tom Wilkinson, have returned to play quarter-century-older versions of their characters in this sequel series. (FX on Hulu, June 14)

Back for a sixth season of cultural hegemony, obtained via mildly weirding us out while reassuring us that we’re very up-to-date. Performers to look forward to in the new season include Anjana Vasan of "Killing Eve," Monica Dolan and Zazie Beetz. (Netflix, June 15)

It's the second season of "Star Trek": original formula, so strap in for more cosmic do-goodery and agonized parsing of the Prime Directive. If your dream has always been to see Carol Kane play an officer on the Enterprise, you’re in luck; we can hope she’ll be given more to do than Amanda Plummer was given on "Star Trek: Picard." (Paramount+, June 15)

Not the spinoff in which Andrew Lincoln returns as Rick Grimes — that's next year — but the one in which those fan-favorite frenemies, Lauren Cohan's Maggie and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan, venture into Manhattan, which, as you can imagine, is chock-full o’ zombies. (AMC, June 18)

Samuel L. Jackson makes his first non-drive-by live-action appearance as Nick Fury since "Captain Marvel" in 2019, starring in the latest Marvel series for Disney+ (No. 9 and counting). Jackson told Entertainment Weekly that the story about alien Skrulls infiltrating earth gave him "an opportunity to explore something other than the badassery of who Nick Fury is," which sounds like a be-careful-what-you-wish-for situation. (Disney+, June 21)

Last year's breakout drama, about a chef working through his personal issues while taking over the kitchen of his family's Chicago sandwich shop, returns for a second season and adds Bob Odenkirk to its cast. (FX on Hulu, June 22)

The rapper, filmmaker, satirist and provocateur Boots Riley ("Sorry to Bother You") created this high-concept comedy starring Jharrel Jerome as a 13-foot Oakland teenager. (Amazon Prime Video, June 23)

A flight to Heathrow is commandeered by a desperate crew with mysterious motives. Idris Elba plays the passenger who has unsuspected skills in a thriller from directors, writers and producers associated with "Criminal: U.K.," "Lupin" and "Slow Horses." (Apple TV+, June 28)

Steve Dildarian's low-fi animated comedy about an improbably mature but still painfully naïve 10-year-old whose life is an obstacle course of inappropriate and unhelpful adults returns. That it's getting a second season is pretty improbable in itself. (Max, June 29)

As stars of cheesily entertaining sword-and-sex-and-sorcery shows go, Henry Cavill — with his ability to seem very serious while not taking himself too seriously — remains the most enjoyable to watch. This easygoing medieval-ish adventure's third season will be Cavill's last as the monster hunter Geralt of Rivia — he will be replaced for Season 4 by Liam Hemsworth. (Netflix, June 29)

Two decades on from "Bend It Like Beckham," Parminder Nagra gets to headline her own British mystery, playing a detective inspector in a series filmed in Birmingham. Jed Mercurio is an executive producer and the show was created by Maya Sondhi, who played the problematic Constable Maneet Bindra in Mercurio's "Line of Duty." (PBS, July 9)

Claire Danes and Zazie Beetz star in a New York crime drama from the veteran screenwriter Ed Solomon ("Men in Black") and the director Steven Soderbergh. (Max, July 13)

The comedian and actress Michelle Buteau ("First Wives Club") stars in this newly-single-in-the-city comedy, playing a talented stylist who breaks up with her photographer boyfriend when she catches him in bed with a model several sizes smaller than herself. (Netflix, July 13)

In the fifth season of Jemaine Clement's sweetly hilarious dysfunctional-family sitcom about a Staten Island nest of narcissistic vampires, the aspiring bloodsucker Guillermo (Harvey Guillén) keeps changing and the world's most boring vampire, Colin (Mark Proksch), runs for office. (FX, July 13)

Timothy Olyphant reprises his role as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in this spinoff from the hugely entertaining crime drama "Justified"; it arrives eight years after that show, and is set 15 years after its action ended. "Justified" writers and producers like Dave Andron, Michael Dinner, Walter Mosley and Graham Yost have joined Olyphant in the new project. Also returning: the spirit of Elmore Leonard, who invented the Givens character in the 1990s and whose novel "City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit" inspired the new series. (FX, July 18)

If grim but scenic Icelandic cop shows are your thing, you might want to check this one out. And slide over, if you don't mind. (Viaplay, July 20)

Anna Drezen, a head writer on two recent seasons of "Saturday Night Live," left that job to give her full attention to developing this animated comedy. Annie Murphy of "Schitt's Creek" voices the title character, whose "Schitt's"-like arc takes her from the New York nightlife to a rural cult led by her father (Stephen Root). With luck, sufficient time will be devoted to Petey's mother, a high-maintenance magazine editor voiced by Christine Baranski. (Freeform, July 21)

It should be an Easter egg extravaganza when this cult-favorite animated sci-fi comedy picks up its story lines again after a 10-year hiatus. The cast returns largely intact, which is easier to do when all you need to keep in shape is your voice. (Hulu, July 24)

HBO offers a third and final season of Wilson's visual essays on the New York streetscape and mindscape — it's social media taken to the level of art, or documentary film adapted to the rhythms and attention span of social media. (HBO, July 28)

Having had their California moment, the young heroes of this dreamlike yet astringent comedy come home to Oklahoma for Season 3. Yet another distinguished Indigenous actor, Graham Greene, joins the cast. (FX, Aug. 2)

The sordid story of the Sackler family and the opioid epidemic, already dealt with in productions like the mini-series "Dopesick" and the documentary "All the Beauty and the Bloodshed," will receive perhaps its most direct treatment yet in a mini-series starring Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler. (Netflix, Aug. 10)

Friday: "Painting With John," HBO; "With Love," Amazon Prime. Sunday: "The Eric Andre Show," Adult Swim; "Joe Pickett" Paramount+. Monday: "Cruel Summer," Freeform. June 14: "The Wonder Years," ABC. June 16: "Outlander," Starz. June 18: "Endeavour," PBS; "The Righteous Gemstones" HBO. June 22: "And Just Like That …," Max. June 23: "Swagger," Apple TV+; June 28: "grown-ish," Freeform. June 29: "Lace," AllBlk; "Warrior," Max. June 30: "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan," Amazon Prime.

July 9: "Domina," MGM+; "Grantchester," PBS. July 10: "Miracle Workers: End Times," TBS. July 12: "The Afterparty," Apple TV+. July 14: "Foundation," Apple TV+; "The Summer I Turned Pretty," Amazon Prime. July 21: "Minx," Starz. July 28: "Good Omens," Amazon Prime; "Heels" Starz; "This Fool," Hulu. July 30: "When Calls the Heart," Hallmark.

Aug. 2: "Physical," Apple TV+. Aug. 3: "Heartstopper," Netflix. Aug. 8: "Only Murders in the Building," Hulu. Aug. 17: "The Upshaws," Netflix. Aug. 30: "Archer," FXX. Sept. 1: "Power Book IV: Force," Starz; "The Wheel of Time" Amazon Prime.

Mike Hale is a television critic. He also writes about online video, film and media. He came to The Times in 1995 and worked as an editor in Sports, Arts & Leisure and Weekend Arts before becoming a critic in 2009. @mikehalenyt • Facebook


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