19 TV shows we have our eyes on this summer
Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes a brand new season of television. New shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ms. Marvel, and House of the Dragon will premiere alongside returning favorites like Stranger Things, Umbrella Academy, Better Call Saul, and more. With so many new (and old) shows coming out, how can anyone possibly keep track of all these upcoming premieres? Not to worry; that’s why we’re here.
Here are our picks for the most anticipated TV shows premiering and returning this summer on TV channels like AMC and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Hulu, and others.
The competition reality show “set” in a fantasy realm is back, eight years after the first season. Some things are different — this time around, the competitors are teenagers, and the show is being filmed at a winery in California instead of a castle in Austria — but the premise is the same. A group of competitors go through a series of challenges related to the fantasy storyline in the land of Everealm, the fictional setting of the show (this time, there’s an evil sorceress). We’re absolutely here for more competition shows that lean all the way into a storybook premise. —Pete Volk
The Quest premieres on Disney Plus on May 11
Hacks Season 2
HBO Max is quickly cornering the market on the half-hour series with shows like Minx, The Flight Attendant, and the Emmy-winning Hacks. This raucous comedy from Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky returns for a second season of putdowns, comebacks, and the endlessly fascinating dynamic between its two leads, played by Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. Season 1 saw comedy legend Deborah (Smart) and upstart Ava (Einbinder) reach truce after shaky truce before finally becoming true collaborators. In season 2, they get ready to hit the road and test Deborah’s new act, with all of their previous baggage — including Ava’s self-destructive tendencies and Deborah’s out-of-control ego — in tow. The new episodes dive further into their fraught-yet-scintillating relationship, while also giving Marcus (Carl Clemons-Hopkins) a much-deserved spotlight. —Danette Chavez
Hacks season 2 premieres on HBO Max on May 12
Love, Death & Robots Volume 3
David Fincher and Tim Miller’s adult animated anthology series returns for more love, more death, and even more robots. But in what proportion? We’ll find out when volume 3 of Love, Death & Robots premieres on May 20. Details are scarce regarding the plot of these eight new episodes, but we can probably expect writer John Scalzi (“Three Robots”) and animator-director Alberto Mielgo (“The Witness”) to return from what we’ve seen in the trailer. —Toussaint Egan
Love, Death & Robots volume 3 premieres on Netflix on May 20
Irene (Sissy Spacek) and Franklin York (J.K. Simmons) are a married couple who found a portal to another planet in their backyard. They’ve kept it a secret for years, but things start to unravel when a mysterious young man appears. Intriguing premise aside, Simmons and Spacek headlining a show is enough to pique our interest. —PV
Night Sky premieres on Amazon Prime Video on May 20
Ewan McGregor reprises his role as the Jedi-Master-turned-Tatooine-hermit Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new six-episode miniseries. Set a decade after the events of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan is forced to embark on a new adventure that will bring him face-to-face with his former apprentice and adversary, Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen). It’s the first time we’ve seen these characters on-screen in nearly 17 years, and from the looks of the trailer, Star Wars fans can expect an epic showdown decades in the making. —TE
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney Plus on May 27
Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and created by frequent Baz Luhrmann collaborator Craig Pearce, this six-episode miniseries is based on the memoir of Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Starring Maisie Williams, among others, it follows the punk rock revolution in the U.K. in the late 1970s. —PV
Pistol premieres on FX on Hulu on May 31.
Stranger Things Season 4
After nearly three years, Stranger Things is finally back! Set six months after the climax of season 3, the fourth (and penultimate) season of series finds Mike and his group of friends separated as Joyce Byers adopts Eleven and moves her family to sunny California to distance themselves from the memories and horrors of Hawkins, Indiana. Unbeknownst to friends and loved ones, Jim Hopper is alive and not so well in a Russian internment camp fighting to escape back home. But when a new terror begins to emerge from the Upside Down, the kids will have to band together once again to defeat a threat greater than the likes of any they’ve faced before. The Duffer Brothers promise that this season will have a more “horror movie” vibe, going so far as to cast Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) in a unspecified new role. —TE
Stranger Things season 4, volume 1 premieres on Netflix on May 27; volume 2 premieres on Netflix on July 1
The Boys Season 3
Homelander, Billy Butcher and Hughie, and the rest of the crew are back, and Jensen Ackles is coming along for the ride. The subversive superhero story took on white supremacy, Avengers: Endgame and revenge-driven superhero stories in a strong second season, and there have been some teases, including a trailer that includes a parody of Kendall Jenner’s infamous Pepsi commercial, our first look at Jensen Ackles as Soldier Boy, and plenty of gore. So, so much gore.
This spring saw the animated spinoff The Boys: Diabolical as well. We picked out the grossest thing in every episode, just for you. —PV
The Boys season 3 premieres on Prime Video on June 3
The latest MCU show on Disney Plus will tell the story of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teen from Jersey City who is also a gigantic superfan of the Avengers (and particularly Captain Marvel). When she gets superpowers similar to her idol, she must juggle her newfound abilities with the usual high school problems: crushes, parents, and, of course, homework.
Based on the beloved comic series, the show stars newcomer Iman Vellani as Kamala, who is already slated to play the role in the upcoming Captain Marvel sequel The Marvels. —PV
Ms. Marvel premieres on Disney Plus on June 8
For All Mankind Season 3
Ronald D. Moore’s time-leaping space drama For All Mankind started off as a slow burn — an alternate history that used an early defeat as fuel for technological innovation and social evolution. The awe-inspiring cinematography and visual effects were enough to put stars in your eyes, but the Apple TV Plus series never lost sight of the human cost of space travel. Moore and his co-creators Ben Nedivi and Matt Wolpert have shifted the focus from men with the “right stuff” — like the late, great Gordo (Michael Dorman) — to brash and brilliant female astronauts like Molly (Sonya Walger) and the more diplomatic, but still courageous, Ellen (Jodi Balfour). Now, after a second season that stood among the best TV of 2021, the series blasts off to Mars in search of new victories and heroes, only to find new rivals. —DC
For All Mankind season 3 premieres on Apple TV Plus on June 10
Peaky Blinders Season 6
The final season of Peaky Blinders was broadcast in the U.K. this spring, but will get its stateside debut on Netflix in June. It’s not the end of the story — there’s a movie in the works, too, as well as some potential spinoff series — but we are finally getting a conclusion to Steven Knight’s Birmingham-set crime series nearly three years after the end of the fifth season. Sadly, the show will be missing Helen McCrory’s unforgettable performance as Polly after the actor’s death in April 2021, but Cillian Murphy, Finn Cole, and Tom Hardy return. —PV
Peaky Blinders season 6 premieres on Netflix on June 10
Evil Season 3
Few shows on television play with the serial format as well as Evil. There just aren’t that many “monster of the week” shows left! Robert and Michelle King’s (The Good Wife) supernatural drama is one of the most fun shows on TV, featuring a strong central trio of Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, and Aasif Mandvi as paranormal investigators with very different points of view on the existence of the paranormal. —PV
Evil season 3 premieres on Paramount Plus on June 12
Based on Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee book series, this Western psychological thriller counts George R.R. Martin, Robert Redford, and Chris Eyre among its executive producers. Created by Graham Roland (Jack Ryan), the show is about two Navajo police offers played by Zahn McClarnon (Reservation Dogs) and Kiowa Gordon (the Twilight movies). Noah Emmerich (The Americans) and Rainn Wilson (The Office) also feature in the cast, as a burned-out FBI agent and “degenerate” missionary, respectively. —PV
Dark Winds premieres on AMC on June 12
Paramount Plus’ upcoming esports drama places itself in the real world through its licensed use of Riot Games’ League of Legends and the League Championship Series, the North American league for the esport. The show follows the fictional League of Legends squad Team Fugitive, led by legendary veteran “Creamcheese” and promising prospect “Organizm,” who must work together to bring the organization back to its previous heights.
Players also features real esports personalities and players as members of the cast. As a result, this mockumentary-style series from the creators of American Vandal could be the rare piece of esports fiction that feels like it actually wants to engage with esports as a dramatic setting rather than something to be made fun of. —PV
Players premieres on Paramount Plus on June 16.
The Umbrella Academy Season 3
After having averted the apocalypse twice, the Umbrella Academy return home to the present, only to find their reality irrevocably altered by their actions in 1963. Confronted by the Sparrow Academy, an elite family of siblings from an alternate dimension, the Umbrella Academy will once again have to team up in order to prevent the destruction of everything they know and work together to rebuild a semblance of normalcy in the wake of everything they once knew. The original cast returns, including Elliot Page, whose character will now go by Viktor. —TE
Umbrella Academy season 3 premieres on Netflix on June 22
Only Murders in the Building Season 2
Steve Martin’s true-crime comedy with Martin Short and Selena Gomez returns after a cliffhanger finale to the first season. We won’t spoil it here, but the group has found itself in quite the sticky situation after attempting to solve the first season’s central murder on their podcast. —PV
Only Murders in the Building season 2 premieres on Hulu on June 28
Better Call Saul Season 6, Part 2
The sixth and final season of the Breaking Bad spinoff is currently airing, but like many other shows these days, it has been split into two parts. The second part will begin in July, and will likely bring Saul, Mike Ehrmantraut, Gus Fring, and the rest of the gang to where the characters start in Breaking Bad. What does it mean for Kim Wexler and other characters who do not feature in the previous show? We’ll just have to wait and see. —PV
Better Call Saul season 6, part 2 premieres on AMC on July 11
We are absolutely lousy with new Resident Evil content. 2021 saw a new game in Resident Evil Village (with a free multiplayer mode coming sometime this year), a new animated series in Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and a new movie in Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (a much more faithful adaptation of the games than the original movies, which are unfairly maligned by fans of the games but I promise not to get sidetracked by that here).
The Netflix live-action show will follow Jade and Billie Wesker, the daughters of the games’ central antagonist, Albert Wesker (played by Lance Reddick). It will be set in two different time periods: one where the Wesker sisters are teens and one where they are adults. While other details remain light, the show’s creator (Supernatural writer Andrew Dabb) has said Resident Evil is his “favorite game of all time,” which is good news for fans of faithful adaptations. —PV
Resident Evil premieres on Netflix on July 14
House of the Dragon
Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the 10-episode prequel series House of the Dragon will follow the rise and fall of House Targaryen and the events that would go on to shape the politics of Westeros for generations to come. The series stars Paddy Considine (The World’s End) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as King Viserys Targaryen and his son Prince Daemon Targaryen, respectively, as well as supporting roles played by Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, and Sonoya Mizuno. Can this new series rekindle the flame of enthusiasm snuffed out by Game of Thrones’ underwhelming conclusion? Time will tell. —TE
House of the Dragon premieres on HBO Max on Aug. 21