30 Shows to Watch This Summer

30 Shows to Watch This Summer

It’s dangerous to draw conclusions before all the evidence is in, but a long look at the roster of new and returning series this summer might convince you of the primacy of what my colleague James Poniewozik has identified as “mid TV.” A lot of pleasure, in the form of audience-tested favorites and star-studded new shows. Not a lot of adventure or experimentation or risk.

Of course, TV has never had much of those qualities — we’re talking marginal differences here — so don’t feel guilty strapping in for something that sounds comfortable. Here are 30 possibilities over the next three months, in chronological order; all dates are subject to change.

David E. Kelley’s new adaptation of the Scott Turow legal thriller — following the 1990 film — has an enticing cast: Jake Gyllenhaal as the prosecutor suspected of murder, played originally by Harrison Ford; Ruth Negga and Bill Camp as his wife and his boss; as well as Elizabeth Marvel, Lily Rabe and Peter Sarsgaard. The victim, originally Greta Scacchi, is played by the Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve, star of Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World.” (Apple TV+, Wednesday)

The popular anti-superhero action-fantasy returns; Season 4 reunites the showrunner, Eric Kripke, with one of his “Supernatural” stars, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. (Amazon Prime Video, Thursday)

HBO executives heaved a dragon-sized sigh of relief in 2022 when the network’s “Game of Thrones” prequel was a big success (averaging 29 million viewers across all platforms in its first season). Now they just have to do it again. (HBO, June 16)

This new account of the mass death of members of the Peoples Temple cult, a three-part documentary from National Geographic, focuses on the last days in the Guyana jungle in 1978. People caught up in the tragedy, including the cult leader Jim Jones’s son Stephan and the former congresswoman Jackie Speier, reflect on the stupefying chain of events. (Hulu, June 17)

A three-part history of disco allies the music with the battles for inclusion by gay, Black, Latino and other minority communities in the 1970s. (PBS, June 18)

Keeley Hawes plays Kira Manning, the young daughter of a clone from the sleeper-hit science-fiction thriller “Orphan Black” (where she was played by Skyler Wexler) who is now a grown-up scientist in this spinoff set four decades later. Krysten Ritter stars as a woman with amnesia who needs Manning’s help. (AMC and BBC America, June 23)

The fourth season of this hugely entertaining German Weimar-noir, broadcast in Europe two years ago, finally makes it to American screens on the boutique international streamer MHz Choice. Springing for a subscription will give you access to other top-flight European shows like “Spiral,” “The Killing” and “Paris Police 1900.” (MHz Choice, June 25)

Eva Longoria stars in this woman-whose-husband-loses-all-their-money comic thriller as a New Yorker forced to relocate to a small Spanish wine town. The real drawing card, though, is the great Spanish actress Carmen Maura (“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”), who plays the grandmother in her first American series. (Apple TV+, June 26)

The “Yes, chef” restaurant dramedy won the Emmy for comedy series for its first season and is the favorite to win again for its second. In the meantime, FX will release the third. With the revelation of Carmy’s mother (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) having been a public-relations bonanza last time around, will we meet his father in Season 3? (Hulu, June 27)

Lady Jane Grey, the short-lived (in every sense) 16th-century English queen, gets the sassy-alt-history treatment. Emily Bader plays a very contemporary Jane, with an interesting supporting cast that includes Anna Chancellor, Jim Broadbent, Rob Brydon, Dominic Cooper and Máiréad Tyers. (Amazon Prime Video, June 27)

A 16-year-old girl raised by a robot in an underground bunker is forced to the surface in an animated adventure series, based on books by Tony DiTerlizzi. (Apple TV+, June 28)

From 2018 to 2021, everyone’s favorite talking Australian dogs appeared like clockwork: 130 episodes in just over three years. Since then the pace has slowed, down to just three new episodes so far in 2024. While desperate parents wait to see if there will be a fourth season, they and their children will have to content themselves with a set of mini-sodes — one to three minutes — that will be parceled out into next year. (Disney Jr., Disney+, July 3)

Nicco Annan, who plays the fabulous strip-club proprietor Uncle Clifford on “P-Valley,” tours the South in this documentary series; a publicity release promises visits to “sex workshops, rap performances, and ancient hoodoo rituals.” (Starz, July 5)

Nine Japanese men live together at the beach — and run a coffee truck — in what promises to be an unusually quiet and polite reality dating show. (Netflix, July 9)

Rashida Jones plays an American woman living in Japan whose husband and son are apparently killed in a plane crash; to ease her pain, she’s given a robot domestic, Sunny, who eventually helps her investigate what really happened to her family. As a dark-comic techno-mystery on Apple TV+, it calls to mind “Severance,” though “Sunny” is a production of the bulk genre purveyor A24. (Apple TV+, July 10)

Seth Rogen (sausage), Michael Cera (sausage), Kristen Wiig (bun), Edward Norton (bagel) and David Krumholtz (lavash) reprise their roles in this sequel series to the amusing, smutty 2016 animated feature about talking produce. (Amazon Prime Video, July 11)

Samantha Morton, with her velvet ruthlessness, headlines a second season of this bloody, satirical fantasia on the life of Catherine de’ Medici. (Starz, July 12)

In the 2030s, Norway responds to the various crises facing the planet by walling itself off from the rest of the world. What could go wrong! Russell Tovey, most recently seen in “Feud,” plays a British interloper in this dystopian Norwegian drama. (Viaplay, July 16)

If you’ve been wondering where to see Kerry Washington, the answer is the second season of this under-the-radar half-hour dramedy, created by Tracy McMillan, in which Washington plays a therapist and social-media star whose father (Delroy Lindo) is released from prison after 17 years. (Hulu, July 17)

Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Netflix squeeze one last season (the sixth) out of the internecine struggles at a San Fernando Valley karate dojo. (Netflix, July 18)

This Roman-gladiator drama from maker-of-blockbusters Roland Emmerich, set “at the explosive intersection of sports, politics and dynasties,” sets off the cheese alarm. But for as long as Anthony Hopkins lasts as the emperor Vespasian, there will be that. (Peacock, July 18)

Ana Maria Orozco and Jorge Enrique Abello, stars of the landmark Colombian telenovela “Yo Soy Betty, la Fea” — inspiration for the American remake “Ugly Betty” — reunite two decades later for the continued romantic adventures of Beatriz and Armando. (Amazon Prime Video, July 19)

Leading a TV series for the first time (there’s a phrase we don’t use as much as we used to), Natalie Portman plays a Baltimore journalist investigating two unsolved murders. Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) created and directed the series based on the novel of the same name by Laura Lippman. (Apple TV+, July 19)

Jemaine Clement, Iain Morris and Taika Waititi, collaborators on “What We Do in the Shadows,” are behind this reboot of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 film about, well, a band of time-traveling bandits. This time around, the crew is led, in a very promising development, by Lisa Kudrow. (Apple TV+, July 24)

The two comedians will be doing something — satirizing? celebrating? rehashing? — as part of NBC Universal’s package from the Paris Games. Anything that takes the Olympics less than reverently would be welcome. (Peacock, July 26)

Scrapped by HBO Max in 2022, this animated series from the executive producers J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (director of “The Batman”) resurfaces at a rival streamer. (Amazon Prime Video, Aug. 1)

If “Succession” appealed to you more for its corner-office ruthlessness than its pitiless family warfare, then this British drama about the jockeying among young traders at a London investment bank, entering its third season, might scratch the same itch. (HBO, Aug. 11)

Carl Hiaasen’s coolly farcical novels about people doing strange and bloody things in Florida have been adapted for the screen far too few times: a couple of movies, including “Striptease,” and a failed pilot. This series, developed by Bill Lawrence from a 2013 Hiaasen novel, is a major attempt to correct that, starring Vince Vaughn as a disgraced detective turned restaurant inspector who gets a chance to redeem himself. (Apple TV+, Aug. 14)

Four seasons? Did anyone besides Steve Martin see that coming? In Season 4 the crime-solving work of the Upper West Side podcasters played by Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez is complicated by a Hollywood studio’s plan to make a movie based on their show. (Hulu, Aug. 27)

The second season of Amazon’s expansive, expensive prequel series makes room for a beloved “LotR” character who has been left out of previous screen adaptations: the forest-dwelling rescuer of Hobbits, Tom Bombadil, played by Rory Kinnear. (Amazon Prime Video, Aug. 29)

Other returning shows: “Criminal Minds: Evolution” (Paramount+, Thursday); “Power Book II: Ghost” (Starz, Friday); “Transformers: Earthspark” (Paramount+, Friday); “The Lazarus Project” (TNT, Sunday); “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” (Netflix, Wednesday); “Blue Lights” (BritBox, June 13); “D.I. Ray,” “Grantchester,” “Professor T” (PBS, June 16); “My Life Is Murder” (Acorn, June 17); “Shoresy” (Hulu, June 21); “That ’90s Show” (Netflix, June 27); “All American: Homecoming” (CW, July 8); “The Responder” (BritBox, July 11); “Hit-Monkey” (Hulu, July 15); “The Ark” (Syfy, July 17); “Snowpiercer” (AMC, July 21); “61st Street” (CW, July 22); “Cobra: Rebellion” (PBS, July 25); “Hotel Portofino” (PBS, July 28); “Futurama” (Hulu, July 29); “Unstable” (Netflix, Aug. 1); “The Umbrella Academy” (Netflix, Aug. 8); “Solar Opposites” (Hulu, Aug. 12); “Bel-Air” (Peacock, Aug. 15); “Emily in Paris” (Netflix, Aug. 15); “Reasonable Doubt” (Hulu, Aug. 22); “Pachinko” (Apple TV+, Aug. 23).

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