Most anticipated TV shows for summer 2020
Most anticipated TV shows for summer 2020
Not so long ago, autumn reigned over all other seasons when it came to new and returning TV shows airing on network channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox to premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime. The rise of streaming services—most notably Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime—has allowed showrunners to debut their shows whenever they choose, whether on a holiday or a random Wednesday in June.
COVID-19 lockdowns are lifting, but the uncertainty of the virus’ spread is likely to cause many people to spend more time at home this summer. Yet after months of isolation, audiences might already feel they’ve simply run out of shows to binge. Stacker manually researched and compiled a list of 25 hotly anticipated shows and limited series arriving this summer. The pandemic did affect TV production in some cases, but there is no shortage of old favorites and new series this summer. The fall schedule for network TV, on the other hand, looks a bit bare in terms of new shows, according to IndieWire.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. This summer, viewers can look forward to multiple titles from TV and film legends Jordan Peele (“Get Out,” “Us”) and J.J. Abrams (“Lost,” “Star Trek,” “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens,” and “Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker”), shows from the DC and Marvel universes, and several docuseries. The final seasons of a few series will also spice up the summer, including German Netflix’s last season of the twisted, time-traveling thriller “Dark” and HBO’s sometimes darkly funny, sometimes sci-fi anthology series “Room 104.”
From brand new series to final seasons and more, read on for a look at 25 of the most anticipated TV shows you’ll be watching this summer.
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Brave New World
USA Network’s “Brave New World” is adapted from Aldous Huxley’s 1932 futuristic, dystopian novel of the same name in which the author conceptualizes the scientifically and technologically advanced New London—a seemingly utopian society driven by instant gratification but void of all meaning. The stacked cast includes Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey”), Alden Ehrenreich (“Solo: A Star Wars Story”), Harry Lloyd (“Game of Thrones”), Kylie Bunbury (“When They See Us”), and Hollywood veteran Demi Moore. The first season of “Brave New World” is available to stream on NBCUniversal Peacock service on July 15.
From J.G. Quintel, the creator behind the Emmy-award winning “Regular Show,” “Close Enough” is a surreal, animated comedy about a group of roommates in Los Angeles: a millennial married couple, their 5-year-old child, and their divorced best friends. Prepare for time-traveling snails, killer mannequins, and stripper clowns alongside more relatable storylines about managing work and family. HBO Max debuts “Close Enough” on July 9.
“Crossing Swords” is a stop-motion series from John Harvatine IV and Tom Root—Emmy-award winners for their work on “Robot Chicken”—who first devised the idea of peg toys (akin to Fisher-Price Little People figures) in grown-up scenarios back in 2011. Reviewers suggest this medieval-themed series, now available to stream on Hulu, is geared toward viewers who appreciate more crass, even vulgar humor.
The third and final 10-episode season of the suspenseful, mind- and time-bending series “Dark” hits Netflix on June 27. Fans of Netflix’s first German original, which has been a massive hit with international viewers, can watch with either dubbed-over English or subtitles. Showrunners Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar reveal the show’s final season “will offer answers to the questions that our viewers have been asking and help untangle the story through time."
Streaming service DC Universe premiered the first season of “Doom Patrol,” based on DC Comics’ team of superhuman misfits led by a mad scientist, back in February 2019. For the second season, the series moves to HBO Max, with the streaming service releasing the first three episodes of season two on June 25 and adding remaining episodes weekly.
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Three-part docuseries “Expecting Amy” takes audiences backstage throughout comedian Amy Schumer’s extremely challenging pregnancy, which coincided with the 42-city tour for her 2019 Netflix stand-up special titled “Amy Schumer Growing”. The series, debuting on HBO Max on July 9, is directed and edited by Alexander Hammer, who previously edited “Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé.”
From Apple TV+, “Greatness Code” explores what makes greatest-of-all-time athletes just that, from Olympic Gold medalist Alex Morgan and the NBA’s LeBron James to NFL quarterback Tom Brady and track star Usain Bolt, considered the fastest man alive. Learn the stories and defining moments behind the careers of these and other illustrious athletes when the seven-episode docuseries drops on July 10.
Adapted from the 2011 action-thriller film about a teenage assassin, season two of “Hanna” returns to Amazon Prime Video on July 3. Newcomers Dermot Mulroney, Anthony Welsh, and Cherrelle Skeete join the cast this season, which is expected to divert from the movie’s plot after the first season followed it more closely.
Arriving July 10 on Apple TV+, “Little Voice” is a romantic comedy-drama that follows Bess King (Brittany O’Grady), a talented musician in her early 20s living and working toward her dreams in New York City while managing family issues, love, and rejection. J.J. Abrams, Jessie Nelson (“Stepmom,” “I Am Sam”), Ben Stephenson (“Westworld”), and Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles are at the helm of this new series as executive producers, and Bareilles also contributes original music for this “love letter to the diverse musicality of New York.”
On the heels of the 2018 film “Love, Simon,” “Love, Victor” centers on a teenager (Michael Cimino) as he grapples with his sexuality, while also adapting to life in a new city and handling challenging family issues. Originally scheduled for release on June 19, Hulu changed the premiere date to June 17 out of respect for Juneteenth, which commemorates the abolishment of slavery in the United States in 1865.
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Based on the 2016 novel by Matt Ruff and produced by horror pro Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, “Lovecraft Country” is set in 1950s America. Young veteran Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) travels to the South with friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to find his father (Michael K. Williams). Showrunner and executive producer Misha Green (creator of the historical drama “Underground”) said of Ruff’s novel in 2017, “I knew it had the potential to be unlike anything else on television." Audiences will have to wait until August to watch this HBO series.
In August 2013, Greg Kelley, an 18-year-old high school football star in Texas with aspirations of playing in college, was arrested and charged with the sexual assault of a 4-year-old boy and eventually sentenced to 25 years in prison. Showtime’s “Outcry”—the aptly-named five-part docuseries—premieres July 5 with the story of the public outcry surrounding the handling of Kelley’s case and the events leading to his 2019 exoneration.
Based on the play by Katori Hall, the new Starz drama “P-Valley” follows the lives of individuals who work as strippers at a Mississippi Delta club. In a panel at the ATX Television Festival, showrunner Hall explained that the series, which boasts an all-female team of directors, is meant to shine a light on the voices of people who are often marginalized, stigmatized, and dehumanized, according to reporting by Deadline’s Dino-Ray Ramos. “P-Valley,” starring Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, and Elarica Johnson, premieres on July 12.
[Pictured: Brandee Evans.]
Defense lawyer Perry Mason is back again, this time in a Depression-era reboot set in 1932—ironically, the year before author and lawyer Erle Stanley Gardner created and introduced the Perry Mason character in “The Case of the Velvet Claws.” Gardner’s series of 82 books and four short stories is the #3 best-selling book series of all time, inspiring films and TV series alike. Audiences can catch the first episode of the new “Perry Mason” on HBO on June 21, with Matthew Rhys playing the titular character, alongside Tatiana Maslany and John Lithgow.
The fourth and final season of HBO’s “Room 104” is set to launch July 24 with 12 half-hour episodes. This season of the anthology series, which tells the stories of the various guests of Room 104 at a chain hotel, features an animated episode—a first for the series. Created by long-time HBO show creators and producers Mark and Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass also notably writes, directs, stars, and performs original music in the first episode of the fourth season.
[Pictured: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass.]
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“Search Party” stars Alia Shawkat as Dory Sief, a woman determined to discover what happened to the missing Chantal Witherbottom, an acquaintance from college, in the show’s first season. The long-awaited third season of “Search Party” debuts June 25 on HBO Max, a departure from its original home of TBS. Three years have passed since the second season, so viewers can also head to the streaming service to review previous episodes before the third season begins. HBO Max has already ordered a fourth season of the series, in case you need convincing to join the party.
From “Stranger Things” creator William Bridges and “Superbob” creator and actor Brett Goldstein, AMC’s “Soulmates” is a six-part anthology series set 15 years from now when the scientific community creates a test that determines each person’s soulmate. Bridges said of the show, for which the summer release date is not yet known, “The beauty of it being an anthology show meant that we could tell an entirely different relationship story every week from many different angles and even genres.” Malin Akerman, Charlie Heaton, Betsy Brandt, and JJ Feild have joined the cast, so far.
Taste the Nation
Hulu’s “Taste the Nation” docuseries features Padma Lakshmi (“Top Chef”) as she travels the U.S. to answer the question “What is American food?” by highlighting the foods and diverse cultures of immigrant communities across the country. Like “Love, Victor,” Hulu changed the release date of “Taste the Nation” from Juneteenth—the 10-episode series will now debut on June 18.
[Pictured: Padma Lakshmi.]
The Bold Type
The fourth season of Freeform’s “The Bold Type” debuted on June 11 after the midseason finale in March during which its three main characters tackled life-changing personal and professional matters, from infidelity to cancer surgery recovery to job loss. This second half of the fourth season will air eight episodes throughout the summer—though only six episodes were filmed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so fans will have to wait on the final two episodes of the season until production resumes.
The third season of “The Chi” premieres June 21 on Showtime. The series is a coming-of-age drama from creator Lena Waithe that follows members of a community—from children to young adults to elders—as they navigate life on Chicago’s South Side. Jason Mitchell, who played character Brandon Johnson, was fired from the show after the second season following allegations of behavior deemed inappropriate, and the character of Johnson will be killed off this season.
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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Marvel Studios’ “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” resumes where “Avengers: Endgame'' ended, following Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier)—played by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, respectively—as they confront both fresh and familiar challenges. While production shut down in March due to the pandemic and Marvel has not announced a specific date for the series’ return, it is expected to air on Disney+ in the fall
The Good Lord Bird
Based on the 2013 novel by author and musician James McBride, “The Good Lord Bird,” is narrated by Onion, a fictional characterization of a young, enslaved boy who becomes part of real-life abolitionist John Brown’s motley crew during Bleeding Kansas—a time before the Civil War between 1854 and 1861 when the state hosted a guerrilla war between proponents and opponents of slavery. Ethan Hawke plays Brown, while Daveed Diggs stars as Frederick Douglass, and Joshua Caleb Johnson is featured as the young Onion. The seven-episode limited series is scheduled to premiere on Aug. 9 on Showtime.
Although the British drama series “The Nest” has already been released in the U.K. via BBC One, July 13 will mark its debut in the U.S. and Canada through Acorn TV, AMC’s streaming network. The five-part series follows a wealthy couple with fertility issues living in Scotland who randomly (or so it seems) meet an 18-year-old Glaswegian woman—played by relative newcomer Mirren Mack—who agrees to become their surrogate.
The Twilight Zone
The second season of Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg’s “The Twilight Zone” reboot of the Rod Serling original debuts on June 25 on CBS All Access. Binge watchers, rejoice: All 10 episodes of this anthology series’ second season will be released at once and features a notable cast, including Peele, Morena Baccarin, Jenna Elfman, Topher Grace, Chris Meloni, Billy Porter, and Damon Wayans Jr.—to name just a few.
A modern-day Western featuring Academy Award- and Emmy-award winner Kevin Costner as a billionaire patriarch of a complicated family, “Yellowstone” begins its much anticipated third season on June 21. Series co-creator Taylor Sheridan revealed the third season will be “colossal,” topping even the surprising events of the second season. As the cable series watched by the most number of viewers in the summer of 2019, fans can look forward to catching the show on Paramount Network again this summer.
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