Summer shows may not have the same cachet or narrative intensity as those in the fall, but there’s nothing like capping off a long summer night with a few premiering, returning or concluding programs. Here are the 10 that’ll have a permanent place on our DVR come Memorial Day weekend.
Arrested Development (Netflix; May 26; Streaming)
The Banana-standing Bluths are finally back on small screen. Each of the 13 new episodes will focus on a particular member of the family, with a handful of intriguing cameos including Kristen Wiig, John Slattery, John Krasinski and Ben Stiller. David Cross told Rolling Stone that working with Netflix was a relief after feeling perpetually under-appreciated by FOX: “[Netflix] wanted us there. They stayed out of the writer’s room. They stayed off the set,” Cross said. We’re looking forward to seeing the results. The only question now – to binge or to savor?
The Killing (AMC; June 2; 8:00 p.m.)
Indie darling Peter Sarsgaard joins the cast of this procedural that despite it’s name, prides itself on a lack of blood-splattering murder porn. Going into season three, Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) has now closed the Rosie Larson case and is no longer a detective. But when her ex-partner Steven Holder (Joel Kinnaman) uncovers a gruesome string of murders, Sarah is drawn back into her old life.
Under the Dome (CBS; June 24; 10:00 p.m.)
An adaptation of Steven King’s best selling 2009 novel of the same name, this 13-episode series comes from Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan and features Mike Vogel (Pan Am) and Dean Norris (Breaking Bad). And while it sounds a little like a sci-fi take on The Truman Show – a small town enclosed in an inescapable dome struggling with the realities of being cut off from the rest of society – this version takes on the post-apocalypse with a gusto that seems like TV’s answer to the summer tentpole.
Ray Donovan (Showtime; June 30; 10:00 p.m.)
Liev Schreiber comes to the small screen as the titular character in this new one-hour Showtime series from the folks that brought us Southland. Set in the playground of the rich and fabulous, Donovan is tasked with cleaning up the messes of Los Angeles’ preeminent master-of-the-universe celebrities, moguls, and athletes – with the backdrop of sex, glamour, tabloids and mega cash as his supporting cast. Jon Voight plays Ray’s father – recently released from prison – who introduces conflict to a guy used to handling other people’s shit.
The Bridge (FX; July 10; 10:00 p.m.)
This new police program from Homeland producer Meredith Stiehm and Cold Case writer Elwood Reid was inspired by the Danish/Swedish TV series, Bron. Starring Diane Kruger, the procedural centers on two detectives – one American (Kruger), one Mexican (Demián Bichir) – tasked with stopping a border-based serial killer. If that doesn’t offer enough intrigue, well, here’s hoping the co-stars end up making out.
Orange is the New Black (Netflix; July 11; Streaming)
The newly-minted development team over at Netflix is one-for-two with the winning House of Cards and losing Hemlock Grove. We’re looking forward to their third attempt at an original series, Orange is the New Black, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of life a women’s prison. The one-hour dramedy created by Weeds‘ Jenji Kohan centers on Piper (Taylor Shilling), a Brooklynite serving a one-year sentence due to the drug-running antics of an old college friend.
The Newsroom (HBO; July 14; 10:00 p.m.)
As they say in television, when one Jim and Pam door closes, another Jim (John Gallagher, Jr.) and Maggie (Alison Pill) one opens. The duo makes you miss your first office crush and proves water-cooler romance is hot at any age. The first season was driven by a series of serendipitous scoops so fantastic they made even Woodward and Bernstein seem like slackers. But we’ll continue to watch Aaron Sorkin’s rants about the underutilized power of television news just to see if we’ll finally get to taste that Sports Night/West Wing vintage we’ve been missing for the past decade.
The Awesomes (Hulu; August 1; Streaming)
A passion project from Michael Shoemaker (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and SNL star turned late-night host Seth Meyers took years to make it to the small screen. This adult-aimed animated series follows a superhero team led by Professor Doctor Awesome (Meyers) and his comrades, voiced by Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader and Taran Killam. Not only is it a new foray for Meyers, but it’s a chance to see how well the new Hulu original programming model works.
Breaking Bad (AMC; August 11; 9:00 p.m.)
America’s favorite chemistry teacher-turned-drug-dealer is back for the final eight episodes (and second half) of season five. While this run has questions to answer (Will Skyler stop being such a Debbie Downer? Will Hank finally step up? Will Walt get busted?), creator Vince Gilligan has said that the final season will be “satisfying” and “victorious.” We’ll be tuning in to learn more.
Low Winter Sun (AMC; August 11; 10:00 p.m.)
Adapted from the two-part British mini-series of the same name, this gritty Detroit-set drama screens Sundays after Breaking Bad. British actor Mark Strong (Zero Dark Thirty) plays a Motor City detective thrust into the town’s underworld following the slaying of his partner. He’s joined by an excellent supporting cast that includes Lennie James (The Walking Dead), David Costabile (Breaking Bad) and James Ransone (The Wire).