Viewers can travel from Westeros to Middle-earth and everywhere in between in a season that shows no sign of a slowdown.
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The recent travails of Netflix, and the tech sector in general, have served notice that the abundance of new series that you have gotten used to — and perhaps grown tired of — may not last forever. But if it turns out that this summer represented the beginning of the end, it will have been an impressive going-away party.
The big news is the arrival, within two weeks of each other, of the heavily anticipated prequel series “House of the Dragon” (taking place in the world of “Game of Thrones”) and “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” But outside the universe of blockbuster fantasy-franchise extensions, there’s plenty to look forward to. Some of TV’s best comedies, like “Reservation Dogs” and “What We Do in the Shadows,” return; the creators of “The Americans” and “American Vandal” present new series; and the Albuquerque fun ride “Better Call Saul” reaches its finale.
And just when you thought there were no more acting-legend-comes-to-TV moments to be had, there’s Jeff Bridges starring in a series, “The Old Man,” for the first time. TV continues to be too much of a pretty good thing — here are 27 shows to check out this summer, arranged in chronological order by premiere date. (This list includes spoilers for some shows’ earlier seasons.)
The 19th and 20th of the modern Marvel TV series are the most comedic so far. In “Ms. Marvel,” a real-life fan-girl, the appealing newcomer Iman Vellani, plays Kamala Khan, a Captain Marvel fan and Marvel’s first Muslim superhero. In “She-Hulk,” Tatiana Maslany of “Orphan Black” plays a green-skinned, 6-foot-7 lawyer to the superpowered; Jessica Gao, whose credits include “Robot Chicken” and the “Pickle Rick” episode of “Rick and Morty,” is the head writer. (Disney+, “Ms. Marvel” Wednesday, “She-Hulk” Aug. 17)
Starz welcomes yet another stabby, bodice-shedding costume drama, this time a British historical saga about the ascension of Elizabeth I that begins with the death of her father, Henry VIII. Alicia von Rittberg plays the young Elizabeth and the British TV stalwart Jessica Raine (“Call the Midwife”) plays Henry’s last wife, the oft-married Catherine Parr. (Starz, June 12)
For a long time, Zahn McClarnon has been that guy you remember even though his name was well down the cast list: the cynical tribal cop in “Longmire,” the Comanche chief who mentors the white hero in “The Son,” the sentient robot leading his people to digital heaven in “Westworld.” He’s finally the lead in this adaptation of Tony Hillerman’s mystery novels, playing Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo tribal police. (AMC, June 12)
Jeff Bridges plays an ex-C.I.A. agent in hiding from his dark past who’s flushed out and goes on the run; John Lithgow plays the agency honcho leading the chase. It’s Bridges’s first regular role in a series, and his most extensive TV work since he made guest appearances on “Sea Hunt” with his father, Lloyd Bridges. (FX, June 16)
The “American Vandal” team of Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault turn their satirical lens on the culture of livestream gaming and the clichés of the sports documentary in a mock-doc series about an e-sports team trying to win its first championship. (Paramount+, June 16)
Jenny Han, whose novel “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” inspired a film franchise for Netflix, created this series based on another of her novels. Lola Tung plays a teenager who finds that her relationship with the two brothers she always spends summer vacations with has entered a new phase. (Amazon Prime Video, June 17)
Kevin Iso and Dan Perlman return as the emotionally stunted, barely communicative roommates Kevin and Dan in the second season of this downbeat but elliptically funny comedy, the most small-bore series in the hot genre of gig-economy outer-borough sitcoms. (Showtime, June 19)
The latest of FX’s melancholy slice-of-life comedies stars Jeremy Allen White of “Shameless” (he played the brainy Lip) as a chef who tries to turn the family sandwich shop into a more serious restaurant after he is brought home to Chicago by a family tragedy. It’s also the latest FX show to run instead on the network’s corporate partner Hulu. (Hulu, June 23)
Maya Rudolph plays a tech mogul’s wife who finds out at her birthday party that her husband (Adam Scott) is cheating on her and emerges from divorce with $87 billion. This show about her very comfortably appointed midlife crisis comes from the comedy mavens Matt Hubbard and Alan Yang, who also created the Rudolph series “Forever.” (Apple TV+, June 24)
Netflix plays mix and match, setting a new version of one of its most popular shows, the convoluted Spanish caper “Money Heist” (“La Casa de Papel”), in South Korea, the country that originates many of its non-English-language hits. (Netflix, June 24)
Lena Waithe’s nuanced neighborhood melodrama, following an interlaced group of families, friends and troublemakers on Chicago’s South Side, returns for a fifth season, its third under the showrunner Justin Hillian. (Showtime, June 26)
HBO’s ferociously stylish robot drama brings its fine cast and fuzzy ideas back for a fourth season. Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Aaron Paul and Tessa Thompson return, as does Evan Rachel Wood, even though her character, the unapologetically vengeful Dolores Abernathy, appeared to have been erased in the Season 3 finale. (HBO, June 26)
The first season of this shaggy-dog comic murder mystery, starring Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short as an odd trio of true-crime podcasters, hit big with people looking for something soothing during the pandemic. In Season 2, the amateur detectives will investigate the murder of the disagreeable board president of their Upper West Side co-op. (Hulu, June 28)
PBS offers a pair of travel-and-culture series with presenters from outside the travel-host mainstream. The Black writer and comedian Baratunde Thurston visits people living their best outdoor lives in places like Death Valley, Idaho and Appalachia, while the Muslim rapper Mona Haydar and her husband, Sebastian Robins, take a three-episode drive along Route 66. (PBS, July 5)
Dennis Lehane developed this fact-based mini-series about a convict, James Keene (Taron Egerton), who agrees to befriend a suspected serial killer in prison and get him to confess before he is released on appeal. The target is played by Paul Walter Hauser, the star of “Richard Jewell”; Keene’s ex-cop father is played, in one of his last appearances, by Ray Liotta. (Apple TV+, July 8)
The extremely antiheroic saga of the louche lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) enters its final six episodes. (AMC, July 11)
Season 3 of FX’s hilarious vampire mockumentary ended with several characters encoffined on a boat bound for London, Dracula-style. But early reports on Season 4 indicate that the vampires, their familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), and the newly arrived baby Colin will quickly be reunited at their Staten Island mansion for more farcical and oddly touching adventures. (FX, July 12)
Darren Star (“And Just Like That …”) and Jeffrey Richman (“Modern Family”) created this comedy starring Neil Patrick Harris as a New Yorker who finds himself back on the scene after his husband of 17 years walks out on him. (The creators’ older, possibly more relevant credits are “Sex and the City” and “Frasier,” respectively.) (Netflix, July 29)
Sterlin Harjo, working with Taika Waititi, presents a second season of his bittersweet, deeply felt FX comedy about four Indigenous teenagers (Devery Jacobs, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Paulina Alexis and Lane Factor) who think they want to leave their small-town Oklahoma lives and carry on a low-key crime wave to finance their escape. (Hulu, Aug. 3)
More Hands, more Sers and presumably more dragons, as HBO unveils its prequel series to “Game of Thrones,” linear TV’s last monster hit. Set 200 years before the original and focusing on House Targaryen, it will greatly increase the incidence of the letter “y” in popular media: King Viserys (Paddy Considine), Princess Rhaenrya (Emma D’Arcy), Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint) and Rhys Ifans (as Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King). (HBO, Aug. 21)
Mother (Aubrey Plaza) and daughter (Lucy DeVito) just want to live normal lives in Delaware, but father, who happens to be Satan (Lucy DeVito’s father, Danny), won’t leave them alone. Dan Harmon (“Rick and Morty”) is an executive producer of this animated comedy. (FXX, Aug. 25)
Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, the creators of “The Americans,” team up again for an FX mini-series about a killer (Domhnall Gleeson) who kidnaps his therapist (Steve Carell) and demands to be cured. (Hulu, Aug. 30)
Nearly five years after it was announced, the series that is reputedly the most expensive TV show ever made finally comes to the screen. It’s drawn from J.R.R. Tolkien’s appendices to “The Lord of the Rings” and set centuries before the action in that book and “The Hobbit,” but the stories of elves, orcs, humans and hobbits (represented by the ancestral Harfoots) will feel familiar. The challenge: butting up against the memories of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films, a far higher standard, from an artistic standpoint, than “House of the Dragon” has to meet. (Amazon Prime Video, Sept. 2)
The rich get richer, casting-wise, as Andre Braugher and John Slattery join Christine Baranski and Audra McDonald in the sixth and final season of this unabashedly political legal drama. Including the predecessor series, “The Good Wife,” the story will have had a 13-season run; some performers who, like Baranski, date back to the original show, including Carrie Preston and Alan Cumming, will return for this final go-round. (Paramount+, Sept. 8)
Ken Burns takes on a thorny subject in a three-part documentary: America’s response as knowledge of the Holocaust emerged. No screeners yet, but a news release says the series will shed light on “what the U.S. government and American people knew and did — and did not do — as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe.” (PBS, Sept. 18)
Summer TV 2022: 27 Shows to Watch – The New York Times