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2019 Summer TV Preview

Get ready for 'Handmaid's Tale,' 'Big Little Lies,' and shows with Kevin Costner, Ann Curry, Julianna Margulies and more



Elementary, Season 7 (CBS, May 23)

Lucy Liu, 50, just made history, as the second Asian American woman to get her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, following Anna May Wong in 1960. Liu has triumphed over the stereotyping that plagued Wong, partly through this police procedural starring Liu as Dr. Joan Watson, who solves homicides with her memory-impaired partner Sherlock Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller). In this, the final season, a grave injury of someone close to them makes them consider moving from London to New York.

The Hot Zone (National Geographic, May 27)

ER veteran Julianna Margulies, 52, stars in the true, terrifying story of an Army scientist who risked her life while racing to prevent an outbreak of the Ebola virus — deadlier than the black plague, faster acting than HIV — in Washington, D.C., in 1989, when women in the military weren't always listened to. Costarring Noah Emmerich, James D'Arcy and Topher Grace, the thriller is produced by quadruple Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down).

The Handmaid's Tale, Season 3 (Hulu, June 5)

In the third season of Margaret Atwood's scary fantasy about an anti-female fascist future, Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd, 63) is no nicer after surviving a knife attack; June (Elisabeth Moss) is out to get her child back; cast newcomers Christopher Meloni, 58 (Law & Order: SVU), and Elizabeth Reaser (Twilight), play high-ranking Commander pals of June's enslaver; and who knows what Commander Lawrence (The West Wing's Bradley Whitford, 59) — a designer of wicked Gilead who also helps handmaids escape — will do? Game of Thrones ain't the only show with reunions and betrayals in store.

Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City (Netflix, June 7)

A quarter century after the classic San Francisco saga began, Mary Ann (Laura Linney, 55) returns to her old bohemian haunts after decades in Connecticut and reconnects with her eccentric old landlady (Olympia Dukakis, 87), her ex (Paul Gross) and her irresistibly misfit friends. But the place has changed: Tech has driven rents sky-high, and Mary Ann must deal with her successful sex-blogger daughter (Ellen Page), who's peeved that Mary Ann abandoned her for a career back East. The new series harkens back to the old, but new showrunner Lauren Morelli (Orange Is the New Black) has some big changes in store, too.

Big Little Lies, Season 2 (HBO, June 9)

The last time we saw the octuple Emmy-winning miniseries about Northern Californians with big secrets, an abusive husband (Alexander Skarsgard) met his unlamented end. But now we meet his mother (Meryl Streep, 69) and learn a bit more about him — plus a lot more about their circle (Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz and Shailene Woodley). “I loved this show,” Streep says. “I thought it was an amazing exercise in what we know and what we don't know about people.”

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: L-R: Resident judges Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe, Vanessa Hudgens and Stephen “tWitch” Boss on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

ADAM ROSE/FOX Broadcasting Co.

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 16 (Fox, June 10)

After 16 years and 16 Emmys, the show whose grueling competition will crown America's Favorite Dancer returns, minus dance judge Vanessa Hudgens. The new panel includes Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Dominic Sandoval and Lady Gaga choreographer Laurieann Gibson. But will host Cat Deeley finally, after five nominations, win an Emmy of her own?

Kevin Bacon as Jackie Rohr, Aldis Hodge as Decourcy Ward, Mark O\'Brien as Jimmy Ryan and Jonathan Tucker as Frankie Ryan in CITY ON A HILL.

Erig Ogden/Showtime

City on a Hill (Showtime, June 16)

If you liked Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, try this show produced by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Chuck MacLean. It's inspired by Boston's battle against corruption in the 1990s, with Aldis Hodge as a two-fisted reformist assistant DA and Kevin Bacon, 60, as an FBI man inclined to bend a rule or two. “The thing about City on a Hill that I loved,” Bacon says, was “a kind of gritty vibe that was reminiscent of the movies that I loved in the ‘70s from Scorsese and Sidney Lumet.”

Endeavour, Season 6 (PBS, June 16)

It's 1969, and Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans), now sporting a mustache and long sideburns, is still in shock over last season's mysterious murder of Detective Constable George Fancy, not to mention the startling 1960s social changes sweeping through society. But there are new murders to solve — from a 10-year-old girl to an Oxford librarian whose messy death may have more to do with the Holocaust than with the two professors who had motives to do him in.

Grand Hotel (ABC, June 17)

Eva Longoria produces, directs and costars in her adaptation of the extremely binge-worthy hit series Gran Hotel, which she describes as “Spain's answer to Downton Abbey.” In the Longoria version, set in the last family-run hotel in Miami Beach, she's the ex-wife of Demián Bichir, 55, as the owner of a place that hides way more murderous secrets than Downton did. Guest stars include Married With Children's Katey Sagal, 65, playing a hotel investor who is simply not to be trusted.

Yellowstone, Season 2 (Paramount Network, June 19)

If Game of Thrones' May finale leaves you aching for more family battles royal, try this western by Oscar nominee Taylor Sheridan, starring double Oscar winner Kevin Costner, 64, as Montana's biggest rancher, John Dutton. He's defending his land from his rebel son (Wes Bentley) who's in cahoots with a local Native American chief (Gil Birmingham). “There's a war coming,” Dutton says. “All the angels are gone, son. There's only devils left.” Find out why this is the second-most popular show on cable TV after The Walking Dead, and the biggest hit in Paramount Network history.

Grantchester, Season 4 (PBS, July 14)

The 1950s are a-changing on Masterpiece's mystery series set in a cozy English village, and so are the crime-fighting vicars: the jazz-loving Rev. Sidney Chambers (James Norton) is starting to drink too much, he's besotted by a young American evangelical civil rights activist (The Little Drummer Girl's Simona Brown), and he's about to be replaced by a new sleuth, the Rev. Will Davenport (Call the Midwife's Tom Brittney). But never fear, the other beloved Grantchesterians will remain, chiefly Robson Green, 54, as Norton's detective pal Geordie Keating, who helps Will find the killer of a rock ‘n’ roll rebel Teddy Boy.

Chasing the Cure (TNT and TBS, July 25)

Ann Curry, 62, the former anchor of NBC's Today show and the host of PBS's We'll Meet Again, stars in and produces an intriguing new show that's broadcast in real time, in which medical experts try to help patients with undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or just plain uncured mystery ailments. It's also got an associated online interactive community, so viewers can share their own experiences, ailments and advice.

Naoko Mori as Asako Nakayama, James Saito as Wilson Yoshida, Alex Shimizu as Toshiro Furuya 

Ed Araquel/AMC

The Terror: Infamy (AMC, Aug. 12)

George Takei, 82, who played Sulu on Star Trek, lived in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II, so expect him to be convincing in his role as a community elder in such a camp in AMC's horror anthology. Besides the actual historical horror of the internment, the show is about a malevolent entity lurking behind a string of bizarre deaths that bedevil a family from their Southern California home to the camp to the war in the Pacific.

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