Hollywood (Netflix, May 1)
En español | Dylan McDermott, 58, goes gray in his first grownup role as service station owner whose star-wannabe attendants service Hollywood's 1940s elite. It's a seamy time-trip — actors even act in ‘40s style. Holland Taylor, 77, and Patti Lupone, 71, play studio bigwigs who win men's hearts — and Lupone gets her first-ever sex scene. ("Finally!” she told the Hollywood Reporter.) The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, 47, plays Rock Hudson's agent, who made clients into stars — but who was so awful and unliked that, at the end of his life, the down-on-his-luck former power player was buried in a Styrofoam casket with no tombstone and few mourners. That's showbiz!
Billions, Season 5 (Showtime, May 3)
How could the hit about the battle between a kinky U.S. attorney (Paul Giamatti, 52) and his hedge fund manager enemy (Damian Lewis, 49) get better? Add The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies, 53, as Yale professor Cat Brant, author of The O Gap, a best seller about orgasms, as Giamatti's pal, as well as House of Cards’ Corey Stoll as Lewis’ new enemy.
Gold Digger (Acorn TV, May 4)
Emmy-winning Mad Men star Julia Ormond, 55, plays a 60-year-old woman with a dark family secret who falls for a young hunk (Westworld's Ben Barnes). “We're so used to seeing older men with younger women in film and TV,” the series writer Marnie Dickens has said. “As if it's impossible to understand why a younger man might be attracted to an older woman without having some other motive. Gold Digger explores this taboo."
Dead to Me, Season 2 (Netflix, May 8)
Married …With Children's Christina Applegate, 48, and ER's Linda Cardellini got the roles of a lifetime as women who meet in a grief support group while secretly bonded by a violent death. Or two. It's at least as good a female-based mystery thriller as Big Little Lies.
The Eddy (Netflix, May 8)
You can't visit Paris, but you can feel like a resident by immersing in La La Land director Damien Chazelle's drama about a jazz pianist (André Holland) trying to save his troubled nightclub, manage a band led by his ex (Joanna Kulig), cope with his daughter and investigate his shady business partner.
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I Know This Much Is True (HBO, May 10)
If you thought Mark Ruffalo's transformation into the Incredible Hulk in The Avengers was impressive acting, in this six-episode miniseries based on Wally Lamb's wildly popular 1998 novel, Ruffalo plays twin brothers. The catch: One of them is schizophrenic and 30 pounds heavier than the other. (Ruffalo, 52, really gained the weight.) The heavy-hitter cast boasts Melissa Leo, 59; Rosie O'Donnell, 58; Archie Panjabi, 47; and Kathryn Hahn.
The Great (Hulu, May 15)
Did you like Helen Mirren as Russia's sexy empress Catherine the Great in HBO's 2019 miniseries? Meet Elle Fanning as the young Catherine. Is it strictly historically accurate? No, it's better than history — a fun romp from the author of the highly fictionalized 2019 Oscar-winning historical film The Favourite.
Snowpiercer (TNT, May 17)
Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind), 49, returns to TV after 20 years in a series adaptation of Bong Joon Ho's 2013 film about a high-speed train circling the earth, now a frigid wasteland after the apocalypse. The lower-class occupants toward the caboose — the “Tailies” — scheme to invade the decadent elite in the first-class section. (Kind of like the class theme of Bong's 2020 Oscar winner Parasite.) But the military-looking martinet Head of Hospitality (Connelly) means to keep them orderly in their place. Daveed Diggs (Hamilton!) leads the Tailie insurgents.
The Amazing Race (CBS, May 20)
Finished before the pandemic, the 32nd season of this CBS reality competition series hosted by Phil Keoghan, 52, follows the contending teams on a long-distance scavenger hunt from the Hollywood Bowl to Europe, Kazakhstan, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil.
Love Life (HBO Max, May 27)
Anna Kendrick and filmmaker Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), 57, bring you an anthology show about a woman (Kendrick) and her hunt for love — one lover per episode. Oscar nominee Lesley Manville, 64 (who stole Phantom Thread from Daniel Day-Lewis), costars. It's on HBO's new streaming service, HBO Max, and worth checking out.
Space Force (Netflix, May 29)
Steve Carell, 57, teams with the creator of The Office to produce a show about an Air Force general (Carell) who's given the task to launch a new branch of the U.S. armed forces in order to conquer the moon and beyond — much to the displeasure of his wife (Friends’ Lisa Kudrow, 56). The terrific grownup cast includes John Malkovich, 66, and Noah Emmerich, 55.
Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story (USA, June 2)
This is the lurid but fact-based story of a self-sacrificing 1960s wife (Amanda Peet, 48) who put her husband (Christian Slater, 50) through medical and law school, and in the 1980s shot him and his second wife. Meredith Baxter got an Emmy in 1992 for playing Broderick. We'll see if Peet repeats the feat.
Perry Mason (HBO, June 21)
In a show that's more like Better Call Saul or L.A. Confidential than the classic courtroom show starring Raymond Burr, Matthew Rhys (The Americans) plays Mason as the shady private-detective protégé of a wise attorney (John Lithgow, 74) in 1932 Los Angeles. It may be the Great Depression, but L.A. is a boomtown and Mason is a tormented World War I vet who's finding his way.
Yellowstone, Season 3 (Paramount Network, June 21)
Kevin Costner rides tall in the saddle once more as America's biggest rancher, in 2018's most-watched new cable show — which keeps getting better. Costner, 65, who owns a 160-acre ranch himself, plays a cowboy-hatted patriarch who's struggling to protect his spread from enemies on all sides — and to keep his kids from killing each other.