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Summer TV Preview: 18 Shows You Won’t Want to Miss

The very best of the crop, from the networks to Netflix


spinner image Tiffany Haddish stars in Apple TV Plus series The Afterparty, Jeremy Allen White stars in FX series The Bear and Steve Martin stars in the Hulu series Only Murders in the Building
(Left to right) Tiffany Haddish in "The Afterparty," Jeremy Allen White in "The Bear" and Steve Martin in "Only Murders in the Building."
Aaron Epstein/Apple TV+; Matt Dinerstein/FX; Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Remember when summer TV was all about reruns? With streaming giants like Netflix, Apple TV+ and Max in the mix, those doldrums are a thing of the past. Along with backyard cookouts and beach days, mark your calendar for these 18 shows, from a new season of Only Murders in the Building to a new Justified spin-off to an Arnold Schwarzenegger docuseries.

Searching for Soul Food (Hulu, June 2)

Chef Alisa Reynolds explores the origins of soul food from Mississippi to South Africa, Peru and Jamaica. Pass the corn bread!

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Arnold (Netflix, June 7)

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 75, is back in a docuseries about his unlikely life; he also has a new fictional TV series on Netflix — his first — FUBAR.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Season 16 (FX, June 7)

TV’s longest-running nonanimated sitcom returns after 18 months. The barhops appear to be older but no wiser, and Frank (Danny DeVito, 78) seems as irascible as ever.

Based on a True Story (Peacock, June 8)

A real estate agent (Kaley Cuoco), a washed-up tennis star (Chris Messina) and a plumber collide in a comedy satirizing America’s obsession with true crime.

The Full Monty (FX and Hulu, June 14)

Simon Beaufoy, writer of the new series sequel and the original 1997 film about unemployed British steelworkers turned strippers, says it’s about “how 25 years, seven prime ministers and 100 broken political promises have affected their lives." Stars Robert Carlyle, 62, Tom Wilkinson, 75, and Mark Addy, 58, return.​​

Secret Invasion (Disney+, June 21)

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, 74) fights to save humanity from an invasion of alien Skrulls in this new miniseries from Disney. The splashy cast includes Olivia Colman, Ben Mendelsohn, Don Cheadle, 58, Martin Freeman, 51, and Emilia Clarke.​​​

Our Planet II (Netflix, June 14)

David Attenborough, 97, hosts a four-part series about how and why animals migrate, from Africa to the Arctic. It follows on the first Our Planet (2019), which Netflix says was watched by more than 100 million households.   

The Righteous Gemstones, Season 3 (HBO, June 18)

Like the Succession clan, these rather unrighteous, squabbling televangelist siblings (Danny McBride, Adam DeVine, Edi Patterson) take control of the empire of their dad (John Goodman, 70). 

The Walking Dead: Dead City (AMC, June 18)

The fourth Walking Dead spin-off show is the first sequel, set two years after the original series, in postapocalyptic Manhattan.

The Bear, Season 2 (FX, June 22)

Last summer’s surprise hit is back, with chef Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) setting up a new restaurant, and Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk, 60, joins the cast.

I’m a Virgo (Prime Video, June 23)

In a bizarre fable by Boots Riley (who won fame with the 2018 indie film Sorry to Bother You), a young man (When They See Us Emmy winner Jharrel Jerome) comes of age in Oakland and stands tall — 13 feet tall, in fact.

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Hijack (Apple TV+, June 28)

If you liked Idris Elba, 50, as Luther in the U.K. series that hit big in the U.S., try this thriller series from George Kay (who created the buzzy Lupin), about a business negotiator trapped aboard a plane seized by terrorists. The action occurs in real time over the seven-hour flight.

The Afterparty, Season 2 (Apple TV+, July 12)

A detective (Tiffany Haddish) investigates a murder at a wedding where every guest (including John Cho, 50, Ken Jeong, 53, and Elizabeth Perkins, 62) is a suspect who tells the story their way, each in a distinct cinematic style.

Full Circle (Max, July 13)

The logline sounds clichéd — “An investigation into a botched kidnapping uncovers long-held secrets connecting multiple characters” — but A-list director Steven Soderbergh fielded an intriguing cast: Claire Danes, Timothy Olyphant, 55, Jim Gaffigan, 56, and Dennis Quaid, 69.

Foundation, Season 2 (Apple TV+, July 14)

In the adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi classic by David S. Goyer (BladeThe Dark Knight trilogy), Mad Men’s Jared Harris, 61, plays a math prof whose algorithms predict the future.

Justified: City Primeval (FX, July 18)

Elmore Leonard’s rule-bending, infinitely cool U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) returns to contend with his teen daughter (Timothy’s real-life daughter Vivian Olyphant), plus a Detroit sociopath (Boyd Holbrook) and his lawyer (Aunjanue Ellis, 54).

Only Murders in the Building, Season 3 (Hulu, August 8)

What could make the jaunty murder mystery starring Steve Martin, 77, Martin Short, 73, and Selena Gomez any better? Adding new actors Paul Rudd, 54, and Meryl Streep, 73.

Painkiller (Netflix, August 10)

Based on Barry Meier’s book of the same name and Patrick Radden Keefe’s “The Family That Built the Empire of Pain,” this fictionalized retelling of events stars Matthew Broderick, 61, as Richard Sackler, whose Purdue Pharma made billions selling opioids and paid up to $6 billion in a settlement.

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