Theo Whitman/HBO
Matt Smith, House of the Dragon

Summer TV Preview: The Season's 18 Most Anticipated Shows

It's a hot TV summer

As the weather heats up, so too will our television screens. Some of the hottest shows on TV right nowBridgerton (hot in a sexy way), House of the Dragon (hot in a dragon breath way), and The Bear (hot in a kitchen way), will return with new episodes. In hot nerd news, there's a new Star Wars series coming — The Acolyte — and in hot casting news, Jake Gyllenhaal will star in the legal thriller Presumed Innocent. Appropriately, Rashida Jones will star in the new sci-fi series Sunny, and even Only Murders in the Building's eternally autumnal podcasting trio will head to sunny Los Angeles in the series' upcoming fourth season. If you want to know what other shows you should keep on your radar over these next few months, we've put together a list of the ones we're most excited about. 

Below, you'll find our preview of the best shows to watch from June through August. For more, here's our complete guide to summer TV.

ALSO READ: The complete guide to spring TV

The best shows to watch this summer

Amandla Stenberg, Star Wars: The Acolyte

Amandla Stenberg, Star Wars: The Acolyte


The Acolyte (June 4, Disney+)

It's time once again to go see a Star War — and even people who aren't already Star Wars devotees are buzzing about this one. Disney+'s newest Star Wars series was created by Leslye Headland, co-creator of Russian Doll, and its starry cast (no pun intended) includes Lee Jung-jaeAmandla StenbergManny JacintoCharlie BarnettDafne KeenJodie Turner-Smith, and Carrie-Anne MossThe Acolyte is set about 100 years before The Phantom Menace, during a time of relative peace that's disrupted by a shocking crime spree. The investigation into those crimes leads a respected Jedi Master (Lee) to someone from his past, a former Padawan (Stenberg) who's become a dangerous warrior. As expected, details on the series are being tightly guarded, but who needs a plot summary when you've got a cast and creative team like this? -Kelly Connolly [Trailer] [Everything we know about The Acolyte]

Clipped (June 4, Hulu) 

Based on the 30 for 30 podcast "The Sterling Affairs," Clipped (full title Clipped: The Scandalous Story of L.A.'s Other Basketball Team) is based on the true story of the 2014 season of the Los Angeles Clippers, a cursed franchise that hit an all-time low when racist remarks by Clippers then-owner Donald Sterling exposed a culture steeped in bigotry and an affair between Sterling and his assistant V. Stiviano. Laurence Fishburne stars as Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who becomes caught between Sterling (Ed O'Neill) and his players as the dream "Lob City" season gets undermined by Sterling's comments and his legacy as the worst owner in sports. You might think to compare this to HBO's Los Angeles Lakers series Winning Time, which is entirely understandable, but Clipped goes deeper into the intersection between sports and social issues, highlighting the awkward power struggle between Sterling, Stiviano (Cleopatra Coleman), and Sterling's wife, Shelly (Jacki Weaver), as well as the relationship between Black athletes and white owners. The dramedy isn't as serious as this blurb is making it sound, and the stars deliver fantastic performances all the way to the season's end (which can't be said of the real-life Clippers, unfortunately). -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Fantasmas (June 7, HBO)

After the sad cancellation of his surreal and underrated HBO series Los Espookys, the great Julio Torres (fresh off last year's Problemista, his feature film directorial debut) makes his grand return to TV with Fantasmas, a six-episode comedy that he directs, writes, and stars in. In the series, Torres plays a man named Julio searching through a dreamy, alternate reality version of New York City for a lost gold earring shaped like an oyster. If you know Torres' work, this sounds extremely him. Julia FoxKim Petras, and Steve Buscemi will appear in guest roles. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

Queenie (June 7, Hulu)

If Hulu's going to do anything, it's adapt a buzzy best-selling novel into a limited series. Queenie is the latest, adapted from Candice Carty-Williams's 2019 book of the same name, and follows the titular Queenie (Dionne Brown), a 25-year-old British-Jamaican woman who finds herself in the position of having to do some reluctant soul-searching as she tries to rebuild her life after being dumped by her boyfriend. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

Presumed Innocent (June 12, Apple TV+)

Presumed Innocent isn't your average limited series — it's a limited series event, as per the teaser, so jot that down. In David E. Kelley and J.J. Abrams' TV adaptation of Scott Turow's novel of the same name (which was previously adapted into a 1990 film starring Harrison Ford, also called Presumed Innocent), Jake Gyllenhaal plays a prosecutor whose life is upended when he becomes the lead suspect in a murder. Ruth Negga, Peter Sarsgaard, and Bill Camp co-star. -Allison Picurro [Trailer

The Boys Season 4 (June 13, Prime Video)

Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) knows he f---ed up. Not only has he lost the trust of The Boys, but he's also failed to keep his wife's son Ryan (Cameron Crovetti) from turning to the dark side — aka joining the devil incarnate Homelander (Antony Starr) himself. And that's not to mention he only has months to live, thanks to the many Temp V doses he ingested last season. All this to say, Butcher has never been more laser-focused in his mission to destroy Vought once and for all. And with Election Day looming and Chief Head Exploder Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) inching toward the Oval Office, this mission is now about far more than his personal revenge. -Kat Moon [Trailer] [Everything we know about The Boys Season 4] [More shows like The Boys]

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 (June 13, Netflix)

Dearest gentle reader, let it be said that Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 left us all wanting. There simply was not enough Polin! Thankfully, the love story between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) is nowhere near over. Even a wallflower can bloom, and we hope this friends-to-lovers romance will be lusciously flourishing in Season 3 Part 2. But of course, there is a thorn to be addressed: Colin does not yet know of Penelope's identity as the gossip columnist Lady Whistledown. And based on the words she penned about him this season — and about the Bridgertons in the past — it's safe to assume that the reveal will sting. -Kat Moon [Trailer] [Everything we know about Bridgerton Season 3] [More shows like Bridgerton]

More on Bridgerton:

House of the Dragon Season 2 (June 16, HBO)

Just as winter was interminably coming to Game of Thrones and finally did so late in its run, we've been similarly promised war in House of the Dragon, and the Thrones prequel will get closer than ever to properly throwing down in Season 2. Expect the full machinations of cold war rippling throughout Westeros as shows of force sway the various lords to pick a side: the Greens, led by Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke) and her son King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney), and the Blacks, fronted by Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) and her uncle-slash-husband (yes, this is the icky incenstuous world of Game of Thrones) Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith). The sour taste left in my mouth after the late seasons of Thrones completely went away after downing Season 1 of House of the Dragon, and Season 2 looks better and bigger in every way. -Tim Surette [Trailer] [Everything we know about House of the Dragon Season 2]

Orphan Black: Echoes (June 23, AMC)

For its next trick, Orphan Black will clone itself. The cult hit sci-fi series is back with a new spin-off, Echoes, set a few decades after the original drama. Krysten Ritter stars as a woman who wakes up after a strange scientific procedure with no memory of who she is, and as she tries to uncover her own identity, she's drawn into a conspiracy that involves some familiar faces. At least one of those faces is familiar to her — she meets a girl who might be a younger version of herself — but one is familiar to fans of the original series, too. Keeley Hawes plays Sarah Manning's all-grown-up daughter, Dr. Kira Manning, a scientist whose work becomes central to the question of what's really going on here. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

Land of Women (June 26, Apple TV+)

Land of Women could be the title of a sci-fi series about a future with no men, or it could be an L Word sequel. But guess again — it's actually a Big Little Lies-style family dramedy about three generations of women starting over in Spain. Inspired by Sandra Barneda's novel La tierra de las mujeres, the series stars Eva Longoria as a New York empty nester who flees to a wine town in northern Spain after her husband implicates the family in financial scandal, bringing her mother (Carmen Maura) and teenage daughter (Victoria Bazúa) with her. Longoria, who also executive produced the series, said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in February that shooting in both English and Spanish opened up more possibilities in the script. "It's just fertile for comedy, miscommunication, drama, and romance," she said, "because there's some things that don't need words, you know?" -Kelly Connolly

Ricky Staffieri, Jeremy Allen White, and Matty Matheson, The Bear

Ricky Staffieri, Jeremy Allen White, and Matty Matheson, The Bear

Chuck Hodes/FX

The Bear Season 3 (June 27, Hulu)

Have you heard, chef? The Bear is returning for its third season. Where does the series go after Season 2 ended on such a dramatic note, with Carmy (Jermey Allen White) trapped in the walk-in refrigerator on opening night of his restaurant and arguing viciously with Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) through the jammed door? We know very little about what's to come, aside from the leaked clip from a few months ago that was swiftly removed from the internet, but here's hoping we get some insight into the other pop songs Richie passionately sings along with in the car. -Allison Picurro [Teaser] [Everything we know about The Bear Season 3] [More shows like The Bear]

Sunny (July 10, Apple TV+)

It appears that someone took the plot of Black Mirror's stunning Season 2 episode "Be Right Back" (or maybe Season 5's Miley Cyrus-starring "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too") and made a whole series out of it, adding some conspiratorial mystery to the question of whether technology can replace lost loved ones. Rashida Jones stars as Suzie Sakamoto, an American expat living in Japan, who is gifted a state-of-the-art robot after her roboticist husband and young son die in a plane crash, but she freaks out when her bot starts acting strange. (The occasional flashes of an out-of-control robot murdering humans probably don't help, either.) The A24-produced sci-fi dark comedy — which stylistically pulls from the monolithic corporate vibes of Severance, Apple's best sci-fi show — sends Suzie searching for answers about what her husband was really working on and how far these robot glitches reach. -Tim Surette

Sausage Party: Foodtopia (July 11, Prime Video)

You'd be forgiven for not rememberingSausage Party, Seth Rogen's 2016 animated comedy about anthropomorphic supermarket items who discover what horrible fate awaits groceries after they're purchased. If that sounds at all interesting to you, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the source material, because the eight-episode sequel series is about to drop. Five voices from the original film are set to reprise their roles: sausages Frank (Rogen) and Barry (Michael Cera), Frank's hot dog bun girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wiig), and their feuding friends, a lavash named Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz) and a bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton). The series will follow their quest to build their own food society. -Allison Picurro

Cobra Kai Season 6 Part 1 (July 18, Netflix)

First of all, you should know that Cobra Kai's sixth and final season will be split into three parts. Netflix is really stretching out the conclusion of this story, with the first part picking up with the titular dojo eliminated from the Valley, and the senseis and students deciding whether they will compete in the karate world championships. Season 6 will be made up of 15 episodes total, with all three parts composed of five episodes each. -Allison Picurro [Teaser]

Those About to Die (July 18, Peacock)

In what is either an act of self-awareness or an extreme lack of self-awareness, Hollywood loves a good gladiator story. Next up in the ring is Those About to Die, which arrives on Peacock right before the Olympics just to maximize the cognitive dissonance of being alive. Saving Private Ryan screenwriter Robert Roldat, who developed the series, summed up its relevance to Entertainment Weekly, saying, "You have a whole society that is becoming trivialized by entertainment and degraded by goofy, trivial pursuits at the expense of basic virtues and providing for the material needs of the society." But this show's entertainment credentials are nothing to scoff at: Roland Emmerich directs half of the episodes, and Anthony Hopkins stars as Roman emperor Vespasian. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

The Umbrella Academy Season 4 (Aug. 8, Netflix)

Everything has changed for the Brellies, and that's not an exaggeration. At the end of The Umbrella Academy Season 3, the Hargreeves siblings lost their superpowers. It happened after their father Reginald (Colm Feore) tried to reprogram the universe by extracting their bodily particles, but was stopped by Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman) — who he had struck a secret deal with. We're expecting the fourth and final season of The Umbrella Academy to answer our burning questions, the biggest among them being: Will the Brellies get their powers back? -Kat Moon [Trailer] [Everything we know about The Umbrella Academy Season 4] [More shows like The Umbrella Academy]

Pachinko Season 2 (Aug. 23, Apple TV+)

When Pachinko premiered in 2022, we said the show "pushed TV toward a more connected future." The story, based on Min Jin Lee's The New York Times bestselling novel of the same name, is told in three languages, set across three countries, and follows three generations of one family. Season 1's finale was marked by despair, as our main character Sunja (Minha Kim) watched her husband Isak (Noh Sang-hyun) get arrested by the Japanese police. But Pachinko is all about Sunja weathering the storms in her life, and the episode ended with her trying to start anew as her family's provider — something we're bound to see more of in Season 2. Yuh-Jung Youn stars as the older version of Sunja, and the cast also includes Lee Minho, Anna Sawai, and Jin Ha. -Kat Moon [Trailer]

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, and Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building

Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Only Murders in the Building Season 4 (Aug. 27, Hulu)

It wouldn't be Only Murders in the Building without a cliffhanger death in the finale. And our latest victim, from the end of Season 3, is none other than Sazz Pataki (Jane Lynch), Charles-Haden Savage's (Steve Martin) stunt double from his TV show Brazzos. Along with his podcast-producing pals Oliver Putman (Martin Short) and Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez), Charles sets out to find the one behind Sazz's death — and whether he himself was the murderer's true target. Only Murders in the Building Season 4 promises the trio's most expansive investigation yet, not least because a Hollywood studio interested in developing their podcast leads them on a journey to Los Angeles. -Kat Moon [Teaser] [Everything we know about Only Murders in the Building Season 4] [More shows like Only Murders in the Building]