Summer TV is heating up. While our favorite procedurals may be out for the season, we've got a whole new lineup of television shows for all those air-conditioned nights on the couch. Netflix's creepy anthology series Black Mirror is returning after more than four years, while FX's The Bear is serving up some tense moments for Carmy and the rest of the restaurant.
Meanwhile, Tim Robinson is back once again in the laughably awkward I Think You Should Leave, and Hulu's Only Murders In the Building has found mega-famous guest stars in the likes of Paul Rudd, Jesse Williams and the iconic Meryl Streep.
On the reality side, Vanderpump Rules is debuting its highly-anticipated, three-part Season 10 reunion, in which Ariana Madix will confront Tom Sandoval and Raquel Leviss over their affair. The Real Housewives of New York is also returning with an all-new cast, and The Ultimatum: Queer Love will put couples to the ultimate test (and deliver ultimate drama in the process).
Below, find The Messenger staff's picks for the summer television we're most excited for, including everything from Heartstopper to Stars on Mars, listed in order of premiere date.
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'American Born Chinese' (Disney+)
Premiere date: May 24
Cast: Ben Wang, Michelle Yeoh, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu, Ke Huy Quan, Jim Liu, Sydney Taylor, Stephanie Hsu, Poppy Liu, Ronny Chieng, James Hong and Jimmy O. Yang
Based on the 2006 graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese tells the story of Jin Wang (Wang) who must balance high school and a battle against Chinese mythical gods. No biggie.
Why we're excited: On the heels of their Oscar wins for Everything Everywhere All At Once, American Born Chinese reunites Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan, and their movie daughter Stephanie Hsu is along for the ride, too. -Daniel Trainor
'Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars' (Fox)
Premiere date: May 24
Cast: Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay is ditching the kitchen for a new competition series — this time, testing would-be food industry entrepreneurs' business acumen and, of course, culinary skills for the chance at earning his financial backing.
Why we're excited: Gordon Ramsay is an incredible television personality, and the proof is in the pudding with so many iconic reality shows under his belt — er, apron. So if he wants to try his hand at a culinary Shark Tank, who can possibly doubt it'll be "gold star"-worthy? -Amanda Bell
'The Prank Panel' (ABC)
Premiere date: May 24, 2023
Cast: Eric Andre, Johnny Knoxville and Gabourey Sidibe
This eclectic lineup of hosts will work together to help wannabe pranksters turn their gag ideas into full-fledged events.
Why we're excited: Who doesn't love a show that puts everyday folks into the spotlight for a change? Plus, real-life pranks have the potential to be belly-laugh-worthy material, and we can always use some good-natured humor. -Amanda Bell
'The Secrets of Hillsong' (FX)
Premiere date: May 19
FX is diving deep into Hillsong, the notorious megachurch attended by celebrities like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, to explain exactly why it has landed in the news so many times over the past few years. The docuseries even features an interview with Carl Lentz, the disgraced former celeb pastor who was fired in 2020.
Why we're excited: We are like moths to a flame when it comes to celebrity scandals at cult-adjacent religious organizations. -Lauren Piester
'The Ultimatum: Queer Love' (Netflix)
Premiere date: May 24
Host: JoAnna Garcia Swisher
Hosted by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, The Ultimatum: Queer Love follows five couples made of women and nonbinary people who must decide whether to break up or get married over the course of an eight-week social experiment.
Why we're excited: It's about time the LGBTQ+ community gets their own messy dating show on Netflix! After season after season of straight couples falling in and out of love, we're happy some chaotic equality is being brought to the table. -Daniel Trainor
'Vanderpump Rules,' The Three-Part Reunion (Bravo)
Premiere date: May 24
Cast: Ariana Madix, Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss, Andy Cohen, Scheana Shay, Lala Kent, James Kennedy, Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney
It's one of the most anticipated reality TV reunions in the genre's history, all thanks to an affair now known as Scandoval. Andy Cohen will get answers for us all in interviews with the cast, as well as one-on-ones with Madix, Sandoval and Leviss, over the course of three weeks.
Why we're excited: James Kennedy calls Sandoval and Leviss "poo poo heads." Need we say more? -Lauren Piester
'I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson' Season 3 (Netflix)
Premiere date: May 30
Cast: Tim Robinson
The Netflix sketch series, created by and starring Tim Robinson, is equal parts hilarious and absurd. All six episodes drop on May 30.
Why we're excited: It feels like a magic trick for a show to be as insanely smart and boldly surrealist as I Think You Should Leave, but I guess we believe in magic now. You'll never look at hot dogs or fedoras the same way again. -Daniel Trainor
'Black Mirror' Season 6 (Netflix)
Premiere date: June TBD
Cast: Aaron Paul, Anjana Vasan, Annie Murphy, Auden Thornton, Ben Barnes, Clara Rugaard, Daniel Portman, Danny Ramirez, Himesh Patel, John Hannah, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara, Michael Cera, Monica Dolan, Myha'la Herrold, Paapa Essiedu, Rob Delaney, Rory Culkin, Salma Hayek Pinault, Samuel Blenkin and Zazie Beetz
The eerie anthology series returns for a sixth season this June, featuring an all-star cast and five episodes with intriguing descriptions that tease some new trips through the past (and, of course, the future).
Why we're excited: Black Mirror is hands down one of the scariest shows on television, and the fact that creator Charlie Brooker is promising some additional twists has us even more eager to see what's in store for Season 6. -Amanda Bell
'Manifest' Season 4B (Netflix)
Premiere date: June 2
Cast: Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh, J.R. Ramirez, Parveen Kaur, Luna Blaise, Holly Taylor and Ty Doran
The passengers of Flight 828 flew into a mysterious storm in April 2013 and emerged five years later, completely unaware of the time gap. Over the course of four seasons they've discovered mystical gifts and visions that could lead to the salvation or destruction of the entire world.
Why we're excited: The final season will provide all of the answers about what happened in that storm, the mystical properties of sapphires and whether the passengers can save Earth from the impending apocalypse. -Megan Vick
'Stars on Mars' (Fox)
Premiere date: June 5
Cast: William Shatner, Tom Schwartz, Porsha Williams, Tallulah Willis, Ariel Winter, Lance Armstrong, Natasha Leggero, Marshawn Lynch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Adam Rippon, Ronda Rousey, Richard Sherman and Tinashe
Fox is taking a bunch of random stars and pretending they're on Mars when they're actually just in Australia. William Shatner, who famously hates space after being briefly launched into it, serves as Mission Control.
Why we're excited: So many reasons, including but not limited to the rhyming title, the presence of Vanderpump Rules star Tom Schwartz, and the artfully varied list of stars accompanying him. Lance Armstrong and Tinashe? Inspired! -Lauren Piester
'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Season 16 (FXX/Hulu)
Premiere date: June 7
Cast: Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito
TV's most consistent sitcom returns for its record-extending 16th season of socially maladjusted shenanigans. This season features typically button-pushing takes on topics like inflation, gun control and Russia.
Why we're excited: Breaking Bad stars and mezcal pitchmen Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will guest star as themselves in an episode making fun of celebrity liquor brands. -Liam Mathews
'Our Planet II' (Netflix)
Premiere date: June 14
Cast: Sir David Attenborough
The 2019 Emmy-winning docuseries Our Planet showcased spectacular footage of some of the most rare and fascinating wildlife across the globe. This brand-new four-part followup once again shines a spotlight on some of the most awe-inspiring stories from the natural world – this time through an exploration of the mysteries of animal migration.
Why we're excited: In addition to its unprecedented scope and stunning cinematography, something that sets Our Planet apart from other nature docs is its mission to show in 4K detail exactly how climate change is affecting our world's most precious ecosystems, inspiring viewers to take action. -Noelene Clark
'The Walking Dead: Dead City' (AMC/AMC+)
Premiere date: June 18
Cast: Lauren Cohan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Gaius Charles and Željko Ivanek
In this Walking Dead sequel series, longtime nemeses Maggie (Cohan) and Negan (Morgan) team up and travel to New York City to rescue Maggie's son from a deranged former follower of Negan's known as the Croat (Ivanek).
Why we're excited: We've never seen The Walking Dead take Manhattan before. -Liam Mathews
'L.A. Fire and Rescue' (NBC)
Premiere date: June 21
Cast: Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department
In Dick Wolf's new docuseries, the brave men and women of the Los Angeles County Fire Department will offer a front-row seat into how they protect the lives and property of 4 million residents living in 59 cities across Los Angeles County. Prepare to experience real calls, rescues and heroes in a series that will heat up the summer.
Why we're excited: While Los Angeles may be known for its athletes, movie stars and influencers, it's time to spotlight brave first responders who face the front lines of life and death during every heroic shift. -Mike Vulpo
'The Bear' Season 2 (FX on Hulu)
Premiere date: June 22
Cast: Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edeberi, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Abby Elliott, Lionel Boyce, Liza Colón-Zayas and Matty Matheson
The Bear Season 1 got us all in the kitchen and saying "Yes, chef!" It is one of the most stressful binges we've ever experienced, but the reward was so worth it thanks to award-worthy performances from the entire cast led by Jeremy Allen White (who did take home the Emmy for best actor in a comedy).
Why we're excited: At the end of Season 1, Carmy (White) discovers a treasure trove of cash hidden in the restaurant's stock of tomato sauce. In Season 2, we'll see how he'll use the bounty to turn The Beef into a destination Chicago restaurant — and how he's going to bring his rag-tag crew along with him for the ride. Get your blood-pressure machines ready, because it's going to be a wild time. -Megan Vick
'I'm a Virgo' (Prime Video)
Premiere date: June 23
Cast: Jharrel Jerome, Walton Goggins, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Brett Gray, Kara Young, Allius Barnes and Olivia Washington
From co-showrunners Boots Riley and Tze Chun, I'm a Virgo is a surreal and joyful coming-of-age story about a 13-foot-tall Black man named Cootie (Emmy winner Jerome) who experiences the real world for the first time after having grown up in hiding.
Why we're excited: The creative team behind this series is a powerhouse: Riley (I'm Sorry To Bother You) is a master of clever dark comedy, Chun (Children of Invention) has a gift for pathos, and Jerome (Moonlight, When They See Us) is one of the most talented rising stars on the scene right now. -Noelene Clark
'Hijack' (Apple TV+)
Premiere date: June 28
Cast: Idris Elba, Archie Panjabi, Christine Adams, Max Beesley, Eve Myles, Neil Maskell, Jasper Britton, Harry Michell, Aimée Kelly, Mohamed Elsandel and Ben Miles
This seven-episode thriller series centers on a flight that goes very wrong when the plane is hijacked en route to London. On board is an experienced business negotiator (Elba) who'll have to use his skills to save himself and fellow passengers.
Why we're excited: In addition to the Idris Elba of it all, the concept of the show sounds like a real rush for action fans. -Amanda Bell
'The Afterparty' Season 2 (Apple TV+)
Premiere date: July 12
Cast: Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoe Chao, Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Paul Walter Hauser, Poppy Liu, Anna Konkle, Jack Whitehall, Vivian Wu, Ken Jeong and John Cho
Aniq (Richardson) and girlfriend Zoe (Chao) somehow find themselves in the midst of another murder, but this time it's during the wedding celebration of Zoe's sister Grace (Liu). Just like in Season 1, each suspect gets to tell their story in a different genre before it all comes together to reveal the killer.
Why we're excited: Season 1 was a delight from start to finish, and Season 2 is more of the same, with a messy new mystery and a stellar new cast of suspects. -Lauren Piester
'The Summer I Turned Pretty' Season 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
Premiere date: July 14
Cast: Lola Tung, Christopher Briney, Gavin Casalegno, Jackie Chung, Sean Kaufman, Rain Spencer and David Iacono (with Kyra Sedgwick and Elsie Fisher in recurring roles)
Based on Jenny Han's hit book series, The Summer I Turned Pretty follows a teenage girl named Belly (Tung) as she's caught in a love triangle between two brothers (Briney and Casalegno) during some magical summers at Cousins Beach.
Why we're excited: Season 2 will take a marked departure from Han's books, adding new character Skye (Fisher). Plus, after a season of Conrad supremacy, this summer will be just what the Jeremiah fans need. -Charlotte Walsh
'The Real Housewives of New York' Season 14 (Bravo)
Premiere date: July 16
Cast: Sai De Silva, Ubah Hassan, Erin Dana Lichy, Jessel Taank, Jenna Lyons and Brynn Whitfield
A whole new batch of ladies are here to showcase the ups and downs of their wild lives in the Big Apple — and get into some jaw-dropping drama in the process.
Why we're excited: This is the first season of RHONY since the series' 2021 "pause," and will follow an entirely new group of women for the first time. The cast includes former J. Crew president Jenna Lyons, who may not be gelling with the rest of the ladies — in the trailer, Sai De Silva tells her, "We definitely talk sh— about you." -Charlotte Walsh
'Justified: City Primeval' (FX)
Premiere date: July 18
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Boyd Holbrook, Aunjanue Ellis, Adelaide Clemons and Vivian Olyphant
Raylan Givens (Olyphant) returns in the Justified spinoff, based on a different Elmore Leonard novel series. He's left Kentucky for Michigan and will tackle crime in a big city as he faces a terrifying crime boss in Clement Mansel (Holbrook)
Why we're excited: Justified was one of the most underrated crime dramas of its time, and we cannot wait to see Raylan's boots hit the ground in Detroit and take on a completely new type of criminal. -Megan Vick
'Twisted Metal' (Peacock)
Premiere date: July 27
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Thomas Haden Church, Samoa Joe, Will Arnett and Richard Cabral
A courier (Mackie) transports a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic version of America while being pursued by bandits in souped-up combat vehicles. It's a half-hour action comedy based on a classic video game franchise and executive-produced by Deadpool screenwriting duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
Why we're excited: We loved playing the demolition derby PlayStation game when we were kids. -Liam Mathews
Premiere date: August TBD
Cast: Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bardizzo, David Tennant, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eman Esfandi and Hayden Christensen
One of the most beloved characters from the animated Star Wars universe will get to headline her own live-action series. Ahsoka (Dawson) leads her group of rebels to continue the good fight about five years after the end of The Return of the Jedi (roughly the same timeline as The Mandalorian).
Why we're excited: Even people who never watched Clone Wars should be excited to see Ahsoka kick spacetail in a live-action series — and face off against her former mentor Darth Vader (Christensen). -Megan Vick
'Heartstopper' Season 2 (Netflix)
Premiere date: August 3
Cast: Kit Connor, Joe Locke, William Gao, Yasmin Finney, Corinna Brown, Kizzy Edgell, Rhea Norwood, Tobie Donovan, Jenny Walser, Sebastian Croft, Cormac Hyde-Corrin, Fisayo Akinade, Chetna Pandya, Stephen Fry, Olivia Colman, Bel Priestley, Ash Self, Thibault de Montalembert, Leila Khan and more
Heartstopper, the Children's & Family Emmy Award-winning adaptation of Alice Oseman's webcomic and graphic novel of the same name, starts with an unlikely friendship between a shy artist and a kind athlete, but it softly unfurls into one of the most uplifting love stories in recent memory.
Why we're excited: Season 2, inspired by the third graphic novel in the series, promises more heartwarming (and heart-stopping) moments between Nick and Charlie as they navigate their fledgling relationship through milestones like prom and a school trip to Paris. -Noelene Clark
'Only Murders in the Building' Season 3 (Hulu)
Premiere date: August 8
Cast: Selena Gomez, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Meryl Streep and Paul Rudd
TV's most unlikely pals/neighbors/podcast hosts are back to solve yet another murder, but this time Paul Rudd has died on stage while acting in a play directed by Oliver (Short).
Why we're excited: Paul Rudd was already an excellent guest star get for an already excellent show, but Meryl Streep takes things to a whole new level. -Lauren Piester
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