The Most Anticipated TV Shows of Summer 2024

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Credit - Illustration by Kyle Victory for TIME; (From top, L-R): The Umbrella Academy: Netflix, Presumed Innocent: Apple, House of Dragons: HBO, Lady in the Lake: Apple, Fantasmas: HBO, The Acolyte: Lucasfilm, Those About To Die: Peacock

The sun is coming out, the days are getting longer, and life somehow just seems that little bit happier. But even as nature beckons us out of doors, the lure of the fluorescent blue-light box remains, especially as a season once associated with reruns and stagnation only seems to get more packed with appointment viewing.

The enticements include the return of shows like House of the Dragon, Bridgerton, and The Bear, small-screen debuts from the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman, as well as fond and final farewells to beloved series like Cobra Kai. There is so much on the television calendar between Memorial Day and Labor Day that there’s reason to believe the seat indent of our sofa cushions might never spring back into shape.

Whether you’re in it for the discourse or the dragons, here are 29 TV shows to stay inside for this summer.

Read more: The 31 Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2024

New Shows


May 30 on Netflix

Benedict Cumberbatch and Gaby Hoffman star in this limited series about a puppeteer on a children’s TV show whose young son goes missing in a gritty, 1980s New York City. The quest to bring the boy home is a jumping-off point for an exploration of the challenges—crime, racism, AIDS—that plagued the Big Apple during that era. The show is created by Abi Morgan, who wrote the film Suffragette and the forever underappreciated series The Hour.

Ren Faire

June 2 on HBO 

We all need a bit of escape. For some of us, it involves one too many spicy margs at a questionable hour, for others, it involves diving head-first into a distant past of knights, jousting, and old-timey wares. “Ren Faires,” or Renaissance Faires, where people gather in their greatest 16th Century garb, have been a cultural curiosity for decades. The biggest one in the U.S., in Texas, was founded by George Coulam, who has all the eccentricities of Joe Exotic if he traded tigers for a crown. Ren Faire, from Some Kind of Heaven and Spermworld filmmaker Lance Oppenheim, is a three-part dive into the power grab at the heart of the Texas Renaissance Faire as 85-year-old Coulam looks to step down and name his successor. Seizing glory isn’t just reserved for the jousting ring, it seems.

The Acolyte

June 4 on Disney+

Who would have guessed, when Disney announced its expansion of the Star Wars legacy back in 2014, that 10 years later, we’d be anticipating our sixth live-action spin-off series? The Acolyte will shed light on the Dark Side, and specifically how its powers came to be. It takes place about 100 years before Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, carving out a brand new timeline from the already enormous web that’s been spun by the galactic behemoth. It’s written by Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland, and in terms of cast, we’ve got Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Carrie-Anne Moss, Manny Jacinto, and Manny Jacinto’s jawline.


June 4 on FX/Hulu

If there’s anything we love more than euphoric sports stories, it’s sports stories about scandal. Clipped, starring Laurence Fishburne and Ed O’Neill, is dribbling behind the scenes on one of the NBA’s most shocking moments. Fishburne plays Doc Rivers, the new coach of the L.A. Clippers in 2013, and O’Neill plays Donald Sterling, the team’s owner, who was caught making racist remarks on tape. Swirling in the background is Sterling’s dysfunctional marriage and the personal assistant who’s a little too close, power-hungry, and savvy to be underestimated. The show is based on The Sterling Affairs, ESPN’s 30 For 30 podcast.

Becoming Karl Lagerfeld

June 7 on Hulu

Following biographical series about designers like Dior and Halston, it was only a matter of time before Karl Lagerfeld, the enigmatic, iconic, and controversial figurehead of Chanel, got the deep-dive on-screen treatment. The series stars Daniel Brühl as the not-yet-white-ponytailed designer during the heyday of 1970s Paris fashion. It will chronicle his rise in the ranks of high fashion and the catfights and rivalries that weren’t just reserved for the tabloid models of the time. Théodore Pellerin will co-star in the French production as Lagerfeld’s lover Jacques de Bascher, with Arnaud Valois and Alex Lutz, respectively, as Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, his greatest competitors.


June 7 on HBO

If you happened to see Julio Torres’s surrealist comedy Problemista this year, you might have some insight into what to expect from his next project, HBO’s Fantasmas. Although there still aren’t many details, we do know that it’s about a fictionalized version of Torres navigating a “dreamlike New York” looking for a lost gold oyster earring. So far, so surreal. In terms of supporting cast, Fantasmas reads like Avengers for people who spend too much time on the internet: Julia Fox, Ziwe, Steve Buscemi, Alexa Demie, and Kim Petras.


June 7 on Hulu

Candice Carty-Williams’ 2019 novel Queenie took home British Book Awards "Book of the Year," so it was only a matter of time before it nabbed a screen adaptation. The show, like the book, follows Queenie (Dionne Brown), a 25-year-old British Jamaican woman trying to navigate life and love in South London. An authentic and comedic portrait, the series sees Queenie attempting to placate everyone in her life, from her white boyfriend’s ignorant family to her own conservative grandparents. And as is wholly relatable, when things start to fall apart, she begins seeking comfort in all the worst places.

Presumed Innocent

June 12 on Apple TV+

It’s hard to believe that, in the more-than-decade since Hollywood A-listers started decamping to the small screen for prestige projects, Jake Gyllenhaal has never done TV (bar a few comedy bits for the likes of John Mulaney and Amy Schumer and, most recently, hosting SNL). He certainly feels like part of the last crop of megastars to hold out—at least, until June, when he finally relents for the Apple TV+ series Presumed Innocent. The show is based on the 1987 novel by Scott Turow and revolves around a prosecutor who becomes the main suspect in the death of his colleague. Naturally, with its legal throughline, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal scribe David E. Kelley has penned the series. If the title sounds familiar, it’s because this isn’t the book’s first adaptation; Harrison Ford starred in the film of the same name in 1990.

Orphan Black: Echoes

June 23 on AMC and BBC America

Seven years after the end of Orphan Black, the series about an illegal and secret web of human cloning, a sequel set 37 years later will introduce us to a brand new mystery. It revolves around Lucy (Krysten Ritter), a woman who woke up two years earlier in a strange room with no memory of her life. Also in the mix is Kira (Keely Hawes), the daughter of Sarah Manning, the main character played by Tatiana Maslany in the original series, who is now all grown up. Let’s just say, even shrouded in mystery, we already understand why it’s called Echoes.

Land of Women

June 26 on Apple TV+

Victoria Bazúa, Eva Longoria, and Carmen Maura <span class="copyright">Courtesy of Apple TV+</span>
Victoria Bazúa, Eva Longoria, and Carmen Maura Courtesy of Apple TV+

Land of Women, starring Eva Longoria, is part girls' trip road story, part crime caper. Longoria stars as Gala, a woman whose bougie New York City life is turned upside down when her husband implicates their family in massive financial debt. Seeing no other option than to run, Gala flees with her mother and college-aged daughter to the small town in Spain her mother ran away from five decades before. While they might have outrun their crimes, gossip about the family’s past spreads like wildfire in their new provincial home.

My Lady Jane

June 27 on Prime Video

With Bridgerton wrapping up its third season, My Lady Jane is here to swoop in and fill the void. Set a few hundred years before everyone’s favorite regency romp, the series shares similar tropes, like naughty royals, saucy escapades, and modern songs remixed on a lute. It offers an alternate history to Lady Jane Grey, the great-granddaughter of Henry VII, who ascended to the throne for only nine days before she was executed at the age of 17. In this series, Jane gets another shot at life, as she swashbuckles her way through love, romance, and adventure. It stars British actors Rob Brydon, Jim Broadbent, Sex Education’s Ed Bluemel and newcomer Emily Bader as the titular lady.

The Decameron

July TBA on Netflix

Tony Hale and Zosia Mamet <span class="copyright">Courtesy of Netflix</span>
Tony Hale and Zosia Mamet Courtesy of Netflix

Transatlantic comedy fans, rejoice, because The Decameron, Netflix’s comedic take on the Bubonic Plague, will assemble a crew of across-the-pond faves, from the likes of Veep’s Tony Hale to Derry Girls Saoirse Monica-Jackson, Girls’ Zosia Mamet to Sex Education’s Tanya Reynolds. Giovanni Boccaccio’s original story was published in the 14th Century, making it some vintage adaptation goodness. The series follows a group of nobles and their servants trying to outlast a pandemic (relatable!) as societal order descends into chaotic collapse.


July 10 on Apple TV+

Rashida Jones in <i>Sunny</i><span class="copyright">Courtesy of Apple TV+</span>
Rashida Jones in SunnyCourtesy of Apple TV+

A24, the only production company with actual stans and merch, continues its cultural power grab with Sunny, a new comedic thriller starring Rashida Jones based on The Dark Manual by Colin O’Sullivan. Jones plays Suzie, a woman living in Kyoto whose life is upended by the disappearance of her son and husband in a mysterious plane crash. As consolation for her loss, she’s given “Sunny,” a robot companion made by her husband’s company. While she initially resents the gadget, they end up forming a bond (M3GAN found dead!), and work to uncover the dangerous secrets behind their joint lives.

Emperor of Ocean Park

July 14 on MGM+

In Emperor of Ocean Park, an adaptation of Stephen L. Carter’s bestselling novel, we’ll land in the world of academia, politics, and the lush, moneyed backdrop of Martha’s Vineyard. The story revolves around Talcott Garland (Grantham Coleman), a law professor whose life is upended by the sudden death of his judge father (Forest Whitaker), a tragedy in which Talcott’s sister Mariah (Tiffany Mack), a former journalist, believes something fishy may be at play.

Those About to Die

July 18 on Peacock

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel isn’t the only Roman swords-and-sandals epic we can expect this year. Those About to Die stars acting legend Anthony Hopkins as the real-life Emperor Vespasian, and the drama centers around the corrupt world of gladiatorial competition, from the glory and the bloodshed to the dirty dealings of the ancient mob. The series is directed by the "master of disaster," Roland Emmerich, who’s known for films like Independence Day and Godzilla.

Lady in the Lake

July 19 on Apple

Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram<span class="copyright">Courtesy of Apple TV+</span>
Natalie Portman and Moses IngramCourtesy of Apple TV+

Much like Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman has put off making the jump to the prestige small screen. The project that’s finally pulled her over the threshold is Lady in the Lake, a seven-part series based on Laura Lippman’s bestselling novel of the same name. In it, she’ll play a Jewish mother, Maddie Schwartz, in 1960s Baltimore who rebrands as an investigative journalist to work on an unsolved murder case. The Queen’s Gambit breakout actor Moses Ingram plays Cleo Johnson, a fellow mother who is active in the Civil Rights movement.

Time Bandits

July 24 on Apple TV+

Taika Waititi reboots the 1981 movie, directed by Terry Gilliam who co-wrote it alongside fellow Monty Python alum Michael Palin, as a 10-episode series. The story is about a young boy who accidentally joins a band of time-traveling dwarves as they jump through space and time looking for treasure, naturally. Considering Waititi’s last venture was the cult pirate fave Our Flag Means Death, its safe to say he’s got the whole pillaging thing down. Perhaps most exciting, Lisa Kudrow will be starring, continuing her reign as queen of offbeat comedic projects.

America's Sweethearts: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Summer TBA on Netflix

A still from <i>America's Sweethearts</i><span class="copyright">Courtesy of Netflix</span>
A still from America's SweetheartsCourtesy of Netflix

Perhaps no squad in sideline history is better known than the Dallas Cowboys’ Cheerleaders. After replacing sweaters and kilts for skimpy two-pieces and making the move to hire dancers for their lineup, the crew became a pop-cultural shorthand for the kinds of girls guys wanted, and other girls wanted to be. That legacy remains today, and in a new docuseries from the creator of the wildly popular Cheer, Netflix will take us behind the pom-poms to see what it is actually like to slip into the white knee-high boots and dance for hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Returning Shows

We Are Lady Parts Season 2

May 30 on Peacock

We might be living in a game show that’s testing our resolve to see just how long we can go between seasons of a show before absolutely losing it. Luckily, We Are Lady Parts is coming back just in time, three years after its first outing. In its second season, the irreverent series about a five-piece all-female Muslim punk band will see the group, headed up by Black Mirror’s Anjana Vasan, buoyed by the completion of their UK tour, only to have to field new competition from another band on the scene. And as with all success stories, the big question of “Is this really what we want?” may come knocking.

The Boys Season 4

June 13 on Prime Video

In the landscape of superhero stories, The Boys offers something refreshing if not entirely horrifying. The first three seasons continued to ask the question: What if people really had superpowers? Would they be altruistic and good? The overwhelming response was absolutely not. The most nihilistic show on television is coming back for its fourth season, and the stakes are extremely high. We enter this season with a fast-track to the oval office, with Homelander, the most superpowered being on the planet and possibly the most psychopathic, as the silent partner pulling the strings to global domination. It’s now more important than ever for the boys to take him down.

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2

June 13 on Netflix

The ton is still abuzz as Shonda Rhimes’ corset-ripper caps off its latest season. In keeping with the recent Netflix tradition of spreading out the episodes of its biggest shows, the final four episodes of Bridgerton’s third season will drop on June 13 following the initial drop in May. The show has used each of its seasons to focus on one of the Bridgerton siblings, and this one has been all about Colin (Luke Newton) and his slow-burn friends-to-lovers relationship with Penelope (Nicola Coughlan), who (spoiler alert) has been fast losing grip on her secret identity as London’s premiere gossip queen, Lady Whistledown. While Penelope stifles her love, lust, and everything in between for the newly-preened Colin, he helps her find another suitor (cue the lingering hand brushes, harpsichord covers of pop songs, and not-so-metaphorical pearl clutches). Will ‘Polin’ be officially endgame by the time the season closes?

House of the Dragon Season 2

June 16 on HBO

You wait two years for the arrival of a hotly anticipated second season for a beloved fantasy series costing a gajillion dollars, and two come at once. After going head-to-head the first time around, House of the Dragon Season 2, a Game of Thrones prequel, will be sharing the summer again with the second outing of Rings of Power, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings spin-off series. Returning in mid-June, House of the Dragon will land us back in the simmering early stages of Targaryen civil war, as Matt Smith’s Daemon, Emma D’Arcy’s Rhaenyra, and Olivia Cooke’s Alicent Hightower et al try to seize control. Season 2 will give us the "Dance of the Dragon," which is to say we can expect all-out gory bloodshed between the factions as they fight for the Iron Throne. In a trailer for Season 2, we also get a snowy glimpse at a few members of the Night’s Watch. It may be summer, but it looks like winter is coming again.

The Bear Season 3

June 27 on FX/Hulu

It hasn’t been long since we said our last “Yes, chef,” but, thankfully, we won’t have much more time to wait. In a release schedule that feels almost alien to modern TV production (the young cast of Stranger Things is currently figuring out just how long they can feasibly pull off being 15 while in their early twenties), The Bear’s third season is heading our way almost exactly a year after the second run finished. (Which is good, because we last left Jeremy Allen White’s Carmy locked in a walk-in freezer, so we should probably let him out soon.) What went from a show with minor buzz to the most lauded and awarded series of last year promises more stakes (and steaks, no doubt) as The Bear, the newly-renovated fine dining restaurant, is ready to open to the public. This run will likely be even more stressful than before, as Carmy pushes himself and his team, includingAyo Edebiri’s Sydney and Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Richie, harder than ever.

Cobra Kai Season 6

July 18 on Netflix

Sean Kanan as Mike Barnes in Season 2 of Cobra Kai<span class="copyright">Curtis Bonds Baker—Netflix </span>
Sean Kanan as Mike Barnes in Season 2 of Cobra KaiCurtis Bonds Baker—Netflix

Cobra Kai is signing off (or, waxing off) for the final time with its sixth season. Compared to other nostalgia grabs, the sequel series to The Karate Kid, revolving around the continued rivalry between Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence and the warring dojos they curate, has stood the test of time, picking up a groundswell of affection throughout its run. With its last season, the show will take us to the Sekai Taikai—the world championships of karate—and bid farewell to Daniel, Johnny, and their ragtag group of students.

The Umbrella Academy Season 4

Aug. 8 on Netflix

It’s time to say goodbye to everyone’s favorite dysfunctional family with the final series of The Umbrella Academy. The series, based on the graphic novel by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, is about a set of estranged, super-powered siblings, who come back together after the death of their slightly megalomaniacal father. When we left last season, the Hargreeves gang were left sans superpowers to face off against their biggest threat yet. As the series embarks on its last adventure, the all-star cast that includes Elliot Page, Justin Min and Robert Sheehan will be joined by the likes of Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and David Cross.

Emily in Paris Season 4 Part 1

Aug. 15 on Netflix

Having taken Paris, Emily is eyeing the rest of Europe. Emily in Paris, the series that real life Parisians hate and the rest of us hate to love, has followed Lily Collins’ American PR exec in the City of Love. Now, viewers will join her on jaunts to the Alps and Rome, making the most of the continent’s transport infrastructure. It is sure to feature more romance, bad decisions, and questionable Frenglish.

Only Murders in the Building Season 4

Aug. 27 on Hulu

While its beginnings may have started off humble (well, as humble as a show starring two SNL veterans and one of the most famous women on the planet can be), Only Murders in the Building has snowballed into one of the biggest A-lister magnets on TV. The show, which follows three amateur true crime podcasters (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) who keep stumbling across murders, roped in Paul Rudd and Meryl Streep last season, and this next installment has an even bigger line-up to look forward to. Streep is back, along with new additions Molly Shannon, Eva Longoria, Eugene Levy, Zack Galifianakis, Melissa McCarthy, and Kumail Nanjiani. Somehow, another murder will land at our footsteps, and somehow, it won’t seem at all farfetched!

Rings of Power Season 2

Aug. 29 on Prime Video

Rings of Power, Amazon’s first dip into the Lord of the Rings estate, is based on The Silmarillion, with the prequel series tracing back to the formation of the One Ring and Sauron’s rise to power. When we last left the show, it had been revealed that Sauron (Charlie Vickers) had been hiding in plain sight the whole time, deceiving Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) into thinking he was Halbrand, the lost king of the Southlands. Now, as we enter a new season, it looks like we’re going to see more of the Dark Lord’s villainous quest for power, seemingly taking control of Mordor—orcs and oozy black sentient goo and all—and envisioning the creation of the ring in Mount Doom. He’s also ripped off the shackles of his disguise and goes about Middle-earth in all of his peroxide-laden, long-haired glory.

Pachinko Season 2

Summer TBA on Apple TV+

Minha Kim and Lee Min-ho in Season 1 of 'Pachinko'<span class="copyright">Courtesy of Apple TV+</span>
Minha Kim and Lee Min-ho in Season 1 of 'Pachinko'Courtesy of Apple TV+

Min Jin Lee’s expansive epic Pachinko is no easy feat to adapt to any screen. The book chronicles almost 75 years of a Korean family’s story, starting in 1915 and ending in 1989, detailing their plight under Japanese occupation, war, poverty, and racism. That’s a lot to fit into one season, so luckily the show is back for its second outing later this summer. Where Season 1 landed us in Osaka under torturous discrimination, Season 2 will likely time-jump to World War II and follow our lead Sunja (played as a child by Yu-Na, a young adult by Kim Min-ha, and an older woman by Youn Yuh-jung) as she continues to scrape by for her family under disastrous conditions.

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