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What to watch this summer: Here are the TV shows we're looking forward to

Clockwise from top left: <em>Industry</em>, <em>My Lady Jane</em>, <em>The Bear</em>, <em>The Umbrella Academy</em>, <em>Clipped</em> and <em>House of the Dragon</em>
Nick Strasburg/HBO, Jonathan Prime/Prime Video, Chuck Hodes/FX, Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix, Kelsey McNeal/FX, Ollie Upton/HBO
Clockwise from top left: Industry, My Lady Jane, The Bear, The Umbrella Academy, Clipped and House of the Dragon

It looks like we are in for a very hot summer. If you find yourself stuck inside looking for your next show, our critics can help — they've scanned the broadcast and streaming horizons to find the shows you should check out in June, July and August. Take a look:

June

Clipped, June 4, FX on Hulu

It sounds like a dated Saturday Night Live parody: a drama on the explosive impact of racist statements by then–Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, leaked to the public in 2014. But the elevated cast — Laurence Fishburne as Clippers coach Doc Rivers, Ed O’Neill as Sterling and LeVar Burton as himself — hints at more. Ultimately, the show explores class, race, sports and modern striving with surprising quality, including a meditation on how Black stars handle rage, which should get its own Emmy Award. — Eric Deggans

Fantasmas, June 7, Max
Created, written, starring and directed by Julio Torres (Problemista, Los Espookys), this six-episode comedy series offers a queer (in every sense of the word) perspective on life in NYC. The plot: Torres loses an earring and goes looking for it. The execution: high weirdness, exquisitely wrought, as the loose narrative wanders through the lives of random New Yorkers whom Torres stumbles across on his quest. Smart, funny and scathing when it wants to be, Fantasmas is bracingly and idiosyncratically itself. — Glen Weldon

Queenie, June 7, Hulu
There is something magnetic in watching a powerfully awkward protagonist stumble through life — especially Queenie, a 20-something Jamaican British woman caught between life as the daughter of immigrants and a painful breakup with a white boyfriend coddling vaguely racist relatives. Based on a bestselling novel, Hulu's series offers a deeply revealing urban comedy centered on a strong Black woman in London struggling to process her past so she can build a better future. Like most of us. — Eric Deggans

Presumed Innocent, June 12, Apple TV+
Presumed Innocent, a bestselling legal thriller by Scott Turow, became a Harrison Ford movie in 1990. Now, more than 30 years later, Jake Gyllenhaal steps in to lead a new TV adaptation for Apple. Gyllenhaal plays Rusty Sabich, a lawyer whose obsessive affair with a woman in his office becomes an existential threat to him after she turns up murdered. His mortified wife, played here by Ruth Negga, is forced to face the possibility that he murdered his lover and the fact that he had one. — Linda Holmes

The Boys, Season 4, June 13, Prime Video
This cartoonishly violent and sexualized series — starring corporate-designed superheroes who are secretly psychopaths — evolved over three seasons from jabbing at the Marvel/DC comic industrial complex to satirizing media and MAGA-style conservatism. The new episodes amp up the dynamic, with a new hero who comes off like Lauren Boebert in a cape, supported by a propaganda-filled TV channel and a twisted Superman-like team leader whose detachment from humanity may be the world’s biggest threat. — Eric Deggans

House of the Dragon, Season 2, June 16, HBO, Max
Yeah, that first season was very uneven. But it did what it had to do, introducing us to the individual chess pieces and carefully arranging them on the sides they're playing for: Team Black (Rhaenyra and her sweet-natured, albeit illegitimate sons) vs. Team Green (Alicent and her brood of monstrous sociopaths). But with the arrival of Season 2, the war known as the Dance of the Dragons is finally underway, and the whole dang chessboard is about to get engulfed in gouts of fiery breath. — Glen Weldon

The 77th Tony Awards, June 16, CBS, Paramount+
Always. Watch. The Tonys. Haven't taken in any Broadway this year? Doesn't matter. Where other award shows devolve into pompous self-congratulation, the Tonys broadcast is aimed squarely at us, as we sit on our couches at home. It's a collective siren song sent out by thousands of professional, desperate, try-hard theater people with one objective: to get us to haul our butts to NYC to see a show. As such, it's painstakingly engineered to entertain and enrapture. Always. Watch. The Tonys. — Glen Weldon

Orphan Black: Echoes, June 23, AMC, AMC+, BBC America
Jessica Jones star Krysten Ritter leads another Comic-Con-friendly franchise, a spinoff of Canadian science fiction series Orphan Black. Ritter is one of several women with missing memories who fear they are the product of a mysterious process wielded by a secretive organization. But don't worry — it's set nearly 40 years after the first show’s conclusion, and most viewers won’t need to know much about the mothership series to keep up with this tale of sisterhood, science and runaway progress. — Eric Deggans

My Lady Jane, June 27, Prime Video
A breezy, girlboss alt-history take on Lady Jane Grey, who, in our world, ruled England for nine days before being imprisoned and beheaded as a traitor. In the world of the series — as in the novels it is based on — Jane lives to fight, and frolic, another day. Are there schemes and plots and twists? You betcha. It's the sort of quippy, performatively quirky show (this version of England is teeming with magical shape-changers) that goes down like an ice-cold Pimm's cup on a hot summer afternoon. — Glen Weldon

The Bear, Season 3, June 27, FX on Hulu
The Bear has already put out two exceptional seasons and is so strong now that even when Jeremy Allen White is on the sidelines, the rest of the cast hits home run after home run. As the show returns, Carmy (White) and Sydney (Ayo Edebiri) are opening their new restaurant, and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) is fresh off some tremendous training in service. It's not easy to keep churning out season after season that's absolutely top quality, but if anybody can, it's this team. — Linda Holmes

July

Rashida Jones in <em>Sunny.</em>
/ Apple TV+
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Apple TV+
Rashida Jones in Sunny.

Sunny, July 10, Apple TV+
Rashida Jones stars as Suzie, an American expat living in Kyoto, Japan, when her husband and son go missing following a plane crash. She’s gifted a domestic robot named Sunny (Joanna Sotomura), and the two form a bond as Suzie processes her loss. The series is based on Colin O’Sullivan’s novel The Dark Manual and looks like it has the potential to grapple with complicated questions around tech and human connection in our current era of AI paranoia. — Aisha Harris

 Jon Stewart is back as one of the hosts of <em>The Daily Show</em>, which will be on the road at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.
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Jon Stewart is back as one of the hosts of The Daily Show, which will be on the road at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

The Daily Show and The Late Show at the RNC and DNC, week of July 15 (RNC) and week of Aug. 19 (DNC), CBS, Paramount+, Comedy Central
Two of TV’s biggest political comedy shows gate-crash the electoral process. Comedy Central's The Daily Show, reportedly with part-time host Jon Stewart, heads to Milwaukee for the Republican National Convention and to Chicago for the Democratic National Convention. Stephen Colbert's The Late Show goes live from New York for the RNC but broadcasts on the road for Democrats in Chi-Town. Pray to the comedy gods for a Colbert-Stewart tag-team ambush interview of Donald Trump and/or Joe Biden. — Eric Deggans

Those About to Die, July 18, Peacock
It’s tough to know why the streaming service known for Poker Face and Bel-Air greenlit an epic, $140 million limited series about corruption and violence in ancient Rome’s gladiator contests. But it has Anthony Hopkins as a Roman emperor, Independence Day director Roland Emmerich as a co-director and lots of allusions to entertaining the public with bloody combat. So let the games begin. — Eric Deggans

 Natalie Portman (left) and Moses Ingram in <em>Lady in the Lake</em>.
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Apple TV+
Natalie Portman (left) and Moses Ingram in Lady in the Lake.

Lady in the Lake, July 19, Apple TV+
Not to be confused with the Raymond Chandler story of a similar name, this miniseries is based on a novel by Laura Lippman about a homemaker turned investigative reporter who becomes preoccupied with the separate murders of a white girl and a Black woman in 1960s Baltimore. The subject matter alone is intriguing, but a cast led by Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram (The Queen’s Gambit) seals the deal. — Aisha Harris

Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson, July 26, NBC, Peacock
For those only marginally interested in the Olympics, Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg made must-see TV out of side-splitting Games commentary in 2021. NBCUniversal is amping up that strategy this year, pairing Hart with SNL's Kenan Thompson over an eight-episode Peacock series, while featuring SNL alum and superfan Leslie Jones in their coverage of the Paris events. I can’t wait to see some of comedy’s sharpest talents take on the biggest — and most rigid — sports establishment of them all. — Eric Deggans

August

The Umbrella Academy, Season 4, Aug. 8, Netflix
All six episodes of this deeply, profoundly, ecstatically weird series' fourth and final season drop on the same day. I'll be there with a bowl of popcorn — and a phone open to the show's wiki to help me reorient myself. Look, any series that features fractious superpowered siblings, branching timelines, a masked assassin played by Mary J. Blige and a kugelblitz (look it up) would be a lot to deal with, but The Umbrella Academy’s consistently wry, absurdist tone keeps it all grounded(ish). I'll miss it. — Glen Weldon

Myha’la Herrold as Harper Stern in <em>Industry</em>.
Nick Strasburg / HBO
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HBO
Myha’la Herrold as Harper Stern in Industry.

Industry, Season 3, Aug. 11, HBO, Max
A show with this much dry and confusing finance jargon shouldn’t be this gripping; it stands as a testament to the great cast (especially Myha’la Herrold and Ken Leung) and well-paced drama that it is. When the series last left off, some primary players were in shambles because of exposed secrets, and power structures were realigned yet again. Succession may be long over, but at least we’ve still got the chaotic ecosystem of London’s cutthroat Pierpoint investment bank. — Aisha Harris

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Corrected: June 6, 2024 at 1:45 PM CDT
An earlier version of this list indicated that Tulsa King Season 2 would be added to Paramount+ on July 14. In fact, the show’s first season will debut on CBS that day. The second season will air on Paramount+ in the fall.   
Eric Deggans is NPR's first full-time TV critic.
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.
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