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Summer TV Preview 2015

Every new show, the schedule for every returning show, and what's worth watching

Summer brings more scientific proof that TV’s oceans are indeed rising with a glut of content. Among other unnatural disasters between now and Labor Day, Syfy has a D.C.-based “Sharknado” movie (July 22) and there’s a Lifetime movie about the behind-the-scenes drama at “Full House.” (It airs in the doggiest of dog days, Aug. 22.) Want more bad news? We say goodbye to Jon Stewart on Aug. 6. Perhaps something to cheer you up? More zombies, with AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” spinoff series still expected in August (no firm date yet).

Quantity once again trumps quality — especially this summer — but in this chronological list of new series, specials, documentaries and reality shows, I’ve noted a few things that might merit a glance. (Who would have ever expected a David Simon/Paul Haggis HBO miniseries about public housing?)

Although it’s my job to watch too much TV, it’s your duty to spend your precious summer evenings in the best way possible — so don’t forget the beautiful freedom that can be found with the “off” button. Enjoy.

Featured reviews:

Jump down to:

New shows

Catastrophe

Catastrophe

B+

Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot

B+

Masterpiece: Poldark

Masterpiece: Poldark

B

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

C

Humans

Humans

C

Zoo

Zoo

C-

Catastrophe

B+

Premiere date: Friday, June 19

Time: Amazon streaming

Twitter users may already be fans of comedian Rob Delaney’s strange mix of the nasty and the gentlemanly, which is part of the appeal of this endearingly ribald six-episode dramedy import from British TV.

Delaney plays Rob, a 38-year-old Boston advertising executive visiting London on business; he meets a 41-year-old Irish schoolteacher named Sharon (Sharon Horgan) in a crowded bar and they go back to his hotel, where a one-night stand winds up lasting several energetic days. A month later, Sharon calls Rob with surprising news: She’s pregnant. Rob immediately returns to London to support her decision to keep the baby and accompany her to a series of ghastly obstetrician appointments that raise the specter of a pre-cancerous cervix and increased likelihood of birth defects in a “geriatric pregnancy.”

As odd as this comparison may sound, “Catastrophe” briefly reminded me of those long-ago Taster’s Choice commercials from the early 1990s about the neighbors who fall in love over a cup of coffee — only with about 1,000 percent more vagina jokes. It’s easy to root for a positive outcome, even though Sharon’s egomaniac friends and argumentative family exhibit plenty of odd behaviors that should scare Rob away for good — yet he’s somehow unfazed and still smitten. (Rob’s family is no joy, either; Carrie Fisher plays his Debbie Downer mother, trying to thwart romance in a series of transatlantic phone calls.)

Delaney and Horgan, who created and wrote “Catastrophe,” are a good match — both as performers and as characters. Their casual approach to impending parenthood is a notable change of pace from the predictability of rom-coms, which place an impossible premium on happy endings. This couple’s mutual honesty about sex and the body at age 40-ish makes you realize how few shows are about characters in this demographic. “Catastrophe” is going for laughs, but it also has something to say about people who’ve lived long enough to know that satisfaction doesn’t come with a perfectly tied bow on it.

Mr. Robot

B+

Premiere date: Wednesday, June 24

Time: 10 p.m. on USA

Even though cybersecurity meltdowns are in the news every day, it’s still difficult to translate the excitement of Hackerville into a good TV drama. (Look no further than CBS’s stultifying “CSI: Cyber” for proof that watching people type furious lines of code or comb through the darkest corners of the Internet leaves a little something to be desired.) USA’s impressive pilot episode for “Mr. Robot,” however, delivers something more human and complex than the usual search terms of a tech-flavored procedural.

Rami Malek (HBO’s “The Pacific”) stars as Elliot, a talented programmer who works for a security firm that protects big corporations from hackers; at night, however, Elliot is a secret hacker, meting out vigilante justice to child pornographers and other online baddies. Elliot struggles with social anxiety disorder, keeping his psychological issues at bay by snorting morphine (a fact he fails to tell his therapist, played by “ER’s” Gloria Reuben). Susceptible to Illuminati-like conspiracy theories, Elliot is recruited into a group of anonymous hacktivists led by the mysterious Mr. Robot, which brings me to the only bad news I have to report about the show: Mr. Robot is played by Christian Slater, who, after all these years, still has just the one acting style.

In an obvious way, “Mr. Robot” seems to be setting itself up to be another semi-stylish thriller in the network’s usual manner; but in its better moments, the show artfully depicts some of the paranoia of the Edward Snowden era and is vaguely reminiscent of AMC’s lamentably short-lived “Rubicon,” keeping a murky distinction between what is real and what is just a figment of the protagonist’s addled sense of perception. Elliot may just be another of TV’s millennial hackers-in-hoodies, but Malek’s subtle yet strong performance indicates that there is something wounded and believable about this kid, drawing out the viewer’s sympathies — and suspicions.

Masterpiece: Poldark

B

Premiere date: Sunday, June 21

Time: 9 p.m. on PBS

Pardon me, madam, but is your PBS tote bag vibrating? Blame “Poldark,” a sweepingly romantic seven-part series from “Masterpiece” that seems scientifically engineered to press the right period-drama buttons, starting with its origins: Based on the novels of Winston Graham, a TV adaptation in 1975 was one of “Masterpiece’s” first hits. Unless longtime fans are simply unwilling to let go of the past, they’ll probably forget the old “Poldark” ever existed almost as soon as this remake begins.

With several added layers of lushness and a more modern sense of momentum, “Poldark” tells the story of exceedingly handsome British army Capt. Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner), who returns to coastal Cornwall in 1781 from the American Revolution’s battlefields, scarred but smarter (as they say). His relatives and associates are surprised to see Poldark alive — none more so than his former flame, Elizabeth Chenoweth (Heida Reed), who went ahead and got engaged (drat!) to Ross’s ineffectual cousin Francis (Kyle Soller), the heir apparent of the family estate.

Cautioned by his uncle that the bottom has fallen out of the copper-mining industry that once sustained the villages, Ross nevertheless returns to his late father’s run-down home-by-the-sea, where he hopes to stimulate the economy and his chance at fortune by reopening a mine. Along the way, Ross hires a wretchedly poor kitchen maid, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), the daughter of an abusive miner. Once she’s rid herself of lice and prettied up (and spied on Ross as he skinny-dips), sparks begin to fly between servant and master.

It’s ridiculous, it’s sumptuous, it’s perfect summer sorbet. Turner’s Ross is sometimes laughably gallant — saving the day, intervening in squabbles, speaking his mind, performing surgery, you name it. There’s rarely a plot point that viewers won’t spot from some distance out, but as Ross and Demelza’s coupling sends all of Cornwall into a disapproving swoon, it’s a refreshing development for viewers who are used to period-drama characters hewing to a strict social code. With a toss of his luscious curls, Ross Poldark does what he pleases.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

C

Premiere date: Thursday, July 16

Time: 10 on FX

The concept feels all right: It’s Denis Leary doing for the gravitational forces of the rock-and-roll milieu what he did for the bonds between firefighters in FX’s “Rescue Me.”And it would certainly seem as if Leary, whose scathing pop-cultural critiques first bubbled up in the form of comedy routines and his association with MTV eons ago, would know a thing or two about backstage excesses and artistic torment. But the flashy “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” is bizarrely lacking in verisimilitude, particularly where the music is involved, which bogs down the show’s funnier jokes and moments.

Leary stars as Johnny Rock, the former lead singer of a band called the Heathens, which imploded on the eve of their major-label debut in 1990. After several failed attempts to revive his career, Johnny is reduced, 25 years later, to considering gigs in bands that cover the songs of his more successful peers: Not Bryan Adams. Non Bon Jovi. Stung.

Then the 21-year-old daughter Johnny never knew, Gigi (Elizabeth Gillies), shows up ready to spend her trust fund (provided by her successful mother) on becoming a rock star and offers to pay her father to write her some songs. Johnny and his manager, Ira (Josh Pais), persuade his former Heathens bandmates (John Corbett, John Ales and Robert Kelly) to reunite, and it turns out the daughter can really sing. With the Heathens on backup, observers in the studio start nodding in rhythmic approval, like Reuben Kincaid seeing dollar signs on “The Partridge Family.”

What makes no sense whatsoever here is the music — and it’s no trivial lapse in detail, traceable to creator/star Leary himself. Despite real rock stars (Dave Grohl, Joan Jett) speaking to the camera in mockumentary testimonial, “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” fails utterly to nail down Johnny Rock’s genre: Were the Heathens a hair band? Was Johnny a lite-rock balladeer? Was it punk? Playing himself, the Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli says the Heathens, in their brief heyday, sounded “like the Who f----- the Clash.”

If only. With this vague sensibility and some outdated ideas about the music industry, “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” becomes the very thing Johnny claims to loathe most: It is inauthentic and forgettable.

Humans

C

Premiere date: Sunday, June 28

Time: 9 p.m. on AMC

From Karel Capek’s 1920 play “Rossum’s Universal Robots” and on up through a gallery that includes “Metropolis,” the work of Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, C-3PO and the shared interest of Spielberg/Kubrick in making the 2001 movie “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” there’s very little left to be said about robots — even as Google’s engineers come closer and closer to taking the steering wheel away from human drivers.

AMC’s “Humans,” a co-production with British television’s Channel 4, is quite possibly the least original drama on TV this summer (it’s even based on an earlier Swedish version of the same show), but it is handsomely realized from a production standpoint. William Hurt also has a part in it, as an ailing robot inventor who finds himself trapped by the utopian ideal of his creation; it’s somewhat amazing that Hurt so often manages to rise above the material given to him.

“Humans,” set in a parallel present where robots are cooler than Apple Watches, is about a family that acquires a “synth,” which the husband (Tom Goodman-Hill) purchases as the obvious (and most sexist) answer to his attorney wife’s long work hours and the fact that he can’t keep up with the raising of their three kids. When the wife (Katherine Parkinson) expresses her unhappiness at this purchase, the husband barks: “You don’t get to waltz back in the door and tell me what this family needs.”

So the attractive, ice-cool robot named Anita (Gemma Chan) gets to stay — but it turns out she’s a retread, who was captured and rewired and put back into service after she and several other free-thinking synths tried to rebel.

The first two episodes are appallingly derivative of other robot-on-the-run stories (especially “A.I.”), with no clear indication that a surprise twist awaits down the road in the other six episodes. “Humans” does have that pleasingly antiseptic feeling of euro-cool about it (think of how the Benedict Cumberbatch “Sherlock” series looks, or BBC America’s “Orphan Black”), which can sometimes lure viewers into the belief that they’re watching something classy and sophisticated, when really they’re just snacking on the TV equivalent of rice cakes.

Zoo

C-

Premiere date: Tuesday, June 30

Time: 9 p.m. on CBS

“Based on a novel by James Patterson (and Michael Ledwidge)” isn’t the most welcoming phrase for viewers in search of highly original storytelling, but for others, it’s a stamp of summertime approval, the television equivalent of a light beach read left behind by the previous beach-condo tenant. This is your brand of ice cream or it isn’t, but a laughably over-serious pilot episode makes it difficult to take “Zoo” on its own terms.

It’s a 13-episode action thriller about a sudden change in temperament among the world’s animals. From wild lions on the African plains to diabolical house cats (and presumably more species as the story builds), animals have decided to work together as a unit to kill humans. James Wolk (poor James Wolk, can’t we find something better for you?) stars as a zoologist who’s been slacking off as a safari guide in Botswana. When a group of male lions uncharacteristically raids a nearby resort, killing guests and employees, Jackson is haunted by the crackpot theories of his late father, who predicted such a calamity.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles newspaper reporter (Kristen Connolly) defies her editor (who is also her lover, because on TV shows, all female newspaper reporters are required to sleep with their immediate male superiors) and pursues a far-fetched tip that zoo animals are being fed unsafe food manufactured by a major corporation; she finds a sympathetic ear in an animal pathologist (Billy Burke), and very quickly the global plot comes together. (Just wait until they find all the kitties perched in a tree above an elementary school, waiting to pounce. It’s cats doing Hitchock’s “The Birds”!)

As the actors react with horror when computer-generated animals go on the offensive, you realize that “Zoo” might have worked better as a piece of intentional camp. It’s almost there (in the first episode, I began to wonder if some of the cameos, such as “Veep’s” Reid Scott, weren’t meant as some kind of “Sharknado”-style slumming), but “Zoo’s” biggest mistake is taking the straight-and-narrow approach. For all the mauling, it’s got very little bite.

What else is on

Looks interesting

“UnREAL”

Mondays

10 on Lifetime

Delectably cruel fictional drama is a near-perfect send-up of life behind the scenes of a “Bachelor”-type reality show. Premiered June 1.

“The Whispers”

Mondays

10 on ABC

This mediocre drama starts off with the usual spooky children of the leafy D.C. suburbs talking to “imaginary” friends with malevolent plans. Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) plays the federal agent who realizes that an unseen power is trying to get through our national security system through these kids. It never gets above a ho-hum level. Premiered June 1.

“Secrets and Wives”

Tuesdays

10 on Bravo

Reality show hangs out with perfectly awful Long Island women who’ve known one another since fuh-evuh. Premiered June 2.

“Stitchers”

Tuesdays

9 on ABC Family

Drama series. A young woman is recruited into a secret government program that “stitches” her into the minds of the recently deceased as a way to solve crime. Premiered June 2.

“Sense8”

on Netflix streaming

Tedious but stylish sci-fi series from the Wachowskis (“The Matrix”) about eight strangers who discover that their minds are linked. Premiered June 5.

“100 Things to Do Before High School”

Saturdays

8:30 on Nickelodeon

Hipped by her big brother to the many bummers of high school, a 12-year-old girl decides to make the most of life with her BFFs before they have to face freshman year. Premiered June 6.

“Mummies Alive”

Sundays

9 on Smithsonian Channel

Docuseries travels to many continents to look at ancient mummies and mummification rituals. Hosted by non-yet-mummified actor Jason Priestley. Premiered June 7.

“Odd Mom Out”

Mondays

10 on Bravo

Scripted comedy series from writer/star Jill Kargman about wealthy mommies on the Upper East Side. Abby Elliott and Joanna Cassidy co-star. Premiered June 8.

“Becoming Us”

Mondays

9 on ABC Family

Drama series about a teenager named Ben whose father is becoming a woman. Premiered June 8.

“Dark Matter”

Fridays

10 on Syfy

Drama series based on the Dark Horse comic book about six people who wake up and have no idea how they all wound up on the same spaceship. Premiered June 12.

“Dare to Wear”

Fridays

10 on TLC

Fashion disasters from opposite sides of the wardrobe spectrum have to switch closets and wear the other person’s clothes and shoes. Premiered June 12.

“Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell”

Saturdays

on BBC America

Based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke, seven-part miniseries stars Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel as 18th-century magicians who join England’s war against Napoleon. Premiered June 13.

“The Making of the Mob”

Mondays

10 on AMC

For viewers who never tire of the mafia, Ray Liotta narrates this eight-part documentary series about the history of organized crime in New York in the early 20th century — material you should be somewhat familiar with if you watched “Boardwalk Empire.” Premiered June 15.

“Over My Dead Body”

Mondays

10 on Investigation Discovery

Actress Linda Hamilton (of the early “Terminator” movies) hosts docuseries that tells true stories of women who fought off attackers. Premiered June 15.

“Proof”

Tuesdays

10 on TNT

Drama series about a tech guru with cancer (Matthew Modine) who persuades a grieving surgeon (Jennifer Beals) to investigate cases of near-death and afterlife experiences. Premiered June 16.

“Clipped”

Tuesdays

10 on TBS

Sitcom from “Will & Grace” creators about a hipster barbershop in Massachusetts staffed by people who all went to high school together. Premiered June 16.

“Deutschland 83”

Wednesdays

11 on Sundance TV

This German-subtitled drama makes a nice companion piece to FX’s “The Americans,” as a 24-year-old East German man (Jonas Nay) is chosen to spy for the Stasi as a West German soldier during the 1980s. Premiered June 17.

“Complications”

Thursdays

9 on USA

Drama/thriller series from “Burn Notice” creator Matt Nix stars Jason O’Mara (“Terra Nova”) as a suburban doctor who saves the victim of a drive-by shooting that turns out to be a much more significant incident than it first seemed. Premiered June 18.

“The Astronaut Wives Club”

Thursdays

8 on ABC

Drama series based on Lily Koppel’s book about the women behind NASA’s pioneering astronauts. Sort of a fizzier twist on “The Right Stuff.” Premiered June 18.

“Alone”

Thursdays

10 on History

Ten survivalists (all guys) are dropped off in the Vancouver Island wilderness, separated from one another and left on their own, without even a camera crew or producers. Premiered June 18.

“Killjoys”

Fridays

9 on Syfy

Ten-episode series about bounty hunters in space, but not in the Boba Fett mold. Premiered June 19.

“Celebrity Family Feud”

Sunday, June 21

8 on ABC

Perhaps the only thing left for idle celebs to do — game shows. This one features the families of Dr. Phil, Mario Lopez, “Glee’s” Kevin McHale and more.

“Battle Bots”

Sunday, June 21

9 on ABC

Six-episode revival of the robot-combat competition series from the early 2000s.

“Big Crazy Family Adventure”

Sunday, June 21

on Travel

Follow Bruce Kirby and Christine Pitkanen and their young sons (ages 7 and 3) as they go on an extremely challenging family trip to a Himalayan monastery, covering 13,000 miles and taking no airplanes to get there. (Probably no iPads, either.)

“Anne Frank’s Holocaust”

Sunday, June 21

9 on National Geographic

Two-hour special traces what probably happened to Anne Frank (and so many others) in a Nazi concentration camp after her famous diary comes to an abrupt end on Aug. 4, 1944.

“Requiem for the Dead: American Spring 2014”

Monday, June 22

9 on HBO

Documentary artfully assembled from social network postings and police files tells the stories of some of the 8,000 or so Americans who died from gunfire in the spring of last year, including accidents, domestic violence, suicides, murders and other incidents.

“POV: Out in the Night”

Monday, June 22

check listings on PBS

Follows the roles that sexual identity and gender played in the case of a group of African American lesbians who were charged with the attempted murder of a man who threatened them on a New York street.

“Forged in Fire”

Monday, June 22

10 on History

Master bladesmiths compete against one another to craft the perfect weapon, using raw steel.

“Love Can’t Weight”

Tuesday, June 23

9 on ABC

Three-episode companion series to “Extreme Weight Loss.”

“Another Period”

Tuesday, June 23

10:30 on Comedy Central

Creators Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome’s clever mash-up of a Kardashian-style reality show and a “Downton Abbey”-esque drama, about the travails of the Bellacourt family (and their servants) in uppercrust Newport, R.I., at the turn of the 20th century.

“First Peoples”

Wednesday, June 24

check listings on PBS

Five-part docuseries depicts human evolution on each continent, focusing in on the daily struggles and triumphs of our long-ago ancestors.

“Boom!”

Thursday, June 25

8 on Fox

Based on a popular Israeli game show, contestants have to answer trivia questions to help them defuse a “bomb” before it goes off.

“What Happened, Miss Simone?”

Friday, June 26

on Netflix streaming

Liz Garbus’s documentary about the singer and activist Nina Simone.

“Teen Beach 2”

Friday, June 26

8 on Disney Channel

A sequel to the goofy/retro beach-themed musical.

“The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House”

Friday, June 26

9 on WETA

Performance taped in April at the White House saluting gospel’s profound influence on American music.

“Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang”

Friday, June 26

9 on Showtime

Documentary follows the former NBA star, who has an unlikely friendship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, as he tries to stage a friendly basketball game in the country to promote peace between to the two nations.

“Glen Campbell ... I’ll Be Me”

Sunday, June 28

9 on CNN

TV premiere of the acclaimed documentary about the country singer’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. In her review last November, Post film critic Ann Hornaday said it “may make for a tough movie, but it’s an important and triumphant one, as well.”

“Larry Kramer in Love & Anger”

Monday, June 29

9 on HBO

Intimate documentary portrait of the gay rights and AIDS activist, a playwright and author who found his loudest voice as a political firebrand.

“POV: The Overnighters”

Monday, June 29

check listings on PBS

Documentary about a church pastor in a booming North Dakota town who decides to open his church to house oil workers with few options and some sketchy backgrounds.

“Scream”

Tuesday, June 30

10 on MTV

Drama/horror series updates the giddy, tongue-in-cheek murder spree of the 1996 movie and its many sequels, adding modern touches (viral videos instead of creepy landline calls) and a new take on the Ghostface mask worn by the killer.

“1913: Seeds of Conflict”

Tuesday, June 30

check listings on PBS

Documentary film explores the origins of the Middle East conflict in pre-World War I Ottoman Palestine.

“Watt’s World”

Tuesday, June 30

10 on Travel

Award-winning journalist and producer Nick Watt takes a “full immersion” approach on his worldwide trek to uncover strange, wild and wondrous destinations.

“Monster in My Family”

Wednesday, July 1

9 on LMN

Docuseries introduces the relatives of serial killers to members of the victims’ families. (Trigger alert? Or just an uncomfortable shudder?)

“Food Paradise International”

Wednesday, July 1

9 on Travel

Another show about in­cred­ibly good food (or food that at least looks good) discovered (or re-discovered) in faraway places.

“Epic Attractions”

Wednesday, July 1

10 on Travel

Learn some of the secrets to building and maintaining some of the world’s most thrilling theme-park rides. Perhaps download this show to help pass the hours spent waiting in epically long lines at theme parks.

“A Capitol Fourth”

Saturday, July 4

8 on PBS

The 35th anniversary of the holiday broadcast from the Mall.

“39th Annual Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular”

Saturday, July 4

8 on NBC

For people who are absolutely certain that everything is better in New York, a live fireworks display from two spots on the East River.

“POV: Tough Love”

Monday, July 6

check listings on PBS

Documentary film follows parents who are seeking a second chance to parent their children, who’ve been entrusted to the care of the foster system.

“Running of the Bulls 2015”

Tuesday, July 7

beginning at 2 a.m. on Esquire

Live coverage of the annual event in Pamplona, Spain, hosted by the “Men in Blazers” comedy duo Michael Davies and Roger Bennett.

“The Seven Year Switch”

Tuesday, July 7

9 on FYI

Four couples who’ve hit a wall in their relationships get a chance to spend two weeks in an “experimental” marriage with a different mate, to see if a different perspective addresses some of their issues.

“Hollywood Cycle”

Tuesday, July 7

10 on E!

Reality series about the cycle workout culture in L.A., as everyone pedals furiously toward hell.

“Million Dollar Listing San Francisco”

Wednesday, July 8

10 on Bravo

More real-estate sadomasochism, in what is arguably the nation’s most competitive market.

“Why? With Hannibal Buress”

Wednesday, July 8

10:30 on Comedy Central

Topical comedy series (it’s taped within a week of airdate, to keep it newsy) features comedian Buress’s stand-up, taped segments (that may well be the next “smart comedian take” videos filling up your Twitter feed) and interviews. Premieres after the season return of “Key and Peele.”

“The Spoils Before Dying”

Wednesday, July 8

9 on IFC

Prolonging a very windy joke that started with “The Spoils of Babylon,” this miniseries adapts the first epic novel of faux-best-selling author Eric Jonrosh (Will Ferrell).

“Dates”

Thursday, July 9

9 on CW

A British dramedy series in which each episode tells the story of a first date between two people who met online. Cast changes from week to week.

“One Bad Choice”

Thursday, July 9

11 on MTV

Ten-episode docuseries talks to teens who each made a single terrible decision that wound up affecting their lives and the lives of others.

“Chris Tucker Live”

Friday, July 10

on Netflix streaming

Stand-up comedy special from someone we haven’t seen onstage in a while.

“Sex With Brody”

Friday, July 10

10:30 on E!

Talk show derived from gossip-mag hottie and “sex enthusiast” Brody Jenner’s podcast about all things relationships, hookups, etc. It’s only four episodes. (Seems a little quick, Brody.)

“7 Days in Hell”

Saturday, July 11

10 on HBO

Mockumentary looks back at a legendary, record-breaking tennis match between two rivals, played by “Game of Thrones’” Kit Harington and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s” Andy Samberg.

“Livin’ Lozada”

Saturday, July 11

9 on OWN

Reality series follows “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozada as her life takes some new directions.

“Morgan Spurlock Presents Freedom! The Movie”

Saturday, July 11

9 on CMT

Documentary film from the “Super Size Me” producer explores the idea of independence and whether we’re all still truly liberated in today’s America.

“Fan Fest featuring MTV2 Fandom Awards”

Sunday, July 12

9 on MTV2

Don’t let the convoluted title confuse you — it’s a Comic-Con thing.

“2015 Miss USA Pageant”

Sunday, July 12

8 on NBC

Love your hair, hope you win!

“My Depression: The Up and Down of It”

Monday, July 13

9 on HBO

Short, animated documentary follows theater director/composer Elizabeth Swados’s decades-long struggle with depression.

“POV: Web Junkie”

Monday, July 13

check listings on PBS

Documentary about how China treats teenagers diagnosed with Internet addiction, which the government has declared a national health crisis.

“American Experience: Blackout”

Tuesday, July 14

check listings on PBS

Revisits New York’s big power outage in the summer 1977 , which caused mayhem but also inspired acts of surprising generosity.

“Impastor”

Wednesday, July 15

10:30 on TV Land

Dramedy stars Michael Rosenbaum as a man running from gambling debt who takes an opportunity to assume the identity of a gay pastor at a church in a small town.

“I Am Jazz”

Wednesday, July 15

10 on TLC

Docuseries about a 14-year-old transgender girl who’s getting ready to start high school.

“The Jim Gaffigan Show”

Wednesday, July 15

10 on TV Land

Lighter than “Louie” (but sort of like it), this comedy is based on the career and home life of Jim Gaffigan, a married comedian with many children.

“2015 ESPYS”

Wednesday, July 15

8 on ABC

Awards show for the best in sports programming, otherwise known as the night that sports-obsessed viewers are more likely to recognize the stars on the red carpet. All eyes this year on Caitlyn Jenner, who is scheduled to receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

“Twinning”

Wednesday, July 15

10 on VH1

Reality/competition. Sets of twins test their intuition theory to compete against one another for a cash prize of $222,222.22.

“Nova: Chasing Pluto”

Wednesday, July 15

check listings on PBS

This special will feature what we all hope are some really nifty close-up shots from the New Horizon probe of the faraway planet-that’s-not-a-planet. (All eyes on Caitlyn Jenner, still.)

“Geeks Who Drink”

Thursday, July 16

11:30 on Syfy

Game show based on pop-culture trivia contests in pubs.

“Reactor”

Thursday, July 16

11:30 on Syfy

Comedy/talk show hosted by David Huntsberger with a focus on pop culture and science-fiction.

“Tut”

Sunday, July 19

9 on Spike

Limited original series (three nights; six hours) about the young Egyptian king Tutankhamun (Avan Jogia) and the palace politics occurring around him. Ben Kingsley co-stars as Tut’s closest adviser.

“Packed in a Trunk”

Monday, July 20

9 on HBO

Documentary traces the story of Provincetown, Mass., painter Edith Lake Wilkinson, who was committed to an asylum by her family in the early 20th century. A great-niece discovers Wilkinson’s belongings in an attic and wants to know more.

“POV: Return to Homs”

Monday, July 20

check listings on PBS

Documentary about a 19-year-old man trying to survive in the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

“Humanity From Space”

Tuesday, July 21

check listings on PBS

A survey, from an orbiting perspective, of the many ways humans have left their mark on the planet and transformed it.

“Knock Knock Live”

Tuesday, July 21

9 on Fox

Reality show hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who sends teams, which include some celebs and pro athletes, out across the country to knock on people’s doors and give them the opportunity to win cash in a series of inventive games and quizzes, “taking an ordinary day and making it unforgettable.”

“The Agent”

Tuesday, July 21

10 on Esquire

Docuseries about the high-stakes world of being an NFL agent.

“Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”

Wednesday, July 22

9 on Syfy

The destructive annual weather event strikes Washington this time.

“Home Free”

Wednesday, July 22

9 on Fox

Competition series from the producers of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” features nine couples who have to renovate run-down homes.

“Life on the Reef”

Wednesday, July 22

check listings on PBS

Three-week series explores the wonders and complexity of the Great Barrier Reef.

“The Next Great Burger”

Wednesday, July 22

10 on Esquire

Same as the last great burger, don’t you think?

“Runaway Island”

Saturday, July 25

8 on TV One

Movie about a group of vacationing strangers who share a common bond while visiting an island teeming with African American history and culture. Stars Lorraine Toussaint, Thomas Q. Jones and Aisha Hinds.

“I Am Cait”

Sunday, July 26

9 on E!

Phase 2 (or maybe Phase 3?) of the massive publicity campaign related to the transition of Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce.

“Stewarts & Hamiltons”

Sunday, July 26

10 on E!

Reality series nests in the branches of a complicated family tree that involves Alana Stewart, Rod Stewart and George Hamilton.

“POV: Tea Time”

Monday, July 27

check listings on PBS

Documentary about the monthly tea parties of five well-heeled women in Chile who’ve witnessed quite a bit over the years.

“The Bomb”

Tuesday, July 28

check listings on PBS

On the 70th anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age, this documentary explores the most powerful and destructive weapon in human history. Includes new, declassified footage of test detonations and their aftermath.

“Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail”

Tuesday, July 28

check listings on PBS

Hosted by Derek Muller, this documentary examines the secrets of one of the Earth’s most controversial elements.

“Nova: Nuclear Meltdown Disaster”

Wednesday, July 29

on PBS

Special report on the brave workers who stayed behind as an earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima power plant in Japan and caused one of the world’s worst nuclear incidents.

“Cold Justice: Sex Crimes”

Friday, July 31

on TNT

Spinoff of reality series in which two Texas prosecutors go to small towns and help local law enforcement solve long-dormant cases. (Premieres after the season return of the original “Cold Justice” at 8.)

“Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp”

Friday, July 31

on Netflix streaming

Eight-episode comedy series based on the 2001 cult hit film features original cast members (Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofolo, Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black) and adds some new cast, including Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine, Jason Schwartzman and how about a side of Jon Hamm?

“Close Up With the Hollywood Reporter”

Sunday, Aug. 2

11 a.m. on Sundance TV

A new panel show that interviews actors and producers of the critically acclaimed TV shows and movies.

“America’s Secret Swimming Holes”

Sunday, Aug. 2

7 on Travel

This sounds like a good way to agitate people who would prefer not to tell the world the location of their favorite swimming holes.

“Significant Mother”

Monday, Aug. 3

9:30 on CW

Sitcom about a Portland restaurateur (Josh Zuckerman) who discovers that his roommate is dating his mother (Krista Allen).

“Toe Tag Parole: To Live and Die On Yard”

Monday, Aug. 3

on HBO

Documentary about “life without possibility of parole” and some California inmates who are serving such sentences. In exchange for their commitment to contrition, an experimental program helps them find small freedoms within their confines of their permanent incarcerations.

“POV: Beats of the Antonov”

Monday, Aug. 3

check listings on PBS

Documentary about how music binds a community in the war-torn Sudan region.

“JFK & LBJ: A Time for Greatness”

Tuesday, Aug. 4

check listings on PBS

Documentary provides a fresh take on the two presidents, vis a vis the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

“Difficult People”

Wednesday, Aug. 5

on Hulu streaming

Original comedy, executive produced by Amy Poehler, stars Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as best friends living together in New York.

“Mr. Robinson”

Wednesday, Aug. 5

9 on NBC

Comedy stars Craig Robinson (“The Office”) as an underemployed musician who takes a job as a high school music teacher.

“The Carmichael Show”

Wednesday, Aug. 5

9:30 on NBC

Six-episode sitcom stars Jerrod Carmichael as a man who introduces his girlfriend (Amber West) to his zany parents (David Alan Grier and Loretta Devine).

“A Wicked Offer”

Wednesday, Aug. 5

9 on CW

Reality show dangles cash prizes to people who are willing to play cruel pranks on friends, families and co-workers.

“Job or No Job”

Wednesday, Aug. 5

9 on ABC Family

Reality series from the producers of “Undercover Boss” follows a young adult who is trying to land his or her first job.

“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”

Thursday, Aug. 6

11 on Comedy Central

( at ). The day his devoted fans have dreaded is here — Stewart’s final show.

“The Comment Section”

Friday, Aug. 7

10:30 on E!

Michael Kosta hosts this new comedy/pop-culture show (executive produced by “The Soup’s” Joel McHale), which rounds up the most outrageous social media comments on the week’s trending celebrity/entertainment news.

“I Am Chris Farley”

Monday, Aug. 10

10 on Spike

Documentary about the late comedian and SNL alum.

“Next Step Realty: NYC”

Tuesday, Aug. 11

9 on ABC Family

Docuseries about a real-estate firm that specializes in helping recent college grads find their first apartments in the big city.

“Kevin From Work”

Wednesday, Aug. 12

8:30 on ABC Family

Comedy about a young man who pours his heart into a mash note to a female colleague as he’s leaving for a new job overseas. When that job falls through and he returns to his old job, what will happen with his unrequited love?

“Show Me a Hero”

Sunday, Aug. 16

9 on HBO

Six-episode miniseries from creator David Simon and director Paul Haggis, about a young mayor (Oscar Isaac) of Yonkers, N.Y., struggling to meet a federal court order mandating low-income housing in white neighborhoods.

“Food to Get You Laid”

Sunday, Aug. 16

8:30 on Logo

Expert chef Ronnie Woo guides couples who want to take things to the next level in the kitchen.

“Monica the Medium”

Monday, Aug. 17

9 on ABC Family

Reality series about a Penn State junior who says she communes with the dead.

“POV: Neuland”

Monday, Aug. 17

check listings on PBS

Documentary about a Swiss immersion class for recent immigrants.

“Startup U”

Tuesday, Aug. 18

8 on ABC Family

Docuseries follows a group of millennials as they take a seven-week course from billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper’s school in Silicon Valley. Where they no doubt learn how to become perfectly lovely and generous people.

“WAGS”

Tuesday, Aug. 18

on E!

Reality series about the “Women and Girlfriends of Sports,” who do whatever it takes to support their professional athletes.

“Documentary Now!”

Thursday, Aug. 20

10 on IFC

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader (with production help from Seth Meyers) star in this six-episode spoof of documentary films, including a send-up of “Grey Gardens.”

“National Gallery”

Friday, Aug. 21

check listings on PBS

Two-night documentary takes viewers behind the scenes of the London institution.

“The Unauthorized Full House Story”

Saturday, Aug. 22

8 on Lifetime

Recommended only for late-’80s/early-’90s nostalgia masochists, this movie is about what it was (maybe) like behind the scenes of the beloved sitcom. Supply your own “Have mercy!” joke.

“Blunt Talk”

Saturday, Aug. 22

9 on Starz

From Seth McFarlane (“Ted”), a half-hour comedy about exuberantly inept British newsman Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart), who is hired by an American cable news channel for a new show (Piers Morgan, anyone?) and runs into immediate problems. Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”) co-stars.

“Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted”

Saturday, Aug. 22

10 on HBO

Stand-up special taped in Boston in May. Yes, it’s true, she did just have a special on Showtime. Why, yes indeed, she does have a special on Netflix, too. Somebody really likes her.

“Public Morals”

Tuesday, Aug. 25

10 on TNT

This crime drama goes back in time to the 1960s to offer viewers a peek at what working in a dramatized NYPD Vice Division would have been like. Stars Edward Burns, Michael Rapaport and Elizabeth Masucci.

“MTV Video Music Awards”

Sunday, Aug. 30

9 on MTV

Always the potential for fresh horrors.

“Todrick”

Monday, Aug. 31

10 on MTV

Reality series about Todrick Hall and his collaborators, who write, choreograph and produce full-scale productions, with or without Hollywood’s help.

“Big Blue Live”

Monday, Aug. 31

check listings on PBS

Live TV and multimedia event from Monterey Bay, Calif., examines and celebrates the return of blue whales.

“POV: Point and Shoot”

Monday, Aug. 31

check listings on PBS

Documentary follows a shy 26-year-old from Baltimore who left on a worldwide trip and wound up joining the Libyan revolution.

“American Masters: Althea”

Friday, Sept. 4

check listings on PBS

Biography of Althea Gibson, who rose from poverty to prominence in the highly segregated world of pro tennis in the 1950s.

“Late Show With Stephen Colbert”

Tuesday, Sept. 8

11:35 on CBS

From New York, Colbert’s debut in David Letterman’s vacated slot, with new bandleader Jonathan Batiste.

“The 2016 Miss America Competition”

Sunday, Sept. 13

9 on ABC

Therrrre she is. . . . From Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, the 95th anniversary of the annual scholarship competition.

Returning this season

Still worth a look

“America’s Next Top Model”

Wednesday, Aug. 5

8 on CW

“Aqua Teen Hunger Force”

Sunday, June 21

11:59 on Adult Swim

“Awkward”

Monday, Aug. 31

9 on MTV

“Baby Daddy”

Wednesday, June 3

8:30 on ABC Family

“Bachelor in Paradise”

Sunday, Aug. 2

8 on ABC

“Beauty and the Beast”

Thursdays, June 11

8 on CW

“Big Brother”

Wednesday, June 24

8 on CBS

“Bojack Horseman”

Friday, July 17

on Netflix streaming

“Candidly Nicole”

Wednesday, July 22

11 on VH1

“Catfish”

Wednesday, July 8

10 on MTV

“Chrisley Knows Best”

Tuesdays, June 2

9 on USA

“Dating Naked”

Wednesday, July 15

9 on VH1

“Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove”

Saturday, July 18

8 on Hallmark

“Defiance”

Fridays, June 12

8 on Syfy

“Devious Maids”

Mondays, June 1

9 on Lifetime

“Dominion”

Thursday, July 9

10 on Syfy

“Drunk History”

Tuesday, Sept. 1

10:30 on Comedy Central

“Extant”

Wednesday, July 1

10 on CBS

“Faking It”

Monday, Aug. 31

9:30 on MTV

“Falling Skies”

Sunday, June 28

10 on TNT

“Flipping Out”

Wednesday, July 1

10 on Bravo

“Food Fights”

Thursday, July 2

8 on NBC

“The Fosters”

Mondays, June 8

8 on ABC Family

“Graceland”

Thursday, June 25

10 on USA

“Hannibal”

Thursdays, June 4

10 on NBC

“Halt and Catch Fire”

Sundays, May 31

10 on AMC

“Hard Knocks: Houston Texans”

Tuesday, Aug. 11

10 on HBO

“Hell on Wheels”

Saturday, July 18

9 on AMC

“Hit Record”

Fridays, June 12

10 on Pivot

“Hollywood Game Night”

Tuesday, July 7

10 on NBC

“Human Resources”

Friday, Aug. 7

10 on Pivot

“Key & Peele”

Wednesday, July 8

10 on Comedy Central

“Last Comic Standing”

Wednesday, July 22

9 on NBC

“The Last Ship”

Sunday, June 21

9 on TNT

“Last Tango in Halifax”

Sunday, June 28

check listings on PBS

“Legends”

Tuesday, Aug. 25

10 on TNT

“The Leftovers,”

expected in early fall

on HBO

“Major Crimes”

Mondays, June 8

9 on TNT

“Married”

Thursday, July 16

10:30 on FX

“Masters of Illusion”

Friday, July 10

8 on CW

“Masters of Sex”

Sunday, July 12

10 on Showtime

“Melissa & Joey”

Wednesdays, June 2

8 on ABC Family

“Mistresses”

Thursdays, June 18

9 on ABC

“Murder in the First”

Mondays, June 8

10 on TNT

“Orange Is the New Black”

June 12

on Netflix streaming

“Penn & Teller: Fool Us”

Monday, July 6

8 on CW

“Playing House”

Tuesday, Aug. 4

10 on USA

“Power”

Saturdays, June 6

9 on Starz

“Pretty Little Liars”

Mondays, June 2

8 on ABC Family

“Ray Donovan”

Sunday, July 12

9 on Showtime

“The Real Housewives of Orange County”

Mondays, June 8

9 on Bravo

“Rectify”

Thursday, July 9

10 on Sundance TV

“Review”

Thursday, July 30

10 on Comedy Central

“Rizzoli & Isles”

Tuesdays, June 16

9 on TNT

“Rogue”

Wednesday, June 24

9 on Audience/DirecTV

“Rookie Blue,”

Thursday, June 25

10 on ABC

“Royal Pains”

Tuesdays, June 2

10 on USA

“Running Wild With Bear Grylls”

Monday, July 13

10 on NBC

“So You Think You Can Dance”

Mondays, June 1

8 on Fox

“Star Wars Rebels”

Saturdays, June 20

9 on Disney XD

“The Strain”

Sunday, July 12

10 on FX

“Strike Back,”

Friday, July 31

10 on Cinemax

“Suits”

Wednesday, June 24

9 on USA

“Survivor’s Remorse”

Saturday, Aug. 22

9:30 on Starz

“Teen Mom 2”

Thursday, July 9

10 on MTV

“Teen Wolf”

Monday, June 29

10 on MTV

“Total Divas”

Tuesday, July 7

9 on E!

“Tosh.0”

Tuesday, Aug. 25

10 on Comedy Central

“True Detective”

Sunday, June 21

9 on HBO

“Tyrant”

Tuesdays, June 16

10 on FX

“Under the Dome”

Thursday, June 25

9 on CBS

“Vicious”

Sunday, June 28

check listings on PBS

“Welcome to Sweden”

Sunday, July 19

8 on NBC

“Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

Monday, July 6

9 on CW

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