Summertime means running though sprinklers, bronzing at the beach, and eating tri-colored popsicles. Just kidding, it means sitting on your couch to watch television, remaining practically translucent, and eating tri-colored popsicles. Especially with the lineup of shows coming this summer! You've already got a list of returning shows to catch up on, including Orange Is the New Black, Under the Dome, and Masters of Sex. Then you've got the final seasons of True Blood, Wilfred, and The Newsroom to prepare for. But don't forget to set aside some time (and DVR space) for all the shiny NEW series that are set to debut in the next few months.
For instance, did you know there's a show coming out about a time when doctors used rickety old medical instruments to do ghastly things to patients in the name of science? Or a drama about Halle Berry getting space-pregnant? Or a comedy about marriage that features one of the best comedic quartets in the biz?
If you answered "no" to any or all of those questions, fret not, because we've got you covered. Below, you'll find a list of the 10 new summer shows we're most excited to see; spanning comedy, drama, and reality, they've been hand-picked by us to be checked out by you.
10. The Wil Wheaton Project (Syfy)
WHEN IT'S ON: Tuesdays at 10pm starting May 27
WHO'S IN IT: Ummm... let's see... uhhhh... Wil Wheaton?
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Think The Soup but for science-fiction pop culture instead of reality shows, and with that kid who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the boy who ended up with a leech on his scrotum in Stand By Me.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Wheaton has been a sci-fi fixture for years, even after he stopped trekking stars. His blog is a regular stop for folks who are interested in science-fiction writing, his social-media presence is well respected, and the dude is crazy smart. In other words, he's the perfect host for this kind of show, which promises to cover everything the hottest genre on the planet has to offer.
9. Extant (CBS)
WHEN IT'S ON: Wednesdays at 9pm starting July 9
WHO'S IN IT: Halle Berry, Josh Malina, Camryn Manheim, Goran Visnjic, Hiroyuki Sanada (Dr. Hatake from Helix!!!)
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Berry plays an astronaut who comes home from a 13-month solo space mission to find out that she's pregnant—and nobody has an idea how that happened. Did an invisible alien impregnate her? Did she do the nasty with a comet? Did she take some frozen sperm with her? That's what we hope to find out. And just in case that doesn't sound intriguing enough, there's also the crazy fact that her Earthbound husband built a robot son—and the kid is convinced that the apocalypse is coming.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: This show sounds absolutely insane and Berry still looks reeeeeeal good.
8. The Quest (ABC)
WHEN IT'S ON: Thursdays at 8pm starting July 31
WHO'S IN IT: A bunch of regular people dressed in medieval outfits, a bunch of other people dressed as orcs
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: This ambitious reality show from one of the producers of The Lord of the Rings takes all the best elements of The Amazing Race, Survivor, and Renaissance Faires and smashes them together to stage a complex competition in an elaborately crafted fantasy world. "Heroes" will try to save a kingdom full of dry-ice-steam-shooting sculptures, papier-mâché rocks, and mini-golf-quality castles from being overrun by dark forces and an army of orcs. It's televised live-action role-playing, basically.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Are you kidding? A bunch of grown adults running around an imaginary land and fighting dudes in rubber suits, all in the name of some fake king and/or queen? This sounds like a riot.
7. The Hotwives of Orlando (Hulu)
WHEN IT'S ON: Tuesdays as soon as you can get to your computer starting July 15
WHO'S IN IT: Casey Wilson, Kristen Schaal, Danielle Schneider, Tymberlee Hill, Andrea Savage, Angela Kinsey, Paul Scheer
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The world's much-needed parody of the Real Housewives franchise has arrived! And these trashy ladies are from the world's preeminent hotbed of sketchiness: Orlando, Florida.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Burning Love, Ken Marino's parody of the Bachelor franchise, became one of the funniest web series ever when it was released, and The Hotwives of Orlando is poised to be just as good. With a talented cast and source material that's ripe for skewering, we're betting it will be.
6. Manhattan (WGN America)
WHEN IT'S ON: Sundays at 10pm starting July 27
WHO'S IN IT: John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern, Ashley Zukerman, Rachel Brosnahan, Katja Herbers
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In a small, secluded town in New Mexico in 1943, scientists live and work together on a top-secret project to build the world's first atomic bomb. Oh dang!
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Not only does the series boast one of the best trailers of any upcoming summer show, but the idea that these families have to live in close quarters while protecting one of the world's biggest secrets is bound to produce great drama. If executive producer Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex) plays his cards right, Manhattan could be one of the sleeper hits of the summer season.
5. Married (FX)
WHEN IT'S ON: Thursdays at 10pm starting July 17
WHO'S IN IT: Nat Faxon, Judy Greer, Jenny Slate, Brett Gelman
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A married couple (Faxon and Greer) dealing with the difficulties of marriage are constantly reminded of what brought them together in the first place: friendship. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Married's simple logline doesn't even come into play here; how can we NOT be excited about that cast? Ben and Kate's Faxon, Arrested Development's Greer, Kroll Show's Slate, and Eagleheart's Gelman all on one show is like a dream dinner party for comedians. And the promos that FX has been running (sadly, they're not online) are pretty damn charming.
4. The Leftovers (HBO)
WHEN IT'S ON: Sundays at 10pm staring June 29
WHO'S IN IT: Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Michael Gaston, Charlie Carver, Max Carver, Chris Zylka, Carrie Coon
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Set in a post-Rapture world after two percent of the world's population up and disappears, lots of crazy things happen as people try to cope with loss.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Based on Tom Perrotta's novel of the same name, The Leftovers is Damon Lindelof's first major TV project since Lost, and it looks like a humdinger. Crazy cults! Reckless teens! Shouting! Lindelof with the green light for profanity and sex! This will probably be the most talked about show of the summer.
3. The Knick (Cinemax)
WHEN IT'S ON: Fridays at 10pm starting August 8
WHO'S IN IT: Clive Owen
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Set in New York City in the early 1900s, this peek at the medical world at the dawn of the 20th century follows Dr. John W. Thackery (Owen) during a time when hospitals were transitioning from hackjobs to more precise butchery as advancements in the field and knowledge of the human body grew exponentially.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: This is a doctor show that isn't about the sexytimes that take place outside the O.R., and with Steven Soderbergh behind the scenes, it's sure to be a gorgeous look at what went into saving lives before there were cameras that could go up people's bums. This art-house drama will not be for the squeamish, and viewers will net plenty of indie cred.
WHEN IT'S ON: Sundays at 10pm starting June 1
WHO'S IN IT: Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé, David Wilson Barnes, Toby Huss
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Long before people started carrying smartphones in their shirt pockets, Texas's "Silicon Prairie" played host to a race to control the brand-new personal computer industry. Set in the 1980s, Halt and Catch Fire follows a technology visionary (Pace) who teams up with an engineer and a prodigy to revolutionize the business that eventually became a pretty big deal.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: This is the first television show to tackle what is arguably the most important stretch of history in the last 40 years, and it's full of corporate espionage and high-risk business practices. And hey, Lee Pace!
1. The Strain (FX)
WHEN IT'S ON: Sundays at 10pm starting July 13
WHO'S IN IT: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro, Ben Hyland, Jonathan Hyde, Sean Astin
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Vampires! But not sexy vampires, SCARY vampires. After an outbreak of something that looks a lot like vampirism hits New York City, a CDC scientist must figure out how to stop it.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Based on the trilogy of novels by Guillermo del Toro, The Strain brings vampires away from high-school yearbooks and into the stuff nightmares are made of. And it's about time! If the show's cryptic teasers are any indication, it'll be one of the goriest, scariest shows on television, but with enough intelligence to make it worth investing in for more than just the frights.
– Almost Royal (BBC America, June 21): This mockumentary follows a pair of fake British royal youngsters as they tour America and get blasted with culture shock.
– Bachelor in Paradise (ABC, August 4): It's like Bachelor Pad, but with a different name and a locale that's way more exotic than a rent-a-mansion in the San Fernando Valley. Former rejects from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette will all shack up in one house to indulge in booze, fights, and flings.
– Legends (TNT, August 13): Sean Bean (Game of Thrones' Ned Stark) plays a chameleon-like secret agent who goes so deep undercover for his various assignments that he's not even sure who he is.
– Outlander (Starz, August 9): A British WWII nurse is transported back to 1700s Scotland, where she lands smack dab in the middle of a war in the Highlands. There, she meets a dashing Scottish warrior—and an epic romance is born. Based on the popular novels by Diana Gabaldon.
– Girl Meets World (Disney Channel, June 27): The long-awaited follow-up to the 1990s comedy Boy Meets World, this spin-off follows the next generation and centers on Topanga and Cory's daughter Riley.
– Crossbones (NBC, May 30): If Black Sails doesn't fulfill your pirate fantasies (or if you just prefer your buccaneer drama with less booty-as-in-bare-butts), consider this broadcast tale of Blackbeard. John Malkovich stars as the famed pirate, who's being tracked by an undercover assassin.
Which new summer shows are you most excited about?