Summer TV is heating up

Come in from the cold

Above: Laura Prepon, Taylor Schilling. Orange Is The New Black, Season 5. Photo by Jojo Whilden/Netflix. TV Page/Home Page: Kit Harrington. Game of Thones Season 7. Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

BY: Zak Wojnar

Back in the old days, television shows started in September and ended in May, leaving the dog days of Summer a veritable dead zone for TV viewers. Those days are gone, and 2017’s lineup proves it. Here are some of the hottest shows making their debut over the Summer months.


Game of Thrones
HBO’s boundary-pushing adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s massive fantasy novels is viscerally violent, seductively sexy, and unflinchingly uncompromising. It’s also the most celebrated scripted drama in Emmy history, with 38 awards under its belt. After a 13-month hiatus, GoT returns for its seventh season on July 16.


House of Cards
Netflix’s first foray into original programming is still one of the most talked-about shows of the decade, thanks in large part to Kevin Spacey’s hypnotizing portrayal of the ruthless Frank Underwood, one of the most controversial and unpredictable figures on television. House of Cards returns for its fifth season on May 30.


Orange is the New Black, 6/9
This fresh, subversive, and honest take on the idea of “women in prison” earned critical acclaim for the hilarious and heartfelt antics of the inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary. This sly look at the inner workings of the prison industrial complex returns to Netflix for season five on June 9.


Twin Peaks
It’s been a long time coming – 25 years – but David Lynch is finally returning to the small town of Twin Peaks, Washington, for a fresh dose of surreal mystery and “damn good coffee.” The new show is not a reboot, but a straight continuation, and brings back much of the original cast, including lead actor Kyle MacLahlan and the late Miguel Ferrer, who passed away in January. Twin Peaks is returns to on Showtime starting May 21.


Still Star-Crossed
In the closing moments of Shakespeare’s classic play, Romeo and Juliet take their own lives. The new show from TV mega-producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal) explores the fallout between the Montague and Capulet families after the tragic double suicide. Expect political intrigue and feuding families, 16th century-style, when Still Star-Crossed debuts on ABC on May 29.


Ray Donovan
Ray Donovan, as portrayed by the hunky Liev Schreiber, is one of the most compelling figures on TV. Season five will see Hollywood’s sexiest “fixer” cross paths with a new character: a powerful film studio boss, played by the great Susan Sarandon (fresh from her stunning turn on FX’s Feud: Betty and Joan). Showtime’s unique twist on the organized crime genre returns on August 6.


The Sinner, 8/2
Jessica Biel is way more than “Mrs. Justin Timberlake,” and she’s aiming to prove it on her new USA show, The Sinner. She plays a woman who randomly attacks a stranger on the beach, but not all is as it seems. Bill Pullman co-stars in this eight-episode murder mystery miniseries, which debuts on August 2.


Orphan Black 6/10
Tatiana Maslany is one of the greatest actors working today, and the most hard-working; in Orphan Black, she plays numerous clones fighting to reclaim their lives from a complex science-fiction conspiracy. The girl-power action/adventure series returns for a fifth and final season on BBC America starting June 10.