The Summer TV Lineup

Justin Theroux in HBO’s “The Leftovers.”

Justin Theroux in HBO’s “The Leftovers.”

Attention couch potatoes! If you’re going to spend your summer watching TV, you might as well tune in to the shows worth watching. There’s a lineup of new series to keep audiences entertained through Labor Day. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll never put down the remote as you click from dramas, comedies, and the omnipresent reality programs.

The Last Ship on TNT (Sunday nights, June 22nd debut), stars Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, and Adam Baldwin. When people all over the world are stricken with a mysterious, deadly virus, the captain and crew of a Navy ship must work with a researcher to find a cure and prevent a global catastrophe. The scale of the ultra-ambitious show is akin to a summer action blockbuster than a TV series, and presents a story of loss and heroism, fear and hope. And thanks should go out to the U.S. Navy for their cooperation for the filming of this epic adventure drama.

The Leftovers on HBO (starting June 29th) stars Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Michael Gaston and Liv Tyler. It’s based on Tom Perrotta’s novel about a post-Rapture world after two percent of the world’s population disappears. Things get really crazy as people try to cope with the loss. Behind the scenes is Damon Lindelof, the producer who gave us Lost, so it’s worth checking out.

The Strain on FX (starting July 13th) stars Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Kevin Durand, Mia Maestro, Ben Hyland, Jonathan Hyde, and Sean Astin. It starts off with a really scary outbreak in New York City, then the CDC scientists find out that really scary vampires are behind it. Actually filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is behind it and the series is based on his trilogy of novels. The Strain is not for the faint of heart.

Manhattan on WGN America (starting July 27th) stars John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern, Ashley Zukerman, Rachel Brosnahan, and Katja Herbers. It’s about the tiny town of Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1943, where scientists and engineers live and work together on the top-secret Manhattan Project building the world’s first atomic bomb. The executive producer of Masters of Sex, Sam Shaw is the force behind this drama. It will focus on the families who have to live in close quarters while protecting the big secret that will change the world.

Outlander on Starz (starting August 9th) stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. It is an epic romance based on the popular novels by Diana Gabaldon. A British WWII nurse is transported back to 1700s Scotland, where she lands smack dab in the middle of a war in the Highlands. She meets a dashing Scottish warrior and the drama begins.

Legends on TNT (starting August 13th) is a new spy drama. It stars Sean Bean (Game of Thrones’ Ned Stark), who plays a chameleon-like undercover agent who gets deep into his various assignments.

Okay, now let’s have some laughs with a variety of comedies in the lineup: Welcome to Sweden on NBC (starting July 10th) is about an American guy who leaves his successful New York career to move to Stockholm with his Swedish girlfriend. Working the Engels on NBC stars funny lady Andrea Martin as a widow and mother, whose late husband’s law firm is now being run in wacky fashion by her offspring and crazy relatives. Partners on FX (starting August 4th) stars Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence as two Chicago lawyers. And finally, a kid-friendly comedy, Girl Meets World on the Disney Channel (debuted June 27th). It’s a spin-off to the ’90s TGIF sitcom Boy Meets World. It centers on Topanga and Cory’s daughter Riley and follows the next generation of funny kids.

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