This Summer’s Must-watch TV

We look ahead to all the hottest shows arriving in July and August, including the latest drama from True Blood, a live action game show version of Candy Crush and of course, the return of Game of Thrones

We look ahead to all the hottest shows arriving in July and August, including the latest drama from True Blood, a live action game show version of Candy Crush and of course, the return of Game of Thrones


1. Snowfall

Director/producer John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood) comes to TV for this character-driven crime drama, documenting the beginning of the cocaine epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles.
FX Canada, July 5

2. Castlevania

Based on the wildly popular video-game franchise, this dark medieval fantasy — an animated Game of Thrones, if you will — chronicles the journey of the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, fighting to save Eastern Europe from the clutches of Dracula.
Netflix, July 7

3. Candy Crush

Mario Lopez returns to primetime television as the host of the live-action game show based on the mobile game of the same name. Teams of two will compete on enormous interactive game boards, attempting to match coloured candies in combinations of three or more.
CBS, July 9

4. The Defiant Ones

This four-part documentary series tells the stories of unlikely collaborators Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and how the two men, through their music, changed popular culture. The saga takes place in the recording studios, humble homes and massive mansions, showing the audience how an American empire was built.
HBO Canada, July 9

5. Salvation

In this CBS summer event series, the Earth is (once again) in danger of colliding with an asteroid destined to turn us all into dust. The U.S. government calls upon a tech billionaire (Santiago Cabrera), an MIT student (Charlie Rowe) and the Pentagon press secretary (Jennifer Finnigan) to try to devise some method of saving the human race.
Global & CBS, July 12

6. Suits

What once was a breezy legal dramedy about a hotshot lawyer and his genius con-man protégé is now that show—i.e., the one that stars Prince Harry’s girlfriend, Meghan Markle. Plot-wise, after six seasons of dodging the rules, Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is finally a legitimate, licensed attorney, which should shake up the dynamic at Specter-Litt.
Bravo, July 12

7. Penn & Teller: Fool Us

The competition show, in which hopeful magicians perform their tricks for Penn & Teller in the hopes that the duo cannot dissect their act, returns for a fourth season with Alyson Hannigan as host. If the magicians with a comedic streak can’t figure out how a trick is done, the contestant earns a spot in the duo’s world-famous Vegas show.
The CW, July 13

8. Hooten & the Lady

American adventurer Ulysses Hooten (Michael Landes) and his initially unwilling partner, British museum curator Lady Alex Lindo-Parker (Ophelia Lovibond) travel the world together in search of the world’s greatest mysteries, both mythical and legendary, having adventures that would make Indiana Jones jealous.
The CW, July 13

9. Friends From College

Starring How I Met Your Mother‘s Cobie Smulders and Key & Peele‘s Keegan-Michael Key, this half-hour comedy series from comedic spouses Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco revolves around a group of friends who attended Harvard together and are now in their 40s, experiencing varying degrees of success.
Netflix, July 14

10. Game of Thrones

The end is near, but in the second-last season of the fantasy drama things are only heating up. Westeros is charging towards an epic battle involving evil queen Cersei Lannister, mother of dragons Daenerys Targaryen and no-longer-Ned’s-bastard-son Jon Snow. While it’s all shrouded in secrecy, one thing is for sure: By season’s end, winter will have come.
HBO Canada, July 16

11. The Strain

The fourth and final season picks up nine months after the explosion that ended season three, and the world has fallen into darkness. The Strigoi are in control and the Master has established a totalitarian regime. As if the journey hasn’t been rough enough for Dr. Ephraim Goodweather already, the future of humanity now rests on his shoulders.
FX Canada, July 16

12. Ozark

Jason Bateman and Laura Linney star as a financial planner and his wife who suddenly move their family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Missouri Ozarks, in a dark drug-trade drama about what it takes to disappear when you’re the top money launderer for a cartel.
Netflix, July 21

13. Ballers

World domination is in the cards on the third season of the sports management dramedy. Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) and Joe (Rob Corddry) take the show from Miami to Las Vegas, where they intend to import an NFL football team. Rest assured there will be more scantily clad women, famous-athlete cameos and all-round debauchery on tap.
HBO Canada, July 23

14. Insecure

The acclaimed comedy from actress-writer-director-producer Issa Rae that explores the black female experience returns for a second season in which Issa and her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) continue to find themselves in complex situations involving work, relationships and life.
HBO Canada, July 23

15. Midnight, Texas

From True Blood author Charlaine Harris comes another series about a Southern small town where a group of otherworldly characters — psychic Manfred (The Borgias‘ Francois Arnaud), pawn-shop owner Bobo (Orphan Black‘s Dylan Bruce), local witch Olivia (Ballers‘ Arielle Kebbel) and mysterious assassin Joe (Sex and the City‘s Jason Lewis) — fight off threats from the outside world.
NBC, July 24

16. Somewhere Between

Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol) stars in this thriller as a news producer who, for some reason, knows when and how her daughter will be killed, and must convince others that she isn’t crazy. Despite all of her attempts to keep the girl safe, it appears she remains in the path of the killer.
Global & ABC, July 24

17. The Last Tycoon

Based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final, unfinished novel, the show takes place in the Hollywood studio system in 1936, just as the Nazi government attempts to influence mainstream Hollywood production. The show centres on Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer) as the wunderkind studio exec standing up to their demands and his own mentor (Kelsey Grammer).
Amazon Prime, July 28

18. Room 104

Ever wondered, “If these walls could talk?” Well, now they can. The anthology comedy series from Jay and Mark Duplass (Togetherness) is set in a single room of a motel, exploring all the odd characters that pass through. Some of the stars spending the night will be Dawson’s Creek‘s James Van Der Beek and Transparent‘s Amy Landecker.
HBO Canada, July 28

19. Ray Donovan

Susan Sarandon joins the cast of the dark family drama for a season that star Liev Schreiber calls “a real shocker.” Sarandon plays the head of a motion-picture studio and someone who will have a profound effect on the Hollywood fixer’s life.
TMN1, August 6

20. SNL: Weekend Update

While Donald Trump’s political success can be questioned, there is no doubt he’s good for ratings, which is why “Weekend Update” hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che return from SNL‘s summer break to take their segment to primetime with a four-week, half-hour broadcast featuring their take on the news.
Global & NBC, August 10

21. Marlon

Loosely based on the real life of comedian Marlon Wayans, the sitcom centres on a slightly immature but loving father with a larger-than-life personality balancing parenting with Internet fame. Luckily, he has a patient and much more organized ex-wife to make it all work.
NBC, August 16

22. The Defenders

After introducing all their superheroes via standalone series, Marvel brings together Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) in a fight for one common goal: saving New York City. While there is no doubt that together they are stronger, expect personality clashes of super proportions.
Netflix, August 18

23. Episodes

In the fifth and final season of Episodes an Anthony Weiner-like scandal rocks fictional Matt LeBlanc’s life. As if the host of a super-successful game show wasn’t already struggling with being taken seriously as an actor. Can he come back from this?
TMN1, August 20

24. Disjointed

Producer Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) and star Kathy Bates join forces for a half-hour comedy about a lifelong advocate for pot legalization (Bates) who finally gets to live out her dream as the owner of a cannabis dispensary, which she runs with her entrepreneurial son as hilarity ensues.
Netflix, August 25

25. The Tick

In a world where superheroes are the norm, an accountant comes to realize his city is ruled by a global super-villain no one thought was alive. To uncover this conspiracy, he teams up with a strange blue superhero who has no recollection of his life before he became The Tick.
Amazon Prime, August 25

26. Tour de Pharmacy

Following last year’s tennis mockumentary 7 Days in Hell, Andy Samberg shines a light on doping scandals in professional cycling. Once again, the short film is stacked with cameos from the likes of Orlando Bloom, Dolph Lundgren, John Cena, Mike Tyson and—incredibly—Lance Armstrong. In the words of Jeff Goldblum’s character: “With hundreds of dollars on the line and dozens of fans, the stakes are medium.”
HBO Canada, July 8

27. The ESPYs

Peyton Manning will host the annual event that commemorates the past year in sports by recognizing the achievements of top athletes and reliving unforgettable moments. This year the Arthur Ashe Courage Award will go posthumously to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who created the Special Olympics.
ABC, July 12

28. Descendants 2

The sequel to the 2015 TV flick follows Ben (Mitchell Hope), now king of Auradon, as he and his pals try to save Mal (Dove Cameron) from the Isle of the Lost, where they discover that the offspring of Disney villains like Ursula, Hook and Gaston are running the show.
ABC, July 21

29. Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

The world braces for a global Sharknado that only Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and his family can stop. But while their mission is noble, it’s also deeply personal. Fin and April’s (Tara Reid) son is trapped in the ‘nado that takes them around the world, to meet the Pope (Fabio), the Queen of England (Charo) and the British PM (Chris Kattan).
SPACE, August 6

30. The Story of Diana

To coincide with the 20-year anniversary of her death, Princess Diana gets the documentary treatment, which includes archival footage and interviews from those who knew her personally as well as leading experts. The two-episode, four-hour special will also examine how the legacy of the People’s Princess remains relevant today.
ABC, August 9

31. Naked

Marlon Wayans stars as Rob Anderson, who wakes up naked in an elevator the morning of his wedding and is forced to relive the hour before his wedding over and over again, a la Groundhog Day. Here’s hoping the day eventually ends in a tux.
Netflix, August 11

32. Teen Choice Awards

Celebrating this year’s achievements in music, film, television, sports, fashion, comedy and everything else youth culture related, awards like Choice Scene Stealer, Lip Lock and Hissy Fit are voted on by viewers aged 13 to 19.
Global & Fox, August 13

33. Death Note

A young man gets hold of a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill people simply by writing down their name in the pages. And so he becomes a Dexter-like vigilante, offing criminals instead of innocent people, but that gives law enforcement cold comfort as they attempt to track him down and end his bloody mission.
Netflix, August 25