TheWrap reveals its top picks from this year's abundant summer fare choices
Television's summer offerings are formidable this year.
The months of repeats, stale specials and feature movies adapted for your screen are practically gone. In their place are several returning and new scripted and reality series.
Typically a fruitful time for cable shows, summer is now full of broadcast offerings as part of their bid to provide year-round programming.
TheWrap TV team has compiled a list of 23 summer shows it can't wait to see. Find out why below:
1. “Sailor Moon” (Hulu), Currently Streaming
The classic is being re-released in the U.S. for the first time in more than a decade — and the fifth season, “Sailor Stars,” hits screens here for the first time ever. The hotly anticipated 26-episode series reboot, “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal” (the titles sound better in Japanese, trust us) premieres Saturday, July 5. New episodes will stream every other Saturday on Niconico.
2. “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry'” (Fox), Tuesday, May 20 at 9 p.m.
TheWrap spent some time with fake-Prince Harry, Matt Hicks, prior to the reality show's premiere and he's actually quite a lovely guy. The premise is even a little more clever (or at least coy) than the promotions would have you believe: At no time is Hicks referred to as a member of the Royal Family. He's simply presented as an eligible bachelor in an amazing setting who chooses his words very carefully — the “Harry” part is merely implied and not discouraged. Plus, Hicks told us that there will be cat fights on the show, so that.
3. “Gang Related” (Fox), Thursday, May 22 at 9 p.m.
The premise has potential: a young man (Ramon Rodriguez) is groomed by one of Los Angeles’ most prominent gang leaders to infiltrate and rise through the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department Gang Task Force. But after being accepted into the cop family, his allegiance becomes somewhat blurry — as do the lines of right and wrong between the two groups. Plus, it co-stars Terry O'Quinn (“Lost”) and RZA (“Californication”), the latter of which is just crazy enough in real life to be a brilliant actor.
4. “Petals on the Wind” (Lifetime), Monday, May 26, at 9 p.m.
This sequel to the “Flowers in the Attic,” promises much of what V.C. Andrews fans are looking for: torrid sex, revenge, family secrets and lots of slaps – just 10 years later.
5. “The Wil Wheaton Project” (Syfy) Tuesday, May 27 at 10 p.m.
Finally, Wil Wheaton's cult following gets network vindication. This weekly pop sci-fi roundup is like “The Soup” for all things nerdy!
6. “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox), Wednesday, May 28 at 8 p.m.
The perennial summer favorite returns for its 11th season. TheWrap caught up with Cat, Nigel, and Mary at the show's L.A. auditions, and we can attest to the fact that the level of talent just keeps getting better.
7. “Derek” (Netflix), Friday, May 30
As secretly (or not-so-secretly) the saddest places on Earth, a nursing home setting is the perfect backdrop for a dark comedy. But it's seen as quite the opposite through the eyes of the quirky, optimistic titular character (Ricky Gervais). Plus, how often are you going to get to see Gervais play the nicest man in the world? Even more unbridled joy is sure to come this year when Derek's estranged father moves into the home.
8. “Crossbones” (NBC), Friday, May 30 at 10 p.m.
Because who doesn't want to see John Malkovich as infamous pirate Blackbeard? Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of fun.
9. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi's Wedding” (Bravo), Sunday, June 1 at 8 p.m.
These fun peeks behind the stars’ weddings have become a tradition for the network and Bravo viewers. Kandi Burruss’ wedding promises lots of drama with her disapproving mother, Mama Joyce. Kandi's personal tastes are questionable, so we're expecting plenty of horribly down market choices for the ceremony.
10. “Halt and Catch Fire” (AMC), Sunday, June 1 at 10 p.m.
After all the Steve Jobs worship, it will be nice to be reminded that there were other rebels in the early days of personal computing.
11. “Famous in 12” (The CW), Thursday, June 3 at 8 p.m.
The CW partners with TMZ on this series that will shoot a family with stars in their eyes over 12 weeks. Will they love the fame they gain or hate it?
12. “Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix), Friday, June 6
Season 1 left off with Piper standing over a beaten and bloody Pennsyltucky. If that's not a cliffhanger, we don't know what is.
13. “Rectify” (Sundance), Thursday, June 19 at 9 p.m.
The excellent first season provided an honest, captivating look at the life of a man released from Death Row and returned to the small Georgia town where many still think he's guilty. Season 2 finds Daniel Holden (an understated, empathetic Aden Young) facing new, bigger problems as he struggles to build a life outside.
14. “Tyrant” (FX), Saturday, June 24 at 10 p.m.
This drama, about an unassuming American family that's drawn into the workings of a turbulent Middle East nation, should be in good hands with “Homeland” producer Howard Gordon.
15. “Reckless” (CBS), Sunday, June 29 at 9:00 p.m.
The trailer looked good (and Cam Gigandet is easy on the eyes, so we don't mind).
16. “Million Dollar Listing: Miami” (Bravo), Wednesday, June 25 at 9 p.m.
As fans of the Los Angeles and New York City versions of this franchise, so we can't wait to see Miami's twist on real estate porn.
17. “Under the Dome” (CBS), Monday, June 30 at 10 p.m.
This crazy tale of a small town with an abundance of crooked citizens who are suddenly trapped in a bubble can't have more than one season in it, right? Wrong. As long as people watch, the show's producers will twist the show's logic to keep the storylines going. That's part of our anticipation for Season 2 – how the hell will they get around that dome to introduce new stories and characters?
18. “Extant” (CBS), Wednesday, July 9 at 9 p.m.
A promising idea — a female astronaut (Halle Berry) returns from a 13-month solo space mission improbably pregnant, while her husband tends to their robotic, artificial intelligence enhanced son — just might be out of this world in a good way.
19. “Welcome to Sweden” (NBC), Thursday, July 10 at 9 p.m.
Produced by Amy Poehler and starring her brother Greg, this “fish out of water” comedy is hilarious and awkward.
20. “The Strain” (FX), Sunday, July 13 at 10 p.m.
Yes, vampires as a topic might be dangerously close to jumping the coffin at this point. But we'll trust Guillermo del Toro to pump fresh blood into the genre with this tale of a team from the Center for Disease Control that's investigating a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism.
21. “Hotel Hell” (Fox), Monday, July 21 at 9 p.m.
Gordon Ramsey is going to yell at more people! That's all that is required to greenlight a show on Fox, because it is a formula that works. Ramsey is hardly a hotelier, but so what? America would watch this guy scream at pretty much anybody. Plus, it's kind of nice to watch gross hospitality fails from the comfort of your own (hopefully) clean couch.
22. “The Quest” (ABC), Thursday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
What do you get when the “Amazing Race” and “Lord of the Ring” movie franchise producers team up? “The Quest” is a reality/fantasy competition that could be a crazy mess or a very thrilling ride. We can't wait to see which one it is.
23. “Outlander” (Starz), Saturday, August 9 at 9 p.m.
This adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's popular romance/fantasy novels of the same name looks very promising and it comes from executive producer Ronald D. Moore of “Battlestar Galactica,” which is a big draw for us.
What shows are you most looking forward to this summer?