Sunday, December 10, 2017
TV and Media

12 shows to watch this summer, from 'Game of Thrones' to vampires in 'Midnight, Texas'

There's a long, hot summer ahead of us. So let's turn up the AC, cozy up to our screens and binge some TV, shall we? Here are our top new and returning shows to check out.

Brittany Volk and Chelsea Tatham, Times staff writers

The Carmichael Show

NBC, 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 31

Jerrod Carmichael's sitcom consistently pushes boundaries, and recently it was announced that the show will air the n-word unedited in this upcoming third season. Even though most of the episodes take place in the living room, as in many family sitcoms before it, The Carmichael Show trades in the heartwarming, teachable moments for insightful and frustrating debates. This hilariously opinionated family (Loretta Devine and David Alan Grier) discusses many hot button issues, and their politics don't always lean to one side. Stream the first two seasons on Netflix and Hulu.

Orange Is the New Black

Netflix, 3 a.m., Friday, June 9

Although hackers allegedly released pirated episodes of this new season recently, we're still not-so-patiently waiting to see what comes after that shocking cliffhanger last summer. Without spoiling too much, the fifth season, which takes place in real time, begins just where last season ended, with Litchfield in absolute chaos. Taylor Schilling, who plays Piper Chapman, revealed the whole season plays out over just three days, giving plenty of space for drawn-out, gut-wrenching scenes of the coming prison rebellion and the fallout and heartbreak after the death of Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley).

Orphan Black

BBC America, 10 p.m., Saturday, June 10

Sadly, it's the final trip for our defiant clones, and this epic feminist sci-fi drama, but we're ready to see what else Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany can do. But first, it's time to tie up a lot of loose ends, and co-creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson said in a statement they're "excited to deliver an epic conclusion." Does that mean Sarah and her sisters will finally discover the conspiracy that created them? And that mysterious creep, P.T. Westmoreland, who created it? If anything, we're hoping for one last #CloneClub dance party.


TNT, 9 p.m., Sunday, June 11

If you don't know who Niecy Nash is, it's well past time. Nash has lots of credentials, and she really impressed us in HBO's short-lived comedy Getting On, so it's wonderful to see her leading such a great new show. Here, she plays Desna, whose "money laundering days are over" (well, she's at least trying to stay out of crime life) when she opens a nail salon in Manatee County. Yep, the one just south of us here in Florida, and part of it was even filmed there. It's an hourlong dark comedy that has a solid cast, including the brilliant Carrie Preston (True Blood, The Good Wife), Judy Reyes (Scrubs, Devious Maids) and Harold Perrineau (Lost). Come for the colorful bosom-busting outfits, stay for the bad girl high jinks.


Netflix, 3 a.m., Friday, June 23

Nothing says '80s nostalgia quite like a neon-lit show about women's wrestling. Alison Brie (Mad Men) enters the ring this summer with GLOW, Netflix's new comedy about the world of female wrestlers and a reboot of the late '80s show of the same name. Brie plays Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actor who hopes to reach stardom in the ring. She works with other Hollywood misfits (Ellen Wong, Britt Baron, Kimmy Gatewood and others) and a washed-up B-movie director (Marc Maron).

Playing House

USA, 11 p.m., Friday, June 23

Comedic duo Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair are real-life besties, and together they've created one of the best female friendships on TV right now. Playing House begins when Emma (St. Clair) drops her business career to help Maggie (Parham) raise her kid. The women are definitely winging this whole motherhood thing (aren't we all?), but these gal pals use their brand of lowbrow humor for some heartwarming moments. Keegan-Michael Key also stars as Emma's delightful ex-boyfriend from high school. Stream the first two seasons on and on USA's app. The entire third season will be available on video on demand on June 24.

Game of Thrones

HBO, 9 p.m., Sunday, July 16

The penultimate season of HBO's hit epic fantasy is back this summer, and, yes, winter is still coming. The last time we saw everyone in Westeros and beyond, Cersei (Lena Headey) had just rid herself of all her enemies in the most fabulous way possible: by blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor with wildfire, thus ending the lives of the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce), Ser Loras (Finn Jones), Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Lancil Lannister (Eugene Simon). Oh, and Ed Sheeran has a cameo this season.

Midnight, Texas

NBC, 10 p.m., Monday, July 24

It didn't take long for networks to scoop up another vampire show. NBC's newest foray into the supernatural comes with Midnight, Texas, based on the novels by True Blood author Charlaine Harris. The horror series stars Francois Arnaud (The Borgias) as a powerful psychic who finds comfort in surrounding himself with human and supernatural allies. Arielle Kebbel (The Vampire Diaries) plays Olivia, a mysterious hitwoman with a cache of fanciful weapons; Parisa Fitz-Henly (Luke Cage) is a witch who owns the local Wiccan shop; Jason Lewis (Sex and the City) is an angel who knows all of Midnight's secrets; and there's even a reverend werewolf in Yul Vazquez (Captain Phillips).

The Sinner

USA, 10 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2

Jessica Biel plays Cora, a young mother who mysteriously snaps and commits a startling act of violence. But not all is what it seems, and Bill Pullman plays the detective who tries to figure out what happened. The eight-episode thriller series builds a sense of discomfort and slowly drops bread crumbs, unveiling this strange nightmare. It's religious, supernatural and psychological, and Biel really brings it. It's surprisingly perfect casting. Biel looks like the good girl next door, but she plays distressed and disturbed very well.

Keep these on your radar

Salvation (CBS, 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 12): This 13-episode thriller series follows an MIT grad student (Charlie Rowe) and a tech billionaire (Santiago Cabrera) who discover an asteroid is on its way to Earth. Sure, it sounds like a familiar plot, but it's always fun to see people scramble when the world is ending.

Somewhere Between (ABC, 10 p.m., Monday, July 24): Nineties heartthrob Devon Sawa returns to our screens in this new supernatural thriller series. Paula Patton plays a working mom who has a premonition her 8-year-old daughter will be murdered. Sawa plays a private investigator helping her catch the would-be killer.

Snowfall (FX, premiere TBA): Created by John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood), this 10-episode new series chronicles the rise of crack cocaine in 1983 Los Angeles. Multiple converging story lines with an impressive newbie cast show many sides of the epidemic. Man, this surely feels like a hit for FX, which is on a roll with poignant historical dramas such as The Americans and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.


Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulane vs. Florida StatenoonESPNU; 1010-AMLa Salle at Villanova1 p.m.FS1Women: Marshall at Florida1 p.m.SECArizona State at Kansas2 p.m.ESPNWomen: Texas at Tennessee3 p.m.ESPN2Women: SE Louisiana at TCU3 p.m.Fox SunSouthern at ...
Published: 12/09/17

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingSuper featherweights: Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux9 p.m.ESPNSuper featherweights: Roman vs. Salido10:30 p.m.HBOCollege basketballDuke at Boston CollegenoonESPNUCLA at MichigannoonCBSMonmouth at KentuckynoonESPNUCoastal Carolina at South Carol...
Published: 12/08/17
This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

This week’s pop culture winners and losers: Tonya Harding edition

WINNERS: Tonya Harding The once disgraced Olympic figure skater is no longer on thin ice in the pop culture world. Harding joined Margot Robbie, who is playing her in the upcoming film I, Tonya, on the red carpet this week. While Harding pleaded g...
Published: 12/08/17

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballValparaiso at Purdue6:30 p.m.FS1Ohio at Maryland7 p.m.Big TenIowa at Iowa State8 p.m.ESPN2Howard at Georgetown8:30 p.m.FS1College footballAwards show7 p.m.ESPNGolfLadies European: Dubai Masters4:30 a.m.GolfPGA Europe: Australia...
Published: 12/06/17
Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

Mahaffey Theater cancels Garrison Keillor performance after sexual misconduct allegations

The Mahaffey Theater has canceled an upcoming performance by Garrison Keillor in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against the former host of A Prairie Home Companion.Keillor was to perform in St. Petersburg on Feb. 5, but the show's promo...
Published: 12/06/17
Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Review: History’s ‘Knightfall’ will please fans of epic history, popular culture

Sometimes a Templar Knight dies in your field and you have to return his master sword to the temple in Paris, because God's kingdom depends on it.All that happens to Parsifal (Bobby Shofield) in the first episode of History's new period drama Knightf...
Published: 12/06/17
36 period dramas you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

36 period dramas you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon and Hulu

If you've loved period dramas for any length of time, you probably feel like you've seen them all. Not that there's a shortage of shows dramatizing any and everything from the 1600s to the '60s. But sometimes you've seen all Masterpiece and BBC curr...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballWomen: TCU at Texas A&MnoonSECSiena at Louisville7 p.m.ESPN2Wisconsin at Temple7 p.m.ESPNUWestern Carolina at North Carolina7 p.m.Fox SunKent State at Xavier7 p.m.FS1Loyola-Chicago at Florida8 p.m.ESPN; 620-AMAustin Peay at Ill...
Published: 12/05/17
What pop culture from 2017 made you most hopeful for 2018 and beyond?

What pop culture from 2017 made you most hopeful for 2018 and beyond?

Can we all just agree that 2017 has been a toilet fire of epic proportions?Seriously, between all the strife and discord and tragedy and loss, it feels like 2017 was engineered in a lab to feel like a kick in the shins from the moment you woke up in ...
Published: 12/05/17
5 holiday treats to try at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

5 holiday treats to try at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

The Tampa theme park boasts the title of roller coaster king in Florida, but it can also say it has one of the prettiest displays of Christmas lights in Tampa Bay.Busch Gardens runs its annual Christmas Town festivities select nights through Dec. 31,...
Published: 12/05/17