Game of Thrones is officially over, Fargo is almost done; summer is upon us and there’s nothing but long, hot, lazy months ahead. Most of us think of summer as a television wasteland, what with all the serious series on hiatus or filming, but there are actually a few upcoming gems you may not have heard about yet. Sean Bean, John Simm, Ian McKellen, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mira Sorvino…those aren’t names you’re expecting to hear until fall — but here they are, smack dab in the middle of your summer drought. There should be a little something for everyone.
1. The Honorable Woman, BBC2/Sundance Channel
Spy series set against the backdrop of Israel and Palestine. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein, a woman who inherits and attempts to repurpose her father’s weapons company after his assassination. Steven Rhea stars as an MI-6 spy investigating her family. Costarring Lindsay Duncan, Janet McTeer, Andrew Buchan and Katherine Parkinson.
Premieres July 31st, 10 pm EST
2. Legends, TNT
Based on Robert Littell’s Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation, Sean Bean stars as Martin Odum, an undercover FBI agent adept at transforming into different people. After meeting someone who suggests Martin isn’t who he thinks he is, the agent begins to question his own sanity. Costarring Ali Larter, David Meunier, Steve Harris, Mason Cook, Tina Majorino, Rob Mayes and Amber Valetta.
Premieres August 13th, 10 pm EST
3. Intruders, BBCA
Based on Michael Marshall Smith’s The Intruders, starring John Simm, Mira Sorvino, James Frain as members of a secret society who chase immortality through paranormal means…inhabiting others’ bodies. Costarring Sonya Salomaa, Tory Kittles and Millie Brown.
4. Vicious, PBS
British sitcom import starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as an often antagonistic gay couple in a long term (49 years!) relationship. Both retired, Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi) now pass the time entertaining friends and driving each other mad. Costarring Iwan Rheon, Frances de la Tour and Marcia Warren.
Premieres July 6th, 9 pm EST
5. 7 Deadly Sins, Showtime
Morgan Spurlock takes his docuseries stylings to Showtime, where he’ll give us an in-depth look at each of the proverbial sins. Hey, guess how many episodes?
Premieres August 7th, 11 pm EST
6. Wizard Wars, Syfy
Battle of the Magicians…yes please! Penn and Teller head up a panel of judges who’ll decide whether competing magicians’ original tricks get them through to the next round; the reality contestants will then face “The Wizards,” including the World Championship of Magic winner, and other well-respected magicians.
Premieres August 19th, 10 pm EST