Believe it or not, Summer is almost upon us. By Hollywood’s reckoning, it starts the first weekend of May when the Summer Blockbuster Season kicks off (this year led by Spider Man 2), but for the television networks late May/early June is when they start rolling out their schedules for the hot months. We’ve been seeing quite a number of scheduling announcements over the last few weeks so I thought I would pull together what we know so far relating to science fiction and fantasy shows that will be airing during the Summer months. This isn’t a finalized schedule yet, but probably covers 85 to 95 percent of the shows that will air, and it looks like a pretty full slate at this point with eleven entries of interest to genre fans (and Sunday nights looking pretty darned crowded).
TNT has the most to offer, apparently building off the Summer success of Falling Skies which will be returning for its fourth season. Joining that one will be the post-apocalyptic series The Last Ship as well as conspiracy series Legends which stars ex-Game of Thrones Sean Bean. HBO adds one show to join long-running True Blood (which is in its final season) with the post-Rapture series The Leftovers from Damon Lindelof. Showtime will try to get a jump on the Summer time viewing by premiering Penny Dreadful early in May as that one gives us a horror all-stars of sorts. Syfy has two entries for the Summer months (as they try to establish Thursdays as a new night for original programming) with returning sophomore series Defiance as well as new entry Dominion which is a spin-off from the 2010 angel-apocalypse movie Legion (and gives us actually the fifth Summer series with a post-apocalyptic theme). CBS will be adding one to its ranks–hoping to duplicate the success of returning series Under the Dome–with the sci fi entry Extant which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg (who also EPs for Falling Skies). Also, MTV’s Teen Wolf will be returning for its fourth season hoping to carry on the momentum from its successful Season 3.5 run during late winter. And I believe that Series 8 of Doctor Who (introducing Peter Capaldi as the Doctor) will begin airing during the Summer, though I haven’t seen any premiere dates yet so I am leaving that off the schedule for now.
Last Summer’s Siberia–which aired on NBC–will not be returning to that network, though there is still a slight chance that another channel could pick it up seeing as the show’s production company owns the rights to it. And interestingly, neither NBC, ABC, or FOX seem interested in programming any genre entries for the Summer despite the fact that (typically genre-averse) CBS had a big win last year with Under the Dome. Maybe NBC’s Crossbones will be of some interest, but it appears at this point that pirate drama will be more of a period show with little or no genre elements. The CW will be offering the mini-series Labyrinth in late May (airing over two nights May 22-23), but I have seen nothing else for the Summer from them either
Still, there is plenty to look forward to sci fi fans this Summer with eleven new and returning shows on the schedule (not including Doctor Who), and I expect one or two more will make there way onto the list before Summer actually kicks off. Keep you eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for new entries to the schedule and also be sure to track the ratings numbers here once the shows start airing.
9 – 10 PM True Blood (HBO) Season 6 Premieres Jun 22nd
9 – 10 PM Penny Dreadful (Showtime) NEW SERIES Premieres May 11th
9 – 10 PM The Last Ship (TNT) NEW SERIES Premieres Jun 22nd
10 – 11 PM The Leftovers (HBO) NEW SERIES Premieres Jun 15th
10 – 11 PM Falling Skies (TNT) Season 4 Premieres Jun 22nd
9 – 10 PM Teen Wolf (MTV) Season 4 Premiere Jun 23rd
10 – 11 PM Under the Dome (CBS) Season 2 Premiere Jun 30th
9 – 10 PM Extant (CBS) NEW SERIES Premieres Jul 9th
9 – 10 PM Legends (TNT) NEW SERIES Premieres Aug 20th
8 – 9 PM Defiance (Syfy) Season 2 Premiere Jun 19th
8 – 9 PM Dominion (Syfy) NEW SERIES Premieres Jun 19th