Yes indeed, Summer is almost upon us. In just two months, June will be here and the mercury will be rising in the thermometer (do they still use mercury, or is it considered a health hazard these days?). And with the change in seasons happening, the broadcast networks and cable channels are starting to set their schedules for the Summer months. I haven’t seen announcements on all of the shows that I expect are coming up, but there’s enough now to start to bring things in focus. In addition, the Spring months of April and May have become a “bridge season” the last few years when the cable channels start to warm up their Summer schedules and the broadcast nets slot in shows that did not fit in well earlier in the season (I’ll stop short of calling them burn-off runs, though). Most of those Spring shows I’ve already had on the current schedule, but I have included them in the upcoming schedule as well because many will run into the Summer months. You can see the full Spring / Summer schedule as it currently stands at this link, and I will give some of my initial thoughts on it here.
The schedule is pretty packed, but the offerings are once again pretty slim from the broadcast networks with the exception of CBS. And interestingly, that network—which has shown a particular aversion to sci fi during the regular season—has added third sci fi entry to its Summer slate. That one is Zoo which is based on the James Patterson book about animals launching a war against the human race. The other two are returning shows Under the Dome (third season) and Extant (second season). ABC is offering alien invasion series The Whispers,though I’m wondering if that is a burn-off run for a show they lost faith in as it was originally scheduled for mid-season. The CW has low-rated Beauty and the Beast which (mystifyingly) keeps avoiding cancellation but will now plug up time on the Summer schedule. Apart from that, the broadcast nets have no other genre entries scheduled for Summer at this point.
For the Spring season, the broadcast networks have two new entries. The CW has the pre-apocalyptic The Messengers starting next week, though I’m wondering if that might not be another burn-off run seeing as it is starting so late in the season (the broadcast nets generally reserve April/May for their “event” series) and it has been shuffled off to Fridays. FOX has one of those limited run event entries (but don’t be fooled into believing it will resolve its storylines by the end of its first season) in Wayward Pines. That supernatural mystery series comes from M. Night Shyamalan and has picked up some early positive buzz.
Among new Summer entries on the cable channels, I’ve only seen one thus far but it is Syfy’s highly anticipated Killjoys. That one will give us the first true entry in that network’s return to space opera (after the giant tease that was last Fall’s Ascension), and a lot of high hopes will be following it. So far, the rest of the Summer is comprised of returning shows, though I expect some more announcements, particularly from Syfy which has a lot of shows in the pipeline at the moment. As far as new entries on the streaming services, Daredevil actually starts today and is currently trending on Twitter. And then in June we get Sense8, the team up of the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski which has a fair amount of buzz at this point as well. Both shows are Netflix originals.
Based on the schedule I currently have assembled, there are eighteen Summer shows (including the late May starters and the streaming shows) with an additional nine Spring shows. That’s a lot of genre programming to keep up with over the April thru August span. As far as the scheduling across the week nights, the cable channels are clustering up Sundays again with potentially five shows competing against each other on that night in June and July (that’s assuming that The Strain and The Leftovers return to the same timeslots they had last Summer). And Thursday nights could provide another logjam if Defiance and Dominion air on that night as they did last year which could see six shows battling against each other. I guess the networks look at this as counter-programming, but it’s just going to drive that many more people to their DVRs.
As indicated on the schedule, some of the information on the Summer shows is still tentative and I will update this as new announcements come out. Keep an eye on this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for more info. But in the meantime, don’t think the you will get a break when the regular season wraps up because the Spring season will already be in high gear with the Summer shows starting up shortly afterwards. The Spring / Summer schedule has links to each show’s page where you can read more about them and check out their official websites.