The Summer 2020 TV Preview: These Are The 28 New Treats You’ll Want To Binge

Figuring out what TV shows to watch this summer will be more difficult than ever. First, there is the simple fact that Netflix is rolling out 10 or more new series every week. Then, you realize the summer of 2020 will see the launch of two brand-new streaming platforms — WarnerMedia’s HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock — after the recent debut of Disney+, Apple TV+, and Quibi

That means dozens of new shows are now competing for your attention that didn’t exist last summer — and last summer’s TV schedule was already packed. There are a handful of returning series hoping you’ll come back again this year, like Dirty John, The Umbrella Academy, and, most importantly, the farewell season of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Plus, there are many buzzy series premiering over the summer, like ABC’s newest Bachelor spin-off The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons - Ever!, HBO’s twisty I May Destroy You, and Hulu’s Love, Victor

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All together, there are a whopping 23 summer shows you’re going to want to binge over the next few months. To help make the viewing process fun for you — rather than mind-numbingly stressful — we made you a complete chronological guide to summer television (which we'll be updating in the coming months). Keep reading to find out the precise shows that will be worth your time in the steamy weeks ahead, along with all the premiere dates, plot points, and cast information you need.

Crack open a hard seltzer and get comfy on the couch — you're going to be happy staying inside with these shows.

Snowpiercer (TNT) 


Season 1 

TNT premiere date: Sunday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET

Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) is the only homicide detective on this train — and the train is traversing a frozen apocalypse in the near future. Snowpiercer, which is loosely based on Bong Joon-Ho’s 2013 film of the same name, has a lot to juggle. First, there’s the anti-capitalist revolution at the heart of Snowpiercer’s predecessor. Then, there’s the murder mystery tacked onto TNT’s spin-off series. 

The fun of the series is watching Andre tackle all of these tasks while going up against an enemy hiding in plain sight: Jennifer Connelly's Melanie Cavill.

Hightown (Starz) 


Season 1 

Starz premiere date: Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET

Expect many murder mysteries this summer. Hightown is another gritier entrance into the bursting genre. The premium series follows Jackie Quiñones (Monica Raymund), a woman grappling with her sobriety. After Jackie finds the body of woman washed up on the Cape Cod beach, she becomes obsessed with solving the murder. 

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix) 


Netflix premiere date: Tuesday, May 26 at 3 a.m. ET

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby changed stand-up forever with 2018’s Nanette, a powerful special about sexuality, trauma, and, still, making people laugh. Through Douglas, Gadsby continues to redefine what stand-up is. This time, Gadsby uses a few distinct acts of her special to understand her own autism and the anti-vaxxers who sensationalize it

As with Nanette, Gadsby manages to take gravely serious topics and find the relentlessly smart comedy hiding in them. 

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Love Life (HBO Max) 


Season 1 

HBO Max premiere date: Wednesday, May 27 at 12 a.m. ET

Welcome to HBO Max! The new streaming service is launching with a select group of series, and Love Life is the rom-com of the pack. The new show revolves around Darby (Anna Kendrick), a 20something New York woman looking for love. Each episode of Love Life follows a single one of Darby’s romances on the way to The One. Some installments span a year-long relationship and others involve just one intense night with a romantic conquest. 

If you need an easy to digest love story, this is it. 

Legendary (HBO Max) 


Season 1 

HBO Max premiere date: Wednesday, May 27 at 12 a.m. ET

Legendary first made headlines for its inclusion of Jameela Jamil, a British actress who appeared to have little connection to the ballroom community, which was founded by Black and Latinx trans women in America. However, Legendary is about so much more than judge Jamil (who serves as the constantly-impressed audience surrogate). 

The series celebrates ballroom culture and the Black and Brown people who made it an art form. Legandary’s artistry is immediately dazzling, and it’s a delight to watch Jamil’s co-hosts, hip-hop superstar Megan Thee Stallion, stylist Law Roach, and vogueing queen Leiomy Maldonado.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (Netflix)


Season 1 

Netflix premiere date: Wednesday, May 28 at 3 a.m. ET

Netflix continues to know exactly what kind of true crime content people want — and the streaming service is more than happy to give it to them. After the success of Tiger King, here comes Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, the docuseries about the disgraced, much-mythologized sex criminal and financier Jeffrey Epstein

Filthy Rich takes you step by step through Epstein’s many disturbing offenses and introduces you to the survivors of his crimes — many of whom were young teen girls when Epstein sexually assaulted them. It is impossible to forget the darkness of Filthy Rich once you look at it.

Ramy (Hulu) 


Season 2 

Hulu premiere date: Friday, May 29 at 12 a.m. ET

Ramy was one of the most unique and funny new series of 2019. The comedy, created and led by Ramy Youssef, continues that momentum in season 2. 2020’s new batch of episodes examines Ramy’s faith as a young man in an even more painstaking manner, while refusing to lose any of the show’s natural humor. 

Plus, we now get to watch Oscar winner Mershala Ali in the mix as Ramy’s new spiritual advisor. 

Below Deck Mediterranean (Bravo) 


Season 5 

Bravo premiere date: Monday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET

Wish you could dash off to Spain right now? Bravo is offering the next best thing: hanging out (via your TV) on a yacht docked off the coast of the Mediterranean country’s island of Mallorca. Drama brews as the Below Deck Med crew services a mega luxury vessel amid relationship turmoil, partying, and their actual jobs.
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Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story (USA) 


Season 2 

USA premiere date: Tuesday, June 2 at 9 p.m. ET 

Dirty John season 1 almost broke television with its November 2018 debut. A year and a half later, USA is serving up a new season of true crime-inspired drama with The Betty Broderick Story. This time the story follows real-life murderess Betty Broderick (here played by Amanda Peet), a wealthy 1980s housewife who killed her ex-husband in the wake of their divorce. 

The real treat of Broderick is watching Amanda Peet, who plays Betty, explore the heartbreaking and terrifying nuances of this woman on the brink.

13 Reasons Why (Netflix)


Season 4 

Netflix premiere date: Friday, June 5 at 3 a.m. ET

It all comes down to this. After leading Netflix’s YA boom, the streamer’s beloved and wildly controversial high school drama is at its end. The final episodes of 13 Reasons Why will attempt to wrap up the stories of Liberty High’s most traumatized students after four seasons of unstoppable horror… while adding a new antagonist to the mix: scheming photographer Winston (Deaken Bluman)

Prepare yourself for one more harrowing gauntlet ofhttps://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/01/187677/alone-together-review-esther-povitsky-episode-1 television before saying goodbye to Team Tape forever. 

Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It! (HBO) 


HBO premiere date: Saturday, June 6 at 10 p.m. ET

Insecure best friend Yvonne Orji stars in this globetrotting special, which brings viewers Orji's hometown in Nigeria so we can really get to know her. 

Yet, the point of Momma is unveiling Nigerian-American Orji’s inner life as a bi-cultural comedian. So, the stand-up portion of the special was filmed at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.

I May Destroy You (HBO) 


Season 1 

HBO premiere date: Saturday, June 7 at 10:30 p.m. ET

Michaela Coel has stood out as a growing international powerhouse since the debut of her 2015 British sitcom, Chewing Gum. With I May Destroy You, Coel — who also wrote, executive produced, and co-directed the series — reveals the gritty depths of her talent. The half-hour series tells the story of Arabella (Coel), a writer who is forced to confront the very meaning of consent and exploitation after a hazy night out. 

I May Destroy You isn’t afraid of complicated, sometimes painful questions.

The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons - Ever! (ABC) 


Season 1 

ABC premiere date: Monday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic threw production for countless series into disarray. The 2020 Bachelorette was one of them. While we won’t get the dating show this summer — as viewers have since 2003 — they will receive The Greatest Seasons - Ever, a retrospective of prior Bachelor Nation-changing seasons. 

Chris Harrison told Refinery29 each episode of Greatest will not run like a clip show and will instead behave more like “a podcast.” Each three-hour installment will take a deep dive into a single season, reminding viewers of the highs and lows of that Bachelor or Bachelorette’s journey towards love. Expect unseen footage and virtual check-ins with the cast. Greatest’s first three episodes will review the seasons of Sean Lowe, Kaitlyn Bristowe, and Ben Higgins, in that order.
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The Bold Type (Freeform) 


Season 4B 

Freeform premiere date: Thursday, June 11 at 10 p.m. ET

Your favorite TV BFFs are back for another mad dash around New York City. When we check back in with the Bold Type ladies, changes are afoot for all. Jane (Katie Stevens) is three months out from her double mastectomy and adjusting to her new body. Kat (Aisha Dee) is settling into her life after being fired from Scarlet and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) is learning what marriage means to her. 

At least some things haven’t changed: the love that keeps The Bold Type together and the fact that everyone is still having hot hookups around the Big Apple. 

Double Shot at Love With DJ Pauly D and Vinny (MTV) 


Season 2 

MTV premiere date: Thursday, June 11 at 9 p.m. ET

Reality TV usually spawns enemies — not friends. Jersey Shore stars DJ Pauly D and Vinny Guadagnino are the rare exceptions. The BFFs met as strangers more than a decade ago and are now hosting a dating show together. The romance competition is wilder than ever in its second season  as Pauly and Vinny attempt to find love in Las Vegas… while inexplicably living with her Double Shot season 1 exes. 

We wouldn’t expect any less from the guys who once took a trip down the aisle together in Sin City.

Love, Victor (Hulu) 


Season 1 

Hulu premiere date: Friday, June 19 at 12 a.m. ET

2018’s Love, Simon a queer coming-of-age feature film led by Nick Robinson — was groundbreaking. But the movie also fell in line with many teen stories that came before it, as it followed an upper-middle class white boy from the affluent suburbs of a major city. 

The film’s streaming spin-off, Love, Victor complicates that initial tale. The rom-dram drops Victor (Michael Cimino), a Latinx boy from a small town in Texas, into Simon’s alma mater, Creekwood High School. Victor, who is trying to figure out his own sexuality, learns the fairytale version of Simon’s previous love story. Over the course of Love, Victor, its titular character attempts to find his own happiness in the oppressive shadow of Simon’s supposedly perfect coming out experience. You will be rooting for him to get his own ferris wheel kiss from minute one. 

Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi (Hulu) 


Season 1 

Hulu premiere date: Friday, June 19 at 12 a.m. ET

Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is here to change what your idea of “American food” is — or at least expand it. Lakshmi traverses the country, immersing herself in the indigenous and immigrant communities that make America what it is today. To understand these cultures — and their impact on our nation — she explores their cuisine and shares it with us. 

Do not come to this one hungry.

I'll Be Gone in the Dark (HBO) 


Season 1 

HBO premiere date: Sunday, June 28 at 10 p.m. ET

In 2016, crime writer Michelle McNamara abruptly died. However, her work still lives on in 2020. McNamara dedicated her life to investigating the serial criminal nicknamed the Golden State Killer. The GSK committed 50 home invasion rapes and 12 murders. With I’ll Be Gone — based on McNamara's posthumously published book of the same name — we learn about McNamara’s sleuthing in her own words through recordings captured before her death. 

Gone could easily be a bloodthirsty look at the work of yet another serial rapist and killer at a time when public hunger for gruesome true crime is higher than ever. Instead, the miniseries instead grapples with the indelible dark fingerprints that such obsession can leave on a life.  

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Hanna (Amazon Prime Video) 


Season 2 

Amazon Prime premiere date: Friday, July 3 at 12 a.m. ET

Hanna — a TV adaptation of the 2011 Saoirse Ronan-starring movie of the same name — was one of 2019’s most ambitious and underrated series. The drama gave us more insight into the life of Hanna (now played by Esme Creed-Miles), a teen girl and supersoldier created by the mysterious Utrax program. 

The second season of the teen thriller takes us even further into the twists and turns of the Utrax program now that Hanna has been trapped in their headquarters. The CIA initiative may think they’ve got Hanna under control — but we all know it’s definitely the other way around. 

Little Voice (Apple TV+) 


Season 1 

Apple TV+ premiere date: Friday, June 10 at 12 a.m. ET


If you watched FOX’s Star, you know Brittany O’Grady is, well, a star. On the Lee Daniels soap, O’Grady played Simone Davis, a dreamer with a painful past. Now, she takes her musical talents to Little Voice, executive produced by Grammy-winner/Broadway fave Sara Bareilles

O’Grady’s Bess King is a New Yorker striving to make it in the big city while finding her authentic musical voice. Along the way, Bess must juggle romance, her own goals, and her familial obligations. Bareilles supplies the original music for the series.

Down to Earth with Zac Efron (Netflix) 


Season 1 

Netflix premiere date: Friday, June 10 at 3 a.m. ET

If you’ve wanted to travel the world with Zac Efron, this is your chance. Docuseries Down to Earth follows the longtime dreamboat as he and wellness expert Darin Olien investigate the best ways to create a healthy and sustainable life. While this is a delightful prospect, please be prepared to watch Zac Efron eat “dung smoked” food. This is apparently the way to a better future.

Brave New World (Peacock)


Season 1 

Peacock premiere date: Wednesday, July 15 at 12 a.m. ET

Alden Ehrenreich, star of Solo: A Star Wars Story, is taking a crack at another iconic piece of sc-fi. This time, he is leading Brave New World, an adaptation of Aldous Huxley's famous 1932 novel. 

Brave will show us the futuristic society of New London, which has created unmitigated harmony — by eliminating monogamy, family, and history itself. Ehrenreich’s John the Savage finds his way into New London and immediately threatens to throw its delicate balance into chaos. If you’re curious about what NBC's Peacock will be, the visually daring Brave New World is one of the two series that best depicts the new platform's streaming aesthetic.

United We Fall (ABC)


Season 1 

ABC premiere date: Wednesday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET

Long-dormant Taina stans, ABC has a treat for you: United We Fall. The network sitcom stars Christina Vidal Mitchell, who broke out in 2001 with the titular role in Nickelodeon sitcom Taina.

Now, Vidal Mitchell plays Jo, a working mom and wife trying so survive the hectic demands of parenting, marriage, and extended family. After the cancellation of United's network sibing, the sitcom is the sole Latinx-led series on broadcast TV.
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Esther Povitsky: Hot for My Name (Comedy Central) 


Comedy Central premiere date: Friday, July 17 at 11 p.m. ET

Esther Povitsky is almost always on your television, from her supporting role in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend to her co-lead status in series like Alone Together and Dollface. Yet, she rarely gets to share her specific comedic stylings solo. Povitsky gets her chance with Hot for My Name, a Comedy Central special that is a mix between behind-the-scenes documentary and traditional stand-up.

The Capture (Peacock)


Season 1 

Peacock premiere date: Wednesday, July 15 at 12 a.m. ET

The Capture is the other drama that Peacock is staking its burgeoning name on. Unlike Brave New World, this series has already aired. The British thriller premiered in its home country in September 2019. 

This six-part miniseries is for everyone who wishes Richard Madden’s Bodyguard would come back already. The Capture questions just how much power intelligence agencies have in the 21st century now that every single thing is recorded. Shaun Emery (Emma.’s Callum Turner ) is a war veteran accused of two horrible crimes, both of which hinge on video evidence. Detective Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) is determined to get to the bottom of Shaun’s story — and soon finds herself down a rabbit hole of a conspiracy.

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)


Season 2 

Netflix premiere date: Friday, July 31 at 3 a.m. ET

Netflx’s most dysfunctional siblings are back for another round of superpowered drama. Umbrella Academy season 1 ended with the Hargreeves children reverting back to their teenage selves and jumping back in time to save the world from the apocalypse.

With season 2, it’s time to see how the Umbrella Academy siblings can metaphorically dance their way out of their greatest crisis yet: the fact that their sister Vanya (Ellen Page) is the one who caused the end of the world.

Pan y Circo (Amazon Prime Video)


Season 1 

Amazon Prime Video premiere date: Friday, August 7 at 12 a.m. ET

Rogue One and Narcos: Mexico star Diego Luna is ready for some difficult conversations. That is why, and his BFF/recurring co-star Gael García Bernal, have decided to produce Pan y Circo.

Luna hosts the docuseries, which revolves around exciting meals shared with people of differing points of view. Each Pan y Circo meal is created by a renowned Mexican chef and eaten by various personalities, from religious figures to politicians. Then the series follows their discussions on topics like abortion, racism, and the climate crisis.

Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)


Season 1 

Apple TV+ premiere date: Friday, August 14 at 12 a.m. ET

In 2013, Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis introduced Ted Lasso — a goofy college football coach — as a character for NBC Sports ads. Now, Ted has his very own show.

Apple TV+'s Sudeikis-led Ted Lasso follows its titular, and extremely American, sports coach across the pond as he attempts to coach English football, which his new countrymates take very seriously. Unfortunately for Ted, he doesn't know a single thing about the game.

Sex Education's sportiest mom (and Game of Thrones' “Shame!” septa), Hannah Waddingham, also stars.
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