22 Summer TV Shows to Add to Your Nerdy Watch List

22 Summer TV Shows to Add to Your Nerdy Watch List

Some favorites are returning (Stranger Things!)—plus all the brand-new series (Obi-Wan Kenobi!) you need to know about.

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The cast of The Orville gather on the bridge of the ship.
The Orville: New Horizons
Image: Michael Desmondl/Hulu

Summer movies make their fully triumphant return in 2022—but don’t forget about your TV, which took care of you when you couldn’t leave the house. This summer brings new seasons of Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, The Boys, and more, plus some red-hot debuts from some of nerd-dom’s biggest franchises.

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The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent

An illustration of Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes from The Essex Serpent.
Image: Apple TV+

Sarah Perry’s best-selling 2016 novel forms the basis for this six-episode series, which stars Claire Danes as a widow who moves from London to a small town in Essex in search of a mythical sea dragon, where she befriends a local vicar played by Loki’s Tom Hiddleston. (May 13, Apple TV+)

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The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Theo James and Rose Leslie embrace in The Time Traveler's Wife.
Photo: Macall B. Polay/HBO

Already made into a 2009 feature film, this series adaptation from Steven Moffatt (Doctor Who) of Audrey Niffenegger’s romantic best-seller stars Game of ThronesRose Leslie (as the wife) and Divergent’s Theo James (as the time-traveling husband). (May 15, HBO)

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Night Sky

Night Sky

J.K. Simmons (Franklin York), Sissy Spacek (Irene York) in Night Sky.
Photo: Chuck Hodes/Amazon Studios

In this sci-fi drama, Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons play a longtime married couple whose peaceful life becomes complicated by the portal to another planet hidden in their rural backyard. (May 20, Prime Video)

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Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor plays the Jedi during the “watching over young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine” phase of his life, which will also include quite a bit of interference from Darth Vader and his persistent minions. Read all about the Star Wars series here. (May 27, Disney+)

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Stranger Things

Stranger Things

The first half of season four promises more 1980s supernatural adventures for the heroes of Hawkins, Indiana—or points beyond, given that season three sent half the cast to live in California, and left Chief Hopper (David Harbour) stranded in a Russian prison. (May 27, Netflix)

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Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island

Image for article titled 22 Summer TV Shows to Add to Your Nerdy Watch List
Image: Fox

As a matter of fact, this sequel to (and retooling of) the cheesy, cult-beloved 1970s show about an enchanted island where your dreams come true (for better and worse) got a second season, with Roselyn Sánchez returning as Elena Roarke, the great-niece of Ricardo Montalbán’s original series lead. (May 31, Fox)

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Lego Masters

Lego Masters

Image for article titled 22 Summer TV Shows to Add to Your Nerdy Watch List
Image: Fox

The Will Arnett-hosted reality competition showcasing some of the most ridiculously wonderful creations using tiny plastic bricks you’ll ever see returns for a third season. (May 31, Fox)

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The Orville: New Horizons

The Orville: New Horizons

At long last, Seth MacFarlane’s excellent sci-fi dramedyformerly of Fox, now on Hulu—returns for more adventures, space battles, and random hilarity in its third season. (June 2, Hulu)

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The Boys

The Boys

Eric Kripke’s racy superhero satire (based on the comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson) returns for its much-anticipated third season, with some new cast members along for the ride—including Jensen Ackles (Supernatural) as Soldier Boy. (June 3, Prime Video)

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Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel

Marvel’s latest Disney+ series is created by Bisha K. Ali and stars Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American teen from New Jersey who’s already a big Captain Marvel fan before she gains her own cosmic powers. (June 8, Disney+)

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For All Mankind

For All Mankind

The acclaimed alt-history space-race drama from Ronald D. Moore (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica) returns for a third season. (June 10, Apple TV+)

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Evil

Evil

Last season saw the Catholic Church-backed team of investigators endure all manner of horrors, including sinister dolls, cannibals, demons in their midst, and one episode conduced in completely silence. How will they top that? Season three awaits. (June 12, Paramount+)

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Motherland: Fort Salem

Motherland: Fort Salem

It’s the third and final season for Motherland: Fort Salem, so if you were ever curious about this series about witches who use their powers in the U.S. Army (which is indeed a very curious set-up for a supernatural drama series!) now’s the time to catch up. (June 21, Freeform)

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The Umbrella Academy

The Umbrella Academy

Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves, Elliot Page as Viktor Hargreeves.
Tom Hopper as Luther Hargreeves, Elliot Page as Viktor Hargreeves.
Photo: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

The wonderfully dysfunctional superpowered family returns to (presumably) face more apocalypses in this third season of the series, adapted from the Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá Dark Horse comic series. (June 22, Netflix)

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Westworld

Westworld

HBO’s twisted tale of the dangers of artificial intelligence—as well as human power left unchecked, along with a lot of other layered themes—returns to, hopefully, make good after an uneven third season saw the story leaving the Wild West for the big city. (June 26, HBO)

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Moonhaven

Moonhaven

Moonhaven centers on Bella Sway (Emma McDonald), a lunar cargo pilot and smuggler 100 years in the future who finds herself accused of a crime and marooned on Moonhaven, a utopian community set on a 500 square mile Garden of Eden built on the Moon to find solutions to the problems that will soon end civilization on Mother Earth. A skeptic in Paradise, Bella is sucked into a conspiracy to gain control of the artificial intelligence responsible for Moonhaven’s miracles and teams with a local detective to stop the forces that want to destroy Earth’s last hope before they are destroyed themselves.” The cast also includes Dominic Monaghan (Lost), Amara Karan (Doctor Who), and Joe Manganiello (True Blood). (July 7, AMC+)

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What We Do in the Shadows

What We Do in the Shadows

SEASON FOUR BABY! You already know and love this show, as do we, so just add this date to your calendar and start counting down. (July 12, FX)

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Resident Evil

Resident Evil

Not the video game, not the movie series, not the animated series—this is the live-action series starring Lance Reddick as Albert Wesker, whose daughter Jade is the main character: “Resident Evil takes place in the year 2036. 14 years after a deadly virus caused a global apocalypse, Jade Wesker fights for survival in a world overrun by the blood-thirsty infected and insane creatures.” (July 14, Netflix)

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Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

An animated man stand in front of a map of a dinosaur-infested island.
Image: Netflix

The surprisingly brutal (and also surprisingly, in-canon) animated series about teens fighting for their lives on the dinosaur-laden Isla Nublar returns for a fifth season. (July 21, Netflix)

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Light & Magic

Light & Magic

Image for article titled 22 Summer TV Shows to Add to Your Nerdy Watch List
Image: Walt Disney Studios

Disney’s love for behind-the-scenes documentary series continues apace with this six-part, “unparalleled” peek behind the scenes at Industrial Light & Magic. “Learn what inspired some of the most legendary filmmakers in Hollywood history, and follow their stories from their earliest personal films to bringing George Lucas’ vision to life.” (July 27, Disney+)

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The House of the Dragon

The House of the Dragon

Game of Thrones fans, or former Game of Thrones fans who hated season eight and have long since grown weary of waiting for Winds of Winter—here’s a little dragon-stuffed, Targaryen-flavored balm for your soul. Learn more here. (August 21, HBO Max)

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The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Finally we’ll get to see exactly how Amazon applied its eleventy-billion dollar budget to this lavish JRR Tolkien project! Learn more here. (September 2, Prime Video)

Need more TV, you fiend? Here’s a few titles we might well be seeing this summer, but have not yet confirmed their release dates. If not summer, look for these in the fall or winter: Locke & Key (season three, Netflix); The Sandman (new series, Netflix); The Witcher: Blood Origin (new series, Netflix); Willow (new series, Disney+).

Update: May 13, 3:15pm: FX announced the release date for What We Do in the Shadows season four soon after this post was published, so we obviously needed to add it.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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