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Best new TV shows to watch this summer

Best new TV shows to watch this summer

From the long-awaited returns of your favourite series to brand new shows that will knock your socks off, here’s your essential guide of all the best telly this summer

By Simon Ward, Content Director + Charlotte Briggs, Staff Writer

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the BBQ is sizzling and, to top it all off, there’s a bucket load of brilliant telly to keep you entertained this summer.


Head back to Middle-earth for an all-new adventure in the return of The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power, don your hardiest apron for season 3 of FX’s The Bear, power up your lightsabre for Star Wars: The Acolyte, get sleuthing in A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder or rule alongside Anthony Hopkins in bloody drama Those About To Die.


Want even more inspiration? Then don’t forget to check out what’s new on Netflix as well as the best TV and movies available across Virgin TV each month for hours of unlimited entertainment.


Star Wars: The Acolyte

Find season 1 in Apps > Disney+ or just say “Disney+” from Tuesday 4 June

In Lucasfilm’s The Acolyte, an investigation into a shocking crime spree pits a respected Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) against a dangerous warrior from his past (Amandla Stenberg). As more clues emerge, they travel down a dark path where sinister forces reveal all is not what it seems…. The series stars Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joonas Suotamo and Carrie-Anne


Sister Boniface Mysteries

Watch series 3 on Drama HD (CH 116) and in On Demand from Friday 7 June. Series 1-2 available now

It’s the return of the super sleuth sister for a third series solving crimes on her moped in the appropriately named (and fortunately fictional) English town, Great Slaughter. This series sees her investigating the murder of the Head Nose of a famous fragrance dynasty and the disappearance of a sci-fi show’s creator. And when a film crew comes to town to film the new “Agent Best” movie, she’ll be… shaken and stirred.


Paul Whitehouse’s Sketch Show Years

Watch series 1 on GOLD HD (CH 124) and in On Demand from June

Paul Whitehouse knows a thing or two about sketches. The man behind The Fast Show and Harry & Paul, he’s written and starred in some of the nation’s most-loved sketch shows. So who better to take us on a journey through this eclectic genre, from shows like The Two Ronnies and Not The Nine O'Clock News to Harry Enfield & Chums and The Catherine Tate Show? Featuring the catchphrases and characters we love from the past 60 years, he’ll explore what our love of the sketch show says about us, alongside his unique insights.


The Bear

Find season 3 in Apps > Disney+ or just say “Disney+” from Thursday 27 June. Seasons 1-2 available now

Season 3 of The Bear follows Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) and Richie Jerimovich (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) as they do what it takes to elevate The Bear, their beef stand turned fine dining establishment, to the highest level, all while doing their best just to stay in business. It’s a losing battle every single day in the restaurant business. Carmy pushes himself harder than ever, and demands excellence from his crew, who do their best to match his intensity. The series also stars Abby Elliott, Lionel Boyce, Liza Colón-Zayas and Matty Matheson, with Oliver Platt and Molly Gordon in recurring roles.


Douglas Is Cancelled

Find it in Apps > ITVX from Thursday 27 June

After leading Doctor Who and penning the twisted psychological crime thriller Inside Man, writer Steven Moffat is giving us a drama around cancel culture. Douglas (Hugh Bonneville, W1A) is a respected news anchor whose career is put on the line after an ill-advised joke at a wedding goes viral. As it’s Moffat, don’t expect the story to go the way you think – especially since Karen Gillan (reuniting with Moffat after playing Amy in Doctor Who) is playing his co-anchor, Madeline, who may have quite a say in how the story plays out. Ben Miles (Death In Paradise), Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso) and another Doctor Who favourite, Alex Kingston, also star.


A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder

Series 1 starts on BBC Three HD (CH 107/113) and in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer from Monday 1 July

Creative powerhouse Dolly Wells (Inside Man) is bringing Holly Jackson’s huge-selling mystery novel to the small screen. In this six-episode, star-studded series, schoolgirl Pip (Emma Myers, Wednesday) investigates the murder of fellow student Andie (India Lillie Davies, Call The Midwife) when she realises Andie’s boyfriend Sal (newcomer Rahul Pattni) has been falsely accused. What ensues is a twisty tale that’ll have you guessing at every turn. Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland), Mathew Baynton (Ghosts) and Gary Beadle (The Wheel Of Time) also star.


Cobra Kai

Find season 6 part 1 in Apps > Netflix from Thursday 18 July. Seasons 1-5 available now

This sequel to the original The Karate Kid films ends after six glorious seasons – quite the achievement in modern TV where shows often struggle to make it to the second run. As befitting the series, this final run of 15 episodes is being split into three parts. Picking up with Cobra Kai eliminated from the Valley, the senseis and students alike must decide if and how they will compete in the Sekai Taikai (the world championships of karate). While season 5 ended on a relatively peaceful note, we’d bet big that this show will be going out fighting.


Those About To Die

Find season 1 in Apps > Prime Video from Friday 19 July

Director Roland Emmerich is known for his quiet little films like Independence Day, Godzilla and The Day After Tomorrow – a CV that could be headlined “This fella will give you bangs for your buck”. So the news he has co-directed this epic sword-and-sandal TV series, starring Anthony Hopkins, about Rome’s lust for blood and sport will be music to the ears of action fans. Many shows have tried to lay claim to Thrones’ throne and failed. But with that director, an impressive cast and the man who wrote Saving Private Ryan on scripting duties, this might be one to watch.


The Decameron

Find season 1 in Apps > Netflix from July

Renaissance author Giovanni Boccaccio’s collection of racy short stories are given a modern makeover in Kathleen Jordan’s (Teenage Bounty Hunters) soapy period drama. Set in 14th-century Italy, The Decameron follows a group of Nobles and their servants who retreat to a countryside villa to outlast the deadly bubonic plague that’s violently raging through Europe. However, as societal rules begin to crumble a group of misfits are forced together in order to survive both the Black Death and the imploding hierarchy within the villa walls. Saoirse-Monica Jackson (Derry Girls), Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development) star.


So Help Me Todd

Watch series 2 on Alibi HD (CH 114) and in On Demand from July. Series 1 available now

This hilarious legal drama returns, starring Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden as razor-sharp, meticulous attorney Margaret Wright and Skylar Astin as Todd, her talented but scruffy, aimless son whom she hires as her law firm’s in-house investigator. Will this latest season see Todd finally get his life together? There are lots of twists and turns awaiting fans of the show, and a big revelation in the first episode that may change the pair’s working relationship forever.


Batman: Caped Crusader

Find season 1 in Apps > Prime Video from Thursday 1 August

A new Batman cartoon isn’t probably high on your summer TV hitlist. But after the success of X-Men ’97, it should be. Because this is being talked about as the spiritual successor to Batman: The Animated Series, one of the greatest animated superhero shows of all time. Partly because it’s a collaboration between that show’s co-creator Bruce Timm alongside JJ Abrams and The Batman director Matt Reeves. But also, fans will love its 90s animation vibe, and the fact that it will tell the story of Batman’s early career as it reimagines the classic character. Plus, Harley Quinn as a serial killer!


The Umbrella Academy

Find season 4 in Apps > Netflix from Thursday 8 August. Seasons 1-3 available now

The Hargreeves family are back for one last mission. Inspired by Gerard Way’s comic book series, The Umbrella Academy’s final season picks up with the dysfunctional superhero siblings in a new timeline – and without their powers. And to make things worse, an entirely new villainous threat is determined to wipe the family’s existence from the face of the Earth. Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H Min, Ritu Arya and Colm Feore all return for this delirious show’s climax.



Stream series 3 in Apps > BBC iPlayer from Sunday 11 August. Series 1+2 available now

You wouldn’t think that finance graduates would make for sympathetic lead characters in a TV drama and… you’d be right. But that’s the beauty of Industry. Yes, they’re awful, ruthless and broken human beings, and yet it remains one of TV’s most compelling and fascinating shows. After the – spoilers incoming – epic series 2 finale that saw Harper (Myhla’la Herrold) dismissed from Pierpoint, what will this lone wolf do next? And will it have anything to do with incoming star Kit Harington?


Only Murders In The Building

Find season 4 in Apps > Disney+ or just say “Disney+” from Tuesday 27 August. Seasons 1-3 available now

In season 4 of Only Murders in the Building, our amateur podcasting trio wrestles with the shocking events at the end of season 3 surrounding Charles’ stunt double and friend Sazz Pataki. Their investigation leads them all the way to Los Angeles where a Hollywood studio is readying a film about the Only Murders podcast. As Charles, Oliver and Mabel race back to New York, they embark on an even more epic journey – traversing their building’s courtyard to delve into the twisted lives of the Arconia’s West Tower residents.


The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

Find season 2 in Apps > Prime Video from Thursday 29 August. Season 1 available now

After season 1 became one of the biggest TV debuts in history, we’re heading back to Middle-earth’s Second Age and the ascending evil presence of Sauron (Charlie Vickers) as he continues his vengeful quest for complete power. It was quite the rug pull that the man who saved Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) from drowning would be her (and Middle-earth’s) biggest tormentor. Against a rising tide of darkness, friendships are strained, kingdom falter and the forces of good face their greatest battle.


The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

Find season 1 in On Demand from August. Season 2 available later this year

If you’ve already binged The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live (available in On Demand now), then don’t miss this chapter from The Walking Dead universe. Fan favourite Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is stranded in France after being abducted from the United States, and finds himself caught in the middle of the source of the zombie apocalypse outbreak. The only way to get home? A treacherous journey across the country, with evolved Walkers and terrifying “Burners” lurking around every corner. Melissa McBride also returns as Carol Peletier.


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Image credits: Industry © Bad Wolf Productions

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder © Moonage Pictures / Sally Mais