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Summer TV preview: For your viewing pleasure, a look at the lineup

Indya Moore as Angel competes in the 1987 ballroom category "Royalty Realness" in a scene from the pilot of "Pose" on FX. Ballroom legends and survivors served as consultants for this and other scenes. (JoJo Whilden/FX)
Indya Moore as Angel competes in the 1987 ballroom category "Royalty Realness" in a scene from the pilot of "Pose" on FX. Ballroom legends and survivors served as consultants for this and other scenes. (JoJo Whilden/FX)
Published May 17, 2018

Get ready for another hot summer of sensational TV. We want crazy thrillers. We want exaggerated plot lines. But don't count out prestigious and gut-wrenching dramas.

The summer TV season begins earlier each year. We're only halfway through May, and there have already been some big premieres, such as Benedict Cumberbatch's miniseries Patrick Melrose on Showtime, Sweetbitter on Starz and another Little Women adaptation on PBS.

So if you were hoping to play catchup on the shows you've already missed this year, the summer TV season is not as empty as you thought it'd be.

There are even more female-centric shows on the calendar. With the success of last season's Big Little Lies, returning on HBO later this year, and, most recently, Killing Eve on BBC America, a cat-and-mouse crime drama starring Sandra Oh, TV execs are continuing to bank on women.

So time to draw the shades, turn up your AC and enjoy a cool summer in the glow of the television light.

NEW The Split, Sundance TV

Written, produced and directed by three women, this drama also stars three women. It's set in London and follows a family of divorce lawyers. When Hannah (Nicola Walker) is denied a promotion from her own mother, she marches over to work for a rival firm with an old flame. To make matters worse, her estranged dad returns to make amends. Watch if you liked The Good Wife but wished the characters had British accents. 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 23

NEW Picnic at Hanging Rock, Amazon

This new adaptation — which comes from two female writers — of the eerie Australian book is definitely darker than the 1975 movie. The premise is still the same: Four young women vanish on Valentine's Day in 1900 while at a school picnic. Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) plays the creepy headmistress. Midnight Friday, May 25

NEW The Tale, HBO

Since we have to wait a little longer for the second season of Big Little Lies, HBO feeds our need for Laura Dern with this profoundly upsetting movie. Her character discovers a short story she wrote when she was 13, which makes her re-examine her first sexual experience. We expect another best actress Emmy nod for Dern. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 26

NEW The Fourth Estate, Showtime

In this docu-series, director Liz Garbus is the fly on the wall as New York Times reporters and editors combat attacks on the press from the Trump administration. You know we'll be watching. 8 p.m. Sunday, May 27

NEW The Break With Michelle Wolf, Netflix

Remember comedian Michelle Wolf? Her speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner caught lots of attention, and mixed reviews. Now she has a weekly half-hour variety-sketch show on Netflix. Recently on Late Night With Seth Meyers, where she used to be a writer, she said, "I would have to say that if you hated the Correspondents' Dinner, you're really going to hate this show." However, if you liked it, her standup special Nice Lady is available on HBO. 3 a.m. Sunday, May 27

NEW Reverie, NBC

Sarah Shahi captivated us in CBS's Person of Interest, and now she stars in this cerebral show about dreaming, sort of like the movie Inception. Shahi plays a former hostage negotiator and expert on human behavior who helps those left in a coma after getting stuck in the reverie. The tagline — "Reverie is a place where the impossible becomes possible" — is extremely hokey, but Shahi gives us hope that this sci-fi series could be small summer hit. 10 p.m. Wednesday, May 30

NEW Pose, FX

The latest project from Ryan Murphy (American Crime Story, Glee) is his most ambitious yet. It stars the largest series regular cast of transgender actors ever in a TV show. Familiar faces Evan Peters, Kate Mara and James Van Der Beek also star. This dance musical series follows a diverse group of people in New York City in 1987, during the rise of "ball culture," a society of outcasts against the yuppie scene. Murphy is said to be donating all the profits to LGBTQ charities. 10 p.m. Sunday, June 3

NEW Dietland, AMC

Julianna Margulies dons a fabulous new wig, this time as Kitty Montgomery, an icy editor of a teen magazine. It's based off the bestseller by Sarai Walker, and follows Plum Kettle (Joy Nash), an overweight writer and advice columnist. Plum Kettle is a real name, you guys. Plum gets involved with a weight-loss guru (Big Little Lies' Robin Weigert) as well as a violent feminist vigilante group named Jennifer. That's quite a lot of story going on here, but this star-heavy series will surely be a fun summer soap. 9 p.m. Monday, June 4

Younger, TVLand

We've waited long enough for the fifth season of this show about a 40-something working for a book publishing company. (The previous seasons are on Hulu.) Broadway groupies, rejoice: Sutton Foster will be joined by Laura Benanti, who will guest star as a self-made billionaire named Quinn who pitches a self-help book to the millennial imprint. 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 5

NEW Condor, Audience Network

We're here for the Brendan Fraser renaissance. Recently, he stole scenes in FX's Trust, and here he plays a nefarious mastermind ready to unleash a plaguelike outbreak. A young CIA analyst, Joe Turner (Max Irons), works to thwart those plans. It's based on Sydney Pollack's 1975 film Three Days of the Condor, starring Robert Redford, and James Grady's novel Six Days of the Condor. 10 p.m. Wednesday, June 6

NEW Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, Freeform

What's a summer without new superheroes? This one comes in for the form of a teen drama, and it's unlike any in the Marvel world. Tyrone and Tandy, a young black man and white woman, are new to their powers as Cloak and Dagger, and together face challenges in a hostile world. Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt star. 8 p.m. Thursday, June 7

NEW American Woman, Paramount

We're all about the half-hour drama, because who has time for anything anymore? Alicia Silverstone plays Bonnie, a wronged woman in the 1970s. She takes her daughters to start a new life without her cheating husband as she and her two besties, played by Mena Suvari and Jennifer Bartels, find their independence. It's inspired by reality star Kyle Richards' real-life story. 10 p.m. Thursday, June 7

Nashville, CMT

Connie Britton left a few seasons ago when ABC canceled the show, and it has been Hayden Panettiere's job to keep the show going. And then her character joined a cult. CMT sure has strung out this last season, cutting it in half and making us wait for the eight-episode final bow. Prepare for the dramatic introduction of Deacon Clayborne's (Charles Esten) estranged father Gideon, played by Ronny Cox. Catch up with the entire series on Hulu. 9 p.m. Thursday, June 7

Sense8, Netflix

After the ambitious sci-fi series was abruptly canceled last summer after two seasons, Netflix did right by its fans and said the series will get a two-hour finale movie. The show, about a cluster of eight people across the world connected by thoughts and actions, was created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski. It's a sensory explosion of drama, giving each character incredible depth. 3 a.m. Friday, June 8

72nd Annual Tony Awards, CBS

Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban host this year's ceremony honoring the best of Broadway. And, oh, what a world we live in, where the most nominated musicals are Mean Girls and SpongeBob. 8 p.m. Sunday, June 10

Claws, TNT

A sisterhood takes on a South Florida mafia in TNT's sassy crime drama starring Niecy Nash. Nash plays Desna, a nail salon owner with big dreams, fancy nails and a ride-or-die crew. While the series is flashy and trashy, each character is complex. If you missed this show last summer, the first season on Hulu. 9 p.m. Sunday, June 10

NEW The Last Defense, ABC

Viola Davis stars in the Shonda Rhimes drama How to Get Away With Murder, and here she brings us a docu-series about the injustices of the justice system. The seven episodes will tell the stories of two death row inmates who are still fighting for their innocence. 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 12

The Bold Type, Freeform

Jane, Kat and Sutton are three ambitious young women who work at Scarlet magazine, a fake version of Cosmopolitan. Hollywood's idea of journalism and the publishing industry is cringe worthy, but the series celebrates female empowerment. And even though it's on a young adult channel, The Bold Type isn't afraid to talk about sex. The first season is available on Hulu. 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12

The Affair, Showtime

The Golden Globe-winning series, created by writer-producer Sarah Treem, started off as a multiperspective take on an affair between characters played by Dominic West and Ruth Wilson. As the drama continued, the wronged spouses, played by Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson, entered the tangled web. Now in its fourth season, new romantic partners are introduced, complicating everything. Because no one on this show can be happy. 9 p.m. Sunday, June 17

NEW Yellowstone, Paramount

On the heels of Netflix's epic Western, Godless, comes Yellowstone from screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the critically acclaimed 2016 movie Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges and Ben Foster. Let it be known that Kevin Costner stars as the patriarch of a family that owns the largest ranch near America's first national park. 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 20

GLOW, Netflix

Time to tease that hair, layer on the eye shadow and pull up your leotard. The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are back. GLOW follows a group of female wanna-be actors in the 1980s who found themselves a part of an experimental wrestling show. The friendship between Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin) is the heart of the show, and after their big fight during last season's finale, we're ready for another round. 3 a.m. Friday, June 29

NEW Castle Rock, Hulu

We'll watch almost anything J.J. Abrams (Lost, Cloverfield) puts his name on. So when he signed on to adapt many of Stephen King's characters and themes into an anthology TV show, we gasped in delight. The ominous trailers are light on the plot lines, however, we know it's set in the creepy fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. The thriller series stars Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise in last summer's It) as an inmate of Shawshank prison. However, we're most excited to see Sissy Spacek, who played the telekinetic high school student in the 1974 adaptation of King's Carrie. 3 a.m. Wednesday, July 25

NEW Making It, NBC

You had us at competitive crafting reality show. Hosted by Parks and Recreation co-stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, each episode will feature crafty contestants working on two projects — one timed, the other themed — and the winner will be crowned Master Maker. Fun fact: Offerman is actually a skilled woodworker. We're thready for all those crafty puns. 10 p.m. Tuesday, July 31

NEW The Innocents, Netflix

We're suckers for teenage supernatural shows. When June (Sorcha Groundsell) learns she's a shape-shifter, her friend Harry (Percelle Ascott) runs away with her to help her find her origin, and her mother who left three years ago. The young lovers discover a whole new world of danger and intrigue. And Guy Pearce. 3 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24

NEW Jack Ryan, Amazon

John Krasinski has become quite the action star since his Office days. Following the success of his movie A Quiet Place, he plays the title role in this TV adaptation of the Tom Clancy book series about a CIA analyst turned agent. After seeing a spike in Prime membership from the trailer debut during the Super Bowl, a second season has already been ordered. But how will he compare to the other Jack Ryans — played by Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck? Here's hoping for one quick camera Jim smirk from Krasinski. 3 a.m. Friday, Aug. 31

Contact Brittany Volk at Follow @bevolk.