“Lady Dynamite” – Friday, May 20
Creator: Mitch Hurwitz
Stars: Maria Bamford, Fred Melamed, Ana Gasteyer, Ed Begley Jr., Mary Kay Place, Lennon Parham, Bridget Everett
Maria Bamford’s been a bit of a legend within the alt-comedy scene for years, but for many people, this will be their first real exposure to Bamford’s fragile yet fiercely funny humor. And they’ll be meeting Bamford in prime Bamford mode, via a very personal, quasi-autobiographical look at her life and her struggles with mental illness while also trying to make it in Hollywood. Get ready for fourth-wall-breaking and hilarious cameos, with a touch of Hurwitz’s classic “Arrested Development” energy. “Lady Dynamite” won’t be like anything else.
“Maya & Marty” – Tuesday, May 31
Creator: Maya Rudolph, Martin Short
Stars: Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Kenan Thompson
Remember when Maya Rudolph and Martin Short shared the Studio 8H stage during “SNL’s” 40th Anniversary Special? It’s okay if you don’t — considering how many celebrities paraded across the stage — but they were also kind of hard to forget. They certainly left an impression on Lorne Michaels, who’s now executive producing the duo’s weekday variety show to air for an hour every Tuesday night. Not much is known about the show’s construction, but Rudolph and Short have promised musical performances, sketches galore and a mountain of guest stars comparable to who showed up for “SNL 40.” Curiosity can be a strong motivator even without such irresistible talent, but with Rudolph (who blew us away with her variety show in 2014) and Short (who’s got a lifetime pass thanks to his groundbreaking “Jiminy Glick” faux-talk show) we’d watch anything they put together.
“Comedy Bang Bang” Season 5 – Friday, June 3
Creator: Scott Aukerman
Stars: Scott Aukerman, Weird Al Yankovic
IFC prides itself on being offbeat, which is why the closest thing it has to a talk show is “Comedy Bang! Bang!”, based on the podcast created by Scott Aukerman. The show, which dances in the unusual space between reality and fiction with its characters and impromptu sketch comedy beats, has an incredible recurring cast including Andy Daly, Nick Kroll, Seth Morris, Thomas Lennon, James Adomian, Paul F. Tompkins, Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. Season 5 features a major change in cast, as Weird Al Yankovic takes over the role of band leader, but hopefully they will never abandon their episode naming scheme: “[Name of Guest Here] Wears A [Detailed Description of Their Outfit].”
“Angie Tribeca” Season 2 – Monday, June 6
Creator: Nancy Carell, Steve Carell
Stars: Rashida Jones, Hayes MacArthur, Jere Burns, Deon Cole
Rashida Jones’ return to TV — this time in a starring role! — knocked our socks off in Season 1. With its constant stream of punny jokes and committed cast members, “Angie Tribeca” filled a void we didn’t even know was there. It’s the new “Police Squad,” a fitting TV follow-up to “Airplane!” and one helluva great spin on “The Naked Gun.” And Season 2 is only going to keep the good times rolling. By taking on the oh-so-serious cop dramas of the new millennium, the TBS comedy is fittingly morphing into a serialized take on serialized dramas. Oh, and there will be even more guest stars! A few key part-time favorites from Season 1 are returning — like Indiewire contributor James Franco — and, based on the first episode, there are bound to be a few more megastars stopping by. Don’t miss out.
“Casual” Season 2 – Tuesday, June 7
Creator: Zander Lehmann
Stars: Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins, Tara Lynne Barr
Hulu made a big move into original programming in 2015, and “Casual” was a big part of its rebranding. Along with “Difficult People,” the comedy marked a strong start to what’s quickly becoming a formidable lineup of exclusives on the streaming service (which is about to become a skinny bundle that includes live programming). Tommy Dewey and Michaela Watkins anchored a unique brother and sister relationship chronicling pivotal points in their respective romantic lives. Throw in a kid who’s got her own issues (Tara Lynne Barr) and “Casual” had all the right ingredients for a landmark modern comedy. We’ll see if it gets any Emmy noms come July, but we’ll have a full other season to dwell on while we wait.
“Uncle Buck” – Tuesday, June 14
Creator: Steven Cragg, Brian Bradley
Stars: Mike Epps, James Lesure, Nia Long
Yes, it’s yet another TV show adapted from a film, but instead of trying to replace John Candy, Mike Epps brings his own unique rhythm to this new ABC comedy. And the supporting cast — including Nia Long and James Lesure — is also really solid. The pilot smoothly brings the original concept into the modern world, so if Epps gets a chance to really breathe, this one could be a great addition to the current population of diverse sitcoms network TV is currently championing.
“Wrecked” – Tuesday, June 14
Creator: Jordan and Justin Shipley
Stars: Zach Cregger, Ginger Gonzaga, Jessica Lowe, Asif Ali, Rhys Darby
So here’s a weird one: In the year 2009, the pitch “What if ‘Lost’ was a comedy?” might have made a lot of sense. In the year 2016, it feels more than a bit dated. But there’s something daring about the fact that creators Jordan Shipley and Justin Shipley are trying to make the relatively dark premise of “a bunch of strangers trapped on a deserted island” into an entertaining comedy. Featuring a relatively unknown but talented ensemble, “Wrecked” may either fall flat or be something truly distinctive.
“Another Period” – Wednesday, June 15
Creators: Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome
Stars: Michael Ian Black, Paget Brewster, Christina Hendricks, Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Jason Ritter and David Wain
Network: Comedy Central
A period comedy version of “The Kardashians” is already a winner on premise. But with an incredible cast that included Michael Ian Black, Paget Brewster, Christina Hendricks, Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Jason Ritter and David Wain, and the basic fact that the richie-riches of early 1900s Connecticut were truly bizarre even before creators Leggero and Lindhome got their hand on them, the first season proved to be pretty special. Here’s hoping that the adventures of the Bellacourts and their household staff will be equally decadent this year.
“Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” Season 2 – Thursday, June 30
Creator: Denis Leary
Stars: Denis Leary, John Corbett, Robert Kelly, Elizabeth Gillies
After seven successful seasons of “Rescue Me,” Denis Leary came back to FX with a show right in his wheelhouse. Leary starred as Johnny Rock, a veteran musician with a sardonic wit who was never the same after losing his band’s guitarist (John Corbett). So, of course, the two reunited, sparks flying the whole time. But Season 1 hit a few speed bumps despite being the perfect fit for Leary. Reviews were tepid, citing a less than revolutionary sound from the man who helped usher in FX as a destination for top-notch TV. Season 2 looks to smooth out the rock-y road after feeling things out through 10 low-rated episodes. You better believe the FX brass is hoping the sophomore outing will catch fire, hopefully thanks to a few catchy tunes.
“Difficult People” Season 2 – Tuesday, July 12
Creator: Julie Klausner
Stars: Julie Klausner, Billy Eichner, James Urbaniak
With a brash voice and two stars belting it to high heaven, “Difficult People” crashed the TV scene in 2015 with eight exciting episodes that dared to obsess over all the things we’re not supposed to obsess over — and making it a smart conversation to boot. Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner were the closest of friends in Season 1, but come Season 2, the fame-craving would-be stars are now headed down opposite paths. Billy wants to find a boyfriend and Julie is trying to keep a deeper commitment from happening with Arthur. But even if their goals are incompatible, you can better believe nothing will come between these two singular spirits.
“Ballers” Season 2 – Sunday, July 17
Creator: Stephen Levinson
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Rob Corddry, John David Washington, Omar Miller, Donovan W. Carter
HBO looked away from its computer screen as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson walked into its office, flashing his million dollar grin. “Hey, there,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said as HBO pretended to be totally cool. “Remember last year? That sure was a good time, am I right?”
Normally, HBO didn’t let itself get so tongue-tied, but with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson standing right there, looking right at it… Well, words escaped HBO.
“So I was thinking,” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said, “that maybe we’d do it again. I’ll get Rob Corddry back, maybe add a few new bros, have some more fun with the whole ‘Entourage’ but sports stuff, right?”
HBO tried to find its voice. HBO thought hard about all the other projects it had in development. But Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was still there. Still smiling. So cool. So smooth.
“Yeah, sure,” HBO said at last. “We did have fun.”
And then Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson gave HBO a bear hug. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was pleased.
“Vice Principals” – Sunday, July 17
Creator: Jody Hill, Danny McBride
Stars: Danny McBride, Walton Goggins, Busy Philipps
Remember “Eastbound & Down,” the cult favorite HBO comedy from Danny McBride and Jody Hill that aired for four brilliant seasons between 2009 and 2014? No, it’s not coming back, but the next best thing is — twice. “Vice Principals” comes from the same devious minds who concocted Kenny Powers, only this time it looks like there’s two of him. McBride stars as a high school administrator who’s in the fight of his life with Walton Goggins for a promotion. Neither of them know what a limit is, let alone have any, and the escalating war between two vice principals will last for at least 18 episodes. HBO picked up the comedy for two seasons, guaranteeing fans that they won’t be done with this ball game in nine innings.
“You’re the Worst” Season 3 – Wednesday, August 31*
Creator: Stephen Falk
Stars: Aya Cash, Chris Geere, Kether Donohue, Desmin Borges
“You’re the Worst” was chosen as one of the Top 5 shows of 2015 here at Indiewire, so you better believe we’re excited for Season 3. We know from the series’ TCA panel — with stars Cash, Geere and Borges as well as creator Stephen Falk — the new year will pick up right where we left off with Gretchen and Jimmy (in the aftermath of some fateful words being shared). Otherwise, we’re largely in the dark, as Falk likes to keep a tight lid on his scripts. After two exquisite seasons, though, we trust everyone involved with the FX comedy completely.
*Bonus show! “You’re the Worst” landed its release date after this list initially ran, but we couldn’t keep it off the list once we found out it was officially a summer release. Catch up on Season 1 on Hulu.