The TV shows keep happening! Even as production restarts are still theoretical for a number of series, networks are still finding ways to bring new programming to new eyes.
Even more so than past months, the new shows aren’t necessarily “new” in the strictest sense of the word. A number of series airing on American broadcast outlets in the coming weeks have already made their debuts elsewhere, gathering audiences across Australia and the U.K. But the deep content benches from streaming services also translate to some additional unscripted programming getting a late-summer drop that can officially be dubbed a “premiere.”
And among the prestige offerings and steady stream of imports, August is also set to bring one of the first high-profile programming of the quarantine era. After months of trying to parse out what American TV’s immediate future will look like, this batch might be the most indicative yet.
To help plan out the next few weeks of viewing, we’ve included synopses and basic viewing info for over a dozen of these new shows below. (And, as always, in case you’ve missed any of our past monthly roundups, you can find past editions for February, March, April, May, June, and July.)
“Fridge Wars” (Aug. 2, The CW)
This Canadian import is a standoff-style cooking show, with a pair of chefs competing to make the best dish from a set list of ingredients. The twist? The only food they have to work with is a recreation of the contents of a family’s refrigerator. So, imagine culinary experts making plate-ready masterpieces from things like freezer-burned chicken and that big jar of olives you bought on a Costco run in fall 2018.
“Taskmaster” (Aug. 2, The CW)
An underappreciated British game show staple, this competition series isn’t based on trivia or backstabbing or feats of strength. Instead, in each episode, host Greg Davies gives an unexpected task to five contestants who then have to use their smarts (and any other assorted items they’re issued) to find the best route to their objective.
“Coroner” (Aug. 5, The CW)
Originally a CBC production, this series does indeed follow a coroner assisting in solving possible homicides in the city of Toronto. Serinda Swan stars as Dr. Jenny Cooper, who in addition to the new position, is also coming to terms with the sudden death of her husband and the prospect of a new relationship. The series co-stars include Roger Cross, Lovell Adams-Gray, Kiley May, Tamara Podemski, Ehren Kassam, and Éric Bruneau.
“Hitmen” (Aug. 6, Peacock)
Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins play longtime friends in this workplace comedy of sorts. Their workplace just happens to be, uh, assassinating people for money. The six-part season originally premiered via Sky One in the U.K. back in March.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks” (Aug. 6, CBS All Access)
Part of the ever-expanding roster of “Star Trek” offshoots, the franchise’s highest-profile push into the animated world tracks what happens among the Starfleet employees tasked with making one of its least-lauded vessels run. Created by “Rick & Morty” and “Solar Opposites” vet Mike McMahan, the show features the crew of the USS Cerritos, voiced by (among others) Tawny Newsome, Jack Quaid, Noël Wells, Eugene Cordero, and Jerry O’Connell.
“Pan y Circo” (Aug. 7, Amazon Prime Video)
Taking a cue from Jon Favreau’s “Dinner for Five,” Diego Luna steps into the host seat at the table, presiding over a series of mealtime conversations. With a scope that extends beyond the entertainment industry, Luna and guests discuss some of the most divisive global issues at dinner tables in various cities across Mexico. Activists, government officials, and former Luna co-stars are among the list of contributors, who all gather for courses prepared by some of the country’s renowned chefs.
“We Hunt Together” (Aug. 9, Showtime)
A pair of detectives pursue a pair of killers on the loose in this six-part season. Babou Ceesay (who was last seen on Showtime in “Guerrilla,” another U.K. limited series import) and Eve Myles play the law enforcement officials tasked with finding the homicidal two-person team (Hermione Corfield and Dipo Ola) on the loose.
“Five Bedrooms” (Aug. 13, Peacock)
It’s a premise that’s as enticing as it is accurate to the show’s title: As part of an alcohol-fueled idea at a wedding, five strangers decide that it would be a good idea to buy a house together. The rest of these eight episodes track how this group of fast friends face all of life’s ups and downs while they get to know each other in the most immediate way possible.
“Ted Lasso” (Aug. 14, Apple TV+)
Resurrecting a character that first appeared in a series of ads for NBC Sports, Jason Sudeikis stars in this Apple TV+ show about Coach Lasso, a midwestern football coach who’s brought to England to manage a pro soccer team. Co-created by Sudeikis and former “Scrubs” boss Bill Lawrence, the series’ cast also includes Juno Temple.
“Lovecraft Country” (Aug. 16, HBO)
In order to track down his missing father, a young man enlists the help of his uncle and a longtime friend as they embark from the Midwest of the 1950s. A three-person rescue mission across America becomes a collection of horrors of all kinds in this adaptation of Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel. The series, co-created by Misha Green and Jordan Peele, stars Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Courtney B. Vance, and Michael Kenneth Williams.
“Dead Pixels” (Aug. 18, The CW)
While fellow 2020 stateside release “Mythic Quest” looked at online RPGs from the developers’ side, this U.K. import follows a few hardcore fans on the playing side. Alexa Davies, Will Merrick, and Sargon Yelda star as devotees of Kingdom Scrolls and their characters in the online game.
“Love in the Time of Corona” (Aug. 22, Freeform)
Probably the biggest mid-quarantine attempt at programming that looks like pre-March content arrives in this anthology series from “The Fosters” and “Good Trouble” co-creator Joanna Johnson. The four-episode event, broadcast over two nights, features a collection of stories inspired by the events of the last few months, brought to life by couples and other creatives following health protocols. The series stars Leslie Odom Jr., Nicolette Robinson, Tommy Dorfman, Rainey Qualley, Gil Bellows, Rya Kihlstedt, Ava Bellows, and L. Scott Caldwell.
“Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness” (Aug. 27, HBO Max)
The actor — who first made a splash in the documentary world with his 2014 film “Meet the Patels” — returns to the realm of nonfiction for more portraits of life’s fundamental questions. Traveling the world over the course of the four-part season, Patel brings along someone close to him for journeys to different continents and deep conversations along the way.
“Love Fraud” (Aug. 30, Showtime)
Originally set to premiere back in the spring, this documentary series charts the experiences of women who were defrauded by Richard Scott Smith, a hoaxster who used internet dating schemes to extract money from them. From Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, the directing pair behind “Jesus Camp” and “Detropia,” the four-part series follows this group of Smith’s targets as they band together to bring him to justice.
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