Between long-running series giving their last bow and sophomore efforts from acclaimed freshmen half-hours, you have nothing to worry about: May will give you plenty to catch up on while social distancing.   


Billions 89% (Showtime)

What it is: Showtime’s Billions dramatizes the high-stakes world of Wall Street when Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), a U.S. attorney, sets his sights on bringing down hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Homeland‘s Damian Lewis) for insider trading and other illegal proclivities. In other words, all this real-world talk about one-percenters is rejiggered for some A-grade entertainment with some of the best actors working today.

Why you should watch it: Giamatti has built a career on playing the everyman, and here, he’s fighting for him. The actor’s turn as the hard-hitting U.S. attorney would be reason alone to watch (scenes of surprise BDSM and all), but Billions also boasts a timely, engrossing premise and firecracker performances from Lewis, Maggie Siff, Condola Rashad, Asia Kate Dillon, and a bevy of other supporters that meet Giamatti mark for mark. Season 5 premieres May 3 on Showtime.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 48 hours (for the first four seasons)


RENO 911! 86% (Quibi)

What it is: The hapless and hopeless crew at the Reno, Nevada sheriff’s department are the befuddling subject of this mockumentary series as improv comedians at the top of their game run around the biggest little city in the world stopping crime in its tracks — to less than satisfactory results.

Why you should watch it: “Reno 911!” was one of the first of its mockumentary, workplace comedy kinds upon its Comedy Central premiere in 2003. Plus, it launched the comedy careers of by-this-point industry vets, including Niecy Nash, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Thomas Lennon, and Cedric Yarbrough. The season 7 reboot premieres May 4 on Quibi.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft

Commitment: Approx. 32 hours (for the first six seasons)


Dead to Me 89% (Netflix)

What it is: Christina Applegate stars as Jen with Linda Cardellini as Judy, two widows who bond in a group therapy session through their opposing outlooks on life (the former hardened and angry, the latter new-agey and optimistic). Things in their friendship take a turn, however, when it’s learned that Judy isn’t exactly who she says she is — and she might know something about Jen’s husband’s hit-and-run death.

Why you should watch it: From creator Liz Feldman and co-producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum, Dead to Me was the must-watch, pitch-black comedy of last summer and went on to earn industry vet Applegate a surprise (and well-deserved) Emmy nomination later that year. Plus, with 30-minute episodes, it’s a binge that goes down easy. Season 2 premieres May 8 on Netflix.

Where to watch:  Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 96% (Netflix)

What it is: After Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) is rescued from an underground bunker where she was being held captive by a brainwashing cult leader, she does what any young woman who wants to see the world would do: She moves to New York City! The Netflix comedy is from creators Robert Carlock and Tina Fey, and though it wrapped its acclaimed four-season run early last year, this interactive special is sure to pass the time while in quarantine. Think of it as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, but funnier.

Why you should watch it: Kimmy, her new roommate Titus Andromedon (Tituss Burgess), her new boss Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski), and her landlady Lillian Kaushtupper (Carol Kane) are sure to put a little pep in your step (and for more reasons than the titular hero’s incessant optimism) through their New York misadventures (and misunderstandings). Catch up on the whole thing before the special, which sees our hero face off with her arch nemesis in lead-up to her wedding, drops May 12 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 25 hours (for all four seasons)


The 100 93% (The CW)

What it is: Here’s another intelligent, original take on the post-nuclear apocalypse from Jason Rothenberg for the CW. Set 97 years after nuclear war wiped out humanity, the mere thousands remaining survived by escaping on an ark-like spaceship that remained within Earth’s orbit. The twisty caveat? The series’ title represents the 100 juvenile prisoners who, against their will, are forced out of the Ark and back to Earth to learn if it’s habitable. To their surprise, it turns out that some humans lived through the nuclear war from the century prior — and not all of them are ready to befriend the young visitors.

Why you should watch it: As is the case with much of the CW’s slate of programming, The 100 is led by an impressive ensemble of young, breakout actors who are made all the more impressive by their series’ meatier material. Plus with an air-tight, high-concept foundation, there’s a reason we’ve been coming back for six seasons and counting. Season 7, its final outing, premieres May 20 on the CW.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Netflix, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 60 hours (for the first six seasons)


Homecoming 79% (Amazon Prime)

What it is: Based on the original podcast of the same name and from creators Micah Bloomberg, Eli Horowitz, and Mr. Robot mastermind Sam Esmail, Homecoming stars Julia Roberts as Heidi, an employee at the titular government facility meant to transition soldiers back into daily life post-combat. Told partially through flashback memory, the action of the series picks up when the Department of Defense comes knocking, asking why she left.

Why you should watch it: Craftily told and featuring a behemoth performance from Roberts and If Beale Street Could Talk breakout Stephan James, Homecoming is for anyone who likes their conspiracy dramas served with a twist. Season 2, which stars James and Janelle Monáe, premieres May 22 on Amazon Prime.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)


Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 95% (ABC)

What it is: S.H.I.E.L.D. is the kind of agency you want at your back. Led by fan-favorite Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg, who caused uproar upon his character’s death in 2012’s The Avengers), Marvel Comics’ fictional Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division fights the behind-the-scenes battles that the average human wouldn’t dare face (see: Project Centipede and more). It’s wild, it’s crazy, and it’s been a heck of a fun time for Marvel superfans going for seven seasons strong.

Why you should watch it: Sure, this puzzle piece within the Marvel Cinematic Universe maintains the franchise call-backs and tonally checks all the boxes of what we look for in a Marvel romp, but you don’t have to be a die-hard lover of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and company to fall for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s extraterrestrial adventures and the now-beloved ensemble of characters it has built throughout its 100-plus episodes. Season 7, it’s final installment, premieres May 27 on ABC.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 92 hours (for the first six seasons)


Ramy 96% (Hulu)

What it is: “Ramy” tells the story of a millennial Muslim trying to balance the expectations of his culture and family with his innate desires for something different.

Why you should watch it: This semi-autobiographical dramedy series from comedian Ramy Youssef (who took home a surprise Golden Globe award for his performance on the first season) is a coming-of-ager unlike any other. Drenched in the cultural and religious implications of a Muslim 20-something trying to find his way, it intelligently cuts to the heart of contemporary life in the city (including religion- and race-based prejudice) while still landing a joke. Season 2 premieres May 29 on Hulu.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)

Thumbnail image: Hulu; Sergei Bachlakov/The CW; ABC/Matthias Clamer

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This month’s baker’s dozen of televisual offerings boasts timely, social-conscious comedies and dramas; a pair of reboots of beloved classics; several superhero (and otherwise witchily powered) protagonists; and one of the most engrossing and original cat-and-mouse thrillers of the new millennium. Buckle up, because April’s going to keep you busy!


The Twilight Zone 67% (CBS All Access)

What it is: A reboot of creator Rod Sterling’s eerie and prescient anthological classic from 1959, now hosted and produced by modern master of horror Jordan Peele (an Oscar winner for Get Out and record-breaker for Us)? All we can say is: Sign us up.

Why you should watch it: When it comes to horror series that episodically tackle various social and political matters through a sci-fi and technology-driven lens, Netflix’s Black Mirror has been the buzzy new kid on the block for four seasons strong. But there’s still nothing like the taste of an original, and with Peele at the helm, this Twilight Zone is in more than capable hands. Catch up on the original series then tune in to season 1 of this reboot, which streams on CBS All Access April 1.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 65 hours (for the original first five seasons)


The Last O.G.  (TBS)

What it is: The Last O.G. is a laugh-out-loud comedy series with something to say. Following ex-con Tray (Tracy Morgan) as he readjusts to life in a gentrified Brooklyn after 15 years behind bars, the half-hour is ripe for fish-out-of-water gags while also portraying social matters of the day.

Why you should watch it: Is Jordan Peele taking over the world? Apparently — because he’s also got credits this month as the co-creator of this acclaimed comedy series on TBS. Starring a never-better Morgan and Girls Trip breakout-turned-bonafide star Tiffany Haddish as his estranged ex, there’s no reason why the very funny Last O.G. shouldn’t make your binge list this month. Season 2 premieres April 2 on TBS.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 3.5 hours (for the first season)


Brockmire 98% (IFC)

What it is: After suffering a public meltdown in the aftermath of his wife’s string of affairs, nationally acclaimed sports announcer Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria) turns to drugs and alcohol to cope. Then one day, 10 years later, he decides to pick himself up, move to a small town, and get back to work calling games for the minor league Morristown Frackers.

Why you should watch it: Six-time Emmy winner Azaria is perhaps best known for his voice work on The Simpsons, but it’s always a pleasure to watch him get to work in front of the camera. The laughs still land. To watch his growth through the titular Brockmire’s character arc in the first two seasons is simply great (and easily binge-able) comedic TV — and that’s not to mention the firecracker energy Amanda Peet brings as Azaria’s co-lead. Season 3 premieres April 3.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 6.5 hours (for the first two seasons)


Cloak and Dagger 87% (Freeform)

What it is: Marvel is at its best when highlighting young heroes who are in over their head while learning the gifts and limits to their newfound superpowers. Cloak & Dagger comes with the twist that Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson’s powers — emitting light and engulfing in darkness, respectively — are the yin to the other’s yang, inexplicably connected and best when joined together. Their vastly different backgrounds make them unlikely partners, as do their growing feelings for one another.

Why you should watch it: The chemistry between leads Tandy (Olivia Holt) and Tyrone (Aubrey Joseph) is the kind of urgent magnetism you can’t look away from — which makes a season 1 binge of this teen-oriented action-drama series go down easy. See what all the buzz is about before season 2 premieres on Freeform April 4.  

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 7 hours (for the first season)


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 81% (Netflix)

What it is: Based on the beloved Archie comic and from creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, this iteration of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has a dark and spooky twist, charting the titular witch’s (Kiernan Shipka) coming of age as she’s forced to choose between human normalcy and her magic’s haunting lore.

Why you should watch it: Who says Halloween can’t come early? Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a hit out the gate last fall upon its debut, which was followed up by a Christmas special, satiating the appetites of Riverdale fans and the Melissa Joan Hart ’90s series alike. Lucky for you, even more chilling adventures await this month. Season 2 premieres April 5.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 11 hours (for the first season)


The Tick 95% (Amazon Prime)

What it is: Creator Ben Edlund brings beloved comic-book The Tick to Amazon Prime, where his titular hero (here played by Peter Serafinowicz) tries to save his city from the presumed-dead supervillain secretly pulling political strings in the underground: the Terror.

Why you should watch it: The Tick finds the perfect blend between superheroic, shoot-’em-up action and silly camp and comedy. Plus, the bromance between Serafinowicz’s hero and his unassuming sidekick, Arthur (Griffin Newman), is one for the books.

Where to watch it: Amazon

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)


The Chi (Showtime)

What it is: You’ve never seen Chicago like this. Created by Master of None Emmy winner Lena Waithe, this Showtime series portrays the city’s South Side neighborhood as a tapestry of want and need, violence and love, and altogether human after our central four heroes (played by Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore, and Alex R. Hibbert) are brought together in unexpected ways after one life- and community-altering event.

Why you should watch it: The Chi is an unflinching, authentic, and timely coming-of-age drama boasting some of the best actors and writers — well-known and otherwise — working today. While the series’ namesake city has become a talking point of good and bad on Capitol Hill, it offers a timely look at some of the social and justice issues being debated in that spotlight today while still being nuanced, character-driven entertainment. Season 2 premieres on Showtime April 7.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)


Killing Eve 89% (BBC America)

What it is: From the mind of Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve is a female-driven cat-and-mouse espionage thriller between a globetrotting assassin, Villanelle (Jodie Comer), and a MI5 security operative, the titular Eve (Sandra Oh).

Why you should watch it: There is something so effortlessly watchable and utterly likable about Oh, and the fact that Killing Eve gives her the opportunity to flex that charm (and brains and brawn and sensuality — the list goes on) as a top-billed leading lady is reason enough to watch. The fact that she’s met mark-for-mark by relative newcomer Comer is the reason you’ll stick around for the binge and want more when you’re done. Season 2 premieres on BBC America April 7.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft

Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)


Game of Thrones 89% (HBO)

What it is: This critical darling and fan-favorite fantasy series needs no introduction. Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, Game of Thrones charts the rise and fall of families and kingdoms in the mythical Westeros as one after another fights for the Iron Throne.

Why you should watch it: Over the course of its seven seasons, Game of Thrones has tapped into the cultural zeitgeist, become Monday’s mandatory water-cooler conversation, and stirred national debate on what’s to come for its ensemble of beloved characters. Fan theories abound, so if you’re new to Westeros, stay away from Reddit until you’re all caught up. We promise it’s an adventure you don’t want to miss. Season 8 (its last) premieres on HBO April 14.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HBO Now, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 65 hours (for the first seven seasons)


Bosch 97% (Amazon Prime)

What it is: Titus Welliver stars as Harry Bosch, a steely, determined homicide detective keeping watch over the City of Angels in this Amazon Prime original series. Each season follows one major case and strikes the perfect balance between contemporary crime grit and smooth, yesteryear noir.

Why you should watch it: Bosch may be the best crime series you’ve never heard of. Change that! Co-creator Eric Ellis Overmyer is a seasoned vet of the genre, with roots planted firmly in the crime genre. Homicide: The Movie and Law & Order both earned him Emmy nominations in 2000 and 2002, respectively. He knows his way around the daily dramas of LAPD homicide and proves the perfect collaborator for the source material’s author, Michael Connelly. Season 5 premieres on Amazon Prime April 19.

Where to watch: Amazon

Commitment: About 30 hours (for the first four seasons)


Cobra Kai 93% (YouTube Premium)

What it is: Cobra Kai charts the re-opening of The Karate Kid’s infamous Cobra Kai dojo from none other than Johnny Lawrence himself. It makes for a modern-day twist on the classic 1980s film franchise.

Why you should watch it: It’s 2018, and nostalgia is the name of the game. Luckily, Cobra Kai, from creator Robert Mark Kamen, has it in spades. Featuring committed performances from Karate Kid original players Ralph Macchio as Daniel and William Zabka as Johnny, this reboot feels as comfortable and entertaining as ever, and it’s further brought to life by an ensemble of young actors finding their own footing in the discipline of karate. Season 2 premieres on YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red) April 24.

Where to watch it: YouTube Premium

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)


The 100 93% (The CW)

What it is: Here’s another intelligent, original take on the post-nuclear apocalypse from Jason Rothenberg for the CW. Set 97 years after nuclear war wiped out humanity, the mere thousands remaining survived by escaping on an ark-like spaceship that remained within Earth’s orbit. The twisty caveat? The series’ title represents the 100 juvenile prisoners who, against their will, are forced out of the Ark and back to Earth to learn if it’s habitable. To their surprise, it turns out that some humans lived through the nuclear war from the century prior — and not all of them are ready to befriend the young visitors.

Why you should watch it: As is the case with much of the CW’s slate of programming, The 100 is led by an impressive ensemble of young, breakout actors who are made all the more impressive by their series’ meatier material. Plus with an air-tight concept as its foundation, there’s a reason we’ve been coming back for five seasons now. Season 6 premieres April 30.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Netflix, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 50 hours (for the first five seasons)

Thumbnail photo credits: Game of Thrones by Helen Sloane/HBO; Cobra Kai for YouTube Premium; Killing Eve for BBC AMERICA/Sid Gentle Films Ltd.

Looks like April showers bring a heaping dose of science fiction entertainment along with those May flowers — we’re not complaining! — including a Lost in Space reboot and the return of Westworld, The Expanse, and The Handmaid’s Tale (plus, of course, other comedies and dramas for good measure). We’ve got you covered with everything worth catching up on this month before new installments hit your small screen.


The Expanse 94% (Syfy)

THE EXPANSE -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Steven Strait as Earther James Holden (Jason Bell/Syfy)

What it is: Based on the series of novels by James S. A. Corey (the pen name of collaborators Daniel Abraham and T Franck), this space-hopping science fiction series follows Earth-bound United Nations executive Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), asteroid belt-dwelling police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), and officer of an ice freighter Jim Holden (Steven Strait, pictured) as they uncover a conspiracy that risks intergalactic peace within disparate colonies and the survival of humanity as they know it.

Why you should watch it: We see enough social and political turmoil here on Earth to know that if and when we expand our humanly horizons to other planets in the solar system, tension is likely to continue. Here, it just makes for great TV with some timely allegorical themes to spare. Season 3 premieres April 11.

Where to watch it: AmazonFandangoNowGoogle PlayMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Lost in Space (CBS)

What it is: A classic of the genre, 1965’s Lost in Space from Irwin Allen tells the story of the Robinson family, a clan of space colonists who must adapt to survive after their ship gets flung off course (living up to the series’ title) and crash lands on an alien planet. From there, they’re met with increasing intergalactic dangers with each passing day.

Why you should watch it: The original Lost in Space is one of those series that every sci-fi lover should watch simply because of the influence it wielded over future series of the genre to come — whether it be The Expanse above, or the forthcoming Netflix reboot of the same name. At three seasons and 83 episodes, the original makes for a full week of binge-watching entertainment and cultural education all in one. Netflix’s reboot premieres April 13.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoft

Commitment: Approx. 83 hours


Fear the Walking Dead 75% (AMC)

Jenna Elfman as Naomi, Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

What it is: An extension of the zombie apocalypse world of AMC mega-hit The Walking Dead, Fear starts in Los Angeles, showing how city dwellers deal with the virus outbreak.

Why you should watch it:  The season 4 premiere on April 15 features a crossover with the mothership, when Morgan (Lennie James) from The Walking Dead shows up.

Where to watch it: AmazonFandangoNowGoogle PlayMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 27.5 hours


Into the Badlands 84% (AMC)

What it is: Into the Badlands, starring Daniel Wu (pictured), promised to be an exciting genre-fusion of post-apocalyptic Western–Kung Fu, and it hasn’t lost its bite over the course of two standout seasons. Set 500 years after a global war that destroyed today’s world as we know it, the series explores the struggle for power among the feudal lord barons, their lowly contemporaries, and their world’s lawless nomads in a post-society landscape.

Why you should watch it: Here’s another futuristic action-thriller seeped with timely themes. Set in a world where guns are no longer in use, war combat and protection has resorted to martial arts and melee weapons. Not only is it a creative twist on the shoot-em-up style of most sci-fi epics, but it also makes for some of the most thrilling actions sequences on TV today. Season 3 premieres April 22.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, NetflixMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 11 hours


Westworld 81% (HBO)

Westworld Season 2 Season 2: Jeffrey Wright. photo: HBO

What it is: In this hit series, the titular Westworld is a vacation destination for regular men and women to live out their most elaborate — and at times, sickening — fantasies in a Wild West–inspired society manipulated by behind-the-scenes programmers and otherwise populated by near-human artificially intelligent hosts. The series’ main action begins, however, when Westworld’s hosts begin realizing they may have more control over their false reality than they think.

Why you should watch it: Did any other new series excite and divide critics and audiences in quite the same way as Westworld? Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s HBO debut marks one of the most thought provoking and epic sci-fi dramas seen on the pay cable channel to date. Matched with its ambition are breathtaking performances from Hollywood heavy-hitters as varied as Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright (pictured), Thandie Newton, James Marsden, and Ed Harris. Season 2 premieres April 22.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HBO NowMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 10 hours


The 100 93% (The CW)

What it is: Here’s another intelligent, original take on the post-nuclear apocalypse from Jason Rothenberg for the CW. Set 97 years after nuclear war wiped out humanity, the mere thousands remaining survived by escaping on an ark-like spaceship that remained within Earth’s orbit. The twisty caveat? The series’ title represents the 100 juvenile prisoners who, against their will, are forced out of the Ark and back to Earth to learn if it’s habitable. To their surprise, it turns out that some humans lived through the nuclear war from the century prior — and not all of them are ready to befriend the young visitors.

Why you should watch it: As is the case with much of the CW’s slate of programming, The 100 is led by an impressive ensemble of young, breakout actors who are made all the more impressive by their series’ meatier material. Plus with an air-tight concept as its foundation, there’s a reason we’ve been coming back for four seasons now. Season 5 premieres April 24.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, NetflixMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 40 hours


Genius 71% (National Geographic)

What it is: From creators Kenneth Biller and Noah Pink and executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer comes National Geographic’s first major foray into prestige television, Genius. An intimate, life-charting look into history’s greatest minds and personalities, season 1 follows Geoffrey Rush (pictured) as Albert Einstein, and season 2, which premieres April 24, follows Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso.

Why you should watch it: An enthralling premise that’s ultimately as educational as it is entertaining (as the very best of narrative nonfiction is), Genius’s first outing rightfully earned a handful of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and was widely regarded as one of the year’s best programming options. While you don’t have to watch Einstein to understand Picasso, we recommend you do simply for the quality time spent.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours


Archer 90% (FXX)

ARCHER -- "Season 9, Episode 1 (FXX)

What it is: Even the sleekest of action-packed espionage thrillers have an air of cartoonish hyperbole to them (James Bond’s invisible car, anyone?), but FXX’s Archer does away with that suspension of belief by making the whole thing a cartoon to begin with. The half-hour comedy from creator Adam Reed can land a joke as deftly as its titular man-child spy can land a punch, so expect to be thrilled while laughing yourself silly.

Why you should watch it: Over eight hit seasons, Archer has never shied away from genre experimentation — season 8’s Archer Dreamland was a particular highlight. Season 9 continues the genre-jumping trend with Danger Island, which sees Archer not as the ass-kicking spy of ISIS we know from earlier carnations, but as an alcoholic seaplane pilot living in a supposed paradise at the brink of World War II. We’ll also be treated, of course, to Danger Island re-imaginings of all our favorite Archer characters and the voice actors behind them. To truly appreciate the new season, viewers need to have the emotional and intellectual foundation of the seasons before it; that’s where the payoff is. Danger Island premieres April 25.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 35 hours


Brockmire 98% (IFC)

What it is: After suffering a public meltdown in the aftermath of his wife’s string of affairs, nationally acclaimed sports announcer Jim Brockmire (Hank Azaria, pictured) turns to drugs and alcohol to cope until one day, 10 years later, deciding to pick himself up, move to a small town, and get back to work calling games for the minor league Morristown Frackers.

Why you should watch it: Six-time Emmy winner Azaria is perhaps best known for his voice work on The Simpsons, but it’s always a pleasure to watch him get to work in front of the camera. The laughs still land. To watch his growth through the titular Brockmire’s character arc in season 1 is simply great (and easily binge-able) comedic TV — and that’s not to mention the firecracker energy Amanda Peet (pictured) brings as Azaria’s co-lead. Season 2 premieres April 25.

Where to watch it: AmazonGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 3 hours


The Handmaid's Tale 83% (Hulu)

Elisabeth Moss in THE HANDMAID'S TALE (Take Five/Hulu)

What it is: Set in a not-too-distant future and adapted from Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is the harrowing imagining of a society where fertile women are forced into slavery to help procreate for society’s rich and powerful. A gripping and prescient look at modern patriarchy’s darkest corners (and possible futures), it’s one of the few programs airing today that truly is must-watch TV.

Why you should watch it: Last year, The Handmaid’s Tale became the first-ever streaming series to take home the Television Academy’s top honor: the Emmy for best drama. It has big expectations to live up to with season 2, which expands upon the Atwood book that was adapted in full through season 1. But with one of the most formidable ensembles on TV — both Elisabeth Moss (pictured) and Ann Dowd took home Emmys, as well — we’d follow them and their female-heavy behind-the-camera creatives anywhere — including to Gilead. Season 2 premieres April 22.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours


Quantico 70% (ABC)

What it is: Named after the real-life FBI Academy in Virginia, creator Joshua Safran’s Quantico follows Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra, pictured) who, once graduating from the academy and becoming an agent, is arrested for treason after becoming a prime suspect in a terrorist attack on Grand Central Station. The first season runs with two timelines: one depicting Alex’s arrest and eventual escape to prove her innocence, and the other depicting her time training with her colleagues to become an agent. The question lingers then: If not Alex, then who’s the sleeper terrorist in their midst?

Why you should watch it: Quantico rightfully earned acclaim for its diverse cast, namely for employing Chopra as as the first South Asian actress to headline a network series. Its representational landmarks aside, the series holds up as a tightly knit cat-and-mouse thriller. Season 3 premieres April 26.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, NetflixMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Elementary 95% (CBS)

What it is: A contemporary (and gender-bending) update on the classic Sherlock Holmes, Elementary is a New York crime procedural starring Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as the iconic Holmes himself (both pictured). Watson begins as Holmes’ sober companion (the ex–Scotland Yard consultant is also a recovering drug addict), but as the series progresses, she becomes his apprentice and partner in solving NYPD’s most chin-scratching crimes.

Why you should watch it: Lucy Liu is endlessly watchable in just about anything, so her involvement in this Robert Doherty series is reason enough to tune in. But Elementary is more than just a spellbinding leading lady and a clever play on an old classic. Tune in for a few episodes and you’ll see why it’s caught audiences’ devotion for five years and 120 episodes strong. Season 6 premieres April 30.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNowGoogle Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 88 hours

This week in TV news, American Gods has found its Shadow Moon, Harrison Ford will host a TV special about Disney’s Star Wars Land, Kit Harington knows nothing about Jon Snow, and more!


RICKY WHITTLE CAST AS SHADOW MOON IN STARZ’S AMERICAN GODS

The 100 -- "Resurrection" -- Image: HU213B_0422 -- Pictured: Ricky Whittle as Lincoln -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Neil Gaiman’s beloved fantasy novel American Gods, which is being adapted for television by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green for Starz, has found it’s Shadow Moon!  Ricky Whittle has been cast in the lead role, and Gaiman couldn’t be happier. In a statement to press he said, “I’m thrilled that Ricky has been cast as Shadow. His auditions were remarkable. The process of taking a world out of the pages of a book, and putting it onto the screen has begun. American Gods is, at its heart, a book about immigrants, and it seems perfectly appropriate that Shadow will, like so much else, be Coming to America. I’m delighted Ricky will get to embody Shadow. Now the fun starts.” The British-born actor is presently a series regular on CW’s drama, The 100, and also appeared on NCIS, Mistresses, and in the movie Austenland. Now it’s time to find Mr. Wednesday!


HARRISON FORD TO REVEAL PLANS FOR STAR WARS LAND THEME PARK EXTENSIONS ON THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY: DISNEYLAND 60

dis - solo
 Harrison Ford will introduce the Star Wars Land theme park expansions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World as part of The Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 special. Dancing with the Stars champion Derek Hough will host the celebratory special which, aside from unveiling some of the park plans, will also include such guests as actor Josh Gad, fellow DWTS pro Witney Carson, and Elton John, who will be debuting a new song called “Wonderful Crazy Night.” Also reported, Gad will present a tour of Walt Disney’s private apartment and the Disneyland Dream Suite, while Hough and Carson will perform dance tributes to music from key Disney titles. The special will air Sunday, Feb. 21 on ABC.

AVA DUVERNAY’S NEW SERIES QUEEN SUGAR WILL HAVE ALL WOMEN DIRECTORS

ava_duvernay_queen_sugar
After being ordered straight to series last year by Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, pre-production on Selma director Ava DuVernay’s first television series Queen Sugar is moving forward. Last week True Blood regular Rutina Wesley was cast in the lead role, with DuVernay announcing this week that the series will have an all-women directorial team. Although no names are attached yet, DuVernay did reveal many of the directors come from the “black independent film space.” DuVernay also announced on Twitter that Omar Dorsey (Battle Creek),  (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), and Kofi Siriboe (Awkward) have also joined the cast. Queen Sugar follows a woman who relocates with her teenage daughter from Los Angeles to Louisiana to claim an inheritance — an 800-acre sugarcane farm.

IN OTHER CASTING NEWS, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON‘S BREAKOUT STAR, COREY HAWKINS, WILL STAR IN FOX’S 24 REVIVAL SERIES; MILEY CYRUS AND WOODY ALLEN GET THEIR AMAZON ON

Corey Hawkins!
Corey Hawkins, whose Dr. Dre portrayal in Straight Outta Compton has won him accolades, has been cast in the leading role of Eric Carter in the new 24 revival series.  This is 24: Legacy and will center on a new journey for military hero Carter who has returned home only to discover trouble has followed him back to the U.S.  In order to save his life and to impede a possible terrorist attack on the US, Carter must enlist the help of our favorite behind the scenes heroes… the CTU, whose former head officer will be played by Miranda Otto of Lord of the Rings fame.

Also in casting news, Miley Cyrus has been cast alongside Elaine May as the stars of the new as-of-yet untitled Woody Allen TV series for Amazon. There is no drop date yet for the series, but be on the lookout for more on that front soon.


KIT HARINGTON ASSURES FANS THAT JON SNOW IS DEAD

TV STILL -- DO NOT PURGE -- episode 510 -- GAME OF THRONES, titled "Mother’s Mercy." Pictured: Kit Harington as Jon Snow Photographer: HBO
In a recent interview with BBC News, Kit Harington suggested that Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t get their hopes up, and assured everyone that his beloved character, Jon Snow, “…is dead, I’m afraid.” But the internet seems to think that the young wolf doth protest too much. Paparazzi photos of Harrington on the set of Game of Thrones have fueled the flames of Jon Snow’s much speculated survival. We’ll just have to wait and see. Game of Thrones season six returns on April 24th.

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