(Photo by Hulu)
Updated January 3, 2022
The top shows on Hulu include some of the most prestigious and binge-worthy series out there. The Handmaid’s Tale’s instant success helped establish itself as one of the best shows on Hulu and the streamer as a major player in the originals game. Other Hulu shows have since become known as buzz-worthy and prestige programs, and the addition of FX on Hulu has added the cable network’s titles to the Hulu list.
Just consider some of the newest additions to our list, Certified Fresh at 100% and 98% respectively. First up there’s Only Murders In the Building, the madcap comedy mystery series starring Steve Martin, Martin, Short, and Selena Gomez. And then there’s the groundbreaking Reservation Dogs, a hilarious new series from co-creators Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi about four young indigenous teens in Oklahoma.
Parent company Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox also means that new Hulu TV shows can appear both on cable channel FX and streaming service Hulu, and that FX and FXX series like Atlanta, Better Things, Justified, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and Nip/Tuck can now be found on the streaming platform too, alongside existing originals Pen15, Castle Rock (based on Stephen King’s works), Harlots, Shrill, Catch-22, and Veronica Mars.
Rotten Tomatoes has put together a guide to every single Fresh-rated Hulu, FX, FX on Hulu, and National Geographic series you can stream on the service. To be included in our list of the best Hulu series, titles must be Fresh (60% or higher on the Tomatometer) and have at least 10 reviews, including episodic reviews like those on horror anthology series Into The Dark.
Recently Added: Score changes following the debut of the second half of Pen15 season 2.
Thumbnail image: Rafy Winterfeld/FX
From DC Comics superheroes to biker gang antiheroes, March 2021 has 10 freshly reviewed series worthy of a binge before premiering new seasons later this month. And in the case of Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, we’ve even got you catching up on some fan-favorite ’90s features. So grab the popcorn and get ready to dig in!
What it is: Grant Gustin is a crime scene investigator–turned–crime scene vigilante Barry Allen (aka the Flash, the lightning-enhanced fastest man alive). The story follows Barry’s crime-fighting adventures alongside a group of friends with their own special abilities.
Why you should watch it: You don’t gain an adoring following like that of The Flash without bringing edge-of-your-seat comic-book action and suspense, lovable characters and story arcs, and pitch-perfect performances week to week. Gustin, in particular, is a star. Equal parts charming and high-octane in all the right ways, this DC Comics offering keeps us coming back for more. Season 7 premieres March 2 on the CW.
Commitment: Approx. 96 hours (for the first 6 seasons)
What it is: Creator Jenna Bans (previously of Desperate Housewives and Scandal) brings her soapy creative chops to this unlikely network dramedy about three housewives — sisters Beth and Annie and their friend Ruby — who turn to burglary when put in a financial bind (mortgage defaulting, losing custody of her child, and healthcare crises, respectively). Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman, and Retta star.
Why you should watch it: Good Girls is nothing if not tonally adventurous, finding a ripe balance between high stakes, heartbreaking drama, bits of fish-out-of-water levity, and criminal thrills. Throw in a trio of layered performances from Hendricks, Whitman, and Retta — all of whom are always welcome presences onscreen — and it’s no wonder the series is going three years strong. Season 4 premieres March 7 on NBC.
Commitment: Approx. 25.5 hours (for the first 3 seasons)
What it is: Set on the blistering California-Mexico border, this Sons of Anarchy spinoff from creators Elgin James and Kurt Sutter follows Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo), who’s freshly released from prison and now a new prospect in the titular biker gang. But with intersecting familial loyalties at play while he charts life as an outlaw, the drama and violence quickly ratchets up.
Why you should watch it: Pardo delivers a star-making turn as our central protagonist, and co-stars Clayton Cardenas as EZ’s brother Angel, Edward James Olmos as their father Felipe, and their ensemble of largely Latinx performers all meet him mark for bloody mark. Season 3 premieres March 16 on FX.
Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first 2 seasons)
What it is: Staged dives deep into how actors are facing the present day. David Tennant and Michael Sheen star as two West End actors whose play has been postponed due to the coronavirus-induced industry shutdown. Rehearsals, meanwhile, continue by video call, to cringingly comedic results.
Why you should watch it: They say that tragedy plus time is comedy — but how do you get to comedy from tragedy if you’re still sitting in the thick of it? Why, you add in Tennant and Sheen, of course! That’s the winning formula, at least, for Staged, which brilliantly put a meta spin on the stagnated lives of working stage actors during this last year of the pandemic. Comfortingly playing off of its leads’ chemistry while dramatizing the too-close-for-comfort past via a Zoom screen, the series does little wrong. Season 2 premieres March 16 on Hulu.
Commitment: Approx. 2.5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: In 2017, Genius marked National Geographic’s first major foray into prestige television. An intimate, life-charting look into history’s greatest minds and personalities, season 1 follows Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, season 2 follows Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso, and now the long-awaited season 3 follows Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin. Better yet, this latest iteration also taps consummate playwright and Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks as showrunner.
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’ first outings rightfully earned a fistful of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. While you of course don’t have to watch the seasons on Einstein and Picasso to understand Aretha, we recommend you do simply for the quality time spent. Season 3 premieres March 21 on National Geographic.
Commitment: Approx. 14.5 hours (for the first 2 seasons)
What it is: Martin Freeman took his international stardom from The Hobbit film series and Sherlock and did something unlikely: turned the lens on his personal life and co-created a passion project about modern day parenting. Also serving as star and executive producer, he plays Paul, partner to Ally (Daisy Haggard) and father to Luke and Ava.
Why you should watch it: In title, it’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to the procreative practices of heterosexual couples. In practice, it’s a refreshingly unflinching look at the good, bad, and ugly realities of parenthood—new parents be warned! Season 2 premieres March 22 on FX.
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Lauren Graham will never stop playing the small-screen mom of our dreams — and we love that for us! In this new The Mighty Ducks sequel series, she stars as Alex, a mom who encourages her son, Evan, to start his own youth hockey team when he doesn’t make the cut for the titular Ducks, who now stand as the junior league’s elite program.
Why you should watch it: Emilio Estevez returns to the franchise as the Mighty Ducks’ original coach Gordon Bombay. Graham stars as the dutifully supportive mother who sets the series’ action in motion. An ensemble of fresh-faced young actors hilariously steal the show, just like the films before it. What more do you want!? To get ready for it all, we’re recommending you watch the three original Mighty Ducks films from 1992–1992 (D1, D2, and D3), and the single season of Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers premieres March 26 on Disney+.
Commitment: Approx. 5.2 hours (for D1, D2, and D3) and approx. 13 hours (for Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series)
What it is: Rick and Morty collaborators Mike McMahan and Justin Roiland reteam here to tell the story of an alien family who flee their home planet after it’s destroyed by an asteroid and wind up seeking refuge in middle America’s suburbia.
Why you should watch it: This adult-skewing animated series is as bizarre and deranged as it is sincere, zeroing in on contemporary humanity from the perspective of loveable if out-of-place extraterrestrials. Season 2 premieres March 26 on Hulu.
Commitment: Approx. 3.5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge star in this 1990s-set police drama from creator Chuck MacLean as a respected veteran FBI agent with questionable (see: corrupt) tactics and a Black district attorney new on the scene, respectively. Together, however, they form an unlikely alliance to take on the rotten underbelly of Boston’s bureaucracy.
Why you should watch it: Our two leads are given enough scenery chewing here to elevate even the more meandering moments of their push for justice to top-tier entertainment for fans of the genre. The series’ fictionalized account of how Boston turned its justice system around from the inside out while tackling spiking street crime is nothing if not engaging. Plus, the accents! Season 2 premieres March 28 on Showtime.
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Beloved British collaborators David Mitchell and Robert Webb (Peep Show) reunite on Simon Blackwell’s Back as estranged foster brothers Stephen and Andrew who themselves are reunited after the death of their father — for better or worse.
Why you should watch it: As the birthson of the deceased, Stephen, Mitchell plays a perfect increasingly tense straight-man to Webb’s Andrew, the long-forgotten foster brother who returns out of the blue to reconnect. It doesn’t help, either, that the two are placed at odds while taking over the family business. But for the most part, it’s just a great joy to see the two performers riffing off of each other with pitch-black comedic scripts from the acclaimed Blackwell (Veep, In the Loop) after a four-year hiatus. Season 2 premieres March 31 on IFC.
Commitment: Approx. 2.5 hours (for the first season)
Thumbnail image: The CW; NBC; Eric Ogden/Showtime
(Photo by FX)
Fall TV is upon us, and there is so much coming your way this month! Check out 13 shows you should catch up on over the long Labor Day weekend and beyond.
Why you should watch it: To get ready for the next chapter in the Sons of Anarchy saga. There’s a lot riding on Mayans M.C. — and there’s a lot to look forward to when it premieres September 4. The new series follows Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo), who’s newly released from prison and now a new prospect in the titular biker gang. Fans of Sons of Anarchy know well enough what’s in store for them with this much-anticipated spin-off: a character-driven, tightly woven, violent (at times even grisly) drama. The new series also stars Edward James Olmos, Clayton Cardenas, and Sarah Bolger.
Commitment: Approx. 66 hours
Why you should watch it: You don’t become one of the longest-running live-action comedies of all time by sitting on your laurels and getting lazy about the laughs. It’s Always Sunny lays them on thick and fearlessly week to week for 12-going-on-13 seasons strong. That’s a lot to binge — so get to it! Season 13 premieres September 5.
Commitment: Approx. 50 hours
Why you should watch it: While Iron Fist was admittedly not as well received as its Marvel-on-Netflix counterparts, if you’re a fan of the universe, it’s definitely worth tuning in to orient yourself in the world of Marvel’s The Defenders, which also includes Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), and Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who also recently had a second season in which Danny Rand appears. We recommend at least binging Iron Fist season 1 and The Defenders before the former’s September 7 season 2 premiere. Here’s hoping Danny Rand’s new solo outing learned from its missteps the first round.
Commitment: Approx. 48 hours for the three seasons
Why you should watch it: By transporting us to a gritty world of sex, drugs, and an American Dream that’s foreign to most audiences today, The Deuce further proves Simon’s talent for creating series that are absolutely singular and authentic. Plus with talent like Gyllenhaal and Franco attached, it certainly ranks within prestige TV’s must-watch club. Season 2 premieres September 9.
Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours
Why you should watch it: It’s tricky to strike the balance between broad comedy and aching drama, but it’s a skill that Shameless has perfected since its 2011 debut. Credit where it’s due: Rossum is an absolutely fearless knockout who bests herself season to season. (Soak up this performance while you can — Rossum recently indicated on Facebook that this season might be her last.) It’s an excellent ensemble, and you can’t help but love the Gallagher family (even when they don’t make it easy), but watching the actress and Oscar-nominee Macy go toe-to-toe as the central headstrong daughter and father just gets better with age. Season 9 premieres Sept. 9.
Commitment: Approx. 89 hours
Why you should watch it: Now going for eight seasons strong and a favorite of critics and audiences alike, this anthological series never ceases to spook. And with returning favorites like Jessica Lange (who won two Emmys for her work on previous seasons) and Ryan Murphy mainstay Sarah Paulson, among many others (Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, and Emma Roberts), Apocalypse is shaping up to be its best outing yet.
Commitment: Approx. 70 hours
Why you should watch it: It’s not often that an alcoholic horse and a fictionalized Hollywood full of as many flawed humans as talking animals teaches you about yourself, but this one does — trust us! While it’s an acquired taste for any viewer, there’s reason BoJack’s blend of pitch-black humor and weighty human circumstance has gained such a cult following over the last four seasons. Catch up before season 5 premieres September 15.
Where to watch it: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours
Why you should watch it: There’s no doubt that television has been attracting some top-tier talent to the small screen over the last few years, and a series like 9-1-1 — with an ensemble including Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, and Peter Krause paired with a producer like Ryan Murphy — is that trend seen at its very best. Fun, over-the-top escapism abounds in this drama series, but never at the expense of its heart.
Commitment: Approx. 7 hours
Why you should watch it: Young Sheldon provides something that we haven’t seen before: a reinterpretation of a beloved multi-camera sitcom character as a single-camera, family-friendly, and heartwarming dramedy. Better yet, because this is a prologue series to Jim Parson’s Sheldon, our protagonist’s mother, Mary, is played by Zoe Perry, the real-life daughter of Laurie Metcalf, who stars as the same character on The Big Bang Theory! It’s a small-screen first. Season 2 premieres September 24.
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours
Why you should watch it: Will we ever live in a world where there’s too much Marvel? So long as the universe’s crop of series are of the caliber of The Gifted, we’re inclined to say no. Just like the very best releases from the X-Men franchise, this series is heavy on the action, while also packing an emotional punch — and it even delves into political territory, dramatizing prejudices against the “other,” anti-establishment activist movements, extremists groups, and more. Season 2 premieres September 25.
Commitment: Approx. 9.5 hours
Why you should watch it: There’s something inherently appealing about a marriage of the fish-out-of-water and opposites-attract formulas, and the effort holds up for this latest small-screen reboot. With Scott added to the mix, we’re in for even more fun this season. Catch up before season 3 premieres September 25.
Commitment: Approx. 30 hours
Why you should watch it: Nothing short of a phenomenon upon its premiere in 2015, Empire is classic Lee Daniels: engrossingly soapy, slightly camp, meticulously performed, and endlessly entertaining. Taraji P. Henson does some of the best work of her career as the scene-stealing and wig-snatching Cookie Lyon. She alone is worth the watch, but it helps that she has an excellent ensemble at her back, led by Howard who acts as the very best foil to her scheming. Season 5 premieres September 26.
Commitment: Approx. 48 hours
Why you should watch it: The Good Place is certainly among the best network comedies of recent memory. An always-charming Bell and TV royalty Danson play off of each other in a way that — what the fork!? — simply works. We can’t wait to see the good places they take us come season 3’s September 27 premiere.
Commitment: Approx. 9 hours
If you’re casting a television series about a judge who suffers a breakdown and thinks he’s receiving messages from God that put him on a path of vigilante justice, you need a guy with both gravitas and imposing menace — and fortunately Amazon’s new Hand of God series, debuting this week, found a leading man with both of those qualities in Ron Perlman, occasional Hellboy and character actor supreme. Whether he’s appeared au naturel or under makeup, worked live action or voiced animated characters, Perlman’s distinctive talent has been entertaining audiences for 30 years, and he’s assembled an eclectic filmography along the way. It’s about time we honored Mr. Perlman with the Total Recall treatment, wouldn’t you say?
A latex-covered Perlman got his big break in this award-winning adaptation of the 1911 novel, about a Neanderthal war for fire — and the dangerous quest undertaken by a small band of tribesmen who are forced to find another source after their clan’s fire is stolen by a rival tribe. An hour and 40 minutes of grunted dialogue and dirty caveman sex obviously isn’t what most filmgoers have in mind when they head out for a night at the cineplex, but Quest for Fire managed to perform relatively well at the box office, and became something of an early ‘80s cult favorite — as well as a hit with critics like Janet Maslin of the New York Times, who said it was “more than just a hugely enterprising science lesson, although it certainly is that. It’s also a touching, funny and suspenseful drama about prehumans.”
Going under heavy makeup for Quest for Fire helped Perlman launch his career, so perhaps it’s fitting that things didn’t truly take off for him until he put on prosthetics again — this time for Beauty and the Beast, an unlikely-seeming hit drama that aired for three seasons on CBS between 1987-’90. A modern retelling of the oft-adapted fable, this Beauty posited our hero as a member of a secret community below New York City whose disfigurement masks a noble warrior’s heart — as evidenced when he rescues a lawyer (Linda Hamilton) from a brutal attack, saving her life and starting one of the era’s most swoonworthy TV love affairs. The show burned bright but fast — ratings started fading in the second season, and Hamilton’s departure the following year cemented its fate in the third and final batch of episodes — but it earned Perlman a Golden Globe and a whole new lease on his professional life.
Perlman started his continuing association with Guillermo del Toro in this 1993 horror movie, about the gruesome series of events that unfolds after an old man (Federico Luppi) discovers an ancient scarab that injects him with a mysterious substance — one which restores his youthful vitality, but leaves him with a thirst for blood. Perlman stars in a supporting role as the ironically named Angel de la Guardia, a hoodlum sent on a quest by his elderly uncle, who craves the scarab’s restorative powers; the path of violence he carves in pursuit of his goal sets in motion some of Cronos’ most memorably horrific sequences. It barely registered a blip on the U.S. box office, but Cronos was an instant hit with critics; as an appreciative Ken Hanke wrote for the Asheville Mountain Xpress, it is “one of the most intelligent — and strangely moving — horror films ever made.”
Perlman’s work with Guillermo del Toro has placed him within some pretty remarkable cinematic worlds, but his sojourn into Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro’s City of Lost Children might be the most visually striking of them all: a dense, whirring dystopia where an evil scientist (Daniel Emilfork) steals the dreams of kidnapped children. Their only hope is One (Perlman), a circus strongman whose younger brother is among the lost — and for whom he’ll set out on an arduous journey to rescue. Rife with sights that will haunt the viewer long after the credits roll, City won praise from critics like Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle, who recommended it as “a dark phantasmagoria so visually amazing and provocative — yet dense and confusing — that viewers may need to see it more than once to take it all in.”
Witty equal-opportunity political humor has become something of a lost art on the big screen over the last decade or so, but thing’s weren’t always this way. For proof, simply look to 1995’s The Last Supper, an ensemble indie comedy about a group of young liberals (including Cameron Diaz, Ron Eldard, and Annabeth Gish) who begin poisoning conservative dinner guests as part of a misguided campaign to save the world. While the murder victims aren’t terribly sympathetic, their murderers aren’t especially likable either — so by the time they cross paths with a Limbaugh-esque conservative pundit (played by Perlman), loyalties to either ideological extreme have been tested. “In today’s divisive political climate, where compromise is a dirty word,” observed Leslie Rigoulot of Film Scouts, “The Last Supper raises not only timely questions but moral dilemmas as well.”
A goofy Steve Zahn comedy with a minuscule budget and a box office tally that wasn’t much bigger, Happy, Texas gave Perlman the opportunity to steal scenes in another supporting role: Marshal Nalhober, a straight-shooting cop in hot pursuit of three escaped prisoners (Zahn, Jeremy Northam, and M.C. Gainey) posing as the organizers of a local beauty pageant. Eminently quotable and buoyed by a smart, rootsy soundtrack, Happy provoked appreciative guffaws from critics like Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, who called it “a hoot, a hilarious comedy that’s smart and caring, yet sexy and ingenious enough that it just might stir up some of that elusive Full Monty-style box-office appeal.”
Perlman went back under the makeup — and reunited with his Cronos and Blade II director, Guillermo del Toro — for 2004’s Hellboy, an adaptation of the popular Dark Horse Comics title. Grossing under $60 million in the U.S., it was something of a disappointment at the box office, but Perlman and Del Toro were a natural fit for the franchise; four years after the first Hellboy, Perlman teamed up again with Guillermo del Toro for another round of supernatural fun — and while the original Hellboy earned mostly positive reviews, the sequel was an even bigger critical winner. A gleeful blend of popcorn thrills and uniquely del Toro visual splendor, Hellboy II: The Golden Army reunited the original cast for an epic battle between the forces of good and an irate elven king (Luke Goss) who wants to reignite the long-dormant war between elves and humans. While it was overshadowed at the box office by The Dark Knight and Iron Man, it still earned over $160 million — and earned the admiration of critics like Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who called it “the biggest, richest, most imaginative superhero movie of the summer.”
A sort of cross between An Inconvenient Truth and The Thing, this wintry thriller found writer/director Larry Fessenden returning to the themes of isolation he explored in Wendigo, while adding an ecologically conscious twist: at a remote ANWR drilling base, a team of workers (led by Perlman) starts dying off, casualties of “sour gas” released as a side effect of global warming — or are they under attack from vengeful spirits of the Earth? Though it screened in extremely limited release, The Last Winter received more than a few positive reviews from critics, including Aaron Hillis of Premiere Magazine, who called it “A richly drawn, ambitious character piece both socially relevant and genuinely suspenseful” before concluding, “This is filmmaking both gorgeous and deeply unsettling.”
Perlman and his Last Winter director, Larry Fessenden, re-teamed for this 2008 black comedy — only this time, they were both on the same side of the camera. Helmed by Glenn McQuaid (who also worked behind the scenes on The Last Winter), I Sell the Dead recounts the story of a pair of Irish grave robbers (played by Fessenden and Dominic Monaghan), as told to a jailhouse priest (Perlman). A bizarre mashup of 19th-century period thriller and zombie/alien comic gore, Dead had a blink-and-you-missed it theatrical run, playing on only two screens, but even some of the critics who couldn’t recommend it found the film impossible to dislike — such as Ty Burr of the Boston Globe, who mused, “If it’s not actually a good movie, on some level you have to admire the chutzpah of a film set in 1850s Ireland but shot on Staten Island.”
Perlman stayed busy on television in the years after Beauty and the Beast, consistently booking voice work and episodic guest spots on shows even as his film roles continued to pile up — and putting him in a uniquely enviable position as the small screen’s new golden age made the prospect of snagging a regular series gig increasingly appealing to a widening circle of Hollywood vets. It paid fresh dividends with Sons of Anarchy, the 2008-’14 FX hit that spun circles of tightly woven (and increasingly dark) drama out of the inner lives of a California motorcycle gang whose second-generation vice-president (Charlie Hunnam) finds himself increasingly at odds with the gang’s morally ambiguous leader (Perlman). Consistently critically acclaimed, Sons set ratings records for the network — and offered Perlman an opportunity to prove he could help anchor a series without a lion-shaped prosthetic covering his face.
Finally, here’s one of Mr. Perlman’s first television appearances — the role of Dr. Bernie Marx on a 1979 episode of the daytime serial Ryan’s Hope:
This week in TV news, the Fear the Walking Dead premiere breaks records; The View shakes up its cast of co-hosts; showrunner Kurt Sutter is working on a Sons of Anarchy spinoff; a rock star guest stars on Portlandia; Shondaland Productions sells its first drama of the season; and a new streaming web series brings another DC hero to the the CW’s Arrow-verse. Also, read about this weeks TV renewals and pickups.
Fear the Walking Dead, AMC’s prequel series to The Walking Dead, broke cable records with an estimated 10.1 million viewers watching its premiere on Sunday, Aug. 23, according to Nielsen reports. Of the viewers, 6.3 million were adults between 18 and 49. The record holder, until now, was TNT’s Raising the Bar in 2008, which had 7.7 million viewers during its premiere.
Fear‘s ratings beat out all 22 episodes of its predecessor’s first two seasons in the 18-to-49 age range.
A second season has already been ordered and will premiere in the next year.
Joy Behar returns to The View after having left the show in 2013, ABC announced on Tuesday, Aug. 25. Of her departure then, Behar said she’d “had enough” and that a certain person she was unable to mention was trying to “change the show for some reason.”
Other additions for this fall’s 19th season include Candace Cameron-Bure of Full House fame (also known as Kirk Cameron‘s younger sister) and journalist Paula Faris. The three bring the co-host count to six, along with Raven-Symoné, Michelle Collins, and Whoopi Goldberg.
Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter is working on a potential spinoff of the popular FX show. No real specifics have been provided, but we do know this sampling of the franchise will center on the Mayans Motorcycle Club, rival biker gang to the Sons, headed by Marcus Alvarez (Emilio Rivera).
The new show will be a co-production between Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions, along with his upcoming new series The Bastard Executioner (in which Sutter also will be playing a role of a prosthetics-wearing “Dark Mute”) which premieres Tuesday, Sept. 15 on FX.
Shondaland Productions has sold its first drama series of the new season. Alison Schapker, a writer on Lost, Fringe, and Alias, has written an untitled hour-long drama for the production company’s Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, that takes place in a convent. The new show, from the company that created Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, was picked up by ABC (home to the aforementioned shows).
The show will center on Catholic nuns trying to save their convent from closing down in the Bronx when mysteries arrive along with three new, young nuns.
Shondaland has also sold two new comedies to ABC, one untitled half-hour single-camera show written by actors Scott Foley and Greg Grunberg about an engaged couple, and Splitsville, written by Emily Halpern an Sarah Haskins (Trophy Wife).
Rocker Glenn Danzig will join the cast of Portlandia as a guest on one episode next season. The show’s Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen are longtime fans of Danzig (solo artist, head of Verotik Comics, and former singer of the Misfits and Samhain). This was made evident in a video clip they shot for Paper Magazine years ago in which the comedy duo loitered in a car outside the singer’s home.
We don’t have details on the sketch that will be presented, but from the looks of the photo Brownstein tweeted, we may be in for some hellacious humor.
Both Brownstein and Armisen are fellow musicians, with Brownstein being a member of Sleater-Kinney (who once covered Danzig’s “Mother”), and Armisen heading up the Late Night band.
Vixen, a new web-based show set in the Arrow and The Flash DC universe, premiered on Aug. 25 on CW Seed, the CW’s online streaming hub. The show features the vocal talents of Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), Grant Gustin (Barry Allen), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) and Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon,) reprising their roles from Arrow and The Flash. Vixen is the third show to join the CW/DC Comics universe.
Vixen stars Megalyn Echikunwoke (A Good Day to Die Hard, 90210) as the DC Character Vixen/Mari McCabe, a superhero with the ability to mimic the behaviors and traits of any Earth animal that ever existed.
Vixen will air six episodes weekly, and you can watch them on CW Seed.
Three shows have been renewed this week and two new shows have been announced.
A Galaxy Quest TV series, based on the popular 1999 sci-fi comedy, has been picked up by Amazon, the same company that brought you Transparent and Alpha House. The new show’s pilot will be co-written by original Quest writer Robert Gordon.
Spartan Race, an extreme obstacles race, is being turned into a new reality competition show by NBC. Spartan Race will be working with the network on producing the series, and has explained, “Teams of five — comprised of two men, two women, and an elite Spartan athlete — will battle over mud, water, and fire for a chance to win a large cash prize.” Spartan Race is currently seeking contestant applicants at www.spartancasting.com.
Better Call Saul ends its first season this month, so now you can watch every episode in one 10-hour binge (and then wait forever like the rest of us for season two). And there’s still time to catch up on comedies Louie and Silicon Valley, before they come back this month. For those of you curious about joining the Clone Club, now is the time to binge the first two seasons of Orphan Black in time for Apr. 18. These, and other recommendations are below to satisfy any binge-watching tastes this month!
What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill.
Why you should watch it: For people who like to watch everything at once, season one will be ready for you to view in its entirety after the finale on AMC, Tuesday, Apr. 7. Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.
Commitment: 10 hours.
What it is: After seeing “herself” jump in front of a train, a young woman discovers she is a clone and, with the help of the others like her, falls into a conspiratorial whirlwind of mystery and deception.
Why you should watch it: Tatiana Maslany has received attention her performances as each clone, but that’s not the only reason to watch. Suspense, drama, action, and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor make this one a must-see for fans of varying genres.
Where to watch: Orphan Black returns with its season three premiere on Apr. 18. Seasons one and two are available on Xfinity, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Sony Playstation, Google Play, Xbox Video, and DirecTV. Both seasons are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Commitment: 20 hours.
What it is: Kurt Sutter’s hit series from FX follows the exploits of the biker club SAMCRO, and its “president” Jax Teller (Charlie Hannum).
Why you should watch it: Sons of Anarchy rode off into the sunset earlier this year and left a legion of loyal fans and adoring critics in its wake. The Shakespearean themes of this gritty drama give poetic undertones to the violent lives (and deaths) of these characters.
Where to watch: Seasons one through six are streaming on Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Season seven will debut on Netflix on Apr. 25. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox Video, and Google Play.
Commitment: 85 hours.
What it is: In Mike Judge’s comedy set in Bay Area’s tech universe, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his team of socially awkward developers make an app, catching the attention of the area’s billionaire investor.
Why you should watch it: Short and sweet, season one of Silicon Valley is an easy catch-up before season two premieres on Sunday, Apr. 12. The cast, featuring Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani, perfectly capture the oddball characters who rule the Internet.
Commitment: 4 hours.
What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.
Why you should watch it: The gore is intensified by the element of high drama, earning season one a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 78 percent.
Commitment: Eight hours.
What it is: This prequel to Treasure Island chronicles the rise of John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the adventures of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).
Why you should watch it: The series, which just finished airing season two, takes a deeper look at the politics during the Golden Age of Piracy than the usual swashbuckling and copious use of the phrase, “Arrrrrr!”
Commitment: 20 hours.
What it is: Three gay men ride the turbulent waves of the San Francisco dating scene while maintaining their friendships and careers.
Why you should watch it: Though recently canceled, season two of Looking begins streaming on iTunes on Apr. 20. Its honest depiction of sexual and emotional issues grabbed critics’ attention with season one, which is Certified Fresh at 89 percent, and continued to impress critics and fans (currently petitioning for its revival) throughout its short run.
Where to watch: Seasons one and two are available on HBO Go and iTunes (season two iTunes as of Apr. 20). Season one is also available on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, X Box Video, and Amazon Instant Video. Season one is available on Blu-ray and DVD (season two is available for pre-order).
Commitment: Nine hours.
What it is: A family drama set in Los Alamos, NM, portrays the development of the Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb.
Why you should watch it: Manhattan uses the government’s top secrecy to explore drama and intrigue on a family level. It also drives you to root for this band of scientists struggling with the dilemma of creating such a fearsome weapon, and not being able to tell their loved ones about it.
Commitment: 13 hours.
What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.
Why you should watch it: Louis CK’s encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.
Where to watch: Seasons one through four are available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Netflix. All four seasons are also available on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, XBox Video, and DVD.
Commitment: 27 hours, and with season five coming to FX on Apr. 9, you better start now!
What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.
Why you should watch it: With the announcement of an X-Files reboot, there’s no time like to present to familiarize yourself with the show — especially if you’re a fan of aliens, conspiracies, unexplained phenomena, or just really good mysteries.
Commitment: 154 hours.
Which of these shows would you recommend to a friend? Let us know in the comments section below!