TV in July: 2 Finales and 6 Premieres to Watch
Summer was once considered a endless void when it came to television, but things are quickly changing as the TV renaissance continues. Here are eight reasons to turn your television or computer on this July.
24: Live Another Day
By the time 24: Live Another Day premiered on May 5, it had been almost exactly four years since the eighth season of the long-running show had concluded. Now, the show is gearing up to wrap up its ninth season on July 14 amid questions as to whether a tenth season is in the cards. But given the recent TV ratings for the show, it definitely appears to have a fight on its hands. After premiering on May 5 with 8.08 million viewers and following that up with identical numbers in the second episode, the show has shown a notable drop-off in recent weeks, bottoming out at 5.63 million for the most recent episode. However, reception to the new season has been fairly positive despite some criticism that, at nine seasons, it’s starting to feel very familiar.
2014 FIFA World Cup: Brazil
Yes, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is not episodic television like most the entries on this list, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s by far the biggest television event this summer. Hosted this year in Brazil, the World Cup is scheduled to enter the quarter-finals on July 4 and the semi-finals on July 8, before the third place match is played on July 12 and the World Cup final on July 13.
The Netflix original series Hemlock Grove is set to premiere (and conclude depending on how much you binge) its second season on July 11. Executive produced by horror maestro Eli Roth and developed by Lee Shipman and Brian McGreevy, the latter of which wrote the novel the series is based on, Hemlock Grove revolves around the strange and disturbing occurrences in the fictional town of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania. With a season one finale that promised lots of werewolf action to come, Roth told IGN that the second season “is going to blow away all expectations.”
Masters of Sex
The second season of Showtime’s Masters of Sex arrives on July 13 when the show’s creators will hope to build upon a breakout series premiere which was glittered with critical acclaim. Based on the Thomas Maier biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love, the series stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan in the true story of Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson who pioneered research into human sexuality beginning in 1957. Actress Annaleigh Ashford has been promoted to series regular in season two, and the show is expected have another strong run during the awards season.
A show to keep your eye on, FX will bow the second season of the crime-drama The Bridge on July 9. Based on the Danish/Swedish series of the same name, The Bridge tells the story of two detectives (one American and one Mexican) who launch a cooperative effort to catch a serial killer roaming on both sides of the Texas-Chihuahua border. Starring Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds) and Demián Bichir (A Better Life), the series deals with the complications that arise in their investigations when met with the corruption and violence in the region. But while the first season earned high praise, some critics noted that the direction of the second season would reveal whether the show was merely a good show or a great one. Let’s hope for the latter.
The second season of Showtime’s Ray Donovan will premiere on July 13 when the network will hope to exceed, or at least match, the success of the series’ first season. When Showtime premiered Ray Donovan last summer it became the highest rated premiere in the network’s history, averaging 1.35 million viewers for its series premiere — 25 percent higher than the 2011 premiere of Homeland. Starring Liev Schreiber and featuring Jon Voight, Paula Malcomson, and Eddie Marsan, Ray Donovan revolves around the titular “fixer” who works for the powerful law firm Goldman & Drexler in Los Angeles. But when Ray’s father is released from prison and the FBI starts to investigate the firm’s shady operations, his world starts to unravel.
The Comedy Central comedy series Drunk History, based on the Funny or Die web series created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, will premiere its second season of drunken, historical narration on July 1. The series, which revolves around an inebriated narrator recounting a historical event while actors perform it, will get even more star-studded in its sophomore season. New actors joining the fray include David Cross, Laura Dern, Patton Oswalt, Charlie Day, Jesse Plemons, Nick Kroll, Terry Crews, Johnny Knoxville, Courteney Cox, and many, many others. Returning guest stars include Jack Black, Casey Wilson, Jack McBrayer, and others familiar faces.
Sharknado 2: The Second One
Another non-serialized entry that had to be included, Sharknado 2: The Second One will premiere on SyFY on July 30. The sequel to the surprise, B-movie hit of last summer, Sharknado 2 will see the return of actors Tara Reid and Ian Ziering along with newcomers Vivica A. Fox, Kelly Osbourne, Benjy Bronk, Judah Friedlander, Andy Dick, and Kurt Angle. But has the idea reached over saturation at this point? We’ll know for sure when it drops later this summer.