Summer TV 2023: top 10 shows to watch

Selena Gomez, Lily Rose-Depp, The Weeknd, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and Jeremy Allen White
Selena Gomez, Lily Rose-Depp, The Weeknd, Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and Jeremy Allen White (Image credit: Future)

Between the vacations, barbecues, pool days and other summer activities, you're going to need something to watch these summer months. What to Watch has already highlighted blockbuster and indie movies that you can head out to the multiplex to watch this summer, but if you're in the mood for a night in but still want to watch some great content, well we've got you covered when it comes to the summer TV slate.

We have picked the 10 summer 2023 US TV shows that we are most excited to watch over the next few months. They range from new series with some major names to old favorites to a guilty pleasure or two for mindless summer fun. But we've also provided you with the complete list of US TV show premieres over the next three months, so you can see what may interest you and when/where it is playing.

The summer TV schedule starts right away with some big time shows, so let's just dive right on in to the TV shows we're most excited to watch this summer (shows are listed in order of their release date).

What to Watch staff summer TV picks

1. FUBAR (May 25)

Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger in FUBAR

Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger in FUBAR (Image credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix)

The first thing that probably comes to mind when thinking of Arnold Schwarzenegger is his action roles, but his comedic abilities should not be underestimated. He's getting the chance to flex both of those muscles in the new Netflix series FUBAR, where he stars as a CIA agent on the verge of retirement, brought back in when he discovers that his daughter (Top Gun: Maverick's Monica Barbaro) is also an agent. Blockbuster movies get to just be fun, so why not a TV show? FUBAR has that kind of feeling and we're here for it. — Michael Balderston

2. The Idol (June 4)

Lily-Rose Depp and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye in The Idol

Lily-Rose Depp and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye in The Idol (Image credit: Eddy Chen/HBO)

HBO's newest original series The Idol, co-created by Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, Reza Fahim and Euphoria's Sam Levinson, has been generating buzz from Cannes after the first two episodes debuted at the festival. Lily-Rose Depp stars as aspiring pop-star Jocelyn, who is taken under the wing of the charismatic Tedros (Tesfaye), a self-help guru and cult leader. The result is a mind-bending descent into the high price of fame and the belief that there’s no price too high to achieve it. It's sure to be the new series that everyone is talking about. — Sarabeth Pollock

3. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 (June 15)

Rebecca Romijn, Anson Mount and Ethan Peck in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Rebecca Romijn, Anson Mount and Ethan Peck in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Image credit: Marni Grossman/Paramount+)

With Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, fans were transported to the early adventures of the USS Enterprise and her crew. Unlike some of the other Star Trek series, the show features more of a story-of-the-week format, with a few plot points running through the entirety of the season. At the end of the first season, Spock's half-brother Sybok showed up and there’s no question he's going to cause trouble for Spock (Ethan Peck), Captain Pike (Anson Mount) and the crew of the Enterprise. And after getting to know the crew in season 1, we're ready to boldly go on new adventures in season 2. — Sarabeth Pollock

4. Outlander season 7 (June 16)

Sam Heughan (“Jamie Fraser”) and Caitríona Balfe (“Claire Fraser”) in Outlander season 7

Sam Heughan and Caitríona Balfe in Outlander (Image credit: Starz)

Jamie (Sam Heugan) and Claire (Caitríona Balfe) are back with Outlander season 7, as the epic tale of love, loss and time travel continues. It has been over a year since the last new episode and fans have been eagerly anticipating the supersized seventh season. Half of the 16 episodes will air beginning in June, while the other half will debut at a later date. Season 7 will see the several new faces as well as the return of several fan-favorite actors, including Graham McTavish and Steven Cree. — Sarabeth Pollock

5. The Walking Dead: Dead City (June 18)

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan in The Walking Dead: Dead City

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan in The Walking Dead: Dead City (Image credit: Peter Kramer/AMC)

The Walking Dead franchise has been on television since 2010, but now it's taking the story to a whole new playground with The Walking Dead: Dead City. This time the show will be set in New York City, offering fans a glimpse of the horrors that have befallen the city. Forests of trees have been replaced by a forest of derelict skyscrapers. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) recruits her mortal enemy Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to help her find her son, who was kidnapped and taken to the Big Apple by a new villain. Can they put aside what happened in the past long enough to work together to save Hershel? — Sarabeth Pollock

6. Secret Invasion (June 21)

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury lurking on a corner in Secret Invasion

Samuel L. Jackson in Secret Invasion (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

In many ways, Secret Invasion feels like a necessary return of the Marvel universe back to the basics, with Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) at the helm. Marvel fans know that Fury has been a strong presence in the MCU since first appearing in Iron Man, so seeing him lead his own series is a reminder that while more Avengers and villains appear in the expanding superhero world, the franchise hasn't forgotten its cinematic roots. 

Secret Invasion follows Fury as he engages in a top-secret mission to defend the world against the infiltration of the alien species known as the Skrulls. While the series sees a number of new faces, Cobie Smulders returns as Maria Hill and Don Cheadle as Rhodey. — Terrell Smith

7. The Bear season 2 (June 22)

Jeremy Allen White, Lionel Boyce and Ebon Moss-Bachrach in The Bear

Jeremy Allen White, Lionel Boyce and Ebon Moss-Bachrach in The Bear (Image credit: FX)

Hate to admit it, but I was late to the game on The Bear, but when I finally sat down to watch it I quickly understood why this show had everyone talking last summer. The feverish pace when the heat is on in the kitchen and everyone is going a mile a minute was enthralling, while it was easy to fall for this cast of characters and all their quirks and issues, led by a phenomenal performance by Jeremy Allen White. Now that I am caught up though, I am certainly not going to be missing The Bear season 2 as soon as it arrives. The restaurant may be changing, but I have a feeling much of what we loved about this show will not. — Michael Balderston

8. Black Mirror season 6 (June TBD)

Annie Murphy looking at a phone in Black Mirror season 6

Annie Murphy in Black Mirror  (Image credit: Netflix)

After roughly four years since a new episode aired, Black Mirror season 6 is easily one of the most anticipated returns of 2023 in our book. The series is known for its dark fiction and satirical nature that always leaves viewers entertained, yet contemplating the social implications of what they watched. To date, one of the most well-received episodes from season 3, titled “Nosedive,” featuring Bryce Dallas Howard, continues to serve as a powerful warning about the dangers of social media and needing to be liked. 

Season 6 in particular has us primed and ready as the cast is nothing short of star-studded. Helping to bring to life each story are Schitt's Creek's Annie Murphy, Atlanta's Zazie Beetz, Oppenheimer's Josh Hartnett and Magic Mike's Last Dance's Salma Hayek, just to name a few. — Terrell Smith

9. Only Murders in the Building season 3 (August 8)

Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building

Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building (Image credit: Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

Charles (Steve Martin), Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) and no longer just solving murders in the Arconia, as Only Murders in the Building season 3 takes its story to Broadway, where leading man Ben Glenroy (Paul Rudd) has mysteriously dropped dead on the night of Oliver's big premiere. OMITB is one of the best shows on TV right now thanks to the trio of Martin, Short and Gomez, and with the addition of Rudd, Meryl Streep and much of the returning ensemble, it may only be getting better. We're going to be obsessively dissecting the clues to try and figure out who killed Ben Glenroy, while also laughing hysterically at the antics of our amateur sleuths. — Michael Balderston

10. Love Island USA season 5 (TBD)

Mackenzie Dipman, Chad Robinson, Zeta Morrison, Timmy Pandolfi, Sydney Paight, Isaiah Campbell, Phoebe Siegel, Joel Bierwert, Jesse Bray and Jeff Christian Jr. gathered around fire

Love Island USA season 4 (Image credit: Casey Durkin/Peacock)

We can't wait for this admittedly guilty pleasure of summer (though as of publication we don't know when it is arriving). While the show doesn't have paid actors and award-winning writers, it is still one of the most entertaining series to watch on a hot night.

Sure, there are plenty of dating reality shows. From The Bachelor to Love Is Blind, there a number of programs featuring everyday people looking for romance. Love Island stands out because of the unique challenges the singles face and the fact a new episode airs almost daily. Plus, the fact that there is a monetary prize for the winning couple keeps things spicy as pairs rotate singles often. 

With the success of Love Island season 4, we hope that season 5 will somehow manage to top even that. — Terrell Smith

These are the shows that we're most excited for this summer, but there's going to be plenty to choose from. To help out with that, here's a complete look at the summer TV schedule from May 24 through August (we'll update if more premiere dates are announced):

TV shows premiering in May

May 24

May 25

May 26

May 28

  • Killer Relationship with Faith Jenkins season 2 (Oxygen) 

May 29

  • America's Hidden Stories (Smithsonian Channel)
  • Barons (The CW)
  • The Curious Case of Natalia Grace (ID)
  • FDR (History Channel)
  • Motel Rescue (Magnolia Network)
  • The Rising (The CW)

May 30

  • 30 for 30: The American Gladiators Documentary (ESPN)
  • America's Got Talent season 18 (NBC)
  • Bargain Mansions season 5 (Magnolia Network)
  • Doubling Down with the Derricos season 4 (TLC)
  • Hot Wheels: Ultimate Challenge (NBC)
  • I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson season 3 (Netflix)
  • The Real Murders of Orange County season 3 (Oxygen)

May  31

  • Drag Me to Dinner (Hulu)
  • Ghost Adventures season 27 (Discovery)
  • Nancy Drew season 4 (The CW)
  • The Ultimate Fighter season 31 (ESPN)

TV shows premiering in June

June 1

  • The Days (Netflix)
  • The Dead Files season 15 (Travel Channel)
  • iCarly season 3 (Paramount Plus)
  • Lego Ninjago: Dragons Rising (Netflix)

June 2

June 3

  • Act Your Age season 1B (Bounce)

June 4

  • 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days season 6 (TLC)
  • Battle on the Beach season 4 (HGTV)
  • The Eric Andre Show season 6 (Adult Swim)
  • The Idol (HBO)
  • Joe Pickett season 2 (Paramount Plus)
  • The Lazarus Project (TNT)
  • Magnolia Table season 7 (Magnolia Network)

June 5

  • The Age of Influence (Hulu)
  • America Ninja Warrior season 15 (NBC)
  • Crime Scene Kitchen season 2 (Fox)
  • Cruel Summer season 2 (Freeform)
  • Stars on Mars (Fox)

June 6

  • Beyond Skinwalker Ranch (History Channel)
  • Destination: European Nights (Paramount Plus)

June 7

June 8

June 9

  • Bloodhounds (Netflix)
  • The Crowded Room (Apple TV Plus)
  • Human Resources season 2 (Netflix)
  • The Proof Is Out There season 3B (History Channel)
  • Tex Mex Motors (Netflix)
  • Tribunal Justice (Amazon Freevee)

June 11

  • The Food That Built America season 4B (History Channel)
  • The Tony Awards

June 12

  • Hey Yahoo (Game Show Network)

June 13

  • Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta season 11 (MTV)
  • Why the Heck Did I Buy This House (HGTV)

June 14

June 15

  • 60 Days In season 8 (A&E)
  • Booked: First Day (A&E)
  • Look Into My Eyes (Sundance TV)
  • Outchef'd season 2 (Food Network)
  • Project Runway: All Stars (Bravo)
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 (Paramount Plus)

June 16

  • The Cabin Chronicles season 3 (Magnolia Network)
  • Outlander season 7 (Starz)

June 17

  • AEW: Collision (Max)
  • Extraordinary Birder with Christian Cooper (Nat Geo Wild)

June 18

  • Beachside Brawl season 2 (Food Network)
  • Endeavour season 9 (PBS)
  • The Great Food Truck Race: David vs Goliath season 16 (Food Network)
  • The Righteous Gemstones season 3 (HBO)
  • The Walking Dead: Dead City (AMC)

June 19

  • The Great American Recipe season 2 (PBS)
  • Not Quite Narwhal (Netflix)

June 21

June 22

  • And Just Like That... season 2 (Max)
  • The Bear season 2 (FX)
  • Downey's Dream Cars (Max)
  • Let's Get Divorced (Netflix)
  • Trippin' with Anthony Anderson and Mama Doris (E!)

June 23

  • Carpool Karaoke: The Series season 6 (Apple TV Plus)
  • I'm a Virgo (Prime Video)
  • Swagger season 2 (Apple TV Plus)

June 24

  • Love & Marriage: Detroit (OWN)

June 26

  • The Bachelorette season 20 (ABC)
  • Cannes Confidential (Acorn TV)
  • Claim to Fame season 2 (ABC)

June 28

  • Grown-ish season 6 (Freeform)
  • Hijack (Apple TV Plus)

June 29

  • The Chase season 3 (ABC)
  • Generation Gap season 2 (ABC)
  • Press Your Luck season 5 (ABC)
  • Secret Chef (Hulu)
  • Warrior season 3 (Max)
  • The Witcher season 3 part 1 (Netflix)

June 30

June TBD

TV shows premiering in July

July 5

  • Human Footprint (PBS)

July 6

  • Barnwood Builders season 17 (Magnolia Network)

July 7

  • The Horror of Dolores Ranch (Prime Video)

July 8

  • Capturing Home season 2 (Magnolia Network)
  • VC Andrews (Lifetime)

July 9

July 10

  • The Ashley Madison Project (Hulu)
  • BBQ Brawl season 4 (Food Network)
  • BBQ USA season 2 (Food Network)

July 12

  • The Afterparty season 2 (Apple TV Plus)

July 13

July 14

July 16

July 18

July 21

  • Making Modern season 3 (Magnolia Network)
  • Minx season 2 (Starz)
  • Praise Petey (Freeform)

July 22

  • Established Home season 2 (Magnolia Network)

July 24

July 27

July 28

  • Good Omens season 2 (Prime Video)
  • Heels season 2 (Starz)
  • Secret Celebrity Renovation season 3 (CBS)
  • This Fool season 2 (Hulu)

July 30

  • When Calls the Heart season 10 (Hallmark Channel)

July TBD

  • Black Pop (E!)
  • Dark Winds season 2 (AMC)

TV shows premiering in August

August 2

August 3

August 6

  • Big Sky Kitchen season 2 (Magnolia Network)
  • Design Down Under (Magnolia Network)
  • Worst Cooks in America season 26 (Food Network)

August 8

  • Only Murders in the Building season 3 (Hulu)

August 9

  • Superfan (CBS)

August 10

  • The Challenge: USA season 2 (CBS)
  • Painkiller (Netflix)

August 30

  • Archer season 14 (FXX)

August TBD

  • Ahsoka (Disney Plus)
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.

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