This week, we finally get a bounty of new summer genre shows, beginning with two offerings from Syfy.
The sci-fi drama Defiance returns for its second season this week, followed by the series premiere of the Legion spinoff series, Dominion. On Saturday, sadly, we have to say goodbye to Orphan Black's second season, but Sunday brings more new fun with the launch of new series The Last Ship, the return of Falling Skies and the final season premiere of True Blood. Plus a rescue mission on Crossbones, the penultimate episode of Continuum's third season and a new time for The Wil Wheaton Project.
Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?
Highlights of the Week
Defiance (Syfy) Thursday, 8 p.m. - "The Opposite of Hallelujah"
Season-two premiere! - When Defiance arrived last year, it marked Syfy's best scripted series premiere in seven years. Numbers dropped in subsequent episodes, but not very much, and this saga of the various power struggles, conspiracies and relationships in a settlement on a future Earth altered forever by the presence of alien species quickly established a strong batch of loyal viewers, enough to make it a hit for Syfy and get a second season. Defiance's conceptual hooks, and the videogame tie-in that allowed viewers to be part of its world, were enough to get things going last season, but the show thrived on growing its plotlines and its expanding scope, leaving plenty of loose ends for the season-two premiere to pick up this week, including a shift in power in the town and an ongoing hunt for a loved one. Now, with Defiance back, we'll see if it can continue to establish itself as one its network's drama mainstays, particularly now that Syfy's lost past hits like Warehouse 13. In the season-two premiere, Nolan's search for Irisa takes him far from Defiance, and the Earth Republic appoints a new mayor in the town. Check out a preview below.
Dominion (Syfy) Thursday, 9 p.m. - "Pilot"
Series premiere! - Just a few months ago Syfy viewers lost Being Human, leaving a hole in many hearts for a new supernatural drama to fill. Now this spinoff from the film Legion just might take care of that void. Set 25 years after the angelic war that kicked off in the film, the series is set in a war-ravaged Earth where humans have taken to living in fortified cities. After a quarter century of fighting, a soldier named Alex (Christopher Egan) emerges in the new Las Vegas, and discovers he's destined to be the savior of humanity. The series will hopefully benefit from a built-in audience of fans of the movie, and will try to get a lead-in boost from the Defiance premiere this week. If it delivers on its ambitious premise, it could be Syfy's next big supernatural hit. We'll see how the pilot fares. Check out a preview below.
Orphan Black (BBC America) Saturday, 9 p.m. - "By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried"
Season-two finale! - Orphan Black was one of the best-received new genre shows of the year last season, building tons of critical acclaim and a devoted, if small, audience on BBC America. The show was easily in position to suffer a sophomore slump in season two, but somehow it avoided that, racking up even more acclaim and building on its devoted audience to gain even more viewers amid a season of new clones, new twists and new shocks. The Orphan Black phenomenon has shown no signs at all of waning over the last few weeks. If anything, it seems destined to build even more as buzz around the show is carried into this season's finale. Now we await a third season renewal, and a much-deserved Emmy nomination for Tatiana Maslany. In the season-two finale, the Clone Club must come together to save Sarah after Rachel's latest scheme, while Sarah discovers both a new ally and a new facet of the clone conspiracy that could change everything. Check out a preview below.
True Blood (HBO) Sunday, 9 p.m. - "Jesus Gonna Be Here"
Final season premiere! - Over the last six years we've watched True Blood grow from hit to phenomenon to stalwart ratings success for HBO, but now it's coming to an end. The seventh and final season of the hit vampire series begins this Sunday, and when it's gone there's a good chance HBO will struggle to harness the likes of its sexy energy again anytime soon. The show's audience drove it to become the network's most popular currently airing series until just last year, when Game of Thrones took that title, and though Thrones has certainly developed its own massive fanbase, True Blood's got its own little spark that the network will miss going forward. All good things must end, though, and for True Blood it starts here. When a group of H-vamps attacks Bon Temps, Sookie must avoid accusations that she had something to do with it, while Bill gets unexpected aid in the midst of a vigilante uprising.
The Last Ship (TNT) Sunday, 9 p.m. - "Phase Six"
Series premiere! - We're not sure just how genrefied this Michael Bay-backed drama series will get, but it is another variation on the ever-popular post-apocalyptic adventure, so we thought we'd call your attention to it. Set in a world where 80 percent of humanity has been wiped out by a pandemic, it follows the efforts of the crew onboard an uninfected U.S. naval vessel as they try to find a cure. It's an ambitious idea, and packs a cast that features Eric Dane (Grey's Anatomy), Rhona Mitra (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans) and Adam Baldwin (Firefly), and it's got the added benefit of beginning its run on the same night that TNT's sci-fi hit Falling Skies returns, but we'll have to wait and see if can join the rinks of hit cable dramas. Check out a preview below.
Monday, June 16
Beauty and the Beast (The CW) 9 p.m. - "Cold Case"
Hoping to force Vincent out of hiding, Gabe suspends Cat and Tess. Cat's sister arrives for a visit.
Tuesday, June 17
The Wil Wheaton Project (Syfy) 9 p.m.
New time! - Wil Wheaton's weekly journey into all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror is back this week at a new time.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Wizard World Portland 2014"
The cosplayers head to Wizard World in Portland, Ore.
Wednesday, June 18
Wednesday's pretty quiet on the TV front, but it's also new comic-book day, so you should be able to find something to amuse yourself.
Thursday, June 19
Teen Titans Go! (TOON) 6 p.m. - "Man Person"
Beast Boy hopes he'll be more manly if he replaces his limbs with robot parts.
Adventure Time (TOON) 7 p.m. - "Furniture & Meat"
Driven by money problems, Finn and Jake head to Wildberry Kingdom.
Friday, June 20
Crossbones (NBC) 10 p.m. - "The Man Who Killed Blackbeard"
Blackbeard and Lowe must rescue Kate before Jagger forces her to reveal the location of the island.
Continuum (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "The Dying Minutes"
Scar Alec is rescued. Kiera and John Doe fight to put an end to the Freelancers.
Saturday, June 21
Apart from Orphan Black, it's a somehwat quiet Saturday. Go see a movie or something.
Sunday, June 22
Falling Skies (TNT) 10 p.m. - "Ghost in the Machine"
Season premiere! - A new Espheni war machine attacks the Masons and the remnants of the 2nd Mass.
Penny Dreadful (Showtime) 10 p.m. - "Possession"
Sir Malcolm, Ethan and Sembene must fight to save Vanessa.
Salem (WGN America) 10 p.m. - "The House of Pain"
Aiden may be the only one who can save Anne, who finds herself in danger when she goes exploring.
Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) 10 p.m. - "Close to the Metal"
Cameron is close to finishing the BIOS, but the entire team must work to combat a crisis that threatens the entire project.