Summer TV is getting even hotter this week with four big premieres, including Guillermo del Toro's much-anticipated vampire series.
Yes, it's finally that week, the week when we can all settle in and watch del Toro and company scare us silly with The Strain, which has easily been near the top of our most-anticipated list for months now. Before that happens (on Sunday night), though, we've got three other big premieres. First, the new sci-fi drama Extant arrives on Wednesday, then the Netflix premiere of Hemlock Grove season two hits Friday morning, followed by the U.S. premiere of the New Zealand-based fantasy series The Almighty Johnsons Friday night. Plus, Beauty and the Beast's season finale, another Walking Dead special, Andy Serkis on The Wil Wheaton Project and much more.
Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?
Highlights of the Week
Beauty and the Beast (The CW) Monday, 9 p.m. - "Deja Vu"
Season finale! - Just a few months ago, it looked like Beauty and the Beast was doomed. The supernatural romance was pulled from The CW's spring schedule, its timeslot was filled by first-season drama The Tomorrow People, and its final episodes were set to burn off in summer. For many series, that would spell the end, but in the end The Tomorrow People was the show that got the ax, while Beauty and the Beast is coming back for a third season this fall. The precarious position the show found itself in this season is proof that it's not exactly a stalwart part of the CW lineup at this point, and it'll have to compete for attention with other high-profile new series (including The Flash) this fall, but for now it's got another chance at life, so fans can celebrate the end of season two without saying goodbye forever. In the season finale, Cat realizes that stopping Gabe might mean Vincent's death. Check out a preview below.
Extant (CBS) Wednesday, 9 p.m. - "Re-Entry"
Series premiere! - Last summer, CBS landed a hit summer event series with Under the Dome. This year they're hoping to repeat that success with Extant, a new sci-fi series starring Halle Berry and featuring Steven Spielberg as an executive producer. Last summer, the series got to skip the pilot phase altogether with a 13-episode straight-to-series order from CBS, signalling very early confidence in the show. Now CBS is hoping for another summer ratings hit. Early critical reactions to the show have been mixed, but it's leaning toward the positive. This week, we'll find out just how many people have been hooked in by the show's early promos, and whether Halle Berry's set to become a TV star. In the series premiere, Berry is astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home from a year alone in space to find herself mysteriously, and seemingly impossibly, pregnant. Check out a preview below.
Hemlock Grove (Netflix) Friday
Second-season premiere! - Hemlock Grove didn't get a warm critical welcome when its first season hit Netflix last spring, but it did earn a higher viewership than fellow streaming hit House of Cards, and it was also among the first streaming series ever to be nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards. That attention, and the show's substantial fanbase, was enough to earn it a second batch of episodes, and they all hit Netflix Watch Instantly Friday for your binge-watching pleasure. So, if you're up for 10 more hours of sexy, bloody werewolf fun, it looks like your weekend plans are set. Check out a preview for season two below.
The Almighty Johnsons (Syfy) Friday, 10 p.m. - "It's a Kind of Birthday Present"
U.S. Series Premiere! - Syfy's brought us series from other countries that have become genre addictions right here in the U.S. before (Continuum, anyone?), and this Friday they'll try to do it again with this New Zealand-based series about a family that just happens to be a group of reincarnated Norse gods. The series developed a rabid, if a little small, fanbase during three seasons in its native country, and even generated a fan campaign that ultimately saved it from cancellation between seasons two and three. Its run in New Zealand ended last year, but it's still new to us, and it might become a new must-watch show for you. In the premiere episode, Axl Johnson celebrates his 21st birthday amid strange happenings, and discovers that there's more to him than he ever knew. Check out a preview below.
The Strain (FX) Sunday, 10 p.m. - "Night Zero"
Series premiere! - Genre icon Guillermo del Toro teams with writer Chuck Hogan to bring their trilogy of vampire novels to the small screen, and the result is one of the most anticipated new genre series of the year. We would've been stoked to see this series play out on just about any network, but the fact that it landed on FX -- where a much-touted respect for showrunners and storytellers has brought us acclaimed hits like Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Louie and many more -- only adds to our excitement. Plus, del Toro's not just sitting back in the shadows as an executive producer, letting other people work while he goes off to make movies. He co-wrote and directed the pilot episode that will air this Sunday. So, with all those ingredients in place -- plus a cast that includes Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Roy Dotrice, Sean Astin and many more -- we've got a can't-miss series premiere on our hands. Check out a preview below.
Monday, July 7
Under the Dome (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Infestation"
Barbie and Rebecca take life-threatening measures to try to save the town's food supply.
Teen Wolf (MTV) 10 p.m. - "Muted"
Stilinski investigates a murder. Scott's place on the Lacrosse team is threatened by a new player.
Tuesday, July 8
Inside the Walking Dead (AMC) 10 p.m.
Behind-the-scenes special! - If the Fourth of July marathon and season five preview special weren't enough Walking Dead for you, check out this behind-the-scenes look at the show's production Tuesday night.
The Wil Wheaton Project (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Wheaton Academy 7: Mission to Moscow"
It's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes premiere week, and star Andy Serkis is stopping by to visit Wil.
Wednesday, July 9
Wilfred (FXX) 10 p.m. - "Answers"
Wilfred is a patient in a scientific study, and the results are disconcerting.
Thursday, July 10
Adventure Time (TOON) 7 p.m. - "Little Brother"
A party-related accident forces Shelby into a new role.
Defiance (Syfy) 8 p.m. - "Beasts of Burden"
Pottinger orders Nolan to destroy whoever was responsible for attacking his caravan.
Dominion (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "The Flood"
A powerful senator from Vega demands that the identity of the Chosen One is made public.
Friday, July 11
Legend of Korra (NICK) 8 p.m. - "In Harm's Way" & "The Metal Clan"
Korra discovers what the Earth Queen is doing with airbenders. Korra and her friends visit the metal city of Zaofu.
Crossbones (NBC) 10 p.m. - "The Return"
Lowe hatches a plan to capture Blackbeard and turn him over to the English.
Saturday, July 12
Saturday's pretty quiet, but you've got Hemlock Grove to watch.
Sunday, July 13
True Blood (HBO) 9 p.m. - "Death Is Not The End"
Sookie gathers vampires and humans together to track down the H-vamps.
The Leftovers (HBO) 10 p.m. - "Two Boats and a Helicopter"
In the wake of threats, Rev. Jamison struggles to hold his church together.
Falling Skies (TNT) 10 p.m. - "Evolve or Die"
Weaver and Cochise try to find Matt. Tom and the 2nd Mass look for refuge in a Volm hideout.
The Last Ship (TNT) 9 p.m. - "We'll Get There"
Chandler's leadership is tested when the ship's propulsion system suffers catastrophe.
Witches of East End (Lifetime) 9 p.m. - "The Son Also Rises"
Joanna is pleased by Frederick's return, but Wendy remains suspicious.
Salem (WGN) 10 p.m. - "All Fall Down"
Aiden learns Mary's greatest secret, but Mary learns a new secret of her own.
Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) 10 p.m. - "Giant"
Joe's connection with Cameron is threatened when a person from his past shows up.