“Game of Thrones” had such an impressive Season 4 run that many fans are feeling pangs of “GoT” withdrawal.
And it’s easy to understand why. The HBO show produced a heart-pounding season full of shocks (so many deaths!), jaw-dropping fights (The Mountain vs. Oberyn, Brienne vs. The Hound), incredible performances (Peter Dinklage, Pedro Pascal and Maisie Williams to name a few) and deepening supernatural mysteries (Bran’s run in with the Wights, Children of the Forest and the three-eyed raven).
But this summer, several intriguing new shows are on the way, hoping to capture your interest (and fill the void), beginning this coming Tuesday with FX’s “Tyrant.”
When: June 24 at 10 PM ET/PT on FX
What’s it all about? Barry Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner), the second son of a dictator of a (fictional) Middle Eastern nation, has been living in self-imposed exile in America for two decades. During that time, he became a trusted pediatrician and started a family with loving wife Molly (Jennifer Finnigan). Reluctantly drawn back to his turbulent birthplace for a nephew’s wedding, Barry and his family are quickly caught up in intense political and family drama.
Why it’s worth watching: This new series, from “Homeland” Executive Producers Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, is full of the kind of issues the noble families of Westeros could relate to. There’s a despised dictator, a high-life living heir to the throne and people with lots of ambition and lots of secrets. “Tyrant” is big and fascinating, with a captivating lead actor (Adam).
When: June 29 at 10 PM ET/PT on HBO
What’s it all about? While going about their daily lives one afternoon, a portion of the world’s population just disappeared. Skipping ahead three years later, we see how people are dealing with the unexplained losses. Some of “The Leftovers” have joined silent communes, others have found messiahs, still others, like Justin Theroux’s Police Chief Kevin Garvey, are trying to keep the peace, keep what’s left of their families safe and keep it together.
Why it’s worth watching: “The Leftovers” is unique, intriguing, and at times, like “Thrones,” even a little infuriating (look out for the certain scenes involving a group called the GR — the Guilty Remnant). The strong — and large — cast also includes Amy Brenneman, Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston and Margaret Qualley.
When: July 13 at 10 PM ET/PT on FX
What’s it all about? Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Cory Stoll) and his CDC team are called to JFK airport to investigate a viral outbreak after a plane lands on the tarmac with no signs of life. Watching a TV news report about the incident from his pawn shop, Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) begins to fear that an ancient, terrifying and fast moving strain of vampirism has resurfaced, threatening the world’s population.
Why it’s worth watching: Showrunner Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Executive Producer/pilot director Guillermo del Toro combine their talents to create hold-on-to-your-seats suspense. Cory was a standout during “House of Cards” Season 1 and he’s engaging as Eph. Meanwhile, David shakes off the villainous Walder Frey character from “Thrones,” picks up a wolf’s head sword and kicks ass as unlikely hero Abraham.
When: August 9 at 9 PM ET/PT on Starz
What’s it all about? After spending much of their marriage apart while serving their country during World War II, Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) and husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) travel to Scotland following the war’s end, in an attempt to reconnect romantically while on a second honeymoon. But, Claire’s curiosity in a unique town leads her to a standing stone circle, where she is mysteriously swept back in time to the 1740s, and into the middle of a Scottish/English conflict. She finds an ally in the handsome standup Scot Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a Highlander with a few secrets.
Why it’s worth watching: Based on author Diana Gabaldon’s 25 million (and counting) selling book series, the show is being brought to the small screen by Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore, and his team who love the novels (including co-EP Maril Davis, and costume designer Terry Dresbach). The series combines adventure, romance, edge-of-your-seat drama and stunning (and authentic) Scottish scenery. And, just like “GoT,” portions of this series are in another language – in “Outlander’s” case, Gaelic.
When: August 13 at 9/8c on TNT
What’s it all about? Martin Odum (Sean Bean) is a gifted undercover agent for the FBI, a man who has the ability to immerse himself in any alias as he works to take down some of America’s most wanted. Not your typical undercover agent thriller, the twist here happens when Martin meets someone who makes him question if he really is who he says he is.
Why it’s worth watching: “He’s electric,” “Legends” Executive Producer Howard Gordon, previously told Access of Sean, who goes deep undercover in surprising ways. And, some good news for Sean fans left brokenhearted by his “Thrones” Season 1 ending — producers have promised he won’t die in this show.
-- Jolie Lash