CLEVELAND, Ohio – Making plans for summer travels? Why not book a trip to “Castle Rock”?
The small Maine town, a favorite fictional setting for the stories of horrormeister Stephen King, provides the title and location for executive producer J.J. Abrams’ supernatural series premiering Wednesday, July 25, on Hulu. You won’t lack for good company on this summer excursion to terror town.
Using characters and themes from several of King’s stories, “Castle Rock” features an ensemble with a wide range of horror credits. Indeed, many of them have previous King credits.
The “Castle Rock” cast includes Sissy Spacek (star of the very first King movie, “Carrie”), Melanie Lynskey (King’s “Rose Red” miniseries), Scott Glenn (“The Silence of the Lambs”), Jane Levy (“Evil Dead”), Andre Holland (“American Horror Story: Roanoke”), Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise in last year’s first half of King’s “It”) and Terry O’Quinn (“The Stepfather”).
While one of the highest of the high-profile new series showing up over the next three months, “Castle Rock” hardly has the summer field to itself. Although not as busy or intense as the just-concluded September-to-May regular television season, summer no longer is an endless parade of reruns.
Yes, the reruns still are part of the mix, just as they have been since the dawn of television. With viewing levels down as sunny weather and vacations kick in, repeats remain a relatively inexpensive scheduling ploy.
That goes for reality shows, as well. The number of those rapidly multiplies under the summer sun, too, since they also are cheap gambits compared with scripted dramas and comedies. But streaming services and many cable channels view TV as a 52-week, round-the-clock business, so it’s not odd to see a “Castle Rock” from Hulu or a “C.B. Strike,” the private-detective drama created by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, on Cinemax.
Even the traditional broadcast networks realize it can’t be exclusively reality and repeats against such intriguing and powerhouse viewing alternatives. So there’s even some first-run scripted stuff being offered by the likes of NBC and CBS.
Here’s just a sampling of what else is on the TV horizon this summer for new and returning shows:
“The Bachelorette” (8 p.m. Monday, May 28, WEWS Channel 5): Rebecca “Becca” Kufrin, a 28-year-old publicist from Minnesota, will be choosing from a field of 28 contestants. Kufrin was the winner of the 22nd edition of “The Bachelor,” but Arie Luyendyk Jr. broke off his engagement with her to resume a relationship with runner-up Lauren Burnham.
“America’s Got Talent” (8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, WKYC Channel 3): The 13th edition of the NBC talent-competition reality show begins with host Tyra Banks introducing the acts to the judging panel: Mel B, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel.
“Beat Shazam” (8 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, WJW Channel 8): Host Jamie Foxx launches a second season of his name-that-tune game show on Fox.
“Animal Kingdom” (9 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, TNT): Janine “Smurf” Cody (Ellen Barkin) and her crime family return for a third season. The drama also stars Scott Speedman and Shawn Hatosy.
“World of Dance” (10 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, Channel 3): Executive producer Jennifer Lopez’s competition reality show waltzes back for a second season.
“Queen Sugar” (10 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, OWN): Executive producer Oprah Winfrey’s cable drama, based on Natalie Baszile’s novel, starts its third season.
“100 Code” (10 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, WGN America): Originally aired in Germany in 2015, this 12-episode crime drama stars Dominic Monaghan (“Lost”) as NYPD detective Tommy Conley, who travels to Stockholm and teams with a Swedish police officer (the late Michael Nyqvist) to investigate a gruesome series of murders.
“American Ninja Warrior” (8 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, Channel 3): Matt Iseman returns as host for the obstacle-course reality show’s 10th edition.
“MasterChef” (8 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, Channel 8): Gordon Ramsay’s cooking competition reality show serves up its 10th edition.
“Reverie” (10 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, Channel 3): The premiere of this NBC science-fiction drama introduces us to former hostage negotiator Mara Kint (Sarah Shahi), who teams with Charlie Ventana (Dennis Haysbert) to rescue people whose minds are lost in an advanced virtual-reality simulation.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Wednesday, May 30, Netflix): Jon Hamm and Greg Kinnear are among the guest stars lined up for the comedy’s fourth and final season. The first six episodes are available Wednesday. The remaining six premiere later this year.
“C.B. Strike” (10 p.m. Friday, June 1, Cinemax): Based on the three novels Rowling wrote under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, this noir-ish seven-episode series stars Tom Burke as a struggling London private detective with a young protege (Holliday Grainger).
“Pose” (9 p.m. Sunday, June 3, FX): Executive producer Ryan Murphy (“Glee,” “Nip/Tuck,” “American Horror Story”) takes a step in yet another new direction – a dance musical set in 1980s New York.
“Succession” (10 p.m. Sunday, June 3, HBO): British comedy writer Jesse Armstrong (“Peep Show”) is the co-creator of this drama about a Murdoch-like media empire. Brian Cox is the aging founder of the family-owned conglomerate. The cast also includes Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin, Matthew Macfadyen, Sarah Snook and Cleveland native Alan Ruck.
“So You Think You Can Dance” (8 p.m. Monday, June 4, Channel 8): The Fox reality show begins its 15th edition with Cat Deeley back as host, along with returning judges Vanessa Hudgens, Nigel Lythgoe and former Canal Fulton resident Mary Murphy.
“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” (9 p.m. Monday, June 4, WBNX Channel 55): The improved comedy show is back with Aisha Tyler as host, overseeing the antics of resident comics Wayne Brady, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie.
“Dietland” (9 p.m. Monday, June 4, AMC): Marti Noxon (“UnREAL,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is the writer-producer behind this series version of Sarai Walker’s 2015 satirical novel about a ghostwriter (Joy Nash) whose ideas attract the attention of a group that uses deadly force on men accused of sexual assault.
“Humans” (10 p.m. Tuesday, June 5, AMC): Based on a Swedish science-fiction series, the cable drama begins its third season in a parallel universe where synths – anthropomorphic robots – have become a part of the culture.
“Condor” (10 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, AT&T/DirecTV): This new conspiracy thriller set in Washington, D.C., is based on James Grady’s 1974 novel “Six Days of the Condor” and the 1975 film adaptation, “Three Days of the Condor.” The cast includes Max Irons, Mira Sorvino, William Hurt, Brendan Fraser and Bob Balaban.
“Nashville” (9 p.m. Thursday, June 7, CMT): The sixth season will be the last for the Music City drama that started on ABC.
“American Woman” (10 p.m. Thursday, June 7, Paramount Network): Set in the 1970s, this new comedy stars Alicia Silverstone as Bonnie, a Los Angeles trophy wife who catches her husband cheating and decides to be a single mother to their two daughters.
“Celebrity Family Feud” (8 p.m. Sunday, June 10, Channel 5): Steve Harvey, who grew up in East Cleveland, returns as the host for the spin-off game show’s fifth season.
“Claws” (9 p.m. Sunday, June 10, TNT): Set in a South Florida nail salon where manicurists mix with mobsters, this wicked blend of comedy and drama begins its second season. Niecy Nash and Carrie Preston lead the strong cast.
“Marlon” (9 p.m. Thursday, June 14, Channel 3): Marlon Wayans’ semi-autobiographical NBC comedy gets a second summer season.
“12 Monkeys” (8 p.m. Friday, June 15, Syfy): This will be the fourth and final season for the science-fiction drama. It returns with three new episodes on one night.
“Goliath” (Friday, June 15, Amazon): Billy Bob Thronton returns as lawyer Billy McBride in writer-producer David E. Kelley’s witty drama.
“The Affair” (9 p.m. Sunday, June 17, Showtime): The emotional effects of an affair continue into a fourth season of the drama starring Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson.
“Shades of Blue” (10 p.m. Sunday, June 17, Channel 3): Jennifer Lopez gets a third and final season as NYPD detective Harlee Santos.
“Yellowstone” (9 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, Paramount Network): Kevin Costner (“Dances With Wolves”) stars in his first series as the patriarch of a Montana ranching family.
“Queen of the South” (9 p.m. Thursday, June 21, USA): The American version of the telenovela “La Reina del Sur” is back with a third season.
“Take Two” (10 p.m. Thursday, June 21, Channel 5): The “Castle” production team is back on the crime beat with Rachel Bilson as the former star of a TV cop show. After a very public breakdown and a stint in rehab, she prepares for a new role by shadowing a private detective (Eddie Cibrian).
“Shooter” (10 p.m. Thursday, June, 21, USA): The third season finds Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe) investigating his father’s death.
“Marvel’s Luke Cage” (Friday, June 22, Netflix): It has been a long wait, but the superhero (played by Mike Colter) finally is back with a second season.
“Preacher” (10 p.m. Sunday, June 24, AMC): Dominic Cooper’s Reverend Jesse returns for a third season, which will see Betty Buckley join the cast.
“Salvation” (9 p.m. Monday, June 25, WOIO Channel 19): The CBS drama returns for a second season. That asteroid still is on a collision course with Earth, but now the secret is out and the world knows the truth about this impending threat.
“Big Brother” (8 p.m. Wednesday, June 27, WOIO Channel 19): Julie Chen continues her reign as host of the reality show that premiered on CBS in the summer of 2000.
“GLOW” (Friday, June 29, Netflix): Round two for Alison Brie and the comedy about the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling.
“Sharp Objects” (9 p.m. Sunday, July 8, HBO): Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, this drama stars Amy Adams as a reporter who returns to her hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls.
“TKO: Total Knockout” (8 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, Channel 19): Actor-comedian Kevin Hart is the host for this reality competition show that features one player racing through daunting obstacles while other contestants are firing over-the-top projectiles.
“Burden of Truth” (8 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, Channel 55): Kristin Kreuk (“Smallville”) has top billing in this legal drama.
“Trial & Error: Lady Killer” (9 p.m. Thursday, July 19, Channel 3): John Lithgow has left the NBC comedy, so Kristen Chenoweth steps in as the new defendant accused of murder.
“Snowfall” (10 p.m. Thursday, July 19, FX): This is the second season for director-writer John Singleton’s crime drama about the Los Angeles crack cocaine epidemic of 1983.
“Wynonna Earp” (9 p.m. Friday, July 20, Syfy): Melanie Scrofano is back in the title role of this mix of horror and Western.
“Making It” (10 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, Channel 3): Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are the hosts for this new crafting competition reality series.
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp With the Cleveland Browns” (10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7, HBO): The sports documentary series puts the spotlight on the Browns for its 13th season.
“Get Shorty” (9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12, Epix): Chris O’Dowd returns as enforcer and aspiring actor Miles Daly for the second season of the series based on Elmore Leonard’s novel.
“Mr. Mercedes” (10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, AT&T/DirecTV): This will be the second season for writer-producer David E. Kelley’s series set in Ohio and based on Stephen King’s crime novels about detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson).
“The Innocents” (Friday, Aug. 24, Netflix): Guy Pearce stars in this eight-episode horror series about powerful forces trying to drive apart two teenagers on the run.
“Jack Ryan” (Friday, Aug. 31, Amazon): John Krasinski has the title role in this series based on Tom Clancy’s stories.