The television industry has learned that you don’t have to wait until the fall to start your new season. You can simply start your shows any time of the year and the Summer is prime for new premieres. Another new trend in American TV is the limited run mini series. That is at least the term we are using here. Our friends across the pond in the UK often have seasons as short as 3 episodes. Each episode is sometimes 1 1/2 hours and resembles a movie in production value. Here are 5 shows we think you should really check out. There are others out there but these are the ones we are most interested in right now.
‘Ballers’ is a new half-hour comedy series starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The first season begins its 10-episode run on June 21, 2015 at 10 pm. Looking at the lives of former and current football players, the show follows former superstar Spencer Strasmore as he gets his life on track in retirement while mentoring other current and former players through the daily grind of the business of football. Rob Corrdry, Omar Benson Miller, John David Washington, Donovan Carter, Troy Garity, Jazmyn Simon, and Arielle Kebbel also star. Created and executive produced by Steve Levinson; executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg, Dany Garcia, Julian Farino, Evan Reilly and Rob Weiss.
The Spoils Before Dying
Will Ferrell and Funny or Die team up for a six-part sequel to last summer’s buzzy comedic miniseries “The Spoils of Babylon.” Ferrell’s novelist character, Eric Jonrosh, spins a noir murder mystery set in the seedy underbelly of the LA jazz scene that engulfs co-stars Kristen Wiig, Michael Kenneth Williams, Maya Rudolph and Haley Joel Osment.
MR. ROBOT is a psychological thriller that follows Elliot (Rami Malek, “24”), a young programmer, who works as a cyber security engineer by day and a vigilante hacker by night. Elliot finds himself at a crossroads when the mysterious leader (Christian Slater, “The Adderall Diaries”) of an underground hacker group recruits him to destroy the corporation he is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs he believes are running (and ruining) the world. The series also stars Portia Doubleday (“Her”), Carly Chaikin (“Suburgatory”) and Martin Wallström (“Simple Simon”).
Wet Hot American Summer
Follow the counselors and campers on their first day at Camp Firewood in the summer of 1981.
The entire cast is back from the classic, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, etc.
NBC “Black” Comedy Hour (not really the name)
The Carmichael Show
From the comedy of Jerrod Carmichael and Nick Stoller (“Neighbors”) comes an irreverent sitcom inspired by Jerrod’s relationships with his say-anything, contrarian father, his therapist-in-training girlfriend, his ever-hustling brother and his mother who is always, always, always right with Jesus.
Taking the next step and moving in together, Jerrod and his girlfriend, Maxine (Amber West), are your average young couple trying to make it in the city. They’re smart, motivated and looking to build a fulfilling life together. The only thing standing in their way is family. Between Jerrod’s larger-than-life brother, Bobby (Lil Rel Howery), and his smothering and passionate parents (David Alan Grier, Loretta Devine), Jerrod and Maxine are put to the test navigating the boundaries of romance, family and sanity.
Jerrod Carmichael, Nick Stoller and Ravi Nandan serve as executive producers. “The Carmichael Show” is co-produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Universal Television.
As lead singer and keyboardist of the funk band Nasty Delicious, Craig (Craig Robinson, “The Office”) knows a thing or two about working the crowd, but his day job is where he really makes the grade.
Every struggling artist knows the drill: you have to pay the bills while you wait for that big break. So when Craig finds himself short on cash, he takes a job as a substitute high school music teacher. It’s an easy gig, right? Yet when he realizes the kids think his class is an easy A, Craig’s moved to inspire his students.
The school principal (Peri Gilpin, “Frasier”) believes that rules are made to be strictly upheld. She’s none too fond of Craig’s unorthodox teaching style, or his crush on the pretty English teacher (recurring guest star Meagan Good, “Think Like a Man”). It’s a constant struggle for Craig, having one foot in the music world with his band, Nasty Delicious, and having one foot in the teaching world. But if Craig wants to get the girl of his dreams and teach these kids the joys of music, he’ll have to buckle down, shape up and get the funk out.
The cast also includes Ben Koldyke, Amandla Stenberg, Brandon T. Jackson, Spencer Grammer and Tim Bagley.
Writers Mark Cullen and Robb Cullen (“Back in the Game,” “Lucky”) serve as executive producers with Howard Klein (“Parks and Recreation”), Mark Schulman (“Chelsea Lately”) and Andy Ackerman (“Seinfeld”).
“Mr. Robinson” is a production of Universal Television and 3 Arts Entertainment.