New Summer Television

Looking for something new to watch this summer? The summer TV season started off with a bang, offering us the History Channel’s Roots miniseries remake in May and the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary OJ: Made in America this past week. If you missed the Roots reboot, don’t be dismayed; it will be on disc on August 23. The documentary about the rise and fall of OJ Simpson and the culture that produced him, of which I have only seen the first two episodes at this writing, is a fascinating piece of work, holding my attention much more than the miniseries on the same subject earlier this year. While it will finish airing by the time this article hits our website, it will be available on disc on July 19.

This coming week, on June 21, the OWN network will be airing the first scripted TV show to include Oprah Winfrey in a recurring role. Greenleaf is a series based on a former preacher coming back to her hometown and the megachurch that her family runs. From what I’ve been able to dig up, the show purports to offer a mix of scandalous twists and turns as well as some genuine faith and life issues. Which of those things becomes the main impetus of the show remains to be seen.

BBC America will be airing Thirteen, a five-part drama about Ivy, a young woman who was abducted and then reenters society and rejoins her family after 13 years in captivity. In Britain it was aimed at a young adult audience, apparently offering an interesting plotline that doesn’t go into great detail about the trauma she experienced. Reviewers raved about the performance of Jodie Comer as Ivy. It seems like a dark series, maybe in line with Broadchurch, and so I recommend parental discretion.

On the lighter side, if you enjoy game shows, ABC wants you. It’s like the 1970s all over again. The network is bringing back Celebrity Family Feud for a second season on June 26 and following it up with new versions of $100,000 Pyramid and Match Game.

Netflix continues to provide new content for children, including Justin Time GO!, a spinoff of the Canadian show Justin Time, centering on a boy who explores history and the world through his imagination. The show debuts on Netflix on June 24. On July 7, they’ll be adding Word Party, a vocabulary-building kids’ show produced by the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio.

For children of all ages, including the young at heart, Netflix will be streaming the animated movie The Little Prince as of August 5. While it hit theaters in Canada earlier this year, it never made it to the big screen in the U.S., so Netflix has picked it up. You can read the Banner review of the film here.

Last but definitely not least, there’s the biggest summer television event of all; on August 5 the world will be watching the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Rio.

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