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Previewing summer’s most promising new TV series

From “Stranger Things” to “Big Little Lies” to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” some of television’s biggest shows are returning this summer.

Several high-profile new series — Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes! Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan! A spoof of after-shows such as “Talking Dead”? — are looking to join their ranks.

It’s too soon to tell if any of the newcomers have the goods to break out. But, based on its description alone, who could have imagined the adventures of four nerdy Indiana kids, Winona Ryder and an Eggo-loving science experiment would become a pop-culture phenomenon?

Here’s a look at some of the new scripted series that will keep you company indoors this summer:

Limited series are attracting top talent. Crowe stars as the former Fox News CEO, with Naomi Watts as Gretchen Carlson, in “The Loudest Voice” (10 p.m. June 30, Showtime). George Clooney executive produces, co-stars in and directs two episodes of “Catch 22” (May 17, Hulu), a six-part adaptation of Joseph Heller’s classic World War II novel, co-starring Kyle Chandler and Hugh Laurie. Writer-director Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” (May 31, Netflix) tells the story of the teenagers, convicted of a brutal attack and ultimately exonerated, who came to be known as The Central Park Five. And “The Hot Zone” (9 p.m. May 27, National Geographic), starring Julianna Margulies, traces the origins of the Ebola virus and its introduction to America in 1989.

Not all the big names will be visible. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon return to their Boston roots as executive producers of “City on a Hill” (9 p.m. June 16, Showtime), which follows a prosecutor (Aldis Hodge) and a corrupt FBI agent (Kevin Bacon) as they try to bring down a ring of armored-car robbers. Mindy Kaling co-created the anthology series adaptation of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” (July 31, Hulu). And Zendaya leads the cast of the high school drama “Euphoria” (10 p.m. June 16, HBO), which counts “Degrassi” alum Drake among its executive producers.

It’s hard to believe it will take until July to launch more series inspired by comic books. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are reteaming with Garth Ennis (“Preacher”) for “The Boys” (July 26, Amazon Prime), based on the series by Ennis and Darick Robertson, about vigilantes who set out to bring down a group of superheroes who’ve begun to abuse their power in service of their celebrity and endorsement deals. And in 1960s London, ex-soldier Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon) begins working with young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) in the Batman-adjacent drama “Pennyworth” (9 p.m. July 28, Epix).

Those aren’t the only series that would feel right at home at Comic-Con. The angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) and the demon Crowley (David Tennant) try to postpone the Apocalypse in “Good Omens” (May 31, Amazon Prime), based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan, Frances McDormand as God and Jon Hamm as the archangel Gabriel. And a young woman (Ashleigh Cummings) tracks an immortal villain (Zachary Quinto) who feeds on the souls of children in the supernatural horror series “NOS4A2” (10 p.m. June 2, AMC).

The networks haven’t completely abandoned summer. The sci-fi sensation “The Flare” doesn’t actually exist, but its after-show — featuring celebrity interviews, set visits and fan interaction — is absolutely real in the high-concept comedic talk show “What Just Happened??! With Fred Savage” (9:30 p.m. June 30, Fox). “Beverly Hills, 90210” alums Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green and Tori Spelling reunite as heightened versions of themselves in “BH90210” (9 p.m. Aug. 7, Fox).

Less ambitiously, Poppy Montgomery (“Without a Trace”) stars as a thief-turned-fixer in an island paradise in “Reef Break” (10 p.m. June 20, ABC). An antiquities expert (Matt Barr) enlists an art thief (Sofia Pernas) in his quest to take down a terrorist who uses treasures to finance his attacks in “Blood & Treasure” (9 p.m. May 21, CBS). A woman (Harriet Dyer) who has visions and can see spirits helps her police detective father (Paul Blackthorne) and his new partner (Justin Cornwell) investigate a murder in “The InBetween” (10 p.m. May 29, NBC). And sandals and scandals collide in “Grand Hotel” (10 p.m. June 17, ABC), a steamy drama starring Demian Bichir set in a Miami Beach luxury hotel.

Elsewhere, Renee Zellweger stars as a mysterious investor with a tempting offer to a young couple in the thriller “What/If” (May 24, Netflix), from “Revenge” creator Mike Kelley.

A cop (Miles Teller) is drawn into Los Angeles’ criminal underworld in “Too Old to Die Young” (June 14, Amazon Prime), from “Drive” director Nicolas Winding Refn.

A grifter (Jimmi Simpson, “Westworld”) targets a pastor and his wife (Ben Kingsley, Jacki Weaver), who have a habit of duping their parishioners, in “Perpetual Grace, LTD” (10 p.m. June 2, Epix).

Now that she’s been disbarred, former attorney Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) takes over as the fixer for the Chicago mayor in the “Suits” spinoff “Pearson” (10 p.m. July 17, USA).

Friends turned rival attorneys (Robin Givens, Essence Atkins) clash in the drama “Ambitions” (10 p.m. June 18, OWN).

And Neptune, California’s top investigator (Kristen Bell) is on the case when a series of bombings hits during spring break in the revival of “Veronica Mars” (July 26, Hulu).

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence @reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4567. Follow @life_onthecouch on Twitter.

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