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The Yellowstone guy’s spy thriller, more Justified, and all the new TV this week

Here’s the best of new TV to watch this week

Kaitlyn Meade (Nicole Kidman) sitting in a chair looking imposing in a still from Special Ops: Lioness Photo: Greg Lewis/Paramount Plus
Zosha Millman (she/her) manages TV coverage at Polygon as TV editor, but will happily write about movies, too. She’s been working as a journalist for more than 10 years.

It’s the dead of summer, it’s hot (probably, wherever you are), which means — of course — it’s time to cool down with some TV.

The return of Justified (via streaming platform reboot, like so much these days) might not help with that. Timothy Olyphant has always been one of the smoothest-talking (and hottest) men to grace the television screen, and his Raylan Givens is no exception. Is the trip outside Kentucky is worth it? We’ll see this week.

Stepping off the big screen, Nicole Kidman is moving from cultural ambassador (in AMC’s preshow) to CIA director, starring in the Paramount Plus’ new Taylor Sheridan show Special Ops: Lioness opposite Zoe Saldaña.

Here are all the significant TV premieres (and finales!) this week.

New shows on Netflix

Sweet Magnolias season 3

Genre: Romantic drama
Release date: July 20
Showrunner/creator: Sheryl J. Anderson
Cast: JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, Heather Headley, Jamie Lynn Spears, and more

The feel-good Netflix series is back — based on the novels by Sherryl Woods, Sweet Magnolias is still following three lifelong friends in a small Southern town. Season 3 picks up after the brawl at Sullivan’s, with each of the women looking for ways to help their community while also facing difficult decisions about their own lives.

New shows on Hulu

Justified: City Primeval

Genre: Crime thriller
Release date: July 18 on FX with two episodes; July 19 on Hulu
Showrunners/creators: Dave Andron and Michael Dinner
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Boyd Holbrook, Aunjanue Ellis, and more

Olyphant’s smooth-talking U.S. marshal has left Kentucky for greener — or, at least, more urban — pastures. The Justified reboot finds him in Detroit, balancing life as a marshal, a father, and a law enforcement officer squaring off with a violent sociopath.

Praise Petey

Genre: Animated comedy
Release date: July 21 at 10 p.m. EDT on Freeform with two episodes; July 22 on Hulu
Showrunner/creator: Anna Drezen
Cast: Annie Murphy, Christine Baranski, Stephen Root, John Cho, and Kiersey Clemons

Just when Annie Murphy thought she was done with a well-curated NYC life crashing down around her and forcing her to move back to a small town — well, that’s about where the similarities between Praise Petey and Schitt’s Creek end. Petey (short for Petra) gets a mysterious gift from her deceased father: taking over as leader of his small-town cult, New Utopia! Now she’s girlbossing her way through the role, and trying to bring this cult to the modern era.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16 finale

Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Mac (Rob McElhenney) look scared at a phone in Dennis’ hand, while Uncle Jack looks somewhere else Photo: Patrick McElhenney/FX

Genre: Debauched comedy
Release date: July 19 at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT on FXX; July 20 on Hulu
Showrunners/creators: Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, and Glenn Howerton
Cast: Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito, and Rob McElhenney

FXX’s (historically) long running comedy wraps up its 16th season on Wednesday (and streaming the next day on Hulu). True to form, it ends on a funny note: Dennis taking a mental health day — and, of course, running into rage-inducing trouble every step of the way.

New shows on Paramount Plus

Special Ops: Lioness

Genre: Spy thriller
Release date: July 23
Showrunner/creator: Taylor Sheridan
Cast: Zoe Saldaña, Nicole Kidman, Michael Kelly, Morgan Freeman, Laysla De Oliveira

This Paramount Plus show — the latest from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan — is inspired by an actual U.S. military program, tracking the Lioness Program overseen by Kaitlyn Meade (Kidman) and Donald Westfield (Kelly). At the center of it is Joe (Saldaña) as she, as the Paramount summary puts it, “attempts to balance her personal and professional life as the tip of the CIA’s spear in the war on terror.”

New shows on Peacock

Below Deck Down Under season 2

Chief Stew Aesha and Captain Jason talking to each other Photo: Mark Rogers/Bravo

Genre: Upstairs/downstairs reality show
Release date: July 17 at 8 p.m. EDT; July 18 on Peacock
Cast: Jason Chambers, Aesha Scott, and other below deck (eyyy) crewmembers

The third spinoff of the very popular Below Deck reunites Captain Jason and Chief Stew Aesha for another soapy, drama-filled 150-foot-plus superyacht. You’d be surprised how much they can pack into just six weeks of shooting, but: anchors aweigh!

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