Traditionally, May has been the month when you say goodbye to your favorite network series. Some are taking a much deserved summer nap (sleep well, all you Grey’s Anatomy doctors), while others are going on permanent hiatus (the series finale of The Middle airs May 22, and get ready for one last game of “True American” on the series finale of New Girl on May 15). There’s stunt casting (look for Kathy Bates as Amy’s mother on the season finale of The Big Bang Theory on May 10) and life-changing events (Jake and Amy to get married on the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on May 20).
But there’s also a ton of new and returning programming coming your way this month, including Cobra Kai on YouTube Red (May 2), the second season of Netflix’s Dear White People (May 4) and Brad Garrett joining the cast of I’m Dying Up Here on May 6. We can’t wait to tell you about Sweetbitter, which hits Starz on May 6, and Little Women, which comes to PBS on May 13.
It would be easy to miss something this month, so we’ve cherry picked the five new shows you can’t miss in May.
Executive Producers: Carol Burnett, Steve Sauer, Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco, and Izzie Pick Ashcroft
Stars: Carol Burnett, Russell Peters
Premiere Date: May 4 on Netflix
Comedy legend Carol Burnett can charm pretty much anyone, but she’s particularly delightful when teamed up with a group of five- to nine-year-olds. In this 12-episode series, celebrities including Julie Bowen, Candace Cameron Bure, Billy Eichner, Taraji P. Henson, Lisa Kudrow, and Wanda Sykes turn to the elementary school set for advice on their problems. We know kids say the darndest things, and Burnett is sure to bring the best out in all of them. Tug on your ear, snuggle up on the couch with your little one and enjoy.
Executive Producers: Michael C Hall, Nicola Shindler, Harlan Coben, Danny Brocklehurst
Stars: Michael C Hall, Amanda Abbington, Emmett J Scanlan, Audrey Fleurot, and Marc Warren
Premiere Date: May 10 on Netflix
Michael C. Hall dons a British accent and leaves his serial killer days behind to star as Tom, a dad raising his two daughters alone after his wife dies from cancer. When his eldest daughter goes missing, Tom must confront the mysterious gated community he lives in and his role in his wife’s death. The story was created by famed thriller author Harlan Coben, ensuring that everything will not be as it seems.
Executive Producers: Michael Jackson, Rachael Horovitz and Benedict Cumberbatch
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hugo Weaving, Blythe Danner, Allison Williams,
Premiere Date: May 12 at 9 p.m. on Showtime
Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the title character in this five-part limited series. Based on the semi-autobiographical novels of Edward St. Aubyn, the series follows Patrick, who was horrifically abused by his parents (Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving)—leading to an adult life of addiction and problems. The series will air on Saturday nights, representing Showtime’s foray into offering scripted original programming on Saturdays.
Executive Producers: Jennifer Fox
Stars: Laura Dern, Isabelle Nelisse, Elizabeth Debicki, Jason Ritter, Frances Conroy, John Heard, Common and Ellen Burstyn
Premiere Date: May 26 at 10 p.m. on HBO
Continuing on the autobiographical/traumatic childhood theme, Laura Dern stars as Jennifer, a documentary filmmaker who is forced to confront her past. When Jennifer’s mother discovers a disturbing story her daughter wrote when she was 13 years old, Jennifer must re-examine her summer camp relationship with her track coach (Jason Ritter) and her riding instructor (Elizabeth Debicki). The film is based on the life of documentary filmmaker Jennifer Fox (Beriut: The Last Home Movie).
Executive Producers: Bobby Moresco
Stars: Dominic Monaghan, Michael Nyqvist
Premiere Date: May 29 at 10 p.m. on WGN America
Dominic Monaghan stars as a New York City detective Tommy Conley, who travels to Stockholm on the hunch that a serial killer who has been terrorizing New York, killing blond, blue-eyed women, has taken his murderous killing spree to Sweden. Conley teams up with the less than thrilled Mikael Eklund (the late Michael Nyqvist), and the two men are forced to work together to solve the case. There’s probably not a chance Monaghan will sing my favorite Lost tune “You all everybody,” but it’s great to have him back on our TV sets again.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal) or her blog .