Well TV has decided on no April Fool’s tricks this year. Quibi, which launched last year on April 6, was a little too successful at being a hilarious practical joke. Oh the laughs we had not watch TV shows in 10 minute intervals! The networks and streaming platforms have instead decided to play it safe.
As such, April will shower viewers with a plethora of new series. We will have reviews of plenty of highly-anticipated new series like the ABC drama Rebel (premiering April 8), the final season of Younger (April 15 on Paramount+), Freeform’s new series Cruel Summer (April 20), the return of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (April 28) and AppleTV+ The Mosquito Coast (April 30).
But, as always, we don’t want you to miss a thing. Here are the five new, under-the-radar shows you can’t miss this month (for the 5 TV movies you can’t miss, check out our list here).
Executive Producer: Christina Lee
Stars: Cristin Milioti, Billy Magnussen, Ray Romano
Premiere Date: April 1 on HBO Max
Based on the novel by Alissa Nutting, this eight-episode series follows Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti) as she tries to divorce her husband Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen). The problem? Byron is a tech billionaire who hasn’t let her leave the house/compound in 10 years. He controls her every move and even makes her rate her orgasms. Hazel’s days are spent lying by the pool as her husband swims with dolphins. It may seem idyllic in some ways, but it’s not the life she wants. Once she does escape, she realizes Byron has implanted her with a “Made for Love” chip that not only knows her every move but knows exactly what she’s thinking. Ray Romano also stars as Hazel’s dad who has a sex doll as a life partner. The show is a quirky delight—but be prepared to think about just how far technology might take us.
Executive Producers: Dick Wolf and Ilene Chaiken
Stars: Christopher Meloni, Dylan McDermott, Ainsley Seiger, Danielle Moné Truitt and Tamara Taylor.
Premiere Date: April 1 at 10 p.m. on NBC
It’s been a decade since Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler retired from the police and departed Law & Order: SVU. Now, in the seventh spin-off of the venerable Dick Wolf franchise, Stabler returns as the head of an elite task force fighting organized crime. The premiere is part of a special crossover event with Law & Order: SVU, which finds Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) reuniting with her old partner in an episode aptly titled “Return of the Prodigal Son.” NBC is keeping a tight lid on this much-anticipated return, but we are very excited to see Stabler and Benson together again—even if they have a lot of issues to work out.
Executive Producer: Little Marvin
Stars: Deborah Ayorinde, Ashley Thomas, Alison Pill, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Melody Hurd, and Ryan Kwanten
Premiere Date: April 9 on Amazon Prime
This 10-episode limited anthology series, which boasts Little Marvin and Lena Waithe as executive producers, explores terror in America. The first season is set in 1953, during a period of time known as the Great Migration, when Henry (Ashley Thomas) and Lucky (Deborah Ayorinde) Emory moved from Chatham County, North Carolina to Compton, California in search of a better life. They buy a house in an all-white neighborhood in Los Angeles and quickly realize the neighbors are not happy. The terrifying first season unfolds over just 10 days. The show has already received a second season pick up. This is the first show creator, writer, showrunner, executive producer Little Marvin has debuted under his overall deal with Amazon Studios.
Executive Producers: Rob Liddell and Helen Thomas
Stars: Greta Thunberg
Premiere Date: April 22 at 8 p.m. on PBS
This three-part series will air in its entirety on Earth Day, and follows climate change activist Greta Thunberg in the fall of 2019 when she was just 16-years-old and took a year off from school to travel the globe and see the impact of climate change first hand. Thunberg visited coal mines in Europe, the oil industry in Alberta, and the melting glaciers in the United States. She spoke at the United Nations and at the World Economic Forum before the global pandemic brought her travels to a halt. The series takes viewers behind the façade of the “angry teenager” so many write her off as being. “For reasons I don’t understand, people listen to me when I talk… but I want you to listen to the science,” she says. After the premiere, PBS will re-air the show for three consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28th.
Executive Producer: James Cameron
Stars: Sigourney Weaver
Premiere Date: April 22 on Disney+
Filmed over three years and in 24 locations, this four-part series from National Geographic follows five different species of whales: orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals, and sperm whales. Soothingly narrated by Sigourney Weaver and featuring the work of National Geographic Explorer and photographer Brian Skerry, the series explores the communication skills and social infrastructure of one of the world’s greatest mammals. It’s full of fascinating facts discovered for the first time (did you know that beluga whales give themselves names?) and exciting suspense (watch a whale travel 4,000 miles from the Antarctica to the equator to give birth). Skerry, named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 11 times, will release a book of the same name on April 6th.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer and a member of the Television Critics Association. 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).
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