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The Most Anticipated TV Shows of May 2023

Shonda Rhimes holds court with a Bridgerton prequel, as The Great and The Other Two return.
  • Primo, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, The Great, Platonic (Photos: Amazon Studios/Netflix/Hulu/Apple TV+; Primetimer graphic)
    Primo, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, The Great, Platonic (Photos: Amazon Studios/Netflix/Hulu/Apple TV+; Primetimer graphic)

    This May, TV is sure to be a grand affair, as Netflix cordially invites Bridgerton fans to witness the rise (and courtship) of Queen Charlotte, while Hulu heads back to Russia for more of the gorgeous pageantry of The Great. We can look forward to just as many thrills (if fewer "huzzah"s) in present-day stories, thanks to the dynamic duos of Heléne York and Drew Tarver, who return in The Other Two Season 3, and Patricia Arquette and Ben Stiller, who have reteamed for Apple TV+'s High Desert. Also on the horizon: a To All the Boys spinoff, a new comedy from Shea Serrano and Michael Schur, and the dazzling debut of Disney+'s latest high-profile adaptation American Born Chinese.

    There's an abundance of options (as usual), but we've narrowed things down by picking 12 of the most exciting TV premieres of May 2023.

    Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story (Netflix)

    Premieres May 4

    Queen Charlotte isn't just Netflix's first Bridgerton spinoff — it's the first Bridgerton show actually written by Shonda Rhimes. The Grey's Anatomy creator brings her considerable talent to the story of Golda Rosheuvel's domineering monarch, played as a young adult by India Ria Amarteifio. At just 17, Charlotte is married off to King George III (Corey Mylchreest), but despite her hesitations, the arrangement soon gives way to true romance.

    As Charlotte and George's feelings for one another deepen, the young Queen begins to embrace her power, ushering in a societal shift that creates the world of the Ton as we know it. Beyond the walls of the palace, Queen Charlotte will introduce younger versions of Lady Danbury (Arsema Thomas) and Violet Bridgerton (Connie Jenkins-Greig), all while continuing their storylines in the Regency era. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    The Other Two, Season 3 (HBO Max)

    Premieres May 4

    HBO Max's best comedy is back for its third season, with the Dubek clan continuing to navigate the undignified waters of fame and the entertainment industry. Leaping ahead from where things left off at the end of Season 2, Cary (Drew Tarver) gets a taste of the acting career he's always wanted, while Brooke (Helene Yorke) has found her calling as a talent manager. Of course, reaching these career peaks just means there's more mountain to climb, as it looks like both Cary and Brooke are hoping to find more meaningful work, which can be challenging in an industry that's offering Gay Albert Einstein and Drape Disasters With Maria Menounos. Meanwhile, Pat (Molly Shannon) is striving for normalcy with Streeter (Ken Marino), Chase (Case Walker) is turning 18 and dealing with the career pivot that entails, and Lance (Josh Segarra) is still dabbing. — Joe Reid

    Silo (Apple TV+)

    Premieres May 5

    Based on the series of sci-fi novels by Hugh Howey, Silo presents a post-apocalyptic, dystopian vision of a community living in a massive subterranean silo to keep the people inside safe from what they're told is a toxic and unsurvivable outside world. But is that the truth, or a deception? Rebecca Ferguson stars as a woman who is determined to find out the truth, which can be dangerous in a world where expressing a curiosity about what lies beyond the silo can get you expelled from the silo.

    In addition to Ferguson, the cast includes David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones, Common, Iain Glenn, and Tim Robbins. The series comes from producer Graham Yost, whose golden touch helped make Justified and The Americans into two of the best shows of this century. The carefully constructed interior environment and extreme paranoia about what information is being kept from the people gives Silo some Severance vibes, which if nothing else can give fans of the latter a conspiracy fix until their show returns. — Joe Reid

    The Great Season 3 (Hulu)

    Premieres May 12

    Season 3 of The Great promises the same court intrigue, anachronisms, and excited cries of “huzzah” of past installments, but Catherine (Elle Fanning as the eponymous ruler) and Peter (Nicholas Hoult) may have actually turned a corner in their contentious marriage — all it took was a coup, an accidental political assassination, the death of a parent, and a literal backstabbing. The couple may be united (for now), but the same can’t be said for the country they’ve been fighting each other to lead. Catherine’s diplomacy and desire for a more progressive Russia are put to the test in these giddy new episodes, which will be released as a binge watch on Hulu. The stakes and dynamics may have changed, but Tony McNamara’s revisionist history remains as sumptuous as ever. — Danette Chavez

    City on Fire (Apple TV+)

    Premieres May 12

    If there's anyone who knows how to craft a compelling young adult drama, it's Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the duo behind Gossip Girl. Their latest venture doesn't stray far from the Upper East Side: On July 4, 2003, NYU student Samantha (Chase Sui Wonders) is shot in Central Park. In the aftermath, Samantha's friend Charlie (Wyatt Oleff), who's still reeling from the death of his father on 9/11, sets out to discover what really happened. But as his investigation continues, he learns Samantha may be the crucial connection between a series of mysterious fires, the downtown music scene, and a wealthy real estate family buckling under the weight of their many secrets. Apple's adaptation — which also stars Jemima Kirke and Nico Tortorella — makes a few big changes from Garth Risk Hallberg's novel, including shifting the action from the 1970s to 2003, but it promises to deliver the same mix of suspense and social commentary that earned the book widespread acclaim in 2015. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    High Desert (Apple TV+)

    Premieres May 17

    From Flirting With Disaster to Severance, Ben Stiller and Patricia Arquette have racked up decades collaborating on interesting projects, and High Desert seems likely to continue their streak. Stiller executive produces and Arquette stars as Peggy, a recovering addict who reacts to her mother’s death by becoming a private detective. That’s a far-out premise that promises to be grounded not only by Arquette’s performance, but also by the guidance of series creators Nancy Fichman, Katie Ford, and Jennifer Hoppe. Together or separately, those three have worked on series like Nurse Jackie and Damages and films like Miss Congeniality, which means they’ve got a knack for telling high-concept stories about well-crafted female characters. They just add to the show’s “dream team” glow. — Mark Blankenship

    XO, Kitty (Netflix)

    Premieres May 18

    Anna Cathcart first stole audiences’ hearts in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before as 11-year-old Kitty Covey, who masterminded the sweet relationship between her sister Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). Five years later, Kitty is set to follow her own whirlwind romance.

    Netflix’s XO, Kitty sees the youngest Covey sister transferring to the Korean Independent School of Seoul (KISS) for her junior year of high school. Her motivation to attend is to learn more about her late mother's life and to reconnect with her Korean boyfriend, Dae (Minyeong Choi). But things don't go according to plan upon her arrival. As Kitty navigates through the challenges of a new school, new culture, and a long-distance relationship, unexpected hurdles arise that put her plans and aspirations at risk. It’s teen rom-com meets K-Drama, promising to be an exciting addition to the To All The Boys franchise, with a fresh perspective and new characters to adore. — Dianna Shen

    The Secrets of Hillsong (FX)

    Premieres May 19

    For many years, Hillsong wasn’t just an Australian megachurch. It was also one of the most powerful forces in worship music, reaching millions of listeners across the world. That reach alone would make for an interesting story, but things got even more compelling in 2020, when a scandal erupted involving extramarital affairs, racism, homophobia, and the exploitation of church volunteers. In this docuseries, produced by a pair of Vanity Fair reporters, the church’s leaders go on record about what happened for the first time, and their involvement gives the show instant cachet. Though there’s sadly never a shortage of disgraced megachurches, The Secrets of Hillsong promises to be an especially revealing look at how faith can be abused. — Mark Blankenship

    Primo (Amazon Freevee)

    Premieres May 19

    Shea Serrano, the Ringer writer turned New York Times best-selling author turned TV executive producer, draws from his own Texas upbringing for this coming-of-age tale. Created by Serrano, who shares EP duties with Michael Schur, Primo takes an honest and hilarious look at extended family — specifically, that of Rafa (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio), a Texas teen who’s been raised by his mom (Christina Vidal as Drea) and five uncles (played by, among others, Gentefied’s Carlos Santos). Rafa’s metiche uncles both help and hinder him in navigating adolescence, but there’s never any doubt that their advice comes from a place of love. Does that make the humiliation of dressing like a “divorced magician” while on a date with the girl of your dreams any less painful? No, but it does set up another promising comedy from Amazon Freevee. — Danette Chavez

    American Born Chinese (Disney+)

    Premieres May 24

    Based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, Disney+’s American Born Chinese is a thrilling, genre-hopping journey that combines Chinese mythology and coming-of-age storytelling. The action-comedy follows Jin (Ben Wang), an average high schooler struggling to balance his home and school lives. It gets even more complicated when he meets a foreign exchange student from Taiwan. All of a sudden, Jin finds himself entangled in a battle with Chinese mythological gods.

    Not only is American Born Chinese sure to be a wild ride, it also boasts a star-studded cast, including Everything Everywhere All At Once leads Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Stephanie Hsu, and James Hong. Other notable guest stars include Poppy Liu (Hacks), Ronny Chieng (Crazy Rich Asians), Rosalie Chiang (Turning Red), and Jimmy O. Yang (Space Force), to name a few. —Dianna Shen

    Platonic (Apple TV+)

    Premieres May 24

    Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne have undeniable chemistry, and proved as much as co-stars in the 2014 comedy Neighbors. Now they’re reteaming with that film’s director, Nicholas Stoller, and chances are high that they’ll bring the same charm, comfortability, and comedic chops to the small screen in the Apple TV+ comedy Platonic. Rogen and Byrne star as a pair of lifelong friends who reconnect as adults after having a falling-out in their youth. But the rekindled friendship takes over their now well-established lives and sends them into a tailspin. Whether or not the show lives up to its name and avoids pairing up its leads remains to be seen, but with Rogen and Byrne leading the charge, it’s sure to be a fun watch no matter what. Hallmark TV movie stalwart Luke Macfarlane and Undeclared’s Carla Gallo also star. — Brianna Wellen

    I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson Season 3 (Netflix)

    Premieres May 30

    There’s no telling what exactly to expect from a new season of Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin’s absurdist sketch show I Think You Should Leave. The duo tackles the most mundane situations through the most bizarre lens, which creates endless possibilities. It’s almost certain there will be a healthy lineup of well-known guest stars (past seasons featured Bob Odenkirk, Patti Harrison, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Walter Hauser, and Sam Richardson) alongside scene-stealing newbies, like Season 1’s Ruben Rabasa, who had the best car design ideas, and Season 2’s Bob McDuff Wilson, who really wanted a bite of Robinson’s burger. And of course, we can count on plenty of Robinson screaming at the top of his lungs. But the best way to prepare for whatever the show has up its sleeve (other than a hot dog) is to just sit back and wait for the next wave of bizarre, meme-worthy, and, most importantly, hilarious sketches to hit. — Brianna Wellen

    Other May TV Premieres

    White House Plumbers (HBO): Series premiere, May 1
    A Small Light (Nat Geo): Series premiere, May 1
    Star Wars: Visions (Disney+): Season 2 premiere, May 4
    Hannah Gadsby: Something Special (Netflix): Comedy special premiere, May 9
    Class of ’09 (FX): Series premiere, May 10
    Mulligan (Netflix): Series premiere, May 12
    The Family Stallone (Paramount+): Series premiere, May 17
    Queenmaker: The Making of an It Girl (Hulu): Documentary premiere, May 17
    Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer (Netflix): Comedy special premiere, May 23
    The Ultimatum: Queer Love (Netflix): Series premiere, May 24
    The Clearing (Hulu): Series premiere, May 24
    FUBAR (Netflix): Series premiere, May 25
    Run the World (Starz): Season 2 premiere, May 26

    TOPICS: Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Amazon Freevee, Apple TV+, Disney+, FX, Hulu, Netflix, American Born Chinese, City on Fire, The Great, High Desert, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, The Other Two, Platonic, Primo, The Secrets of Hillsong, Silo, XO, Kitty