Entertainment TV The most anticipated TV shows coming to you this May
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The most anticipated TV shows coming to you this May

Steve Carell
Steve Carell's new comedy Space Force is based on Donald Trump's plan for military in space. Photo: 3 Arts Entertainment / imdb
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With ever-changing work and school patterns and empty social calendars, keeping track of the days of the week is a challenge, but the month of May brings an avalanche of appointment TV viewing.

Streaming giant Netflix is punching above its weight with star-heavy premieres and a bunch of beloved series returns.

I Know This Much is True (Fox Showcase, May 11)

Based on Wally Lamb’s 1998 901-page family saga, the six-episode series follows the tangled lives of identical twins (both played by Mark Ruffalo).

Ruffalo shot one role as a divorced construction worker, then gained 14 kilograms in six weeks before shooting scenes as his mentally ill brother.

“It was method acting to the extreme,” director-producer Derek Cianfrance told Variety.

Melissa Leo, Rosie O’Donnell, Juliette Lewis and Kathryn Hahn also star.

Space Force (Netflix, May 29)

Steve Carell and The Office creator Greg Daniels team up again for a new workplace comedy series, this time seemingly inspired by President Donald Trump’s decision to establish a sixth branch of the US military.

John Malkovich, Lisa Kudrow and Ben Schwartz also star.

Upload (Amazon Prime, May 1)

Producer Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation – and Space Force – see above) is also the brains behind this 10-episode sci-fi comedy set in 2033 when dying people are able to ‘upload’ themselves into their choice of corporately-run afterlife.

A quirky, more tech-savvy version of The Good Place.

Starring Robbie Amell.

Hollywood (Netflix, May 1)

Much like Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood was a revisionist love letter to the golden age of Tinseltown, Ryan Murphy’s series mixes the lives of real stars, like Rock Hudson and Vivien Leigh, with fictional characters and scenarios.

“I wanted to … give people who were dealt a terrible hand by Hollywood a happy ending,” says the American Horror Story producer.

Darren Criss, Jim Parsons and Samara Weaving star.

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix, May 26)

Australian stand-up comedian Hannah Gadsby’s 2018 award-winning special Nanette was a divisive (and hilarious) genre-busting account of personal trauma and savage social commentary.

Her follow-up takes on patriarchy, neurodiversity and the problem with popularity.

“It’s gonna be good. Unless you don’t like it,” Gadsby said in the show’s announcement video.

“Then it’s still gonna be good. But you’ll be wrong.”

Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill (Netflix, May 5)

In his first original stand-up special since 1998, the comedy icon seems to be sticking to his schtick of finding the funny in mundane minutiae, with his hour-long set filmed at New York’s Beacon Theatre tackling talking versus texting, the design of toilet stalls and the magic of Pop Tarts.

Trying (Apple TV+, May 1)

Created by BBC studios and the producers of the truly great British comedy Catastrophe, the eight-episode series stars Rafe Spall and Esther Smith as a couple coming to terms with infertility and embarking on the road to adoption while coping with the chaos of everyday life.

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (Fox Showcase, May 6)

The three-part series seeks to celebrate the life and career of the Rebel Without a Cause actor whose legacy often centres around her mysterious death during a 1981 boating trip with her husband Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken.

Wood’s daughter Natasha Gregson Wagner acts as producer on the series featuring home movies and interviews with family members, Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Mart Crowley, Elliott Gould, and more.

ZeroZeroZero (SBS, May 14)

Based on the best-selling crime-fiction novel by Roberto Saviano, this fast-paced thriller from the team behind Gomorrah follows the journey of a cocaine shipment around the globe.

Filmed on location in Mexico, Italy, Senegal, Morocco, and the US, the eight-episode series stars Gabriel Byrne, Andrea Riseborough and Dane DeHaan.

Returning series

Dead to Me – season 2 (Netflix, May 8)

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini return for the second season of the intensely bingeable dark-comedy mystery.

Billions – season 5 (Stan, May 3)

The Good Wife’s Julianna Margulies and House of Cards star Corey Stoll join heavy hitters Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis in the addictive series about mega-rich and flawed power players.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (Netflix, May 12)

After wrapping four seasons in January, the relentlessly upbeat comedy from creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and starring Ellie Kemper is back with an interactive special where viewers can choose the ending.

Note: Times and dates are subject to change