Despite what the temperatures say, the summer is actually winding down. Soon, we’ll be in the midst of another packed fall television season, with more new shows than we can follow — while still trying to keep up with all the lingering summer shows. August has a handful of new and returning programs — beloved comedies, David Simon’s miniseries — as well as can’t-miss events. Here are ten to mark down on your calendar.
August 4: Playing House returns to USA
USA doesn’t have a good track record with comedies, but Playing House is the rare exception: a laugh-out-loud funny comedy about female friendship. It was one of the quiet highlights of last year, and tomorrow it returns for a second season.
August 5: Difficult People premieres on Hulu
This Amy Poehler-produced comedy stars comedy darlings Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner. It’s been described as Will & Grace — if Will and Grace were both terrible humans. The series follows Julie and Billy around New York City, in and out of awkward situations (that they create).
August 6 : Jon Stewart ends his run as host of The Daily Show
After 16 years — making the show Comedy Central’s second-longest-running program after South Park — Jon Stewart is retiring from The Daily Show. Whether you’ve been an obsessive fan or just a sporadic viewer, his final episode is one you’re going to want to watch.
August 16 : David Simon returns to HBO
David Simon’s newest HBO project is Show Me a Hero, a miniseries based on a book by Lisa Belkin. Set in Yonkers, the drama centers on the tensions surrounding the debate about federally mandated public housing on the white side of town. Oscar Isaac, Winona Ryder, and Alfred Molina all star.
August 20: Documentary Now!
One of the most anticipated comedies of the summer is IFC’s Documentary Now!, co-created by Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers. Each episode of the six-part series features a new documentary of something that didn’t actually happen.
August 22: Patrick Stewart stars in Blunt Talk
Starz’s Blunt Talk is a strange case. It was created by Jonathan Ames, produced by Seth MacFarlane, stars Patrick Stewart, and has already been picked up for two seasons. Stewart plays a talk show host who moves from the UK to Los Angeles.
August 22: Survivor’s Remorse‘s Season 2 premiere
But if Blunt Talk doesn’t pique your interest, then there’s the return of Starz’s other comedy, the vastly underrated Survivor’s Remorse. The first season was a quick binge-watch — I watched all six episodes in one sitting — and one of the smartest, funniest, and most self-aware surprises of the summer. Season 2 continues to follow a young basketball player and his family as he goes pro and moves to Atlanta.
August 22-August 23: WWE’s NXT and SummerSlam
WWE is temporarily taking over the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with two special events: NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn on August 22 and then, on the 23rd, the major PPV event SummerSlam. NXT — particularly the divas — has been on a roll for the last few months, and SummerSlam, even when the outcome disappoints, is always an exciting watch.
August 23: The Walking Dead‘s spinoff premieres
The “companion series” to The Walking Dead takes place during the beginning stages of the zombie apocalypse. To further distance itself from the original, Fear The Walking Dead takes place in Los Angeles and follows a family as they navigate life around the infected.
August 30 : Miley Cyrus hosts the MTV VMAs
Because MTV didn’t get enough attention with Miley Cyrus’ performance in 2013, the network is now letting her host the entire ceremony. Watch it for her, or for all the shade that’ll certainly be thrown during acceptance speeches.