12 Summer TV Shows Featuring Black Talent You Need To Watch

From comedies and dramas to classic reboots, here are a dozen TV shows you need to add to your summer watch list.

As summer kicks into full gear, some TV shows are going on hiatus to retool for the upcoming fall season, while others will be returning to pick up where they left off. Whether on network television or on streaming services, this summer will be full of diverse shows that will be sure to keep our attention during the hottest months of the year. We’ve compiled a list of The Top 12 Shows To Check Out This Summer.

  1. Power

    In its final season, the Starz hit drama Power is planning to end with a bang. Created by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Courtney Kemp, Power chronicles the story of James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick), a drug dealer who goes by the alias "Ghost” with hopes to leave the underworld of crime to become a legitimate nightclub owner as he balances his two different personas. The show also features his wife, Tasha (Naturi Naughton), and son, Tariq (Michael Rainey Jr.). The show also stars James' partner and life-long friend, Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), and his love interest, Angela Valdes (Lela Loren).

    Last season's finale ended with Angela being shot by Tommy. Will she pull through? The sixth and final season will premiere on August 25 and feature 15 episodes.


  2. Sherman’s Showcase

    IFC (formerly known as the Independent Film Channel) is making waves this summer by debuting a new sketch variety series. Sherman’s Showcase stars Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, writing partners known for their popular “Slow Jam the News,” “The History of Rap” and “Milky J” segments on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night shows. Each episode of Sherman’s Showcase is hosted by Sherman McDaniels (Salahuddin), as he takes the audience on a journey via music and comedy drawn from the 40-year library of a legendary (but fictional) musical variety show. The show is being executive produced by John Legend along with Riddle and Salahuddin.

    Guest starring in the series’ first season are Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor, Common, Morris Day, Tiffany Haddish, Lil Rel Howery, Quincy Jones, Mike Judge, Kenny and Keith Lucas, John Legend, Nigel Lythgoe, Curt Menefee, Vic Mensa, Tawny Newsome, Ne-Yo, Ray Parker, Jr., Mario Van Peebles, Damon Wayans, Jr., Marlon Wayans and Bresha Webb.

    Sherman’s Showcase debuts on July 31 on IFC


  3. Photo: Annette Brown/BET

    Tales: A New Hip-Hop Anthology Series

    BET’s series Tales is slated to return for its second season. Tales, created and executive produced by Irv Gotti, brings the best songs of the year to life with vivid storytelling. Bella Thorne, Scarface, DeRay Davis, Grace Byers and many more are set to make appearances throughout the season. "Tales season 2 with BET promises to be even bigger and more entertaining than the first season. We had some incredible breakthroughs with Season 1, but fans should look for surprises and big guest appearances for Season 2," says Irv Gotti in a statement. "We plan to give people even more hip-hop cultured TV."

    Songs slated to be included in the upcoming season are Mary J. Blige's "My Life," Nas' "I Gave You Power," Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow," Lauryn Hill's "Ex Factor," Geto Boys' "Mind Playing Tricks on Me," Migos and Gucci Mane "Slippery," Lil Uzi Vert's "XO TOUR Llif3," and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's "Deep Cover." On the Breakfast Club, Irv Gotti said that Kanye West may have a new song for the upcoming season. Tales premieres on July 2 on BET.


  4. Jett

    “Whoever says crime doesn't pay is doing it wrong.” Created, written, executive produced and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, Jett will make its debut on Cinemax on June 14. Jett stars Carla Gugino as Daisy "Jett" Kowalski, a master thief who is fresh from serving a prison sentence and is forced back into doing what she does best by dangerous and eccentric criminals determined to exploit her skills for their own ends. Now a mother, Jett is pulled back into the criminal world where she gained a reputation as a world-class thief. “Jett is populated with colorful characters who speak with comic ease and are constitutionally incapable of leading straight lives,” adds Gutierrez. “It is a fun, wildly unpredictable underworld where the threat of a violent outburst is only a wrong turn of phrase away.”

    Co-executive produced by Gugino, the series also features Giancarlo Esposito, Elena Anaya, Michael Aronov, Gaite Jansen, Chris Backus, Gil Bellows, Jodie Turner-Smith, Gentry White, Violet McGraw, Lucy Walters and Mustafa Shakir.


  5. Claws

    Sharper than ever, TNT’s hit show Claws is back with more comedy and drama straight from the best damn nail salon on the Gulf Coast. The ladies are bringing the funny and their criminal exploits on the third season of Claws. The manicured series stars Niecy Nash, Carrie Preston, Judy Reyes, Karrueche Tran, Jenn Lyon, Jack Kesy, Kevin Rankin, Jason Antoon, Evan Daigle, Suleka Mathew, Harold Perrineau and Dean Norris. Although the series centers on the five manicurists, there’s a lot more going on in the salon than nail work. After last season’s cliffhanger, in season three, the ladies take the ultimate gamble and realize just how high the stakes can be in the casino world as Desna enters into business with a sinister couple, Mac (guest star Michael Horse) and Melba (guest star Rebecca Creskoff). Claws comes on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.


  6. Photo Credit: FX Network


    They came to slay. Pose makes its fabulous return on Tuesdays, 10 p.m. on FX. According to the show’s description, Pose is a drama spotlighting the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture, a movement that first gained notice in the 1980s. Making television history, Pose features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, including Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross, who co-star alongside Tony Award winner and Golden Globe nominee Billy Porter. Season 2 picks up on the theme of the New York Ball culture during the 1980s but then jumps ahead to the 1990s. The season will deal with the effects that the AIDS crisis had on the LGBTQ community.


  7. Queen Sugar

    Ava Duvernay’s family drama is back to bring the heat this summer. Queen Sugar, centers upon all the issues of a tight-knit, Lousinana family as they navigate through the challenges of keeping their deceased matriarch’s farm. Estranged siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley), Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) are forced to work together despite their problems with each other and their own personal messiness. Queen Sugar also stars Nicholas L. Ase as Micah West, Dondre T. Whitfield as Remy Newell, Omar J. Dorsey as Hollywood Desonier, Tina Lifford as Violet Bordelon, Bianca Lawson as Darla and Ethan Hutchinson as Blue. In the description of the fourth season, when Nova Bordelon writes a bestselling memoir that reveals shocking details about her own life, her siblings, her relatives and their past, the familial bonds that were getting stronger seem to have been completely shattered, maybe to the point of no return. Queen Sugar premiered on OWN on June 12 at 10 p.m. EST.

  8. Snowfall

    Even with the tragic loss of its director and visionary, John Singleton, FX’s hit drama Snowfall will return this summer in his honor. The third season of Snowfall finds Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) in the summer of 1984, rapidly growing his illegal enterprise as crack cocaine spreads like wildfire through South Central Los Angeles. While Franklin is a burgeoning drug lord, Sergeant Andre Wright (Marcus Henderson) is keeping a close eye on the activities of his next-door neighbor, the police are making attempts to address the drug epidemic that is engulfing the city, while Teddy McDonald (Carter Hudson) and the CIA are making an effort to make sure that cocaine keeps rolling into South Central Los Angeles non-stop. The cocaine drama will premiere for its third season on Wednesday, July 10, at 10 p.m. on FX.


  9. Grown-ish

    Zoey Johnson is realizing that being an adult is not all she believed it was. In Season 2B of Freeform’s Grown-ish, Zoey (Yara Shahidi) is discovering that life comes at you fast. She’s maneuvering through the ups and downs of being with her boyfriend, her girlfriends, her academic requirements and having her father financially cut her off for being caught cheating on an exam. On top of all that, her roommate has been secretly sneaking around with her old flame. What’s a girl to do? The Gen-Z college sitcom also stars Francia Raisa as Analisa "Ana" Patricia Torres, Trevor Jackson as Aaron Jackson, Emily Arlook as Nomi Segal, Chloe Bailey as Jazlyn Forster and Halle Bailey as Skylar Forster, Diggy Simmons as Doug and Deon Cole as Professor Charlie Telphy. Check out Grown-ish every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on Freeform.


  10. Orange Is The New Black

    Life continues behind bars for the ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary. The award-winning Netflix series Orange Is the New Black is returning on the streaming giant for its seventh and final season. In season seven, Piper will struggle with obstacles of living life on the outside, the limits of Taystee’s relationship with Cindy will be tested as she faces a life sentence, and Gloria and her kitchen crew will have to deal with the reality of Polycon’s latest profit enterprise. The series stars Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, Danielle Brooks, Selenis Leyva, Taryn Manning, Yael Stone, Jackie Cruz, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore, Elizabeth Rodriguez Michael Harney and Nick Sandow. When asked about the last season of the OITNB, Jenji Kohan, show creator, replied,  “After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison. I will miss all the badass ladies of Litchfield and the incredible crew we’ve worked with. My heart is orange but fade to black.” The final season of OITNB premieres on Netflix on July 26.


  11. Stranger Things

    On New Year’s Eve, 2018, Netflix said that their hit show Stranger Things will make its long-awaited return in the summer of 2019. The visual featured vintage footage of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 1985, keeping in step with the time-jumping series.

    The critically acclaimed Stranger Things is a science-fiction horror web series that began with the investigation into the disappearance of a young boy. Supernatural events shake up the town, including the arrival of a young girl with psychokinetic abilities who assists the friends of the boys on their journey.

    Over the course of its run, Stranger Things has received 31 Emmy Award nominations, including for Outstanding Drama Series and four Golden Globe Award nominations.

    In season three, Stranger Things makes the leap from the cast being children to becoming young adults. Stranger Things is so popular that the trailer was the most watched Netflix video on YouTube. The third season of Stranger Things premieres on the Fourth of July on Netflix.


  12. All That

    '90s babies unite! After being on hiatus for almost 15 years, Nickelodeon is rebooting its kid comedy sketch series All That. Former cast members Keenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell will executive produce the revamped show, and it’s being reported that the show will reprise classic characters and sketches during the first season, including Mitchell in “Good Burger” and Denberg in “Vital Information” and “Loud Librarian.” All That will feature a brand new cast that includes Ryan Alessi, Reece Caddell, Kate Godfrey, Gabrielle Green, Nathan Janak, Lex Lumpkin, and Chinguun Sergelen. Also, past member Kel Mitchell, Josh Server, and Lori Beth Denberg will be making guest appearances. Thompson, Mitchell, Server and Beth helped to make the original series a '90s staple for an entire generation of kids.

    Because of the success of All That, several series were spun-off including Keenan & Kel, The Amanda Show, The Nick Cannon Show and a feature film, Good Burger, a cult classic.

    The new version of All That is airing now on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT.

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