We're still waiting for the bulk of summer TV to really get going, but we've still got a couple of intriguing premieres (and finales) this week.
This week brings the series premiere of The Wil Wheaton Project, the geek icon's new half-hour pop-culture commentary series, which should bring all the nerdy fun we have with him online to TV. But that's not all. We've also got the return of Heroes of Cosplay, the season finale of Da Vinci's Demons, and two series premieres for shows that might not fit the traditional mold of genre TV, but we thought we'd let you know about them anyway because they've both got real nerd appeal and we're still waiting for the rest of summer genre TV to arrive.
Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?
Highlights of the Week
The Wil Wheaton Project (Syfy) Tuesday, 10 p.m. - "Episode 1"
Series premiere! - Actor and nerd icon Wil Wheaton pops up all over nerd pop culture as a star, commentator and enthusiast, and now he's got a chance to be all of those things at once with his own brand-new half-hour series on Syfy. Billed as a witty, fast-paced weekly roundup of all things good in genre pop culture, The Wil Wheaton Project gives Wheaton a soapbox for all of his nerdy interests, and gives us a chance to get a little closer to a guy who, for many, is a nerd hero. It's another unscripted series on top of the many Syfy's already got going, but unlike those that rely on competitions or ghost hunting, this is a chance for someone like Wheaton to simply spend a little time in our living rooms once a week so we can all nerd out together, and if it achieves that welcoming spirit of fun in its first run of episodes, it will be a fine addition. Check out a trailer below.
Crossbones (NBC) Friday, 10 p.m. - "The Devil's Dominion"
Series premiere! - So, this series may not actually feature any sci-fi or fantasy elements, but things in the TV world are a little slow right now, so we thought we'd mention it. Plus, who doesn't love pirates? This new NBC drama has an intriguing pedigree. Its creator, Neil Cross, also created the intense British crime drama Luther, and its star, John Malkovich, is, well ... John Malkovich. Malkovich plays the legendary pirate Edward Teach, aka "Blackbeard," as he rules over the rogue pirate island of Santa Compana in 1729. Blackbeard has a plan to get his hands on a device that will change the world, and once he does, the English crown could face a threat unlike any other. All that stands in his way, it seems, is British spy Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle). Production of the series certainly looks lavish, and if the story can really immerse us in the pirate's life, we could have a new genre-adjacent obsession. In episode one, Blackbeard's men hatch a plan to steal an important device. Check out a preview for the series below.
Game of Thrones (HBO) Sunday, 9 p.m. - "The Mountain and the Viper"
We're now in the home stretch of Game of Thrones' fourth season, and with just three episodes left, you know it's time for some heavy stuff to go down. It's been a season of upheaval for many of the characters. Tyrion's been arrested, a new king's been crowned, Dany's had to learn to rule all over again, Jon's struggled to make the gravity of the situation at The Wall known, and Sansa's now adjusting to a chaotic new life away from the Capitol. The fourth season's also proved to be the show's biggest ratings success yet. Very often we expect to see shows hit their peak at premiere time and finale time, and that's mostly been the case with Game of Thrones in the past. This season, though, the show just won't stop peaking. It's set several personal bests for ratings in the middle of the season, and it's topped seven million viewers several times. When Game of Thrones premiered this season, it set a high for viewers that hadn't been seen on HBO since The Sopranos went off the air in 2007. Since then, it's bested that mark more than once. Now, as we head into what promises to be a very eventful final stretch of episodes, we'll see if the show can climb even higher. This week, the Wildlings threaten the Wall, Sansa questions Littlefinger's motives, Ramsay hatches a plan, and, of course, Prince Oberyn and Gregor Clegane have a long-awaited showdown, with Tyrion's fate in the balance. Check out a preview below.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (FOX) Sunday, 8 p.m. - "The World Set Free"
We've only got two episodes left of the Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted re-imaginging of Carl Sagan's landmark series, and if you haven't given it a chance yet, you really should. Ratings for the show haven't exactly been stellar (though they haven't been terrible, either), but this series is a valuable network television commodity, the kind of thing we just don't see on free TV outside of PBS anymore. More than that, it's really good. Tyson is a patient, commanding and welcoming guide into a world of wonders that takes us from the humble beginnings of the universe all the way to our possibly turbulent future. Sure, science shows are still on television, but few of them have the kind of reach Cosmos does right now, and it would be a shame to waste that. So if you haven't checked out the show yet, or you're just looking for an opportunity to revisit it, try this week's penultimate episode, in which Tyson takes a trip to Venus and the effects of climate change are explored, among other things.
Halt and Catch Fire (AMC) Sunday, 10 p.m. - "I/O"
Series premiere! - This is another series that's more genre-adjacent than actually a member of the genres we tend to cover, but it looks like it could be just the thing to help you achieve your geek TV fix while waiting for more summer series to premiere. Set in Texas in the early 1980s, this drama follows a former IBM executive (Lee Pace), an engineer (Scott McNairy) and a volatile prodigy (Mackenzie Davis) as they try to replicate the success of the IBM PC and launch their own tiny company into the startup market. It's another intriguing drama from AMC, a network which seems to specialize in intruiging dramas (though they're not all runaway hits), and it looks like it could be a perfect fit for those of us obsessed with technology, particularly those of us who still haven't gotten rid of that old Apple II (you know who you are). It might not be something we regularly cover around here, but it also might become your new favorite TV obsession while most of your favorite sci-fi and fantasy series are in reruns. Check out a trailer below.
Monday, May 26
It's a pretty quiet TV day, so go have a hot dog and a beer. It's the American way.
Tuesday, May 27
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Stan Lee's Comikaze"
Season 1.5 premiere! - The cosplayers are back and preparing for Stan Lee's Comikaze show in Los Angeles.
Wednesday, May 28
The 100 (The CW) 9 p.m. - "The Calm" Finn and Clarke are put in a compromising spot during a hunt.
Thursday, May 29
Another quiet day. Spend some time catching up on all those shows you promised yourself you'd watch.
Friday, May 30
Continuum (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Minute of Silence"
Kiera is on the trail of a group of genius students committing high-tech crimes.
Saturday, May 31
Orphan Black (BBC America) 9 p.m. - "Knowledge of Causes, and Secret Motion of Things"
A fellow rehab patient threatens to betray Alison and expose the truth behind Aynsley's death, sending Alison into a tailspin just before her family is set to visit.
In The Flesh (BBC America) 10 p.m. - "Episode 4"
Kieren is conflicted about seeing Simon. Maxine rallies the troops against the undead. Two rebel PDS sufferers unleash zombie prisoners.
Da Vinci's Demons (Starz) 10 p.m. - "The Sins of Daedalus"
Season finale! - To save Italy from the Ottomans, an unlikely union is necessary. Vanessa's fate is in Nico's hands.
Sunday, June 1
Believe (NBC) 9 p.m. - "Revelation"
Bo and Tate attempt to confront Skouras. Winter resorts to deserate measure to keep Channing alive.
Penny Dreadful (Showtime) 10 p.m. - "Demimonde"
Malcolm hires Van Helsing to work with Frankenstein on a cure for his daughter. Vanessa's infatuation with Dorian Gray grows.
Salem (WGN America) 10 p.m. - "Our Own Private America"
The passion between Aiden and Mary grows. Cotton deals with a unique accusation.