July 2021 Television Preview | Women and Hollywood

With summer in full swing, and the Summer Games coming up, the TV landscape feels a little quieter in anticipation of the jam-packed fall season — but there’s still something for everyone, no matter your tastes.

Notably, a number of hit shows from the U.K. and Australia have finally made their way over to U.S. shores: “The Beast Must Die” (July 5) on AMC+/AMC stars Cush Jumbo as a grief-stricken mom trying to find the person responsible for her son’s death; Spectrum’s “Eden” (July 12) transports us to lush Australian beach locales, with a jumping narrative telling the story of a missing girl from a different character’s viewpoint in each episode; and Showtime’s “The End” (July 18), starring Harriet Walter, is a tricky, emotional story about family and ethics. Lastly, Emily Mortimer’s adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s 1945 novel “The Pursuit of Love,” starring Lily James and Emily Beecham, arrives on Amazon Prime Video July 30 with its comedic tale of love and friendship in 1920s-1940s England.

With the Olympics set to start toward the end of the month, it’s no surprise that July’s programming also includes a few choices for sports fans. Tennis champ Naomi Osaka gets the docuseries treatment, with an eponymous project launching on Netflix July 16. Directed by “Time’s” Garrett Bradley, the empathetic series chronicles the highs and lows Osaka faced during two specific years of her career. And women’s soccer fans will be pleased to discover that Peacock is screening “The Sisters of ’96: The 1996 USA Women’s Soccer Olympic Team” (July 16), a special that reunites players from the 1996 USA Women’s National Team, in addition to airing their gold medal match fully for the first time ever. “The ’96 Effect” (July 17), a docuseries chronicling four U.S. women’s teams’ victories at the Atlanta Games, also debuts on Peacock.

Meanwhile, true crime fans will find new offerings to delve into this month. “Dr. Death” (July 15) is inspired by the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), whose patients frequently began to leave his operating theater permanently maimed or dead. The Peacock miniseries is directed exclusively by women: So Yong Kim, Maggie Kiley, and Jennifer Morrison. And HBO’s “Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” (July 12) offers further insight into the interviews Ronan Farrow conducted with survivors, whistle blowers, and other journalists in his investigations into high-profile predators.

And of course, there’s a number of returning series for fans to look forward to, including second seasons of Mindy Kaling’s hugely successful “Never Have I Never” (July 15 on Netflix), and Aisling Bea’s “This Way Up” (July 9 on Hulu).

Here are July’s premiering and returning women-driven and women-created TV projects. All descriptions are from press materials unless otherwise noted.

TV and Episodic Premieres

“Young Royals” – Created by Lisa Ambjörn (Premieres July 1 on Netflix)

When Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) arrives at the prestigious boarding school Hillerska he finally gets an opportunity to explore his true self and find out what kind of life he really wants. Wilhelm starts dreaming of a future filled with freedom and unconditional love far away from the royal obligations — but when he unexpectedly becomes next in line for the throne his dilemma is heightened as he has to make a choice: love or duty.

“We the People” – Created by Chris Nee, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, and Kenya Barris (Premieres July 4 on Netflix)

Combining music and animation to educate a new generation of young Americans about the power of the people, “We the People” is a series of 10 animated music videos that covers a range of basic U.S. civics lessons in not-so-basic ways. Set to original songs performed by artists such as H.E.R., Janelle Monáe, Brandi Carlile, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adam Lambert, Cordae, Bebe Rexha, KYLE, Andra Day, and poet Amanda Gorman, with a groundbreaking mix of animated styles, each episode of “We the People” is an exuberant call to action for everyone to rethink civics as a living, breathing thing and to reframe their understanding of what government and citizenship mean in a modern world.

“The Beast Must Die” (Miniseries) – Created and Written by Gaby Chiappe (Premieres July 5 on AMC+; Premieres July 12 on AMC)

“The Beast Must Die”: Gareth Gatrell/AMC

After learning the police investigation into the fatal hit and run of her young son Martie has been dropped, Frances Cairnes (Cush Jumbo) takes matters into her own hands. Posing as a novelist researching a new murder-mystery, Frances ingratiates herself with the family of George Rattery (Jared Harris), the man she suspects is responsible, and sets a plan in action to kill him. She’s tracked by detective Nigel Strangeways (Billy Howle), who has reason to believe his department covered up George’s involvement in the incident. Suffering from PTSD following the recent death of his partner, Strangeways throws himself into pursuing justice for Martie. But when he discovers an “undercover” Frances living with George and his family, Strangeways finds himself working to both prove George’s guilt and head off Frances’ plans for revenge before anyone else dies.

“You Are My Spring” – Created by Lee Mi-na and Jung Jee-hyun (Premieres July 5 on Netflix)

A hotel concierge and a psychiatrist with traumatic childhoods form a heartfelt bond when they become entangled in a perplexing local murder case.

“Gossip Girl” – Created by Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz, and Joshua Safran (Premieres July 8 on HBO Max)

Based on the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar and the original show which ran from 2007-2012 on The CW, this extension of the pop culture classic finds a new generation of New York private school teens being introduced to social surveillance nine years after the original blogger’s website went dark.

“Elize Matsunaga: Once Upon a Crime” (Docuseries) (Premieres July 8 on Netflix)

The crime shocked Brazil: Elize Matsunaga shot and dismembered her rich husband. Featuring her first interview, this docuseries dives deep into the case. With four episodes it revisits Elize’s past, from her childhood in Chopinzinho, a small town in Paraná, to the troubled relationship with the businessman before his murder. It also brings the details that followed the crime, from attempts to cover it up the crime through the confession, the arrest, the trial in 2016, and also temporary leaves granted by the Brazilian laws.

“Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” (Docuseries) (Premieres July 12 on HBO and HBO Max)

“Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes” brings to life Ronan Farrow’s intimate, revealing interviews with whistleblowers, journalists, private investigators, and other sources, conducted for the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist’s podcast and bestselling book “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and A Conspiracy to Protect Predators.” With fresh perspectives and detail — not just on the harrowing effort to expose one powerful predator, but on the systems that help cover up terrible crimes to this day — there are revelations in this series that may surprise even those familiar with the reporting.

“Eden” – Created by Vanessa Gazy (Premieres July 12 on Spectrum)


The series transports viewers to an Eden of dazzling Australian beaches and lush forests, but all is not as it seems. As each episode unfolds from a different character’s perspective, “Eden” explores a multi-generational tale of events that happen before, during, and after a young woman goes missing one warm summer night. An idyllic beach community’s long buried dark secrets of love, lust, dashed dreams, and power struggles are dragged wide open as the truth is revealed — a truth that will shake the town and the people (those who survive) forever.

“30 for 30: Breakaway” (Documentary) (Premieres July 13 on ESPN)

The latest installment of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series explores the story of Maya Moore, who was one of the best basketball players in the world when she stepped away from the sport for a remarkable reason: to fight for a man she believed was wrongly imprisoned. In 2019, after four WNBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, a WNBA MVP award, three All-Star MVPs, and a scoring title, Moore decided to take a sabbatical from basketball at the age of 29 to devote herself full-time to working for the release of a man named Jonathan Irons, who was wrongly convicted of burglary and assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison. “Breakaway” chronicles a search for justice, and a relationship that changed the lives of two people forever.

“Dr. Death” (Miniseries) – Directed by So Yong Kim, Maggie Kiley, and Jennifer Morrison (Premieres July 15 on Peacock)

Based on Wondery’s hit podcast, “Dr. Death” is inspired by the terrifying true story of Dr. Christopher Duntsch (Joshua Jackson), a rising star in the Dallas medical community. Young, charismatic, and ostensibly brilliant, Dr. Duntsch was building a flourishing neurosurgery practice when everything suddenly changed. Patients entered his operating room for complex but routine spinal surgeries and left permanently maimed or dead. As victims piled up, two fellow physicians, neurosurgeon Robert Henderson (Alec Baldwin) and vascular surgeon Randall Kirby (Christian Slater), as well as Dallas prosecutor Michelle Shughart (AnnaSophia Robb), set out to stop him. “Dr. Death” explores the twisted mind of Dr. Duntsch and the failures of the system designed to protect the most defenseless among us.

“Naomi Osaka” (Docuseries) – Directed by Garrett Bradley (Premieres July 16 on Netflix)

Osaka: Peter Menzel/Wiki Commons

This intimate three-part series takes us inside the life of one of the world’s best tennis players, Naomi Osaka. With unprecedented access, we follow Osaka during a historic two years in which she works on her game but also begins to find her voice. Whether she’s defending her grand slam titles, while wearing masks in defense of Black lives,  mourning the unexpected loss of mentor Kobe Bryant, or finding her independence, the challenges Naomi faces on a personal level begin to align with those in the public sphere. Empathetic in its approach, the series chronicles Osaka’s hectic training and travel schedule, explores the layers of pressure she is under and reveals how she spends her time off the court hanging with her closest family and friends. The episodes also travel the globe with Osaka to further explore her Haitian roots as well as examine her deep connection to Japan, the country she represents. Viewers will witness Naomi’s unapologetic honesty and vulnerability as she navigates her multifaceted identity as a young athlete and leader on the rise.

“The Sisters of ’96: The 1996 USA Women’s Soccer Olympic Team” (Special) (Premieres July 16 on Peacock)

When the U.S. Women’s National Team made it to the Olympic soccer games in Atlanta, their gold medal match was not fully televised. Now, Peacock is making it available in full for the first time and debuting an hour-long special that reunites stars Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan, Briana Scurry, and Tisha Venturini.

“The ’96 Effect” (Docuseries) (Premieres July 17 on Peacock)

“The ‘96 Effect” is a three-part documentary series featuring four legendary USA women’s teams who won gold at the Atlanta Games. These women were the first generation who became world-class athletes during the Title IX era, and interviews with them reveal how ’96 USA teams inspired each other, the significance of Title IX on their lives, as well as the impact they made on their sport and female athletics on a global scale. The athletes include Lisa Leslie, Dawn Staley, and Sheryl Swoopes, and head coach Tara VanDerveer (basketball); Amanda Borden, Dominque Dawes, and Shannon Miller (gymnastics); Laura Berg, Lisa Fernandez, and Dot Richardson (softball); and Brandi Chastain, Joy Fawcett, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan, and Briana Scurry (soccer).

“The End” – Created by Samantha Strauss (Premieres July 18 on Showtime)

“The End”

In “The End,” three generations of a family live with separate but intersecting obsessions: trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none, and make it all count. The series centers on Dr. Kate Brennan (Frances O’Connor), an Australian-based specialist in palliative care. Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work, and she is passionate in her opposition. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother Edie Henley (Harriet Walter) feels just as strongly about her right to die. Kate has little choice but to ship Edie out from England and deposit her in Australia’s Gold Coast in a nearby retirement community — Edie’s worst nightmare. While Kate struggles with her own problems, her children, one of whom is a teenage trans boy, are trying to work out who they are and who they want to be. “The End” is a story about family, ethics, and emotion, and mostly how it’s never too late to start again.

“The Deceived” – Created by Lisa McGee and Tobias Beer (Premieres July 18 on Starz)

A young English student, Ophelia (Emily Reid), falls in love with her married lecturer, Michael (Emmett J Scanlan). When their affair results in a shocking and tragic death, Ophelia finds herself trapped, and she can no longer trust her own mind.

“Tig Notaro: Drawn” (Comedy Special) – Written by Tig Notaro (Premieres July 24 on HBO and HBO Max)

The hour-long special blends Tig Notaro’s signature voice and storytelling with a variety of captivating artistic styles as she recounts a hospital bed proposal, a high school talent show gone awry, the repercussions of a dental procedure, unintentionally blowing off fellow comedian Jenny Slate, a road trip with Dolly Parton, and more. Funnier and more animated than you’ve ever seen her before, Notaro’s groundbreaking and fearless comedy comes to life over the course of this visually-innovative special.

“Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts” (Talk Show) (Premieres July 28 on Disney+)

“Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts”: Disney/Richard Harbaugh

Get personal with Robin Roberts and some of Hollywood’s groundbreaking women as they bear witness to their incredible journeys on their path to purpose. Each episode is a profound conversation filled with emotion and inspiration. Listen to never-before-heard stories of how these groundbreakers came face-to-face with their vulnerability, authenticity, and intuition. Discover their commonalities and learn how their stories and experiences created room for expansion and evolution.

“The Pursuit of Love” (Miniseries) – Written and Directed by Emily Mortimer (Premieres July 30 on Amazon Prime Video)

“The Pursuit of Love”

An adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s celebrated novel and set in Europe between the two World Wars, “The Pursuit of Love” follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett (Lily James) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham). Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, the two women are on the hunt for the ideal husband. Their friendship is put to the test as Fanny settles for a steady life and Linda decides to follow her heart, to increasingly wild and outrageous places. As social and political divisions split the nation, their diverging choices raise personal questions that remain intensely relevant today — questions about freedom, about love and sex, and the mystery of the human heart.

“The Demi Lovato Show” (Talk Show) (Premieres July 30 on Roku Channel)

“The Demi Lovato Show” is more than just a talk show. Superstar Demi Lovato is taking talk to new heights with an incredible lineup of celebrity guests and experts to address some of today’s edgiest social topics in frank and honest discussions. Each 10-minute episode of “The Demi Lovato Show” will feature a special guest and cover topics including activism, feminism, gender identity, sex and body positivity, mental health, and even interplanetary visitors.

Returning Series

“Never Have I Ever”

“grown-ish” (Freeform, July 8)

“Motherland” – Created by Sharon Horgan, Holly Walsh, Helen Linehan, and Graham Linehan (Sundance Now, July 8)

“This Way Up” – Created by Aisling Bea (Hulu, July 9)

“Atypical” – Created by Robia Rashid (Netflix, July 9)

“Biohackers” (Netflix, July 9)

“Virgin River” – Created by Sue Tenney (Netflix, July 9)

“Good Trouble” – Created by Joanna Johnson, Bradley Bredeweg, and Peter Paige (Freeform, July 14)

“Never Have I Ever” – Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher (Netflix, July 15)

“First Wives Club” – Created by Tracy Oliver (BET+, July 15)

“The Outpost” (The CW, July 15)

“Sky Rojo” (Netflix, July 23)

“Roswell, New Mexico” – Created by Carina Adly MacKenzie (The CW, July 26)

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