This Week in TV: 'Stranger Things' and Other Fourth of July Celebrations

The return of the Netflix hit is the highlight of an otherwise very light week of premieres.
Courtesy of Netflix
'Stranger Things'

Historically, the week of the July 4 holiday is one of the lowest TV-usage weeks of the year. That's likely why the premiere slate below is considerably lighter than most weeks. Conversely, the relative scarcity of new material presents an opportunity for Netflix to launch a new season of one of its biggest shows without a ton of competition.

Here is The Hollywood Reporter's rundown of some of the coming week's highlights. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but let THR point the way to worthy options each week. All times are ET/PT unless noted.

On streaming …

Returning: After a 20-month gap between seasons, Stranger Things (Thursday, Netflix) begins its third season with the kids and ancillary adults of Hawkins, Indiana, enjoying the summer of 1985. Of course that won't last, as there appear to be monsters aplenty looking to wreak havoc on the town again.

Also returning: British crime drama The Simple Heist (Monday, Acorn TV); the second half of Young Justice: Outsiders' season (DC Universe, Tuesday); season two of Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny (Friday, Amazon).

New: Documentary series The Last Czars (Wednesday, Netflix) combines talking-head information and extensive re-creations to tell the story of the fall of Russia's Romanov dynasty in the early 20th century.

On broadcast …

Fourth of July: A pair of annual specials will bring music and fireworks to your living rooms Thursday. NBC has its Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular from New York, and PBS broadcasts A Capitol Fourth from Washington. Both air at 8 p.m.; NBC has an abbreviated replay of the special at 10.

No ongoing shows are premiering on the broadcast networks this week.

On cable …

Special: Evel Live 2, a sequel to the channel's highly watched 2018 motorcycle-stunt special, debuts at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 7. Named in honor of daredevil Evel Knievel, the special will feature riders Vicki Golden and Axell Hodges attempting to break world records for speeding through a series of flaming wooden boards (Golden) and for the longest motorcycle jump ever (Hodges).

New: CNN's latest docuseries, The Movies (9 p.m. Sunday, July 7), looks at how films have shaped and reflected American culture. Nat Geo Wild's Out There With Jack Randall (10 p.m. Sunday, July 7) follows zoologist Randall into remote regions of Australia as he encounters rare and dangerous wildlife.

Returning: Season three of Divorce premieres at 10 p.m. Monday on HBO, and BET's hip-hop anthology Tales opens its second season at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

In case you missed it …

Comedian Ramy Youssef is having quite a year: In addition to his critically praised (and renewed) Hulu comedy Ramy, his first stand-up special, Feelings, debuted on June 29. You can watch the special on HBO's various platforms.