May TV premieres
The Creature (Rory Kinnear, from left), Sembeme (Danny Sapani), Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton), Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory) and Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) in "Penny Dreadful." (Jim Fiscus/Showtime)

May TV premieres 2015, finales, specials, movies

May is transition month on TV, which means season finales fill the calendar. Viewers can look forward to new and returning shows, too, as the summer season kicks off.

“Penny Dreadful” is tops on my list. Showtime’s horror mash-up returns May 3 with a coven of scary witches menacing our heroes. AMC’s 1980s tech drama “Halt and Catch Fire” also returns for a second season (May 31).

Several movies look interesting as well, including the docs “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” on HBO (May 4) and “Gardeners of Eden” on Pivot (May 6). A pair of biopics debut: Queen Latifah stars in HBO’s “Bessie” (May 16) and Nicole Kidman plays “Grace of Monaco” on Lifetime (May 25).

“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” Lifetime (May 30) is one of three miniseries of note, along with NBC’s “Aquarius” (May 28) and “Texas Rising” on History (May 25).

Fox’s “Wayward Pines” (May 14) and Netflix’s “Between” (May 21) should give mystery fans something to watch.

Below find the never complete calendar for May that I will be adding to all month. If I’m missing something or have an error, let me know (nicely please) in the comments or via email.

May TV premieres, finales, specials and movies

All times Central; check local listings

Friday, May 1

7 p.m.
  • “El Poeta,” PBS (“Voces” premiere; Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s life since the drug-war killing of his son)
8 p.m.
  • “Beyond the Tank,” ABC (3-episode series; “Shark Tank” companion series)
8:30 p.m.
  • “Curvy Brides,” TLC (season premiere)
9 p.m.
  • “Blue Bloods,” CBS (season finale)
  • “MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout,” truTV (series premiere; boxing) 
9:30 p.m.
  • “Psychic Matchmaker,” TLC (series premiere; title explains show)

Saturday, May 2

9:30 a.m.
  • “Lorraine Pascale: How to Be a Better Cook,” Cooking Channel (series premiere)
11:30 a.m.
  • “Summer Movie Preview Review,” Reelz (special)
7 p.m.
  • “First Time Flippers,” DIY (series premiere; renovation and flipping from beginner’s perspective)
  • “Ana Maria in Novela Land,” Oxygen (movie; woman watches favorite telenovela after a bad day, wakes up to find she has traded places with the show’s heroine)

8 p.m.
  • “Murder, She Baked: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery,” Hallmark M&M (movie; baker becomes a culinary detective)
  • “America’s Next Cat Star,” Animal Planet (special; five cats in the running)
  • “Hillybilly Blood,” Destination America (season premiere; 2nd episode at 8:30 p.m.)

Sunday, May 3

7 p.m.
  • “Madam Secretary,” CBS (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “Family Guy,” Fox (250th episode)
  • “Secrets & Lies,” ABC (season finale)
9 p.m.
  • “Penny Dreadful,” Showtime (season 2 premiere)

Monday, May 4

2:01 a.m.
  • “The Brokenwood Mysteries,” (U.S. premiere, Season 1; New Zealand detective drama)
7 p.m.
  • “Gotham,” Fox (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” HBO (doc premiere; Nirvana frontman’s daughter, visual artist Frances Bean Cobain, produced and Brett Morgan directs)
  • “Surrender: The Fall of the Reich,” American Heroes Channel (doc premiere; final stages of World War II and 1st steps into new world)
9 p.m.
  • “Kuma Hina,” PBS (“Independent Lens” premiere; transgender teacher in Hawaii)
  • “Sale of Two Cities,” HGTV (series premiere; compares housing prices in two cities)

Tuesday, May 5

5 p.m.
  • “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series,” El Rey (season 1 marathon through 3 a.m.)
7 p.m.
  • “9-Man,” PBS World (“American Reframed” doc premiere; 9-Man sport was an escape for Chinese workers during an era of extreme discrimination; check local listings)
8 p.m.
  • “New Girl,” Fox (season finale)
8:30 p.m.
  • “Weird Loners,” Fox (season finale)
9 p.m.
  • “Forever,” ABC (season finale)
  • “Persons of Interest,” CBS (season finale)
  • “The Willis Family,” TLC (series premiere; 12 kids and singing)
10 p.m.
  • “Inside Comedy,” Showtime (season premiere)

Wednesday, May 6

8 p.m.
  • “Criminal Minds,” CBS (season finale)
  • “Nazi Attack on America,” PBS (“Nova” premiere; underwater exploration of Nazi subs sunk near New Orleans and on East Coast)
  • “Filthy Riches,” Nat Geo (season 2 premiere)
  • “Gardeners of Eden,” Pivot (doc premiere; illegal ivory trade driving Africa’s elephants to extinction)
9 p.m.
  • “Fake Off,” truTV (season 2 premiere)
  • “Schitt’s Creek,” Pop (season 1 finale)

Thursday, May 7

7 p.m.
  • “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “Scandal,” ABC (season finale)
  • “American Pickers,” History (season premiere)
  • “Caring for Mom and Dad,” PBS (doc premiere; adults caring for their aging parents narrated by Meryl Streep)
9 p.m.
  • “Lost in Transmission,” History (series premiere; classic car recovery and restoration)
  • “Dead End Express,” Nat Geo (series premiere; following those delivering supplies to remote locales)

Friday, May 8

2:01 a.m.
  • “Grace and Frankie,” Netflix (series premiere; Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as women whose husbands live them)
7 p.m.
  • “Hawaii Five-0,” CBS (season finale)
9 p.m.
  • “Brad Williams: Fun Size,” Showtime (special; stand-up comedy film)

Saturday, May 9

7 p.m.
  • “Stockholm, Pennsylvania,” Lifetime (movie premiere; abducted as a child and held captive for 17 years, girl struggles to fit in back home)
  • “NBA Countdown,” ABC (special)
7:15 p.m.
  • “2015 NBC Conference Semi-Finals,” ABC (special)
8 p.m.
  • “Deion’s Family Playbook,” Own (season 2 premiere)
  • “Say It to My Face!” FYI (series premiere; chefs and critics meet face-to-face)
  • “Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao Epilogue,” Showtime (interview special airing after network premiere of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight)
9 p.m.
  • “Deion’s Family Playbook,” Own (season 2 premiere)

Sunday, May 10

  • “When Ghosts Attack,” Destination America (I Want My Mommy marathon; 5 episodes through 5 p.m.)
5 p.m.
  • “Ghost Asylum,” Destination America (I Want My Mommy marathon; 5 episodes through 11 p.m.)
7 p.m.
  • “Once Upon a Time,” ABC (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “The Good Wife,” CBS (season finale)
9 p.m.
  • “Wolf Hall,” PBS (miniseries finale)
  • “Revenge,” ABC (season finale)

Monday, May 11

2:01 a.m.
  • “Murdoch Mysteries,” (U.S. premiere of all 18 Season 8 episodes together; Canadian mystery series; Season 8 currently airing on Ovation as “The Artful Detective”)
7 p.m.
  • “The Originals,” CW (season finale)
7:30 p.m.
  • “Girl Meets World,” Disney Channel (season 2 premiere)
8 p.m.
  • “Jane the Virgin,” CW (season finale)
  • “Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop,” HBO (doc premiere; NYPD officer Gilberto Valle was convicted of conspiring to kidnap and eat women in March 2013)
9 p.m.
  • “Castle,” ABC (season finale)

Tuesday, May 12

7 p.m.
  • “NCIS,” CBS (season finale)
  • “Winning Girl,” PBS World (“American Reframed” doc premiere; 16-year-old works to compete in both the judo and wrestling world championships; check local listings)
8 p.m.
  • “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD,” ABC (2-hour season finale)
  • “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS (season finale)
  • “American Idol XIV,” Fox (season finale, part 1)
9 p.m.
  • “The Profit,” CNBC (season 3 premiere)
  • “Lake Life,” DIY (series premiere; Herman family builds fantasy waterfront creations)

Wednesday, May 13

2:01 a.m.
  • “Moone Boy,” Hulu (3rd and final season premiere)
7 p.m.
  • “Arrow,” CW (season finale)
  • “The Middle,” ABC (season finale)
7:30 p.m.
  • “David Attenborough’s Rise of Animals—Triumph of Vertebrates,” Smithsonian Channel (2-part special premiere; 2nd part airs at 8 p.m.)
  • “The Goldbergs,” ABC (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “CSI: Cyber,” CBS (season finale)
  • “American Idol XIV,” Fox (season finale, part 2)
  • “Lethal Seas,” PBS (“Nova” premiere; carbon emissions threaten oceans)
9 p.m.
  • “Nashville,” ABC (season finale)
  • “Sing It On,” Pop (series premiere; collegiate a cappella teams)
  • “Consumed: The Real Restaurant Business,” CNBC (docu-series premiere; behind the scenes of three New York restaurants)

Thursday, May 14

7 p.m.
  • “The Vampire Diaries,” CW (season finale)
  • “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC (season finale)
  • “Gainesville,” CMT (docu-series premiere; friends in small Florida town)
7:30 p.m.
  • “The Odd Couple,” CBS (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “Wayward Pines,” Fox (series premiere; Secret Service agent searches for missing federal agents in Wayward Pines, Idaho)
  • “Reign,” CW (season finale)
  • “Scandal,” ABC (season finale)
  • “Party Down South 2,” CMT (season 2 premiere)
9 p.m.
  • “American Crime,” ABC (season finale)
  • “Elementary,” CBS (season finale)
  • “Maron,” IFC (season 3 premiere)
  • “Pontoon Payday,” CMT (series premiere; if contestants on game show boat answer incorrectly they get tossed overboard)
  • “Say It to My Face!” FYI (time slot premiere)

Friday, May 15

7 p.m.
  • “The Amazing Race,” CBS (season finale)
  • “21 Years: Richard Linklater,” Showtime (doc premiere; “Slacker” and “Boyhood” director at his 21-year career milestone)
8 p.m.
  • “Shark Tank,” ABC (season finale)
  • “ACM Presents: Superstar Duets,” CBS (concert)
9 p.m.
  • “Beyond the Tank,” ABC (season finale)
  • “Junk Gypsies,” GAC (season premiere)
10 p.m.
  • “Paley Fest: Mad Men,” Sundance TV (“Behind the Paley Fest” premiere)

Saturday, May 16

7 p.m.
  • “Bessie,” HBO (movie premiere; Queen Latifah plays blues legend Bessie Smith)
  • “The Billboard Music Awards: An Insider’s Guide,” ABC (special)

8 p.m.
  • “Gourmet Detective,” Hallmark M&M (movie premiere; chef-turned-sleuth Henry Ross from Peter King’s books gets movie franchise)
  • “Iverson,” Showtime (doc premiere; basketball great Allen Iverson in his own words)
10:30 p.m.
  • “Saturday Night Live,” NBC (season finale; Louis C.K. hosts, Rihanna performs)

Sunday, May 17

5 p.m.
  • “Live from the Red Carpet: Billboard Music Awards,” E! (special)
6 p.m.
  • “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” ABC (season finale)
7 p.m.
  • “2015 Billboard Music Awards,” ABC (special)
  • “Call the Midwife,” PBS (season finale)
  • “The Simpsons,” Fox (season finale)
  • “I Love Lucy Superstar Special,” CBS (special; two vintage “I Love Lucy” eps)
  • “Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live!” Ovation (special premiere; actress performs and takes viewers behind-the-scenes of her one-woman show about the sexual habits of animals)
7:30 p.m.
  • “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Fox (season finale)
Mat Tv premieres
Yes, we’ll be saying goodbye to Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “Mad Men.” (Michael Yarish/AMC)
8 p.m.
  • “Keeping Up with the Kardashians: About Bruce,” E! (2-night special ending May 19; presumably the family talks about Bruce Jenner)
  • “Family Guy,” Fox (season finale)
  • “Mr. Selfridge,” PBS (“Masterpiece” premiere, season 3)
  • “In the Line of Fire,” Investigation Discovery (special; police survival stories)
9 p.m.
  • “Mad Men,” AMC (series finale)
  • “Cutthroat Kitchen: Evilicious,” Food Network (season finale)
  • “The Royals,” E! (season finale)

Monday, May 18

7 p.m.
  • “The Following,” Fox (season finale)
  • “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC (season finale)
  • “2 Broke Girls,” CBS (season finale)
7:30 p.m.
  • “Mike & Molly,” CBS (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “The Bachelorette,” ABC (season 11 premiere; 2 bachelorettes—Kaitlyn and Britt)
  • “Stalker,” CBS (season finale)
  • “Southern Rites,” HBO (doc premiere, now-racially integrated proms in Georgia)
  • “Street Outlaws,” Discovery (season premiere)
9 p.m.
  • “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS (season finale)
  • “Avenging the Alamo: The Road to Texas Rising,” History (special; in-depth look at the Alamo and Texas revolution prior to premiere of “Texas Rising” miniseries)

Tuesday, May 19

6 p.m.
  • “Got Ur #,” Fuse (series premiere; music video countdown hosted by Chicago native and Northwestern University grad Timothy Dunn)
7 p.m.
  • “The Flash,” CW (season finale)
  • “Cambodian Son,” PBS World (“American Reframed” doc premiere; poet Kosal Khiev found his voice in prison; check local listings)
8 p.m.
  • “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC (season finale Part 2)
9 p.m.
  • “Troy: Street Magic,” Syfy (season premiere)

Wednesday, May 20

7 p.m.
  • “Masterchef,” Fox (season 6 premiere; 2 hours)
  • “500 Questions,” ABC (series premiere; smart people try not to get stumped)
  • “Survivor,” CBS (season finale)
8 p.m.
  • “Supernatural,” CW (season finale)
  • “Modern Family,” ABC (season finale)
8:30 p.m.
  • “blackish,” ABC (season finale)
9 p.m.
  • “Celebrity Wife Swap,” ABC (season 4 premiere)
10:30 p.m.
  • “The Late Show with David Letterman,” CBS (series finale)

Thursday, May 21

2:01 a.m.
  • “Between,” Netflix (series premiere; diseases kills everyone in a town over the age of 21)
7 p.m.
  • “Red Nose Day,” NBC (special; comedy and more to raise money for charities)
8 p.m.
  • “Braxton Family Values,” WEtv (season 4B premiere)
  • “What the Fung?!” FYI (series premiere; comedians Andrew and David Fung search for best spots
9 p.m.
  • “American Rehab: Virginia,” HGTV (series premiere; 250-year-old mansion gets a redo)
  • “Cutting It: In the ATL,” WEtv (series premiere; salon owners battle in Atlanta)

Friday, May 22

2:01 a.m.
  • “Jen Kirkman: I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine),” Netflix (standup special)
9:30 p.m.
  • “American Diner Revival,” Food (series premiere; classic diners get makeovers)

Saturday, May 23

1 p.m.
  • “The Grill of Victory,” Travel (series premiere back-to-back-eps; competition to build best grills)

Sunday, May 24

2 p.m.
  • “101 Amazing Thrills,” Travel (series premiere; 5 eps to air consecutively)
9 p.m.
  • “Battle Creek,” CBS (season finale)
  • “#RichKids of Beverly Hills,” E! (season premiere)

Monday, May 25

1 p.m.
  • “The American Veterans Center’s 2015 National Memorial Day Parade,” Reelz (special)
7 p.m.
  • “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC (season premiere)
  • “Grace of Monaco,” Lifetime (movie; Nicole Kidman as the actress-turned-princess)
  • “Love & Hip Hop Live: The Wedding,” VH1 (season premiere)
8 p.m.
  • “Texas Rising,” History (miniseries premiere; what happened after the Alamo fell; eps also air May 26, June 1, 8, 16)
9 p.m.
  • “The Island,” NBC (series premiere; 14 men try to survive on deserted island and film themselves)
  • “Guilty Pleasures,” Food (series premiere; food stars and celebs share indulgences)
  • “Barmageddon,” truTV (midseason premiere)
  • “Waterfront House Hunting,” FYI (series premiere; finding homes in waterfront locales)

Tuesday, May 26

7 p.m.
  • “America’s Got Talent,” NBC (season premiere)
  • “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” Fox (season premiere)
  • “Endless Abilities,” PBS World (“American Reframed” doc premiere; differently abled people excel; check local listings)
8 p.m.
  • “Hell’s Kitchen,” Fox (time period premiere)
  • “Extreme Weight Loss,” ABC (season 5 premiere)
9 p.m.
  • “I Can Do That,” NBC (series premiere; celebs show other talents in competition)
  • “Chopped All-Stars,” Food (season finale)
  • “Knife Fight,” Esquire (season 3 premiere)

Wednesday, May 27

7 p.m.
  • “The Briefcase,” CBS (series premiere; strapped families can take money or give to other strapped family)
8 p.m.
  • “Bullseye,” Fox (series premiere; participants use their bodies like darts to hit targets)

Thursday, May 28

5:30 p.m.
  • “Kung Fury,” El Rey Network (short film premiere; Kung Fury travels back to Nazi Germany to kill Kung Fuhrer, aka Adolf Hitler)
8 p.m.
  • “Aquarius,” NBC (miniseries premiere; police investigation stumbles upon a small-time cult leader who will become the killer Charles Manson)
  • “Hoarders: Family Secrets,” Lifetime (season premiere; live episodes)
9 p.m.
  • “Louie,” FX (season 5 finale)
  • “Smile,” Lifetime (series premiere; dental makeovers)
  • “BBQ Pitmasters,” Destination America (all-star season premiere)
10 p.m.
  • “Louis C.K.: Live from the Comedy Store,” FX (standup special)
  • “3AM,” Showtime (docuseries premiere; look at late-night New York City)
  • “Paley Fest: The Big Bang Theory,” Sundance TV (“Behind the Story with Paley Fest” premiere)

Friday, May 29

8 p.m.
  • “Nightingale,” HBO (movie premiere; David Oyelowo stars as war vet whose life unravels)
  • “Strange Empire: Rise of the Women,” Lifetime Movie Network (series premiere; 3 women join forces on the American frontier in the 1860s)
  • “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars,” WEtv (season 3 premiere; watch 1st episode here)
  • “Alaskan Bush People,” Discovery (season premiere)
9 p.m.
  • “Jim Breuer: Comic Frenzy,” EPIX (standup special)

Saturday, May 30

7 p.m.
  • “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe,” Lifetime (miniseries premiere; a look at the star’s life adapted from J. Randy Taraborrelli’s bestseller)
  • “2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” HBO (special)
8 p.m.
  • “Outlander,” Starz (season 1 finale)
  • “Treetop Cat Rescue,” Animal Planet (double-episode series premiere; cat rescues from Seattle’s tallest trees)

10 p.m.
  • “Living Big Sky,” HGTV (series premiere; couples consider moving to Montana)

Sunday, May 31

7 p.m.
  • “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe,” Lifetime (miniseries finale)
  • “Critic’s Choice Awards,” A&E (special)
  • “Big Bad BBQ Battle,” Cooking Channel (series premiere; NY pitmaster Shannon Ambrosia faces off against southerners)
  • “Deep Web: The Untold Story of Bitcoin and Silk Road,” Epix (doc premiere; look at Bitcoin and online black market called Silk Road)
8 p.m.
  • “Spring Baking Championship,” Food (season finale)
  • “Return to Amish,” TLC (season premiere)
8:30 p.m.
  • “Golan the Insatiable,” Fox (season premiere; late-night animated show moves to prime time)
  • “Gypsy Sisters,” TLC (season premiere)
9 p.m.
  • “Halt and Catch Fire,” AMC (season 2 premiere)