summer TV movies
James Franco (center) stars in and wrote Lifetime's "Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?" (Trae Patton/Lifetime/Sony Pictures Television)

Summer TV movies, docs, more in 2016

You don’t have to go to the multiplex for a blockbuster this year. One word: Sharknado. Yes, the attack is back this summer with “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.” Below are six other summer TV movies that could fit the bill. And bonus, I’ve included five other TV happenings worth noting. All times are CT.

Related: 30 new summer TV series;  10 returning summer TV shows
Related: May TV premieres calendar;   June TV premieres calendar

Summer TV movies

The Dresser

8 p.m. May 30, Starz

An aging theater actor (Anthony Hopkins) and his backstage dresser (Ian McKellen) toil to bring “King Lear” to a regional English theater during WWII. Should be a treat seeing these two veterans work together for the first time.


summer TV movies
Lou Diamond Phillips stars as serial killer Richard Ramirez in Lifetime’s “The Night Stalker.” (Lifetime)

The Night Stalker

7 p.m. June 12, Lifetime

An attorney (Bellamy Young) tries to prove a Death Row inmate’s innocence by confronting serial killer Richard Ramirez (Lou Diamond Phillips) and getting him to confess to the crime. Based on real-life events.


summer TV movies
James Franco and Leila George star in Lifetime’s “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” (Trae Patton/Lifetime/Sony Pictures Television)

Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?

7 p.m. June 18, Lifetime

I had to add this film to the list simply because James Franco (!) is updating the cult classic with a vampire twist. With Franco on board, it’s bound to be … entertaining.


Dead Rising: End Game

Streaming June 20, Crackle

TV journalist Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) goes back underground to stop a rogue military operation and, gamers would guess, zombies. 


Adventures in Babysitting

7 p.m. June 24, Disney

The 100th Disney original TV movie re-imagines the 1987 Chris Columbus comedy. This time, rival suburban babysitters team up to find one of their charges in the big city.


summer TV movies
Frankie J. Alvarez (from left), Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett reprise their roles as three gay friends in HBO’s “Looking: The Movie.” (HBO)

Looking: The Movie

9 p.m. July 23, HBO

All those fans who protested when HBO canceled the gay drama can mark one in the win column. This film wraps up the story of three close gay friends living in San Francisco.


summer TV movies
Ian Ziering, as Fin Shepard, survived “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!” to slay again in “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.” (Gene Page/Syfy)

Sharknado: The 4th Awakens

7 p.m. July 31, Syfy

Five (in movie) years after sharks and ’nados tore up the East Coast, biting new storms attack a cast of future “Dancing with the Stars” contestants. Will the madness ever end? Probably not. More “Sharknado 4” here.


Summer TV docs and more


Maya and Marty in Manhattan

9 p.m. May 31, NBC

Variety didn’t work out for Neil Patrick Harris last summer, but maybe Maya Rudolph and Martin Short can revive the lost TV staple.


Barbarians Rising

8 p.m. June 6, History

This part documentary, part dramatically acted series examines the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from the perspective of the barbarian leaders who challenged it. Get your face paint ready.


O.J.: Made In America

8 p.m. June 11, ABC then moves to ESPN June 14

Are we sick of this story yet? “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” fascinated audiences earlier this year, but ESPN’s doc series takes a seriously deep dive into what led to Simpson’s “trial of the century” and its aftermath. Filled with new reporting and interviews, it examines the fallen NFL star, the black community’s feelings toward the LAPD, and inequality in America.


The Hunt

8 p.m. July 3, BBC America

Sir David Attenborough narrates this eight-parter that examines the delicate relationships between nature’s predators and their prey. Filmed all over the world by the makers of “Planet Earth.”


Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Aug. 5, networks of NBC

NBC will air the opening ceremonies in primetime Aug. 5, but some sports begin as early as Aug. 3. For those, you can stream online. Check for schedules and air times throughout the event, which ends Aug. 21.