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Television

Prepare for the return of ‘Orphan Black,’ ‘Insecure’ and more summer TV favorites with this recap

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Tatiana Maslany in “Orphan Black,” top left, Issa Rae in “Insecure,” Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner in “Difficult People” and Liev Schreiber in “Ray Donovan.”
(BBC America; Anne Marie Fox / HBO; Ali Goldstein / Hulu; Michael Desmond / Showtime)

Plenty of new shows may try to ensnare you this summer, but several returning series — some in their farewell seasons — also want to pull you back in. Here are five shows we’re looking forward to either seeing how the story continues or comes to an end.

“Orphan Black,” BBC America

Returns: June 10

The science fiction-based testimony to the power of multitasking returns for its fifth and final season, led by Emmy-winner Tatiana Maslany. When last we saw Maslany and her many forms, biology specialist Cosima had just cured her own genetic disease, the ruthless Evie of Neolution was descended upon and perhaps killed by her own creation and Sarah was about to meet her maker in the form of Neolution founder P.T. Westmoreland, who is apparently a few centuries old. But which writer will the series borrow its episodes titles from this season?

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“Insecure,” HBO

Returns: July 23

First seen in the Web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae embarks on the second season of her critically acclaimed series looking at the experiences of a black woman navigating life and dating in Los Angeles. As the first season approached its conclusion, it briefly looked as if Rae’s on-screen alter-ego Issa Dee might patch things up with longtime boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis) after cheating on him with her ex. But Lawrence moved out and hooked up with a flirtatious bank teller while Issa was in Malibu, so that may be that. But, at least Issa patched things up with her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) on the drive home, so all is very far from lost.

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“Ray Donovan,” Showtime

Returns: Aug. 6

This family drama/crime series led by Liev Schreiber as a South Boston-born “fixer” for the troubled rich and famous of Hollywood returns for its fifth season. Joining Schreiber for what he has called a “shocking” new season is Susan Sarandon, who is fresh from her turn as Bette Davis on “Feud” and will portray someone who has a big influence on Ray’s life once he begins working for her. Also back is Jon Voight as Mickey, Ray’s unreliable father with a criminal past that keeps creeping into his family’s present.

“Difficult People,” Hulu

Returns: Aug. 8

The series built around the relationship between Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner amid all manner of poor behavior enters its third season with the occasional flash of functional adulthood creeping into the frame. “Star Trek’s” John Cho joins the cast as Billy’s boyfriend, who arrives just as Billy is beginning to fall out of love with New York while Julie dabbles in meditation and ayahuasca. Lucy Liu of “Elementary” is also on board for a guest appearance as a corrupt book editor who gives Julie’s mother (the delightfully indefatigable Andrea Martin) a chance to publish her book.

“Episodes,” Showtime

Returns: Aug. 20

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“Friends” star Matt LeBlanc will soon reduce his workload from three series to two with this Showtime comedy that begins its fifth and final season. Portraying an outsized version of himself, LeBlanc earned four Emmy nominations for this smart showbiz satire, which this year finds the self-absorbed “Matt” hosting “The Box,” a game show that has become a runaway success — to the point where it overshadows his acting career. Meanwhile, the husband and wife writing duo Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig), are still trying to launch their next project.

chris.barton@latimes.com

Twitter: @ChrisBarton

Read more stories from our summer television preview here.


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