UPDATE: Because of the Orlando massacre, TNT pushed back the season 3 premiere of “The Last Ship” from June 12. The new premiere date will be Sunday, June 19. The two-hour premiere will start at 9 p.m.
By LIZ MINIET
There’s a popular cable show on Sunday nights where an outbreak takes the world by storm.
No, it’s not the one with the zombies. You’ll have to wait a few more months for the next season of “The Walking Dead.” Instead, summer brings us TNT’s “The Last Ship.” Though the epidemic on this show has been quite deadly and thrown society into disarray, a cure was found, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Rachel Scott (Rhona Mitra) and the crew of the USS Nathan James, led by Cmdr. Tom Chandler (Eric Dane, aka McSteamy from “Grey’s Anatomy”).
Of course, a cure is just a start, and we’ll see that might not be enough as “The Last Ship” returns with a two-hour premiere this Sunday (June 19) to launch season 3.
We’ll give you five reasons to get on board for the new season of “The Last Ship”:
1. The cliffhanger. Dr. Scott, who found the cure, was shot at the end of season 2. Does she survive? If so, is there a future for her and Chandler? If she doesn’t survive, what does it mean if the virus mutates, as is rumored as season 3 starts?
2. The crew of the USS Nathan James. This is probably the most noble group you’ll meet in an almost-end-of-the-world scenario. They’ve faced bad guys including Russians, “The Immunes” and unscrupulous members of the U.S government. Led by Chandler, the loyal crew has included XO Mike Slattery (Adam Baldwin), Command Master Chief Hugh Jeter (Charles Parnell), Lt. Cmdr. Andrea Garnett (Fay Masterson), Lt. Danny Green (Travis Van Winkle), Lt. Carlton Burk (Jocko Sims), Lt. Kara Foster (Marissa Neitling), Lt. Alisha Granderson (Christina Elmore) and many more. (Some of their jobs are changing as we enter season 3, with Chandler named the chief of naval operations, Slattery becoming captain of the USS Nathan James and Garnett moving up, too.) You can count the U.S. Navy among the fans of “The Last Ship”: There was a special season 3 screening for sailors and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on June 7 at the Newseum in Washington, and Mabus presented several representatives of the show with the Distinguished Public Service Award.
3. The quest to spread the cure goes global. Amid allegations that the Chinese president isn’t properly distributing the “Scott cure,” Chandler goes to Asia to investigate. Among the complications: Several members of the USS Nathan James’ crew are held captive, and there’s the question of who can be trusted back home.
4. It wouldn’t take much to catch up. This is the start of season 3, but the previous two seasons have a total of 23 episodes, so a few good mini-binges would do the trick, whether you’re new to the show or just trying to remember how we got to this point. (It has been nine months since season 2 ended.) Places to find episodes of “The Last Ship” include Hulu, Amazon Video and iTunes.
5. It’s not your average summer TV fare. How many TV shows have Michael Bay (“Transformers,” “Armageddon”) as a producer? Unlike a lot of summer shows, this is one that could hold its own against the onslaught of shows in the fall. Then again, you’ll appreciate having a show to look forward to during the summer.
As the Season 3 premiere nears, the show’s Twitter account has been pretty active, with plenty of behind-the-scenes tweets. Plus, here’s a trailer for the new season:
The Last Ship
9 p.m. Sundays (season 3 premieres June 19), TNT