Spring TV: Familiar names and faces, some in new places

Queen Latifah portrays the 1920s blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO movie “Bessie” on May 16.

The spring television season arrives with a bang on Sunday, when “Wolf Hall” makes its premiere on PBS, “American Odyssey” and “A.D.” arrive on NBC and “Mad Men” returns for its final episodes on AMC. Here are 14 more shows to keep on your radar over the next few months, including Netflix’s first jump into the superhero genre, a new series from the creator of “Freaks and Geeks” and the return of “Game of Thrones.”

“The Comedians” (Thursay, FX)

Billy Crystal and Josh Gad try to mesh their comic styles in this FX series, a mockumentary in the style of “The Comeback” about Billy Crystal and Josh Gad trying to mesh their comic styles in an FX series.

“Louie” (Thursday, FX)

You’re never sure whether Louis C.K. will decide that it’s worth the effort of producing another round of his wonderfully doleful autobiographical comedy. This time, for Season 5, he’s cut back from his previous 13 or 14 episodes to just 8. In contrast to the dreamlike opening of Season 4 with its garbageman invasion, the new season begins prosaically, with Louie making fried chicken for a school potluck.

“Marvel’s Daredevil” (Friday, Netflix)

Bent on total domination of world entertainment, Marvel unveils the first series in its five-show deal with Netflix. Charlie Cox (“Boardwalk Empire”) plays Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer with radarlike senses who fights crime as Daredevil. Executives and producers have hinted that fans of Frank Miller’s famous run on the 1980s “Daredevil” comic books will be pleased with the look and feel of this online series.

“Game of Thrones” (April 12, HBO)

Tyrion’s hiding out, Sansa’s on the move, Jon’s fretting and Daenerys’ dragons are bigger than ever as Season 5 begins. The fourth season of “Veep” and second season of “Silicon Valley” arrive the same night.

“The Driver” (April 13, Acorn TV)

David Morrissey, now to be forever known in America as the murderous Governor from “The Walking Dead,” plays a much more unassuming role in this three-part BBC miniseries: a cabdriver who gets involved with gangsters. The noir tale also stars Ian Hart and Colm Meaney and begins with one of those stomach-churning car chases through narrow old European streets.

“Other Space” (April 14, Yahoo)

The writer and director Paul Feig’s first new series since “Freaks and Geeks” is a science-fiction comedy about misfits traveling through space in the 22nd century. The cast includes Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

“Orphan Black” (April 18, BBC America)

Tatiana Maslany continues to accomplish one of television’s smartest cost-cutting measures, playing at least six roles as this Canadian cloning thriller begins its third season.

“Happyish” (April 26, Showtime)

A pilot of this darkish comedy, created and written by Shalom Auslander, a contributor to “This American Life,” was shot starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Now the show makes it to the screen starring the prolific British comedian Steve Coogan (“Philomena,” “The Trip”), who plays a marketing man in his 40s confronting the digital future and a new 20-something boss. The impressive cast includes Bradley Whitford, Kathryn Hahn, Carrie Preston and Ellen Barkin.

“The Casual Vacancy” (April 29, HBO)

J.K. Rowling’s first post-”Harry Potter” novel, about the ugly side of life in a pretty British village, has been adapted into this two-night BBC-HBO miniseries starring Michael Gambon and the most recent Miss Marple, Julia McKenzie.

“Grace and Frankie” (May 8, Netflix)

Reunited 35 years after “9 to 5,” Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play women in their 70s whose husbands (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) fall in love. The sitcom DNA is deep in this show, created by Marta Kauffman (“Friends”) and Howard J. Morris (“Home Improvement”).

“Wayward Pines” (May 14, Fox)

M. Night Shyamalan directed the pilot of this “Twin Peaks”-y, “Truman Show”-ish thriller created and written by Chad Hodge (“The Playboy Club”). Matt Dillon plays a Secret Service agent trapped in a mysterious Idaho town.

“Bessie” (May 16, HBO)

Queen Latifah plays the 1920s blues singer Bessie Smith in a film directed by Dee Rees, who received good reviews for her feature “Pariah,” about a lesbian teenager in Brooklyn. Khandi Alexander plays Smith’s sister and Mo’Nique shows up as Ma Rainey.

“Aquarius” (May 28, NBC)

David Duchovny returns to the scene of the crime: His first television project after “Californication” is this 13-episode series that’s also set in Southern California. Now it’s 1967, though, and Duchovny plays a cop who’s looking for a missing teenager and learns that she’s under the spell of a guy named Manson.