Resistance is key as 'Handmaid's Tale' returns for season 3

FILE - In a Jan. 27, 2019 file photo, Elisabeth Moss arrives at the 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall, in Los Angeles. Hulu said Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 that the dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale” will debut three new episodes on Wednesday, June 5. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Resistance is the theme as "The Handmaid's Tale" returns with 13 episodes for its third season

PASADENA, Calif. — Resistance is the theme when "The Handmaid's Tale" returns this summer with 13 episodes for its third season, but the Hulu drama is avoiding a collision with the final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

The dystopian drama will debut three new episodes on Wednesday, June 5, streaming service Hulu said. Other episodes will follow on subsequent Wednesdays.

The return date contrasts with the previous seasons' April debuts and puts the drama outside the eligibility window for this year's Emmy Awards. It also keeps "The Handmaid's Tale" out of the path of juggernaut "Game of Thrones," which starts April 14.

The latter wasn't a consideration, Craig Erwich, Hulu's vice president for original series, told TV critics Monday.

"We simply wanted to give the show as much time as possible to maintain the quality it has," Erwich said. As for the Emmys, he said, TV academy voters will be able to consider the series as a whole when it competes.

The Hulu drama collected six Emmys for its first season, including best drama and best lead actress for Elisabeth Moss, who stars as June. Although it earned three awards in 2018, including for Samira Wiley, it lost the top trophy to "Game of Thrones," while Claire Foy of "The Crown" won the top drama acting trophy.

The new season of "The Handmaid's Tale" will focus on June's struggle against the repressive regime of Gilead, Hulu said in a release.

Other characters will be forced to take a stand as well, with "blessed be the fight" the guiding prayer for rebels. Hulu also promised "startling reunions" and betrayals in the upcoming season.

"The Handmaid's Tale" is based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel of the same name. Its cast includes Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley.

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