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The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Sets Official Premiere Date

Wake up, AmericaThe Handmaid's Tale has landed an official premiere date for its highly anticipated third season. 

Hulu, the home of the Emmy Award-winning drama series led by Elisabeth Moss, announced at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday that The Handmaid's Tale will return for season 3 on Wednesday, June 5 — an apt month considering Moss' character shares the same name. 

The first three episodes of the new season will drop all at once, with the following installments rolling out on a once-a-week basis each Wednesday (via Deadline). 

Elsewhere at the TCA press tour, Hulu announced premiere dates for Shrill (Wednesday, March 15), The Act (Wednesday, March 20), Into the Dark: I'm Just F***ing With You (Friday, April 5), Ramy (Friday, April 19), Into the Dark: All That We Destroy (Friday, May 3), Ask Dr. Ruth (Friday, May 10), and Catch-22 (Friday, May 17). 

The good news here is that The Handmaid's Tale is coming back in just a few months, but the bad news is that the series' season 3 premiere date disqualifies it from eligibility in the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards. Craig Erwich, Hulu's senior vice president of original content, addressed that fact during the TCA presentation, explaining that the decision to delay the upcoming season's launch was a relatively easy one to make. Rather than rush The Handmaid's Tale to a certain deadline in order to score nominations (that the series has turned into big wins in the past), Hulu and the series' creative team "wanted to give the show as much time as possible to maintain the quality," Erwich said. 

That said, both the wait until June 5 and that The Handmaid's Tale is out of the running for the 2019 Emmys will be well worth it. Erwich noted that he has already watched the first two episodes of the third season — which will presumably pick up immediately after June willingly handed her baby over to Emily (Alexis Bledel) in the season 2 finale, telling her to call her daughter "Nichole" and make sure she knows that June loves her, and made the choice to stay behind in Gilead instead of escaping so that she could spark an uprising. The executive said that the two installments are "spectacular."

Viewers can also expect to see a few new faces join the series in season 3: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit actor Christopher Meloni and The Haunting of Hill House lead Elizabeth Reaser will make guest appearances as Commander Winslow and Mrs. Winslow, respectively.

The Handmaid's Tale season 3 will run for 13 episodes and follow June as she fights back against the regime in place in dystopian America, in the country now known as Gilead that forces fertile women to become sexual servants in "a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world." Very little has been revealed in the way of plot specifics for the forthcoming season — though the teaser for the new episodes that dropped during the Super Bowl did offer some intriguing insight into what's coming next. 

The footage saw June standing in front of an army of fellow Handmaids lined up outside a redesigned Washington Monument in a jarring commentary on former U.S. president Ronald Reagan's 1984 "It's Morning America" advertisement. As Deadline teased, The Handmaid's Tale fans are in for "startling reunions, betrayals, and a journey to the terrifying heart of Gilead that will force all characters to take a stand." And the running theme of The Handmaid's Tale season 3? "Blessed be the fight."

Also starring Yvonne Stahovski as Serena Joy Waterford, Joseph Fiennes as Commander Fred Waterford, Max Minghella as Nick Blaine, Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, Madeline Brewer as Janine, O. T. Fagbenle as Luke Bankole, Samira Wiley as Moira, Amanda Brugel as Rita, and Bradley Whitford as Commander Joseph Lawrence, The Handmaid's Tale will premiere its third season on Hulu on Wednesday, June 5.