LOS ANGELES - As American TV viewers await the Emmy Awards honoring last year’s programs, the new season opened this summer and it is rich in stars, horror and mystery.

The glitzy names being served up include the likes of Steven Soderbergh, Clive Owen, Guillermo del Toro, Liv Tyler and Halle Berry.

One program, “The Strain,” co-written and co-produced by del Toro, explores a theme already addressed by vampire series such as “True Blood” or zombies in “Walking Dead,” but through the prism of horror flicks.

It follows one Ephraim Goodweather, a disease control center head (played by Corey Stoll, one of the main actors in the first season of “House of Cards”), in his family dealings and as he faces an epidemic that turns people into zombie-vampires. The fast-paced show has aired on FX since July 13 and received good reviews from critics.

“I think ‘The Strain’ works exceptionally well as a true horror show,” said Tom Nunan, a producer and teacher at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

“There are all kinds of suspense dramas and thrillers, but not so many fashioned horror shows.”

Another prominent drama in the new season is “The Knick” (on cable channel Cinemax), about a fictitious hospital a century ago in New York. It is the work of Steven Soderbergh, the Hollywood director who last year made the Liberace film “Behind the Candelabra” for television. Clive Owen plays the lead as Doctor John Thackery, a cold, racist and drug-addicted surgery professor.