With 2016 coming to a close we can’t help but look towards the horizon, and one thing that has us very excited is the amount of television shows to look forward to. In 2016, there were (count em) 455 scripted shows on television which I’m assuming is a record breaker. Next year, that number is expected to pass well over the 500 mark, which, is absolutely insane. Since there is only so much time in a day, we all have to carefully choose what we have time to watch, so I’ve put together a list of the hottest new shows set to debut this year. Don’t expect the likes of Twin Peaks, Atlanta, Stranger Things, or The Americans to appear on this list. We already love these shows and we already trust in the creators to deliver another stellar season. This list is instead dedicated to the new shows we’re most excited to watch. 2017 is looking extremely promising, with plenty of exciting new dramas, dark comedies, and half-hour comedies to keep us busy, not to mention a few revivals we can’t wait for. If you have free time, these are the shows you should try and make room for.
20) Powerless (NBC)
Powerless is an upcoming American action comedy series originally developed by Ben Queen (before dropping out) for NBC, and the first sitcom series set within the world of the DC Universe. Set in a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of superheroes and supervillains, Emily Locke begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero. This show, which stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk (Firefly), Danny Pudi (Community) and Ron Funches (Undateable) is set to premiere on February 2, 2017.
19) Snowfall (FX)
The first of two John Singleton dramas to premiere this year, Snowfall is set during the dawn of the crack-cocaine epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles. The project, which was first set up at Showtime in 2014, was picked up by FX for a 10-episode first season and stars Damson Idris as Franklin Saint, young street entrepreneur on a quest for power; Sergio Peris-Mencheta, as Gustavo Zapata, a Mexican wrestler caught in a crime-family power struggle; Carter Hudson as CIA operative Teddy McDonald; and Emily Rios as Luica Villanueva, the daughter of a Mexican crime lord. If the show is half as good as John Singleton’s Academy Award nominated film Boyz In The Hood, it is well worth watching.
18) Maniacs (Netflix)
It was almost a decade ago that the high school comedy Superbad from director Greg Mottola and writers Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg helped boost the careers of co-stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone. Since the two have gone on to star in some of our favourite Hollywood comedies and now they will reunite for another project, this time on the small screen. Jonah Hill and Emma Stone are set to star in a new comedy series called Maniac, based on a recent TV show of the same name from Norway. The dark comedy which is set to air in 2017 on Netflix was created by director Cary Fukunaga, best known as the mastermind behind True Detective and Beasts of No Nation.
17) The Punisher (Netflix)
For the unfamiliar, Marvel’s The Punisher, or simply The Punisher, is an upcoming American web television series created for Netflix by Steve Lightfoot, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise, and is a spin-off of Marvel’s Daredevil. Excitement is building for The Punisher, given that Jon Bernthal’s character is maybe the best thing about the second season of Daredevil, thus the reason for this spinoff. The Punisher could be a tremendous vigilante-centered action series that dares to address social and political problems in the world today, or, it can be just another by-the-books superhero show that falls back on a safety net as oppose to taking any chances. Only time will tell, but for now, things looks rather promising. The Punisher is scheduled to be released in 2017.
16) Dear White People – Netflix
Based on Justin Simien’s 2014 crowd funded movie of the same name, Dear White People is a 10-episode, 30-minute project that hails from Lionsgate Television and will, like the film, follow a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug. Simien will write for the series and direct several episodes. Executive producers are Yvette Lee Bowser (Black-ish, Living Single, Different World), Stephanie Allain (Hustle & Flow, Dear White People), and Julia Lebedev (The Dinner, Dear White People). Dear White People joins Orange is the New Black as Lionsgate’s second original series for Netflix.
15) G.L.O.W. – Netflix
Inspired by the real story of the 1980s Los Angeles female wrestling league, G.L.O.W. is a 10-episode comedy that tells the fictionalized story of Ruth (Alison Brie), an out-of-work actress who finds one last chance to live out her dreams in the form of a weekly series about female wrestlers. The series was created by the brilliant Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black) and Tara Herrmann and co-stars Marc Maron, and Betty Gilpin. Netflix has not set a launch date for G.L.O.W., but it will launch on the streaming service this year.
14) I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime)
I’m Dying Up Here is an upcoming American comedy-drama series created by Jim Carrey and based on the bestselling book by William Knoedelseder. The pilot was written by David Flebotte and directed by Jonathan Levine. Carrey, Flebotte, Michael Aguilar, and Christina Wayne will serve as exec producers on the show. The series, which shoots in L.A. this fall, is set in Los Angeles’ infamous stand-up comedy scene of the 1970’s when many superstar comic’s careers were launched.
13) The Handmaid’s Tale – Hulu
Hulu has quietly been making a name for itself in the original programming department with well-respected series like Casual and The Path, but the upcoming The Handmaid’s Tale might just be the original drama that pushes them into the spotlight. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of two, new American television shows based on a book by the critically acclaimed author Margaret Atwood but this one makes the list simply due to the involvement of director Reed Morano and Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss who stars as a handmaid trying to survive in a male-dominated totalitarian regime. She is one of the few remaining fertile women who is forced into sexual servitude as a last desperate attempt to repopulate the world. The supporting cast includes Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Samira Wiley, Max Minghella, Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd and O-T Fagbenle. The 10-episode first season will premiere in April 2017. Check out the first look photos below.
12) Legion – FX
Legion is an upcoming American cable television series created for FX by Noah Hawley, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set to premiere on February 8, 2017, run for eight episodes over its first season and is connected to the X-Men film series, the first television series to do so, and is produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television and 26 Keys Productions. Hawley serves as showrunner on the series. Dan Stevens stars as David Haller, a mutant diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age. Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, Jeremie Harris, Amber Midthunder, Katie Aselton, and Bill Irwin also star.
11) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – BBC America
Based on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels by Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy author Douglas Adams, the serialized comedic thriller (written by Max Landis) follows the bizarre adventures of eccentric “holistic” detective Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood). The series is a co-production between BBC America and Netflix, with episodes commencing airing on BBC America in the United States on October 22, 2016, and all episodes being available to stream on Netflix worldwide outside of the United States on December 11, 2016.
10) The Young Pope – HBO
Who knows where Paolo Sorrentino’s unpredictable and irreverent Vatican fantasy, The Young Pope, will lead over the course of its 10 episodes but based on the trailer, it looks utterly fascinating. The English-language drama television series originally premiered at the Venice Film Festival last summer where it was welcomed with glowing reviews and even the Catholic Herald raved about the “mordantly funny story-telling”. Fans of Jude Law will not want to miss this considering it is said to be his absolute best performance.
9) Riverdale – CW
When news broke that the CW would be developing a mature Archie TV series based on the long-running American comic, it almost seemed like a terrible idea. Fortunately, the show is being spearheaded by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the current Chief Creative Officer at Archie Comics, who promises a Twin Peaks-like surrealist drama. That may seem like a bit of a stretch but the trailer did grab my attention. The American teen drama is scheduled to air during the 2016–17 television season, coinciding with the Archie character’s 75th anniversary. The pilot is set to premiere on January 26, 2017. Don’t miss it!
8) Marvel’s The Defenders – Netflix
For the unfamiliar, Marvel’s The Defenders, or simply The Defenders, is an upcoming American web television miniseries developed for Netflix by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise and is the culmination of a series of interconnected shows from Marvel and Netflix. Netflix’s upcoming series is shaping up to be quite the epic superhero team-up. The limited series stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, and Finn Jones as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, all reprising their roles from their individual series. Élodie Yung also stars as Elektra Natchios, reprising the role from Marvel’s Daredevil. They’ll be going up against a mystery villain played by Sigourney Weaver, and the show will feature a variety of other villains as well. The Defenders will consist of eight episodes, and is scheduled to be released in 2017.
7) Iron Fist – Netflix
Also set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Iron Fist shares continuity with the films of the franchise and is the fourth in a series of shows that will lead up to The Defenders crossover miniseries. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Scott Buck (Dexter) serving as showrunner. Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. Jessica Henwick, David Wenham, Jessica Stroup, Tom Pelphrey, and Rosario Dawson also star. Iron Fist is scheduled to be released on March 17, 2017.
6) Mindhunter (Netflix)
The House of Cards executive producer/director David Fincher is expanding his Netflix portfolio with a second drama series, Mindhunter, based on the book Mindhunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit written by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas. Like House of Cards, which Fincher developed with Kevin Spacey, on Mindhunter the Gone Girl and The Social Network director also is collaborating with an Oscar-winning actor, Charlize Theron. While specific details about the drama are being kept under wraps in typical Fincher fashion, the series is said to revolve around two FBI agents in 1979 who interview serial killers in an effort to help them solve ongoing murders.
5) American Gods – Starz
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is getting the cable TV series treatment we’ve been waiting for, and I couldn’t be more excited. Bryan Fuller is shifting his attention from the gone-too-soon Hannibal to the American Gods TV series on Starz. Other creators behind the project include co-showrunner Michael Green and fellow Hannibal alum David Slade behind the camera for the pilot. Fuller and Michael Green will script the first episode and serve as showrunners while Gaiman will executive produce along with Fuller.Green, Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk and Thom Beers. The series is set to premiere in April 2017. Considering Hannibal is one of the best shows ever made, and American Gods is arguablyNeil Gaiman’s best novel, we expect something truly spectacular! American Gods is set to premiere in April 2017.
4) Taboo – BBC One / FX
Taboo is a forthcoming British drama television miniseries created by Steven Knight, Tom Hardy, and his father Edward “Chips” Hardy. The eight-episode miniseries is about an adventurer who returns to Britain from Africa along with fourteen stolen diamonds to seek vengeance after the death of his father. Kristoffer Nyholm will direct the first four episodes. The miniseries, created from a story by the Hardys and starring Tom, will premiere on 7 January, 2017 on BBC One in the United Kingdom and on January 10, 2017 on FX in the United States. Hardy has proven that he’s more than capable of handling a role like this, and with Steven Knight on board as an executive producer, it seems like a pretty good bet.
3) Marvel’s The Inhumans
Marvel’s Phase 3 slate had originally included an Inhumans movie, but after it had disappeared from the scheduled line-up it was increasingly viewed as unlikely. This unexpected boost for the Inhumans franchise left fans with a lot of concerns but thankfully we now have an 8-episode live-action television series, titled Marvel’s The Inhumans, scheduled to premiere in September 2017 on ABC, after the first two episodes are screened in IMAX theaters beginning September 4, 2017 for two weeks. IMAX is also a financial partner for The Inhumans, and this will be the first time a television series has premiered in IMAX. The series will center on Black Bolt and other members of the Royal Family, and is not intended to be a reworking of the planned film from Marvel Studios, nor a spin-off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Scott Buck will serve as showrunner and executive producer on the series.
2) Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
The first episode of Star Trek premiered 50 years ago, and the beloved sci-fi franchise is now scheduled to return to television in 2017 with a new series on Netflix and CBS — or more specifically, on CBS All Access, the network’s new stand-alone streaming service. Star Trek: Discovery is created by Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman and is set roughly a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series, (separate from the timeline of the concurrent feature films) and explores a previously mentioned event from the history of Star Trek while following the crew of the USS Discovery. In addition to Fuller and Kurtzman, who wrote for previous Star Trek series and films, respectively, the crew includes previous Star Trek creative Nicholas Meyer as consulting producer, and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son Rod as executive producer. The production put emphasis on carrying on the legacy of the previous series, including making efforts to feature a diverse cast and taking inspiration from original designs by Ralph McQuarrie. Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, and Anthony Rapp and is set to premiere on CBS in May 2017, before moving to All Access. The first season will consist of 13 episodes
1) The Deuce (HBO)
The Deuce is an upcoming American television drama series set in and around Times Square, New York. Created and written by author and former police reporter David Simon (The Wire, Treme) along with frequent collaborator George Pelecanos, the series will be broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States. The first season will consist of eight episodes and tells the story of the legalization and ensuing rise of the porn industry in New York beginning in the 1970s. Themes explored include the rise of HIV, the violence of the drug epidemic and the resulting real estate booms and busts that coincided with the change. Anyone familiar with David Simon’s work will understand why this is at the top of the list. If you haven’t seen The Wire, you should since it is arguably the best show ever made.