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50 TV Shows You Need to See in 2020

on January 10, 2020, 3:00pm
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Television can’t stop, television won’t stop, and neither will you. Every January, we say the same thing, “There’s just no time for all these shows!” And yet by December (as you just saw), we have at least 25 shows we can call our top favorites with a smug face. This year’s no different, but it’s certainly more challenging, what with all the other streaming networks being added to the fold (see: HBO Max, Peacock, Quibi, Discovery/BBC).

Each new network is arriving with a lineup of enticing titles. It’s a free-for-all in Hollywood right now, and everyone’s getting a piece of the pie. You love Stephen King? Get ready to bookmark four new shows! Need more Lovecraft beyond Color Out of Space? HBO’s got you covered. Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon not cutting it out for you on The Morning Story? They have two more shows coming down the pipeline.

It’s a little ridiculous, but then again, so is our pop culture addiction. At the very least, we can take solace in knowing that as things heat up across the world — politically, metaphorically, literally — we’ll have plenty of distractions to feed upon. It might cost you a penny or two (and an enduring GrubHub budget), but you won’t have to leave the couch. Depending on how much currency you place on “chill”, that’s a positive.

Start planning accordingly below.

–Michael Roffman
Editor-in-Chief


Doctor Who (BBC)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Doctor Who (BBC)

Premiered January 1st

This one’s a cheat, since, well, it’s already aired two episodes by now, but the 12th season of the modern revival of the BBC’s long-running sci-fi series has already shown signs of growth following its year-long hiatus in 2019. Jodie Whittaker’s effervescent Time Lord and her three charming companions still need some time to grow (the TARDIS remains overstuffed), but the two-parter “Spyfall” got the season off to a rollicking start. Showrunner Chris Chibnall seems more game to play with the show’s decades of lore, and the return of the Master (a devilish Sacha Dhawan) adds interesting wrinkles to the show’s fabric. –Clint Worthington


Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Schitt's Creek, Catherine O'Hara, Season 5

Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)

Premiered January 7th

The Rose family may have lost everything in the series’ start, but they’ve brought big laughs, gained valuable personal growth, made both their hearts and ours grow three sizes, and become a zeitgeist show over five successful seasons. Their final chapter sees actors Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, Annie Murphy, and Emily Hampshire taking a bow at the top of their games, sending off their beloved characters in sentimental style. One final stay at the Rosebud hotel will bring David’s wedding, closure for the dear residents of Schitt’s Creek, and parting Moira-isms. We’ll miss you, bebe. –Meagan Navarro


The Outsider (HBO)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

The Outsider (HBO)

Premieres January 12th

Stephen King wisely capitalized on the true crime wave throughout the 2010s, and Hollywood is reaping the benefits. His Bill Hodges trilogy already warranted three seasons of Mr. Mercedes for the invisible Audience Network, and now HBO is cashing in on his 2018 thriller, The Outsider. Jason Bateman serves as not only executive producer, but also stars and directs the first two episodes, which can best be described as, “The first season of True Detective, had it actually indulged in the occult.” With network champ Richard Price on board — see: 2015’s The Night Of — and Ben Mendelsohn leading the crime scene, Constant Readers can expect a superior adaptation while casual subscribers can keep prioritizing their Sunday nights. –Michael Roffman


The New Pope (HBO)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

The New Pope (HBO)

Premieres January 13th

Paolo Sorrentino’s HBO series The Young Pope was largely known for endless Twitter memes about Jude Law being a “hot Pope who fucks,” but amidst the glam chaos of its presentation was an eerily entertaining story about the politics of religion and the rise of authoritarianism via charismatic leaders. In The New Pope, the now-deposed Pope Pius XIII (Law) must contend with calculating replacement pontiff Sir John Brannox (John Malkovich). Characters comment on how much Brannox looks like Malkovich, if you want an idea of how strange and self-aware and oddly horny Sorrentino’s second season will be. –Clint Worthington


Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

Premieres January 19th

Everyone’s favorite “bald asshole” is back for a tenth go-around as Curb Your Enthusiasm returns yet again to HBO. As always, details are mum on what to expect, at least for a through-line, though a teaser suggests he causes some kind of ruckus with his Clear History co-star Jon Hamm. There also appears to be a semantical argument on the concept of a waiting room, and further rivalry between LD and Richard Lewis. This writer is admittedly intrigued to see how they handle the death of Bob Einstein, aka the Funkman, whose scolding presence was always a joy to watch. Knowing Larry David and his team of scribes, Epstein’s death will likely serve as a platform for a great bit. –Michael Roffman


Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

Premieres January 23rd

It’s been more than 25 years since Star Trek: The Next Generation went off the air, and nearly 18 since Star Trek: Nemesis brought that crew’s adventures to an ignominious halt. But now, Star Trek: Picard promises not only a somber return from Starfleet’s greatest captain, but also the franchise’s first opportunity to advance the franchise’s in-universe timeline since 2002. With Patrick Stewart back in the saddle, once again ready to lend his talent and gravitas to this universe, and Star Trek itself finally moving past the prequels and reboots that have defined its past two decades, there’s good reason for Trekkies to be hyped. –Andrew Bloom


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, 2020, New Season, Fire

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)

Premieres January 24th

The witch is back, baby! Sabrina and the coven return in January 2020 to undertake another Chilling Adventure, this time after learning she’s not a Spellman after all, but the spawn of — wait for it — the devil himself. What could be cooler, errr, worse? Quite literally hellbent on saving her beloved boyfriend Nick Scratch from eternal damnation and bodily possession by the Dark Lord, Part 3 promises to be darker, campier, and more occult than ever. And you thought your family’s holiday party was dysfunctional… Needless to say, we’re not in Greendale anymore, Salem. –Irene Monokandilos


The Good Place (NBC)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

The Good Place (NBC)

Premieres January 30th

Five episodes. That’s all that’s left of The Good Place. The show has only five episodes to save all of existence as we know it, to come up with a new system of ethical rules by which humanity should be judged, and to fit in as many sign-related puns and wordplay gags as possible. But that also gives the show’s audience only five more episodes to enjoy one of TV’s best ensembles, to marvel at another dose of surprising twists, and to watch Michael Schur and company land this always-inventive, endlessly empathetic series with fun and panache. Let’s forking do it. –Andrew Bloom


Bojack Horseman (Netflix)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Bojack Horseman (Netflix)

Premieres January 31st

The horse from our favorite ’90s sitcom returns for his final few episodes. The first half of Bojack Horseman’s sixth season showed that, while Bojack may not be perfect, he is striving to be better. Coming into season six’s second half, the stage is set for Bojack to be confronted for his past wrongdoings. Will our horse protagonist end things on a comedic bang? Or will he fall in tragedy? For all the years we’ve spent watching Bojack and friends, for all the laughs and cries, the ending to Bojack Horseman is sure to be bittersweet. –Michael Pementel


Briarpatch (USA)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Briarpatch (USA Network)

Premieres February 6th

Critics have already gotten their first glimpse of Sam Esmails new show for USA at TIFF last year — Briarpatch, a twisty, surreal drama starring Rosario Dawson as a Senate staffer who returns to her hometown to solve her sister’s death. By all accounts, Briarpatch has some of the narrative excess of Mr. Robot but without devolving into Esmail’s patented myopia. Imagine the kind of Broadchurch-y small-town mystery we’re used to seeing lately, but with a zoo’s worth of escaped animals to contend with. If that kind of weirdness sounds up your alley, be sure to tune in. –Clint Worthington


Locke and Key (Netflix)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Locke and Key (Netflix)

Premieres February 7th

Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguezs acclaimed graphic novel series finally brings the twisted Locke saga and their Lovecraftian Keyhouse to life. After the brutal murder of their father, three siblings move to their ancestral estate and discover a slew of magical keys. The only hitch is that an evil entity is determined to claim the keys at any price. An enticing blend of dark supernatural fantasy with heartbreaking family drama, Locke & Key bears the potential to continue Netflix’s prestige genre TV streak. Look out for It star Jackson Robert Scott as the youngest Locke sibling. –Meagan Navarro


High Fidelity (Hulu)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

High Fidelity (Hulu)

Premieres February 14th

The most troubling thing about High Fidelity — either Nick Hornby’s novel set in London or Stephen Frears’ American film based in Chicago – is the idea that so many self-absorbed pop-culture junkies like Rob Gorden actually exist out there. What’s maybe more daunting, though, is trying to turn a story that pegged a certain type of ‘90s male and caught a generation’s imagination in the process into a series that can find relevance in 2020 and also not merely mimic its predecessors. Spike Lee has succeeded with She’s Gotta Have It, so it can be done. But I can also give you a quick top-five list why this series – excited as we are – will likely stumble. And a female “Rob” has nothing to do with it. –Matt Melis


Hunters (Amazon)

Hunters Jordan Peele Amazon TV show series new trailer premiere date release date

Hunters (Amazon)

Premieres February 21st

Jordan Peele has not one, not two, but three shows in the works for 2020! While he’ll be exploring plenty of the supernatural, Peele looks to present additional thrills in his upcoming Nazi hunting show Hunters. Centered on a group of Nazi hunters in 1977 New York, the makeshift team set out to kill high ranking Nazi officials looking to bring about a fourth reich. Starring the likes of legendary actor Al Pacino, Hunters looks to present a fascinating narrative with high stakes drama, societal commentary, and plenty of violence. –Michael Pementel


Better Call Saul (AMC)

Better Call Saul Season 5, Jimmy McGill, Bob Odenkirk

Better Call Saul (AMC)

Premieres February 23rd

“S’all good, man.” By the end of the fourth season of Better Call Saul, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) had changed names, beat the board, and put the past behind him. The fifth season sees the true roots of Albuquerque’s cheapest suit in court as he forges a path we all know too well. Seeing how El Camino gave Jesse Pinkman a proper ending this past October, it would appear Saul Goodman’s closing remarks are all that’s left in New Mexico for Vince Gilligan. Granted, this spinoff series won’t end with Season 5, but we’re expecting things to get particularly dicey for Mr. Goodman, setting up yet another ending in the Breaking Bad canon — an ending that will likely be in black and white. –Michael Roffman


Devs (FX)

Devs (FX)

Devs (FX)

Premieres March 5th

Alex Garland has long established himself as the master of the intricate, cerebral sci-fi story that not enough people are going to see (Ex Machina, Annihilation). But with FX/Hulu’s eight-episode miniseries Devs, we’ll get to see his penchant for stories about technology, nature and identity played out in a longer format. The show stars Sonoya Mizuno as a computer engineer who investigates a mysterious tech firm called Amaya (led by Nick Offerman’s enigmatic Forest) in search of her missing boyfriend. It’s got the look of an amber-soaked Ex Machina with even cleaner lines, and we can’t wait to see what’s inside. –Clint Worthington


Westworld (HBO)

Aaron Paul in Westworld Season 3

Westworld (HBO)

Premieres March 15th

For two seasons, Westworld offered viewers a lot of promise, a lot of mysteries, and a lot of mess. With so many loose threads and so many opaque reveals, it’s hard to know where the show will go in its third season. And yet, if its teaser is any indication, Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is finally taking the series out of the park and into a tantalizing glimpse of what the outside world looks like amid the series’s “10 minutes into the future” setting. As the incredible Aaron Paul joins the show’s cast, there’s reason for renewed hope that the series can go someplace new, hopefully match its best moments, and maybe sidestep its worst. –Andrew Bloom


The Plot Against America (HBO)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

The Plot Against America (HBO)

Premieres March 16th

You had me at David Simon, HBO. But then, you also had me at Philip Roth, or Winona Ryder, or John Turturro. Hot off The Deuce, Simon returns with yet another limited series event: a six-episode run based on Roth’s The Plot Against America. What’s that about? Here’s the logline: “an alternate American history told through the eyes of a working-class Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, as they watch the political rise of Charles Lindbergh, an aviator-hero and xenophobic populist, who becomes president and turns the nation toward fascism.” If you recall, Simon and Ryder worked together on Show Me A Hero, one of this past decade’s great TV events. So, consider this in the queue already. –Michael Roffman


Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

Premieres March 18th

Adapted from the novel by Celeste Ng, Hulu’s eight-episode series stars Reese Witherspoon (who also produces) as the matriarch of a picture-perfect family who rents to a struggling artist (Kerri Washington) and her daughter (Lexi Underwood). If the novel is anything to go on, their collision will unravel secrets, crack familial firmaments, and push lines of race and class. We don’t know much about the show based on the trailer alone, but its brief date announcement trailer promises burning photographs, smashed wine glasses, and wary glances between Washington and Witherspoon. What more could you want, really? –Clint Worthington


One Day at a Time (Pop)

one day at a time netflix season 3

One Day at a Time (Pop)

Due out March

After its miraculous rescue from cancellation by Schitt’s Creek network Pop TV, Gloria Calderon-Kellett’s warm-hearted multi-cam sitcom about the Alvarezes prepares for a fourth season of laughter, tears, and the requisite roars of applause that ensue whenever absolute legend Rita Moreno comes on screen. Fitting for its old-fashioned format, the move from Netflix to Pop also means a weekly release schedule and (gasp) commercial breaks. Still, if the Alvarezes can overcome anything, they can overcome this. And for fans of one of the best, funniest, most optimistic shows on television, it’s a bargain we’re willing to strike. –Clint Worthington


What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

What We Do in the Shadows, FX, Natasia Demetriou, Matt Berry

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Premieres April 15th

FX’s kooky horror comedy series What We Do in the Shadows returns this April for its second season, and we’re ready to sink our teeth into it. As we learned last year, Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s 2014 mockumentary clearly warranted a series expansion, and there’s no telling where they might bring the vamps next. The debut run saw them attending city council meetings, escaping animal shelters, and preparing bi-annual orgies, rarely missing the witty satire and wicked blend of dark humor that the film possessed. So, yeah, we’re game for another romp through Staten Island, especially if Mark Hamill is going to be lurking around. –Samantha Lopez


Homecoming (Amazon)

homecoming amazon prime season 2

Homecoming (Amazon Prime)

Due out Spring

Sam Esmail is going to be busy with more than just Briarpatch, though: Amazon’s twisty psychological thriller series Homecoming is returning for a second season that deviates from the podcast source material. Julia Roberts only had a one-year deal with Amazon for the series, which means Janelle Monáe is set to replace her, as what TVLine describes as a woman who “wakes up floating in a canoe with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.” Homecoming was one of our favorites last year, so it’ll be interesting to see how the cast shakeup expands the boundaries of the series. –Clint Worthington


Snowpiercer (TNT)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Snowpiercer (TNT)

Premieres May 31st

If you’ve been itching for more Snowpiercer since Bong Joon-ho’s 2013 film, you’re in luck with the TV adaptation. Joon-ho serves as executive producer over this series that expands upon the history of Snowpiercer’s iconic train. With philosophical reflections of class explored in the aforementioned film and graphic novel source material, there is tremendous promise for the show to dive even deeper into the struggles of our current times. Conflict upon the train will be tense (and bloody). There will be those who seek revolution, and those who praise the sacred engine. –Michael Pementel


Succession (HBO)

Succession Season Two (HBO)

Succession (HBO)

Due out Summer

It’s not fair to say Succession got better in its second season. It didn’t. The show simply maintained its balance, and both critics and viewers finally caught on. Having said that, it did up the stakes, what with Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) going full-on whistleblower by the end there. Where showrunner Jesse Armstrong takes that revelation for its third season is anyone’s guess, but Christ it’s been a shit show waiting. Bottom line: There is no better Sunday night series on television right now than Succession, which is to say, there is no better series on television right now. This is riveting drama, an unconscious escape from the fiscal obsolescence of Trump’s America, and not having it on is like running out of co-pays for your therapist. –Michael Roffman


Barry (HBO)

Bill Hader, Anthony Carrigan in Barry

Barry (HBO)

Due out TBD

Our buddy Barry can’t seem to catch a break can he? For its past two seasons, the titular hitman-turned-actor has proven to be an emotional rollercoaster. Whenever he finds a moment of peace, there’s always someone in the distance, ready to tear it all away from him. Throughout Season 2, we saw Barry (Bill Hader) and Gene (Henry Winkler) continue to form a compassionate relationship. That seemingly went out the window with that big revelation at the end there, which means anything can happen for Season 3. Will he get out alive? At this point, his luck may run out. –Michael Pementel


The Boondocks (Adult Swim)

the boondocks animated series reboot aaron mcgruder 50 TV Shows You Need to See in 2020

The Boondocks (Adult Swim)

Due out TBD

The stone that the builder refused is back! The Boondocks originally aired intermittently between 2005 and 2014, only releasing four seasons in nearly a decade (with series creator Aaron McGruder leaving the show before its final season). Still, in only 55 episodes, The Boondocks nevertheless managed to provide pointed, uproarious commentary on race, politics, and society writ large. Now, the moment is particularly ripe for McGruder, who’s rebooting the series for 2020, to once again unleash his brand of social satire on the world. Let Huey Freeman ride again! –Andrew Bloom


Creepshow (Shudder)

Creepshow (Shudder)

Creepshow (Shudder)

Due out Fall

Get ready for more Creepshow, kiddies. Shudder’s series adaptation of George A. Romero and Stephen King’s iconic anthology horror film will return this autumn with another bag of tricks and treats. Given the graveyard of genre legends involved in the debut season, ranging from Adrienne Barbeau to Tom Savini, it’s going to be exciting seeing who showrunner Greg Nicotero digs up next. Odds are he’ll snag another Stephen King tale for himself (maybe “Survivor Type” finally?), and who knows, maybe he’ll convince King to return for another goofy on-screen role. Wouldn’t that be something? Like seeing a meteor fall from the sky, huh? –Michael Roffman


Dark (Netflix)

dark netflix series season two german sci-fi

Dark (Netflix)

Due out TBD

Like Director Bong said at the Golden Globes this weekend, don’t let one inches of subtitles scare you away. Netflix’s German thriller series Dark is one of its best, most under-seen shows. A time-twisting mix of Twin Peaks and Stranger Things, Dark is set for a third and final season of eight episodes in June to close out the story of a small German town beset with grim time-travel melodrama. Season 2 ended with a hell of a cliffhanger, as the literal apocalypse comes to Winden just as our characters learn they can travel not just between time periods, but dimensions as well. –Clint Worthington


The Dark Tower (Amazon)

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower

Due out TBD

There are other worlds, indeed. After Sony shit the bed with 2017’s The Dark Tower, Amazon swept in for the save to bring Stephen King’s fantasy series where it always belonged — on television. Showrunner Glen Mazzara helms a complete reboot of the franchise with Sam Strike and Jasper Pääkkönen cast as Roland Deschain and The Man in Black, respectively. Given the leaked cast lists, it’s likely this will center around Wizard and Glass, the fourth entry of The Dark Tower series that serves as a prequel of sorts. If so, expect one hell of a good story, and hopefully the beginning of a proper adaptation to what has seemingly been an impossible series to bring to life. Also, let’s not forget that Michael Rooker is involved. –Michael Roffman


The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Marvel)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Marvel)

Due out Fall

For those craving more bromance between Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier should satisfy your needs. Expanding upon the humor we saw in Captain America: Civil War, the series will also provide the kind of exhilarating action we’ve come to expect from the MCU. Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, it’ll be intriguing to see how Sam embraces the title of Captain America. Will he rock the iconic shield? We’ll find out when The Falcon and The Winter Soldier lands on Disney+ later this year. –Michael Pementel


Fargo (FX)

Fargo Season 4 FX trailer chris rock jason schwartzman

Fargo (FX)

Due out April

Three years later, we’re returning to Fargo. Well, sort of. The fourth season of Noah Hawley’s critically acclaimed anthological series will actually be the first to not take place primarily in Minnesota or the Dakotas. In fact, this misadventure will be set in Kansas City, Missouri, and like the second season, be dialing back to another era — the ’50s. Like every other entry, this one comes with another star-studded cast — arguably its biggest yet — with Chris Rock, Timothy Olymphant, and Jason Schwartzman leading the charge. Based on the new trailer, does anyone want to take bets on who draws first blood? Oh geez. –Michael Roffman


GLOW (Netflix)

GLOW Season Three (Netflix)

GLOW (Netflix)

Due out TBD

We all know by now that nothing gold can stay at Netflix, and for Jenji Kohan’s girl-power wrestling dramedy GLOW, its fourth season will be its last. If you recall, Season 3 saw the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling leaving Las Vegas and returning to LA to start a new wrestling show created by Chris Lowell’s Bash and Betty Gilpin’s Debbie, needing to create all-new personas in the process. Plus, Allison Brie’s Ruth and Marc Maron’s Sam have left for the greener pastures of show business, making us wonder when/how they’ll return to their found family of suplexers and choke-slammers. It’s a shame to see a brilliant show like GLOW tap out so early, but here’s hoping it goes out in style. –Clint Worthington


The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix)

Due out TBD

Admit it, The Haunting of Hill House made you jump at least once. If you’re anything like this writer, you watched most of that sickly twisted season from a tiny crack in the fingers covering your face out of freight. Well horror hounds, rejoice, because contemporary genre master Mike Flanagan is back in 2020 with The Haunting of Bly Manor, this time bringing new, seriously creepy life to Henry James’ classic The Turn of the Screw. Expect familiar faces from Season 1 like Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Kate Siegel, accompanied by 1898’s most demonic siblings. –Irene Monokandilos


I Think You Should Leave (Netflix)

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Netflix)

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (Netflix)

Due out TBD

Tim Robinson stole 2019 with I Think You Should Leave. Ever since it dropped on Netflix, his breakneck variety show has birthed countless memes, mostly from diehards who continue to mine every line from every character in each and every sketch. Revisit it enough and you find yourself quoting the most innocuous moments, it’s just that rich. Yet it also seems so singular, too, which is why a sophomore season runs the risk of being a total miss. After all, how the hell do you follow that up? Go weirder? Go wilder? Go whackier? Perhaps Robinson calls Jeff Chris in for the assist. –Michael Roffman


The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs (Shudder)

Joe Bob Briggs, SXSW, Shudder, Stephen King

The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs (Shudder)

Due out TBD

Shudder’s greatest coup was resurrecting Joe Bob Briggs. The Last Drive-In is unlike anything on television today in the sense that it’s exactly what television used to be. It’s community-driven entertainment, and tuning in to watch the late night host talk up a silly slasher or a messy monster movie each week is an experience. Because by pairing each premiere with Twitter, you’re not just watching movies with friends in your living room, you’re watching it with the whole Mutant Family online. Even better, D’arcy the Mail Girl is always there for a retweet or two, and seeing all the comments and GIFs spring to life is like some immersive, infinite twist on MSTK3000. It’s the most fun horror hounds have had in front of their televisions on Friday night since The X-Files first debuted. –Michael Roffman


Lisey’s Story (Apple+)

Julianne Moore, Stephen King, Lisey's Story, Apple

Julianne Moore to star in Lisey’s Story

Due out TBD

Everyone wants a piece of Stephen King, and Apple+ is no exception. To their credit, they picked one of his best novels in Lisey’s Story, and they even got the fucking guy to adapt it for them. Yes, King is writing every episode, which will no doubt be lensed to perfection by Jackie director Pablo Larraín. That not enough? Academy Award winner Julianne Moore is playing the titular role, topping a supporting cast that includes Clive Owen, Joan Allen, Dane DeHaan, and Sung Kaan. As for the story, well, there are technically two: Lisey’s tale in the present, and the other about her dead husband’s life, as remembered by Lisey during the course of the novel. So many arcs, no wonder J.J. Abrams got involved. –Michael Roffman


Little America (Apple TV)

kaplan cos sxsw 3 16 big sick 6 50 TV Shows You Need to See in 2020

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon at The Big Sick SXSW Premiere, Photo by Heather Kaplan

Due out TBD

Apple TV+ is still struggling to build a brand on strong original content; while Dickinson and The Morning Show have their defenders, let’s hope their latest effort, Little America, fares better with viewers. Based on the Epic Magazine column, this anthology series (written by writing/real-life partners Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, along with Lee Eisenberg) follows the stories of various immigrants living in America. The cast includes Suraj Sharma, What We Do in the ShadowsHarvey Guillén, and Zachary Quinto as a yogi(!). It could easily fall into the cloying, performative mawkishness of a NowThis video, but the pedigree has us hopeful. –Clint Worthington


Lovecraft Country (HBO)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Due out TBD

Jordan Peele has already cemented himself as one of the best directors and writers out there in horror. In 2020, he looks to present even more terror with Lovecraft Country. Based on the novel-of-the-same-name, the series follows Atticus Black, his friend Letitia, and Uncle George, as they drive through 1950s Jim Crow America to search for Atticus’ father. Along with having to confront racists, the trio will also face chilling Lovecraftian creatures. Given Peele’s previous works, Lovecraft Country will surely be an experience brimming with socio-political insight and terror. –Michael Pementel


The Mandalorian (Disney+)

The Mandalorian, Star Wars, Disney+, Jon Favreau

The Mandalorian (Disney+)

Due out Fall

Say what you will about Rise of the Skywalkerwe loved it — but the general consensus on The Mandalorian was very positive. The Force is indeed strong with Jon Favreau, and that’s why the hype will be very real when the series returns this autumn. As will the stakes. Baby Yoda is a hot commodity in this galaxy, and the titular bounty hunter has his work cut out for him. Much of that work involves Giancarlo Esposito and his dark saber as we saw at the end there. Will Mando’s shields be cut out for the job? Will there be other anti-heroes lurking in the dark to aide him? Or perhaps thwart him? Will there be more planets to plunder? Are we going to see Dash Rendar? Ha! Who knows. The possibilities are most impressive for this series. –-Michael Roffman


Monsters at Work (Disney+)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Monsters at Work (Disney+)

Due out TBD

For those of you scrambling to find ways to make use of your Disney+ accounts now that The Mandalorian is off the air, two things: One, you should be watching Forky Asks a Question, it’s cute as heck. Two, stay tuned for Monsters at Work, a full-blown episodic Monsters, Inc. followup about a young up-and-coming Monsters, Inc. employee (Ben Feldman) who longs to work alongside his heroes, company heads Sully (John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal). The prospect of brand-new Pixar every week is enough to get us hiding under the covers, but this time it’s in excitement.–Clint Worthington


Obi Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Due out TBD

Star Wars fans will no doubt argue the good and bad of the Prequel Trilogy until the end of time. But one of the few things almost everyone agrees on is that Ewan McGregor’s turn as a young Obi Wan Kenobi was one of those films’ true highlights. Now, McGregor is back and ready to help fill in the gaps of Kenobi’s long exile between Episode III & IV. With Deborah Chow exclusively directing the series (having shown her prodigious talents on The Mandalorian last year), Obi Wan is poised to once again carry the torch of the Jedi between generations. –Andrew Bloom


Perry Mason (HBO)

50 Anticipated TV Shows of 2020

Perry Mason (HBO)

Due out TBD

Look out, Doctor Who, another one of TV’s longest-lasting characters is coming back to the small screen. Perry Mason, television’s original dogged defense attorney, returns for a decidedly prestige-drama facelift for a limited series on HBO courtesy of Friday Night Lights’ Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald. The AmericansMatthew Rhys fills Mason’s boxy ‘30s business suit, in an origin story set in 1932 Los Angeles involving the lawyer’s first big case involving a kidnapped girl. This was originally set to be a Robert Downey Jr. vehicle, so it’ll be interesting to see just how Rhys inhabits the role, especially surrounded by a cast that includes Tatiana Maslany, John Lithgow, and Shea Whigham. –Clint Worthington


Pose (FX)

Indya Moore in Pose

Pose (FX)

Due out TBD

The category is — change. With two seasons under its belt, Ryan Murphy’s glamorous, OTT drama about New York City’s ball scene has firmly entrenched itself as one of the premier LGBTQ+ series on television. And with Season 3, we can expect to see more uplift, more heartbreak, and more devastating reads from Billy Porter’s iconic MC Pray Tell. Season 2 ended with a time-jump to 1991 and the worsening of Blanca’s AIDS prognosis, but with a glimmer of hope for House Evangelista to endure. With Season 3 — and the promise of Porter directing an episode — here’s hoping the show continues its tens-across-the-board streak. –Clint Worthington


Reno 911! (Quibi)

Comedy Central streaming Reno 911! all seasons

Reno 911! on Comedy Central

Due out TBD

Another day, another streaming service rises to complete — this time its Quibi, the short-form, mobile-friendly streaming video platform founded by former Disney exec Jeffrey Katzenberg. Eyerolls aside, however, the fact that they’re bringing Reno 911!, one of the 2000s’ greatest sitcoms, back is cause for celebration. Series creators (and original cast members) Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney-Silver are set to return, but we don’t know who else from the Reno Sherrif’s Department we might see alongside them. That said, the prospect of seeing Lt. Dangle fighting crime in those incredible short shorts is enough to get us excited. Yes, even about Quibi. –Clint Worthington


Russian Doll (Netflix)

russian doll netflix tv series natasha lyonne

Russian Doll (Netflix)

Due out TBD

Sweet birthday baby! Netflix’s Russian Doll is coming back for a second season of time-looping shenanigans involving Natasha Lyonne’s acerbic computer programmer Nadia (cockaroach!) and Charlie Barnett’s Alan. We don’t know what adventures Leslye Headland, Lyonne, and Amy Poehler have in store for Season 2 (does Nadia get stuck in another time loop? Will we find out what’s causing them?), but based on just how strange and engrossing Season 1 was, we’re completely on board. Just start playing that Harry Nilsson, baby. “Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes…” –Clint Worthington


Space Force (Netflix)

Steve Carell to star in Netflix's Space Force

Steve Carell to star in Netflix’s Space Force

Due out TBD

They say art imitates life and The Office mastermind Greg Daniels and his star Steve Carell are looking to do just that by lampooning the sixth branch of the US military created by the current Commander in Chief. Space Force was announced a year ago with a brief teaser that provided a hint of what is to come. The tone was part Kubrickian with a dash of that Daniels wit that has made him one of the most celebrated television creators of the past 15 years. With a cast led by Carrel, John Malkovich, and national treasure Ben Schwartz, this Netflix original is preparing for launch sometime in 2020. –James Clay


Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Stranger Things 4 Teaser Trailer

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Due out Winter

“We’re not in Hawkins anymore.” That tagline could mean many things for Stranger Things, as we outlined last year, but it mostly confirms that things are only getting bigger for the Netflix series. That’s not surprising. The Duffer brothers reached blockbuster levels of storytelling this past summer, and they have no plans of scaling back. Already, the two have been talking up portals, and the short teaser builds upon that tease, particularly with the sounds of an old grandfather clock chiming in there towards the end. Perhaps we’re in for some time traveling? Maybe an international adventure? We’re subscribing to Willie Scott’s mantra of “Anything goes” for this chapter. We’re also holding on to the hope that this month’s production start means they might possibly be able to gift wrap the season for a fitting holiday drop come December. –Michael Roffman


The Stand (CBS All Access)

The Stand

The Stand

Due out TBD

After toiling away in development hell for the better part of a decade, Stephen King’s The Stand is finally heading … back to TV? Yes, CBS All Access is hoping to emulate the success of Mick Garris’ 1994 miniseries for ABC, and they’ve tapped King superfan Josh Boone to mastermind the project. Based on the few snapshots we’ve seen from the set, he’s hardly scaling back on the horror of the story, which is very reassuring. What’s not so reassuring, though, are all the pretty faces filling out the cast: James Marsden as blue collar Texan Stu Redman, Alexander Skarsgard as the demonic Randall Flagg, and Whoopi Goldberg as the 100+ year old Mother Abigail. It’s all a little too safe on paper, but we’ll see when Captain Tripps comes a callin’. –Michael Roffman


The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access)

Jordan Peele, The Twilight Zone, CBS All Access, Sci-Fi

Jordan Peele in The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access)

Due out TBD

Rod Serling’s original 1959 series often gets credited with combining science fiction, horror, and the supernatural in ways never before seen on television. But, more importantly, Serling laid out the human drama in all its complexity, wonder, and moral ambiguity through his weekly tales. Jordan Peele’s 2019 reboot – at times breathtaking and at times painfully pedantic – never quite figured out what it wanted to be: scathing social commentary or mind-blowing escapism. As a result, it tended to fall short of hitting either mark. While Season 1 often let us down, our faith in Peele leads us to believe his team can get on the same page in chapter two. –Matt Melis


Tokyo Vice (HBO Max)

Michael Mann Gage Skidmore Tokyo Vice HBO Max

Michael Mann, photo by Gage Skidmore

Due out TBD

Michael Mann is taking his talents to Tokyo. Never one to shy away from a true crime story, the veteran filmmaker is turning Jake Adelstein’s 2009 memoir Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan into a 10-episode television series for HBOMax. Even better, he’s directing the pilot episode, which stars Ansel Elgort as Adelstein, an American journalist who attempts to uncover corruption in a Tokyo police squad. Joining him for the ride is Ken Watanabe, who deserves some prestige after cruelly being relegated to the sidelines in last year’s Detective Pikachu. Rest assured, he’ll have far more to do for this series, which will no doubt be a gritty experience fueled with realism. Mann fans will no doubt relish the opportunity to see their hero get back in the proverbial saddle, and one expects he’ll do for Tokyo what he did for Miami all those years ago. –Michael Roffman


WandaVision (Disney+)

WandaVision (Marvel)

Due out TBD

It looks like everyone’s favorite android avenger will be making a return! Originally expected for release in 2021, WandaVision has since been moved up to 2020, adding to the ever evolving roster of MCU Disney+ shows. Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision will follow the duo — Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, aka the Scarlett Witch, and Paul Bettany as Vision — in a sitcom-like manner, offering a more lighthearted tone compared to other MCU works. While pulling inspiration from comic book writer Tom King’s 2019 The Vision, the series will also serve as a tie-in to 2021’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. –Michael Pementel

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