Sure, 2019 sees the end of beloved TV shows like Game of Thrones and Veep, along with long-awaited continuations like True Detective and resurrected gems like Brooklyn Nine-Nine. But this year is looking particularly stacked when it comes to new series coming our way via traditional television and streaming. And since this is the internet, there was only one thing to do: rank ’em.
The /Film staff gathered to hammer out our 25 Most Anticipated New Shows of 2019, and we recorded the deliberations in a series of podcasts (so give that a listen before you step into the comments wondering why something isn’t here). Once we had narrowed it down to a list of 25, we decided the order via off-mic voting…and here we are. Here are the shows we’ll be watching this year. Join us, won’t you?
Note: not every show on this list has a trailer or has even released stills. So when necessary, we have used images from other projects that showcase talent involved in the show in question.
25. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Jim Henson’s name may be synonymous with the family-friendly puppets of The Muppets and Sesame Street, but toward the latter half of his career, the puppeteer and filmmaker was making bold strides in telling big, fantastical stories exclusively with puppets. His vision was realized in the epic, baroque fantasies of films like Labyrinth and, most importantly, 1982’s The Dark Crystal. Following the adventures of Jen, an elf-like “Gelfling,” who is on a quest to restore balance to his alien world by returning the lost shard of a powerful gem, The Dark Crystal was Henson’s most radically creative film yet, featuring all-puppet characters within an ambitious fantasy premise. Now Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistancepromises to expand Henson’s wildly imaginative world with a prequel series that would bring back the tactile puppetry that original film was known for. With The Jim Henson Company producing the series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance could finally realize Henson’s vision of puppetry as a whole genre on par with live-action and animation. (Hoai-Tran Bui)
Created by Guillermo del Toro at DreamWorks Animation, this is the third series in an epic Arcadia trilogy designed by the filmmaker. First came Trollhunters, which was about a teenage boy who stumbles across a mysterious realm inhabited by trolls. Next came 3Below, which was about aliens who crash land on earth and must hide out in Arcadia away from the threat that took over their planet. And Wizards is the epic crossover ending to this story, where “the heroes of Arcadia join forces in an apocalyptic war for the control of magic that will decide the fate of the entire galaxy.” The animation in these series have been impressive, closer to the level of a big screen animated feature than your typical television show. The serialized storytelling is fantastic and you can definitely see the world building touch of Del Toro. (Peter Sciretta)
23. Deadly Class
Based on the highly acclaimed comic book series created by Rick Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott, Deadly Class is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of late 1980s counterculture, following Marcus Lopez Arguello (Benjamin Wadsworth), a disillusioned teen who is recruited into a high school for assassins (basically think Hogwarts for crime families). Produced by the Russo Brothers (you know, those Marvel movies you love), the series stars It stars Benedict Wong, Benjamin Wadsworth, Lana Condor, María Gabriela de Faría, Luke Tennie, Liam James and Michel Duval. Also worth mentioning, Henry Rollins has a reoccurring role. The first episode was very stylish and the series is very promising. (Peter Sciretta)
22. Mrs. Fletcher
Tom Perrotta returns to HBO after the success of The Leftovers as the showrunner of a new comedy based on another one of his novels. National treasure Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers, Private Life) plays the lead in Mrs. Fletcher, which is about a divorcee mother who adopts a sexy new persona to experience erotic possibilities after her son goes off to college and leaves her with an empty nest. To be honest, they had us at “Kathryn Hahn” with this one. We’d watch her in just about anything, and Mrs. Fletcher sounds like it has tons of potential. (Ben Pearson)
21.The Umbrella Academy
The previous show writer Jeremy Slater ran was Fox’s short-lived The Exorcist, which was nothing short of a miracle: a network television continuation of a tarnished horror franchise that was scary, funny, complex, and deeply entertaining. Now, he’s found a new home at Netflix with The Umbrella Academy, an adaptation of the Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá comic about a group of superheroes who reunite after their mentor figure dies. I’m not familiar with the comic (although it has a passionate fanbase), but I do know that the freedom of a streaming service and that premise sounds like gold for Slater. Bring it on. (Jacob Hall)
George Clooney isn’t always top notch behind the camera, but when he is, we get movies like Good Night and Good Luck, The Ides of March and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. That’s what makes us most excited about this new adaptation of Catch-22 set up at Hulu. Not only is Clooney behind the camera for a couple episodes, but he’s executive producing the six episode adaptation that stars stars Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, Hugh Laurie, and Clooney himself. Based on Joseph Heller’s classic book, this is bound to be darkly funny, and hopefully another hit series for Hulu. (Ethan Anderton)
19. The Boys
Based on the popular comic of the same name, this new Amazon series takes place in a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, which sounds perfect for the time we’re living in right now. As for the story, it revolves around a group of vigilantes known informally as “the boys,” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes, and they’re not afraid to fight dirty. If you need any more convincing that this show is worth checking out, Karl Urban plays a character called Billy the Butcher. So yeah, we’re gonna be tuning in. (Ethan Anderton)
18. Living With Yourself
What’s better than a new show starring Paul Rudd? A show where Paul Rudd plays dual roles, of course. That’s the case with Living With Yourself, a new comedy from The Daily Show executive producer Timothy Greenberg. Rudd plays George Elliot, a burned-out guy who “undergoes a novel treatment to become a better person,” only to discover that he’s been replaced by a new and improved version of himself. Remember Stefan Urquelle, the nerdy Steve Urkel’s sexy alternate identity on the sitcom Family Matters? This sounds like it’ll give Rudd the chance to create his own riff on that, and we are here for it. (Ben Pearson)
17. Untitled Picard Spin-off
Here’s the thing: I don’t necessarily trust the current stewards of the Star Trek franchise. I’m not convinced they fully understand the appeal of this universe and they have a habit of saying the exact wrong things (like throwing the best Trek series, Deep Space Nine, under the bus for no reason at all). And yet! And yet I cannot contain my enthusiasm for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the finest Trek captain and one of the greatest science fiction characters of all time. Patrick Stewart is returning to his defining role for this CBS All Access series and knowing that he treasures Picard’s legacy indicates that this was not a decision made lightly. I’m cautiously optimistic to go on one more voyage with Captain Picard, especially since it would mean Star Trek: Nemesis will no longer be the character’s final apperance. (Jacob Hall)
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