At this stage, pointing out new TV shows on the horizon is more a cruelty than a kindness. You probably haven’t finished that one everyone’s been going on about yet. Or that other one. Or that other other one. Don’t even ask about the new one that just came out that’s meant to be brilliant and totally unmissable. No, not that one. The one with her from that thing in it. Yes, that one.
The problem is… they keep making them. And they keep being good. (Not all of them, granted, but enough that if you calculated the combined durations of every great-sounding TV show you definitely intend to watch between now and drawing your final breath, you’d most likely only be able to fit them all in if you lived to 125 and cut down on such decadent uses of your time such as showering and going outside.)
If you can stand to look then, here they are – new fantasy, sci-fi, horror and comic book US TV shows on their way in 2019 and beyond. We’ll keep this list updated, because as we know, this TV thing isn’t about to stop anytime soon…
Avatar: The Last Airbender
The much-loved fantasy anime series is getting a live-action makeover, thanks to Netflix. The animated series’ original creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are showrunning the new take, which should be music to fans’ ears (especially those who weren’t… overjoyed by the 2010 feature film). Avatar: The Last Airbender is the tale of Aang and his friends’ elemental magical battle against the villainous Fire Lord Ozai. We’ll bring you more news as it arrives.
Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne star in dark fantasy Carnival Row, coming to Amazon Prime. Guillermo del Toro was formerly attached to the project, but pulled out due to scheduling issues and left his collaborators Travis Beacham and Rene Echevarria in charge. Filming took place last year in the Czech Republic, and the story of mythical creatures, racial tensions and a string of unsolved murders is due to arrive in 2019.
Coming to Channel Four here in the UK, Catch 22 is a six-episode adaptation of Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel, produced, directed by and starring George Clooney. A satire on the insanity of war, Catch 22 is the story of WWII captain John Yossarian, played here by Christopher Abbott, who’s joined by Hugh Laurie and Kyle Chandler. It’s due to be released on the 17th of May on Hulu in the US, and at a later date on Channel Four.
Arriving on Netflix later this year, Cursed is an adaptation of Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler’s fantasy graphic novel reimagining Arthurian legend as a coming-of-age story for a teenage girl with mysterious powers. The first season will comprise ten episodes and star 13 Reasons Why and Love Simon’s Katherine Langford in the lead.
Created by JJ Abrams, Demimonde is a sci-fi fantasy drama due to arrive on HBO. The cable channel has ordered a full season of the show, about which little is known other than it involves a supernatural battle against a monstrous and oppressive force. Casting and plot details are yet to be announced, but screenwriter Bash Doran (Boardwalk Empire, Traitors) has been confirmed as the executive producer.
FX has ordered an eight-episode first season of Devs, from Ex Machina and Annihilation’s Alex Garland. It’s “sort-of science fiction,” Garland told Indiewire last year, “but a much more technology based science-fiction than Annihilation. Devs is intended to be a one-and-done story about a secret division within a San Francisco-based tech company that the lead suspects is behind the disappearance of her boyfriend. Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman and Alison Pill star.
This Titans spin-off arrives on DC Universe on Friday the 15th of February. The first season has fifteen episodes, and features Elasti-girl, Robotman and Negative Man from the parent series (April Bowlby, Brendan Fraser and Matt Bomer). It’s a superhero team-up about a mission to stop supervillain Mr Nobody from world domination.
Apple has given a ten-episode first season order to this new sci-fi series adapted from the Isaac Asimov novel of the same name. DCU and Da Vinci’s Demons’ David S Goyer is executive producing alongside Asimov’s daughter Robyn. Foundation is a novel series in which an innovative mathematical branch predicts a catastrophic fall, bringing about the formation of the titular Foundation—a group of engineers and artists tasked with bringing humanity out of its new dark age.
It’s early days on this one, so detail is thin on the ground. What we know is that last summer it was announced that talks around a Gormenghast film adaptation involving author and screenwriter Neil Gaiman had morphed into talks around a Gormenghast TV adaptation. Mervyn Peake’s exuberant satirical gothic fantasy about Castle Gormenghast, the noble family of Groan, and manipulative social climbing kitchen boy Steerpike was adapted for BBC Two in 2000, before fantasy budgets were taken seriously on TV (thank you, Game Of Thrones). Gaiman is joined by A Beautiful Mind’s Akiva Goldsman on the project.
After the Halo film fell apart, and the Nightfall web-series failed to make a splash, fans of the military first-person shooter weren’t holding out much hope for seeing the videogame make it to live-action TV. A Halo series has been in the works since 2013, and now, it’s finally started to motor. Last June, Showtime ordered a first season of ten hour-long episodes produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, with Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes director Rupert Wyatt. Production is due to begin this year.
A TV take on Joe Wright’s 2011 action thriller about a teenage girl trained to be a lethal weapon, Hanna will be released on Amazon Prime Video this spring. Its first episode was available for a sneak peek window following this year’s Superbowl and the early buzz is good. Esme Creed-Miles stars opposite Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman in the eight episode first season about a relentless pursuit, CIA agents and enjoyably improbable fight scenes.
Arriving on DC’s new streaming service this October, Harley Quinn is a half-hour adult animation based on Dini and Timm’s comic book character, who is currently being played by Margot Robbie in the live-action DCU. The TV series has The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco as the voice of Dr Harleen Quinzel (aka the psychotic sometime-partner of the Joker, Harley Quinn) and Lake Bell as Dr Pamela Isley (aka Poison Ivy.)
Locke & Key
This one’s been ping-ponging around for years now. First it was Fox developing the Joe Hill supernatural horror adaptation, then it went to Hulu, and now it’s finally landed at Netflix. Filming is only just about to start, so it will be a little while in the making yet. Locke & Key is the story of a group of bereaved siblings who discover magical keys that give them a range of special powers, and the demon who wants the mystical objects.
Lord Of The Rings
We’re a little premature with this one, but the mega-money deal done by Amazon in 2017 to secure the rights to a five-season Lord Of The Rings TV series can’t have passed anyone by. This is going to be big. Almost nothing is publicly known about the project yet, including which part of Tolkien’s stories it will tell, but expect the announcements to start soon.
This hour-long horror drama series is coming to HBO and is shaping up very well indeed. Its premise, adapted from the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, is a 1950s road trip through segregated America in which terrifying H.P Lovecraft-inspired monsters converge with racist oppression. Star Wars’ JJ Abrams and Get Out’s Jordan Peele are producing, and filming began last summer so expect it to air this year.
Based on creator Simon Rich’s comic novel What In God’s Name, this is another new heaven-set US sitcom starring (who else but) Steve Buscemi as God and (who else else but) Daniel Radcliffe as an angel attempting to save the world. It started on TBS on the 12th of February and has yet to find a UK broadcaster, but we’ll keep you posted if it does.
Coming to AMC and starring Zachary Quinto and Australian actor Ashleigh Cummings is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s 2013 horror novel of the same name (say it out loud if it doesn’t jump out at you). Quinto plays immortal Charlie Manx, a monster who feeds on children’s souls, with Cummings as Vic McQueen, a young artist with the supernatural ability to track Manx. The first ten episode season is due to arrive in 2019.
Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels
The team behind Showtime supernatural series Penny Dreadful is back for a sequel spin-off set in 1930s Los Angeles. Creator John Logan brought the idea to Showtime, proposing an exploration of social themes, family love and supernatural Californian spirits. City Of Angels is expected to go into production this year.
Nobody knew they wanted a Batman prequel about Alfred the butler’s post-army years, but the DC universe has provided one all the same. From the team behind Gotham comes this 1960s-set period piece telling how former SAS Alfred Pennyworth became embedded within the Wayne family. The Imitation Game’s Jack Bannon plays the young Alfred, alongside Jason Flemyng and Paloma Faith.
Though it’s due to arrive in 2019, few details have been confirmed about this troubled production, which has been back and forth with various names attached for a little while now. We do know that it’s a reboot of the 2013 Bong Joon-ho film (itself based on 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige) about an enormous, continually moving train that travels the globe carrying what’s left of humanity after an apocalypse turns the Earth into a frozen wasteland. It’s coming to TNT in the US, and stars Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs.
Star Trek: Untitled Captain Picard Series
CBS All Access hasn’t hung around on its new Jean-Luc Picard spinoff series. The as-yet-untitled show is already due to arrive at the end of this year, and will star Sir Patrick Stewart as his The Next Generation and feature film character. The first season is expected to have ten hour-long episodes, and has Star Trek Into Darkness’ Alex Kurtzman in the driving seat. Filming is due to begin in April 2019, when we’ll be able to bring you much more.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Disney’s proprietary streaming service will be home to this live-action TV series, executive-produced by Jon Favreau (no doubt best known around these parts for his role as the doctor in Elf). Set seven years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, the series is set to be a bridge between the Original and Sequel Star Wars trilogies. The cast so far confirmed includes Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Nick Nolte and Werner Herzog.
Aquaman’s James Wan is among the producers on this new DC comic book adaptation, the pilot for which was directed by Underworld’s Len Wiseman. Based on the comics character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, it’s the story of scientist Alec Holland, and his transformation into the titular swamp monster, and is due to arrive on DC’s streaming service in May 2019.
Not to be confused with Russell T. Davies’ 1980s-set AIDS drama for Channel 4, which currently shares the same title, this US production is a superhero show adapted from a series of comics by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. Supernatural’s Erik Kripke joins Preacher’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on development of the series, which tells the story of a world in which superheroes take unfair advantage of their power, and the group of vigilantes out to redress the balance.
The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance
A ten-episode prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson-directed puppet picture The Dark Crystal is coming to Netflix, featuring the voices of Taron Egerton, Helena Bonham-Carter, Natalie Dormer, Mark Hamill and more behind the puppets. Age Of Resistance will follow three Gelflings who discover the secret behind the evil Skeksis’ power and set out on a quest to change the world. Expect to see it in 2019.
The Dark Tower
The disappearance of the planned The Dark Tower TV series felt almost inevitable following the disappointing reception of the 2017 feature film starring Idris Elba, but in February 2018 it was announced that Amazon had bought the rights to a TV version of the Stephen King property, giving hope to fans who’d like to see it done justice on screen. There’s plenty of source material in King’s nine-novel series, and the project hasn’t been confirmed as having been scrapped, so optimists may have grounds for believing that the gunslinger will live to sling another day…
Buffy and Firefly’s Joss Whedon is coming back to TV with The Nevers, a full series of which was ordered by HBO last summer. It’s a sci-fi saga about a group of Victorian women with superpowers that promises to be, according to Whedon, his “most ambitious series to date.”
HBO has ordered a ten-episode limited series adapted from Stephen King’s latest novel, which deals with what appears to be an open-and-shut murder case that spirals into something much more complicated, with a supernatural tinge. Expect to see this one arrive in 2020.
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Sherlock and former-Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat already sort of adapted Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel The Time Traveler’s Wife for series two Who episode The Girl In The Fireplace, and then again in River Song’s series four to nine thread, and again in Amy Pond’s series five introduction. Now, he’s doing it a fourth time, properly, for HBO. The story of Clare and her time-travelling husband Henry will be executive-produced by Moffat, Brian Minchin and Sue Vertue for Hartswood Films.
The Twilight Zone
A brand new revival of Rod Serling’s eerie anthology classic arrives on CBS All Access this April. Get Out director Jordan Peele’s production company is behind it, with The Defenders writer Marco Ramirez executive producing. The first season has ten episodes, some of which are reprisals of existing Twilight Zone stories, and feature characters played by Adam Scott, Kumail Nanjiani, Steven Yeun, John Cho and a host of others.
The Umbrella Academy
Partly inspired by co-creator Gerard Way’s band-of-weirdoes experience on tour as the lead singer of My Chemical Romance, The Umbrella Academy is a comic book adaptation arriving on Netflix on Friday the 15th of February 2019. It’s about seven super-powered children brought together by their alien adopted father to save the world, who reconnect as adults and attempt to do just that. Expect a pleasing quota of weirdness.
The Vampire Chronicles
US streaming service Hulu won the bidding war for this new take on Anne Rice’s fantasy vampire book series, which is being executive-produced by Rice and her writer son Christopher. There’s no word as yet on who’ll be playing the roles made famous in Neil Jordan’s 1994 feature film Interview With A Vampire by Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but we’ll keep you posted.
BBC America is working on the latest attempt to capture the inventive comedy of Terry Pratchett on the small screen with The Watch, a live-action series focusing on the Discworld universe’s misfit police force, the City Watch. The project had been rumoured for some time, but was only officially announced last autumn, so there’s a long way to go before we see Sam Vines, Carrot et al in the flesh.
The Wheel Of Time
This one’s in the very early stages, so don’t expect to see it for a good while, or find out a great deal about it here. What we know is: Robert Jordan’s multi-million-selling fantasy book series is being developed as a TV show by Sony. There’s more than enough source material in the saga, which was published between 1990 and 2013, for a fantasy show that will outlast any of us. Read our musings on the prospect here.
Netflix has developed a TV version of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher fantasy book series, itself famously adapted for a series of hugely successful videogames. Former Superman Henry Cavill will play lead Geralt of Rivia, a monster-hunter-for-hire, who was trained from an early age to slay deadly creatures. The first season, due to arrive in 2020, consists of eight hour-long episodes.
Attn: fans of BoJack Horseman, creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and writer Kate Purdy have a new adult animated half-hour comedy on the way. Amazon has ordered a full series of Undone, which it plans to launch in 2019. It’s a sci-fi premise about “the elastic nature of reality”, time travel and a decisive near-death experience.
Parks And Recreation and The Office: An American Workplace co-creator Greg Daniels is behind this Amazon sci-fi comedy, in which the future technology exists to upload human beings to their choice of afterlife. The Flash’s Robbie Amell and singer-songwriter Andy Allo play the two leads, and filming is due to continue in Canada until May 2019. Fans of The Good Place and Miracle Workers (see above) may wish to check in with the latest heaven-set comedy.
HBO cancelled its David Fincher-run remake of Dennis Kelly’s cult Channel 4 series due to budget issues, but the project is currently back with Fincher’s screenwriter Gillian Flynn (Sharp Objects) at Amazon. If all goes well, then expect to see Flynn’s take on the UK show arrive on the streaming service in the next year or so. Utopia is the story of a group of people whose lives are drawn by a rare comic book into a global conspiracy. Part virus-thriller, part apocalypse comedy, the sadly cancelled UK series was twisted, surprising, distinctive-looking and engrossing.
The Vampire Diaries’ Ian Somerhalder will be on the other side of the human/vampire divide in V-Wars, a new comic-book adaptation coming to Netflix in 2019. Ten hour-long episodes are on their way, based on Jonathan Maberry’s 2012 comic series, V-Wars is the story of a species war between human and vampire. Somerhalder plays Dr Luther Swann, whose best friend is transformed into a monster who leads the undead army against its human foe.
Lost and The Leftovers’ Damon Lindelof heads up this HBO adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ cult 1986-87 Watchmen comics, which began filming in Georgia last year and is expected to launch in late 2019. Director of the 2009 feature film adaptation Zack Snyder is not involved, and early word from co-creator Gibbons is sounding positive. Watchmen is set in an alternate version of 1980s USA in which the emergence of superheroes during the first half of the twentieth century changed history irrevocably. The Social Network composing team Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will provide the score score, while Don Johnson, Regina King and Tim Blake-Nelson number among the cast.
This half-hour comedy-sci-fi is the latest YouTube original commission, and the first two of its six episodes premiere on Wednesday the 13th of February. It has a sackful of big Hollywood names attached, not least Get Out’s Jordan Peele as co-producer alongside longtime collaborator Charlie Sanders. Michael Cera, LeVar Burton, Rosario Dawson, Sara Gilbert, Yvette Nicole Brown and many, many more will star in a series of satirical science-fiction stories imagining future tech.
What We Do In The Shadows
This ten-episode TV take on Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s excellent 2014 comedy horror about vampires and werewolves living in the modern age comes from the creators themselves (tick!), stars Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak and Natasia Demetriou (tick, tick, tick!), and will air on FX in the US from the 27th of March (not long to wait! tick!). Good news for UK fans is that the BBC’s new FX deal means we’ll be getting it too shortly afterwards (tickety tick tick tick!).
Y: The Last Man
This comic book adaptation has only just been ordered to series at FX, so won’t arrive until 2020. That gives latecomers plenty of time to catch up on the book by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, sixty issues of which were published between 2002 and 2008. It’s the story of a global androcide and the two last male chromosomes standing: human Yorick (to be played by Dunkirk’s Barry Keoghan) and capuchin monkey Ampersand. Imogen Poots and Diane Lane also star. American Gods’ Michael Green is co-producing along with Vaughan and more.