The first four months of 2018 have already seen some great TV shows, including Westworld, Altered Carbon, The End of the F***ing World, Black Lightning, Everything Sucks, and the return of Jessica Jones. But there's loads more to come. While fans will have to wait until 2019 before we get more Stranger Things and Game of Thrones, there are still a ton of small screen goodies worth getting excited about. There's the return of some of 2017's best shows (Mindhunter, Ozark, Black Mirror), more offerings from Marvel and DC, some lavish reworkings of classic sci-fi and horror properties, and a handful of intriguing new titles. So here's the biggest TV shows to watch over the rest of the year...
13 Reasons Why Season 2
Netflix, May 18
The first season of Netflix's teen drama was one of the most controversial shows of 2017, with its harrowing depiction of suicide dividing many critics and viewers. Season 2 arrives this month, and creator/showrunner Brian Yorkey has stated that although the show will still continue to deal with some heavy subjects--including sexual assault and gun violence--it won't be nearly as graphic. While Season 1 took its name from a collection of cassettes left by the tragic Hannah, this one uses a series of polaroid photos to tell its story.
Arrested Development Season 5
Netflix, May 29
Even the most optimistic comedy fan doubted that much-loved comedy Arrested Development would return after it was cancelled back in 2006, but in 2013, that's exactly what happened. Unfortunately, Season 4 was met with a mixed response from fans, many of whom disliked the unusual structure that focused on one character at a time. Nevertheless, it was clearly popular enough for Netflix to greenlight a fifth season, which arrives at the end of May. In addition, a re-edited version of Season 4 is now available on the streaming service.
Cloak and Dagger
Freeform, June 7
On the fact of it, the upcoming Marvel show Cloak and Dagger seems similar to Hulu's own Marvel series Runaways--runaway teens coming to terms with their emerging superpowers. But Cloak and Dagger, based on the popular '80s comic book, should make for a more darker and emotional ride. Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt play two kids who are living on the streets of New York, using their control over darkness and light to fight a drug epidemic sweeping the city.
Glow Season 2
Netflix, June 19
The comedy drama centered around an '80s all-female wrestling cable show was one of Netflix's most acclaimed new series last year, and it's back for a second season in June. Like Season 1, Glow will consist of ten 30-minutes episodes. All the main cast return, including Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Kate Nash, and Britney Young, with comedian Marc Maron playing their grumpy manager Sam. The first teaser was a glorious '80s music video pastiche, and it sets the tone for what should be another wildly entertaining season.
Marvel’s Luke Cage/Daredevil
Netflix, June 22 (Luke Cage)
Iron Fist and The Defenders may have cracked the impeccable partnership Netflix cemented with Marvel but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost with the comic book giant’s street level heroes. While Frank Castle came in to disrupt Marvel’s small screen universe, it’s clear that Daredevil and Luke Cage still have more work to do.
Preacher season 3
AMC, June 24
This adaptation of Garth Ennis's cult comic book has proved something of a mixed bag over the past two season; as Gamespot's reviewer Michael Rougeau said back in September, the show is "flashes of brilliance dragged down by hours of plodding distraction." But it's proved popular enough for AMC to greenlight a third season, and when Preacher is good, it's very good indeed. This season will see the show's trio of misfits--preacher-turned-criminal Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), outlaw Tulpi (Ruth Negga), and vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun)--on the trail of God, who has gone missing from heaven. Their quest leads Jesse back to the a place he has spent his whole life avoiding: the Louisiana Plantation where he was raised.
The HBO drama is inspired by Gillian Flynn's novel of the same name. The series stars Amy Adams as a journalist who heads home after a stint in a psychiatric facility, only to find herself investigating the murder of two girls. If you take the tone and subject matter of Flynn’s previous work (Gone Girl) and add Jean-Marc Vallee's (Big Little Lies) directorial skills into the mix, it’s easy to see Sharp Objects’ edgy allure.
Amazon, August 31
Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan has been portrayed by almost as many actors as James Bond, in a much shorter space of time; John Krasinski will be the fifth star to play the character since 1990. According to director Daniel Sackheim, this new 10-part TV adaptation of Clancy's best-selling spy novels will take Harrison Ford's more down-to-earth interpretation as the basis for the character, rather than the more heroic version played by Ben Affleck and Chris Pine. And of course, Krasinski is now the director and star of one of the year's biggest movies--A Quiet Place--ensuring that Jack Ryan will get plenty of attention when it premieres in August.
Doctor Who Season 11
It's always exciting when a new actor takes on the role as the iconic Timelord, but the debut of the thirteenth doctor this October is a really big deal. Jodie Whittaker replaces Peter Capaldi and is the first woman to play the Doctor. Whittaker had a brief appearance at the end of the recent Christmas Special, but fans will have to wait until October to see how her portrayal differs from previous incarnations. There's a new showrunner too, as Broadchurch's Chris Chibnall succeeds Steven Moffat. Finally, the Doctor's assistant is to be played by comedian Bradley Walsh.
Long before he created the world of Game of Thrones, author George RR Martin wrote the short novel Nightflyers, a sci-fi horror story about a group of scientists who embark on a mission into deepest space to make contact with alien life. The story was adapted into a movie in 1987 and has now been turned into a new TV show by SyFy. This is one of the network's biggest productions to date, and the first trailer suggests that it will be as much a horror story as a space adventure. Boardwalk Empire's Gretchen Mol stars.
The Purge is one of the most successful horror franchises of recent years--the three movies to date have made more than $319 million worldwide on modest budgets, and the fourth movie is set to hit theatres in July. But if that weren't enough, there's also a 10-episode TV show on the way. It's being produced for Syfy and will be overseen by franchise creator James DeMonaco, who also wrote and directed the first three films. It's set once more in a dystopian future where the annual Purge allows citizens to get all their violent, criminal impulses out, and according to early reports, will focus on a Marine who returns home to protect his sister on Purge Night. There's no premiere date yet, but it was recently announced The People v. O. J. Simpson director Anthony Hemingway will helm the first episode, so there's a good chance we might see it before the year is out.
Maniac will probably be one of the weirder series of the year. Given the names attached, though, the show comes with huge buzz. Cary Fukunaga helms the dark comedy, which stars Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, and Justin Theroux. The story centers on a patient living in a psychiatric hospital who escapes reality by living his life inside a fantasy world maintained solely inside his own mind. It sounds bonkers, but if Fukunaga brings the same sensibilities he brought to True Detective, the network may have a winner on its hands.
While the quality of DC's movie output has been variable (to say the least), its roster of TV shows remains remarkably consistent. Titans is the latest addition. A live-action version of the Teen Titans, it's been in development since 2014, but shifting channels and cancelled pilots has meant very slow progress to the screen. But it is finally set to premiere in 2018, on DC's new digital service. Australian actor Brenton Thwaites (Gods of Egypt, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) plays Dick Grayson/Robin, leading a team of young superheroes that includes Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
The Coen Brothers are coming to TV. That sentence alone should get people excited. The duo--who brought classics like Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country for Old Men to the big screen--will both write and direct a new western anthology series for Netflix. The six episode program will star Tim Blake Nelson, with each episode following a different character and story. Not much else has been announced regarding the series, but that’s fine. The Coen Brothers are coming to TV and that's pretty awesome.
The Umbrella Academy
A comic book property outside of Marvel’s purview is on its way to Netflix. The Umbrella Academy comes from the mind of My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way. The series tells the story of some not-pregnant women who suddenly give birth to a bunch of superpowered babies. Taking place in an alternate timeline--one where JFK is still very much alive--the story follows seven kids as they undergo training to save the world. Ellen Page has been tapped to star in the program, and Way will serve as producer.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
The classic 1975 movie Picnic at Hanging Rock is one of the most distinctive movies of that decade; it's a haunting, dreamlike drama about the mysterious disappearance of a group of Australian schoolgirls while on a trip to the Outback in 1900. Amazon is bringing a new version to the small screen later this year, and the first trailer suggests it will expand on the story of the original while keeping its super-creepy vibe. It stars Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones) as the school's headmistress, and the cast also features Orange is the New Black's Yael Stone and Samara Weaving, who starred in last year's Netflix horror comedy The Babysitter.
The Twilight Zone
CBS: All Access
Since anthology TV shows are all the rage now, it seems only right that the granddaddy that started it all come out of retirement. Jordan Peele (Get Out, Key and Peele) and Simon Kinberg (Deadpool, Logan) have teamed up to bring a new Twilight Zone to the masses. Sure, multiple versions of The Twilight Zone have graced the big and small screen over the past 60 years--some better than others--but now seems like the perfect time for the series to return.
Ozark, Season 2
When Ozark premiered last year, many compared it to Breaking Bad, both in terms of its plot (an ordinary family man who chooses a life of crime) and its mix of violent thrills and dark humor. But the show quickly grew into its own thing and emerged as one of 2017's most enjoyable original series. Season 2 already has a teaser and has been shooting since last fall, so there's a good chance of it arriving in 2018. Jason Bateman returns as money-laundering dad Marty Byrde, with Laura Linney as his estranged but equally duplicitous wife Wendy. As Bateman says: "It's a good escalation of everything as far: danger, the business challenges, and--domestically--our relationship."
The Haunting of Hill House
Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Gerald's Game) is one of the best horror directors working today, and 2018 will see him turn his talents to TV. Produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin TV, this is an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel, which was also turned into the classic 1963 movie The Haunting (the less said about the 1999 remake the better). Annabeth Gish (Sons of Anarchy, The West Wing) stars as Mrs. Dudley, the caretaker of a haunted estate, with roles for Timothy Hutton (All the Money in the World) and Gerald's Game's Carla Gugino. Flanagan has written and directed the whole 10-part series, and this could be one of the year's great horror shows.
Luther, Series 5
Fans of Luther were both excited and dismayed when the series returned for a two-episode fourth season in 2015. With a busy actor like Idris Elba playing the title role, sometimes schedules can be tight. That said, it looks like Elba has donned his signature tweed coat for another go-round as brilliant detective John Luther. We don’t know what sort of gruesome crimes he will be investigating, but one thing is for certain: Idris Elba is at his best when the world is at its worst. Right now, John Luther is the hero we need and deserve.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Channeling the success of Riverdale, another Archie Comics story was in the works at The CW. But due to their concern of having too many witch shows--the network’s Charmed reboot is still on the horizon--the untitled Sabrina the Teenage Witch series was handed over to Netflix. The series will explore the origins of the half-witch, half-mortal as she battles the evil forces that threaten her friends and family. Tonally, Deadline describes the series as being “in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.”
Mindhunter Season 2
This is another Netflix show without a confirmed release date, but star Jonathan Groff has said that the second season of the period crime thriller is to start shooting early this year, so a late 2018 premiere is possible. The first season of Mindhunter showed that producer David Fincher was just at home with small-screen serial killer thrills as he is in movies such as Zodiac and Seven. The balance between a seriously dark crime procedural and a beautifully performed, character-driven drama was exceptional, so hopes are extremely high for Season 2.
Black Mirror, Season 5
Netflix has confirmed that Charlie Brooker's hugely acclaimed sci-fi anthology series will return for a fifth season. While the streaming giant is yet to announce a release date, the previous two seasons arrived a year apart, so there's good chance we might see Black Mirror Season 5 before the end of the year. Season 4 was the strongest season to date, so expect the next one to deliver more disturbing but darkly funny predictions about the way technology continues to shape our lives. Can't wait.
The Stephen King renaissance has shown no sign of slowing down and with Castle Rock, Hulu’s aiming to bring the author’s story universe to the small-screen. The program’s cast features names like Sissy Spacek, Bill Skarsgard, and Melanie Lynskey. But what makes Castle Rock so special is the connected nature of the anthology series itself. Fans should expect to see familiar stories, characters, and themes that originated in the author’s previous works. There may be a decent wait before Pennywise the Dancing Clown returns to the big-screen, but that’s okay. We're about to head back into Shawshank Prison, and that's pretty dang cool.