The Biggest TV Shows To Watch In 2019
By Dan Auty | @MondoDan and Chris E. Hayner | @ChrisHayner on
If you thought 2018 was a great year for TV, it's got nothing on what's to come. In 2019, several fan-favorite series will come to an end, while a number of very exciting new shows will premiere, either on TV or via a streaming service.
From the end of Game of Thrones to the launch of the new Twilight Zone from Get Out director Jordan Peele, there's plenty to be excited about. With peak TV breathing down everyone's neck, though, it's hard to figure out exactly what you need to be watching. Imagine getting through 2018 without seeing The Haunting of Hill House or the second season of G.L.O.W.? Can you imagine surviving this year without The Good Place? And, honestly, how were you supposed to know just how good a YouTube Premium series like Cobra Kai could be?
Figuring out what the best TV to spend your time on takes some serious assistance. Luckily for you, we're all about lending a helping hand when it comes to deciding the shows you're not going to want to miss this year, from those that are sure to be new classic comic book adaptations to returning gems like Stranger Things and Veronica Mars. So here's the biggest shows to watch for 2019...
Cobra Kai, Season 2
YouTube Premium, April 24
To the surprise of pretty much everyone, last year’s Karate Kid sequel show Cobra Kai turned out to be really, really good. By making a show that was not just funny but also genuinely dramatic and heartfelt, it became more than just a nostalgic retread of an old franchise. Insead it was well-written, with new characters joining faces from the original movies. The second season is due in April, and like the first, can be seen on YouTube Premium. If the first two episodes are anything going to by, this is going to be another must-see mix of drama, comedy, and action--check out GameSpot’s Cobra Kai Season 2 preview here.
The CW, May 2
It might not have the profile of The Walking Dead, but The CW's unusual zombie drama has received rave reviews and a dedicated fan base since it premiered in 2015. Based on the Vertigo comic book (a DC comics imprint), iZombie returns for its fifth and final season in May. Rose McIver is back as medical student-turned-zombie Liv who uses her strange undead powers to help the police solve crimes. Season 4 took the show in some unusual directions, so hopefully Season 5 will prove a fitting close to this series.
Amazon, May 31
The second season of American Gods is not the only Neil Gaiman adaptation we're getting in 2019. Gaiman's classic collaboration with the late, great Discworld novelist Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, arrives as six-part Amazon series. The lavish fantasy stars David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Michael Sheen (Apostle) as an angel and demon who team up to stop the end of the world, and the stellar cast also includes Jon Hamm and Frances McDormand.
Deadwood: The Movie
May 31, HBO
12 years after it was abruptly cancelled, HBO's highly acclaimed western drama returns for a proper send-off from creator David Milch. While it's a two-hour TV movie rather than a new season, it should provide the closure that fans thought they would never get. All the cast are back--from Ian McShane as Al Swearengen and Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock to Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcomson (Trixie), and John Hawkes (Sol Star). The story picks up ten years later, and while don't know many plot specifics yet, the synopsis states that "former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened." Can't wait.
Legion, Season 3
Despite rumors that FX's acclaimed X-Men spin-off would be cancelled after two seasons, we are about to get a third and final batch of episodes. Legion might not have been a major ratings hit, but it was one of the most consistently ambitious shows on air, and proof that superhero TV can be every bit as inventive as any other genre. Season 3 looks set to continue its journey into more horror-focused material, with David Haller (Dan Stevens), attempting to save his own mind from the demonic Shadow King. With the future of the X-Men on both the big and small screen unknown, this is a must-watch for X-fans who love the bold direction showrunner Noah Hawley has taken the material.
Too Old To Die Young
Amazon, June 14
Nicolas Winding Refn is the provocative Danish director behind movies such as Drive and The Neon Demon, and Too Old To Die Young marks his first foray in TV. The series hits Amazon Prime in June and focuses on a grieving cop who plunges into the criminal underworld after the death of his partner. The show stars Miles Teller (Whiplash) and fans of Refn's violent, stylish, neon-drenched crime thrillers shouldn't be disappointed.
Stranger Things Season 3
Netflix, July 4
Netflix has confirmed that Stranger Things Season 3 will arrive in 2019, and bring with it even more special effects. It's been way too long since Eleven and the gang's last adventure back in 2017, so we're extremely excited to get back to Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside-Down.
Amazon, Summer TBC
Following their hit adaptation Preacher, producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have turned their attention to another acclaimed comic book by writer Garth Ennis. The Boys is a subversive superhero story set in a world where heroes are revered by the public but lead dark, transgressive lives behind the scenes. The Boys of the title are CIA-affiliated group whose job it is to monitor these superpowered deviants. An adaptation has been in the works for a long time, but the impressive cast--including Karl Urban, Elisabeth Shue, and Simon Pegg--plus Rogen and Goldberg’s previous success in this field, promises great things.
Jessica Jones Season 3
Jessica Jones was the last of Netflix' Marvel shows to be cancelled, but fans will at least get one more season. Season 2 was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the first, but Jessica remains one of the most interesting and best-written characters in the Marvel universe, so let's hope that Season 3 gets back to that original gripping mix of superhero action and dark psychological drama.
DC Universe, TBC
DC Universe has a lot of interesting things happening in 2019, including Stargirl. At this point, though, we don't know a lot about this particular series other than actress Brec Bassinger will be playing the titular hero.
There was some surprise when HBO announced it was developing a new TV version of the classic comic book Watchmen, but it seems that, unlike Zack Snyder's movie, this won't be a straight adaptation. The show is currently in production, and while plot specifics are under wraps, showrunner Damon Lindelof has promised it will "be set in the world its creators painstakingly built, but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original." The cast includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, and Tim Blake Nelson.
DC Universe, TBC
This is a real wild card thrown in there by DC Universe. Swamp Thing, unlike Titans, Doom Patrol, and Stargirl, is going to be a horror series. The series is being produced by Aquaman director James Wan and will star Friday the 13th alum Derek Mears as the titular Swamp Thing, with Andy Bean (Power) playing his human alter ego Alex Holland.
Glow Season 3
Netflix's hugely entertaining '80s-set comedy drama will return for a third season this year. The show focuses on an all-female TV wrestling crew, and it features one of TV's best ensemble casts, including Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Kate Nash, and Britney Young. Comedian/podcaster Marc Maron plays their manager, Sam, and the show strikes a perfect balance between nostalgic laughs and more serious social issues. Season 2 was even better than the first, so hopes are high for this one.
The horror anthology film Creepshow is getting a TV adaptation on Shudder. There are not many details yet about what stories the series will tell, but special effects guru Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead) will direct, executive produce, and handle creative elements on the show--meaning he's bringing his blood and gore expertise to the project.
An entire show based around Batman's faithful butler Alfred might seem like a strange idea, but the upcoming Pennyworth won't focus on an elderly man making Bruce Wayne tea in a big mansion. Pennyworth has been developed by Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller, and will explore Alfred's younger life, when he was a special forces operative and trained assassin. The Imitation Game’s Jack Bannon takes the lead role, and while we don't have a premiere date yet, it started production last year, so expect to see some footage soon.
Mindhunter Season 2
The first season of the '70s-set crime drama 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. Production only wrapped in December, so don't expect it for a while; Season 1 premiered in October 2017, so a fall release for Season 2 seems likely.
The Clone Wars Season 7
Disney +, TBC
The biggest surprise Star Wars announcement last year was the news that the much-loved animated series, The Clone Wars, will return for a seventh series. The show ran from 2008 to 2014, but was cancelled following Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm. But thanks to the studio's upcoming streaming service Disney+, an entire new 12-episode season is on the way. Creator Dave Filoni is back on board, and while we don't have a confirmed release date, the service is to launch this year, so a 2019 premiere remains a definite possibility.
When Netflix's lavish adaptation of the popular fantasy series was first announced, showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich suggested that we probably wouldn't see it until 2020. However, the streaming giant recently confirmed that the show would in fact make its debut in 2019--more specifically, in the last three months of the year. Superman star Henry Cavill takes on the lead role as Geralt of Rivia, with Freya Allan (Into the Badlands) as Ciri and Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust) as Yennifer. We're yet to see any official imagery--let alone a trailer--but this early test footage of Cavill shows that he certainly looks the part. Without question, one of the year’s most anticipated shows.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
No confirmation on this one, but we're hoping that Netflix and The Jim Henson Company's Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a 10-episode prequel series to the 1982 Jim Henson fantasy movie, will hit the streaming service this year. It reportedly began filming back in 2017, so there's a good chance it will be ready for release in 2019.
Veronica Mars is the show that just won't quit. It started on UPN and move to The CW, before it was canceled. Then a Kickstarter campaign funded a movie that was released in theaters years later, followed by a series of novels. Now, once again, Veronica is back and this time she's on Hulu. Not a lot is known about the new season, but you can expect most of the familiar faces you love to reappear.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Disney launches its streaming service, Disney+, later this year, and unsurprisingly there's a few Star Wars shows on the way to it. The Mandalorian was the first live-action series to be announced, and while we don't know for sure that it will premiere in 2019, it has been in production for several months, so it's a definite possibility. The show is set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and it will focus on a lone Mandalorian gunfighter, played by Pedro Pascal (Narcos). The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau is the showrunner, and individual episode directors will include Taika Waititi (Thor Ragnarok), Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels), and Jurassic World star Bryce Dallas Howard...
Homecoming Season 2
Season 1 of last year's acclaimed Amazon thriller Homecoming showcased a fantastic performance from Julia Roberts as a woman struggling to remember her dark past working at a sinister rehabilitation facility for soldiers with PTSD. Sadly she won't be returning for the second season, but there's still plenty to look forward to, with Mr Robot's Sam Esmail returning to direct. While Season 1 was a straight adaptation of the popular Homecoming podcast, Season 2 will deviate from the source material, with Esmail describing it as having "a very different trajectory" to later episodes of the original show.
His Dark Materials
This BBC/HBO co-production is the second attempt to adapt Philip Pullman's much-loved trilogy of fantasy novels. But while 2007's movie flop The Golden Compass was a lavish blockbuster that tried to cash in on the popularity of the Lord of the Rings movies, this new TV version look much more faithful. It stars Dafne Keen (Logan), James McAvoy (the X-Men series, Glass), Ruth Wilson (Luther), and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns), and follows the adventures of two children as they explore a series of parallel universes. Confidence is clearly high in the new show, as Season 2 has already been commissioned, and while we don't yet have a premiere date for Season 1, it has been confirmed it will happen this year.
Untitled Star Trek Picard Show
CBS All-Access, TBC
The movie version of Star Trek might have stalled but there's still plenty of upcoming small screen Trek output for fans to enjoy. Without question, the most anticipated new show is Jean-Luc Picard series, which will see Patrick Stewart reprise his iconic role from The Next Generation. The series reportedly starts shooting this month, so while we don't have a premiere date there's a chance we might see it towards the end of the year. In terms of the story, creator Alex Kurtzman recently revealed that it will follow the dissolution of the Romulan empire and how this has "radically altered" Picard.