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30 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2018

From new prestige dramas and must-binge sci-fi shows to the return of ‘Atlanta,’ ‘Westworld’ and more – what we can’t wait to tune in to

30 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2018

The 30 most anticipated TV shows of 2018 – from new dramas, sitcoms and sci-fi sagas to the return of 'Westworld,' "Atlanta' and 'Jessica Jones.'

So much television, so precious little time. We’re now way past Peak TV and deep into the age of Anxiety TV – when you simply can’t keep up with every must-see show, binge-worthy new hit, streaming-service event series and whatever else is being recapped and breathlessly chattered about on TV Twitter. Scripted shows were at an all-time record high last year in terms of sheer numbers. DVRs are no sooner partially emptied before they fill to the brim again. Netflix releases roughly six gajillion new specials, docs and episodic spectacles every week. (We need to check the stats on that.) There’s never been a better time to be a TV fanatic, or a worse time to be a completist.

So yes, the idea that 2018 is only going to bring more shows and new seasons of old favorites does fill us with a tiny tinge of dread. But it also makes us incredibly excited to dip into new soon-to-be classics and dip back into familiar worlds with characters we’ve grown to love and loathe – we’re getting more Westworld, and Legion, and Handmaid’s Tale, and Jessica Jones! There will be new Atlanta episodes! David Freakin’ Letterman is back, people!!! Plus one of the new series mentioned below may be the one we’re all talking about a year from now, the premium-cable drama or network sitcom that changes the game once again. (Speaking of “game,” what’s up with this GoT being pushed to 2019? Grrr.) These are the 30 shows that have us settling into the couch in eager anticipation for the next 12 months. Dates may change, as they are wont to do. Happy viewing.

Best tv shows 2018

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‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ (Netflix, 2018)

We’d been wondering when the Coen brothers might take a crack at television. (And no, Fargo doesn’t count.) Well, pardner … the wait’s over. In their typically off-kilter way, Joel and Ethan are making a western anthology series, telling six different tales about characters who range from a singing cowboy to a sloppy cattle rustler. The brothers wrote and directed the whole run, and will have longtime collaborators like composer Carter Burwell and actors Tim Blake Nelson and Stephen Root around to add more Coens-y flavor. NM

'Lost in Space' (Netflix, 2018)

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‘Lost in Space’ (Netflix, 2018)

Danger, Will Robinson! The wholesome Sixties sci-fi spin on Swiss Family Robinson gets updated for the streaming era in a reimagining we hope will be a bit more like the mid-Aughts Battlestar Galactica reboot than the Nineties big-screen remake. Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, and (yes) the Robot star in the saga of space explorers who drift wildly off-course; in a nice bit of gender-bent casting, no less than Parker Posey has been cast as Dr. Smith. With Neil Marshall (The Descent, Game of Thrones‘ “Blackwater” episode) signed on to direct some installments, the horror and action quotients should get kicked up considerably. STC

Best tv shows 2018

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‘Legion’ Season 2 (FX, 2018)

Mega-powerful mutant David Haller ended Legion‘s first season in triumph, vanquishing (at least temporarily) his arch-nemesis the Shadow King, and saving the cutting-edge science institute that’s become his new home. Then, post-credits, a little metal ball shrunk our hero and whooshed him away. Creator Noah Hawley will have 10 episodes to explain what happened to his main character, while continuing to push the boundaries of mind-bending fantasy – which should be a fun challenge, given that Twin Peaks had just blown up most of the remaining limits. NM

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‘Heathers’ (Paramount Network, 2018)

Ever since the pitch-black teen comedy Heathers became a surprise cult favorite in the late Eighties, various producers, studios, et al. have tried to find a way to bring back this stinging saga of mean high school kids and misfit rebels. After toying with the idea of a sequel, the new Paramount Network (which took over the project from TV Land, which took it from Bravo, which took it from Fox) will be following the Get Shorty model, retelling the original movie’s story in the modern day, with a few new twists. Fuck us gently with a chainsaw indeed. NM

Best tv shows 2018

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‘Maniac’ (Netflix, 2018)

Cary Fukunaga – the man behind the first season of HBO’s True Detective and TNT’s big new show The Alienist – directs Jonah Hill and Emma Stone in this 10-episode series based on a 2014 Norwegian hit. Very little is known about this unique production other than a) it’s a comedy and b) the A-list stars play two mental-institution patients who have very vibrant fantasy worlds into which they regularly retreat. The dividing line between “film” and “TV” actors has been blurred for a while now, but it’s still a little surprising to see two names this big headline a Netflix show. And did we mention it co-stars Justin Theroux and Sally Field? BT

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‘Castle Rock’ (Hulu, 2018)

The Stephen King Cinematic Universe gets rolled into one TV series – we think? – in this intriguing project from J.J. Abrams. A cast including Lost vet Terry O’Quinn, The Knick‘s André Holland, and Sissy “Carrie” Spacek herself star in this horror series, set in the small Maine town were terrible things tend to happen in so many of the Horror-Lit Master’s stories. With the first volume of It marking the most successful King adaptation in ages, we’re anxious to see if the show will be more than the sum of its shout-outs to the author’s sprawling back catalogue. STC

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