Home TV TV Lists

40 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2019

From a revival of ‘Deadwood’ to the return of ‘Stranger Things,’ a fresh take on Picard and more, here are the shows we can’t wait to binge this year

photographs in illustration: Helen Sloan/HBO; Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica; Netflix; Philipe Antonello/HULU; Warrick Page/HBO

If the constant deluge of programming in the Peak TV era is starting to make viewing feel like a chore… snap out of it! (To quote, well, not a TV show.) The beauty of the streaming age is that there’s something — many things, in fact — for everybody, available at any time of day, whenever you want to escape the real world and drop into another.

Maybe that world is the lawless and dusty hills of 1870s South Dakota, where everyone carries a gun and has a musical command of the word “fuck” (Deadwood). Maybe it’s the misty cliffs of tony, modern-day Monterey, California, where secrets hide in multimillion-dollar mansions overlooking the Pacific (Big Little Lies). Maybe it’s the coke-fueled chaos of Wall Street circa 1987 (Black Monday) or a world we’ve never seen before in a galaxy far, far away (The Mandalorian).

Whatever your fancy, Peak TV creators can deliver it. Often, they give you something you didn’t even know you wanted. In addition to a host of returning favorites (Thrones, Killing Eve and so many more), this year’s crop of shows features a mockumentary about vampire roommates living in Staten Island (What We Do In The Shadows), a dishy dive behind the scenes of network morning shows (Top of the Morning) and the prolific Ryan Murphy’s take on politics (appropriately, The Politician). Plus, there are big-name directors (Patty Jenkins! Ava DuVernay!) and actors (Rockwell! Clooney! Streep!) galore.

Admittedly, the choices can be a little overwhelming. But that’s what we’re here for. This list highlights the 40 shows out of 40 billion that we’re most excited to see over the next 12 months. Charge your devices, stock up on snacks and turn off your screen-time notifications; it’s gonna be a big year.

Idris Elba is a DJ in 'Turn Up Charlie.'

Nick Wall/Netflix

‘Turn Up Charlie’ (Netflix, March 15th)

Idris Elba is serious about his side gig as a DJ — he was just announced as part of this year’s Coachella lineup. In Turn Up Charlie, Stringer Bell takes to the wheels of steel as a London DJ who gets a new job as a manny helping to raise his best friend’s daughter. Elba himself created (with Gary Reich) and executive-produced the eight-episode Netflix comedy, also starring Piper Perabo. It shines a light on his music vocation (he just DJed a royal wedding and spoke out about his craving to do a collabo with his Cats co-star, Taylor Swift), but it’s yet another chapter in Elba’s quest to prove himself the coolest man alive. RS

Sandra Oh as Eve in Season Two of 'Killing Eve.'

Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

‘Killing Eve’ Season 2 (BBC America, April 7th)

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer return for a second season as, respectively, a messy but clever spy and a childlike but ruthless assassin, who compete to see who’s more obsessed with the other. The first season, created by Fleabag’s Phoebe Waller Bridge, was one of 2018’s most exciting surprises, alternately hilarious and terrifying. And Oh landed both an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe statuette for her work. What will this group do for an encore? AS

Sam Rockwell will play Bob Fosse and Michelle Williams his wife, the dancer Gwen Verdon, in 'Fosse/Verdon.'

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Marion Curtis/Starpix/Shutterstock

‘Fosse/Verdon’ (FX, April)

What do you get when the creative teams of Hamilton and The Americans join forces? Not a hip-hop Cold War spy thriller, but a star-studded miniseries about the decades-spanning collaboration (professional and romantic) between director and choreographer Bob Fosse (Sam Rockwell) and Broadway dance legend Gwen Verdon (Michelle Williams). As if that description didn’t offer enough excitement, the teaser that aired during the Golden Globes was pretty thrilling, too. AS

Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in 'Game of Thrones.'

Helen Sloane/HBO

‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season (HBO, April)

Bow down to TV’s last great water-cooler show. We’ve only got six more episodes of the HBO fantasy epic to marvel at and argue over, as David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will present a conclusion to George R.R. Martin’s sprawling story (while Martin himself still struggles to finish the penultimate book in the series, let alone start writing his own version of the ending). Will the Night King overrun Westeros? Will Jon Snow and Daenerys ever figure out they’re kissing cousins (and will they care if they do)? And are six episodes — even movie-length ones — enough to adequately say goodbye to Tyrion, Arya, Sansa, Brienne of Tarth, Bronn and the rest of the gang? Let the spectacle — and endless debates — begin. AS

Bill Hader and Henry Winkler in HBO's 'Barry.'

Jordin Althaus/HBO

‘Barry’ Season 2 (HBO, Spring)

Bill Hader is back as Barry, the angst-ridden hitman who decides he wants to turn over a new leaf, end his life of crime and take acting classes in L.A. Except over the course of the excellent Season One, Barry learned he can’t quite leave the murder racket behind. Hader was superbly dark and poignant the first time around, in the role of his life (so far). Also returning: his acting teacher Henry Winkler, who keeps the Fonzarellissance going. RS

Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant reprise their roles for the new 'Deadwood' movie.

Warrick Page/HBO

‘Deadwood’ (HBO, Spring)

The profanely poetic Western has long been TV’s great unfinished masterpiece, even though HBO promised not one, but two reunion movies to conclude the story when they abruptly canceled the series in 2006. Thirteen years later, we’re lucky enough to get one. Creator David Milch has brought back most of the surviving cast, led by Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane, for a story that will hopefully provide a more fitting end for all the hoopleheads and cocksuckers we’ve waited so long to see return to the thoroughfare. AS

Tiffany Haddish will voice Tuca, left, and Ali Wong will voice Bertie in the new animated series.


‘Tuca And Bertie’ (Netflix, Spring)

Take the animator from BoJack Horseman (cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt), add two of the biggest comedic talents to emerge in the last few years (Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong), apply them all to a winningly goofy premise — two thirtysomething “bird-women” who live in the same apartment building strike up a friendship and have adventures in the big city — and you have a no-fail recipe for a weirdly wonderful new series. Haddish voices Tuca, described by Netflix as a “carefree toucan,” while Wong takes the role of Bertie, an “anxious songbird.” (Note to BoJack fanatics: Raphael Bob-Waksberg is an executive producer alongside Hanawalt.) Come this spring, we’ll be watching like. . . hawks. (Sorry.) MF

Tony Hale and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (foreground, left to right) will bring 'Veep' to an end this season.

Colleen Hayes/HBO

‘Veep’ Final Season (HBO, Spring)

The end of Veep? How are we supposed to function without Jonah, a.k.a. the Jolly Green Jizz-Face, One Erection, Benedict Come-In-His-Own-Hand or Tall McCartney? Veep signs off with a Season Seven campaign where Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Selina Meyer makes one more run for the White House, surrounded by her deep bench of D.C. cranks, from Kevin Dunn’s Ben to Anna Chlumsky’s Amy to Timothy Simons’ Jonah. Veep’s bleak vision of politics might have gotten out-bleaked by reality — if the previous season felt out of sorts, that might have been because it was filmed right as the 2016 election was going down. But count on Louis-Dreyfus and her crew to rise to the occasion. RS

Natasia Demetriou as Nadja and Matt Berry as Laszlo in 'What We Do In The Shadows.'

Byron Cohen/FX

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ (FX, Spring)

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s mockumentary about inept vampire roommates was one of 2014’s funniest and most surprising films. Now they’ve reunited for this spinoff about another trio of bumbling members of the undead, this time living in Staten Island and struggling to get along with each other or fit into the modern world. We’re placing our bets now: The “energy vampire” played by Mark Proksch will be everyone’s favorite ridiculous character of 2019. AS

David Harbour and Millie Bobbie Brown in Season Two of Netflix's 'Stranger Things.'

Courtesy Netflix

‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 (Netflix, July 4th)

The Eighties kiddie sci-fi caper seemed like a delightful one-off at first, yet the second season lived up to it, with Millie Bobby Brown expanding her role as Eleven, the alien girl who fell to earth. Season Three returns to the kids of Hawkins, Indiana, in the summer of 1985. Winona Ryder (who at this point in the timeline is about to see herself onscreen in Lucas) is joined by Cary Elwes and a couple of celebrity legacies, Jake Busey and Maya Thurman-Hawke. Look forward to hijinks at the town’s brand-new Starcourt Mall. And we already know there will be a Fletch-themed episode, so order up a Bloody Mary and a steak sandwich. RS

Ellen Page co-stars as Laura Linney's daughter in the new 'Tales of the City.'

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

‘Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City’ (Netflix, 2019)

Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City novels have come to the screen before, in the 1993 PBS miniseries and the lesser Showtime sequels. The 10-episode revival — dubbed the “next chapter” — picks up with Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis reprising their Nineties roles. Linney’s Mary Ann returns to San Francisco, 20 years after she left, to reunite with daughter Ellen Page and ex-husband Paul Gross, not to mention her zany landlady (Dukakis). Tales has an all-queer writing room and overlapping stories set in the LBTGQ community. Keep an eye out for High Maintenance’s May Hong, Looking’s Murray Bartlett, Zosia Mamet and Molly Ringwald — along with RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen. RS

Meryl Streep (far left) joins the cast of 'Big Little Lies' in Season Two.

Jennifer Clasen/HBO

‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 (HBO, 2019)

The HBO combo of murder, revenge and posh Monterey real estate became a phenomenon in its first season, based on Liane Moriarty’s novel. The new season (with new input from Moriarty) gets the gang back together — the first peek reveals them in a police lineup, suggesting Big Little Lies might pick up right where the Season One cliffhanger left us. Joining the all-star team of Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern is Meryl Streep, playing the mom of the murdered (or is he?) Alexander Skarsgård. RS

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney are a married (and stressed-out) couple in 'Catastrophe.'

Ed Miller/Amazon Studios

‘Catastrophe’ Season 4 (Amazon, 2019)

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s comedy about a trans-Atlantic couple who fall in love only after he’s gotten her pregnant has been away for nearly two years now. That’s far too long to go without Horgan and Delaney’s jaw-droppingly filthy jokes about the many things that can come out of (or go into) the human body, and without the show’s inescapable sense of melancholy as these two keep hurting themselves and each other. It will be a relief to have it back. AS

Christopher Abbott (foreground, left) stars as Yossarian and George Clooney as Scheisskopf in the new adaptation of 'Catch-22.'

Philipe Antonello / Hulu

‘Catch-22’ (Hulu, 2019)

Though he hasn’t acted on TV in the decade since he returned briefly to ER in the final season, George Clooney’s always remained warm toward the medium that made him a star. And the miniseries format seems a good one for the latest attempt to adapt Joseph Heller’s seminal antiwar satire novel. Clooney directs and has a small role as the oft-promoted Scheiesskopf, with a cast that also includes Hugh Laurie, Kyle Chandler and Christopher Abbott from Girls in the lead role as the bewildered Yossarian. AS

Ava DuVernay is writer, producer and director of 'Central Park Five.'

Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shut

‘Central Park Five’ (Netflix, 2019)

Ava DuVernay is behind this limited series about a group of young black and Hispanic men wrongfully convicted in the April 1989 rape of a white jogger in New York’s Central Park. The brutality of the attack — the victim was beaten so badly she remained in a coma for two weeks — attracted national headlines, and the boys came to be known as the Central Park Five. When DNA evidence overturned their convictions years later, a tale of corrupt policing, reckless journalism and insidious racism was exposed. With DuVernay at the helm as writer, producer and director, look for this dramatization (also covered in a 2012 documentary by Ken Burns and his daughter Sarah) to be delivered with deep empathy and moral authority. MF



Mindy Kaling is turning the 1994 film 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' into an updated miniseries for Hulu.

Anthony Harvey/REX/Shutterstock

‘Four Weddings And A Funeral’ (Hulu, 2019)

Mindy Kaling made her romantic comedy obsession a core part of the character she played on The Mindy Project. Now she gets to put her own spin on one of the movies that so transfixed Mindy Lahiri, with this miniseries about four American friends who reunite in London for a wedding, then undergo tremendous personal tumult across the following year. The Mindy Project was always half-having fun at the expense of classic rom-com conventions. Will she and partner Matt Warburton play things straighter here? We can’t wait to find out. AS

Michael Sheen and David Tennant in 'Good Omens.'

Chris Raphael

‘Good Omens’ (Amazon, 2019)

Good Omens dives into the apocalyptic imagination of Neil Gaiman, in the aftermath of American Gods. The Amazon miniseries is based on Gaiman’s 1990 graphic novel with Terry Pratchett, with a host of supernatural forces topped by Dr. Who’s David Tennant as a demon in black and Michael Sheen as an angel in white. Although they’ve been on opposite sides since the Garden of Eden, they team up to prevent the end of Planet Earth, along with quite a cast: Jon Hamm as the archangel Gabriel, Michael McKean as a witch-hunting human and Frances McDormand as the voice of God. RS

Paul Rudd will play two versions of the same character in the upcoming 'Living With Yourself.'

Cristiano Minichiello/REX/Shutte

‘Living With Yourself’ (Netflix, 2019)

Is there a performer alive with more charm and bonhomie than Paul Rudd? Go on, we’ll wait. All the better, then, that this new comedy series features him in not one but two roles. From directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Battle of the Sexes, Little Miss Sunshine), it centers on a man who undergoes an experimental treatment to become a better person only to be replaced by his improved 2.0 self. If Rudd gets the chance to tap into his gifts for both physical humor and pathos, Living With Yourself could join The Good Place in the pantheon of laugh-out-loud surreal philosophical comedies. MF

Cameron Britton and Jonathan Groff in Season One of 'Mindhunter.'

Merrick Morton/Netflix

‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 (Netflix, 2019)

This Seventies period drama about two FBI agents (Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallanny) and a psychiatrist (Anna Torv) who literally wrote the book on profiling serial killers arrived in 2017 to a marketplace that needed another serial killer show like a fish needs a bicycle. But its cerebral, talky approach — along with sharp direction by David Fincher and strong performances from the cast (including Cameron Britton as one of the terrifyingly calm monsters they interviewed) — made everything old seem new again. Hopefully, Mindhunter can stay that fresh in Season Two. AS

Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean Luc Picard.


‘Star Trek’ Untitled Picard Show (CBS All Access, 2019)

Little to no information has been released about this extremely belated sequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation, save that it will bring back Patrick Stewart as former Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard, navigating life after the end of the Romulan Empire. Star Trek: Discovery has been uneven enough that another Trek series doesn’t automatically get a season pass. But when it features the greatest actor in the history of the franchise returning to the role that made him famous, what more do you need to know to tune in? AS

Olivia Colman takes over for Claire Foy to play Queen Elizabeth II in her fifties in the new season of 'The Crown.'

Sophie Mutevelian/NETFLIX

‘The Crown’ Season 3 (Netflix, 2019)

As we have been tirelessly reminded over the past few months, British actress (and probable Oscar nominee) Olivia Colman is no stranger to playing queens. But the Favourite star is indeed the single best choice to take over for Claire Foy and portray Queen Elizabeth in her fifties, as Netflix’s historical drama jumps ahead to the 1970s and finds the royal family once again in a state of stiff-upper-lipped turmoil. Helena Bonham Carter plays the older Princess Margaret; Tobias Menzies is Prince Philip; and Josh O’Connor and Call the Midwife‘s Emerald Fennell are on board as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, respectively. DF

Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian in Lucasfilm’s 'The Mandalorian,' the first series from Disney's new streaming platform.

Francois Duhamel /Lucasfilm Ltd.

‘The Mandalorian’ (Disney+, 2019)

Disney is breaking out the big guns — and an even bigger checkbook — for the launch of its standalone streaming service, with several new Marvel series (featuring characters and creators from the MCU films rather than the mostly-canceled Netflix shows) along with the first of what will probably be many Star Wars TV spinoffs. This one, at a reported cost of more than $100 million, comes from Jon Favreau (another MCU vet), with Game of Thrones‘ Pedro Pascal in the title role as a gunslinger who hails from Boba Fett’s home world. Set a few years after Return of the Jedi, it features a loaded cast that includes Carl Weathers (!), Nick Nolte (!!) and Werner Herzog (!!!!!!!!!!). Complain all you want about how paying for all the new streaming services is about to cost as much as your old cable bundle did; you know you’ll be watching this. AS

Broadway star Ben Platt stars in Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician.'

Todd Williamson/January Images/R

‘The Politician’ (Netflix, 2019)

Ryan Murphy begins his long-awaited Netflix period with (who saw this coming?) a satirical comedy that sends up American hypocrisies. Broadway star Ben Platt, still glowing from Dear Evan Hansen, plays an aspiring politician from Santa Barbara; each season will document one of his campaigns. The cast includes Murphy veterans like Jessica Lange (in a role originally announced for Barbra Streisand), Gwyneth Paltrow (who was great in her one scene on The New Normal), Dylan McDermott and Mad Men’s January Jones. RS

Jordan Peele is executive producing and narrating the new 'Twilight Zone.'

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/S

‘The Twilight Zone’ (CBS All Access, 2019)

You’re traveling through another dimension — one in which the man behind the most groundbreaking horror movie of the past few years revamps and reboots a popular 1960s sci-fi anthology show for modern audiences. How producer/host Jordan Peele will leave his stamp on Rod Serling’s legendary series remains to be seen. But we know that at least two classic episodes (“Rewind” and “Nightmare at 30,000 Feet”) will be getting updated for the first season; that no one is better suited to deliver us a Twilight Zone for our current moment; and that we may finally be forced to subscribe to the Tiffany Network’s streaming service once and for all. DF

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon will play network news morning-show anchors in Apple's 'Top of the Morning.'

Kevin Mazur/Wireimage

‘Top of the Morning’ (Apple, 2019)

The last time Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon appeared in a TV show together, Bill Clinton was president and the only thing Apple made was computers. Yes, Friends fanatics will recall that Witherspoon did a two-episode guest stint as Rachel Green’s little sister, Jill, in Season Six. Then she rose to the top of the A-list while Aniston became a capital-C celebrity. Now, the two megastars are teaming up for Apple’s first-ever scripted show, Top of the Morning, loosely based on the 2013 book of the same name that charted the network news morning-show wars. Originally conceived as a comedy, the series — which received a two-season, 20-episode order out of the gate — has been reframed as a drama, so gear up for subterfuge, backstabbing and plenty of catfights between two perfectly-coiffed, tightly-wound, fake-smiling anchors. MF



Toni Collette plays a detective in 'Unbelievable,' which is based on a true story.

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

‘Unbelievable’ (Netflix, 2019)

Talk about pedigree: For this miniseries, Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant, along with novelists Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, adapts a Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica article about a young woman charged with lying about being raped, and the years-long police investigation to uncover the truth. Grant also hops behind the camera to direct a standout cast that includes Toni Collette and two-time Emmy winner Merritt Wever (Godless, Nurse Jackie) as the female detectives who won’t let the case go, as well as young breakouts Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing, Justified) and Danielle Macdonald (PattiCake$). MF

Kristen Bell in 'Veronica Mars.' Credit: Photo by Warner Bros Digital/Spondoolie Prods/Rob Thomas Prods/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5884127y)

Warner Bros Digital/Spondoolie P

‘Veronica Mars’ (Hulu, 2019)

The broadcast network (kind of; it was UPN) TV show that became a Kickstarter-funded movie is now a streaming series. Kristen Bell reprises her title role as a pint-sized gumshoe who’s quick with a quip and quicker to solve dangerous cases. The movie at times felt like an extended, if understandable, bit of fan service, but Mars creator Rob Thomas promises the Hulu show will, in addition to bringing back many other familiar faces, return the show to its film noir roots. AS

Rorschach in the HBO series 'Watchmen.'

Courtesy HBO

‘Watchmen’ (HBO, 2019)

For years, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel was considered unfilmable. Zack Snyder’s 2009 film proved you really could adapt the plot of Watchmen, but that merely doing so missed the entire point of Watchmen. A decade later, Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof is taking a very big swing at the material. We know little about his approach, save that it’s set in the Watchmen universe and has a cast including Regina King, Jeremy Irons and Don Johnson. This could be another adaptation miracle like Lindelof’s The Leftovers, or another mess, but there’s no way it will be boring. AS