If 2018 was any indication, the amount of television being produced by major networks and streaming providers is in no danger of slowing down. 495 scripted original shows aired in 2018 alone, according to research from FX. Looking ahead, 2019 appears to be an even bigger year, as traditional cable channels compete with the likes of Amazon, Netflix, and the upcoming Disney+ platform. The battle for viewers has never been more intense, so in order to help you navigate 2019’s onslaught of programming, here are 20 new shows we think you should check out over the coming months.
Click through the slideshow below or read on to see the 20 biggest new shows coming to TV in 2019.
The Witcher (Netflix) – Exact Date TBD
Netflix is getting into the fantasy business in a big way, with a live-action adaption of The Witcher, starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. The series is based on the written works of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, whose novels chronicle the thrilling adventures of the witcher Geralt, the sorceress Yennefer, and a mysterious ashen-haired girl named Ciri. CD Projekt Red, a video game developer, loosely adapted Sapkowski’s characters into a successful franchise of their own. However, the producers behind Netflix’s version are planning to stick closer to the books than their video game counterparts. Cavill’s recent screen test in full make-up and costume caused quite a stir, with some saying he needed to look more like the video game version (especially The Wild Hunt), where the White Wolf if often seen with a beard and several scars. Either way, The Witcher looks to be an exciting new addition to Netflix’s diverse lineup of original programming.
Watchmen (HBO) – Exact Date TBD
The Leftovers creator Damon Lindelof is bringing the world of Watchmen to the small screen for HBO. Inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ seminal graphic novel of the same name, the series will not be a direct adaption like the 2009 film, but instead, act as an extension of the original story set in the present day. Lindelof has said that the show is influenced by modern-day political figures like Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Veteran actors Jean Smart (Fargo), Jeremy Irons (Die Hard With a Vengeance), and Regina King (The Leftovers) are just a few of the talented cast members who have been attached to the project. While we still don’t know much about the story, Watching appears to be in good hands with Lindelof and HBO guiding the ship.
The Twilight Zone (CBS All Access) – Exact Date TBD
In an effort to compete with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, CBS All Access is bolstering their digital original programming with the surprising addition of The Twilight Zone. The iconic 1959 series will be given new life, with Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) acting as executive producer and narrator. Peele is an admirer of the show’s original host and creator, Rod Serling, praising him as “an uncompromising visionary who not only shed light on social issues of his time, but prophesied issues of ours.” The sci-fi anthology series is set to premiere in late 2019.
Good Omens (Amazon) – Exact Date TBD
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s best-selling novel of the same name is making its way to Amazon Prime Video. Led by actors David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Michael Sheen (Underworld), the story centers on Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, who form an unlikely bond. When the 11-year-old Antichrist goes missing on Earth, Aziraphale (Sheen) and Crowley (Tennant) set off on a dangerous adventure to stop the end of the world from happening. At the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Fargo star Francis McDormand will be the Voice of God. The series will also be shown on BBC 2 in the UK at a later date.
A Discovery of Witches (Sundance Now/Shudder) – Jan. 17, 2019
Making its US debut, A Discovery of Witches tells a thrilling tale about a Witch and a Vampire, who join forces to protect a powerful ancient manuscript from falling into the wrong hands. Based on Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy, the series explores the tumultuous relationship between vampires and witches. Matthew Goode plays a vampire named Matthew, while Teresa Palmer portrays the witch Diana. A Discovery of Witches is already a big hit in the UK, and has been greenlit for two more seasons. All 8 episodes will be available to stream on Sundance Now and Sudder on January 17.
Doom Patrol (DC Universe) – February 15, 2019
After making their debut in Season 1 of DC Universe’s Titans, the Doom Patrol are spinning off into their own standalone series, with Timothy Dalton making his debut as Dr. Niles Caulder alongside Matt Bomer’s Negative Man, Brendan Fraser’s Robotman, April Bowlby’s Elasti-Woman, and Diane Guerrero’s Crazy Jane. Per DC, “Doom Patrol will find these reluctant heroes in a place they never expected to be, called to action by Cyborg (Joivan Wade), who comes to them with a mission hard to refuse, but with a warning that is hard to ignore: their lives will never, ever be the same.”
I Am the Night (TNT) – Jan. 28, 2019
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is taking her talents to the small screen with a new thriller, titled I Am the Night. The series centers on Fauna Hodel, a teenage orphan who teams up with a down on his luck reporter, played by Chris Pine. Together, the unlikely duo embarks on a journey that gets them mixed up with one of Hollywoods most infamous suspects, Dr. George Hodel – a physician connected to the Black Dahlia murder in 1947. With Pine and Jenkins also serving as executive producers, we think I Am the Night is in good hands and worth checking out when it premieres on TNT on January 28.
Umbrella Academy (Netflix) – Feb. 19, 2019
Based on the popular graphic novels written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and beautifully illustrated by renowned comic book artist Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy is a live-action series that follows the estranged members of a dysfunctional family of superheroes. After their father’s mysterious death, the heroes must work together in order to discover who’s behind the murder. Bolstered by a stellar lineup of actors, like Ellen Page (Inception) and Tom Hopper (Black Sails), The Umbrella Academy is high on our list of new shows to watch in 2019.
What We Do in the Shadows (FX) – Spring 2019
Based on the cult comedy film created by and starring Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, this adaptation follows three dysfunctional vampire roommates (played by Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou) who have lived together for centuries in New York and are finally forced to venture out into the real world. Written by Clement and directed by Waititi, you can expect this quirky comedy to have all the charm and surrealism of the movie (and a much bigger budget, since the film was made for only $1.6 million).
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix) – Exact Date TBD
In a world where computer-generated images are everywhere, it’s refreshing to see a series like this one sticking to its puppeteering roots. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a prequel to the Jim Henson and Frank Oz co-directed 1982 film that started it all. On this adventure, the world of Thra is in peril, with the evil Skeksis damaging the Crystal of Truth, which is a source of untold power for the planet. The puppets will be voiced by an impressive lineup of actors, including Taron Egerton (Kingsman), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), and Mark Hamill (Star Wars).
Looking For Alaska (Hulu) – Exact Date TBD
Based on the debut novel by The Fault in Our Stars author John Green, this eight-episode coming-of-age story stars Charlie Plummer as Miles “Pudge” Halter, a boarding school kid who falls in love with a classmate, the rebellious Alaska Young (Kristine Froseth). After her unexpected death, Pudge and his friends embark on a mission to uncover the truth behind her demise and the mysterious circumstances around it.
The Boys (Amazon) – Exact Date TBD
Amazon’s ambitious adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s ultra-violent comic book is set in a world where superheroes are celebrities who often abuse their power for their own gain, while the titular characters are a group of vigilantes who set out to take the corrupt heroes down. The series is executive produced by Supernatural creator Eric Kripke and Preacher EPs Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and stars Karl Urban, Jack Quaid, Elisabeth Shue, Chace Crawford, Karen Fukuhara, and Erin Moriarty. These heroes aren’t the squeaky-clean likes of Superman and Captain America, so expect plenty of sex, blood, and naughty words, in the same vein as Rogen and Goldberg’s Preacher adaptation.
NOS4A2 (AMC) – Summer 2019
AMC’s new horror series brings Zachary Quinto back to his villainous Heroes roots as an immortal child abductor named Charlie Manx (with some serious prosthetic work, as you can see in the photo above). According to AMC, the show (it’s pronounced like Nosferatu) follows Vic McQueen, “a young, gifted teenager who discovers she has a supernatural ability to track lost things. When her friend goes missing, Vic sets out to use her gift to find her. While searching, Vic crosses paths with the evil and immortal Manx, who abducts children by enticing them with promises of Christmasland, a twisted Christmas Village of Manx’s imagination, where he feeds off their souls. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims – without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.”
Catch 22 (Hulu) – Spring 2019
Based on the seminal Joseph Heller novel, this six-part limited series stars George Clooney (who also executive produces), Christopher Abbott, Kyle Chandler, and Hugh Laurie. Per Hulu, “Catch-22 is the story of Yossarian, a US Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.” Zoinks!
Warrior (Cinemax) – Exact Date TBD
Based on the writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee and executive produced by his daughter, Shannon, Warrior originated as a series that the actor first conceptualized in the ’70s as a starring vehicle for himself but reportedly couldn’t find backing from the studios, who doubted the bankability of a series with an Asian lead. Executive produced by Banshee’s Jonathan Tropper and The Fast & The Furious’ Justin Lin (who directed the pilot), the action-packed period drama stars Andrew Koji as a Chinese martial arts prodigy who gets caught up in the Tong Wars in 1880s San Fransisco. In terms of insane fight sequences and twisted loyalties, this is everything we wanted Iron Fist to be – with plenty of political intrigue and historical drama thrown in.
His Dark Materials (BBC/HBO) – Exact Date TBD
A movie franchise based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy of fantasy novels failed to launch in 2007 with The Golden Compass, but the BBC and HBO are hoping that a small-screen adaptation will have better luck. To help their odds, they’ve assembled an enviable cast including Logan’s Dafne Keen as lead character Lyra, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby, and James McAvoy as Lord Asriel. The series has already been renewed for a second season before the first premieres, with The Danish Girl’s Tom Hooper directing.
Snowpiercer (TNT) – Summer 2019
This long-gestating adaptation of the cult Bong Joon-ho sci-fi film (and French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette) may not count Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton among its cast, but it does star Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly and Tony winner Daveed Diggs, with Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson executive producing and Orphan Black’s Graeme Manson as showrunner. “Set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe,” according to TNT.
Hanna (Amazon) – Exact Date TBD
Based on the 2011 film starring Saoirse Ronan, this thrilling adaptation features newcomer Esme Creed-Miles as the titular young assassin, raised in the wilderness by her father to try and avoid being targeted by an off-book CIA agent. The show also marks a reunion for The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos, with Kinnaman playing Hanna’s father, and Enos as the murderous agent tracking them both.
Pennyworth (Epix) – Summer 2019
Hailing from the executive producers of Gotham and based on the DC Comics characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Epix’s prequel series follows the Wayne family’s loyal butler, Alfred (Jack Bannon), “a former British SAS soldier who forms a security company and goes to work with Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), Bruce’s billionaire father, in 1960s London.” If it has half the charm and retro spy shenanigans as Marvel’s shortlived Agent Carter series, we’re on board.
The Rook (Starz) – Spring 2019
Based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley, The Rook follows Myfanwy Thomas, who, per Starz, “wakes up in the rain beside London’s Millennium Bridge with no memory of who she is and no way to explain the circle of latex-gloved dead bodies scattered around her. When Myfanwy discovers she is a high-ranking official in a British secret service for people with paranormal abilities, she will have to navigate the dangerous and complex world of the agency to uncover who wiped her memory – and why she is a target.”