Movie stars are flocking to the small screen in 2017, including Jude Law in the audacious Young Pope, Reese Witherspoon in the small screen adaptation of Big Little Lies and Drew Barrymore in the Netflix dramedy Santa Clarita Diet. Audiences will also be treated to reboots and sequels of old favorites like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Star Trek and (finally!) Twin Peaks. Here are the new television shows that we are most excited to tune into (or stream) in 2017.
Premieres Jan. 6 on NBC
If Wicked’s take on the Wizard of Oz tale was a little too upbeat for you, Emerald City looks like your show. This is network TV’s answer to Game of Thrones, a sprawling tale in a fantastical land that will end with a clash between “magic and science,” according to the trailer. In this version of the story, Dorothy (True Detective’s Adria Arjona) gains a little more gumption: She’s a young police officer and Toto a K9 police dog. Vincent D’Onofrio plays the Wizard.
Premieres Jan. 10 on FX
Tom Hardy co-created and stars in this moody limited series. Set in 1814, the show follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy) who seemingly rises from the grave after a dangerous trip to Africa to return to London. There he unravels the mysteries of his father’s shipping empire. The show promises plenty of conspiracy, murder and betrayal—and the eerie glare of Jonathan Pryce, recently retired from duties as the High Sparrow on Game of Thrones. Taboo also reunites Hardy with his Peaky Blinders and Locke collaborator, writer Steven Knight.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Premieres Jan. 13 on Netflix
Prepare to endure bad beginnings, survive a carnivorous carnival and climb slippery slopes. The film version of A Series of Unfortunate Events failed to turn into a franchise, so Netflix is bringing all seven of the beloved children’s books to the small screen. Neil Patrick Harris will take over for Jim Carrey as the evil Count Olaf who torments and tortures the orphaned Baudelaire children. The entire season premieres on Friday the 13th, of course.
The Young Pope
Premieres Jan. 15 on HBO
Jude Law plays the Pope. Diane Keaton his chief advisor. Paolo Sorrentino, who sardonically skewers politics with a touch of the fantastic a lá Fellini, directs. The premise: A young American is elected to the papacy. To the surprise of many, he turns out to be a dangerous iconoclast. “From this day forward, we need to go back to being prohibited, inaccessible and mysterious. I don’t want any more part-time believers. And sin will no longer be forgiven at will,” Law intones in the trailer. The first two episodes premiered at the Venice Film Festival to critical acclaim.
Premieres Jan. 26 on The CW
Gone are the trivial questions of the classic Archie Comics comics: Will Archie choose Veronica or Betty? The CW adaptation looks like a surreal Gossip Girl-murder mystery mashup that will explore the dark underbelly of small town life. The show’s only trailer reveals very little—though a lot of Archie actor KJ Apa’s torso, which tells you everything you need to know about the show’s target demographic.
Planet Earth II
Premieres Jan. 28 on BBC America
Ten years later after the first Planet Earth episodes inspired awe, the docuseries returns to BBC and BBC America with even more stunning vistas shot in even higher definition. Sir David Attenborough is back as the narrator and Hans Zimmer as the composer. Like the last installment, this one’s sure to become a mainstay in the Netflix queues of nature lovers and college potheads’ alike.
Santa Clarita Diet
Premiers Feb. 3 on Netflix
Drew Barrymore teams up with Justified’s Timothy Olyphant for this black comedy. The two play vaguely discontented parents living in Santa Clarita, Calif., near L.A. A mysterious inciting incident sends them down “a road of death and destruction”—but in a funny way. What might elevate this comedy above the recent slew of shows about disaffected Angelenos dealing with white, privileged problems (Love, Togetherness, Married, Casual) is the presence of the ever-elusive Barrymore and criminally underrated Olyphant.
Premieres Feb. 5 on FOX
The clock is ticking, again. Beloved action series 24 returns, but this time it’s Corey Hawkins’ Eric Carter, not Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer, who’s racing to catch the bad guys. Hawkins proved himself a talent on the rise as Dr. Dre in 2o15’s Straight Outta Compton. This show will rely heavily on his ability to convince the audience that even the most unlikely twists are believable.
Premieres Feb. 8 on FX
We’ve reached peak superhero, but Legion promises to be something completely different. It follows the telepathic mutant David Haller (Legion in the X-Men comics), who believes he’s mentally ill, not super-powered. Gone are the capes and cosmic battles that are the mainstay for most superhero shows. Noah Hawley, the creator of FX’s critically acclaimed Fargo series, writes, and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens and Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza star.
David Brent: Life on the Road
Premieres Feb. 10 on Netflix
Ricky Gervais and the original British version of The Office were always divisive. So you’ll either love or hate David Brent: Life on the Road, a spinoff that centers on Gervais’ character David Brent after he finds himself in a new office environment that’s less tolerant of his antics. Depressed, he pays a group of musicians who loathe him to become his band and go on tour. Cringe-inducing jokes follow, including Brent forcing a young rapper to spit some very unfortunate lyrics. Gervais writes, directs and stars.
Premieres Feb. 19 on HBO
With Girls heading into its final season in 2017, mega-producer Judd Apatow has lined up another HBO comedy, this time with comedian Pete Holmes. Apatow directs and Holmes writes and stars in the show about a kindhearted comedian who, after his wife leaves him, resorts to couch surfing in the homes of other New York City comics. Holmes has said that the series is semi-autobiographical.
Big Little Lies
Premieres Feb. 19 on HBO
Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Pacific Standard, has emerged as one of Hollywood’s driving forces behind bringing complicated female characters to the screen, including adaptations of Gone Girl and Wild. Now, Witherspoon will produce and star in a miniseries based on another hit novel, Big Little Lies. The all-star cast includes Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgård and Zoë Kravitz.
The Good Fight
Premieres Feb. 19 on CBS All Access
Fans already missing The Good Wife may be satiated by the spinoff, The Good Fight, which centers not on Julianna Margulies’ Alicia Florrick, but her onetime law partner Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). A financial scam forces Diane and young lawyer Maia (Game of Thrones’ Rose Leslie) out of Lockhart & Lee. They join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) at another Chicago firm. The pilot will premiere on CBS, but the show will later move to CBS All Access, the network’s streaming service.
Premieres Feb. 27 on NBC
There have already been three Taken movies starring Liam Neeson, each begging the question: How do his loved ones keep getting snatched? Thankfully no family is in danger as the series will follow Bryan Mills earlier in his career, and takes place before he meets his wife. “What I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you,” Neeson’s Mills famously growls in the first film. The series will reveal exactly how he acquired said skills.
Premieres March 5 on FX
Ryan Murphy—who has already created two anthology series for FX, American Horror Story and American Crime Story—will premiere yet another this spring, this time focusing on famous feuds. The first installment stars Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford (Lange) and Bette Davis (Sarandon). The two came together to create the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? despite their bitter rivalry.
Premieres March 17 on Netflix
Iron Fist is the fourth installment in Netflix and Marvel’s Defenders series. Preceded by Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, Iron Fist follows Daniel Rand, an orphan taken in by the citizens of the mystic city of K’un-Lun. Rand (Game of Thrones’ Finn Jones) learns martial arts and eventually returns to New York to avenge the death of his parents. (These plot points have been a point of controversy as critics have accused the story of cultural appropriation.) Later in 2017, all four superheroes will join together for a Defenders television show.
Premieres April 26 on Hulu
Perhaps Hulu’s buzziest project to date, the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel about a theocracy where women have been stripped of their rights has taken on new resonance in an era when reproductive rights are under attack. The show stars Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss as well as Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel, Orange Is the New Black’s Samira Wiley and Shakespeare in Love’s Joseph Fiennes.
Dear White People
Premieres April 28 on Netflix
The indie film and critical darling Dear White People is getting a television adaptation on Netflix. Like the movie, the 10-episode series will follow college students as they navigate racial tensions at their Ivy League school. Brandon Bell will reprise his role of campus golden boy Troy Fairbanks from the movie, and Powers actress Logan Browning will take on the lead role of college radio show host Samantha White, played by Tessa Thompson in the film.
Premieres April 30 on Starz
Neil Gaiman’s popular novel gets the TV treatment. In it, mythological gods war with a pantheon of new deities who reflect modern society’s obsession with money, celebrity, drugs and technology. Hannibal’s Byran Fuller and Everwood’s Michael Green partner as showrunners.
Premieres May 21 on Showtime
At long last the Twin Peaks revival is finally coming to television. After getting off to a rocky start, David Lynch and David Nevins have finally shot the sequel to the surreal show. (Lynch is directing all the episodes.) Old favorites will return, like Kyle MacLachlan as FBI Agent Dale Cooper. But Showtime has also released a staggering list of 217 names joining the limited series, including Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Jim Belushi and Amanda Seyfried.
Premieres in 2017 on HBO
Duplass fans, don’t despair. Though HBO canceled the Duplass brothers’ dramedy Togetherness in 2016, the writing duo has plans to bring several more projects to the small screen. The first is Room 104, an anthology series set inside a hotel room. Different characters (and actors) will occupy the room in each episode. Like other projects under the Duplass umbrella (The One I Love, The Skeleton Twins, The Overnight), Room 104 will mix comedy and drama. Mark and Jay have also hinted that the room may retain some mystical properties.
Star Trek: Discovery
Premieres on CBS All Access in 2017
Bryan Fuller of Hannibal and Pushing Daisies fame lent his hand to rebooting Star Trek for television. (He has since departed as showrunner.) The fact that Star Trek is returning to the small screen is good news for fans who argue the films have lost the soul of the series by turning the story into a space shoot-em-up. Fuller has also promised this Star Trek will be more diverse than its recent predecessors: The characters on Discovery include a female captain (Captain Georgiou played by Michelle Yeoh) and a gay lieutenant (Lt. Stamets played by Anthony Rapp).