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These Are TIME’s Most Anticipated New TV Shows of 2016

9 minute read

From revivals like The X-Files and Twin Peaks to new projects from Mick Jagger and Bryan Cranston to highly anticipated shows like Westworld and American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, here’s what we’re most excited to watch in 2016.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

(l-r) Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock: the Abominable BrideBBC

Premieres Jan. 1 on BBC, in theaters Jan. 5 & 6

To whet audience’s appetites during the long gap between Sherlock seasons, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are returning to 221B Baker Street for a holiday special. This time, though, the show will take place in Victorian England when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the original series and be what creator Steven Moffat calls a “proper ghost story.” Those lucky enough to catch the special in theaters on Jan. 5 and 6 will get an extra 20 minutes of footage.


Colony - Season 1
(l-r) Josh Holloway as Will Bowman, Sarah Wayne Callies as Katie Bowman in ColonyJustin Stephens—USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Premieres Jan. 14 on USA

Lost co-creator Carlton Cuse is returning to sci-fi with a new drama about how the human race copes when aliens are in charge. Inspired by the Nazi occupation of Paris during World War II, Cuse says the show is less alien invasion (a la Independence Day) and more a meditation on the aftermath of such a traumatic event (think his fellow Lost creator’s The Leftovers). The show reunites Lost co-stars Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies and premieres on USA, which proved itself sci-fi savvy with the well-received Mr. Robot in 2015.


(l-r) Jillian Bell and Charlotte NewhouseComedy Central

Premieres Jan. 14 on Comedy Central


Like the Broad City girls before them, Jillian Bell—a regular on Workaholics and the villain in 22 Jump Street—and Charlotte Newhouse have turned their web series into a show for Comedy Central. Idiotsitter follows an unemployed overachiever (Newhouse) who has to babysit a rich, spoiled hooligan who is under house arrest (Bell).


Damian Lewis as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in Billions (Season 1, Episode 1). - Photo:  JoJo Whilden/SHOWTIME - Photo ID:  Billions_101_3291.R
Damian Lewis as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in BillionsJoJo Whilden—Showtime

Premieres Jan. 17 on Showtime

Homeland’s Damian Lewis returns to Showtime in this new drama about a tenacious U.S. Attorney (Paul Giamatti) chasing down a prominent hedge-fund manager (Lewis) who’s involved in some sketchy deals. The show was created by New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin and Rounders screenwriter Brian Koppelman and promises — like The Big Short and Wolf of Wall Street — to expose the nefarious dealings of Wall Street.

MORE The Top 10 TV Shows of 2016

Angie Tribeca

NBCUniversal Press Tour, July 2014
Rashida Jones poses for a portrait during the NBCUniversal Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton on July 13, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.Christopher Polk—NBC via Getty Images

Premieres Jan. 17 on TBS

This is a show for anyone sick of the self-serious “dun dun” before any episode of Law & Order. Husband-and-wife writing duo Nancy and Steve Carell are behind this cop parody starring Parks and Recreations Rashida Jones as an officer in the “Really Heinous Crimes Unit.” The show will air two seasons this winter: The first 10 episodes will repeat in a 25-hour marathon on Jan. 17 followed by new weekly entries afterwards. No matter—you’ll probably stream it anyway.

The X-Files

FOX's "X-Files"
The next mind-bending chapter of THE X-FILES debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 on FOX.FOX via Getty Images

Premieres Jan. 24 on FOX

The X-Files will be reopened early this year as a mini-series with Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny returning as detective duo Scully and Mulder. New stars, including Joel McHale, will also join the sci-fi show. The teasers also suggest plenty of monsters and lots of twists.

The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Premieres Jan. 25 on Syfy

The acclaimed Magicians series written by TIME’s own Lev Grossman is getting a TV adaptation. The fantasy trilogy focuses on a school for magically gifted students but with all the partying, romance and drama that accompany other American universities. Book fans will notice a few changes: The characters will be a few years older than they are in the books—entering grad school not college—for example. But the core story of Quentin Coldwater’s magical self discovery will remain the same.

American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Ð Pictured: Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson. CR: FX, Fox 21 TVS, FXPPremieres on FX, early 2016
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Ð Pictured: Cuba Gooding, Jr. as O.J. Simpson. CR: FX, Fox 21 TVS, FXP Premieres on FX, early 2016FX Networks

Premieres Feb. 2 on FX

Perhaps the most star-studded series of the year, the first installment of American Crime Story (from Ryan Murphy, the man behind American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck, Glee and Scream Queens) has garnered some major buzz. The mini-series focuses on the behind-the-scenes tale of the O.J. Simpson trial and boasts Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, Sarah Paulson, Nathan Lane and Connie Britton as its cast.


The Duplass brothers, on the set of Togetherness.PRASHANT GUPTA/HBO

Premieres Feb. 5 on HBO

You may know the Duplass brothers best from their television appearances (Mark as Pete on The League, Jay as Josh on Transparent, both as midwives on The Mindy Project), but as writers, they are taking over the world of film and television. Following their indie hits Safety Not Guaranteed and The Skeleton Twins, they signed production deals with HBO, Netflix and The Orchard. Animals is their second HBO show (along with Togetherness, which premiered last year and starred Mark Duplass). The animated show features television favorites like Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, Master of None‘s Aziz Ansari and Parks and Recreations Adam Scott.

Not Safe With Nikki Glaser

ABC's "The Bachelorette" - Season 11
Nikki Glaser performs comedy on The BacheloretteMatt Petit—ABC via Getty Images

Premieres Feb. 9 on Comedy Central

Nikki Glaser used to host a late-night show with fellow stand-up comedian Sara Schaefer on MTV, but it was canceled after only two seasons. Glaser is getting a second shot on Comedy Central with a solo series that will include sketches, “taboo” conversations with celebrities and experimental comedy—like a bit where she hooks her friends up to a lie detector and asks them if they want to sleep with her.


(l-r) Bobby Cannavale and Olivia Wilde in Vinyl

Premieres Feb. 14 on HBO

Boardwalk Empire producers Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter have teamed up with HBO again for Vinyl, a 10-part series about a 1970s record company president. With Mick Jagger as an executive producer, the show promises all sorts of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Olivia Wilde and Bobby Cannavale star.



Premieres Feb. 15 on Hulu

In a bid to compete with Netflix and Amazon’s original shows, Hulu is bringing Stephen King’s 11.22.63 to the small screen with the help of J.J. Abrams. James Franco plays a high school English teacher who travels back in time to Nov. 22, 1963 to try to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy (hence the show’s title). The sci-fi mini-series will be released week-ly and available only to Hulu subscribers.

Fuller House

The cast of Full HouseBob D'Amico—ABC/Getty Images

Premieres Feb. 26 on Netflix

One of the most anticipated reunions of the year, Fuller House promises to gender-flip the premise of the 1987 series. In the original, Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) was floundering, widowed with three daughters, until his brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) and best friend Joey (Dave Coulier) moved in. Now, it’s D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure) who needs the help of her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber) with her three boys.

The Catch

Mireille Enos Van Redin—ABCVan Redin—ABC

Premieres March 24 on ABC

Shondaland is getting even bigger. Shonda Rhimes‘ latest show follows a fraud investigator played by The Killing’s Mireille Enos who may have been defrauded herself by—wait for it—her own fiancé! It’s a a premise worthy of Rhimes’ past endeavors. (She’s the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and an executive producer on How to Get Away With Murder and The Catch.) The show will join ABC’s #TGIT block Thursday nights.

MORE The Top 10 TV Episodes of 2016

The Path

Aaron Paul in The PathHulu

Premieres March 30 on Hulu

Aaron Paul is returning to television in Hulu’s The Path. The series focuses on a family that finds itself under the influence of a controversial cult leader. The series comes from executive producer Jason Katims, who brought Friday Night Lights and Parenthood to television. Hugh Dancy (Hannibal), Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) and Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) join Paul in the cast.


IWC Schaffhausen Celebrates Rodeo Drive Grand Opening
James Marsden attends the IWC Schaffhausen Rodeo Drive grand opening at IWC Shaffhausen on December 1, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.Tibrina Hobson—Getty Images

Premiere date TBD on HBO

This highly anticipated remake of the 1973 film written by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) is coming sometime next year—we just don’t know when. The story centers on a theme park where the attractions come alive to murder guests. The show boasts Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright as its stars, J.J. Abrams as a producer and Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) and Lisa Joy (Burn Notice) as co-writers.

Luke Cage

Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Marvel's Jessica Jones on NetflixMYLES ARONOWITZ/NETFLIX

Premiere date TBD on Netflix

The next entry in Netflix and Marvel’s Defenders series is Luke Cage starring the unbreakable Luke (Mike Colter) we met in Jessica Jones. In the comic books, Luke is wrongfully imprisoned and later experimented upon. He leaves with super human strength and durability. The series promises to expound upon Luke’s backstory before he unites with Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist (another show set for later in 2016) in a Defenders show in 2017.

Stranger Things

attends the "Experimenter" Premiere during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival at the Eccles Center Theatre on January 25, 2015 in Park City, Utah.
Winona Ryder attends the "Experimenter" Premiere during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival at the Eccles Center Theatre on January 25, 2015 in Park City, Utah.Chelsea Lauren—2015 Getty Images

Premiere date TBD on Netflix

Winona Ryder stars in this new spooky Netflix series. Ryder plays a mother whose son disappears amid mysterious circumstances involving top-secret experiments and terrifying supernatural forces. David Harbour joins her as an Indiana town’s police chief helping her find her son.


As Deadline On Debt Reduction Impasse Looms, Super Committee Meets Over Weekend
The U.S. Capitol is seen on November 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.Brendan Hoffman—Getty Images

Premiere date TBD on CBS

At a time when prestige dramas have largely migrated from network television to cable channels and streaming services, The Good Wife remains one of the few hour-long network series to continually earn awards, critical acclaim and viewers. Now the creators of that show, Robert and Michelle King, are trying their hand at comedy with a series mocking Capitol Hill. BrainDead follows a Hill staffer who realizes that aliens have taken over the brains of a growing number of congressmen. The duo describe it as The West Wing meets The Strain.

Sneaky Pete

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Gangster Squad" - Arrivals
Giovanni Ribisi arrives at Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Gangster Squad' premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 7, 2013 in Hollywood, California.Jason Merritt—Getty Images

Premiere date TBD on Amazon

Giovanni Ribisi has racked up an impressive resume, from Saving Private Ryan to Selma and now he’s getting his own show, produced by and guest starring Bryan Cranston no less. Ribisi stars as a con man who steals his prison cellmate’s identity and tricks the man’s grandparents into taking him in and employing him in their bondsman business. The pilot is already available on Amazon with the rest of the season coming later this year.

Twin Peaks

The first season of 'Twin Peaks' aired in 1990.
The first season of 'Twin Peaks' aired in 1990.ABC/Getty Images

Premiere date TBD on Showtime

It’s been a long and bumpy road but Twin Peaks creator, writer and director David Lynch is back on board for the show’s revival this year, 25 years after its demise. The eerie series will get a second life on Showtime with much of the cast intact. Lynch and co-writer Mark Frost have emphasized that this is not a reboot, but rather the show will take place in modern day and the plot will effect the passage of time since the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the show’s first episode.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com