most anticipated of 2017

The 23 TV Shows We Can’t Wait to Watch in 2017

Photo-Illustration: HBO and Showtime

How could TV be better than it was in 2016? After such an all-time great year of shows, it’s hard to imagine the likes of Atlanta, Stranger Things, and American Crime Story being topped next year, but as FX CEO John Landgraf has reminded us, we’re still quite a ways from hitting Peak TV. With more shows in production than ever — and on more channels and platforms than any one person could feasibly commit to watching — Vulture is here to guide the way for the year ahead. Below, we’ve chosen the 23 shows we’re most excited to watch in 2017: Some are old, many are new, and a few don’t even have firm premiere dates, but they all have the potential for greatness.

For more, listen to this week’s Vulture TV Podcast on all the shows to watch for in 2017:

Sherlock (PBS, Jan. 1)
It’s been a long wait, hasn’t it, my dear sweet Cumberbitches? Except for a very special episode that aired at the start of 2016, it will have been three years since season three of Sherlock ended with a cliffhanger teasing Moriarty’s return. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are back to solve the crimes that only someone with a brilliant, socially challenged quality of intelligence can handle. It’ll also be great to have Amanda Abbington back as Dr. Watson’s wife, Mary (although they’re no longer together in reality, sadness) and Andrew Scott back as the maniacal Moriarty.  — E. Alex Jung

One Day at a Time (Netflix, Jan. 6)
A remake of the Norman Lear series from the ’70s, Netflix’s latest original seems like it’s quite similar to recent promising but uneven sitcoms like The Carmichael Show or The Ranch. Instead, it is far and away the best of that multi-cam cohort; it’s funny and warm and feels wholesome in an utterly good way. Even when it teeters on the brink of Very Special Episode territory with issues like immigration, veterans’ mental health, and sexual orientation, it never tips over into ungrounded sentimentality. Justina Machado and Rita Moreno are especially good leads, and even hokey landlord Schneider is mostly innocuous. — Kathryn VanArendonk

The Young Pope (HBO, Jan. 15)
In this joint production between Sky Atlantic, Canal+, and HBO, helmed by Paolo Sorrentino, Jude Law plays the hot, Machiavellian new pope in town. He’s known to the world as Pope Pius XIII, but to his surrogate mother and close adviser, Sister Mary (Diane Keaton), he’s still little Lenny Belardo. (Lenny Belardo!) Just to make everything a bit more ridiculous, he’s also an American. The Young Pope has already aired in Europe and been green-lit for a second season, so get ready for all the pope hats your beatific heart desires. — EAJ

Scandal (ABC, Jan. 26)
Now that Americans have picked a president — sort of — it’s time to bring back our other favorite soap opera about stealing an election. That’s right, Scandal is back for its sixth season after a long break. (You know, Kerry Washington had other things to attend to.) Olivia Pope is now running Mellie’s campaign for presidency against Frankie Vargas (with Cyrus as the mastermind) in the general election. Will Scandal’s election reach the levels of madness the actual presidential election did? Let’s see how real fiction gets. — EAJ

Riverdale (The CW, Jan. 26)
Did you ever wish that someone would reimagine Archie Comics as a brooding, sexy drama in a small town rocked by a murder? Well, Greg Berlanti, king of the CW, has made your revisionist dreams come true with Riverdale. New Zealand thirst trap K.J. Apa stars as Archie with abs, and he’s joined by equally beautiful and unknown co-stars: Lili Reinhart as Betty and Camila Mendes as Veronica. Archie does have famous parents, with Luke Perry as his father and Molly Ringwald set to guest-star as his mom. Come for the teenage angst, stay for the murder. — EAJ

24: Legacy (Fox, Feb. 5)
The long-running series has finally retired Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer and replaced him with Corey Hawkins’s Eric Carter, an ex–Army Ranger whose team assassinates a Bin Laden–type terrorist mastermind, only to find themselves targeted for retaliatory assassinations when they return to the States. Sutherland swears that Bauer won’t make a cameo in this new incarnation, but Carlos Bernard’s turncoat Tony Almeida will return (his last appearance was in the mini-season 24: Live Another Day), though we don’t know whether he’ll be purely malevolent or more of an antihero type, much less whether he’ll have mockable facial hair. We also don’t know if the show will lean into its decision to put an African-American actor in a starring role on a thrilling, politically reactionary show that often revolves around a white guy thwarting sinister Muslim villains. — Matt Zoller Seitz

Legion (FX, Feb. 8) and Fargo (FX, TBD)
As usual, showrunner Noah Hawley is keeping the plot of Fargo season three under wraps, but per FX’s publicity department, David Thewlis will play “a mysterious loner and true capitalist who delivers Emmit (star Ewan McGregor), the Parking Lot King of Minnesota, the bad news that he has just become partners with his employers, whose business interests lay outside the law.” McGregor is set to play twin brothers, which appears to be a thing this year (see also: HBO’s The Deuce). As if Hawley didn’t already have his hands full with Fargo, he is also overseeing the X-Men-inspired series Legion, starring Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart, Aubrey Plaza, and Bill Irwin. — MZS

Girls (HBO, Feb. 12)
The final season of Girls may not be the end of the era, but it does feel like an end of an era. The trailer for the sixth season indicates the series will return to its classic “how can I make my mark on this city” roots, with an added element of self-awareness. Tune in to watch Hannah Horvath get a stable job, build a healthy romantic relationship, and (possibly) open up a Roth IRA! Hope springs eternal, right? — KV

Planet Earth II (BBC America, Feb. 18)
Ah, it is time to bear witness again to the cruel, stunning majesty of Mother Nature. Everyone’s favorite stoner programming returns to BBC America in late January, though the series already aired in the U.K. last November. Of course, David Attenborough returns to narrate the wondrous life of animals who must navigate the Darwinian brutality of their biospheres. Enjoy the impressive shots of islands, grasslands, and everything in between, while there’s still an environment left to appreciate. — EAJ

Big Little Lies (HBO, Feb. 19)
There is so much about this limited series that looks enticing, from the gorgeous Monterey setting to the intrigue of rivalry among upper-class moms that (maybe?) leads to murder. Perhaps the biggest draw of Big Little Lies is the promise of watching fierce performances from a high-caliber cast of female actors, including Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Reese Witherspoon, who shows she’s definitely got some Tracy Flick left in her. — Jen Chaney

The Americans (FX, Mar. 7)
With so much current talk about Russia’s attempt to influence and undermine our government, isn’t it nice to go back to the 1980s and watch a show about … a pair of Russians attempting to influence and undermine our government? Actually, yes, it is, especially because we’re dying to know whether the Jennings decided to stay in America or return to their homeland. If they stayed, we’re very curious to know just how serious things might get between Paige and Matthew Beeman after their “steamy” Super Bowl XVIII make-out sesh. — JC

Shots Fired (Fox, Mar. 22)
Gina Prince-Bythewood, the filmmaker best known for romantic dramas like Beyond the Lights and Love & Basketball, is coming to Fox with a ten-hour miniseries about a shooting of a white civilian by a black cop in a small North Carolina town. Sanaa Lathan and Stephan James star as Department of Justice investigators looking into the shooting, while Helen Hunt plays the state’s governor who’s concerned about her reelection bid. — EAJ

The Leftovers (HBO, Apr. 16)
When the last episode of season two first aired back in December of 2015, it was unclear whether The Leftovers would even continue. Now we know we’ve got a third and final season to look forward to this spring, which raises the question: Where does this show go after Kevin Garvey’s return from purgatory to a Texas town where all hell has broken loose? The answer, apparently: Australia. — JC

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu, Apr. 26)
It’s unfortunate that an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian story of women’s subjugation feels so frighteningly relevant, but it does give this new Hulu series an extra frisson of importance. (Along with an accompanying burden of expectation: If it’s disappointing, it will feel like a particularly sharp failure.) For now, the initial casting and early images look quite promising, and it’s hard to imagine Samira Wiley as Moira, Joseph Fiennes as the Commander, and Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy could be remotely underwhelming. If nothing else, Elisabeth Moss as Offred promises to be downright thrilling. — KV

Twin Peaks (Showtime, May 21)
Has any revival of a beloved series ever resulted in thoroughly satisfying TV? Not that I can recall. Which is why I’m simultaneously very concerned about the return of Twin Peaks, and so excited I want to do an alluring yet slightly creepy Audrey Horne dance of joy. That gum we like is coming back in style! Even if it’s lost its flavor, I am here to chew it. (Also: Here for David Lynch eating doughnuts.) — JC

American Gods (Starz, TBD)
Bryan Fuller, the master chef behind TV’s Hannibal, has teamed with comic-book writer Michael Green to produce this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s tale of Norse gods living among everyday Americans. Fuller has been strategically coy about the approach he’s taking, but if his past work (which includes Pushing Daisies) is any indication, expect a series that’s voluptuously sensual and wryly funny, and that somehow manages to be grandiose and self-deprecating at the same time. — MZS

The Deuce (HBO, TBD)
David Simon and George Pelecanos, who last teamed up on Treme, will reunite for this HBO series set against the backdrop of the sex industry in New York in the 1970s. How can it miss? There’s no obvious reason to expect that it should. The cast is stocked with R-rated equivalents of the kinds of eccentrics who might show up in a Damon Runyon story or a Robert Altman film — including James Franco as twin brothers whose business becomes a front for the mob, Maggie Gyllenhaal as a streetwalker with an entrepreneurial streak, and Ralph Macchio as a cynical vice cop — while the writing staff is top-heavy with suspense writers, including Megan Abbott, Lisa Lutz, and Richard Price, who care about plot as well as atmosphere and psychology. To top it all off, Michelle MacLaren directed the pilot. — MZS

Feud (FX, TBD)
Another year, another highly anticipated anthology series by Ryan Murphy. As the series title suggests, this one will tackle a famous beef each season, beginning with the legendary rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis on the set of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Naturally, Murphy found two divas fit to fill the roles with Jessica Lange as Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Davis. If that’s something not enticing enough, Feud also has Catherine Zeta Jones, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Alfred Molina, and Stanley Tucci in the mix. Whatever happens, it won’t be boring. — EAJ

Game of Thrones (HBO, TBD)
Season seven will be the penultimate season of Thrones; showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say they’re only doing seven episodes this time, partly to concentrate on set pieces that are reportedly even bigger than before. This will almost certainly be the TV event to beat next year. No fantasy on theatrical screens, whether one-shot or franchise, is as consistently engrossing as this series. — MZS

Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access, TBD)
Bryan Fuller was attached to this Star Trek series and helped develop it, but eventually left to concentrate on American Gods and the still in-development Amazing Stories reboot. No matter who helms it, though, the Trek tradition of inclusiveness will surely continue: Discover will feature the series’ first Asian female captain (Hong Kong action star Michelle Yeoh), as well as its first openly gay character (Anthony Rapp). On the sci-fi side of things, it will also feature a member of a nonhuman species (incarnated by Doug Jones) never before seen in the franchise. — MZS

Top of the Lake (Sundance, TBD)
Jane Campion’s acclaimed miniseries had a definitive ending that didn’t seem to organically suggest a follow-up, but she’s doing one anyway. There’s certainly reason to hope that a sequel will edge the concept into Prime Suspect territory, which would not be a bad thing at all. Elisabeth Moss returns as Detective Robin Griffin, investigating the mystery of a body that washed up on a beach. The supporting cast includes Nicole Kidman (who starred in Campion’s 1996 adaptation of Portrait of a Lady) and Games of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie. — MZS

Veep (HBO, TBD)
Now that she’s no longer in the White House, what will Selina Meyer do with herself? That question is one I’d be asking ahead of season six under any circumstances, but since Hillary Clinton lost her own White House bid, I’m very curious to see how Veep will blur the line between fiction and reality. Seriously: What has become of Selina Meyer? Does it involve hiking in the Chappaqua woods and showing up in random Instagram photos? — JC

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