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Here are the TV shows premiering in 2017 we’re most excited for

It’s a big year for superheroes on television

This year, there were 455 scripted shows on television. Next year, that number is expected to jump past 500, making it the biggest year in TV history. With so many new options — and old favorites — it’s become more important than ever to find the shows worth investing time in.

With that in mind, we’ve scoured through the numerous press releases and announcements to find the 20 TV series premiering next year that are worth getting excited about. From three new Marvel shows on Netflix — including The Defenders — to one of the most beloved sci-fi stories ever written in Altered Carbon, 2017 is shaping up to be another good year for TV.

Interestingly, after compiling the list of shows below, we noticed that only eight of our top choices were on premium networks like HBO and FX, or broadcast networks like ABC. The other 12 belonged to either Netflix or Hulu, which goes to show just how strong and crucial original series have become for these companies. This year, Stranger Things became a cultural phenomenon and, according to Netflix, one of its biggest series ever. Amazon spent $250 million on The Grand Tour, the new show from the former Top Gear hosts, and it became one of the company’s top shows.

The biggest trend we’re seeing is that streaming networks are willing to go all-in on creating the biggest, weirdest and most provocative shows. For every Westworld that HBO has, Netflix wants to have three. 2017 will be a big turning point for these streaming services, with Netflix readying to invest $6 billion into original programming. It’s only going to get bigger and, hopefully, better.



Starring: Tom Hardy, Michael Kelly, Jonathan Pryce

Premiere date: Jan. 10

Network: FX

Why we’re excited: Taboo stars Tom Hardy as an adventurer who returns to England from Africa with a barrage of stolen diamonds, hell-bent on exacting revenge after the death of his father. The eight-part miniseries was created by Steven Knight, best known for directing the 2014 film Locke and writing the screenplay for Pawn Sacrifice. It’s a dark and violent romp, based on previews FX has released thus far, and it should make use all of Hardy’s talents.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Joan Cusack

Premiere date: Jan. 13

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: Lemony Snicket’s 13-part series was an important part of this writer’s childhood, and although it was adapted for the big screen back in 2003, there has never been a good screen adaptation. This serialized version of the books, which stars Neil Patrick Harris as the eccentric and evil Count Olaf, looks like it could be what we’ve been waiting for.


Starring: Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza

Premiere date: Feb. 8

Network: FX

Why we’re excited: Superhero stories are a dime a dozen these days — both on the big and small screens. Although we love most of them, Legion doesn’t feel like a superhero show. It’s a show with a provocative setting that makes the supernatural elements secondary to the human drama. It also stars Aubrey Plaza in a role that’s perfect for her eccentric acting style.

The Young Pope

Starring: Jude Law, Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando

Premiere date: Jan. 15

Network: HBO

Why we’re excited: No one does television quite like HBO, and no other network can make a show feel as extravagant and large. The Young Pope not only stars an amazing cast, including Jude Law and Diane Keaton, but the sets are spectacular. The only thing more glamorous is the costumes, so if you’re looking for a new “big” show to sink into, this might be your best bet.

Iron Fist leaping punch
A scene from Netflix’s Iron Fist.
Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

Iron Fist

Starring: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick

Premiere date: March 17

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: Iron Fist is the last Marvel show that needs to air before The Defenders, which is also on this list, can finally premiere. Iron Fist will hopefully include some killer martial arts choreography, considering that its titular superhero is known for his fighting abilities. Netflix has been teasing Iron Fist for months, and it will be the first big superhero show for the streaming service in the new year. Based on the success of Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage, this feels like a show we don’t have to worry too much about.


Starring: Samantha Morton, Jessica Brown Findlay

Premiere date: March 29

Network: Hulu

Why we’re excited: Hulu is making some bold programming decisions heading into the new year. Harlots is a perfect example. The show is about a brothel owner, Margaret Wells, who struggles to maintain the forbidden business while also raising her daughters. It’s the type of period drama that networks like HBO do well, so it will be interesting to see how the streaming service handles it. The premise is fascinating, though, and we’re already hooked.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski

Premiere date: April 26

Network: Hulu

Why we’re excited: Based on one of Margaret Atwood’s most popular novels, The Handmaid’s Tale is a piece of dystopian fiction that is ripe for a TV adaptation. It’s just dark enough to provide the kind of drama that serialized television needs and, partnered with a period setting, it should be pretty engrossing from the get-go. The show is also equipped with an all-star cast, including Elisabeth Moss, who seems like she was born for this role.

Altered Carbon

Starring: Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Renée Elise Goldsberry

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: Altered Carbon is one of sci-fi’s most successful and beloved novels. It takes place in a dystopian cyberpunk future where personalities can be stored and downloaded into “sleeves,” ready to be transported into another body. The book tackles themes of religion, philosophy and aging, and has become celebrated for the way it handles these topics. Netflix has ordered a 10-episode series based on the book, but considering how it spans different planets and timelines, there is some trepidation over how the plots will be handled.

The Inhumans

Starring: TBA

Premiere date: Fall 2017

Network: ABC

Why we’re excited: The Inhumans was originally supposed to be a feature film, but Marvel backed away from those plans, instead choosing to partner with ABC on a TV project. The first two episodes will debut in IMAX theaters, marking a first for ABC and IMAX. The Inhumans were first introduced by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, and since then, the series about superhumans and their powers have become some of the most popular. The show is set to debut next fall.


The Punisher

Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes, Deborah Ann Woll

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: The Punisher was one of the best characters that was introduced in Daredevil’s second season. It’s no surprise the character is getting his own spinoff, considering how great Jon Bernthal was in the role and how well people responded to him. That being said, it’s exciting that Netflix will have three superhero shows from Marvel air in one year, including The Defenders and Iron Fist. This is the first time the network has done so, but we’re not complaining.


Starring: Tim Matheson, Emily Rios

Premiere date: TBA

Network: FX

Why we’re excited: FX has proven before that it knows how to handle heavy dramas; just look at one of its most underappreciated series, The Americans. Snowfall is the type of series that has “Emmy” and “Golden Globe” written all over it. The series follows the birth of the crack cocaine epidemic in America — specifically, in Los Angeles — and the effect it had on an entire population.


Starring: Alison Brie, Brit Barron, Marc Maron, Ellen Wong

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: G.L.O.W. comes from the brilliant mind of Jenji Kohan, who is best known for creating Orange is the New Black and Weeds. The show focuses on a group of amateur female wrestlers in Los Angeles in the ’80s, and you can be sure that with Kohan at the helm, it’s going to be offbeat and charming. Alison Brie and Marc Maron are both on board for the project, adding just a little bit more charm to the series.

Dear White People

Starring: Brandon P. Bell, Logan Browning, Antoinette Robertson

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: Dear White People was one of the best movies released in 2014, and with director Justin Simien back to helm the series, it has become one of my most anticipated shows of the year. The subject matter is sharp and biting, and speaks to major issues that teenagers and adults face. The show being on Netflix is a bonus, too: It means Simien won’t have to worry about dealing with the issues that showrunners have faced on other networks when it comes to sensitive material.

The Deuce

Starring: James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal

Premiere date: TBA

Network: HBO

Why we’re excited: The Deuce is the next series from David Simon, creator of The Wire and Treme, so we’re sold already. Set in New York City, the show focuses on the rise of the porn industry in the 1970s and how it changed in the ’80s amid the cocaine and HIV epidemics. James Franco plays two characters: Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino, twin brothers who end up working as fronts for the mob.


Twin Peaks

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Showtime

Why we’re excited: The return of David Lynch and the characters that inhabited Twin Peaks, Washington, in the ’90s is nothing short of thrilling. Although Twin Peaks suffered from a terrible second season in this writer’s opinion, the new series gives Lynch a chance to correct some of its mistakes. Stars like Kyle MacLachlan and Ray Wise, who played Agent Cooper and Leland Palmer, respectively, will also be back for the new installment.

American Gods

Starring: Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Starz

Why we’re excited: Bryan Fuller, best known for crafting series like Pushing Daisies and Hannibal, is bringing his eclectic vision to one of Neil Gaiman’s most beloved and intriguing novels, American Gods. The show follows a group of ancient gods who are waging war with a generation of younger gods, hell-bent on showing them the error of their materialistic ways. The show stars The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson in the role of Media, a new god, playing the “public face and sales representative” of the army.

Star Trek: Discovery

Starring: Sonequa Martin-Green, Anthony Rapp, Doug Jones, Michelle Yeoh

Premiere date: June

Network: CBS All Access

Why we’re excited: Beyond the fact that it’s a new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery will be the first to follow a lieutenant commander as a main character and will focus on an undisclosed event addressed in the original series. It will operate as its own show, while also paying homage to the original series. Discovery, which was delayed six months and lost showrunner Bryan Fuller after creative differences arose, takes place 10 years before the original series. Even though Fuller is gone, his imprint will still be on the first couple of episodes, so expect some fan service.

The Defenders

Starring: Finn Jones, Mike Colter, Krysten Ritter, Charlie Cox, Sigourney Weaver

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: This is what we’ve been waiting for. Like The Avengers and the upcoming Justice League movie, The Defenders will be the first time that Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Daredevil join forces to defend New York from evil. With Sigourney Weaver set to star as one of the villains, it’s shaping up to be the TV event of the year.

Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Ken Marino

Premiere date: TBA

Network: Netflix

Why we’re excited: When Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp came out last year, it was met with a sigh of relief. Wet Hot American Summer has become a beloved cult classic, and the show, which acted as a prequel of sorts to the 2001 film, was met with cautious optimism. Now that David Wain and Michael Showalter have proven that they can rekindle the magic that made the original film so successful more than a decade ago, there’s nothing but excitement for Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later.

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