The most anticipated new shows of 2017
From sci-fi to comedy to everything in between, these are the shows that are poised to debut in the coming year that have us excited. Some are continuations of existing properties, others are original. All the shows are brand new, so that also makes them something of a gamble. You might also notice that the list is a little heavy on superhero shows.
That’s more a result of the familiar properties having more hype than anything. With that said, these are, of course, our personal choices. Naturally, there may be some that we missed. If so, let us know in the comments!
This show could go either way. The early seasons of 24 were very good, minus some rough edges (and the odd filler episode where mountain lions stalked young girls), but the longer it went, the weirder it got. The revival won’t feature Kiefer Sutherland (although it will be shocking if there isn’t at least a cameo), but it will continue the tone and theme of the franchise, meaning we can expect a gritty and fast paced action show with a lot of terrorism and probably a fair amount of torture.
When the 24 hour gimmick works, it is extremely effective. It builds suspense and keeps things moving. Inevitably, it will almost certainly break its own rule, but as long as it isn’t too egregious a break, it won’t matter.
The 12-episode revival is set to debut on February 5, and it will take place three years after the events of 24: Live Another Day. The CTU will play a big role, of course, and there will probably be a huge and terrifying twist. In the 24 universe nuclear explosions and devastating biological attacks are almost commonplace, so it will need to be huge.
While the revival is currently set for one season there may be more in the future. Assuming it is any good.
Based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name, American Gods is the story of the old gods of yesterday versus the new gods of tomorrow. It comes from showrunner Bryan Fuller, who gave up his chance at overseeing the new Star Trek show, so it better be worth it for his sake.
The Starz series has an impressive cast that includes Ian McShane, Crispin Glover, Gillian Anderson, and many others. The 10-episode series begins in April, which will be the culmination of nearly six solid years of development across several networks. It hasn’t been an easy development, but it is here now.
The show will adapt the book, but it will do so slowly. The first season will encompass roughly a third of the novel, with additional content added in and future seasons left to complete the book. Ideally, it will then continue on, but there is a finite plan for the series.
People have been pushing for this show to get made for years, but it just never clicked. Things seem to have finally fallen in place, which is good news for Gaiman and his fans. And hopefully for us too.
Almost nothing is known about this show, and yet at the same time, this is one of the most developed shows on this list.
The Defenders is potentially the big payoff to what once looked like a huge gamble. When Marvel and Netflix agreed to a new partnership they were charting unknown territory. Upon reflection, Netflix was the perfect choice to create gritty superhero action, but at the time, the streaming platform was still just experimenting with original content. It didn’t have the proven track record for creating new content that it does now, so a deal that included four shows and a mini-series was almost unheard of.
By all logical reasoning, this show should be the biggest risk of any on this list. It’s connected to four other series (possibly five depending on the timing), spread over five (possibly six) seasons. And it still is risky – there’s definitely more pressure than before – but a lot of the hard work has already been done. The majority of the characters have been introduced and there are existing fanbases ready and waiting for this show. Eagerly waiting for it.
There’s a very good chance that this will be Netflix’s most popular show to date. Of course, we may never know, given Netflix’s reluctance to share ratings data. This is what Netflix and Marvel have been working towards. Hopefully they will stick the landing.
Not a lot is known about this show, other than it will be developed by Marvel and ABC with help from IMAX. The idea is that the show will debut first in the theaters with a two-episode pilot cut as a movie. It will then air on ABC.
Inhumans is designed as an event series, but it will presumably fit with the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe. Don’t expect to see any other Marvel characters, but it should be part of the same universe. Marvel has also confirmed that it won’t be a spin-off of Agents of SHIELD, which means the inhumans introduced on that show won’t be featured – at least not in a major role.
Details on the story haven’t been revealed yet, but the original plan was to adapt the Inhumans property into a movie during Marvel’s Phase Three, possibly Phase Four. The movie has since been canceled, but the show might serve the same purpose.
There is a chance that this one won’t make the 2017 schedule, but at the moment it is on track for a release later this year.
Of all the shows on this list, Iron Fist might have the most pressure on it. Netflix is three for three so far with its Marvel shows, and The Defenders should be a hit regardless of how one-quarter of the characters are received, but there is a lot to live up to.
For Iron Fist, there is already a fair amount of controversy surrounding the show given its difficulty in finding a showrunner. Things are moving forward, however, and Netflix has definitely earned the benefit of the doubt.
The show will follow Danny Rand as he returns to New York after spending years in a mystical city learning an ancient martial art that grants him the ability to harness the power of the iron fist. That concept might not work if it were the first Netflix and Marvel collaboration, but the streaming platform has already introduced a blind man with radar, a woman with superhuman strength who battled a villain with the power of suggestion, and a man that may be indestructible. At this point, a kung fu master with special abilities is fairly normal.
After four successful seasons of Marvel heroes on Netflix, Iron Fist easily earns a spot on our most most anticipated shows of 2017 list.
While Marvel has been killing it over on Netflix (and to a lesser extent ABC) with the extension of the MCU, Fox is looking to ape some of that success with a TV show based on the X-Men property that it controls. And with Legion, it seems to be on the right track.
Legion is a twisted take on the X-Men, starring a mutant with multiple personalities, and each of those personalities has its own power set. In the comics the character is also the son of Charles Xavier, although that may not make it into the TV adaptation. Given the pedigree of the show though, it probably won’t matter though.
At the helm of Legion, FX tapped one of its top showrunners, Noah Hawley, who is coming off an incredibly successful run on the show Fargo. It also stars Dan Stevens, Aubrey Plaza, and Jean Smart, all of which is encouraging. Bryan Singer is also listed as a producer, but we won’t hold that against the show.
Legion looks like a weird, strange tale on a superhero story with a massive twist. That makes it like nothing else on TV, so it is a must watch for superhero fans and everyone else too.
While there are a lot of superhero shows on this list, this one is a little bit different from the rest. It will feature superheroes in costumes, but it will do it from the point of view of average civilians living in a world of people with powers.
Set for a February debut on NBC, the story follows a group of people (working indirectly for Wayne Enterprises) that develop products that are meant to safeguard average people. A handful of DC characters will make appearances, but the focus will be on the employees.
Powerless is also the only comedy on this list, but not because we don’t love a good comedy, more because new, original comedies don’t tend to have the hype that other shows can generate. They tend to be their own genre, where action and dramas can fit nicely into a box that people are predisposed to enjoy. Powerless is an obvious exception, however, as it should attract superhero fans looking for a twist on the familiar.
This show is also helped by a cast that includes cult favorites Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk, with Vanessa Hudgens in the lead. Look for it on February 2.
This show is remarkable for a few different reasons. To begin with, it is the first new Netflix and Marvel show beyond the original four (five, counting The Defenders), and it also adds a third Marvel show to the Netflix docket in 2017. It also is the first spin-off of the Netflix/Marvel partnership, which gives fans hope for even more.
Jon Bernthal will reprise his role as the Punisher, which he debuted in Daredevil. It’s unclear when the show will premiere, but it is filming now. That means it might debut before The Defenders. It could also mean the Punisher will appear in that show, although if he does it might not be more than a cameo.
It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but you can confidently expect a 13 episode season, released all at once like all the others. You can also expect an extremely violent show with plenty of guns and explosions.
As noted above, Netflix has earned the benefit of the doubt and the Punisher is something of a proven commodity, so there’s every reason to hope for the best with this one.
Star Trek: Discovery
There are few shows as big coming in 2017 as the new Star Trek. Not only is it Star Trek, which is itself a huge deal, it is designed as a reason for people to sign up for CBS’ new streaming service, where it will air exclusively.
The show was initially meant to debut in January, but CBS agreed to a delay, partly to accommodate one of the show creators, Bryan Fuller, who eventually was forced to leave to focus on American Gods. It is now due in May, where it will air its 13-episode season.
There are still a lot of questions about the show, but it will be a prequel to the original series and set years after Enterprise, during a time when the Federation and the Klingons are fighting. Discovery will also focus primarily on the first officer rather than the captain, and it will be set in the primary timeline rather than the “Kelvin” timeline established in the recently rebooted movies.
If you are looking for more info, check out our ongoing article on Star Trek: Discovery.
So far, the majority of the marketing for this show has focused on the fact that Tom Hardy co-created it with his father. But that ignores and unfairly overshadows what the show is all about.
The eight episode mini-series is a joint production between the BBC and FX, and it stars Hardy as an adventurer in 1814 England who returns from Africa to seek vengeance for his father. Given the BBC’s involvement, you can expect a lot of high quality sets and costumes for the period drama.
Along with Hardy and his father, Ridley Scott is attached as a producer along with Steven Knight, creator of the drama Peaky Blinders. That alone has us interested enough to give the show a watch when it debuts on January 10 in the US (January 7 in the UK).
Technically, this one probably shouldn’t be on this list given that it isn’t really a “new” show. But it’s been 26 years, so it earns an exception. There’s also a chance that the revival of the show will be delayed once again and miss its scheduled 2017 release.
Putting all that aside, Twin Peaks return is almost unbelievable. The show wasn’t exactly on most people’s radar, even fans, and it weirdly predicted its own return in a way. Shortly before the show was cancelled, it hinted that the story would continue in 25 years.
The revival will continue the story of the bizarre and quirky town of Twin Peaks, along with the supernatural Black Lodge that is connected to a dark spirit that possesses people and kills. That’s barely scratching the surface of what Twin Peaks is, however. It would take a much longer post to fully explain.
The majority of the original cast is returning alongside show creator David Lynch, and how it all fits together is a fascinating experiment. It also shows that these days there’s no such thing as a cancelled show. If Twin Peaks can return after a quarter of a century, anything can. Maybe even Firefly! (But probably not.)