2021 TV Guide: The Best Shows Coming This Yearby IMDb-Editors | last updated - 2 days ago
All the most anticipated new and returning TV shows you can't miss, premiering in 2021. Release dates updated as of Feb. 26.
"WandaVision" | Series Premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, Jan. 15
By the time you read this, we will have gotten our first taste of the sitcom-inspired weirdness that "WandaVision" has been teasing for months. Early word is that fans are about to experience a very different Marvel Cinematic Universe, but no matter how strange it gets we're eager to tune in weekly and watch our favorite MCU couple together once again.
"Servant" | Season 2 Premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, Jan. 15
We won't spoil any of the creepy twists from Season 1 of M. Night Shyamalan's "Servant," but the show's moody and unsettling vibe and strong performances had us praying for a second season. With a planned 40-episode run told in tight, half-hour episodes, "Servant" is poised to be the sleeper hit of Apple TV+.
"Batwoman" | Season 2 Premieres on The CW on Sunday, Jan. 17
When Ruby Rose left "Batwoman" after one season, we weren’t sure what would happen with the series. Then we found out Season 2 was a go, with Javicia Leslie joining the Arrowverse as a brand new Batwoman. We can’t wait to see where this new character will fit into the Bat-family and how the show will tackle the beloved "Hush" storyline teased at the end of Season 1.
"Walker" | Series Premieres on The CW on Thursday, Jan. 21
Jared Padalecki says goodbye to fighting demons on The CW's long-running series "Supernatural," and steps into the big boots of Chuck Norris with this reboot of "Walker, Texas Ranger." Will the show draw more interest from Padalecki’s devoted young adult base, or fans of the 90s original?
"Resident Alien" | Series Premieres on Syfy on Wednesday, Jan. 27
With all the real-world talk about declassified UFO documents being made, we wouldn't be one bit surprised if higher intelligence happened to look like Alan Tudyk, who finally gets to star in his own sci-fi comedy. Since we already think the former "Firefly" star might be an extraterrestrial who crash-landed on Earth, "Resident Alien" seems to be tailored to his appeal.
"Firefly Lane" | Series Premieres on Netflix on Wednesday, Feb. 3
"Virgin River" made us realize that Netflix's peculiar approach to serialized drama meets our casual viewing needs. The odd-couple appeal of Sarah Chalke and Katherine Heigl, who play lifelong friends whose bond is tested by a betrayal, has tested our impulse to spoil the secrets within Kristin Hannah's novel before we even push play on Episode 1.
"The Equalizer" | Series Premieres on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 7
"The Equalizer" returns to CBS after 32 years, reimagining the ‘80s detective series with Queen Latifah taking over the role that Edward Woodward made famous. Latifah stars as Robyn McCall, a former CIA operative who uses her extensive skills to help those with nowhere else to turn.
"Black Lightning" | Season 4 Premieres on The CW on Monday, Feb. 8
"Black Lightning" returns for its fourth and final season, bringing the stories of metahuman Jefferson Pierce and his family of heroes to a close. A spinoff series based on the character Khalil Payne, aka Painkiller, is in the works with a backdoor pilot set for mid-season.
"Clarice" | Series Premieres on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 11
Set in 1993, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs, "Clarice" follows FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field. Starring "Pretty Little Liars" alum Rebecca Breeds, the series looks to be a deep dive into Starling's untold personal story as she continues to hunt monsters and madmen.
"The Luminaries" | Series Premieres on STARZ on Sunday, Feb. 14
Please please please let this mystical adventure series from New Zealand be weird and magical, because even though Eva Green is in a supporting role, all it took for us to be sold on the show is the thought of watching the former Vanessa Ives play a woman who runs a "fortune parlour" and is scripted as the personification of desire.
"The Great North" | Series Premieres on FOX on Sunday, Feb. 14
At first glance you can tell that "The Great North" comes from the creative team behind "Bob's Burgers," and that gets an immediate vote of confidence from us. Add in the fact that the main character, a single dad named Beef Tobin, is voiced by Nick Offerman, and we are sold on checking out this animated comedy, set in a quirky Alaskan community.
"It's a Sin" | Series Premieres on HBO Max on Thursday, Feb. 18
The first episode of this 5-episode series from "Queer As Folk" creator Russell T. Davies left us in a state of awe. It features Neil Patrick Harris as a key mentor to the young cast as they embrace their true selves amidst the tragic rise of AIDS in the U.K. This show might be one of the finest imports of the new year.
"For All Mankind" | Season 2 Premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, Feb. 19
"For All Mankind" kicks off its alt-history Space Race tale with Russia getting the first man on the moon, then spins off with so many unexpected twists that will keep you guessing as you compare fact against this fantastical past. We're going into Season 2 knowing there's much more to come — the series has already been renewed for a third season.
"Superman & Lois" | Series Premieres on The CW on Tuesday, Feb. 23
DC is finally embracing the multiverse in its film and TV slate, giving us multiple live-action iterations of beloved superheroes like Batman, Flash, and, oh yeah, Superman! "Superman & Lois" follows the versions of the characters first introduced on "Supergirl," now living back in Smallville with a family of their own.
"The Walking Dead" | Season 10 Returns on AMC on Sunday, Feb. 28
For the first time in the show’s history, "The Walking Dead" did not unleash a new season in October of 2020, but a consolation prize of sorts arrives this February, in the form of six hour-long bonus episodes tacked onto Season 10. Season 11 will be the series’ last, with a whopping 24 episodes, the first half of which are expected to air later in 2021, though we’re keeping our hopes in check.
"Debris" | Series Premieres on NBC on Monday, March 1
We steer clear of the apparent divides between Millennials and Gen Z since the opportunity with a show like "Debris" is to convert younger people into hardcore devotees of genre TV like "Fringe" and "The X-Files." NBC is great at launching mystery series and we hope they can prevent this show from disappearing into the streaming ether.
"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" | Series Premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, March 19
After an eight-month delay, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" finally makes its way onto Disney Plus on March 19. The series picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes teaming up in a global adventure that brings back old villains (Helmut Zero, Georges Batroc), and allies (Sharon Carter), while introducing a new threat to the MCU.
"The Irregulars" | Series Premieres on Netflix Friday, March 26
We'll watch pretty much anything Sherlock Holmes related, but stories that take the canon and turn it on its side are ones we tend to lean toward these days. This series brings a Victorian, supernatural horror take on the stories, and elevates the Baker Street Irregulars from Holmes’ street-urchin agents to crime-solving teen protagonists in the eight-episode series.
"The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers" | Series Premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, March 26
After a string of three successful 90s movies that won over hockey fans everywhere (plus anyone who hails from Minnesota), we didn't expect much from a modern-day reboot series beyond some recycled version of the concept, with a new cast of youngsters. However, the fact that Emilio Estevez is returning as Gordon Bombay makes this a play for even the original fans’ attention.
"Invincible" | Premieres on Prime Video on Monday, March 26
Reasons to believe in "Invincible": It's from Robert Kirkman, whose "The Walking Dead" comic spawned three TV series. It's no flash in the pan — the comic has been around for 17 years. Perhaps most importantly, even with its adult themes and violent imagery, the show is very much a family drama with heart.
"Shadow and Bone" | Series Premieres on Netflix on Friday, April 23
Considering the source material — author Leigh Bardugo's massively popular Grishaverse novels — and the social chatter about the young stars of Netflix's upcoming dark fantasy series, we feel safe asserting that the Shadow Fold will become the Upside Down of 2021.
"Star Wars: The Bad Batch" | Series Premieres on Disney Plus on Tuesday, May 4
Disney Plus had a hit on its hands in 2020 when it brought "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" back for a seventh and final season, so it's no surprise that animated Star Wars will continue in a new spinoff focusing on a squad of clones after the war.
"The Underground Railroad" | Series Premieres on Prime Video on Friday, May 14
Colson Whitehead's alternative history novel is ideal source material for a filmed adaptation, and we cannot wait to see what director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk) will do with this modern classic. All eyes will be on newcomer Thuso Mbedu as runaway slave Cora, but we're excited to see Joel Edgerton's take on the chilling villain, Ridgeway.
"Loki" | Series Premieres on Disney Plus on Friday, June 11
Loki has the honor of being the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first "Avengers-level threat," but more than that, the character has been one of the most compelling to watch throughout the entire film franchise. For those of us who were devastated with his demise in Avengers: Infinity War, "Loki" will provide a new swing at life for our favorite trickster god.
"The Witcher" | Season 2 Premiere TBD, Season 1 Available to Stream on Netflix
Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s wildly successful fantasy novel series, "The Witcher" captivated viewers with the adventures of monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), and the mysterious Ciri (Freya Allan). It’s no surprise the series was renewed for a second eight-episode season, coming this year.
"Gossip Girl" | Series Premiere TBD on HBO Max
Hey, Upper East Siders — "Gossip Girl" is finally getting a reboot, and we’ll be perched on the Met steps, ready to meet the brand-new cast when the series drops on HBO Max in 2021. The show’s second go looks to feature a much more diverse group of young New Yorkers, a very necessary adjustment that we look forward to seeing onscreen.
"Halston" | Series Premiere TBD on Netflix
We could use an injection of Ewan McGregor right around the eyes, and we expect his swagger to propel his portrayal of fashion designer Halston, the ultrasuede legend who took to traveling the world with an entourage of his models. Now, who will be cast as the Halstonettes?
"Hawkeye" | Series Premiere TBD on Disney Plus
We're a movie and TV site, but we'll take a moment in this guide to recommend you go out and read Matt Fraction and David Aja's phenomenal run on the "Hawkeye" comic. The hilarious series gave an answer to the question, "What does an Avenger do when he's not off saving the world?" Anytime someone ask why we're excited for a "Hawkeye" show, that series is the answer. The show will be drawing heavily from the comic (based on what we've heard so far) and we can't wait to see Hailee Steinfeld step into the role of Hawkeye's protégé and sometimes replacement, Kate Bishop.
"Succession" | Season 3 Premiere TBD, Seasons 1 & 2 Available to Stream on HBO Max
"Succession" is one of the most addictively toxic shows we've seen in years, and leaves you wondering how watching such horrible characters can be so entertaining. Season 3 is supposedly dropping "before 2022," so if you haven't yet experienced the psychological horror of the Roy family, you have time to catch up.
"You" | Season 3 Premiere TBD, Seasons 1 & 2 Available to Stream on Netflix
Though the premiere date is still in flux, Netflix informed fans that Season 3 of "You" began production back in November. With Season 2 ending on an intriguing yet disturbing cliffhanger, we look forward to listening to more of Joe’s eerie inner thoughts and finding out where his obsessions lead him.
"What If...?" | Series Premiere TBD on Disney Plus
Yes, after a year without a new MCU movie, we're moving into Marvel country with almost too many shows and films to keep track of, but "What If...?" is one to watch. The animated series gives life to a comic book favorite format of non-canon stories detailing what could have been if events had unfolded differently. Our most anticipated so far is "What if T'Challa had become Star Lord?" which will feature voice work by the late Chadwick Boseman reprising his role as the man who would become the Black Panther.
"Foundation" | Series Premiere TBD on Apple TV+
"Foundation" is one of the greatest sci-fi stories written by a true master of the craft, Isaac Asimov. The book and its universe have been inspirational for many of our modern on-screen favorites, including Star Wars, but the series has never been adapted until now. A classic tale of a Galactic Empire spanning thousands of years? We may not be psychohistorians, but we think this one might stick around for a few seasons as our new obsession.
"Insecure" | Season 5 Premiere TBD, Seasons 1-4 Available to Stream on HBO Max
With the Season 4 finale hinting at new beginnings, we’re sad to have only one more season of this brilliantly written show about Issa Dee tackling love, life, and friendship in LA. We can't wait to see how co-creator and star Issa Rae's five-season story arch come to a close in the final season.
"The Book of Boba Fett" | Series Premiere TBD on Disney Plus
We're not getting new episodes of "The Mandalorian" in 2021, but we will be getting a new spinoff featuring the original bad-ass bounty hunter, Boba Fett. After his breakout turn in Season 2 of "The Mandalorian," Temuera Morrison will be putting on the armor once more for tales of scum and villainy in that galaxy far, far away. While we don't know much about what the series will entail yet, we do know Ming-Na Wen will also be back as the deadly Fennec Shand.
"Never Have I Ever" | Season 2 Premiere TBD, Season 1 Available to Stream on Netflix
High school will soon be back in session for Devi Vishwakumar thanks to the renewal of Mindy Kaling's series. With the upcoming season currently in production, there's time to catch up on all of the misadventures and tender moments featured in this coming-of-age series.
"Cowboy Bebop" | Series Premiere TBD on Netflix
Three, two, one ... let's jam! The seminal sci-fi anime series is coming to live action courtesy of Netflix and starring John Cho as Spike Spiegel. We can't wait to see how these new sessions riff on the original story of bounty-hunting crew of the Bebop.