TV Shows Poised to Break Out in 2018

In 2017, there were plenty of new shows that came seemingly out of nowhere and took the world by storm, such as Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, HBO’s Big Little Lies, and Netflix’s Mindhunter. Now that it’s 2018, everyone’s amped for new seasons of their favorites, like Westworld and Atlanta. 

But there are also a bunch of new shows on the horizon that we don’t yet know to be excited for but that will probably make a huge splash when they debut. Here’s a look at some of those shows that are poised to break out this year.

1. Maniac

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill together as their characters.

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill will star in the show. | YouTube

In 2014, Cary Fukunaga directed every episode of the first season of True Detective. He didn’t return for Season 2, which was severely lacking his distinct visual style. But Fukunaga returns to television in 2018, this time for the Netflix show Maniac.

The series follows two patients in a mental institution and focuses on their fantasy worlds. Jonah Hill and Emma Stone play those two patients; Justin Theroux and Sally Field also have recurring roles. With a talented director and a cast of award winners, Maniac has potential to be one of those Netflix originals that sneaks up and audiences and becomes all anyone can talk about after a weekend of binge-watching. It’s also one we can for sure expect to see at future Emmys and Golden Globes ceremonies.

Next: The man responsible for one of the greatest HBO shows of all time has a new drama on the way.

2. Here and Now

A car drives on a road towards a city.

Here and Now | HBO

Among the greatest and often most underrated HBO shows of all time is Alan Ball’s Six Feet Under. Ball went on to create True Blood, which wasn’t as iconic, but did perform well and lasted for seven seasons. Now, Ball is back with his third HBO show: Here and Now.

Ball’s series stars Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins, parents of one biological daughter and three adopted children. The family is tested when one of them begins seeing things. That’s about all we know about the plot right now, and the cryptic teaser trailer doesn’t provide much more information. It appears to be sort of a relationship drama with some supernatural elements.

So Here and Now could succeed The Leftovers, catching on with a small but dedicated group of fans.

Next: This new show comes from the creator of what is without a doubt the greatest animated series ever made.

3. Disenchantment

Matt Groening sits and speaks during a Comic Con panel.

Matt Groening | Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Matt Groening is the man behind both The Simpsons and Futurama. Whenever he comes out with something new, then, you’re going to want to pay attention. Though his previous two shows aired on Fox, Groening is headed to Netflix for his latest series: Disenchantment.

This one promises to do for the medieval fantasy genre what Futurama did for the science fiction genre. It centers around an alcoholic princess (Abbi Jacobson), who is accompanied on adventures by her elf companion (Nat Faxon) and a demon named Luci (Eric Andre). Billy West and John DiMaggio, the voice actors behind Fry and Bender respectively, also have roles.

Keeping in mind Matt Groening’s track record, it would be downright shocking if Disenchantment is not a success.

Next: If you liked American Gods, you may want to check out this new BBC series.

4. Good Omens

Michael Sheen poses on a red carpet in a blue shirt and black suit.

Michael Sheen | Michael Buckner/Getty Images

In 2017, American Gods received stellar reviews and drew solid enough ratings for it to earn a second season. That show was based on a Neil Gaiman novel, and in 2018, another popular Gaiman novel is coming to the small screen: Good Omens.

Good Omens follows a demon, Crowley, and an angel, Aziraphale, who come together in order to prevent the apocalypse. Starring as Crowley is David Tennant, and starring as Aziraphale is Michael Sheen. Jon Hamm will also be playing the Archangel Gabriel.

Gaiman himself wasn’t very involved in the American Gods TV show, but he’s heavily involved in Good Omens, creating the series and writing for it as well. With a strong cast and entertaining premise, Good Omens could definitely surpass American Gods in terms of popularity.

The show will debut on BBC Two in 2018 before heading to Amazon Prime in 2019.

Next: This new original series from Netflix will be a must-watch for science fiction fans everywhere. 

5. Altered Carbon

A man looks around inside a lab while wearing a black robe.

Altered Carbon | Netflix

Yet another original from Netflix, Altered Carbon is a science fiction series that could attract the Black Mirror audience. Set in a dark future reminiscent of Blade RunnerAltered Carbon imagines a world where a person’s consciousness can be transferred into a new body at any time, meaning eternal life has effectively been achieved.

Based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon stars Joel Kinnaman in the lead role. The pilot is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who is known for some of Game of Thrones‘ most visually-impressive episodes, including “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards.” Based on the trailer, Netflix appears to be throwing quite a lot of money at this, and so at the very least, we should expect something that’s beautiful to look at.

Altered Carbon will debut on Netflix in February and is likely to be one of the streaming service’s first hits of the year.

Next: Another new science fiction series with an intriguing premise, this one starring J.K. Simmons. 

6. Counterpart

Counterpart promotional poster.

Counterpart | Starz

2018 is looking to be a magnificent year for science fiction TV. In addition to Altered Carbon, there’s also Starz’ Counterpart. This new show follows a government employee who learns that his agency has discovered a gateway to a parallel dimension. His life is turned upside down when his counterpart in this dimension crosses over into his world.

That government employee is being played by J.K. Simmons, with Simmons also portraying the parallel dimension counterpart. That’s double the Simmons which, it goes without saying, is never a bad thing. The creator of the show, Justin Marks, is fairly unproven, but hopefully, he’s able to fully realize this excellent premise and turn Counterpart into something special.

Next: This true crime drama will tell the story of a famous fashion designer’s murder.

7. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story 

Donatella Versace removing her sunglasses while standing next to a man.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story | FX

While this is technically the second season of a show, because of the nature of American Crime StoryThe Assassination of Gianni Versace is essentially a whole new series.

The follow-up to the unexpected 2016 sensation The People v. O.J. Simpson, the new season of FX’s true crime anthology will cover the killing of Gianni Versace. Spree killer Andrew Cunanan murdered the Italian fashion designer, but his motive eluded police. Most of the questions about the case remain unanswered today, and so it will be interesting to see how the series deals with this lack of resolution.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace stars Édgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace and Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan. It premieres on FX on Jan. 17.

Next: Two of the greatest filmmakers of all time will work in television for the first time on this Netflix show.

8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Joel and Ethan Coen stand in front of the paparazzi during an event.

Joel and Ethan Coen | Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the greatest directors of all time, responsible for movies like No Country for Old MenFargoThe Big Lebowski, and much more. They’ve never worked in television, but they will in 2018 with the Netflix original The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

The show will be an anthology series consisting of six episodes, each one telling a different story about the American frontier. Not only are the Coen Brothers producing, but they’re also writing and directing every episode, so we’re essentially getting six new Coen Brother movies. The cast will consist of James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, Ralph Ineson, Tim Blake Nelson and Stephen Root.

How it’s received among Netflix subscribers remains unclear, but based on the Coen Brothers’ involvement alone, it’s safe to predict that The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will make its way onto many critics’ list of top ten shows of 2018.

Next: This new series is shaping up to be the “Big Little Lies” of 2018.

9. Sharp Objects

A woman holds a door while carrying her jacket.

Sharp Objects | HBO

Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone GirlSharp Objects follows a crime reporter who returns to her hometown to investigate the murder of two girls. That reporter is played by Amy Adams, with Patricia Clarkson also starring as her mother.

HBO’s Sharp Objects was created by Marti Noxon, who worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and has since created Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Lifetime’s Unreal. Technically, Sharp Object is a miniseries, although as Big Little Lies has taught us, networks are perfectly willing to retroactively turn a miniseries into a full-on series if it becomes enough of a hit.

In fact, there’s reason to believe that Sharp Objects could recapture the Big Little Lies phenomenon in 2018. After all, Jean-Marc Vallee, director of every episode of Big Little Lies, will also direct Sharp Objects.

Next: One of the most popular TV shows of the ’90s returns with this reboot.

10. Roseanne

The cast of Roseanne sitting and smiling on their couch set.

Roseanne is coming back! | E! News via Instagram

Yet another classic TV show from the 1990s will be coming back for a reboot that assembles the original cast together. This time, it’s Roseanne, which will return on ABC in March. Pretty much everyone’s back, including John Goodman, despite the fact that his character died in the final season of the original series.

Recently, we’ve seen a string of sitcom reboots that have been quite successful, including Netflix’s Fuller House and NBC’s Will & Grace. So there’s reason to believe this one will hit those same notes, and if so, it could theoretically continue beyond the current nine-episode run. You can read more information about the Roseanne reboot here.

Next: This brand new comic book show is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

11. Cloak & Dagger

Cloack & Dagger promotional artwork.

Cloak & Dagger | Freeform

Marvel has had mixed successes with their TV shows as of late. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was generally not well-received when it premiered, although it has improved since then, but Inhumans received almost universally negative reactions. On Netflix, shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones have triumphed, but Iron Fist and The Defenders stumbled.

The latest from Marvel is Cloak & Dagger, which will not air on ABC or Netflix but on Freeform. Based on the comics of the same name, the show follows two teenagers who develop superpowers and strike up a romance; Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph play those two teens.

It may not appeal to every fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but if done right, it seems like exactly the kind of show that could perform well and be beloved by Freeform’s audience.

Next: Producer J.J. Abrams brings us this new science fiction series on HBO.

12. Glare

J.J. Abrams speaking while wearing a gray suit and dark glasses.

J.J. Abrams | Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

Glare is a new HBO drama from J.J. Abrams. Abrams won’t be too heavily involved, of course, as he’s a bit busy with Star Wars. But even while remaining hands-off, Abrams has been a producer of some quality shows in recent years, including Westworld11.22.63Person of Interest, and Fringe.

This new one is all about the colonization of another planet. In typical Abrams style, the rest of the project is highly mysterious. But after the phenomenon of Westworld, another science-fiction series on HBO produced by J.J. Abrams is certainly worth keeping an eye out for. It will premiere on HBO sometime in 2018.

Next: Fans of Stephen King will want to check out this new Hulu original series.

13. Castle Rock

A young boy stands in front of a big house.

Castle Rock | Hulu

2017 was the year of Stephen King. Not only did It tear up the box office, but Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower received big-budget adaptations, too. Castle Rock is another King-inspired work, although this time, it’s not based on any specific story. Instead, it’s a new creation set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, which pops up all throughout King’s writings.

Castle Rock promises to capture the King vibe we know and love and include connections to much of his work. The show even features Bill Skarsgård, the actor who portrayed Pennywise in the new It. Castle Rock could become Hulu’s answer to Stranger Things, and with that show unlikely to return in 2018, it may be able to draw in the same audience.

Next: This new HBO comedy should appeal to fans of Veep and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

14. Barry

Barry stands staring at a group of people on a stage.

Barry | HBO

A new HBO comedy that could catch on in 2018 is Barry. The show stars Bill Hader as a hitman who travels to Los Angeles on an assignment, only to find a place for himself in the theater scene. In addition to Hader, the show also stars Henry Winkler and Stephen Root. (Yes, that’s the second show on this list starring Stephen Root.)

Bill Hader does not just star in the show, though. He also will write and direct the episodes. Also serving as a producer is Alec Berg, known for his work on SeinfeldCurb Your Enthusiasm, and Silicon Valley. With Veep ending and Silicon Valley losing one of its stars, Barry may be able to fill that void.

Next: This new Amazon series comes from the creator of a critically acclaimed AMC show.

15. The Romanoffs

Mathew Weiner posing on a red carpet.

Mathew Weiner | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Mad Men is generally considered to be one of the classic TV shows of the 21st century, and arguably one of the best of all time. It was created by Matthew Weiner, and now, Weiner is back with a new show: The Romanoffs.

The premise of this one is a lot different than Mad Men‘s. It’s an anthology where each episode focuses on different characters who believe they are the descendants of the Romanov family. Every episode will have a different cast and a different story. But the show has already lined up major stars like Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart, Paul Reiser, and Corey Stoll. Mad Men alums Christina Hendricks and John Slattery will also appear.

If Weiner can recapture even 20% of the magic of Mad Men, he’ll be in good shape.

Read more: Popular TV Shows Ending For Good in 2018

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