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. In 2018, everyone’s amped for new seasons of their favorites, like Westworld and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
However, 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.
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 is now working on 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 on audiences and becomes all anyone can talk about after a weekend of binge-watching. It’s also one we can probably expect to see at future Emmys and Golden Globes ceremonies.
Next: This new show comes from the creator of what is without a doubt the greatest animated series ever made.
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: This new show comes from two of the greatest directors of all time.
3. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the greatest directors of all time, responsible for movies like No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and more. They’ve never worked in television, but they will in 2018 with the Netflix original The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
This 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 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 reasonable 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.
4. Sharp Objects
Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl, Sharp 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 Objects 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.
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 be just as big of a hit, 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.
6. Cloak & Dagger
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.
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 Westworld, 11.22.63, Person 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’s believed that it will premiere on HBO sometime in 2018.
Next: Fans of Stephen King will want to check out this new Hulu original series.
8. Castle Rock
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.
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 develop a love of theater. 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. Serving as a producer is Alec Berg, known for his work on Seinfeld, Curb 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.
10. The Romanoffs
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.
Next: This show combines some of the talent behind Friday Night Lights and Hamilton.
From Friday Night Lights‘ Jason Katims and Hamilton‘s Jeffrey Seller comes Rise, a new NBC series about a high school theater program. It’s based on the real-life story of drama teacher Lou Volpe, who in this show will be played by How I Met Your Mother‘s Josh Radnor.
Also starring in the series will be Moana‘s Auli’i Cravalho, who plays one of the students. The talent involved is superb, and if Rise is any good, it has serious potential to break out and become a phenomenon in the same way Glee did.
Update: “Rise” recently premiered its first episode and had a solid debut, with 5.5 million viewers tuning in.
Next: This could be one of the big superhero shows of 2018.
From SyFy comes Krypton, the latest superhero show that doesn’t actually have the main superhero in it. The David S. Goyer series follows Superman’s grandfather, Seg-El, who fights to redeem his family’s honor.
This idea of taking a DC character and making a show that takes place before he actually became a superhero worked out with Gotham, which has been quite successful over on Fox. Plus, people are craving a good Superman story after the DC movies have been such a disaster. So unless Krypton is phenomenally terrible, it should have no problem finding an audience.
Next: This new FX show is a retelling of a real-life event that there was just a movie of recently.
We just saw the story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III in All the Money in the World, but now, FX is telling the same real-life story again in Trust.
This new series stars Donald Sutherland in the role that Christopher Plummer played in the movie, while Hilary Swank plays Michelle Williams’ character and Brendan Fraser plays Mark Wahlberg’s character.
Serving as director will be Danny Boyle, who is responsible for great films like 28 Days Later, Trainspotting, and 127 Hours. Sure, the story was just told in a movie, but not everyone saw All the Money in the World, and even those who did might be interested in seeing the story expanded upon. For the same reason FX viewers enjoy American Crime Story, this show could be similarly successful.
Next: This new reboot from Netflix could surprise everyone.
14. Lost in Space
Yet another classic show that Netflix is bringing back is Lost in Space, a remake of the 1965 series about a family of astronauts.
Netflix recently released a teaser for the show, and although it doesn’t reveal much, it looks promising. Granted, it comes from the screenwriting team behind Dracula Untold and Gods of Egypt, which creates some concerns.
But if Netflix gives the show enough money, and if it winds up being a decently fun sci-fi series, subscribers will probably eat it up.
Next: Could this show be the new Walking Dead?
15. The Terror
AMC is hoping to draw the Walking Dead audience into their new show The Terror, an adaptation of the 2007 novel by Dan Simmons.
The story is based on the real-life expedition of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, the crews of which all perished. Simmons’ horror novel takes these events and creates a fictional narrative around them, imagining that the ships’ crews were actually picked off by a monster.
The trailer is fairly eerie, and it seems like it will definitely be worth checking out for horror fans. It might not attract quite as large an audience as The Walking Dead, but if it can draw in at least some of them, it could be quite a success.
Read more: Popular TV Shows Ending For Good in 2018
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!