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It’s going to be hard for the TV world to top 2016. Last year, shows like “Stranger Things,” “Atlanta” and “Westworld” all raised the bar for what television could do. The new year is coming in strong, though, with a fresh crop of great new TV shows to keep us all glued to our screens for the next few (cold!) months.
An FX study estimates we’ll see 500 original scripted TV shows this year—an increase from 455 in 2016. With such a wealth of TV riches, it’s overwhelming to try to keep up with all of it. Still, some of the freshman TV class already look like they’ll rise above the rest, and are worth adding to your binge-watching queue.
Here are 17 of the most exciting new shows coming to your devices this year:
1. “Emerald City” (NBC, Jan. 6)
If Dorothy had been born in Westeros, the original “Wizard of Oz” might have looked something like this. Vincent D’Onofrio, as the Wizard, presides over a diverse cast, including Adria Arjona as Dorothy, and an avant-garde, visually stunning Wonderful World.
2. “One Day at a Time” (Netflix, Jan. 6)
There’s lots of buzz already around this remake of the 1970s-era Norman Lear series starring Justina Machado and Rita Moreno. This funny, endearing sitcom tackles important issues like immigration and sexual orientation without losing its heart or sense of humor.
3. “A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Netflix, Jan. 13)
This darkly funny show based on the best-selling novels by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), follows the plight of three young children who try to keep their wicked uncle (Neil Patrick Harris) from stealing their inheritance when he becomes their guardian after their parents die in a fire. Joan Cusack, Alfre Woodard and Catherine O’Hara co-star.
4. “The Young Pope” (HBO, Jan. 15)
Jude Law steps into the Vatican and stars as the young, charismatic Lenny Belardo—or Pope Pius XIII, as he’s known to the rest of the world. Diane Keaton appears as the newbie pope’s close advisor, the feisty Sister Mary, and the series is directed by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino.
5. “Riverdale” (The CW, Jan. 26)
“Riverdale” is the neon-drenched, moody, sexy update of the Archie Comics you never knew you wanted until now. The show stars a cast of mostly unknowns (KJ Apa as Archie, Camila Mendes as Veronica, Lili Reinhart as Betty), and a few familiar faces (Luke Perry and Molly Ringwald as Archie’s parents). Producer Greg Berlati is responsible for mega-hits like “Supergirl” and “Arrow,” so all these kids will probably be household names by this time next year.
6. “Z: The Beginning of Everything” (Amazon Prime, Jan. 27)
Gatsby nerds, rejoice! Amazon is diving into the fascinating, tragic love story of one of the great literary couples: Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The series follows the couple from their meeting in 1918, through their rise to fame and tragic end. Starring Christina Ricci, David Hoflin and lots of gorgeous costumes.
7. “Powerless” (NBC, Feb. 2)
We know, we know, superheroes are all over your TV. But this is a different kind of superhero show—it’s the first comedy show in the DC Comics world! Powerless stars Danny Pudi and Vanessa Hudgens as normal office workers at an insurance company specializing in covering regular people against the damage caused by all those masked weirdos flying around.
8. “Santa Clarita Diet” (Netflix, Feb. 3)
Information on this show has been kept under pretty tight wraps, so all we really know is that it stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant as a dissatisfied couple of real-estate agents whose life takes a dark turn toward “death and destruction”—but the funny kind? Leave it to surrealist Victor Fresco to find the comedy in suburban zombies.
9. “24: Legacy” (Fox, Feb. 5)
No Jack Bauer this time, but we’re ready to watch Corey Hawkins take over the countdown. Hawkins stars as agent Eric Carter, who has to fight off the people who followed him back from abroad while trying to stop a terrorist attack. All in a day’s work, of course. Fox has this action-packed reboot scheduled to premiere right after the Super Bowl.
10. “Legion” (FX, Feb. 8)
Dan Stevens stars in this new Marvel series from the “X-Men” world about David Haller, an institutionalized mutant who can absorb others’ powers. Things really start to take off when the always-wonderful Aubrey Plaza shows up as David’s chatty friend who provides comic relief.
11. “Big Little Lies” (HBO, Feb. 19)
Three young mothers are caught up in a deadly scandal after a kindergarten fundraiser in their upper-class California town goes terribly wrong. Reese Witherspoon helped produce this series, based on Liane Moriarty’s best-selling book. The cast is packed with all-stars, including Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern.
12. “The Good Fight” (CBS All Access, Feb. 19)
The anticipated spinoff of “The Good Wife” is finally here. CBS is so confident in this series that it’s made it one of the first original series to premiere on its new streaming service. The show begins a year after the “Good Wife” finale, with Christine Baranski returning as Diane Lockhart. Cush Jumbo and Rose Leslie co-star.
13. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu, April 26)
Hulu takes on Margaret Atwood’s classic, controversial novel, set in a dystopian future
United States Republic of Gilead, where women have been turned into property under a religious extremist regime. The 10-episode series stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, a woman on a quest for her missing daughter. Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel and Yvonne Strahovski co-star.
14. “American Gods” (Starz, April)
Fans of Neil Gaiman’s 2001 novel are breathlessly awaiting this adaptation from “Hannibal” showrunner Bryan Fuller. The show focuses on Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-convict recruited by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) to help him navigate a world in which ancient Norse gods live among us. Spoiler alert: The gods don’t always play nice.
15. “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access, May)
Star Trek returns to the small screen for the first time since Enterprise ended in 2005. Discovery is set 10 years before the original “Star Trek” series, and follows the journey of the USS Discovery after a secret “incident.” Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green as Rainsford, the ship’s second officer (and the first non-commanding officer to headline a Trek series). This show will follow the “Good Fight” model, premiering on CBS before moving to the All Access streaming service.
16. “Feud” (FX, TBD)
Ryan Murphy, the strange mastermind behind “American Horror Story,” is back with a new series, this one devoting each season to a famous feud. Season one aims high—at the infamous rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis on the set of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” The casting is appropriately diva-tastic: Jessica Lange as Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Davis. The season also has Catherine Zeta Jones, Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Alfred Molina, and Stanley Tucci lined up.
17. “Twin Peaks” (Showtime, TBD)
A quarter-century later, David Lynch’s two-season cult classic is back, with Lynch at the helm again. A large part of the original cast is back, too, including Kyle MacLachlan and (we think) Sheryl Lee. We know a little about the cast and other production details, but, true to the show’s mysterious spirit, the premiere date is still a secret. For fans who have waited this long, though, what’s a few more months?