If you’ve finished binge watching all your favorite shows and finally witnessed all the glorious season finales that took place earlier this year, you may find yourself in a sort of Twilight Zone of nothing to watch. There you are, floating in nothingness, with nothing to do but speculate the theme of American Horror Story’s sixth season and aggressively trying to forget the ominous cliffhanger of the last season of The Walking Dead. This dead zone sucks, but fear not! With only a few months left of 2016, there’s going to be quite the whirlwind of show releases starting tomorrow on through December.
From a ton of Arrowverse season debuts to much-loved series finales to television reboots of classic films, this is definitely the season of anticipated shows. If you’re excited about a brand new series or anxiously anticipating the next season of your favorite show, you’ll be able to get down with most of the entries on this list. Beware of some spoilers that lie ahead!
Read on to see the 17 Most Anticipated Upcoming 2016 TV Releases.
17. RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars (Logo TV)
In the second much anticipated season of Rupaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, fan favorite (and some deeply fan hated) contestants from previous Drag Race seasons will battle for a second chance at the crown. The tables have turned this time around, though. Instead of lip-syncing for their lives and bidding for the approval of our Lord and Savior RuPaul, the queens will have to lip-sync for their legacy and vie for each others’ votes. What a twist!
Whether you’re Team Alaska, Team Roxxxy, or Team Katya (seriously though, she’s probably the most hilarious human person ever), the creative challenges and hilarious antics of this season’s queens will definitely keep you engaged until the very end, regardless of if your fav gets booted. There’s sure to be a ton of drama, fabulous runway looks, and fierce competition.
Season two of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars premieres August 25th on Logo TV at 8pm.
16. Arrow (The CW)
The CW’s Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Green Arrow/Oliver Queen, a billionaire playboy who returns to his home in Starling City after being stranded on a Pacific island for five years. After getting into contact with his friends and family, including his sister Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and mother Moria Queen (Susanna Thompson), despite appearing to be the same guy they’ve always know, he becomes the vigilante Green Arrow by night. His duty is to right the corruptive wrongs of the city and return it to its former goodness.
During the fourth season finale, Oliver inspires hope in his rioting city after Darhk activates thousands of nuclear missiles that threaten the world. The hope he instilled throughout the city aids him in defeating Darhk, and Oliver is appointed Mayor of the city. After Oliver is forced to kill Taiana, he contacts the infamous Amanda Waller to aid him in keeping the idol safe. He makes clear his intentions to go to Russia, and we are all left wondering what the next season of Arrow will hold.
The fifth season of Arrow debuts October 5th on the CW at 8pm.
15. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (Fox)
Tim Curry stole our hearts back in the day as glamorous scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 1975 music comedy horror film The Rocky Horror Picture Show. While Curry will make a cameo appearance as a criminologist in Fox’s upcoming television film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, we have a brand new transsexual alien mad scientist to tickle our fancy. The all-around amazing Laverne Cox, known for her role as Sophia Burset on Orange is the New Black, will be the new doctor. Additional talented names in this production include Christian Millian, Adam Lambert, and Reeve Carney.
There’s so much to be excited about for this reboot. We get a chance to hear Laverne Cox’s great pipes serenade us with sexiness, and it is undoubtably refreshing to see an LGBT actress portray an LGBT character.
14. Supergirl (The CW)
The CW’s Supergirl is back again this year for its second season. Supergirl follows the story of Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist), a Krypton native sent to earth as a preteen to protect her infant cousin on earth. While being transported to earth, her spacecraft is knocked out of trajectory by Krypton’s explosion to the Phantom Zone. Despite being stuck there for twenty four years, Kara doesn’t experience time and once she escapes she still appears to be a thirteen year old girl. Eventually getting to Earth, Kara receives help from her now adult cousin, Superman, and is adopted by an Earth family. Despite trying to hide her powers for most of her life, Kara becomes Supergirl and thwarts many disasters, becoming a new National City protector.
When the first season ended, we were all left wondering about the familiar pod that crashes onto earth and what Kara’s shocked expression meant upon opening it.
13. Documentary Now! (IFC)
Infamous funnymen Fred Armisen of Portlandia and Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live first treated us to the absurdity and satire that is Documentary Now! in late 2015. They are finally coming back for a much anticipated second season this year. The show has also been approved for a third season as well. Hosted by Helen Mirren, Documentary Now! is a parody of documentary subjects and stylings that range from exploitative looks into the lives of the mentally ill to hipster journalism.
The show parodied many subjects in its first season. Grey Gardens, Nanook Revisited, VICE news documentaries, The Thin Blue Line, Hollywood, and History of the Eagles were all parodied in both subtle and rather obvious ways. Armisen and Hader are the comedy pairing we’ve been waiting for, and we can’t wait for this new season.
12. DC’s Legend of Tomorrow (The CW)
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow first aired on the CW earlier this year, and by popular demand it is back again or its second season.
Following the massacre of his family by the immortal tyrant Vandal Savage, time traveller Rip Hunter goes back in time to our present day. He puts together a team of heroes and villains alike to help prevent the rising of Vandal Savage and the inevitable destruction of the world and time as we know it. A mysterious organization from the future called the Time Masters opposes Rip Hunter’s team and remain dedicated to their goal of maintaining the natural (or unnatural, on their terms) path of space and time. The series features many DC heroes and villains, including Firestorm, The Atom, White Canary, Vixen, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Chronos, Captain Cold, and many more.
The ending of the first season left us with a cliffhanger when Rex Tyler from the future showed up and warned the team of their impending doom.
11. The Walking Dead (AMC)
The last season of The Walking Dead, more so than usual, left us emotionally exhausted. That inevitable cliffhanger season finale ending earlier this year was the icing on the Are You Kidding Me cake. Luckily, the seventh season of the show premiers on AMC in less than a couple of months.
Season six was a trip. After a bloody battle with the Wolves, the overtaking of the Safe Zone by a large mass of walkers from a quarry, and surviving only to have a serious shortage of food, the survivors face another dangerous future. They must kill Negan, a Saviors leader, in order to free the neighboring community and Alexandria as well from extortion and control. After an attack on the Saviors’ compound, they believe they did the job. Unfortunately, they didn’t. The group is eventually trapped by Saviors and lined up before the real Negan. As atonement for killing his men, Negan chooses a member of the group to kill and beats them to death with a baseball bat as the group watches with horror. We won’t know who that victim was until the seventh season premiers.
10. The Flash (The CW)
The CW’s The Flash follows the story a Barry Allen, whose story begins as an eleven year old boy who loses his mother in a freak accident, and loses his father to a false conviction for her murder. Barry grows up to become a crime scene investigator dedicated to learning the truth about what happened to his mother. In doing so, he follows up on new scientific advancements and urban legends as much as possible, constantly chasing the possibility of a tangible answer. He becomes obsessed with the particle accelerator, a scientific breakthrough heralded as an invention that could change the world. His handling of the invention causes an explosion and an unnatural storm in which Barry is struck by lightning. After surviving nearly a year in a coma, Barry awakens with the power of superspeed. He decided to use his newfound superpowers to become a force of good while still searching for an answer to his mother’s untimely death.
9. American Horror Story (FX)
This year will host one of the most mysterious installments of FX’s super popular horror series American Horror Story yet. Season six has been more ambiguous and secretive about its theme than other season releases and fans are running wild with possible theme ideas. We had our haunting story, our demon possessions, our witch coven, our freak show, our vampires and serial killers, so what could be next? Fan speculations range wildly and include a possible Charles Manson storyline, alien abductions, the Roanoke colony, boarding schools, cults, the dark side of old Hollywood, and a possible take on Children of the Corn. Who knows what it actually will be? The only consistent clue we’ve been given to the theme’s nature is the number six. We also know that series favorites Lady Gaga, Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare, Angela Bassett, and Sarah Paulson will all be returning for the sixth season.
8. Atlanta (FX)
Atlanta is an semi-autobiographical comedy drama series created by Donald Glover of Community fame aka Childish Gambino. Glover also stars in the show and serves as the writer and executive producer. The series follows the story of two cousins trying to make it in the Atlanta rap scene in order to find success and provide a better life for their families. When Earnest “Earn” Marks (Glover) hears a mixtape from his cousin Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), he decides to become his manager and boost Paper Boi’s career. Keith Stanfield also stars as Darius, Paper Boi’s muse and visionary.
Atlanta has had quite a visually well-done ad campaign and the story behind the series seems both promising and inspiring. Glover shines an honest and unique light on his hometown, music, and the lives of African-Americans in this highly anticipated series debut.
7. Scream Queens (Fox)
Scream Queens is another gem from Ryan Murphy of American Horror Story fame. The first season of the show, which debuted in late 2015, followed the lives of the sorority sisters at Kappa Kappa Tau under the prestigious Wallace University. Led by Chanel Oberlin (Emma Roberts), Kappa Kappa Tau is in danger of being removed by Dean Cath Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) and being murdered by a serial killer disguised by the university’s Red Devil mascot. The serial killer begins to target the sorority members after events open up a twenty year old homicide mystery.
Scream Queens has quite an all-star cast that includes Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, John Stamos, and Taylor Lautner. Scream Queens is known for its great guest appearances that include Ariana Grande, Chad Michael Murray, and Nick Jonas. It’ll be a treat to see who will be featured in the sassy-but-scary season two premiere later this year.
6. Black Mirror (Netflix)
Black Mirror is one of those rare British psychological thrillers, one reminiscent of The Twilight Zone and Stephen King novels. An anthology series where each episode is a new and well-written descent into terror and psychological thrills, Black Mirror was created by Charlie Brooker and originally debuted on Channel 4 before blessing Netflix horror lovers.
Each story so far in Black Mirror differs greatly from the last. In the not so distant future, most people have devices implanted into their brains that allow them to record and replay what they see and hear. A widow purchases an avatar with her late lover’s consciousness. A cartoon character runs for office. Jon Hamm makes an appearance as one of two men trapped in a cabin talking about their lives.
With only three episodes per two seasons and a seventy-three minutes special called “White Christmas”, it is expected that the third installment of the series will also be fairly short, making it perfectly acceptable to binge watch them all in one night. Right?
5. The Exorcist (Fox)
William Friedkin’s film adaptation of the novel The Exorcist has been spooking audiences since 1973. Now, Fox is releasing a modern adaptation of the story directed by Jeremy Slater and starring Alfonso Herrera and Geena Davis.
For those who haven’t seen the original Exorcist film, it follows the story of a Catholic priest, who, after finding an amulet at an archaeological site in Iraq realizes that an old demonic foe from years ago has returned. Back in America, a young girl is possessed by a demon after playing with a Ouija board and the veteran priest is called to exorcise her, along with another priest who has lost his faith due to his mother’s frail and painful death.
From what we’ve seen in trailers and interviews, The Exorcist will deviate little from its predecessor. Hopefully the new adaptation will maintain focus on the psychological thriller aspect and the theme of a man having a crisis of faith, rather than relying on cheap jump scares and typical horror television tropes.
4. Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
It’s hard not to love Eddie Huang, after seeing his cuisine-focused documentary show Huang’s World on Viceland. His restaurant, BaoHaus, remains a popular baozi joint in Manhattan, and the memoir he wrote that inspired Fresh Off the Boat is also a great read.
Fresh Off the Boat follows Huang’s life from his perspective during childhood. The plot follows Huang’s Taiwanese family after they move from Chinatown in Washington, D.C. to Orlando, Florida in order to start up a cowboy-themed steak restaurant in the mid-nineties. His mother struggles with the culture clash in Orlando where there is little Asian presence; his father is excited and optimistic about the American Dream. Eddie has a hard time adjusting to a new school. Fresh Off the Boat tackles a lot of struggles that immigrants and Asian Americans face when it comes to pressure to assimilate and the relationship of cuisine to culture. Overall, Fresh Off the Boat is a great coming-of-age story and Eddie Huang’s childhood character is lovable, funny, and relatable.
3. Ash vs. Evil Dead (Starz)
Evil Dead fans were pretty pumped when the series Ash vs. Evil Dead came out in all of its campy bloody goodness in late 2015. By popular demand, Ash is coming back for a second season later this year.
Bruce Campbell’s still got it, and reprises his role as Ash Williams, the chainsaw-handed badass with a strong jawline that’s ready to decapitate some demons and spout some cheesy one-liners. Lucy Lawless of Xena: Warrior Princess also stars in the series.
In Ash vs. Evil Dead, it’s been thirty years since the events of the Evil Dead films. Ash has spent this time of peace avoiding responsibility and gaining a little maturity. Always paranoid about the Necronomicon coming back to bite him, Ash makes a big mistake and inadvertently unleashes a plague of Deadites upon the world. At the end of the previous season, Ash had a final battle against Ruby. After making probably the worst choice ever, he heads out on the road with Kelly and Pablo as the radio reports Deadite sinkholes opening up worldwide.
2. Lethal Weapon (Fox)
Apparently, it’s the season of reboots and film-to-television-series adaptations. This one, however, is rather surprising. Who could ever forget Mel Gibson’s beautifully coiffed mullet from the 1987 buddy cop action film Lethal Weapon? Fox thinks we might have, and is coming out with a series adaptation of the film franchise later this year. The reboot series will star Clayne Crawford as Martin Riggs and Damon Wayans as Roger Murtaugh.
In the original Lethal Weapon, LAPD Homicide Sergeant Murtaugh is partnered with Narcotics Sergeant Riggs. Riggs struggles to cope with the death of his wife and depression, and takes his anger out on suspects, prompting his workforce to transfer him elsewhere. The two initially aren’t very happy to be working together, but eventually become pals that take down heroin-smuggling operations and punch Gary Busey in the face.
Gary Busey won’t be in the reboot, but there’s sure to be a lot of face punching and high speed chases for a new generation of Lethal Weapon fans.
1. F*ck That’s Delicious (Viceland)
Action Bronson’s been getting a lot more popular lately, and it is hard to not be entertained by the rapper, stoner, and foodie. He has a record deal with Vice Records, a show where he watches Ancient Aliens with his friends, and also will have a second season of his culinary documentary show F*ck That’s Delicious later this year on Viceland.
F*ck That’s Delicious, originally a web food series, follows Action Bronson on his continuing world tour and the culinary adventures he goes on. The second season of the show will feature Action Bronson’s buddies from the first season, including the Alchemist, Mayhem, and Big Body Bes. Action Bronson’s already eaten his way through Amsterdam, Morocco, Jamaica, and Paris. Where will he go this season and what what bizarre interactions will he be part of this time around?
F*ck That’s Delicious returns to Viceland on September 1st at 10pm.
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