HBO has dozens of TV shows in development, but only some of them will premiere in 2019 and 2020. Most projects may never see the light of day, as many will fall before the finish line somewhere in development. To help make sense of the madness, we tracked down the TV shows set to land on HBO’s schedule within the next few years.
In 2018, HBO debuted several brand new shows, such as Barry, My Brilliant Friend, and Random Acts of Flyness, in addition, of course, to bringing back ongoing series such as Westworld and Silicon Valley. In 2019, even more shows are coming back after one or more years off the air, like True Detective and Game of Thrones. But it's going to be an even bigger year for new shows.
This year, HBO plans on releasing several new shows, which explore different time periods, events, and even fantasy genres, with some of them being high profile releases. Of course, the network also has plans to release even more shows in 2020 and beyond. But, to keep things simple, we've only included shows that are - one - in active development and - two - will premiere within the next year or two.
Last updated: January 3, 2019
The first joint effort between HBO and Sky, Chernobyl comes from writer Craig Mazin (The Hangover Part II, The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and director Johan Renck (Bloodline, The Last Panthers). Led by Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Crown), this five-part miniseries about the tragic 1986 nuclear disaster also reunites veterans Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson. Chernobyl began filming in April 2018 and will likely air by summer 2019.
Led by Damon Lindleof (Prometheus, The Leftovers), Watchmen ranks among HBO’s most high profile upcoming investments. Director Nicole Kassell (The Leftovers, The Americans) has been tapped to helm the pilot episode, which will feature an all-star cast consisting of Don Johnson, Jeremy Irons, Regina King, and more. Production got underway in summer 2018, and the series is expected to premiere sometime in 2019. And while the series is based on the Watchmen comic series, it appears to take place several years later, which allows the show to branch off onto its own.
Read More: HBO's Watchmen TV Show Is A Sequel (Sort Of)
14. Lovecraft Country
Coming off the success of Get Out and building off the anticipation of his upcoming film Us, Jordan Peele has found a new home at HBO. His much-anticipated series, Lovecraft Country, has been backed by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and will be directed by Yann Demange (’71). Peele’s series is based on the novel of the same name by Matt Ruff (published in 2016), which follows young Atticus Black on a nightmarish and racially-charged road trip through 1950s middle America. Lovecraft Country stars Jonathan Majors as Atticus Black, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Letitia "Leti" Dandridge, and Elizabeth Debicki as Christina Braithwhite, among others.
Along with Lovecraft Country, J.J. Abrams has a second project in development at HBO, which goes to show how successful his partnership with the television network has been in recent years (counting the success of Westworld). The sci-fi fantasy, Demimonde, comes straight from the mind of Abrams himself and was immediately picked up to series. Demimonde will be Abrams' first original series since NBC’s Undercovers. While little is known about the show, insider reviews have raved in favor of Abrams’ creative and moving Demimonde script.
12. The Undoing
Following the success of Big Little Lies, HBO has reunited actress Nicole Kidman and writer David E. Kelley for their adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel, You Should Have Known. The HBO series follows Grace Sachs (Kidman), an accomplished therapist and loving mother whose life is derailed by unexpected tragedy, with Hugh Grant co-starring as Jonathan Sachs and Donald Sutherland as Franklin Renner. HBO made the limited series order official in mid-March, so audiences can expect to see The Undoing in mid-2019. Furthermore, Bird Box director Susanne Bier had signed on in November to direct the miniseries in its entirety.
11. Gentleman Jack
A joint production between BBC One and HBO, Gentleman Jack has been on the map since the summer 2017. Starring Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Save Me), this eight-episode, 19th century true story hails from Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax). Gentleman Jack is also set in Halifax (a town in West Yorkshire, England) and follows the dogged pursuits of Anne Lister (Jones) as she seeks to move up in society and renovate her family’s Tudor-era home, Shibden Hall. The miniseries went into production in 2018 and is scheduled to premiere on BBC One sometime in 2019 before airing on HBO in the United States.
10. The New Pope
Hot on the heels of The Young Pope, HBO and collaborator Paolo Sorrentino are reteaming for the sequel series, The New Pope. Casting is underway, with Sharon Stone rumored to lead the series alongside actor Javier Camara (Narcos, The Young Pope). Expected to begin filming in late 2018 or early 2019, The New Pope presents another joint production between HBO and Sky.
9. His Dark Materials
Yet another collaboration between HBO and BBC One is His Dark Materials, an upcoming series based on the novel series of the same name by Phillip Pullman. Led by Logan breakout actress Dafne Keen in the title role as Lyra, His Dark Materials features an impressive cast such as James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, and more. It comes more than a decade after The Golden Compass movie flopped at the box office and put all plans of future installments on hold. Production began in summer 2018 and had wrapped by December, which means the His Dark Materials TV show should air sometime in mid-to-late 2019. Furthermore, it has already been renewed for season 2.