Netflix is rapidly developing an impressively large slate of original programming for its subscribers. When the streaming site only had a few original series at a time, cancellations were few and far between.
Now, executives have had to be a bit more judicious with their chopping block. Fans are often worried now that their favorite might not return for new seasons, just like traditional broadcast television.
There’s also the issue of fans not getting return dates for their favorite streaming shows the same way that broadcast television delivers them. Fans often see a commercial for the next episode or a reminder of when a hiatus ends once an episode is over.
With Netflix providing the best example of the binge watching model, fans don’t have those little reminders for when a series returns. Instead, they often have to wait for a formal announcement from the media for just when the next episode of their favorite show will air.
Because the streaming site so often releases an entire season of a series at once, fans sometimes have to wait over a year to see more original content.
With release dates on the horizon for some series that haven’t aired in the last calendar year, we’ve tracked down 17 Netflix Shows You Didn’t Know Were Returning in 2018 to help fans mark their calendars.
Matt Murdock seemingly made the ultimate sacrifice when he teamed up with other heroes in The Defenders. Fans saw him injured, but alive, in a convent, giving them hope for one major comic book story.
Much of what we know about Daredevil’s third season is rooted in speculation that the series will adapt a version of the “Born Again” story arc from the comics. The Marvel-Netflix shows have worked hard to differentiate their stories from the source material though, so fans shouldn’t expect a straight up adaptation.
What we do know for sure is that all of the series regulars are returning with the addition of Wilson Bethel as an FBI agent.
Filming just began on Daredevil’s third season in November, so even though Netflix executives announced it for a 2018 release back in July 2016, it will likely be late in the year.
16 Orange Is The New Black
Inspired by the memoir of the same name, Orange is the New Black took the internet by storm when it debuted in 2013. Netflix recognized the gem they had in the series and with five seasons on the streaming site, the show has expanded beyond the initial story.
Set primarily in a women’s prison, Orange is the New Black has been able to tackle issues surrounding sexuality, racism, and police brutality in a way many audiences haven’t seen before. Even when the audience sees missteps in the show, like killing off fan-favorite characters, they keep coming back for more.
By the time season four rolled around, Netflix was so pleased with the success of the show that they opted to renew the series for three more seasons. Not only should season six be making its way to the site in 2018, but the following year will add season seven.
15 House of Cards
Political drama House of Cards is in an unusual position because Netflix actually canceled the series. That cancelation was brief as executives decided to bring it back for one more batch of episodes to close out storylines.
House of Cards was supposed to head into production on a final season in October, but photography on the series was delayed after sexual assault allegations against star Kevin Spacey were made public.
The streaming site severed all ties with the actor, and as a result, season eight will place the focus on Robin Wright with Spacey nowhere to be found. Rewrites were necessary to have scripts ready to go.
The late start might mean the final eight episodes will see a delay in release, but it might be able to squeeze in a late 2018 premiere.
14 Luke Cage
The second season of Luke Cage just wrapped filming in November, so of the Marvel series in Netflix’s slate, it’s the most likely to premiere after Jessica Jones makes her return.
Many of season one’s antagonists and allies make a return for season two-- like Mariah Dillard, Shades, Misty Knight, and Claire Temple. New addition Danny Rand, aka the immortal Iron Fist, will also join Luke Cage for at least an episode, starting their comic book bromance.
We also know new additions Mustafa Shakir and Gabrielle Dennis joined the cast for season two as comic book characters Bushmaster respectively. The former was a crime boss in the Iron Fist comics. The latter was a Captain America villain with a gift for science.
What’s unknown is whether or not Diamondback, who provided the season-ending fight for the freshman set of episodes, will return.
Originally a British sitcom that aired on Channel 4, the series saw new life when Netflix picked it up for another season. It’s found an international fan base and even got a season three.
Formally called Scrotal Recall, the series centers on one man afflicted by a sexually transmitted illness and the friends by his side as he works to track down his previous partners. Lovesick has garnered plenty of phrase for balancing its drama and comedy with its subject matter.
Fans will look forward to seeing just where the show picks up in season three: one of Dylan’s friends confessed to having feelings for him while another discovered an affair resulted in a pregnancy. Fans won’t have long to wait either, since Netflix drops season three on January 1.
12 Jessica Jones
Recently announced for a March 8 premiere, season two of Jessica Jones becomes the first Marvel-Netflix venture to premiere on a Thursday instead of a Friday.
Though the second season was announced in January 2016, filming didn’t occur until April 2017, leaving a long gap for fans between seasons. Fans might have caught Jessica as one of the Defenders in Marvel’s team up series.
Last audiences saw her, she was making fun of Daredevil and the Iron Fist and taking her anger out on the Hand’s nearly immortal ninjas. Season two of her solo series likely won’t get quite as mystical, though audience will see a return of season one’s villain, played by David Tennant, in some capacity.
Most notable is that the creative team strived to get more women involved in the second season. Every episode of the 13 produced was directed by a woman.
11 13 Reasons Why
Inspired by the popular novel by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why was a surprise renewal from Netflix. The series goes beyond the events of the novel to flesh out the secondary characters and introduce new ones in season two.
The second season picks up a few months after the events of season one, so the audience can expect answers to all of those lingering questions: did Alex survive his gunshot, what is Tyler planning, and will Jessica get justice for her assault?
In addition to answers to those cliffhangers, the series will also keep Katherine Langford around as Hannah Baker, providing flashbacks to allow the audience to get to know her from other perspectives.
The story of why Hannah decided to end her life played out from her point of view, and that of the boy who had a crush, in season one. Season two will expand that narrative.
10 Arrested Development
A cult favorite show, Arrested Development, was off the air for several years before Netflix brought it back for a fourth season in 2013. The streaming site even opted to renew the show for a fifth season, though many weren’t sure when they’d get to see it since busy schedules meant season four took longer than usual to film.
The good news for fans is that season five started filming in August, so it is most definitely on track for a 2018 release. In fact, star Jason Bateman told Deadline that there could be more Arrested Development on the way after that. He explained that the story told for the Netflix seasons occurred in three acts, so there’s a good chance there will be a season three, even if nothing is official yet.
One of the big stories coming up? Just who is responsible for the death of a fan favorite character.
9 A Series of Unfortunate Events
Based on the series of novels by Lemony Snicket, season one gave fans a look at books one through four. Season two will pick up with books five through nine.
In addition to more disguises from Neil Patrick Harris’ Count Olaf, audiences can expect even more tragedy to befall the Baudelaire children at the center of the story. The children will also begin to unravel the mystery surrounding the deaths of their parents.
Sara Rue, Nathan Fillion, and Tony Hale all joined the cast in filming season two in April. Their characters will be introduced in story arcs that see the Baudelaire orphans in a new school, and exploring a carnival setting. Each story occurs over two episodes.
Not officially renewed for a third season yet, a renewal is expected as one more season would be enough to finish the stories provided in the source material.
8 The OA
Netflix went for a mysterious vibe to draw people into The OA. Offering up a single full length trailer, the series debuted on the streaming site the same week the trailer released. The series was almost immediately renewed for a second season.
Co-creator and star Brit Marling has a huge interest in the supernatural and the mysteries of the universe, which prompted much of the mythology developed for the show. Though she has the whole story figured out, don’t expect season two to answer every question; there has to be a reason for fans to return for new episodes.
What we know about season two is that it begins filming in January with first episode “Angel of Death”, which means it will likely premiere late in 2018. There will, again, be eight episodes for the season, and this time San Francisco will play an important role.
When Netflix picked up the series in 2014, the streaming site was so happy with the concept for the show that it got a straight to series order for not just one, but two seasons. Those two seasons have already come and gone, but there is more on the way.
Fans of Judd Apatow’s Love can get excited-- season three will premiere on Netflix on March 9. Unfortunately for fans, that will be the final season for the show.
With a final season on the horizon though, that means Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust) will finally have to figure out where they stand. Are they friends? More than friends? Have they missed their shot at a romantic relationship? There are only a few hours of the series left for viewers to find out.
When Netflix first ordered the sitcom Disjointed, they ordered 20 episodes. So far, only a ten episode batch has aired. When new episodes arrive on the streaming site, they’ll be finishing out that first season.
In Disjointed, Kathy Bates runs a marijuana dispensary along with her son. The show introduces several regular customers and employees who have varying relationships with the drug. Some, like Bates’ character, have long been advocates of legalization, while others are brand new to the world of dispensaries.
The comedy doesn’t come from the drugs, but from the business of running the dispensary. In addition to a season-long feud with a taekwondo instructor, the first batch of episodes ended with a raid. Audiences can see how the employees have fared since when the remaining 10 episodes land on January 12.
5 One Day At A Time
Revivals and reunions are all the rage with TV networks these days, but there’s something to be said about an imaginative reboot. One Day At A Time brought the '70s/'80s concept into the modern era with a veteran single mom, a Cuban-American family, and a teenage girl beginning to understand her own sexuality.
The series manages to stay true to its sitcom roots while still tackling topics like sexism, bigotry, addiction, and coming out. It’s nearly universally loved by critics with a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, which means there are high expectations for season two.
We don’t know much about what storylines will be tackled in season two, but we do know that the series will continue to have impressive guest stars. Ivonne Coll, who stars as fan favorite Alba on Jane the Virgin, will appear.
Season two hits Netflix on January 26.
Jason Bateman pulls triple duty for Ozark. In addition to starring in the series, he’s also a producer, and directed a handful of episodes of the crime drama. His love for the series shows as well since his performance netted him award nominations and plenty of praise.
Audiences are used to seeing Bateman in comedic roles-- like Arrested Development-- but Ozark allows him to flex those dramatic muscles. In deep with a cartel, Bateman’s leading man moves his family to the middle of nowhere to buy himself some time and find a new revenue stream.
Season two’s 10 episodes don’t have an official release date yet, but fans are eager to see just how a money launderer in a small town is able to keep the FBI off his back and make amends for his many debts.
3 The Crown
Season two of the series examining British royalty through the lens of Elizabeth II’s life just premiered on Netflix. The streaming site already renewed the series for two additional seasons.
Season three has yet to head into production, but the leading lady, who will take over for Claire Foy, will be Olivia Colman. Colman was cast to bring Elizabeth II into the 1970s, making the series in for a bit of a time jump moving forward. Most of the cast will be new, playing older versions of the same characters, though no one else has been announced yet.
Audiences will likely be in for Princess Margaret’s divorce, Princess Anne’s wedding, and the introduction of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister, just to name a few historic milestones for the decade.
There’s no official release date for season three just yet, but it will likely premiere in late 2018.
When audiences last saw the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, they had just finished their first televised match and saw a surprise theft of the trophy.
Season two began filming in October 2017, as Alison Brie revealed on her Instagram, making the show right on track to make a June/July 2018 return. Most of the cast will return for the new season as well, though there may be a few changes as some of the GLOW team members were offered new jobs at the season’s end.
So far, not much is known about the sophomore season, but what has been released is that new wrestlers will join the ladies in the ring. Shakira Barrera plays Yolanda, aka Yo-Yo. Yo-Yo is a Mexican-American and an out lesbian who works as a stripper. Her dance moves will likely play a role in her wrestling style.
1 Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie reunited former 9 to 5 costars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, but she series quickly moved beyond stunt casting to interesting and entertaining stories.
Kicking off with Grace and Frankie’s husbands leaving them (for each other), the series has seen the title characters were able to bond over their experience despite having a tenuous friendship beforehand. Since then, the two have gone into business together and taken on a larger corporation to keep themselves afloat.
Expect to see more of Peter Gallagher as the businessman at the center of that large corporation in season four as he’s not just a possible enemy, but Grace’s potential love interest. The series will continue tackling issues of ageism and sexism head on as well as Frankie will be dealing with the effects of her season three stroke.
The series returns on January 19.
Which Netflix original series are you most excited to see return? Let us know what you’ll be watching in the comments!
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