2018 is set to be a great year for television, although it will be missing some of your favorite shows that won't be back until 2019. It's widely believed that the present day is the golden age of peak television, and shows such as The Americans and The Handmaid's Tale certainly prove that notion. Unfortunately, that means shows take extra long to develop and sometimes networks have to space out their programs because there's only so much space available.
A number of critically-acclaimed, award-winning, and fan-favorite TV shows are returning in 2018, but at the moment, almost a dozen other shows are, unfortunately, being pushed back to 2019 due to various development reasons. We've compiled all the major shows that won't be returning until 2019 below.
It's worth noting, though, that every show in this article has been officially renewed for future seasons by their respective networks or streaming services. With that in mind, don't expect to see shows such as Black Mirror on the list because Netflix has yet to order a new season.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has typically aired its new seasons at the end of March or in early-to-mid-April, but that all changed with Season 7; the penultimate run aired over Summer 2017. And, to HBO's credit, there was a technical reason; whereas filming for Game of Thrones typically starts in July and ends in December, Season 7 started filming in August and wrapped the following February, necessitated by the climate changes in Westeros.
Season 8 took things a step further by entering production in October 2017 (months later than usual), with production not expected to wrap until at least mid-2018. Because of that, HBO recently confirmed that the show's final season won't air until 2019.
Game of Thrones Season 8 will consist of six, supersized episodes that will resemble the quality of self-contained movies rather than television episodes. And those episodes will be directed by series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as well as longtime Thrones directors David Nutter ("A Man Without Honor", "The Dance of Dragons") and Miguel Sapochnik ("Hardhome", "The Winds of Winter"). While Game of Thrones is coming to an end, fans can still look forward to HBO developing any one of five Game of Thrones spinoffs from various industry writers.
Rick and Morty
Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon's animated comedy series, Rick and Morty, first premiered in 2013 on Adult Swim, yet only three seasons have aired in total so far. At the moment, Adult Swim has not officially renewed Rick and Morty for a fourth season, although as Harmon mentioned that he was about to start working on it when Season 3 was coming to an end, fans can rest assured knowing that the series creators fully intend on bringing viewers more episodes.
The problem is, writer Ryan Ridley doesn't expect Rick and Morty Season 4 to air this year. In fact, Ridley's believes Season 4 won't debut until late 2019 at the earliest, due to the show's lengthy production.
It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
FX's flagship comedy series, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, from creator Rob McElhenney, is one of the longest live-action American sitcoms in television history; it's been on the air since 2005, and there aren't any immediate plans to cancel. In fact, FX has already renewed the show for 13th and 14th seasons, although fans may have to wait a bit longer than usual in order to view the new episodes.
Always Sunny Season 13 was originally slated to arrive in late 2018, but it has since been delayed to an unspecified date in 2019. As a consolation, the delay may indicate that Glenn Howerton (who co-develops the series alongside McElhenney) can reprise his role in the upcoming season despite being cast in the NBC midseason sitcom AP Bio.
Adapting movies into TV shows can be troublesome, but FX managed to break the mold with Fargo, an anthology series inspired by the 1996 film of the same name by Joel and Ethan Coen. Shortly after Fargo season 3 concluded in spring 2017, FX chief John Landgraf initially seemed hesitant about a fourth season for the Emmy-winning series - not because the show wasn't successful (it's actually one of their highest-rated programs), but because he wanted to wait and see if series creator Noah Hawley could come up with an idea as good as the prior three seasons.
As it turns out, Hawley did. Landgraf confirmed during FX's Winter TCA 2018 presentation that Fargo is returning for season 4, and it's scheduled to premiere in 2019. Fargo Season 4 is still in its early stages, so it's unclear what it will be about, but fans expect yet another stellar cast headlining the new season.
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BBC's post-WWI crime drama Peaky Blinders - created and written by Eastern Promises' Steven Knight - burst onto the scene in 2013 and focuses on the eponymous gang that was active in the late 19th century and the early 20th century in Victorian England. The series is a fictionalized depiction of the gang, starring Cillian Murphy as the gang's leader, Tommy Shelby, and Sam Neill as the detective charged with bringing down the gang, Chester Campbell.
While Peaky Blinders Season 2 aired one year after Season 1, it took two years to bring Season 3 to fruition - and, unfortunately, the same situation is being applied to the forthcoming fifth year. BBC officially renewed Peaky Blinders for Season 4 and Season 5 in 2016, but the network confirmed shortly after Season 4 concluded that Season 5 won't premiere until 2019.
Big Little Lies
HBO's Big Little Lies has been sweeping multiple awards since its debut in early 2017. Although the show - created by David E. Kelley and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée - was originally envisioned as a seven-episode limited series, based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies has since been given a second season renewal, which will allow the writers to delve deeper into the main characters' stories.
Big Little Lies Season 2 is expected to enter production in spring 2018, with most of the first season's cast - namely Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, and Zoë Kravitz - returning for the second go-around. And while Kelley is returning to write and executive produce, Andrea Arnold (Transparent) will be taking over directing duties.
Considering that the first season started filming at the start of 2016 and it didn't premiere until February 2017, a whole year later, people shouldn't expect to see Season 2 until at least 2019. After all, it doesn't start filming for another few months, so it's implausible for HBO to air the new episodes in 2018.
Matt and Ross Duffer's sci-fi horror series Stranger Things took the industry by surprise when it premiered on Netflix in Summer 2016. Aside from its stellar cast and engaging narrative, the series is lauded for its use of homages to films from the 1970s and 1980s. While Stranger Things was initially envisioned as an anthology series, it is now expected to run for four or five seasons, with the first two already finished.
Stranger Things Season 3 is currently in development after being confirmed in December, but it's unclear when the season will go into production. The streaming giant originally wanted Seasons 3 and 4 to be filmed back-to-back, but the Duffer Brothers, as well as executive producer Shawn Levy, vetoed the idea.
It's unlikely that Stranger Things will return until Spring 2019, at least, especially when basing the new run on Season 2's long development. Season 2 started filming in November 2016, and it didn't premiere until October 2017 - 11 months later. Plus, it's worth noting that Season 3 will feature a significant time jump to account for the stars visibly growing older. But, as Season 2 can attest to, the new season will presumably be worth the wait.
Marvel's The Punisher aired its first season on Netflix in November 2017, after initially being delayed one month following the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017. The series stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, aka Punisher, who made his debut in the TV-side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Season 2 of Marvel's Daredevil. It was only after strong enthusiasm and multiple fan petitions that Netflix agreed to give Castle his own spinoff series.
After an enormously successful first season, Netflix renewed The Punisher for Season 2, though they didn't give a tentative release date. Seeing as filming for Season 1 began in October 2016 and concluded in April 2017, with the series premiering this past November, a similarly-produced Season 2 would mean The Punisher won't return until Spring 2019, at the earliest, though it could certainly be later than that. After all, aside from its long production schedule, the sheer number of Marvel Comics-based shows Netflix has under its belt could preclude The Punisher from returning soon.
The Crown premiered in November 2016, starring Claire Foy as the titular Queen Elizabeth II, along with Matt Smith as Prince Philip and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, among others. The show received wide acclaim as well as numerous accolades and followed it up with a strong second season. However, while the series is slated to return, it will be considerably different than what viewers are currently used to.
The Crown Season 3 will feature the series' first major time jump, which means it will introduce an all-new cast in the main roles; Olivia Colman is joining The Crown as the new Queen Elizabeth for a two-season run, which will follow the Royals' lives from 1965 to 1975, with Helena Bonham Carter in talks to play the older Princess Margaret. Considering that casting for Season 3 is still underway and that production has yet to begin, it's unlikely that The Crown Season 3 will premiere in 2018.