2019 has already delivered some great TV shows, but there are many more exciting series to come this year. The Peak TV era shows no signs of slowing down, which means the final few months of 2019 are going to be filled with big, buzzy TV shows (and more than likely some misfires too).
So far we've already had acclaimed new series like Chernobyl and Russian Doll, as well as returning giants such as Game of Thrones and True Detective, but even though we're over halfway through the year, a lot of the best has been saved for last. There's still the fall season, which is when the networks release their major new shows alongside some favorites, but also the streaming wars continuing to heat up.
Netflix is still just about in front for now, but that's going to change with the launch of Disney+, while the likes of Amazon and HBO have some of their biggest and most exciting TV series still to come in 2019 - and these are the ones to really look forward to.
A lot of networks and streaming services are developing TV shows to be the new Game of Thrones, and Netflix's first attempt is The Witcher, a live-action adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski's books, which have already been turned into a hit video game series. Henry Cavill stars as Geralt of Rivia, a beast hunter, or witcher, who is set upon a perilous journey alongside a princess and a sorceress. The Witcher's trailer suggested there'll be plenty of large-scale action and that it won't shy away from the more magical elements, both of which seem impressive. Add in the prospect of some compelling character work and world-building, and there's definite potential here for a long-running fantasy series. The Witcher is expected to hit Netflix in late-2019.
Amazon has a few new TV shows in the works as they continue to ramp up TV output, but while Carnival Row is likely going to be the splashiest, it's Modern Love that sounds the most promising. Based on The New York Times' weekly column, this is set to explore all different kinds of love, "including sexual, romantic, familial, platonic, and self love." The anthology series should allow it to keep things fresh and allow each episode to stand-out (something many streaming shows struggle with), while there's a wealth of talent signed on to appear, with Modern Love's cast including Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey, and Andrew Scott. Best of all, though, is that it's being written and directed by John Carney (Once, Sing Street), whose films have shown he can do wonderful romantic (and lyrical) storytelling. Modern Love premieres on Amazon on October 18, 2019.
If it feels like an age since Mindhunter debuted on Netflix, that's because it has been. The first season of Mindhunter landed on the streaming service in October 2017, meaning there's been an almost two-year wait between seasons. Hopefully it'll be worth it, with the David Fincher-created series, which focuses on the FBI Agents who begin to investigate serial killers and learn their patterns through interviews with other murderers, returning soon. It's a tense, tangled web of a series that offers up some gripping drama, and with season 2 involving both Charles Manson and the Atlanta Child Murders, this should be another dark thriller for fans to binge. Netflix will release Mindhunter season 2 on August 16, 2019.
Last year, Netflix signed Ryan Murphy to a five-year, $300 million deal, and the first product from that is The Politician, which should show exactly why they paid so much for his services. The Politician will star Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, whose riches are matched only by his political aspirations, with each season focusing on a different political race he enters. Murphy's an important and unique voice, and this comedy should provide a hilarious (and timely) skewering of the elite classes and how they attempt to stay ahead, while he's once again collated a superb ensemble cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, and Zoey Dutch. The Politician debuts on Netflix on September 27, 2019.
The Good Place
The great news is that The Good Place will soon be back for season 4; the not-so-great news is that it's The Good Place's final season. Mike Schur's afterlife sitcom has firmly established itself as the best comedy on network television over the last few years, mixing its stellar ensemble cast with glorious puns, charming humor, a hell of a lot of heart, and some jaw-dropping plot twists. This isn't a series built to run for 10 years, so The Good Place going out on its own terms isn't actually a bad thing, and while it'll be sad to say goodbye, it's going to be fascinating to see just how Schur will be able to surprise us on the way out. The Good Place season 4 begins September 26, 2019.
While BoJack Horseman isn't Netflix's biggest original series, it is the best. The animated comedy has developed into the streaming service's most well-rounded series, as capable of making viewers laugh at a silly visual gag as it is breaking their heart with a serious study of topics such as depression, substance abuse, and the MeToo movement. The fifth season of Raphael Bob-Waksberg's work of animated genius left its titular equine at his lowest point, and yet also managed to offer hope for his future, something that should play out in the upcoming season 6. BoJack Horseman season 6 doesn't have a firm release date yet, but the past two seasons have dropped in September, and it has been confirmed to air at some point in 2019.
Disney+ is where the streaming wars will truly begin, with the Mouse House looking to take a fair chunk of Netflix's subscriber base. While they'll have an extensive back catalog at Disney+'s launch, what's most exciting are the original series. They'll start with The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars TV series, which has been created by Jon Favreau, directed by the likes of Dave Filoni and Taika Waititi, and stars Pedro Pascal as a gunslinger in the far reaches of the galaxy. Taking place a few years after Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian occupies a great and underexplored space in the Star Wars universe, and should offer a thrilling, more grounded take on the saga. The Mandalorian will air on Disney+ from November 12, 2019.
Who watches Watchmen? Based on what we've seen so far of HBO's not-an-adaptation of Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel, just about everybody (except Moore himself, naturally). Created by Damon Lindelof, this will serve as an original story that takes place in the Watchmen universe, long after the events of the original comic. While there's still a lot of secrecy around the project even now, the imagery, tone, and hints of plot are all extremely exciting, and we know that characters such as Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan will be involved in some way too. The cast, led by Regina King, is great, and the trailers promise more of the nuanced, emotive storytelling Lindelof delivered with The Leftovers. Watchmen will premiere on HBO in October 2019.
His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman's stunning fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, is the kind of magical offering that deserves to be widely celebrated, and the TV show looks like doing exactly that. Over a decade after a botched attempt to adapt the novels for a movie, the BBC/HBO co-produced series is shaping up to be a pitch-perfect take on the books. Following Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) on a dangerous mission that will see her meet witches and armored bears, His Dark Materials promises to be a thrilling, fantastical family adventure that fully captures the wonderful spirit of the books while still standing on its own two feet. The VFX on the daemons and bears looks superb, the cast is as good as you could ask for, and the footage glimpsed in the trailers suggests they really have nailed it. His Dark Materials will air on HBO later in 2019.