Gizmodo’s Essential Guide To 2020’s Sci-Fi, Fantasy And Superhero TV

Gizmodo’s Essential Guide To 2020’s Sci-Fi, Fantasy And Superhero TV
The Judge continues her search for the remote to wipe out humanity. (Photo: Colleen Hayes, NBC)

It turns out there is such a thing as too much good television because this preview list is simply too much. Coming on the heels of our mega-list of 2020’s movies, here’s our overwhelming compilation of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and superhero shows that you’re going to want to keep on your radar this year.

Keep in mind that any and all air dates are subject to change because life is funny like that.


Currently airing:

Doctor Who (season 12): ABC

Jodie Whittaker’s sophomore season of Doctor Who has her facing down the latest incarnation of the Master, now played by Sacha Dhawan. Expect more timey-wimey adventures in the TARDIS, along with a new mystery involving the re-destruction of Gallifrey and the “Timeless Child.”

The Good Place (season four): Netflix

The Good Place is coming to an end after four seasons, with Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Michael (Ted Danson), and their friends trying to figure out a way to save humanity and create a better afterlife. Will Team Cockroach finally earn their spot in the Good Place after centuries of trying to become better people? If they do, let’s just hope it involves slightly less frozen yogurt…and no chowder fountains.

Evil (season one): CBS (Australian release unconfirmed.)

The already-renewed supernatural drama”starring Mike Colter and Katja Herbers as a priest-in-training and a sceptical psychologist, respectively”has delivered some genuinely scary monster-of-the-week tales while building how ancient malevolent forces are exerting power over 21st century life and culture. Look for Evil to keep exploring its bigger themes as the season progresses.

The Outsider (miniseries): Foxtel

HBO adapts Stephen King’s bestseller“about a murder investigation bedevilled by some frustratingly supernatural complications”into a 10-part miniseries, with a top-notch cast that includes Jason Bateman (who also directs multiple episodes), Ben Mendelsohn, and Cynthia Erivo.

YouTube)" loading="lazy" > You can fly, you can fly, you can fly. (Image: Disney Channel, YouTube)

The Owl House (season one): Disney Channel (Not currently airing in Australia.)

Gravity Falls animator Dana Terrace is back with her own series, The Owl House, about a young fantasy fanatic named Luz (Sarah-Nicole Robles) who stumbles upon a magical world and becomes an apprentice for a powerful witch.

The art design is heavily inspired by religious iconography from the medieval and Renaissance periods, giving the whole series an otherworldly feel. It also features Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch as the voice of King, and some fans are already noticing Easter Eggs connecting the two shows.

Tell Me a Story (season two): 10 All Access

The befuddling “fairy tales, but for adults” series from Paul Wesley and Kevin Williamson (Vampire Diaries) is back for more seedy, gritty adventures. This season, the interlocking stories are inspired by Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast.


Coming soon, in chronological order:

The Paragons get ready to face down their greatest threat. (Photo: Dean Buscher, The CW)

Arrow (second half of season eight): returns January 15, Foxtel

Oliver Queen returns for the last time in the eighth and final season of Arrow. It technically starts on January 15 with the third Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover instalment but doesn’t officially get underway until January 22 with only two more episodes.

Makes sense given how Oliver Queen, has, you know, died. One of the remaining episodes serves as a backdoor pilot for a possible Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff, while the January 28 series finale, “Fadeout,” closes the book for good.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (season five): returns January 15, Foxtel

All glory to Beebo, you can’t keep the Legends down. Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and the rest of the Waverider’s crew continue their misadventures through time. Last we left off, several of the worst historical figures had been freed from Hell and this season’s going to be about them wreaking even more havoc throughout time. But first, the Legends will be closing out the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover with the fourth and final episode in the saga.

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: January 15, Netflix

Dreamworks is back with more animation at Netflix with Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, which is a clever spin on the post-apocalyptic story. Instead of being about zombies or nuclear winter, this apocalypse gives us giant talking animals. A young woman named Kipo, who grew up underground, has found herself stranded on the surface and teams up with some new friends to survive the adorable wasteland.

Nancy Drew (Kennedy McMann) is still on the case. (Photo: Bettina Strauss, The CW)

Nancy Drew (second half of season one): returns January 16, will air later on 10 Peach in Australia

Séances, demonic rituals, and an evil spirit that causes memory loss. Just another case for Nancy Drew! The series returns with the second half of its debut season, having ended on a cliffhanger with Nancy’s dad getting arrested for murder. But did he really do it? It’ll be up to Nancy and her team of super sleuths, which is finally coming together and solving cases. Evil’s got a lot to contend with.

The Magicians (season five): returns January 16, will air later on Amazon in Australia

The Magicians is in uncharted waters. Last season ended with the death of Quentin Coldwater, one of the show’s main characters and the protagonist from the book series. How does a series move on without its core? That’s really what The Magicians is examining in season five, as everyone comes to terms with what happened and try to find a way forward without Quentin. At the same time, we’ve got some major problems in Fillory as 300 years have gone by and an evil king has taken over for Margo and Eliot.

Supernatural (second half of season 15): returns January 17, will air later on 10 Peach in Australia

It’s finally ending. Go be free.

Charmed (second half of season two): returns January 18, will air later on 10 Play in Australia

Following a change in showrunner and creative direction, the second season of Charmed has made some big alterations to its status quo, including sending the sisters to Seattle and adding a new witch-demon character in the form of Abigael. Now, she’s risen as the new Demon Overlord and is planning on making some changes, as the sisters learn more about their new powers while dealing with new relationships and feelings.

Batwoman (second half of season one): returns January 20, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

Crisis on Infinite Earths may have presented a problem of, well, infinite proportions but in Gotham, Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) has a lot to deal with on her own. The debut season has been about Batwoman facing off against Alice and her Wonderland Gang.

By the end of the season’s first half, Kate’s trust in Alice had backfired and now she strongly believes Alice is a dangerous force that must be stopped. Bonus: The midseason premiere is called “How Queer Everything Is Today!”, which might be the best episode title ever.

Supergirl (second half of season five): returns January 20, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

Supergirl has been majorly impacted by the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. We watched her whole planet get destroyed! We’re guessing that everything will be back to some semblance of normal by the time Supergirl returns with its midseason premiere. Last we left off, Lena Luthor had been trying to mind-control the world (while claiming she wasn’t a villain!) but Kara still believed she could be saved. Considering how Lena helped save thousands of lives in the Crisis, it seems possible.

The captain is in. (Photo: HBO)

Avenue 5: January 20, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

Veep and The Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci’s latest project is this sci-fi comedy set aboard a luxury cruise ship in space, with a cast that includes Hugh Laurie as the captain and Josh Gad as the ship’s billionaire owner.

Black Lightning (second half of season three): returns January 21, will arrive on Netflix later in Australia

Speaking of Crisis on Infinite Earths, I’m guessing Jefferson’s family is back! Black Lightning returns after its cliffhanger midseason finale, which showed Jennifer two possible realities if A.S.A., the government agency that has occupied the community of Freeland, is given too much or too little control over metahumans.

There’s also the growing threat from Markovia, a country that boasts its own army of metahumans and sees Freeland as a threat. Considering how the next chapter in the saga is called “The Book of Markovia,” it looks like this small country is going to become a bigger problem.

Project Blue Book (season two): returns January 22, will air later on SBS in Australia

Season two of this UFO conspiracy-themed historical drama starring Aiden Gillen (Game of Thrones) kicks off with a two-part episode titled “The Roswell Incident,” which seems very on-brand indeed.

Riverdale (second half of season four): returns January 23, will air later on Netflix in Australia

Riverdale’s gonna Riverdale. What else can we say?

Star Trek: Picard: January 24, Amazon Prime

The poker game’s not over yet. Sir Patrick Stewart is back in the captain’s chair in Star Trek: Picard. Two decades after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, we find Jean-Luc Picard has left Starfleet and is now tending to his vineyard in isolation (except for his trusty dog, Number One).

Still, he cannot escape his pain over the loss of Data, as well as the people killed on Romulus during the events of 2009’s Star Trek film. The arrival of a mysterious young woman in need of help brings Picard back from the brink, reuniting him with many of his old friends and promising an exciting but risky adventure.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (first half of season two): returns January 24, Netflix

Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) may have prevented her marriage to her father Lucifer (a sentence I never thought I’d have to write), but it came at a great cost.

Her boyfriend Nicolas Scratch was taken to Hell in Lucifer’s body, and now she wants to bring him home. As Sabrina and her friends head to the underworld to get Sabrina’s boyfriend back, she’s confronted with the knowledge that she’s destined to rise as the new Queen of Hell”except for the fact that another wants to take her place.

Miracle Workers: Dark Ages (season two): returns January 29, Stan

The first season of this Daniel Radcliffe-Steve Buscemi comedy was about a group of angels trying to prevent an over-it God from destroying Earth; now it returns to debut a new chapter in its anthology, as the same cast takes on new characters and settles into what looks like a very wry satire of life in medieval times.

BoJack Horseman (second half of season six): returns January 31, Netflix

The second half of BoJack‘s final season will see the acclaimed blend of comedy and tragedy come to a close. The big question that remains? Whether or not the troubled-but-trying BoJack will finally find the redemption (and earn the forgiveness) he’s been desperately seeking.

Grant Gustin stars on The Flash. (Image: Katie Yu/The CW)

The Flash (second half of season six): returns February 5, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

The Flash‘s post-Crisis adventures will see the return of Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West, also known as Kid Flash. But will anything in the second half of season six be able to top that incredible moment in the season six premiere? Doubtful!

Katy Keene: February 7, The CW (Australian release unconfirmed.)

Riverdale is moving to the Big Apple with this spinoff series. Katy Keene stars Lucy Hale as a stylish ingenue (and Veronica’s former BFF) who yearns to make a name for herself as a fashion designer. She welcomes former Riverdale resident Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) into her Friends-like family, which includes a well-connected socialite and a drag queen with dreams of becoming a Broadway sensation. When you’re in the big city, you’ve got to have big dreams. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Locke & Key: February 7, Netflix

The very long-awaited adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez’s spooky IDW comic”about a family that moves into their ancestral home after their patriarch is murdered, a place filled with doors, demons, and plenty of secrets“finally makes its debut, with a cast that includes Darby Stanchfield, Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie from It), Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, and Laysla De Oliveira.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet: February 7, Apple TV+

This behind-the-scenes peek at a (fictional) gaming company toiling on the world’s most popular MMO looks to be in the same vein as Silicon Valley, except with the specific brand of humour only its It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia-adjacent creators and cast can supply.

Utopia Falls: February 15, Hulu (Australian release unconfirmed.)

This sci-fi teen drama puts an emphasis on music, which makes sense because it’s about a diverse group of kids chosen to strut their stuff in a talent competition”though amid all their performing, they discover some uncomfortable truths about the hidden history of their supposedly utopian colony. Amid a cast of young talents, Snoop Dogg provides the voice of the colony’s secret archive.

Outlander (season five): returns February 17, will air on SBS later in Australia

The Droughtlander is over! Great news for fans, but life’s tough going in the New World’s pre-Revolutionary War era for Claire, Jamie, and their family (and foes, because you know they’ve got ‘em). Will the Frasers travel through time again, or stay put?

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (season seven): returns February 17, Disney+

Our throats still hurt from the screams we made back in 2018 at San Diego Comic-Con when the news dropped that Dave Filoni and crew’s Clone Wars would be returning for one last 12-episode story.

Look for the Siege of Mandalore to be a major component, and for Ahsoka Tano’s journey after her departure from the Jedi Order to supply plenty of emotional heft.

Hunters: February 22, Amazon Prime

Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw Productions are behind this new thriller about Nazi hunters tracking down a new wave of fascists who’re lurking in 1970s New York City. The main hunter is played by Al Pacino, so between the talent and that premise, frankly, we’re already sold.

The Walking Dead (second half of season 10): February 24, will be available later on Foxtel in Australia

Welcome back! You’re just in time for The Walking Dead to be bullshit again. Carol and the other survivors have had their hands full fighting Alpha and her army of Whisperers, but it’s going to take more than bad plans and falling for obvious traps to make Alexandria safe once again. This season will see the exit of Michonne (Danai Gurira), who’s been on the show since season three, but fan-favourite Maggie (Lauren Cohan) will be coming back.

Dispatches From Elsewhere: March 2, AMC (Australian release unconfirmed.)

Jason Segal created and stars in this Twilight Zone-esque anthology series, which AMC says will follow “a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined.” The cast also features Sally Field, Andre Benjamin, and Richard E. Grant.

Devs: March 6, FX on Hulu (Australian release unconfirmed.)

Ex Machina and Annihilation director Alex Garland brings his brand of thought-provoking sci-fi to TV with this eight-episode series about a mysterious, Google-like tech company developing a top-secret project. The cast includes Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and Ex Machina star Sonoya Mizuno.

Westworld: The New World (season three): returns March 16, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

It’s a whole new world for the hosts. After Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and several other robots escaped Westworld at the end of season two, they’re now on the run in the real world.

As a data company called Incite, Inc. continues to spread its reach, Dolores discovers a possible ally in the form of a new character, played by Aaron Paul, and Maeve (Thandie Newton) finds herself in a new robotic playground recreating World War II. Of course, it’s possible that none of that is true because nothing is as it seems in Westworld.

Roswell, New Mexico (season two): returns March 17, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

This more adult-skewing reboot of the 1990s drama about suspiciously good-looking aliens hiding out in New Mexico (where a lot of suspiciously good-looking humans also live, quite conveniently) already has a third season on the way, too.

Peacock launches in the U.S.: April (Australian release unconfirmed.)

Of particular note for Gizmodo readers: NBCUniversal’s streaming service will eventually include Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail’s Battlestar Galactica show, which he explained in September would be neither sequel nor reboot, but rather “a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar.”

Quibi launches in the U.S.: April 6 (Australian release unconfirmed.)

Quibi”the name comes from “Quick Bites,” since it’ll specialise in programming that arrives in 10-minute chunks“already has tons of genre treats lined up, with big names like Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, Ridley Scott, and the Russo brothers signed on as content creators.

Not pictured: GREGOR! (Image: Russ Martin, FX)

What We Do in the Shadows (season two): April 16, will air later on Foxtel in Australia

The series adaptation of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s vampire mockumentary exceeded our expectations in every way, so we’ve been impatiently awaiting our reunion with the bumbling bloodsuckers of Staten Island. Season one ended with the show’s weary human “familiar” learning he’s descended from a certain Van Helsing, which should make for plenty of hilarious tension in season two. Plus, we just found out none other than Mark Hamill will be guest-starring!

HBO Max launches in the U.S.: May (Australian release unconfirmed.)

WarnerMedia’s streaming service will contain a library of movies (including Studio Ghibli titles) and previously-aired series (Doctor Who, Rick and Morty, South Park) as well as a slate of its own projects.

Currently in various stages of development are spinoff series Dune: The Sisterhood, an animated Gremlins prequel, a new Green Lantern show, an adaptation of Station Eleven, an Adventure Time miniseries, lots of Sesame Street-related programming, and the much-anticipated return of The Boondocks, to name a few.

Archer (season 11): May 7, FXX (Australian release unconfirmed.)

Sterling Archer woke up from his coma at long last at the end of season 10, so look for season 11 to signal a return to the “real world” for the animated comedy. Whether or not that means Archer will take the form of a spy show, a detective show, or something else entirely is anyone’s guess at this point, as is the eternal question on this show: Are we still doing PHRASING?


Also coming in 2020…we just don’t know when:

A Discovery of Witches (season two)

The second season of A Discovery of Witches is set to be based on the second book in the series, Shadow of Night, which sees Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode) travelling back in time to the Elizabethan era to find a witch to tutor Diana and solve the mystery of the enchanted manuscript.

The way they were. (Image: ABC)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (season seven): winter

ABC’s apparently trying to add a new Marvel series to its portfolio (despite the looming presence of Disney+), but until that happens, there’s somehow still one more season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D left to air. Early teases for season seven have suggested we’ll get some flashbacks to the 1930s, as well as the return of a familiar old foe.

The Boondocks: spring

As noted above, Aaron McGruder’s beloved series will return via HBO Max, delivering 24 new episodes spread out over two seasons that will “revisit the world of The Boondocks and do it over again for today,” as Granddad, Huey, and Riley move to a not-so-welcoming Maryland suburb, according to a statement given by McGruder in September. HBO Max will also be home to all 55 original episodes of the series.

The Boys (season two): Amazon Prime

If the season two trailer for the sophomore season of Amazon’s superheroes vs. anti-superheroes series is anything to go by, expect more gore, more goo, and a world even more fucked up than we left it when the show returns.

Castlevania (season three): Netflix

Already one of the best video game adaptations of all time, Castlevania will return to dazzle us with 10 more episodes exploring the aftermath of Alucard killing his father, Dracula“and no doubt plenty of fresh intrigue (and bloody tears!) to come.

Crossing Swords

In this adult animated comedy, Nicholas Hoult (Dark Phoenix) plays Patrick, a peasant who lands a dream job as a squire in the castle. Unfortunately, Patrick soon discovers that the royal court is full of scoundrels and crooks, turning his dream into a nightmare. Plus, his heroic path has isolated him from his criminal family, who decide to enact revenge for his change in career.

Cursed: Netflix

Cursed“based on Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler’s book“is a retelling of the classic tale of King Arthur. This one centres around Nimue, the young woman destined to become the Lady of the Lake. It’s described as a coming-of-age story that sends Nimue and Arther on an epic quest to find Merlin and deliver a sword (you can probably guess which one).

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: spring, Disney+

Star Wars isn’t the only franchise with original shows heading to Disney+. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the first Marvel television show being released on the streaming platform, and one that will share continuity with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will focus on the adventures of Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, the latter of which was anointed the new Captain America at the end of Endgame.

Hanna (season two): Amazon Prime

The thriller starring Esmé Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos, and Joel Kinnaman”based on the 2011 film about a teenage girl raised to be an assassin by her father, and the CIA agent trying to track them down”returns for more high-stakes hijinks.

The Haunting of Bly Manor: Netflix

Mike Flanagan’s Shirley Jackson riff Haunting of Hill House was one of our favourite series of 2018, so we’re more than excited to see what the busy horror master has cooked up for the second instalment in his anthology. We know the Henry James-inspired Bly Manor stars some of the same cast as Hill House, and we’re also pretty certain it’s going to scare the hell out of us. Can’t wait.

Helstrom

Helstrom is one of few Marvel shows still clinging to a non-Disney+ platform, though we won’t breathe easy until we actually get a confirmed release date for this thing. The cast is filled with relative unknowns, but the set-up is intriguing: Satan’s son and daughter moonlight as demon hunters!

Invincible: Amazon Prime

Robert Kirkman’s comic about the son of a superhero who starts to develop superpowers of his own (right in the middle of his awkward teen years) gets its own adult animated series. Appropriately, the voice cast is also superpowered, with Steven Yeun, J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen, Zazie Beetz, and Mark Hamill”to name just a few”lending their talents.

Lovecraft Country

The Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams-produced horror series has been in the works for a while, but it’s been shrouded in mystery. Based on Matt Ruff’s novel, Lovecraft Country tells the story of a man named Atticus Black who goes on a road trip with his friend and uncle to search for his missing father”only to discover the horrors of Jim Crow America and Lovecraftian-style monsters in equal measure.

Lucifer (season five): Netflix

The final season of the sexy devil series (which started on Fox, was cancelled after three seasons, then got resurrected by Netflix”thanks in no small part to its highly dedicated fan base) will arrive in two parts, with Dennis Haysbert coming aboard to play God.

The Mandalorian (season two): spring, Disney+

This is the way. The Mandalorian will return this year with another season, which will continue the saga of Din Djarin (Pablo Pascal) and Baby Yoda. The first season ended on a major cliffhanger as we discovered that terrifying baddie Moff Gideon was wielding the famous Darksaber. Moff Gideon seems to have big plans for Baby Yoda, and it’s going to take more than bone broth for Dadalorian to keep him safe.

Monsters at Work: Disney+

The world of Monstropolis has changed, paving the way for new monsters to climb the corporate ladder. Monsters at Work, which takes place six months after the events of Monsters, Inc., tells the story of a mechanic named Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman) who dreams of joining Monsters, Inc. and making kids laugh alongside his idols, Sully and Mike Wazowski.

Motherland: Fort Salem: autumn, Freeform

Every year has to have one show that makes no sense. Motherland: Fort Salem, which feels like a strange mix between Vampire Diaries, The Man in the High Castle, and Handmaid’s Tale, takes place 300 years after witches signed an agreement with the U.S. government to end their persecution (even though, at the time, there was no U.S. government). In exchange, witches have become a new and powerful fighting force for the United States. The show centres around three young women who are training in “combat magic” as they deal with school, love, and at least one murderous magic-user.

Vic went through a lot in season one. (Image: AMC)

NOS4A2 (season two)

That title still makes us cringe, but we actually really liked the first season of this Joe Hill adaptation, about a rebellious teen named Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) who realises she’s uniquely suited to fight a unique villain: a Christmas-obsessed vampire (Zachary Quinto) who drives around in his Rolls, kidnapping children and draining their life essence. We can assume that Vic, who was pregnant with her dead boyfriend’s baby when last we saw her, will be foregoing art school in favour of battling her undead nemesis in season two.

The Orville (season three)

Over its first two seasons, we fell in love with Seth MacFarlane’s sci-fi series, which is neither the Star Trek parody we initially thought it would be, nor a crass comedy in the Family Guy vein.

Of course, The Orville has definitely had its share of side-splitting moments, but it’s more thoughtful and character-driven (not to mention action-packed!) than we ever expected. The shift from Fox to Hulu feels like a best-case scenario for the show, though it has meant we’ve been kept waiting longer for new episodes.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

Four years after Penny Dreadful went off the air, creator John Logan is back with the show’s “spiritual successor,” which was inspired by the election of Donald Trump. Taking place in Los Angeles in the 1930s, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels will examine the displacement, gentrification, and racial discrimination created by the construction of the Arroyo Seco Highway.

Rick and Morty (second half of season four)

Rick and Morty devotees are used to waiting around for new episodes, but it felt almost cruel for Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon, and company to drop a mere five episodes”especially since they got funnier and funnier as they progressed“then peace out until the rest of the season arrives, TBD 2020. We’ll just be over here listening to “snake jazz” until we get any updates.

Snowpiercer: autumn

It’s the post-apocalyptic tale that’s been in the works for so long, it seemed almost as cursed as that Uncharted movie. Based on the graphic novel by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette (which was later turned into a movie by Bong Joon-ho), Snowpiercer takes place after a global climate catastrophe created a new Ice Age. The last inhabitants of Earth live on a 1,000-car train that’s constantly circling the globe, which has created a harsh caste system that can only end in revolution.

Step aside, Baby Yoda, here comes the Pupa! (Image: Hulu)

Solar Opposites: early 2020

Oh, wait”here’s a little something for Rick and Morty fans to gnaw on until the rest of season four arrives: Justin Roiland’s new, unrelated-but-still-kinda-similar animated series about a group of aliens forced to immigrate to Earth when their home planet is destroyed. They end up in suburbia, sharing a house as a makeshift family unit while getting everything hilariously wrong about American culture. We caught a preview at San Diego Comic-Con, and we’re eager to see more.

Space Force: Netflix

The unavoidable association with the Orange Idiot’s plan for a space-based military branch is unfortunate, because this workplace comedy (about the government minions tasked with setting up said Space Force) has a killer cast, with Steve Carell (who’s a co-creator, along with The Office and Parks and Recreation‘s Greg Daniels), John Malkovich, and Ben Schwartz leading the charge.

Star Trek: Discovery (season three)

The current Star Trek hype is pretty focused on Picard at the moment, for obvious reasons, but perhaps we’ll be getting a launch date for the ever-improving series that sure did go out with a bang at the end of season two.

Stargirl: autumn

Stargirl is the latest superhero to join the live-action DC Universe ranks. In this series, Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) is a high school student who moved to Nebraska with her mum and new stepdad (Luke Wilson), who used to be the sidekick of Starman a member of the Justice Society of America. Courtney finds his Cosmic Staff and activates it, embracing her destiny as Stargirl working to form her own JSA. When Stargirl debuts this spring, episodes will premiere on DC Universe and air on the CW a day later.

Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge: Disney+

Ahmed “Jar Jar Binks” Best hosts this game show for kids that looks to be in the vein of nostalgic competitions like Double Dare and Legends of the Hidden Temple, except (quite obviously) it’s Star Wars-themed!

Titans (season three): spring, DC Universe

Season two was all over the place, marred by some clumsy execution, weird choices, and inconsistent character arcs. However, we did have mad love for Krypto the Super Dog. With a guarantee of more scenes for the hero pooch, we’ll consider tuning back in.

Utopia: Amazon Prime

Utopia (not to be confused with Utopia Falls) is about a group of young adults who find themselves on the run from a deep state organisation after they come across a graphic novel that exposes the truth behind some of the world’s biggest conspiracy theories. The series features John Cusack in his first television role.

Leave It to Beaver, but not. (Image: Disney+)

WandaVision: Disney+

Finally, the Scarlet Witch will have a chance to become witchier. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany are coming to Disney+ with WandaVision, a series that’s largely shrouded in mystery…apart from that amazing 1950s sitcom image Disney teased (clearly inspired by The Vision comics mini-series).

So far, all we know is that it’ll dive into how Wanda got the title of Scarlet Witch, and will share connections with Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. In any case, we’re hoping it’s witchy as hell.

The Watch

This lavish-looking adaptation looks like it’ll do the Terry Pratchett source material proud, which is all we ask, other than “When can we watch it?”

The Witcher (season two): spring, Netflix

Toss a coin to your witcher! The first season of The Witcher finally brought Geralt (Henry Cavill) and Ciri (Freya Allen) together”in the same time period, luckily.

But what happened to Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) during the battle of Sodden Hill? Did she sacrifice herself to cast the spell? Highly doubtful. In any case, the second season will likely dive into Geralt and Ciri’s growing bond as both of them try to unravel the mystery behind Ciri’s strange and terrifying abilities.

Wizards: Tales of Arcadia: Netflix

The third and final series in Guillermo del Toro’s Tales of Arcadia anthology, Wizards: Tales of Arcadia will focus on an apocalyptic battle for the future of Arcadia Oaks, home to strong magic and many supernatural creatures.


Shows we’re hoping to see in 2020, but may be coming later:

Aggretsuko (season three): Netflix

Our much-needed therapy session for modern corporate angst will return in season three of Aggretsuko. Last we left off, Retsuko might have found herself in a happier, healthier place than she’d been in a long time, but she and her friends still have a lot of rage to belt out. Time to warm up that karaoke mic.

American Gods (season three)

It’s another season of change and turmoil for American Gods. This season centres around Shadow and Mr. Wednesday journeying to the mysterious Wisconsin town of Lakeside. They’ll have some new companions along for the ride, like Iwan Rheon’s leprechaun, Doyle, and a Nordic death metal frontman played by Marilyn Manson. But even more of the show’s stars have been let go. Orlando Jones, who played Mr. Nancy, recently announced that he had been fired, and soon after Mousa Kraish, a.k.a. the Jinn, shared that he wouldn’t be a part of season three but hoped there would be room for him in the future.

American Horror Story (season 10)

The anthology series just got renewed through season 13, and The Lady Miss Sarah Paulson has confirmed she’ll be returning to the show, so here’s hoping we’ll be getting a new AHS to help us white-knuckle our way through 2020.

Apple TV+ series

The new streaming service went ahead and renewed astronaut drama For All Mankind, Jason Momoa’s See, and M. Night Shyamalan nugget o’ weirdness Servant, and also has an adaptation of Asimov’s Foundation in the works that could appear this year too.

Carnival Row (season two): Amazon Prime

Other than the production design, we weren’t really fans of this heavy-handed, steampunk-y fairy tale allegory starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne. But the show did win some people over, clearly”which is why it’s getting a second instalment, and is also why we’re including it here.

More adventures await Craig and his pals. (Image: Cartoon Network)

Craig of the Creek (season three): Cartoon Network

Another one of Cartoon Network’s standout shows, Craig of the Creek is a slice of life show about a boy named Craig Williams and his friends who’ve found a haven in their small town of Herkleston”exploring the many wonders of the Creek and all the different kid groups that have found their place there.

Doom Patrol (season two)

Ranked as one of our favourite shows of 2019, Doom Patrol wasn’t afraid to embrace its own weird…while still giving us compelling characters and an interesting story. It’s all about a group of unlikely heroes who are ignored by society but still do their best to keep people safe, with each character working to address the tragic origins of their abilities and their spot in the strange world.

Epic

The creators of Once Upon a Time are back with a series that’s absolutely for sure not Once Upon a Time. This anthology series, which takes place in a Disney-like Enchanted Forest, will centre around the romantic lives of different Disney figures, mythological creatures, and original characters created for the show, bringing them together in strange and interesting ways. Totally not Once Upon a Time, folks. Like, for realsies.

The Expanse (season five): Amazon Prime

The move to Amazon looked damn good on this sci-fi fan favourite, bringing us a fourth season filled with exploration, intrigue, dazzling action, and some surprising twists and turns for familiar characters. A cliffhanger ending that left Earth in some mighty dangerous crosshairs makes us even more eager to start binging more adventures with the Rocinante crew and their far-flung associates.

Future Man (season three)

We enjoyed the first season of Future Man, about a janitor (Josh Hutcherson) whose superior video game skills made him a reluctant recruit in a real-life intergalactic conflict. But, uh, we kind of forgot to watch season two of the goofy series, which counts Seth Rogen among its producers. Good news, though”there’s plenty of time to binge a catch-up before the third and final season arrives, presumably later this year.

Cosy. (Image: HBO)

His Dark Materials (season two)

Following its mixed debut season, His Dark Materials will continue with its adaptation of the second book in Philip Pullman’s series, The Subtle Knife. Taking place in another world, this season will finally bring Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Will (Amir Wilson) together as Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) escalates his plan to fight the Magisterium and free the people of all worlds.

The 100 (season seven)

It’s been a long and sometimes bumpy ride for the post-apocalyptic drama, but The 100 will get one final season to tie up all its loose ends.

Raising Dion (season two): Netflix

The Michael B. Jordan-produced adaptation of Dennis Liu’s comic“about a single mum who must protect her young son when she realises he’s got some very unique, and very sought-after-by-bad-people, abilities”returns.

Resident Alien

Alan Tudyk stars as an alien trying to blend into small-town Colorado in this dark comedy based on the Dark Horse comic series.

The Stand

Alexander Skarsgard and Whoopi Goldberg bring their star power to this latest take on Stephen King’s fantasy epic, which will also feature a new ending written by the horror master himself.

Steven Universe Future (season two): Cartoon Network

We can’t believe we’ve come so far. The limited series that explores the aftermath of Steven Universe and Steven Universe: The Movie is set to continue with more episodes, though we don’t know how many or when they will air.

The Twilight Zone (season two)

The busy Jordan Peele’s reworking of the cult sci-fi series didn’t quite grab us in its first few episodes, but the season really started to pick up as it went on, bolstered by the incredible array of actors who signed on to visit unknown dimensions of time and space. Here’s hoping that trend continues in season two.

All families fight, but not all families have superpowers. (Image: Netflix)

The Umbrella Academy (season two): Netflix

The Dark Horse Comic adaptation about a gaggle of adopted siblings trying to solve their father’s murder while also preventing the apocalypse, will return”with a renewed sense of urgency, because the apocalypse did actually occur in the season finale! The eclectic cast includes Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan, and Mary J. Blige.

Wheel of Time: Amazon Prime

Amazon’s still got that massive Lord of the Rings project in the works, but its other big fantasy epic looks likely to beat that to the airwaves: the long-awaited adaptation of Robert Jordan’s enduringly popular book series, filled with magic and driven by an epic quest (as these things often are). Rosamund Pike heads up the large ensemble cast.

Wynonna Earp (season four)

After hitting a financial bump in the road, production on the fan-beloved fantasy series about frontier legend Wyatt Earp’s most badass descendent got back on track with the help of a new co-producer, with new episodes expected later this year.

Y: The Last Man

Though we were hoping to see the much-anticipated adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s beloved post-apocalyptic comic hit screens in 2020, the fact that the series switched showrunners last year (and beefed up its writing team to include, among others, io9 co-founder Charlie Jane Anders!) understandably seems to have shifted its release date a bit. While fingers are still crossed for this year, a recent update from the president of FX explained that “we haven’t scheduled it because it hasn’t gone into production” but that everything is “going well” otherwise. We want the monkey!

Young Justice: (season four)

The teen superheroes and their sidekicks will be back for more installments in the cult-favourite series. At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con, executive producers Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti said the fourth season will continue the story that began in Young Justice: Outsiders, exploring how “multiple Justice League teams [are] playing a long game to expose the people responsible for trafficking metahumans.”