Thank goodness for TV, our go-to entertainment resource when new movies are mostly unavailable, and leaving the house at all feels like a generally bad idea. While some 2020 shows have been postponed due to production delays, the spring slate of sci-fi, fantasy, and other genre shows is still pretty darn jam-packed.
This preview comes a little later on the calendar than usual, so don’t forget to tune into shows that might have just debuted (like Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous) or just kicked off a new season (like Archer).
Editor’s Note: Shows labelled ‘TBA’ are currently unavailable in Australia or do not have a local release date set. If you still want to catch them, you may need the use of a VPN or other related service.
Utopia (September 25, Amazon)
When an underground comic book starts shaping real-world events — including, ho ho ho, a global pandemic — a group of geeky fans take action in Amazon’s remake of the cult British series, headed up by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) with an ensemble cast that includes Sasha Lane, Rainn Wilson, and John Cusack.
Magical Girl Friendship Squad (September 26, TBA)
Alex (Quinta Brunson) and Daisy (Anna Akana) are slackers who find themselves reluctantly called to a greater destiny after a little red panda named Nut (Ana Gasteyer) who might be the creator of the universe turns them into magical girls. The six-episode anime-inspired comedy was created by Kelsey Stephanides, with Hallie Cantor serving as head writer.
The Simpsons (September 27, TBA)
The animated comedy heads into its 32nd season, which will contain its 700th episode. It will be the first season to air since the show’s announcement that it would no longer be using white actors to voice non-white characters.
Bob’s Burgers (September 27, TBA)
Our beloved Belchers are back for season 11 with their own epidemic (of…pinworms), Halloween and Thanksgiving-themed episodes, and the show’s landmark 200th episode, which is titled “Bob Belcher and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Kids” (insert Tina-style groan here).
South Park: The Pandemic Special (September 30, TBA)
The animated series, which is about to head into its 24th season, reiterates its fondness for tackling current events with this hour-long special themed around the pandemic. South Park Elementary classes have never been so sanitised.
Truth Seekers (October TBD, Amazon)
Nick Frost + Simon Pegg + ghost hunting = a supernatural comedy series we cannot wait to devour. So far Amazon hasn’t specified a date in October, but the pre-Halloween timing feels just right.
Monsterland (October 2, TBA)
This eight-part anthology series adapted from Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters taps a killer cast (Kaitlyn Dever, Nicole Beharie, Taylor Schilling, Adria Arjona, Kelly Marie Tran, Mike Colter, and more) to tell stories of desperate people whose lives are altered by encounters with strange creatures and mythic beasts. It airs on Hulu in the U.S. and may end up on Stan in Australia.
Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal (October 4, TBA)
The creator of Samurai Jack presents five more episodes of his latest project, the gorgeously animated, dialogue-free, and often downright brutal adventures of a caveman and his dinosaur buddy struggling for survival. Good news for fans: the show was recently renewed for another 10 episodes.
Pandora (October 4, TBA)
The sophomore season of this ridiculous space opera sees Jax (Priscilla Quintana) learning more about her destiny as a mysterious, powerful force called Pandora. This season also sees Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel star Charisma Carpenter coming into the picture as Jax’s mother, whose own story might be the key to unlocking the truth about Pandora.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond (October 4, TBA)
The newest Walking Dead spin-off — which focuses on a group of teens who’ve grown up amid the zombie outbreak, but have (thus far) been isolated from its dangers — finally makes its debut after a covid-related delay of several months. It has already been established that World Beyond will be a limited series that’ll run just two seasons. It’ll air on Foxtel in Australia with a date currently unconfirmed.
The Walking Dead (October 4, TBA)
After a delay of several months (caused by something even mightier than TV zombies), the enduringly popular show returns to wrap up its 10th season. “Beta engages the final battle of the Whisperer War” is the official logline, with the added knowledge that there’ll be an 11th season before the main Walking Dead series hangs up its human skin mask for good. It’ll air on Foxtel in Australia with a date currently unconfirmed.
Soulmates (October 5, TBA)
This six-part episodic anthology is about a technology that can find a person’s soulmate. It’s set 15 years in the future, and each episode will feature a different cast and a story that explores the romantic nature of love, relationships, and destiny. Stars include Malin Akerman, Charlie Heaton, Betsy Brandt, Sarah Snook, David Costabile, and Sonya Cassidy.
neXt (October 6, TBA)
Tech mogul Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery) is the creator of a powerful Alexa-like A.I. called neXt, which has the power to pull a Terminator on all of humanity. Determined to stop his own creation at any cost, Paul teams up with a CSI-style investigative team (for cyber crimes or whatever) to put an end to neXt before it puts an end to everyone else.
Supernatural (October 8, TBA)
It’s finally ending. For real this time. Those other times it was supposed to end were a gas. Ignore those times.
The Outpost (October 8, TBA)
The Outpost continues the story of Talon (Jessica Green), the lone survivor of a race called Blackbloods. Determined to get revenge for the death of her family, Talon seeks out to stop a fanatical dictator — and discovers her own supernatural powers along the way. This was the show everyone told us was worse than Pandora when we reviewed the first episode of Pandora.
The Right Stuff (October 9, Disney+)
This original narrative series, based on the Tom Wolfe book, tells the story of the early days of NASA’s astronaut program at the height of the Cold War.
The Haunting of Bly Manor (October 9, Netflix)
The much-anticipated follow-up to Mike Flanagan’s sensational The Haunting of Hill House is finally here, with several cast members returning to tell a new — but no less spooky-looking and g-g-g-ghost-laden — tale of another sinister home and the people who dare to enter it.
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Eli Roth’s History of Horror (October 10, TBA)
Class is in session: The director of Cabin Fever and Hostel returns for a second season of this series, which sees him chat with “the darkest minds in horror” (the trailer teases the likes of Stephen King, Rachel True, Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino, and Greg Nicotero) all about the genre.
Fear the Walking Dead (October 11, TBA)
The Walking Dead spin-off is back for its sixth season, and it looks like more Wild West vibes await, as well as some kind of resolution over what happened to Morgan (Lennie James) at the end of season five.
Star Trek: Discovery (October 15, Netflix)
The season two finale of Star Trek: Discovery jumped the crew almost 1,000 years into the future, to a world where the Federation is in shambles and the universe struggles under a new set of trials and conflicts. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her crew have to navigate this brave new world and find a way to get folks to believe in Starfleet’s mission once yet. Bonus: There’s a cat.
Helstrom (October 16, TBA)
Helstrom tells the story of Ana (Sydney Lemmon) and Daimon (Tom Austen), the children of a notorious serial killer who’s unleashed a terrible evil upon the world. The series is inspired by Marvel Comics’ Son of Satan and Satana characters, and features Ana in a killer bob haircut. It’ll air on Hulu on the U.S. and may air on Stan locally.
Unsolved Mysteries (October 19, Netflix)
The O.G. true-crime series is back with six more episodes in its freshly rebooted format. Let’s hope there are some updates on those earlier episodes, too — like did they ever catch that French guy who (allegedly) murdered his entire family, buried them under the house, and fled to who knows where?
Ghost Adventures: Horror at Joe Exotic Zoo (October 29, TBA)
The Travel Channel has a full slate prepped for “Ghostober” (visit its website for all of it), but this two-hour special — in which Zak Bagans and his Ghost Adventures crew search for spooks at the zoo infamously featured on Netflix’s Tiger King series — might just be your best bet for entertainment and/or a drinking game.
The Mandalorian (October 30, Disney+)
The Mandalorian (Pablo Pascal) continues his father-son road trip with the Child, as Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and his evil forces seek to ruin their awesome vacation. There might also be Jedi involved.
His Dark Materials (November TBD, Foxtel/Binge)
Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Will (Amir Wilson) finally join forces in the sophomore season of this series, based on the book trilogy by Philip Pullman. The two of them find themselves in the city of Cittagazze, which is plagued by a mysterious threat — and the promise of a larger destiny for both of them.
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Moonbase 8 (November 8, TBA)
The comedy dream team of Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker, and John C. Reilly play misfit would-be astronauts who’d love a crack at working on the moon, if only NASA would let them.
The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (November 17, Disney+)
Life Day is back! Lego and Lucasfilm are once again bringing us to the of Kashyyyk for a star-studded (and Lego-fied) holiday special. Taking place after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special sees Rey heading on a journey to prepare for Life Day and increase her knowledge of The Force. This quest brings her face-to-face with some of the biggest moments, and characters, of Star Wars’ history. Hopefully she’ll make it back in time to enjoy Life Day with Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose, and all our beloved friends! There better be a scene where people are sad that a bar is closing, all we’re saying.
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse (November 18, Disney+)
This new Disney+ series combines the classic look of Mickey’s origins with a modern story of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto getting into wacky shenanigans. It comes from the team behind the Emmy Award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts and seems like a worthy follow-up to DuckTales and other modern reboots of Disney’s animated classics.
Animaniacs (November 20, TBA)
Speaking of reboots, Steven Spielberg’s Animaniacs is back — a mere 22 years after the original series aired its final episode. This latest version sees many iconic voice actors returning, including Rob Paulsen (Yakko), Jess Harnell (Wacko), and Tress MacNeille (Dot), along with Maurice LaMarche as the Brain in the beloved Pinky and the Brain sketches. Only time will tell whether Yakko gives us another look at the countries of the world again. It’ll air on Hulu in the U.S. and may air on Stan locally.
The Stand (December 17, TBA)
It’s hard to imagine a more timely moment for this brand-new adaptation of Stephen King’s epic plague tale. It’s directed by The New Mutants’ Josh Boone and stars Alexander Skarsgård, Whoopi Goldberg, James Marsden, Amber Heard, and Greg Kinnear, among many others. It’ll likely air on Ten All Access in Australia, but stay tuned.
WandaVision (2020 TBD, Disney+)
Despite widespread delays in show-biz production due to, you know, Disney+ has promised us Marvel’s WandaVision will be hitting the streamer before the year is out. What little we’ve seen of the stylised, sitcom-y series to date looks equal parts weird and fun. Rumours point to a December release.
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