By now, everyone recognizes that we’re enjoying a new golden age of television, and this year is sure to bring dozens of well-made and thoroughly entertaining new series. But of course, no one has time to watch absolutely everything. So with this mind, here’s our pick of the 2018 debuts you should definitely be watching out for.
Created by Luther‘s Neil Cross, this six-part drama series is a co-production between BBC One and Hulu. Jim Sturgess (One Day) and Agyness Deyn (Sunset Song) star as a couple of ordinary London cops who come across classified information predicting that an “extinction level event” could destroy the human race within five years. It’s a terrific premise and Cross definitely knows how to tell a tense and gritty story, so Hard Sun looks very intriguing indeed.
Premieres March 7 on Hulu.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Following 2016’s excellent The People v. O. J. Simpson, season two of Ryan Murphy‘s crime anthology series tells the story of ill-fated fashion designer Gianni Versace, who was shot dead on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion on July 15, 1997. As with all Murphy shows, the cast is fantastic: Édgar Ramírez stars as Versace, joined by Ricky Martin as his boyfriend Antonio D’Amico, Penélope Cruz as his sister Donatella, and Darren Criss as murder suspect Andrew Cunanan. Unfolding over nine episodes, The Assassination of Gianni Versace promises to be glamorous and gripping in equal measure.
Premieres January 19 on FX.
The fabulously talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge has adapted this new BBC America thriller series from the popular novellas by Luke Jennings. Grey’s Anatomy‘s Sandra Oh stars as a bored security services operative who finally gets to use her espionage skills when she’s charged with tracking down a glamorous assassin played by Jodie Comer (The White Princess, Doctor Foster). Brace yourself for danger, double bluffs, and an epic battle of wits.
Premieres early 2018 on BBC America.
Various networks have tried adapting 1988’s iconic black comedy film Heathers into a TV series, but this is the first version to make it to air. The super-cool but vindictive high school clique at the center of things is a little different to how you remember, and now includes a gender-queer member called Heath. Meanwhile, one of the film’s original stars, Shannen Doherty, will be guest-starring in the pilot to pass the baton on to a new generation. If it captures the deliciously dark tone of the film, this will be must-see TV.
Premieres spring 2018 on Paramount Network.
This HBO miniseries based on the novel by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn is dripping with prestige. Amy Adams stars as a crime reporter whose first assignment after being discharged from a psychiatric hospital takes her back to her Missouri hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. Patricia Clarkson co-stars as her somewhat overbearing mother and Jean-Marc Vallée, who won an Emmy for his stunning work on Big Little Lies, directs. Factor in a supporting cast that also includes Chris Messina and Elizabeth Perkins, and really, how can it fail?
Premieres June on HBO
2 Dope Queens
Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson are bringing their brilliant topical podcast to HBO for four hourlong specials taped in front of a live audience. Each episode will feature a special guest panellist discussing a different theme. Jon Stewart will join the duo to chat about New York, while Emmy winner Uzo Aduba will contribute to a discussion on “Black Nerds a.k.a. Blerds.” Expect thought-provoking insights on race, gender, sexuality, and life in general, as well as plenty of laughs.
Premieres February 2 on HBO.
Call the Midwife creator Heidi Thomas has adapted Louisa May Alcott‘s beloved coming-of-age novel into this three-part BBC miniseries. Emily Watson stars as matriarch Marmee, joined by talented young actors Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Kathryn Newton, and Annes Elwy as the March sisters, who learn to become increasingly independent and resilient while their father is away fighting in the American Civil War. As an added bonus, Dame Angela Lansbury returns to TV in a showy supporting role as the domineering Aunt March.
Premieres May 18 on PBS
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II
This groundbreaking nature documentary series, a sequel to 2001’s The Blue Planet, was a true labor of love. Filming took place over the course of more than four years, and involved 125 separate expeditions to 39 different countries. The result is a breathtaking insight into our oceans and the incredible array of marine life it contains. Hans Zimmer provides the score and Sir David Attenborough brings his usual dignity and gravitas as narrator.
Little is known about this upcoming 10-part psychological horror series, and that’s exactly how exec producer J.J. Abrams wants it. We do know it features characters created by Stephen King and takes place in Castle Rock, the fictional Maine town where several of the author’s novels are set. Oh, and the excellent cast includes Melanie Lynskey, Moonlight‘s André Holland, Jane Levy, and King alumni Bill Skarsgård (It) and Sissy Spacek (Carrie). Expect the unexpected, but prepare to be spooked.
Premieres 2018 on Hulu
This year’s other super-exciting Ryan Murphy show has already made history by casting more trans actors than any previous scripted series. Evan Peters, Charlayne Woodard and Kate Mara also appear in a musical drama set in mid-1980s New York City which promises to explore the intriguing overlap of Trump-led luxury living and the LGBT underground’s ball culture scene. There’s no trailer yet, but Pose definitely has the potential to become a summer buzz hit.
Premieres summer 2018 on FX.
Which new shows are you most excited about in 2018?