The Most Anticipated New TV Shows of 2018

Now that we’re a couple weeks into the new year, we can start being honest with ourselves and put aside those pesky resolutions that we made in favor of curling up on the couch and watching television until we wake up on that same couch at 3 in the morning in a cold sweat, with Netflix disdainfully asking if we’re still watching Chopped. The answer is yes, Netflix, we are. We were all just resting our eyes. But with so much awesome TV coming your way in 2018, there’ll be no reason to rest your eyes.

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Black Lightning

Image: The CW

Everyone loves a good redemption story, and Black Lightning is arriving at a time when the world feels like heroes are in short supply. Cress Williams stars as Jefferson Pierce, a high school principal-by-day who used to moonlight as a costumed crimefighter-by-night. But you can never walk away from the life of a superhero. To combat violent gangs stalking his city’s streets, Jefferson must once again become Black Lightning and introduce criminals to the true meaning of shock and awe. (He’s going to electrocute them. That’s what I mean.) If you want to know more about Black Lightning, well, just watch last week’s episode of The Dan Cave.[brightcove video_id=”5706096495001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=“rJs2ZD8x”]


Image: Comedy Central

After a long day of slaving away over a hot laptop, filing TPS reports, and feeling your spine gnarl into the shape of a wizard’s staff, why not take a load off by watching a pitch black comedy about the modern horrors of working at a greedy corporation? Like a clinically depressed version of Office Space meets Black Mirror, Comedy Central’s Corporate looks like bitingly sharp satire that will make you feel like you’re not the only one caught in existential freefall. We all are. Now let’s laugh about it before we all die.

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Image: Amazon Studios

We know that androids dream of electric sheep, but I’ve been dreaming of seeing a Philip K. Dick sci-fi anthology series and now it’s a reality. Maybe I should use my powers for something bigger. Anyway, this 10 episode series takes us to 10 different sci-fi worlds inspired by Philip K. Dick’s sprawling oeuvre. Plus, it boasts an all-star cast including Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Janelle Monae, Anna Paquin, Richard Madden, Greg Kinnear, and so many more. Basically, this sounds like the perfect pick-me-up after Black Mirror because it’s difficult to imagine any sci-fi anthology series being bleaker than that.

The Alienist

Image: TNT

Remember back when you liked True Detective? Well the big reason for that, Cary Fukunaga, is back with a new series based on Caleb Carr’s book The Alienist. Set in New York City in 1896, this gripping psychological thriller follows the story of newly minted police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt who calls upon the titular alienist, a criminal psychologist named Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, to help him figure out who is murdering young male prostitutes all over the city. So come to live out your dreams of seeing a Young Teddy Roosevelt on TV, but stay for the creepy murder mystery that will have you squirming in your seat.


Image: The Paramount Network

If awards shows over the last few years have proved anything, it’s that Americans love violent, twisting turning dramas about real things that happened in our lifetimes. The latest TV show to carry on this tradition is Waco, a mini-series about the Waco siege, a 51-day standoff between the ATF, the FBI and David Koresh’s heavily armed religious sect known as the Branch Davidians. It was a bloody, brutal affair that left 82 people dead when all was said and done. Now, this harrowing saga will be brought to life by the likes of Michael Shannon, Melissa Benoist, and Taylor Kitsch in what looks like one of the most unsettling shows of the year.

Altered Carbon

Image: Netflix

Are you tired of being trapped in the boring old meatbag you’ve spent your entire life in? Well in the world of Altered Carbon, you can digitize your mind and download from body to body, freeing you from your beefy shackles! And if you’re tired of being murdered—like the world’s wealthiest man Laurens Bancroft—you can hire an ex-soldier named Takeshi Kovacs to go on a Blade Runner-esque journey to find your killer! Seriously, this looks like the shot of cyberpunk craziness that my body has been craving.


Image: Starz

My biggest complaint about most TV shows is that they don’t have enough J.K. Simmons in them. Well, Counterpart heard me loud and clear and features DOUBLE THE SIMMONS with J.K playing two roles. The sci-fi Cold War spy thriller follows Howard Silk, a low-level worker at a United Nations agency, who discovers that behind all the bureaucratic B.S., his agency is guarding a gateway to a parallel universe. What follows is a twisting, turning story of deceit, betrayal, conspiracies, and multiversal mayhem. And the only one Howard can trust is the parallel dimension version of himself. It’s the ultimate What If story, if your biggest What If question was, “What if I had two J.K. Simmonses?”

Castle Rock

Image: Hulu

Everyone loves a good mystery box, and Castle Rock is about as enigmatic as they come. A psychological horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock takes place in the fictional Maine town of the same name that has popped up time and time again in King’s stories. This looks like it’ll be catnip for hardcore King fans looking for weird references and unexpected crossovers, but most of all it looks like the kind of stressful, heart-palpitating suspense that I want from an ongoing thriller series. All I’m gonna say is that if they didn’t include the Green Goblin truck from Maximum Overdrive, I will be rioting in the streets.


Image: Syfy

One of the best parts of Man of Steel wasn’t Clark Kent’s unorthodox method of chiropractics; rather it was seeing the flashback scenes of Krypton, which made Superman’s now-exploded homeworld look cooler than ever before. Now, we’ll get to explore what exactly happened before Superman was Krypton’s last son in this prequel series set two generations before the planet’s destruction. Watch as Superman’s grandfather fights to redeem the disgraced House of El in this DC drama I never knew I needed until now.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Image: Paramount

Look, it’s 2018, and by now we’ve all agree that if you’re not actively working on a prestige television anthology series, you may as well shoot yourself out of a cannon into the sun. Thankfully, the Coen Brothers hate being stuffed into cannons so they’re making a six-episode Western anthology for Netflix featuring the likes of James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tyne Daly, and many more Coen Brothers regulars. Honestly, I don’t need to know much beyond Coen Brothers Western anthology to know that this is already my favorite TV show of the year. But I’m still crossing my fingers for a surprise Steve Buscemi or Nic Cage cameo nonetheless.

And those are the best new TV shows coming out in 2018 that you need to see? What new shows are you most excited to watch? Let me know in the comments below!

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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about  Star Wars and  the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter ( @DanCasey).

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