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The 11 Most Anticipated New Shows of 2020

We welcome the return of our savior, Jean-Luc Picard!

Tim Surette

You're still struggling to catch up on shows that aired five years ago, so you're going to love this: Here's a list of TV series coming out in 2020 that we're already super pumped to watch even though we already know we'll never have enough time to watch them all!

With HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+, and Apple TV+ joining the ranks of television, there were more options to choose from than ever, but using a sophisticated formula for selection (uhh, does this sound good?) we managed to whittle down the list to 11 shows that are guaranteed to be on our Best of 2020 lists 12 months from now.

The Shows, Stars, and Trends that Defined 2019

Note:We haven't seen any of these, so we're going off loglines, creators, and stars. And yes, we also know that many unannounced shows will be coming and that some shows turn out better than their loglines, so if you're stumbling on this story in September 2020 and wondering where Brock Americana: Space Alien Lawyer is, it's because we didn't know it was coming or it would be as good as it is.

1. Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)

Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek: Picard

Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek: Picard

Trae Patton, CBS Interactive

Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Star Trek's best captain (YEAH I SAID IT), returns 20 years after the events of the film Star Trek: Nemesis for a series focused on him. Picard will still be devastated following the death of Data and the destruction of Romulus, and it sounds like much of the show will involve him getting his mojo back. (Jan. 23)

2.The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)

Ethan Hawke and Joshua Johnson-Lionel, The Good Lord Bird

Ethan Hawke and Joshua Johnson-Lionel, The Good Lord Bird

Albert Hughes/SHOWTIME

Based on James McBride's 2013 novel, The Good Lord Bird is set in the 1850s and follows a young boy who mixes with famous figures from the Civil War, including abolitionist John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and more. Ethan Hawke produces and stars as Brown in the miniseries, which also stars Daveed Diggs and Wyatt Russell. (Feb. 16)

3.Briarpatch (USA)

​Rosario Dawson and friend, Briarpatch

Rosario Dawson and friend, Briarpatch

USA Network

This neo-noir thriller is an adaptation of the mid-'80s Ross Thomas novel and stars Rosario Dawson as a young investigator who returns to her Texas hometown after her sister is murdered. Mr. Robot's Sam Esmail is on board as a producer, and it shows in the slick camerawork. Plus, giraffes! (Early 2020)

4. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier


The Marvel Cinematic Universe gets its first TV series on Disney+, with Captain America's buddies Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) carrying on after the events of Avengers: Endgame. It's been described as a buddy comedy, in the tone of the Lethal Weapon films, except neither of these guys is too old for this sh--. Wyatt Russell stars in this show, too. (Fall 2020)

Everything We Know About The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

5.Ratched (Netflix)

Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Ryan Murphy produces this series that looks into one of film's best villains, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's Nurse Ratched. The origin story will show Ratched's transformation from nurse to monster, and knowing Murphy, maybe this won't be metaphorical? And the exclamation point on this anticipated series: Sarah Paulson stars. (2020)

6. Devs (FX on Hulu)

Writer-director Alex Garland (Annihilation, Ex Machina) heads to TV for the first time with this miniseries starring Sonoya Mizuno as a computer engineer looking into the disappearance of her boyfriend, which she believes has something to do with the quantum computing firm (run by Nick Offerman's character) she works for. We're guessing she's right. This should be a proper mind-bender about multiverses and terrible bosses. Originally scheduled to air on FX, it will now stream on Hulu as part of the new FX on Hulu set up. (2020)

7. Them (Amazon)

Lena Waithe, Dear White People

Lena Waithe, Dear White People

Greg Gayne/Netflix

Do we need another horror anthology series? Yes, when it's produced by Lena Waithe and looks at horror through the lens of race. Amazon outbid everyone else for Them, which is not about giant ants but will be set in 1953 and follow a black couple who moves into an all-white gated community in its first season. Amazon liked it so much it ordered two seasons right off the bat. (2020)

8. Maniac Cop (HBO)

The 1988 cult horror movie (trailer above) is getting remade by the perfect cinematic genius/weirdo: Nicolas Winding Refn (Too Old to Die Young), and we can't think of a better pairing. It's been Refn's dream to redo the film, about a killer who dresses like a cop -- imagine that being your dream -- and he promises that it will look not only at a psycho sowing discord in the city, but also at the ruination of society. Sign us up. Twice. (2020)

9. Kevin Can F**K Himself (AMC)

Erinn Hayes and Kevin James, Kevin Can Wait

Erinn Hayes and Kevin James, Kevin Can Wait

Michael Parmelee, CBS

The trope of the sitcom wife as the put-upon woman by the schlubby man-child husband gets taken to the next level in this meta comedy. We'll finally see the world through the eyes of the stereotypical sitcom wife, both in the context of the multi-camera show that she's in and what happens outside the show. Is it too late to sign Erinn Hayes up for this? (Likely 2020)

The Best Shows of 2019

10. The Stand (CBS All Access)

​Stephen King, The Stand

Stephen King, The Stand

Getty images/Doubleday Books

Stephen King's epic story of good versus evil among a plague-ridden world is giving the miniseries a second try, following the well-received 1994 ABC adaptation. This version features James Marsden, Amber Heard, Greg Kinnear, and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as Alexander Skarsgard as Randall Flag. (Likely 2020)

11. Tokyo Vice (HBO Max)


Based on the 2009 novel and originally set to be a motion picture, Tokyo Vice lands at HBO Max with a 10-episode season. The series follows an American journalist (Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort) who exposes corruption in Tokyo's vice squad, and is based on a true story. If this sounds like something that would be great for Michael Mann to be involved in, it's because it is. He'll direct the pilot episode. (Likely 2020)

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)