Entertainment

All the Big TV Shows Debuting the Rest of 2020

Add these to your to-binge list.

the undoing
'The Undoing' | Niko Tavernise/HBO
'The Undoing' | Niko Tavernise/HBO

The sheer number of scripted television shows being produced each year — a whopping 532 series aired across all networks, cable, and streaming services in 2019 — is staggering, even during a global pandemic when productions have been forced to halt, and that doesn't even factor in the zillions of reality shows perpetually pumping out episodes. While the percentage of quality shows has fallen over the past decade as a result, there's never been more to love or a wider variety of programming to watch. In a year where big movie releases are few and far between, at least we have TV.

What notable new and returning shows are on tap for fall of 2020? Just bookmark this curated list of the most promising new TV series and returning favorites coming to a small screen near you, and you'll always be in the know.
Also read: Netflix originals we're excited to see this year

social distance netflix
Netflix

Social Distance

Netflix, October 15
As if you didn't get enough of your own lockdown, now you can watch somebody else's! This anthology was put together remotely earlier this year and features stories about people trying hard to stay connected while isolated. Hashtag relatable. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

Star Trek: Discovery

CBS All Access, October 15
Get ready to board the USS Shenzou and the USS Discovery for yet another intergalactic mission in the series' third season. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

grand army
Netflix

Grand Army

Netflix, October 16
A drama about the lives of students at Brooklyn's largest public school as they come of age and come to terms with their identities in the process. The show is a loose adaptation of showrunner Katie Cappiello's theater production Slut: The Play-- SB
(Watch the trailer)

marvel's helstrom
Hulu

Marvel's Helstrom

Hulu, October 16
While Marvel's Runaways may have wrapped up, Hulu's got another superpowered teen show from the comic book giant coming down the pipeline. Helstrom focuses on Daimon and Ana Helstrom, the children of a serial killer who use their dynamic fighting and murderous skills for hunting down bad guys. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

someone has to die
Netflix

Someone Has to Die 

Netflix, October 16
From Manolo Caro, creator of The House of Flowers, comes a new telenovela about a family in 1950s Spain who request their son living in Mexico come home to meet his arranged fiancé, but are shocked when he returns with a male dancer. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

Supermarket Sweep

ABC, October 18
People who got excited when old episodes of Supermarket Sweep hit Netflix (who have already finished their rewatch) will be pleased to know that a new version hosted by Leslie Jones is headed to ABC. -- SB 
(Watch the teaser)

unsolved mysteries volume 2
Netflix

Unsolved Mysteries

Netflix, October 19
Netflix's reboot of Unsolved Mysteries proved to be a mega hit when it dropped its first six episodes this July, and to satisfy internet sleuths even more, another six installments are on the way this fall. -- SB

equal hbo max
HBO Max

Equal

HBO Max, October 22
This four-part docudrama features historical footage and reenactments from stars like Samira Wiley, Cheyenne Jackson, and others to chronicle the LGBTQ+ movement in the 20th century leading up to the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Billy Porter narrates. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

the queen's gambit
Charlie Gray/Netflix

The Queen's Gambit

Netflix, October 23
Anya Taylor Joy (The Witch) leads this miniseries adaptation of the book of the same name by Walter Tevis about an orphan who turns out to be an incredible chess prodigy. -- SB 
(Watch the teaser)

The Eric Andre Show

Adult Swim, October 25
History's most destructive late night talk show is returning after a three-year break to baffle more guest stars, like Adam Rippon, Luiz Guzman, and Omarion, for our entertainment. Eric debuts a shaved head and Blannibal, Hannibal Burress's clone, joins. -- Leanne Butkovic
(Watch the trailer)

the undoing
Niko Tavernise/HBO

The Undoing

HBO, October 25
Nicole Kidman re-teams with Big Little Lies writer David E. Kelly for this miniseries adaptation of a novel about a successful marriage therapist whose life unravels after a murder. Hugh Grant plays the missing husband -- there's always a missing husband! -- and each episode will be directed by Bird Box filmmaker Susanne Bier, so expect plenty of twists and suspense from this one. -- Dan Jackson
(Watch the trailer)

the mandalorian season 2
Disney+

The Mandalorian

Disney+, October 30
The bounty hunter in a galaxy far, far away (who is single-handedly holding down Disney+'s original content) returns this year for Season 2. Hopefully there are enough Baby Yoda memes to hold you down in the meantime. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

truth seekers
Amazon Studios

Truth Seekers

Amazon Prime, October 30
Shaun of the Dead collaborators Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are at it again for another horror comedy. Truth Seekers is about a group of ghost hunters who happen to discover a conspiracy while out detecting the supernatural that could trigger the apocalypse. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

roadkill
PBS

Roadkill

PBS, November 1
Dr. House is no longer a doctor, now he's a British politician. In PBS' latest Masterpiece, Hugh Laurie plays a Conservative Party minister aiding Helen McCrory's prime minister, whose power-hungry career starts to fall apart as his personal life unravels and is made public. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

moonbase 8
Showtime

Moonbase 8

Showtime, November 8
Tim Heidecker, John C. Reilly, and Fred Armisen star as three morons preparing to launch themselves into space to get away from the messes they've made for themselves down on Earth. -- LB
(Watch the trailer)

industry hbo
Amanda Searle/HBO

Industry

HBO, November 9
An investment banking drama where a batch of recent college grads compete for jobs at a top company, presenting an unvarnished look at the kinds of things people will do to keep it together and blow off steam in this high-stakes, cutthroat world. Lena Dunham directs the pilot. -- LB
(Watch the trailer)

The South Westerlies

Acorn TV, November 9
Come for the pretty Irish scenery, stay for the drama. When a woman arrives to a small Irish town with the intention of selling her Norweigen company's plans to build a wind farm to the locals, she is surprised to find a personal connection to the town, as well as competition from another developer. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

a teacher
FX on Hulu

A Teacher

FX on Hulu, November 10
This melodramatic miniseries sounds like a doozy: Kate Mara plays a high school teacher who succumbs to an illicit and ver illegal affair with one of her students played by Nick Robinson. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

The Crown

Netflix, November 15
Olivia Colman is sticking around for one more season of Peter Morgan's historical drama, but as history continues to progress in the show and it moves into the '80s, a few new, exciting faces are joining Season 4. Make way for Maggie Thatcher and Princess Diana, played by Gillian Anderson and newcomer Emma Corrin, respectively. -- SB

Big Sky

ABC, November 17
Big Little Lies showrunner David E. Kelley's got another salicious drama up his sleeve with this adaptation of C.J. Box's crime novels. The series follows a pair of private investigators and an ex-cop trying to catch a truck driver who kidnapped two young girls, who turn out not to be the first of his victims. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

No Man's Land

Hulu, November 18
A war epic about a French soldier who is in search of his missing sister in the Syrian civil war and joins forces with a group of Kurdish female fighters to find her. -- SB 

Animaniacs

Hulu, November 20
'90s kids may have missed the Warner Bros. lot-dwelling Dot, Yakko, and Wakko, but because nostalgia is a hell of a drug, they won't have to miss the Spielberg-created cartoons any longer because a reboot is headed to Hulu. This time around, they'll also be joined by Pinky and the Brain for one big Warner cartoon fest. -- SB

Black Narcissus 

FX, November 23
Adapted from the 1939 novel by Rumer Godden, this tense-looking three-part miniseries follows a young nun's efforts to establish a remote convent in the Himalayas, a topic that will surely be ripe for commenting on historical British colonialism through a modern lens. This BBC co-production features the late Diana Rigg in her final TV role. -- LB
(Watch the trailer)  

Saved By The Bell

Peacock, November 25
It's alright, 2020: We're going to be saved by The Bell. The beloved '90s sitcom is coming back. Stars like Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Tiffany Thiessen are reprising their roles, but it largely returns to Bayside High in present day as the school's been rezoned and now wealthy students are clashing with their lower income classmates. Also, Zach Morris is governor of California. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

Selena: The Series

Netflix, December 4
A biographic series about the life and rise to superstardom of legendary Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla. Christian Serratos of The Walking Dead fame will take on the tragic titular role in this miniseries, which is produced in part by the late singer's family to offer a more well-rounded telling of her life, as opposed to the recent Telemondo series El Secreto de Selena, which focused largely on her 1995 murder. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

the stand
CBS All Access

The Stand

CBS All Access, December 17
Perhaps no Stephen King book has been called "unadaptable" more than his cinderblock The Stand, and considering how well it went the first time, that may very well be true. That doesn't mean we'll stop trying, and, with the world looking more apocalyptic by the day, maybe there's no better time than now. King himself is directly involved in this adaptation, which will star James Marsden, Amber Heard, Whoopi Goldberg, and Alexander Skarsgård as the villainous Randall Flagg, who plots a hellish takeover of a world ravaged by a catastrophic plague. -- Emma Stefansky
(Watch the trailer)

wandavision
Disney+

WandaVision

Disney+, December
It's Scarlet Witch's (Elizabeth Olsen) time to shine. One of many, highly anticipated shows coming to Disney+, WandaVision focuses on the Scarlet Witch and The Vision, seemingly stuck in a TV land time loop, and Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings' character Marvel fans know from the Thor movies). Kathryn Hayn is also there, so consider this a good one. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

UNSCHEDULED 2020 SHOWS

Alice in Borderland

Netflix
Netflix has dabbled in live-action anime and manga movies, but never a season of television. An adaptation of a manga series written by Haro Asō that ran in Weekly Shonen Sunday between 2010 and 2016 will be the streamer's first. Think of the premise as Sword Art Online, except for adults: Some salty high school boys get transported to the Borderlands, where they have to play survival video games to stay alive. Notably, Alice in Borderland is directed by Shinsuke Satō, who made Netflix's actually pretty good live adaptation of Bleach, so we expect it to deliver. -- LB

The Boondocks

HBO Max
Aaron MacGruder's hilarious Adult Swim anime-inspired staple is getting rebooted for HBO's streaming service on a two-season order and a 50-minute special. Details are light, but we do know that Granddad and his grandsons, Riley and Huey, will have to deal with the neo-Nazis that have established a tyrannical regime in their comfortable suburb. The Boondocks never tiptoed around its bold leftist and racial politics, and we can't wait to see what's in store with MacGruder back as showrunner after stepping away from Season 4. -- LB

The Flight Attendant 

HBO Max
Kaley Cuoco produced and stars in this series adaptation of Chris Bohjalian's novel of the same name about a flight attendant who wakes up after a layover in Dubai in a hotel room next to a dead body. As she carries on as if nothing happens and keeps the incident a secret, she wonders if she could be involved in the death, having no recollection of the night before. Definitely not your typical flight attendant! -- SB

genius aretha
Cynthia Erivo | Nat Geo

Genius: Aretha 

Nat Geo
Nat Geo's Genius biographic anthology series previously covered Albert Einstein and Pablo Picaso, and now it's turning its focus to one of music's greats, Aretha Franklin. Cynthia Erivo (Harriet, Widows) will be taking on the iconic soul singer, meaning she'll definitely be putting some R-E-S-P-E-C-T on her name. -- SB
(Watch the trailer)

Maniac Cop

HBO
Nicolas Winding Refn, fresh off the visually stunning and wildly overlooked 2019 Amazon Prime crime thriller Too Old to Die Young, adapts William Lustig's gory 1988 slasher cult classic as a (no doubt) visually stunning miniseries. -- JS

Midnight Mass 

Netflix
Director Mike Flanagan can't stop churning out that creepy Netflix content. The Haunting of Bly Manor may be due out this year, but so is a new, original series about a desolate island community that starts to experience disturbing occurrences once a mysterious young priest arrives on shore. -- SB

Mr. Mayor

NBC
Good news, The Good Place fans. (Or Cheers fans, we guess. Or Becker fans.) Ted Danson will not be leaving your TV screens for every long. He's back on NBC later this year in a new sitcom from 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. The familiar-sounding storyline as a billionaire who gets elected as Los Angeles mayor. It's not at all about Schmichael Schloomberg. -- JS

Mulligan

Netflix
Not to be confused with 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's new untitled project starring Ted Danson, Mulligan is yet another series the two that they have in the works with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writer Sam Means. This one is animated and imagines the world post-alien attack as humans try to figure out how to rebuild society (and also survive). -- SB

Nine Perfect Strangers

Hulu
If Big Little Lies Season 2 didn't hit like you wanted it to, Nine Perfect Strangers might just fill that void. Not only is it another adaptation of a book by BLL author Liane Moriarty, it brings back BLL showrunner David E. Kelley and Nicole Kidman. Kidman stars as the director of a wellness resort where nine strangers check in for a 10-day retreat that doesn't turn out to be like what any of them expected. -- SB

The Old Man

Hulu
Jeff Bridges, a major movie star who has yet to make a play for prestige TV glory, stars in this thriller series about a retired CIA officer who wants to live "off the grid." But -- you guessed it -- he keeps getting pulled back into the shady world he thought he left behind. It's adapted from a novel by veteran genre writer Thomas Perry, and also features John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman, and Alia Shawkat in supporting roles. Think True Grit meets The Americans. -- DJ

Pieces of Her 

Netflix
Toni Collette leads the cast in this adaptation of Karin Slaughter's popular thriller about a woman who tries to stop an active shooter, and the effects it has on her relationship with her daughter, who feels she witnesses a change in her mother after the traumatic interference. -- SB

Uptown

BET
This three-part miniseries documents the story of the iconic Uptown Records, which helped launch the career of huge names in R&B and hip-hop like Mary J. Blige, Notorious B.I.G., Sean "Diddy" Combs, and others. Casting has been kept under wraps, so it's unclear which label signees will be portrayed, but founder Andre Harrell is on as executive producer so this will offer up an insider's look. -- SB

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