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There are more places to find a great TV show than ever before. Let's go through them quickly, shall we? You've got your major streamers, which include Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+. Disney+, Paramount+, Peacock, and Prime Video. Then you've got your traditional channels, which includes the likes of HBO, FX, Showtime, and Starz (all of which are also available on streaming as well). And then we've got stuff that kind of operates in the middle, like Max (formerly known as HBO Max, which is a home for both HBO proper, streaming-only Max originals, and more), and the FX on Hulu exclusives, which are shows produced by FX that are only available through streaming on Hulu.
Does it get kind of confusing? Yes! Has there ever been a better time to be a TV fan? No!
There are so many different places to look for your new television obsession that it's hard to even start. Some people may enjoy digging into the timeless classics, like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, or, like, Columbo, if they've never dove in before. But others may enjoy seeing the new stuff. The exciting stuff.
2023 started off with a pair of bangers in HBO's pristine The Last of Us and Peacock's throwback mystery Poker Face. There's the stuff on Disney+ that will continue to build out the ever-expansive Marvel and Star Wars universes, if you're so inclined to keep with the program. There's stuff coming from Academy Award-winning actors and directors, and long-awaited follow-ups to shows like Justified. And that's just the beginning.
But TV has also become much harder to predict, because it's largely gone the way of music. These days, we hear about a show's release date and get a trailer maybe a couple weeks or a month before it comes out—if that. And that's why this list largely leans toward the speculative. We have a broad idea of when many of these shows are coming out, but it's hard to figure exactly when they may hit our screens. That's why you've got to stick with us as we update the list throughout 2023.
But in the meantime, take a look at everything that's catching our attention—and look closely, because there's a lot of it.
The Last Of Us (HBO)
The first big hit show of 2023 was HBO's The Last of Us, an adaptation of the beloved video game of the same name. Starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey with recurring assists from the likes of Anna Torv, Nick Offerman, and Murray Bartlett, this show about a fungal pandemic isn't your typical zombie show; it's concerned less with the scares of monsters (though there are still plenty of those!) and more with how characters grow when a new world must be developed. It's a pretty instant modern HBO classic. As long as Neil Druckmann (the creator of the game) and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) remain in charge, The Last of Us is in good hands.
Poker Face (Peacock)
With Poker Face, Peacock has its first must-see prestige show. Natasha Lyonne leads the festivities as Charlie Cale, a woman with an innate lie detecting ability who finds herself frequently around murders—that she can't help but solve. Creator Rian Johnson (Knives Out, Glass Onion) wanted badly to bring back shows with the episodic nature and high quality of Columbo, and he's achieved just that with the wildly-fun Poker Face.
Shrinking (Apple TV+)
Could 2023 be the year of Apple TV+? Just as it seems like most of the other streamers on the list are starting to cut back at least a little, Apple remains on our list with easily the most entries (quantity-wise) and the most-exciting entries, in terms of actors and talent involved.
It starts with a pair of names that will certainly get you excited: Jason Segel (!) returns to TV comedies with co-star Harrison Ford (!!!) for this comedy about a shrink who makes a striking life change. Shrinking was created by Segel, along with the Ted Lasso superteam of Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein. It's a real winner—a show that builds itself around great characters you'll want to spend time with, but also gets into mature topics like grief and therapy.
Party Down (Starz)
Party Down, the beloved cult-classic comedy series, finally returned for a long, long, long-awaited third season—and it delivered. The comedy hit on all of its hilarious and emotional beats, and despite being off the air for 13 years, felt like it was never gone.
Led by Adam Scott's Henry Pollard, Ken Marino's Ron Donald, and the rest of the original cast (with the exception of Lizzy Caplan's Casey, who unfortunately wasn't available due to filming Fleishman is in Trouble), this is without question one of 2023's comedy events to remember.
Daisy Jones and the Six (Prime Video)
Taylor Jenkins Reid's novel Daisy Jones and the Six is loosely based on Fleetwood Mac's most notable Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks drama, and the series—starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin—was a strong adaptation that made enough changes for the show to really pop off the page. Anyone who likes A Star Is Born or Almost Famous will have a great time with Daisy Jones and the Six.
The music is just as good as it should be, too; co-written by Phoebe Bridgers, Marcus Mumford, and Jackson Browne, among others, it's got a soundtrack you'll be listening to all year long.
History of the World, Part II (Hulu)
Did somebody say "long-awaited sequels?" Mel Brooks' History of the World: Part I came out more than 40 years ago, and one of its many hilarious jokes was the fact that it was called Part I...and Part II never came. Oh well! Anyway, Brooks, the 96-year-old comedy legend,got back into the saddle for History of the World Part II, with the likes of Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and Quinta Brunson among many joining him for the fun. Another comedy event truly for the ages.
The Big Door Prize (Apple TV+)
This high-concept series places a mysterious machine in a small town's general store that claims to generate a card that reads the life potential of everyone who uses it. The always-charming Chris O'Dowd leads a cast that also includes Josh Segarra; this show has a really unique tone that is kind of funny and kind of sad, with elements of magical realism mixed in.
A little bit of road rage goes a long way. Ali Wong and Steven Yeun play two people who come from very different backgrounds who completely throw the other's life off the rails after a completely random incident in a parking lot keeps escalating and escalating. Beef is one of the year's very best shows: funny, makes you think, and with an absolutely fantastic soundtrack. Showrunner Lee Sung Jin, director Jake Schreier, and Yeun will reunite on next year's Thunderbolts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Jury Duty (Freevee)
Jury Duty may just be the most unique, engaging, and completely watchable show of 2023—and it all centers on a random dude named Ronald Gladden. Ronald, it turns out, signed up to participate in a documentary being made about the American legal system, and, when he got called for Jury Duty, the cameras began rolling. Except what Ronald doesn't know is that as soon as he got to Jury Duty, everyone around him—the other jurors, the judge, the bailiff, etc—are all actors. It's, essentially, a real-life Truman Show, and James Marsden is there, as an utterly hilarious version of himself, for good measure. The show is funny, and the improv comedy skills of the numerous actors in the cast is impressive to watch. And if you find yourself crying during the last episode (sounds crazy, I know)—you are not alone.
Mrs. Davis (Peacock)
With Lost, The Leftovers, and Watchmen, Mrs. Davis co-creator Damon Lindelof has been behind three of the greatest shows of the last two decades. He clearly knows his stuff when it comes to the small screen. But with Mrs. Davis—a show about a nun (Betty Gilpin) who takes on an massive, world-controlling AI named Mrs. Davis—he may have somehow figured out how to predict the future too. As we try to deal with the rise of Chat GPT and others in the real world, at least we can watch Gilpin's Sister Simone get to the bottom of a massive, genre-bending conspiracy in one of the year's most engaging, twisty, and funny shows.
Dead Ringers (Prime Video)
Prime Video brings the heat with this one. Dead Ringers is an update of the 1988 David Cronenberg psychological horror film that starred Jeremy Irons as twin gynecologists; in this series, the twins are instead be played by the great Rachel Weisz. The update comes at a time when female bodily autonomy is quite the timely subject, and the show—on the strength of its fantastic lead performance—stands up well to both our modern day and the iconic horror director's original film.
White House Plumbers (HBO)
HBO's star-studded limited series White House Plumbers—led by Justin Theroux and Woody Harrelson—tells the true story of E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, Nixon's men who had the job of plugging press leaks. Of course, they only wound up leading to his eventual impeachment and resignation. The show is based on the book Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House by Egil "Bud" Krogh, who, himself, is a character in the show (played by Mad Men's Rich Sommer).
This series—loosely based on Pete Davidson's own life—sees itself as something of a take on Curb Your Enthusiasm, where Davidson plays a fictionalized version of himself with Edie Falco (as his mom) and, drum roll please, Joe Pesci (as his grandpa). The supporting/guest cast is super impressive, including Charlie Day, Bobby Cannavale, John Mulaney, and Kenan Thompson among others. A fun time!
Silo (Apple TV+)
Rebecca Ferguson is already helping to anchor two major blockbuster series—Dune and Mission Impossible—in 2023, so why not add a potentially massive sci-fi TV show to her list as well? Silo, based on Hugh Howey's series of novels, is about a dystopian future where society exists underground with a strict set of rules. Ferguson is joined in the cast by Rashida Jones, David Oyelowo, Tim Robbins, and Common, while Justified's Graham Yost is the show's creator.
And if you're looking for an epic of scale and world-building with stakes and a mystery that just feel big? Well, this is it. You're going to be hooked.
Platonic (Apple TV+)
Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and the whole Neighbors team is back together for Platonic, an Apple TV+ series about two friends who reconnect at pivotal points (one post-divorce, the other married and with a family) in mid-adulthood. And it is a blast!
There's lots of fun to be had in just about every episode, but one particularly enjoyable episode comes when Will (Rogen) spends a little extra time with Charlie (Luke MacFarlane), Sylvia's (Byrne) husband. There's a baseball game, there's a lot of drinking, and there are some really surprising special skills put on display. This show is a blast, and yet another reason why we really tend to think that Apple TV+ has this whole comedy thing figured out.
Based on a True Story (Peacock)
The last time Kaley Cuoco tried a murder mystery crime drama type of situation it worked out, with The Flight Attendant (Season 1 did, at least), and Based on a True Story proves similarly successful. When a couple discover a serial killer right in the midst of their small (but upper-middle class) social circle, they decide to channel the nation's true crime obsession for their own benefit, rather than alerting the authorities. It's a fun, dark, unique, and quick comedy that makes great use of the star power and charisma that Cuoco and her co-lead Chris Messina share. Tom Bateman, as a plumber with a bit of a secret, is another major standout.
I'm A Virgo ( Prime Video)
Boots Riley is back for his first project since the incredible sci-fi satire Sorry To Bother You, with I'm A Virgo. And we're pleased to report that anyone who liked the bizarre and super-smart magical realism of Sorry To Bother You will be right back on board with I'm A Virgo. The showstars Jharrel Jerome (Emmy winner for When They See Us) as a 13-foot-tall 19-year-0ld living in Oakland; he's been coddled his whole life, when suddenly he gets out into the world and becomes famous. At this point, he meets some new friends, and also falls into the crosshairs of his former hero, a Robocop/Iron Man hybrid named The Hero (Walton Goggins)–who is also a massively overreaching fascist megalomaniac. Fun stuff!
My Adventures With Superman (Adult Swim/Max)
Another superhero cartoon? Yes! You may think you've had your fill, but My Adventures With Superman (featuring The Boys and Scream star Jack Quaid as the voice of Clark Kent/Superman) is a fun and earnest show that retells Superman's origin and early years with great care. While we wait patiently for James Gunn's new Superman: Legacy movie, this series will be a great way to fill our craving for the Man of Steel.
Watch out, Hard Knocks—you've finally g0t some competition. Netflix's Quarterback (produced by Peyton Manning) takes you inside a year of NFL quarterbacks, including Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins, and Marcus Mariota. It's unprecedented access into a world that fans of the sport are always eager to see more of.
Full Circle (Max)
Steven Soderbergh is without question one of the best directors in the industry. He's also without question one of the most prolific, and for Full Circle he directed every episode, while retreaming with his No Sudden Move screenwriter Ed Solomon.
This limited series about a botched kidnapping finds Sodey with a stacked cast (including Zazie Beetz, Timothy Olyphant, Jharel Jerome, Dennis Quaid, Claire Danes, and more) in his best lane: stylish crime drama. You'll be hooked on this one from the first episode, and be happy you kept watching by the very end.
Justified: City Primeval (FX/Hulu)
He's baaaaaack! Timothy Olyphant made his triumphant return as Raylan Givens for a brand new case in City Primeval, which finds the star returning to the character he played for 78 episodes on Justified. The series is once again based on Elmore Leonard source material, and while Raylan is the only character returning from the original series, it's just as much of a twisty, thrilling crime story. Boyd Holbrook, as he has so many times before, makes for a fantastic villain.
After teases in both The Mandalorian Season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett, we finally are in the midst of Ahsoka, the Star Wars spinoff centered on Rosario Dawson's live-action Ahsoka Tano. The show is not quite as mature as Andor, but it features easily some of the most interesting characters—and most in-depth lightsabers fights—since the sequel trilogy of films concluded in 2019. It's a bit of a difficult nut to crack for anyone who hasn't seen the animated Star Wars series, but it fills the galaxy far, far, away hole in our lives. What more can we ask for?
The Changeling (Apple TV+)
LaKeith Stanfield and Clark Backo lead The Changeling, which is an expertly-made and purposely complex horror/fantasy/historical fiction story based on writer Victor LaVelle's novel of the same name. If you're someone constantly looking for horror shows (and know you can do better than the likes of American Horror Story), than look absolutely no further.
The Continental (September 22, Peacock)
This 3-part John Wick prequel spinoff series will focus on the early days of The Continental hotel, the most mythical and memorable setting in the entire action-packed series. Colin Woodell, who was great in Season 1 of The Flight Attendant, is playing a young Winston Scott (Ian McShane's character), which is pretty fun casting.
Gen V (September 29, Prime Video)
Are you waiting patiently for Season 4 of The Boys? Yeah, we are too. But in the meantime, we've got the next best thing: Gen V, a spinoff of the main The Boys series, telling the story of the next generation of Supes coming up through the ranks. Part coming of age story and part fucked up superhero satire, Gen V (which takes place between the events of The Boys Season 3 and the forthcoming Season 4)comes again from producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and creator Eric Kripke. It's one of the shows that has us most excited for the rest of 2023.
The Fall of the House of Usher (October 12, Netflix)
For his fifth (and final, for now) series with Netflix, modern horror master Mike Flanagan is going big with The Fall of the House of Usher. Much in the way that his first series, The Haunting of Hill House, was loosely based on the work of Shirley Jackson, The Fall of the House of Usher is loosely based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe. Just in time for horror season! Most of your favorites of Flanagan's gang are returning, including Carla Gugino, Rahul Kohli, Zach Gilford, and Kate Siegel.
Obliterated (2023 TBA, Netflix)
Do you like Cobra Kai? If so, you'll probably enjoy Obliterated, the new action dramedy series coming from the same co-creators, Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg.
A Murder at the End of the World (November 14, FX/Hulu)
Are you still mad that Netflix's The OA got cancelled? Are you someone who maybe was considering watching The OA, but never did because you heard it got cancelled and didn't want to leave on a cliffhanger? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then A Murder at the End of the World might be for you. Creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij are re-teaming here for a what will tell a murder mystery story in a remote location, and features a cast that includes Emma Corrin, Clive Owen, and Harris Dickinson.
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