With production in full swing after new COVID regulations, the entertainment industry is back and ready for the new year. Here is a list of upcoming television shows to keep an eye out for in 2021.
First off, no list of upcoming shows to watch is complete without the big moves coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year. Disney+ plans on releasing quite a few “MCU” series as part of its Phase Four, including “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “Loki.”
There is a lot of buzz surrounding “WandaVision” and its release later this week (January 15). Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda and Vision, the show seems to be combining the style of “The Twilight Zone” and a storyline a la “The Truman Show,” all blended together with a superhero adventure.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The next installment of Phase Four is “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in their respective titular roles. In a style much more typical of the MCU, the series looks to be jam-packed with camaraderie and adventure for the goofy real-life duo. The release date was pushed from August 2020 to March 19, 2021, after production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mini-series surrounding “Loki,” while in a timeline where he is still a villain, will consist of six episodes and premiere in May. Tom Hiddleston will star in the eponymous role and will be joined by Owen Wilson and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Black Mirror”).
In a departure from the MCU, there are still some interesting shows just around the corner. Fans of the 1991 psychological horror “The Silence of the Lambs” are sure to be intrigued by the new CBS show “Clarice,” which will focus on Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds, “The Originals”) a year after the events of the movie. Breeds will be joined by castmates Kal Penn (“House”), Nick Sandow (“OITNB”) and Michael Cudlitz (“The Walking Dead”) when the show premieres on Feb 11.
On a completely different side of the genre spectrum, another big adaptation in the works is the hugely talked-about “Gossip Girl” reboot, featuring an all-new cast of Upper East Siders. The Gen-Z take on a Millennial classic is set to be released sometime this year on HBO Max.
Yet another reboot is The CW’s “Walker” (a take on the 90s show “Walker, Texas Ranger”). The show, set to premiere next week (January 21), stars Jared Padalecki of “Supernatural” and “Gilmore Girls” fame, along with Lindsey Morgan (“The 100”) and Keegan Allen (“Pretty Little Liars”). And, interestingly enough, Genevieve Padalecki, Jared’s wife, is set to play his character’s wife on the show as well!
Shadow and Bone
If the recent trending of “Harry Potter” on TikTok left anyone feeling a bit in need of a new YA fantasy to watch, look no further than “Shadow and Bone.” Based on Leigh Bardugo’s overlapping “Shadow and Bone” and “Six of Crows” series, Netflix announced the eight-episode first season will come out in April.
Y: The Last Man
A new comic book adaptation set for later this year is “Y: The Last Man,” coming to FX on Hulu. The series follows a man (Ben Schnetzer, “The Book Thief”) and his pet monkey, who are – as far as anyone knows – the only males to have survived the apocalypse that wiped out every mammal with a Y chromosome.
Superman & Lois
Wrapping it up with another set of superheroes, The CW is adding to its Arrowverse collection with “Superman & Lois,” which will follow the married couple juggling parenting and working in the modern world. Tyler Hoechlin (yes, Derek Hale from “Teen Wolf”) and Elizabeth Tulloch will be reprising their roles as the titular couple beginning February 23.
Since it is just January, there are quite a few series that have been announced but haven’t really released much more. Since there’s not a lot of information to give, here is a shortlist of the shows that are sure to garner attention a little later in the year:
“American Horror Stories,” coming to FX on Hulu this year, is a spinoff of the hit anthology “American Horror Story.” The new series is set to make the anthology episodic, with 16 one-hour specials that delve into different horror myths and lore.
The man who brought “The Haunting of Hill House” and “The Haunting of Bly Manor” to Netflix is back with another horror series coming out this year. Called “Midnight Mass,” the story will focus on an island community and how it is affected by the arrival of a mysterious priest.
Disney+ has a lot planned for 2021, including another addition to Phase Four, “Hawkeye.” Joining Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton/Hawkeye is Hailee Steinfeld, introducing new superhero Kate Bishop/Hawkeye to the MCU.
Another Disney+ MCU creation is the animated anthology series “What If…?” which will focus on what would have happened if major moments in the MCU had gone down differently. Though the first season has yet to be released, the show has already been picked up for a second.
On the other side of the Disney+ spectrum, Star Wars fans are getting a new spinoff of “The Mandalorian” to look forward to, “The Book of Boba Fett.” Though they’ll be waiting until December, the bounty hunter’s adventures will surely be worth the wait.
And finally, take a light-hearted break with “Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.,” which is exactly what it sounds like, a modern-day take on “Doogie Howser, M.D.” Even more exciting is the mixed-race fifteen-year-old girl from Hawaii at the helm of the show, coming soon to Disney+.
Nobody can really predict what 2021 may bring, but there’s certainly never a shortage of new television. Be sure to tweet us, @VALLEYmag, or tag us on Instagram, @VALLEYmag, and tell us what your new faves are!