Well, we did it. One month down, 11 more to go. It’s 2018 and even if you wiped the DVR clean as the calendar switched over, odds are good that you’re already drowning under the weight of new TV. As much as we’d like to tell you to have no fear, let us instead help you embrace the countless hours’ worth of new programming heading your way.
If the Winter Olympics aren’t your thing (aside from curling, of course, because everyone loves curling), here are some upcoming brand new series that might just make up a big chunk of the February TV conversation.
“AP Bio” (February 1, NBC)
Glenn Howerton stars as an unrepentant asshole instructor in this new series from “SNL” alum Mike O’Brien. Patton Oswalt co-stars, along with Lyric Lewis and an army of confused teenagers. It’s mean, it’s funny, and it doesn’t exempt its star from bodily harm. This special pilot airing will serve as a sneak peek before the show returns in its regular slot after the Olympics.
“The Trade” (February 2, Showtime)
Matthew Heineman is no stranger to the dangerous sides of the drug trade, having previously made 2015’s “Cartel Land.” This five-part Showtime series looks at the human cost of heroin for those who cultivate it, transport it, and use it. Told through unsettling access to all parts of the process, it’s a brutal series that doesn’t relent from showing many sides of a growing problem.
“Absentia” (February 2, Amazon)
Amazon’s latest import is this AXN thriller starring “Castle” vet Stana Katic as an FBI agent miraculously found after being assumed dead. Returning after years away, she comes back to find her life completely upended, her husband with a brand new family, and some accusations she never could have planned for. The series is directed by Oded Ruskin, whose hit Israeli series “False Flag” is also newly available on Hulu.
“2 Dope Queens” (February 2, HBO)
This month, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson debut the first of four Tig Notaro-directed live specials, based in spirit on their WNYC Studios podcast that made them chart-topping co-hosts. In addition to their trademark approach to talking about the ups and downs of daily life, the debut episode “New York” will also feature appearances from Jon Stewart, Baron Vaughn, Michelle Buteau, and Mark Normand.
“Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block” (February 7, Syfy)
The third chapter of the urban legend-based horror anthology series returns with a meaty premise: mysterious staircases are appearing around the city and it’s up to a pair of sisters to figure out how to escape their psychological pull. The six-episode season’s ensemble includes Rutger Hauer and “Krisha” star Krisha Fairchild.
“Here and Now” (February 11, HBO)
Alan Ball’s newest HBO series — coming in the wake of “True Blood” and “Six Feet Under” — centers on a family pulled in many different directions. A couple (Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter) try to keep their adopted family together as their children face the world on their own, leading to a show which features a blend of perspectives, spanning generations and continents.
“Our Cartoon President” (February 11, Showtime)
This was perhaps not the best idea for a show, but credit creator RJ Fried and company for trying to stay up with the constant news cycle. The Trump White House gets animated in a series that, according to IndieWire’s own Ben Travers, “does nothing to justify its existence — including offer any laughs.” Maybe Episode 2 is…better?
“This Close” (February 14, Sundance Now)
One of the centerpieces of the Sundance Film Festival’s inaugural Indie Episodics section, this show about two best friends dealing with love and their changing world comes from writer/performers Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman. All six episodes were directed by “Spa Night” filmmaker Andrew Ahn.
“Stargate: Origins” (February 15, Stargate Command)
The sci-fi franchise takes a leap into the streaming world with this prequel series, debuting directly on the new “Stargate”-centric platform. Jumping back in time, the show will center on the experiences of a young Catherine Langford and her first encounters with the curious technology that would come to fuel the story of the 1994 film.
“Final Space” (February 26, TBS)
TBS’ original comedy follows an astronaut and his alien sidekick to the outer corners of the universe on fact-finding missions of danger and hilarity. Conan O’Brien lends a voice to the series as both a member of the cast and as executive producer, while Fred Armisen, David Tennant, Gina Torres, Steven Yeun, Keith David, and creator/star Olan Rogers are also along for the intergalactic ride.
“Good Girls” (February 26, NBC)
As a way to get out from under debt (and get even in the process), three friends (Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman) resolve to rob a supermarket. When their plan spirals away from them, the resulting drama brings in spouses, jobs, and kids in a crime-gone-wrong story that offers up laughs alongside a subversive suburban story.
“McMafia” (February 26, AMC)
This eight-part miniseries premiered on the BBC earlier this year, but it’ll make its stateside landfall on AMC. James Norton stars as Alex Godman, a man trying to outrun the organized crime DNA running through so many of his family members. Among the other performers in this cross-country fight for survival are David Strathairn, Juliet Rylance, Faye Marsay, Aleksey Serebryakov, and Maria Shukshina.
“Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious BIG” (February 27, USA)
Featuring some impressive casting when it comes to the two musical legends, this new USA show looks to tackle the mysteries surrounding their deaths in two different timelines. Following not just the musicians, but the police officers tasked with solving these cases, the ensemble features Marcc Rose and Wavyy Jonez as Tupac and Biggie, in addition to Bokeem Woodbine, Jimmi Simpson, and Josh Duhamel.
“The Looming Tower” (February 28, Hulu)
Gather together Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, Tahar Rahim, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bill Camp, and Wrenn Schmidt and we’d watch pretty much anything they do. But with Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the CIA’s tumultuous road to preventing 9/11 as the basis for the series, this could very well be the next step in Hulu’s prestige TV entrenchment.