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The 18 Netflix Original Series to Be Excited About in 2018

With more being spent on original content than ever before, can Netflix match quantity with quality in 2018? These new shows have us thinking "yes."

Altered Carbon Netflix Season 1

Netflix

“O Mecanismo”

Executive Producers Jose Padilha and Eric Newman speak on panel for "Narcos" at Keep Netflix Weird Panel at Netflix 2016 Summer TCA at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Los AngelesNetflix 2016 Summer TCA, Los Angeles, USA

Release Date: 2018
Length: Eight hourlong episodes
Creator: Jose Padilha
Cast: Selton Mello, Caroline Abras, Erique Diaz, Lee Taylor

Fresh off his success with “Narcos,” Jose Padilha (“Elite Squad,” “Robocop”) is moving from his role as executive producer and director to creator with the latest Brazilian original series, “O Mecanismo.” The drama is loosely based on investigations into corrupt oil and construction companies in Brazil via a retired federal police deputy (Selton Mello) and his mentee (Caroline Abras). Shooting began in May 2017, with Padilha, Marcos Prado (“Estramira”), and Felipe Prado (“Drift”) directing. “O Mecanismo” is one of many foreign language originals Netflix is debuting in 2018, as the streaming service expands its already lengthy global reach.

“The Umbrella Academy”

The Umbrella Academy Netflix

Release Date: 2018
Length: 10 hourlong episodes
Showrunner: Steve Blackman
Cast: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda, Aidan Gallagher, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan

Marvel isn’t the only superhero game in town anymore, as Gerard Way’s graphic novel series “The Umbrella Academy” moves into Netflix this year. After their dad dies, a dysfunctional and disbanded family of superheroes reluctantly gets back together to discover what happened to their fallen father. The Monocle, Spaceboy, Number Five, The Horror, and The White Violin have powers as variant as their personalities, so it’ll take an “Justice League”-style team-up for this group to come together as they should. Wait. That’s not Marvel. Oh, well.

“Untitled David Letterman Project”

David Letterman, Peabody Awards

Release Date: 2018
Length: Six episodes

Three years after leaving his landmark post as host of “Late Night,” David Letterman is returning to the desk. Well, not the desk at CBS, but a desk for Netflix where he’ll be conducting interviews with “extraordinary people” as well as venturing out into the world for in-the-field assignments. Some interviews will be filmed in front of a live audience and, thanks to the freedom at Netflix, they’ll run longer than traditional late night segments. Considering Letterman’s ventures as a producer, executive, racing enthusiast, and philanthropist, it’s not surprising he’s back on TV; but we’re hoping what he does with the opportunity will be.

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

Coen Brothers

Release Date: 2018
Length: Six hourlong episodes
Creator: Joel and Ethan Coen
Cast: James Franco, Zoe Kazan, Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen Root

The Coen Brothers are coming to television: writing, directing, and producing every episode of the six-part Netflix limited series, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Though the Academy Award winning siblings are credited producers on “Fargo,” they’ve never tried their hand at television. (It’s a “in title only” kind of thing for “Fargo.”) But the pair behind “No Country For Old Men” and “True Grit” are certainly familiar with westerns, and their cast is an inspiring bunch, no matter what the specific story might be. As of now, we know Tim Blake Nelson is the titular Scruggs and each hour will focus on a different character and storyline. But that’s it. How exciting.

“Insatiable”

Debby RyanBeautycon Festival, Day 2, Los Angeles, Arrivals, USA - 13 Aug 2017

Release Date: 2018
Length: 13 hourlong episodes
Creator: Lauren Gussis
Cast: Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts, Christopher Gorham, Erinn Westbrook, Sarah Colonna

Originally developed for The CW, Netflix scooped up this story of a beauty pageant coach who picks up a vengeful new client after the teen-skewing network passed on the pilot. Described as a darkly comedic and quirky drama series, the acquisition-original hybrid comes from Lauren Gussis, a former executive producer on “Dexter” and “Once Upon a Time.” Considering the quantity and variety of CW shows already available (and presumably popular) on Netflix, it seems fitting that the streaming giant would take control of a property the network barely let go.

“A Little Help With Carol Burnett”

Carol Burnett'The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special', Los Angeles, USA - 04 Oct 2017

Release Date: 2018
Length: 12 hourlong episodes
Creator: Carol Burnett

OK, the premise of this unscripted comedy sounds… iffy: Celebrities and everyday people will come before a panel of judges with a problem. They’ll explain their dilemma, the panelists will weigh their best options, and then they’ll explain the best course of action. Oh, and the judges are all between 4- and 8-years-old. That’s right. In a consequence-filled version of “Kids Say the Darnedest Things,” a bunch of toddlers are going to tell adults how to handle adult issues. With anyone else at the helm, this could be unbearable. With Carol Burnett, we’ll give it a shot.

“The Good Cop”

Tony Danza'There's Johnny' film screening, Arrivals, Tribeca Film Festival, New York, USA - 27 Apr 2017

Release Date: 2018
Length: 10 hourlong episodes
Creator: Andy Breckman
Cast: Tony Danza, Josh Groban, Monica Barbaro, Isiah Whitlock Jr.

When you think of Tony Danza’s son, what are the odds you picture Josh Groban? Well, after Netflix debuts its latest crime procedural, “The Good Cop,” you may change your tune. While not an official spinoff of ABC’s “The Good Doctor,” the Netflix series does follow an earnest, young do-gooder who always follows the rules. As Tony Jr., Groban is the son and polar opposite of his character’s father Tony, played by Danza. Danza is a disgraced ex-cop who nevertheless wedges his way into his son’s profession and personal life, offering advice on everything from cracking cases to attracting the opposite sex. The two form quite the duo, and “Monk” creator Andy Breckman is hoping he’s got another long-running hit on his hands. If there’s any singing involved, it will obviously help those odds.

“Safe”

The Crown Season 2 Michael C. Hall Jodi Balfour

Release Date: 2018
Length: Eight hourlong episodes
Creator: Harlan Coben
Cast: Michael C. Hall, Amanda Abbington, Audrey Fieurot

Everything is not as simple as it seems. In “Safe,” Michael C. Hall plays a widower who perseveres despite the pain to raise two healthy, well-adjusted daughters. But even though the fractured family lives in a picturesque gated community and continues to thrive at work and in school, one fateful party changes everything. A murder and disappearance expose secrets long forgotten and long repressed. Written by Danny Brocklehurst, who worked on the original version of “Shameless,” “Safe” reads like the third part in a dark family trilogy, after “Bloodline” and “Ozark.” This year we’ll find out if it’s the next Netflix hit (like the latter).

“Watership Down”

Watership Down Netflix 2018

Release Date: Late 2018
Length: Four hourlong episodes
Cast: James McAvoy, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult, John Boyega

“Watership Down” is a co-production between the BBC and Netflix and the latest interpretation of Richard Adams’ acclaimed 1972 novel. Previously brought to the big screen in 1978 (with John Hurt as Hazel) and made for TV in 1999 (with Stephen Fry), the story tracks a group of rabbits who seek to escape the destruction of their home by finding a new one, but they face many dangers and temptations during their escape. The film version is widely known for its traumatizing effect on young children, and don’t expect the new adaptation to lighten up at all. “Watership Down’s” CGI animation will be brought to life by “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” animator, Pete Dodd. This one was expected in late 2017, but has been pushed toward the end of 2018, with still no official date on the books.

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