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The 20 Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of 2019

From the last season of TV's biggest drama to the return of darling critical favorites from smaller networks, plenty of TV's best will be back in 2019.

Star Trek Discovery Gotham Killing Eve Brooklyn Nine-Nine

“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Gotham,” “Killing Eve,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

CBS All Access/Fox/BBC America/NBC

“The Chi” Season 2 (Showtime, 2019)

David Alan Anderson, Sonja Sohn, and Jason Mitchell in "The Chi."

David Alan Anderson, Sonja Sohn, and Jason Mitchell in “The Chi”

Parrish Lewis/SHOWTIME

Lena Waithe’s Showtime drama really found its stride by the end of the first season, and Season 2 looks to keep the hot streak going in the Windy City. Even though authenticity never felt like an issue, Waithe is focused on spending more time in South Siders’ favorite haunts, grounding the series even more deeply in Chicago’s roots while balancing bright human stories with difficult and serious issues. “I felt like it could’ve been more authentic, it could’ve been more rooted,” Waithe recently told IndieWire. “But we kind of had to figure our shit out, and we tried to figure it out for Season 2 by being more authentic and actually shooting on the South Side of Chicago and not being afraid of going into certain areas.”

Waithe is excited for fans to see what she’s been working on, and knowing her focus on the city only redoubled in the offseason, there’s no reason not to follow her lead. — BT

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“The Deuce” Season 3 (HBO, 2019)

The Deuce Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie Gyllenhaal in “The Deuce”

HBO/Screenshot

David Simon and George Pellecanos always planned on “The Deuce” being three seasons and out, so this final set of episodes should be as satisfying as they are exciting — you know, the Simon/Pellecanos version of exciting. Methodical, enveloping, and beautifully detailed, “The Deuce” travels through time with its viewers every week, shooting them back to a New York that’s awash with crime and corruption, yet painfully relatable. It’s not a thriller, a weeper, or a black comedy, but all of those elements blend together to form a unique television experience — and one with many questions facing its last season.

What will become of Candy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) now that she’s found success making arthouse skin flicks? How will the pimps and prostitutes be phased out of the Deuce to make way for enterprising interlopers (aka gentrifiers)? And can Vincent Martino (James Franco) escape his prosperous mob ties in favor of the working class life he once abandoned? Is there any happiness there? “The Deuce” set a high bar for itself in the pilot, but it’s one that this team can certainly meet — or beat — in the series finale. Let’s rock. — BT

“Fleabag” Season 2 (Amazon, 2019)

20160520_fleabag_ep02_varley_F8A5007.dng

“Fleabag”

Luke Varley

Before “Killing Eve” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge brought her unique brand of danger and wit to Amazon for a poignant series that’s as hilarious as it is heartbreaking. Season 2 has only just begun shooting in England and will presumably continue the journey of the titular Fleabag (Waller-Bridge) — a wise-cracking yet angry woman living in London — who only recently faced her mixed feelings about a horrifying tragedy. However, the details aren’t really important. Waller-Bridge’s creative control and unnerving breaking of the fourth wall guarantees shocks and belly laughs aplenty. — HN

Game of Thrones” Season 8 (HBO, April 2019)

"Game of Thrones"

“Game of Thrones”

HBO

It’s hard to imagine a bigger, more anticipated spectacle in the world of 2019 TV than the final season of this HBO powerhouse. Long billed as the last communal, water cooler show of the prestige cable era, some yet-to-be determined Sunday night in May is going to be one finale party to remember. Regardless of Season 8’s quality, having a new feature-length episode for six straight weeks is going to be a fascinating storytelling experiment. May all your wildest Cleganebowl dreams come true. — SG

“Gotham” Season 5 (Fox, January 3)

GOTHAM: Ben McKenzie in the "Year Zero" season premiere episode of GOTHAM airing Thursday, Jan. 3 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2018 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Giovanni Rufino / FOX

“Gotham”

Giovanni Rufino / FOX

Fox granted “Gotham” a much-deserved final season, and the good folks behind DC’s best superhero-themed effort are looking to make the most of it. Jim Gordon (the iron-jawed Ben McKenzie) and the Gotham City Police Department are trying to hold their city together, as the growing mass of villains try to tear it apart. Various fan-favorite villains are taking control of select territories within the city, while Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) makes key decisions about her flagging future and Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) finally puts on the mantle viewers have been waiting to see him pick up.

Yes, the final season is titled “Legend of the Dark Knight,” and the producers are intent on coming full circle with its multiple origin stories. Look forward to the end, even though TV will be a little worse off once the sun permanently sets on “Gotham.” — BT

“Homeland” Season 8 (Showtime, 2019)

Homeland Season 7 Episode 11 Claire Danes

Claire Danes in “Homeland”

Kata Vermes / Showtime

The eighth and final season of Showtime’s award-winning drama series “Homeland” marks an end that few will likely contest, even though the series’ espionage act is still mostly watchable, with the last season receiving generally positive reviews from TV critics. Offering up “ripped from the headlines”-style stories of a paranoid President facing a Congressional investigation, a blowhard media personality spreading wild conspiracy theories, and, yes, Russian election interference, at the center of it all remains, of course, a bipolar Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), who soldiers on with her lone wolf campaign to essentially “save the world,” while trying to maintain stability at home as a single mother.

The cliffhanger season finale saw a clearly non-compos-mentis Mathison released by her Russian captives (after being held for many months, deprived of her medication) as part of a prisoner exchange. For the upcoming final season, showrunner Alex Gansa promises a “fresh start,” and revealed in April 2018 that the story would be set outside the U.S., possibly in Israel (the series itself is based on an Israeli program), with a significant time-jump from Season 7. Additionally, he indicated his preference for a more contained plot, compared to the wider scope and stakes of season seven.

Key cast members fully expected to return are star Danes and Mandy Patinkin as Mathison’s closest friend and mentor, Saul Berenson. Also, it’s unlikely that audiences have seen the end of Season 7 supporting players, including F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal, Elizabeth Marvel as Elizabeth Keane, Maury Sterling as Max Piotrowski, and Jake Weber as Brett O’Keefe, to name a few. Historically, details of upcoming seasons of “Homeland” have been kept mostly under wraps until a month or two before premiere, so fans of the drama series shouldn’t expect much clarity on the new and final season anytime soon. — TO

“Killing Eve” Season 2 (BBC America, April 7)

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri - Killing Eve _ Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

“Killing Eve”

Aimee Spinks/BBCAmerica

Whilst the hit BBC America show could bring Sandra Oh her much-deserved second Golden Globe for playing tenacious MI5 agent Eve Polastri, the new year will also pick up shortly after the bloody events of the Season 1 finale, if the sneak-peek photos are any indication. Thus far, the show has remained mum about the plot, but both Eve and the flamboyant assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) are still alive after a bit of a falling out, and MI6 Russian Section head Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw) is still in the picture as well after unceremoniously firing Eve. It’s no guarantee that Season 2 will bring the same dangerous dynamic or penchant for “subliminal sausaging,” but no doubt it’ll be an amusing and thrilling experience to find out. — HN

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