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The 32 Most Anticipated New TV Shows of 2019

2019 promises the return of great television talents like Jennifer Aniston and George Clooney, plus trips to Heaven and a galaxy far far away.

"Black Monday," "Shrill," "Tuca & Bertie," "City on a Hill"

“Black Monday,” “Shrill,” “Tuca & Bertie,” “City on a Hill”

Showtime/Hulu/Netflix

There are plenty of questions to be asked about what’s in store for television in the year 2019. Will Netflix be able to keep up with the scale of production they’ve established recently? Is there a physical limit to how many series Ryan Murphy can make at one time? What exactly is Apple’s plan for their original series, really?

One thing that’s known for sure: There’s going to be some really exciting stuff to watch (however you might end up watching it). From limited series we’ll cherish for their brief time on screen to shows we hope last for decades, 2019 looks like a repository for bold ideas and innovative storytelling, with major creative forces like Damon Lindelof, Jordan Peele, Ava DuVernay, Alex Garland, Patty Jenkins, Mimi Leder, and Jemaine Clement poised to bring their unique visions to the screen.

Below are just a few of the series which seem poised to change the game — yet again — for what’s possible on TV in 2019.

“The Act” (Hulu, Mar. 20)

***USA EMBARGO TILL SEPT 06TH, 2018!***Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sundholm Magnus/action press/REX/Shutterstock (9786177ah)Patricia ArquettePress conference for Escape at Dannemora at Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, USA - 07 Aug 2018

Patricia Arquette

Sundholm Magnus/action press/REX/Shutterstock

Producers: Michelle Dean, Nick Antosca, Greg Shephard, Britton Rizzio
Stars: Patricia Arquette, Joey King, Chloë Sevigny, AnnaSophia Robb, Calum Worthy

Longform articles continue to be an evolving source of TV stories, but it’s rare that the original writer gets to take part in the creation of the adaptation, instead of just handing their work off. Dean will co-showrun “The Act,” an adaptation of her August 2016 Buzzfeed News piece “Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom Murdered.” This season is intended to kick off a new true crime anthology, and there are few showrunners better suited to jumpstart a new franchise like this than Antosca, who’s built “Channel Zero” into a surprising and thrilling horror institution at Syfy. Fresh off a transformative performance in “Escape at Dannemora,” Arquette will waste no time stepping into another complicated real-life role, here playing the Dee Dee of the article’s title. — SG

“Black Monday” (Showtime, Jan.20)

 Don Cheadle as Maurice Monroe and Andrew Ranells as Blair Pfaff in "Black Monday."

Don Cheadle as Maurice Monroe and Andrew Ranells as Blair Pfaff in “Black Monday.”

Showtime

Executive Producers: David Caspe, Jordan Cahan, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Stars: Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, Regina Hall, Paul Scheer, Yassir Lester, Michael James Scott, Eugene Cordero

Don Cheadle returns to episodic TV (where he now seems to be getting comfortable) two years after “House of Lies” went off the air. Also a Showtime series, “Black Monday” takes audiences back to October 19, 1987 — aka Black Monday, the worst single day stock market crash in history — and follows an eclectic, enterprising group of Wall Street outsiders who take on the good-old-boys club, and end up crashing the world’s largest financial system. The brazen dramedy series stars Cheadle, playing a similarly ambitious, manipulative, and immoral businessman as he did in “House of Lies,” and he’s clearly having a lot of fun doing it. With our modern-day stock market currently experiencing history-making volatility, and some of its worst point losses, in a similarly deregulated environment under a Republican president, “Black Monday’s” arrival couldn’t be more timely. Led by “Happy Endings” creator David Caspe, with dynamic duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg directing the pilot and serving as executive producers, Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall round out the key cast of rascals. — TO

“Boomerang” (BET, February 2019)

Halle Berry29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 12 Apr 2018

Halle Berry

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Executive Producers: Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Ben Cory Jones, Rishi Rajani
Stars: Tetona Jackson, Tequan Richmond

Eddie Murphy starred in and produced the 1992 hilarious gender-defying comedy, in which womanizer ad exec Marcus (Murphy) gets used by his new boss Jacqueline (Robin Givens) but eventually falls in love with the artist Angela (Halle Berry). The series will pick up 25 years later, with Marcus and Angela’s daughter Simone and Jacqueline’s son Bryson, as the two grow from childhood friends to becoming aspiring marketing professionals attempting to make sense of their feelings for each other. The series will explore the different points of view between Gen-X-ers and Millennials, in addition to gender and workplace politics. Fans of the original film are hoping that Grace Jones will make a cameo appearance to reprise her deliciously bizarre role as over-the-top fashion diva Strangé, or that the series will see if the son of Marcus’ friend Gerard (David Alan Grier) picked up his father’s penchant for coordinating accessories. — HN

“Catch-22” (Hulu, Spring 2019)

Catch-22 -- Episode 101 -- Yossarian and his friends train to be flyers in California before being shipped to an Army Air Force base on the Italian island of Pianosa. Nineteen perilous missions later, Yossarianís only hope is to meet the mission quota ñ twenty-five ñ and be sent home before heís shot down. But a new Colonel (Cathcart) takes command and immediately raises the mission quota. Yossarian realizes he has to get himself grounded or sent home by any means necessary. Scheisskopf (George Clooney), Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), and Clevinger (Pico Alexander), shown. (Photo by: Philipe Antonello / Hulu)

“Catch-22.”

Philipe Antonello / Hulu

Executive Producers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Richard Brown, Steve Golin, Luke Davies, and David Michôd
Cast: Christopher Abbot, Kyle Chandler, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Giancarlo Giannini

It’s been nearly five decades since anyone attempted to adapt Joseph Heller’s landmark 1961 novel, and few regard Mike Nichols’ feature film version with any sovereignty. So why not George Clooney and Grant Heslov, the two Oscar-winning producers of “Argo,” “The Ides of March,” and “Good Night, and Good Luck”? With Christopher Abbott (“Girls,” “James White”) as the angry Air Force bombardier Yossarian, Coach Taylor turning in his Lions’ cap for Colonel Cathcart’s winged visor, and Clooney himself — who also directs two episodes — stepping in as Scheisskopf, this six-part Hulu limited series has its sights on becoming the definitive adaptation of a seminal book. Sharp and dark, “Catch-22” offers plenty of messages befitting a world in need of pointed satire, making it an enticing new endeavor for these talented creators. — BT

“Central Park 5” (Netflix, 2019)

Ava DuVernay poses for photographers upon arrival at the opening ceremony of the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France2018 Opening Ceremony Red Carpet, Cannes, France - 08 May 2018

Ava DuVernay

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Executive Producers: Ava DuVernay, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Rosenthal, Berry Welsh
Stars: Jharrel Jerome, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Freddy Miyares, Justin Cunningham, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Marquis Rodriguez, Asante Blackk, Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Kylie Bunbury, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Storm Reid, Joshua Jackson, Christopher Jackson, Adepero Oduye, Omar Dorsey, Blair Underwood, Famke Janssen, William Sadler, Aurora Perrineau

Ava DuVernay brings the historic case of The Central Park Five to life in a new dramatic series for Netflix. DuVernay, who will also write and direct, is returning to the company which distributed her 2016 documentary, “13th.” That film explored the intersection of race, judicial equity, and mass incarceration in the United States — the issues which arguably created the environment that led to the tragedy that was the gross injustice carried out against five innocent black teenagers, wrongly convicted of raping Trisha Meili in Central Park. From coerced confessions, to unjust incarceration, to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to become the 45th President of the United States three decades later, the real-life drama was adroitly captured in Ken Burns’ 2012 documentary, an infuriating affirmation of America’s racial animus. DuVernay will dramatize the true story that gripped the country in a five-part series, each episode focusing on one of the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. The drama will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014, when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the city of New York. — TO

“City on a Hill” (Showtime, 2019)

Kevin Bacon as Jackie Rohr, Aldis Hodge as Decourcy Ward, Mark O'Brien as Jimmy Ryan and Jonathan Tucker as Frankie Ryan in "City on a Hill."

Kevin Bacon as Jackie Rohr, Aldis Hodge as Decourcy Ward, Mark O’Brien as Jimmy Ryan and Jonathan Tucker as Frankie Ryan in “City on a Hill.”

Showtime

Executive Producers: Tom Fontana, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Todd, James Mangold, Barry Levinson, Michael Cuesta
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge, Jonathan Tucker, Mark O’Brien, Jill Hennessy, Lauren E. Banks, Amanda Clayton, Kevin Chapman, Jere Shea, Kevin Dunn

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are heading back to Boston, and they’re taking “Mystic River” star Kevin Bacon with them. “City on a Hill” is based on Affleck’s original idea and set in the early ’90s, when Boston was bursting with violent criminals barely kept in check by a corrupt police force. Enter outsider Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge), a Brooklyn district attorney who comes to town and pairs with Jackie Rhodes (Kevin Bacon), a townie FBI agent, to stop — you guessed it — a group of armored car robbers targeting Charleston, who hopefully don’t wear nun masks. If this is even half as entertaining as “The Town,” Showtime will have the best new show of 2019. — BT

“David Makes Man” (OWN, 2019)

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Tarell Alvin McCraney

Getty Images for GLAAD

Executive Producers: Denitria Harris-Lawrence, Michael B. Jordan, Mike Kelley, Melissa Loy, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Oprah Winfrey
Stars: Phylicia Rashad, Akili McDowell, Nathaniel Logan McIntyre, Isaiah Johnson, Ade Chike Torbert, Jordan Bolger, Cayden K. Williams, Travis Coles, Alana Arenas, Gillian Williams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Elvis Nolasco, Randy Gonzalez

OWN will beef up its original scripted dramatic offerings with what reads like a heavy-hitter from Academy Award-winner and acclaimed playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Counting actor Michael B. Jordan as one of its executive producers, “David Makes Man” centers on a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relying on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty, choosing between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, and the impressive roster of actors attached to appear in the series include celebrated veteran stars of stage and screen Phylicia Rashad and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and young relative newcomers including Akili McDowell and Nathaniel Logan McIntyre. The series will mark the television debut for McCraney, whose play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” was the inspiration for the 2016 Best Picture Oscar winner “Moonlight.” Expect McCraney to tackle similar themes of black male identity and its interactions with sexual identity with this new drama. — TO

“Deadly Class” (Syfy, Jan. 16)

DEADLY CLASS -- "Reagan Youth" Episode 100 -- Pictured: (l-r) Luke Tennie as Willie, Lana Condor as Saya, Benedict Wong as Master Lin, Maria Gabriela de Faria as Maria, Liam James as Billy -- (Photo by: Allen Fraser/Syfy)

“Deadly Class.”

Allen Fraser/Syfy

Executive Producers: The Russo Brothers, Rick Remender, Miles Orion Feldsott, Mike Larocca, Mick Betancourt
Stars: Benedict Wong, Lana Condor, Benjamin Wadsworth, Maria Gabriela de Faria, Luke Tennie, Liam James, Michel Duval

Adapted from the comic book series of the same name, the action-thriller stars Benedict Wong as the headmaster of King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts, a clandestine San Francisco high school that trains students (the offspring of mob bosses and murderers) to become the next generation of top international assassins. Orphan Marcus was living on the streets before getting recruited into the school, where he’s faced with brutal new policies, social cliques, and the general challenge of growing up. While the series should appeal to comic book and action fans, Lana Condor — who stars in Netflix’s breakout teen rom-com “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” — might bring a whole new, unexpected audience to Syfy’s ruthless new series. — HN

“Devs” (FX, 2019)

Sonoya Mizuno Nick Offerman

Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman

Shutterstock

Executive Producers: Alex Garland, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, Eli Bush, Scott Rudin
Stars: Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman, Jin Ha, Zach Grenier, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny, Alison Pill

Mizuno, hot off of playing the show-stopping Araminta in “Crazy Rich Asians” and the bespectacled Dr. Azumi Fujita in Netflix’s “Maniac,” reteams with the “Ex-Machina” writing, directing, and producing team for what will surely be another intriguing adventure that explores the intersection of humanity and technology. She plays Lily, a computer engineer who begins to suspect that the clandestine development division of her own tech company may be behind the disappearance of her boyfriend. FX must believe in this project, having bypassed the pilot stage and ordering it straight to series. — HN

“Fosse/Verdon” (FX, 2019)

michelle williams sam rockwell

Michelle Williams, Sam Rockwell

Shutterstock

Producers: Thomas Kail, Steven Levenson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Joel Fields
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Michelle Williams, Norbert Leo Butz, Margaret Qualley, Aya Cash, Nate Corddry, Paul Reiser

Part of an ambitious 2019 slate for FX that also includes the aforementioned “Devs” and the Phyllis Schlafly biography “Mrs. America,” this eight-part limited series will chart the evolution of one of musical theater’s most legendary artistic partnerships. With two anchors like transformative director Bob Fosse (Rockwell) and globally renowned dancer Gwen Verdon (Williams), this could easily tap into the vibrant current of electrical on-screen performance sequences that helped “Pose” shine. With the “Hamilton” team helping to steer the ship, there’s a team committed to staying true to the spirit and history of a tumultuous relationship that garnered some of the art form’s highest highs. — SG

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