First, a recap: We were pretty dead on about what we were looking forward to in 2019, although even we could not predict how much hate would be directed at that Game of Thrones finale. For the record, we were fine with it. It wasn’t perfect, but nothing is, amirite? (We’re looking at you, Rise of Skywalker.)
But Game of Thrones is over; The Crown, which we loved perhaps even more than we expected, has come and gone; and Stranger Things won’t return until all of the kids are preparing to enter college. There’s hope on the horizon, with Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and the fourth seasons of both The Crown and Stranger Things in production, but it’s likely we won’t see any of those until late 2020 at the earliest. We admit we’re feeling a little bereft with no premiere dates set yet for any of these major shows, so what’s to look forward to in 2020?
1) Most obvious on the 2020 list are the next three streaming services to come online: Quibi and Peacock in April and HBO Max in May. They will join Apple TV+ and Disney+, both of which launched in late 2019, in the streaming wars. That pretty much guarantees that 2020 is going to be chock full of television, most of which we’ll never have time to get around to watching.
1b) Apple announced last week that, as reported, former HBO chief Richard Plepler has signed a five-year development deal with the tech company/would-be TV producer. How this will play out is interesting, considering that Plepler oversaw HBO during an era that resulted in such shows as The Sopranos, The Wire, Sex and the City, Game of Thrones, Veep and many more. Since Apple is not already linked to a studio or TV network—unlike Disney+, HBO Max or Peacock—it’s got some catching up to do in both original and library content.
2) We won’t say that this year’s presidential election is something we’re looking forward to, per se, but it’s definitely something we know we’ll be spending a lot of time with.
3) That’s definitely not the case for the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020:—we’re here to watch Simone Biles change the world of women’s gymnastics all day long. Track, not so much. But whatever summer Olympics sports you most enjoy, rest assured that there will be thousands of hours of on-demand Olympics content available on the networks and streaming outlets of Comcast NBCUniversal, which has the rights to broadcast the Olympics in the U.S. through 2032.
4) Moving into specific TV shows we’re anticipating, let’s start with Hulu’s High Fidelity. The concept sounds a little suspect to us, who are devoted (read: older than millennial) fans of John Cusack’s original movie interpretation of Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel of the same name. However, Hulu’s TV remake starring Big Little Lies’ Zoe Kravitz is getting good early buzz, so we’re willing to put aside our Cusack loyalties and check it out. And for everyone that hates Valentine’s Day, good news: You can distract yourself on Feb. 14 by bingeing this.
5) Stephen King + HBO + Jason Bateman = Yes, please. Luckily, we don’t have to wait long: HBO’s supernatural thriller, The Outsider, based on yet another best-selling Stephen King novel premieres Sunday. Jan. 12.
6) There’s no way we’re missing Cate Blanchett’s TV debut as FX’s Mrs. America, a retelling of the story of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, coming this spring to FX on Hulu. Besides the always-beguiling Blanchett, the star-studded cast features Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chishold and Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug.
7) Fleabag and Killing Eve fans—and that should be all of us, really—are waiting with bated breath for HBO’s Run. The comedic thriller stars the inimitable Merritt Wever, who in 2019 made a huge impact in Netflix’s limited series Unbelievable, as a woman who made a pact with her high-school boyfriend (Rise of Skywalker’s Domhnall Gleeson) to reunite if they were still single as adults. It’s executive produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who scooped up a pile of Emmys in September for her masterwork thus far, season 2 of Fleabag. Waller-Bridge’s producing partner, Vicky Jones, wrote and executive produced the series, which is coming sometime this year.
8) Sticking with Fleabag for a minute, and another favorite show of 2019, HBO’s Succession, AMC’s Quiz, starring Fleabag’s Sian Clifford and Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen sounds must-watch for fans of either of those actors. Clifford and Macfadyen play Diana and Charles Ingram, an English couple who were accused of cheating their way to victory on the English version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2001. The limited series comes from British playwright and screenwriter James Graham, who recently penned TV movie Brexit: The Uncivil War for HBO.
9) Season 2 of Disney+’s The Mandalorian returns this fall. Because let’s face it: we are all dying to know who Baby Yoda really is.
9b) Honorable mentions: season five of Vince Gilligan’s brilliant Breaking Bad sequel Better Call Saul; season four of FX’s Fargo from creator and executive producer Noah Hawley, starring Chris Rock, Timothy Olyphant, Uzo Aduba, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, Jessie Buckley and songwriter Andrew Bird; and CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard, featuring the return of Patrick Stewart to the Star Trek universe.
10) Finally, we are looking forward to all of the great events we at Team Promax are planning for our community, including Promax Europe in Madrid March 16-17; our annual global conference in Los Angeles June 16-18; Station Summit in Las Vegas June 22-26, and networking and professional development workshops all year long. Stay tuned for more details and see you in 2020!