16 Television Events to Look Forward to in 2016
There is a reason that the 2015-2016 television season has been paired with the term “Peak TV.” With over 400 scripted television shows airing in 2015, it can be hard to trim down the offerings and dive into the right shows. In the spirit of the new year, here are 16 television shows and events to look out for in the coming months:
Colony (USA, Jan 14): USA has revamped the network after many of their staple scripted shows (Burn Notice, Psych, White Collar) bowed out over the past two years. Hoping to deliver the same level of critical acclaim and success that Mr. Robot had during the fall months, Lost producer Carlton Cuse has developed a fresh, dystopian, science-fiction series that stars well-known television actors Josh Holloway (Lost) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead).
Angie Tribeca (TBS, Jan 17): Possibly the most curiously unusual debut in 2016 belongs to this police-procedural parody, created by Steve and Nancy Carell. Starring Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) as a 10-year veteran of the NYPD’s Really Heinous Crimes Unit, TBS’s new offering will debut with the entire first season being played back-to-back over 25 hours on Jan 17th. The second season will then pick up a week later, with episodes resuming a normal weekly release.
Legends of Tomorrow (CW, Jan 21): The CW Network has been working hard with successful writer/producer Greg Berlanti in creating television’s answer to the Avengers film franchise. As a spin-off of both Arrow and The Flash, Berlanti has gathered up a team of secondary characters from both shows to tackle yet another less-familiar DC villain: Vandal Savage. As one of the most ambitious shows to debut this midseason, Legends of Tomorrow promises to introduce even more exciting adventures while maintaining a strong connection to the former shows.
The 100, Season 3 (CW, Jan 21): When the second season ended nearly a year ago, every plotline went into full mayhem. The 100 definitely did not suffer a sophomore slump and is positioned to have its best season yet. This apocalyptic teen drama has quietly landed on many critics’ radars, as many praise the treatment of morality in characters, as well as the dynamic and complex nature of several women in the series. The first two seasons of the series are currently available for streaming through Netflix.
The X-Files revival miniseries (FOX, Jan 24): Nearly 15 years after the close of the television series, franchise creator Chris Carter and long-time lead actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have reunited for a 6-episode limited miniseries. Carter will presumably continue his plans for what would have been a third feature film in which Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) investigate the impending alien invasion foreshadowed in the 2002 series finale. If successful, there is a slight chance that the miniseries will be extended.
The Magicians (SyFy, Jan 25): The executives at SyFy are revamping their programming again, and it’s a relief that the new slate of shows are actually good. Adapted from the Lev Grossman novel of the same name, The Magicians follows Quentin Coldwater as he enters a college for magicians, while his childhood best friend is denied admission. Compared to the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise, the SyFy series will also blend the supernatural world of magic with the debauchery of college social life.
Grease: Live (FOX, Jan 31): The executives at FOX seem to be on Memory Lane this winter as they bring back several events from the past to their slate this season. Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars) and Aaron Tveit (Graceland) star in the live adaptation of the classic musical as Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko. Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Ana Gasteyer, and Mario Lopez also star.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX, Feb 2): The latest anthology project to be produced by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, Scream Queens) is star-studded and ready to re-enact the murder trial of O.J. Simpson for its first season. Cast includes Cuba Gooding Jr., Sarah Paulson, John Travolta, David Schwimmer, Selma Blair, Connie Britton, and more. Murphy and Falchuk picture American Crime Story as a companion series to American Horror Story while the latter is on hiatus for the year.
Vinyl (HBO, Feb 14): New York never sounded better than 1970s rock ‘n’ roll. Executively produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire), Vinyl is the story of the rise of American Century Records not unlike the similar plot of FOX’s Empire. Fans of Boardwalk Empire will be pleased to see this new project from Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter, who will also direct. Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano also star.
11.22.63 (Hulu, Feb 15): The newest Hulu Original has all of the working pieces in place to solidify Hulu as a power player in the crowded TV market. Adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name, and executive produced by King and acclaimed director J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), 11.22.63 tells the story of a present-day teacher who finds himself in 1958, attempting to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. James Franco leads the cast in this 8-episode miniseries.
Better Call Saul season 2 (AMC, Feb 15): It can be hard to follow the success of a monster hit like Breaking Bad, yet this Vince Gilligan prequel and spin-off has found its voice and nuance, mostly due in part to the lovable Bob Odenkirk as a small-time lawyer. Season 2 will play double-duty for the series, by both connecting it to the predecessor and separating itself into its own namesake. Odenkirk’s performance was widely lauded by many critics and has led to multiple acting nominations.
Fuller House (Netflix, Feb 26): Possibly the most-anticipated television reunion of the year goes to the cast of the 80s/90s classic Full House. Netflix has ordered a 13-episode season which will follow eldest Tanner daughter, D.J., as she enlists her sister, Stephanie and her best friend, Kimmy Gibbler to help raise her three children after the death of her husband, Tommy. With the exception of the Olsen twins, all former cast members will have some role on the series. Carly Rae Jepsen has recreated the original theme song for the Netflix Original series as well.
The Path (Hulu, Mar 30): Little is known about this project, but buzz is already gathering about this faith-based drama that deals with leadership within a cult. The series marks the return of Aaron Paul in a drama series after his critically-acclaimed role as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad. Michelle Monaghan also stars.
Game of Thrones season 6 (HBO, Apr 24): Fans of the book series and the television series will join together as Season 6 will unveil original content not seen in either series so far. The conclusion of the fifth season left audiences hanging as many characters, including fan-favorite Jon Snow, have met unclear fates. Although absent in the fifth season, many expect Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) to become a key player in the Game of Thrones narrative.
Luke Cage (Netflix, premiere date TBD): Marvel Television’s partnership with Netflix has been successful during 2015 as the first two of their four planned Netflix Original series (“Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones”) have been met with critical acclaim. Luke Cage will deviate from the dark and noir feels of the previous shows and will take place a few months after the events of Jessica Jones. Mike Colter returns as the eponymous hero and guest stars will include a return of Rosario Dawson as nurse Claire Temple.
Westworld (HBO, premiere date TBD): HBO’s newest foray into science-fiction is an adaptation of Michael Crichton’s directorial debut of the same name from 1973. Westworld has survived decades of planning after the first attempt at television in 1980 failed miserably. The cast is headed by film greats Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris, and is rounded out with Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, and Thandie Newton. J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk serve as executive producers.