FLOOD’s 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2016
The twenty-five shows we're most looking forward to giving up our healthy New Years resolutions for.
With the Golden Globes wrapped and the midseason replacements fighting for a chance to secure a permanent seat at a network’s table, the world of television stopped resting on their 2015 laurels—even though some of last year’s shows were pretty spectacular—and hit the ground running with new and exciting programming for 2016. FOX and its sister cable stations have a big year planned with strong, strange comedies and a ton of ’90s nostalgia, while Hulu‘s grabbing 2016 by the horns with eerie dramas. Once again, HBO and Netflix have enough highly anticipated shows in their respective arsenals to make heads spin, but Sundance’s new buddy dramedy might have them all beat.
We’re only a couple of weeks into 2016 and it’s already shaping up to be a great year for the boob tube. Below, we bring you the twenty-five TV shows that we’re most looking forward to this year—from inspired debut seasons to the return of some of our favorite small screen veterans.
Telenovela: Season One
Eva Longoria has always been a star who is able to take a joke, and in her new series Telenovela, she’s the butt of a lot of them. Longoria stars as Ana Sofia, a big telenovela star (the fictional show is called Las Leyes de Pasión) who doesn’t speak a word of English, but it’s the zany antics of the rest of the cast and crew that give this new NBC sitcom some legs.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Eleven
Last season, the Paddy’s Pub gang tried to beat Wade Boggs’ beer-drinking record, join a cult, and win a Family Feud–style game show. While this season promises to have the gang go skiing and reignite the Chardee MacDennis board game fight, we know our beloved scamps will just end up smashing beer bottles in a parking lot and quitting. It’s the Always Sunny way!
Man Seeking Woman: Season Two
The first season of Man Seeking Woman was quietly one of the funniest shows on TV last year. So good, in fact, that despite it not getting very much attention, FXX still made the right choice by picking it up for another go in 2016. We anxiously await to find out if Josh (Jay Baruchel) ever gets around to finishing Carnivàle or Infinite Jest.
American Crime: Season Two
Created by John Ridley—writer behind 12 Years a Slave, Three Kings, and the eternal Eddie Griffin classic Undercover Brother—the first season of American Crime was about what America looked like in 2015, whether we liked it or not. For season two, we’re moving on to 2016, and the problems run as deep as ever.
Angie Tribeca: Seasons One and Two
After the (almost) laughably bad second season of True Detective, it makes total sense that Nancy and Steve Carell created a brand-new cop show that lampoons everything about the moody procedurals that have saturated the TV market lately. Starring Rashida Jones, Angie Tribeca‘s entire first season will air in a marathon on January 17, and the second season will kick off on the 25th.
Baskets: Season One
Though his triple-trip through the Hangover series has endeared him to a mainstream audience, Zach Galifianakis has always been a strange guy—just ask President Obama. If the other president—that’d be John Landgraf of FX—is to be believed, Baskets, Galifianakis’ comedy that will begin airing on the network later this month, is Zach at his incomprehensible weirdest. The show, which is produced by Louis C. K., follows Galifianakis in Paris as he trains to become a clown, only to plop him back home in the US, where he finds work in the rodeo. Worth watching just to hear him list his favorite European sodas.
Portlandia: Season Six
Now entering its sixth season, Portlandia has gone from cool to so-cool-that-it’s-not-cool to so-not-cool-that-it’s-cool-
The X-Files: Season Ten
The X-Files was a cultural phenomenon that made anyone who watch it question everything. Now, because no television show truly dies anymore, Mulder and Scully are back to find the truth that’s out there and to bring their sexual tension back to the small screen.
American Crime Story: The People v. O. J. Simpson
We’re not fools. FX’s retelling of the O. J. Simpson trial doesn’t look like it’ll be particularly well-made television. But come on! It’s the O. J. trial! You get Cuba Gooding Jr. as The Juice! David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian! Those hairpieces! It’s like they brought everything you loved about those heady days back to life and wrapped them into one of the decade’s biggest TV events. Now, if FX can just resurrect Norm MacDonald’s career.
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Season One
When the mass exodus from Jon Stewart’s incarnation of The Daily Show happened last year, we were left with a Samantha Bee–shaped hole in our hearts. Now, she’s coming back with her own late-night talk show where she’ll smash glass ceilings and probably talk to some great celebrities.
Last Week Tonight: Season Three
Losing both The Colbert Report and Stewart’s Daily Show was a big blow this past year, but thankfully John Oliver is still going strong with his long-form news satire on Last Week Tonight. It still seems weird to hear him curse without a bleep, though.
Vinyl: Season One
All you really need to know about Vinyl is that it’s an HBO show spearheaded by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. It could be about literally anything, and that would be enough. But then when you find out that it’s a period piece about the 1970s NYC music scene? Fuhgeddaboutit.
Stephen King’s 2011 novel 11.22.63 told the story of a high-school teacher who goes back in time to put a stop the Kennedy assassination. King’s meticulously researched tale was remarkable for its sense of realism (uh, time travel aside), and with James Franco in the lead role, we’re interested to see how closely Hulu’s miniseries adaptation of the novel hues to King’s historical and political vision.
Better Call Saul: Season Two
Better Call Saul’s first season introduced us to struggling lawyer Jimmy McGill and gruff parking attendant Mike. Season two will get us closer to meeting flashy criminal lawyer Saul Goodman and Gus Fring’s right-hand man Mike.
Love: Season One
With the early exits of his previous contributions Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, Judd Apatow has really deserved to be treated better in the TV world. Maybe the third time’s the charm, though, with Love, a new short-form comedy about…love.
Girls: Season Five
You might feel a wave of sadness wash over you when Girls comes back next month, but don’t forget that this isn’t the end! It’s a good thing that season five is only Lena Dunham’s penultimate season because she’s got a ton of storylines to wrap up: Marnie’s wedding to a lame musician? Shoshanna’s move to Tokyo? Jessa and Adam’s friendship? Hannah’s dad’s new life as a gay man? There are too many for one season and, thankfully, Dunham’s got a bit more time.
Hap & Leonard: Season One
Hap Collins (James Purefoy) is a womanizing Texan and Leonard Pine (Michael K. Williams) is a gay Vietnam vet—together they’re best friends who work for a shady private investigator. When Collins’ ex-wife (Christina Hendricks) comes back into the picture, all hell breaks loose in this dark comedy.
The Path: Season One
Before he was making meth and calling people “bitch,” Aaron Paul was a semi-regular character on HBO’s polygamy drama Big Love. With The Path, Paul returns to the world of fringe religion, where he’s joined by Michelle Monaghan. The pair play a married couple at the center of a controversial religious cult that is totally not based on Scientology, but like any cult worth the title it nevertheless tries to control every aspect of its adherents’ lives.
Game of Thrones: Season Six
George R. R. Martin may be behind schedule with the Game of Thrones book that’s supposed to coincide with the upcoming sixth season of the show, but have no fear: Martin himself says that the two universes have divided to the point that neither vehicle can truly spoil the other. Or is that just what he wants you to think…
Marvel’s Luke Cage: Season One
Now that superheroes are out there having complicated sex with each other and developing drinking problems and basically acting like totally non-super people, the entire genre feels fresh. Marvel’s Jessica Jones introduced us to Mike Colter’s impenetrably tough (in more ways than one!) Luke Cage, and now he’s getting his own series, which will be set among the dank nightclubs of Harlem. Sweet Christmas!
BoJack Horseman: Season Three
With its second season, BoJack Horseman revealed its true colors as a show about the exhausting struggle to be good and do good in the world. It was the most pathos lent to a talking horse since the death of Mr. Ed. Like the last two seasons of Aaron Sorkin’s SportsNight, it hardly matters at this point whether seasons three of BoJack Horseman is funny.
Flaked: Season One
Netflix apparently won a massive bidding war for Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s debut TV series. And—that’s about all we know so far! But the pairing of Batmanglij and Marling has been fruitful in the past: the two previously worked together on the films Sound of My Voice and The East, and as with those two films, The OA will be directed with Batmanglij and star Marling, with the pair sharing writing credits.
Even before she broke through with her dead-serious Live record—recorded just days after she received a cancer diagnosis—Tig Notaro was one of the sharpest comedians in the LA scene. The success of that record (and the scope of the story surrounding it) led to the documentary Tig, last year’s HBO special, and now the semi-autobiographical One Mississippi, in which Notaro’s character returns to her home state to bury her beloved mother.
Untitled Woody Allen Series
Somehow not letting it get in the way of his one-movie-a-year routine, Woody Allen is currently working on his first-ever television show. Amazon still seems like a strange landing place for someone who doesn’t exactly strike us as a couch-potato type of guy, but, hey, he did predict the future once.