The 26 Most Anticipated New TV Shows of 2020

Tiffany Haddish and Octavia Spencer in Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.
Tiffany Haddish and Octavia Spencer in Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.
Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

Last year, Apple TV+ and Disney+ entered the streaming wars, meaning that when it comes to deciding which new TV show to watch, there are now more choices than ever. Ryan Murphy’s Netflix deal includes a few new shows, and because Disney owns both Hulu and FX, so the streaming network is regularly airing FX series.

High-profile celebrities continue to gravitate toward prestige TV, too (welcome back, Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman), where this year we'll see them starring in book adaptation limited series and movies-turned-TV series. While there are dozens of new series we're eagerly looking forward to this year across all platforms—conventional and streaming—here are some of the most anticipated shows of 2020, including a few that have already started airing.

1. AJ and the Queen

Release date: January 10

Netflix’s new “Queen”-titled show has nothing to do with The Crown, but everything to do with working it. RuPaul stars as Ruby Red, a drag queen who travels across country with a 10-year-old stowaway named Amber Jasmine (AJ). RuPaul and Sex and the City’s Michael Patrick King created the show, executive-produced, and co-wrote several of the episodes. Throughout the 10 episodes, guest stars include Sex and the City’s Mario Cantone, Mary Kay Place, Jane Krakowski, and cameos from former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants.

2. Star Trek: Picard

Release date: January 23

Finally, Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard gets his own series, on CBS All Access. The show takes place in the 24th century, 20 years after the events of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. Star Trek alums Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, and Jonathan Frakes reprise their roles, and Picard’s joined by new character Number One, an adorable pitbull.

3. McMillions

Release date: February 3

Between 1989 and 2001, McDonald’s offered a Monopoly game in which customers could win prizes, ranging from free food to millions of dollars. However, HBO’s six-part true crime docuseries—from Mark Wahlberg’s production company—explores how an ex-cop committed “fast food fraud” and how no one legitimately won the money.

4. Briarpatch

Release date: February 6

For the first time in her lengthy career, Rosario Dawson headlines a series. She plays Allegra Dill, a woman investigating the murder of her sister in a Texas town. Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail returns to USA network to produce the southern noir anthology, which is based on the eponymous novel.

5. High Fidelity

Release date: February 14

Twenty-five years after Nick Hornby’s titular book was published and 20 years after the John Cusack film adaptation, High Fidelity returns—on Valentine’s Day, no less—as a Hulu series. This time, Hi-Fi cast member Lisa Bonet’s daughter, Zoë Kravitz, takes over the lovesick, music-loving Rob character. Dolemite Is My Name’s Da’Vine Joy Randolph fills in for Jack Black as the friends navigate dating in Brooklyn instead of Chicago.

6. The Good Lord Bird

Release date: February 16

Joshua Caleb Johnson and Ethan Hawke in The Good Lord Bird.William Gray, SHOWTIME

From Blumhouse Productions, this new Showtime series is based on James McBride’s 2013 award-winning fictional novel about real life abolitionist John Brown, who in 1859 raided an arsenal at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia in order to initiate a slave revolt. Ethan Hawke produces and plays Brown; Daveed Diggs plays Frederick Douglass, and Wyatt Russell plays U.S. Army Officer J.E.B. Stuart.

7. Year of the Rabbit

Release date: February 19

Veep writers Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil created this dark comedy series that originally aired last year on England's Channel 4. This winter, the show hits America on IFC, and stars FX’s What We Do in the Shadows star Matt Berry as the drunken and bearded Detective Inspector Rabbit. He and his team comically investigate murders during Victorian England and satirize terms like patriarchy and how people shouldn’t call a dead body “beautiful.”

8. Hunters

Release date: February 21

Hot off his Oscar-nominated Jimmy Hoffa role in The Irishman, Al Pacino stars as a Nazi hunter in 1977 New York City. Jordan Peele executive produced the Amazon Prime series, which also stars Logan Lerman, Carol Kane, Josh Radnor, Lena Olin, and Dylan Baker.

9. Amazing Stories

Release date: March 6

Kerry Lynne Bishé stars in the reboot of Amazing Stories.Apple TV+

Steven Spielberg’s two-season 1980s anthology series gets reimagined for Apple TV+, with Spielberg returning as one of many executive producers. Each episode will be based on fictional stories of wonder and will feature actors like Ed Burns and the late Robert Forster.

10. The Plot Against America

Release date: March 16

The Wire’s David Simon returns to HBO and re-teams with frequent collaborator Ed Burns for this limited series. Based on the 2004 Philip Roth novel, The Plot Against America reimagines an America in which Charles Lindbergh beats FDR in the 1940 presidential election and American turns toward fascism. The timely six-part miniseries stars Winona Ryder, John Turturro, and Zoe Kazan.

11. Little Fires Everywhere

Release date: March 18

Celeste Ng’s 2017 award-winning novel, about two disparate families living in a Cleveland suburb, gets the Reese Witherspoon limited series treatment for Hulu. The actress and producer stars as affluent mother Elena Richardson, and Kerry Washington—who also produces—stars as struggling mother Mia Warren. The title refers to both literal and metaphorical fires.

12. Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Release date: March 20

Octavia Spencer stars in Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker.Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

When Madam C.J. Walker died in 1919, she was known as the richest black woman and richest self-made businesswoman in America, having amassed almost $1 million. The Netflix limited series, based on A'Lelia Bundles's On Her Own Ground, follows Walker (played by Octavia Spencer), who made her money selling cosmetics and hair care products to black woman. Tiffany Haddish, Carmen Ejojo, Blair Underwood, Garrett Morris, and Bill Bellamy also star, and Spencer executive produces with Kasi Lemmons and LeBron James.

13. Mrs. America

Release date: April 15

The 1970s saw a rise in women’s lib, but not every woman was on board for progress, especially Phyllis Schlafly. In the FX on Hulu miniseries Mrs. America, Cate Blanchett plays the anti-feminist activist, who was against ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (it still hasn’t been ratified in every state). The rest of the all-star cast includes Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem, Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm (the first black woman elected to Congress and the first woman to run for president for the Democratic party), Tracey Ullman as The Feminine Mystique writer Betty Friedan, John Slattery as Schlafly’s husband, and Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug, one of the founders of the National Women’s Political Caucus. Captain Marvel’s Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden co-executive produce with Blanchett.

14. Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

Release date: April 26

Showtime’s Penny Dreadful creator John Logan and producers Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris spin off their macabre show and set it 40 years later in 1930s Los Angeles. Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer plays a demon, Nathan Lane plays a LAPD officer, and Daniel Zovatto plays the LAPD’s first Mexican American detective, which taps into the era’s racism and supernatural theme.

15. Snowpiercer

Release date: May 31

Based on the 2013 sci-fi film co-written and directed by newly-minted triple-Oscar winner Boon Joon Ho and based on a French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiecer the series, which will air on TNT, is set seven years after Earth has become a frozen post-apocalyptic wasteland. Wealthy and poor people are stuck on a perpetually moving train. Instead of Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, the show stars a large cast that includes Daveed Diggs, Jennifer Connelly, The Americans’s Alison Wright and Sean Bean.

16. The Undoing

Release date: May

In this six-part dramatic HBO miniseries—based on the novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz—Nicole Kidman re-teams with Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley and stars as a successful New York therapist whose life unravels when she discovers her husband (Hugh Grant) might have been responsible for a murder. Emmy-winning director Susanne Bier directs and executive produces with Kidman and Kelley.

17. Genius: Aretha

Release date: May

Tony Award winner and Oscar-nominated actress Cynthia Erivo (Harriet, The Outsider) steps into the Queen of Soul’s shoes in the latest eight-episode installment of National Geographic’s ongoing Genius series. This marks the first time the program will feature a woman—the other two seasons focused on Picasso and Einstein—and the first time Aretha Franklin’s estate has authorized a scripted series about the late icon's life.

18. Hollywood

Release date: May

Ryan Murphy’s first produced and distributed Netflix show will focus on Hollywood in the 1940s; Murphy has called it his “love letter to the Golden Age of Tinseltown.” The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Emmy winner Darren Criss executive produced the series and stars alongside Patti LuPone, Jim Parsons, Mira Sorvino, Samara Weaving, Rob Reiner, The Politician’s David Corenswet, Dylan McDermott, and Holland Taylor.

19. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Release date: August

Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie reprise their Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier and Sam Wilson/Falcon roles, respectively, in this six-episode Disney+ series. The show picks up after Avengers: Endgame and is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America: Civil War’s Helmut Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl), Emily VanCamp, and Wyatt Russell round out the cast.

20. Ratched

Release date: September

In 1976, Louise Fletcher won an Oscar for portraying the evil Nurse Ratched in the film adaption of Ken Kesey’s 1962 book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (The film won in all five major Oscar categories.) The medical-pro-of-nightmares returns via Netflix in the form of an origin story, with Sarah Paulson playing the murderous Nurse Ratched. Ryan Murphy and Michael Douglas (who won an Oscar for producing the original film) executive produce, while Sharon Stone, Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon, Don Cheadle, Vincent D’Onofrio, Rosanna Arquette, and Judy Davis also star.

21. Impeachment: American Crime Story

Release date: TBD

Not that impeachment. Ryan Murphy explores the more than 20-year-old Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, with Sarah Paulson starring as Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein as Monica Lewinsky, and Clive Owen as the impeached President Clinton.

22. Space Force

Release date: TBD

In 2019, Donalf Trump signed into existence the sixth branch of the military: Space Force. Greg Daniels, creator of The Office and co-creator of Parks and Recreation, saw an opportunity to form a Netflix comedy around the idea. Daniels enlists The Office’s Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Parks and Rec’s Ben Schwartz, Fred Willard, and Noah Emmerich; Carell will also produce.

23. The Haunting of Bly Manor

Release date: TBD

In 2018, Mike Flanagan had a hit with his Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House, based on Shirley Jackson's 1959 novel. This year, Flanagan continues his literary ghost story anthology. The Haunting of Bly Manor, based on Henry James’s 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw, sees a few Hill House cast members return: Henry Thomas, Victoria Pedretti, Kate Siegel, Katie Parker, and Oliver Jackson-Cohen. Pendretti plays a governess who looks after two children at Bly manor. She, of course, begins to see ghastly things.

24. Central Park

Release date: TBD

This summer Loren Bouchard, creator of Bob’s Burgers, brings a star-studded animated musical comedy to Apple TV+. The show’s about a group of workers who attempt to save New York’s Central Park. Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Tituss Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, and Kathryn Hahn supply the voices.

25. Run

Release date: TBD

Phoebe Waller-Bridge poses with a handful of awards at the 71st Emmy Awards in 2019.Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Fresh off her many, many award wins for Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge returns with a new comedic show, this time for HBO. Emmy-winner Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie, Unbelievable) plays Ruby, a woman who starts an adventure with old flame Domhnall Gleeson. Instead of starring, Waller-Bridge plays a supporting role and executive produces with longtime collaborator Vicky Jones.

26. Your Honor

Release date: TBD

Based on Israeli series Kvodo, Showtime’s Your Honor follows a New Orleans judge (played by Bryan Cranston), whose son gets involved in a tricky hit-and-run. Cranston executive produced the 10-episode legal thriller alongside The Good Wife and The Good Fight’s Robert and Michelle King. Michael Stuhlbarg, Hope Davis, Carmen Ejogo, and Margo Martindale co-star.

11 Lively Gifts for Plant Parents

Blue Q/Amazon/Picnic Time/World Market
Blue Q/Amazon/Picnic Time/World Market

Many folks have been showing off their green thumbs this year thanks to the pandemic, so why not encourage their hobbies? There's a special gift for every kind of plant parent out there—think starter grow kits to gardening tools to cute cartoon socks. If the Christmas tree in the living room isn't enough greenery for your gift recipient's taste this festive season, we have some great gift options below.

1. Back To The Roots Garden In A Can Herb Growing Kit; $25

Back to the Roots/World Market

Herb gardens are compact, useful, and easy to maintain. If your giftee lives in an apartment and doesn't have outdoor space for a large garden, Back To The Roots's Garden In A Can Herb Growing Kit—a three-pack of basil, cilantro, and mint—is a great place for them to start their indoor horticultural journey.

Buy it: World Market

2. Plants Rock Cactus Growing Kit; $13

Plants Rock/World Market

Another option for small spaces is cacti, which do not require much water or attention. This kit makes it easy to start growing cacti in your gift recient's home. The tools are all included, so all your giftee has to do is plant the seeds and set the ceramic pot in a sunny spot.

Buy it: World Market

3. Picnic Time Folding Garden Stool With Tools; $69

Picnic Time/World Market

For more experienced gardeners, tools are essential for helping plants thrive. This stool with tools might solve the problem of sore knees and backs from kneeling in dirt. Not only is the seat portable and lightweight, but it also includes a storage tote and five pockets for tools like the included trowels and garden forks.

Buy it: World Market

4. Green and Pink Ribbed-Glass Plant Misters; $26

World Market

Indoor plants need as much care and attention as their outdoor cousins, but lugging around a watering can may cause a mess in your giftee's home. Using this set of two plant misters is an easy way to keep moisture-loving plants like orchids and Boston ferns nice and dewy.

Buy it: World Market

5. Cotton Macramé Plant Hanger; $18

World Market

Macramé plant hangers were all the rage back in the '70s. They've made a comeback this year as people have become craftier at home. This plant hanger is great for showing off plants that grow long, curtain-like tendrils and helpful when your giftee lives in a small space. With the roof as the limit, they can pack in as many plants as they want.

Buy it: World Market

6. Can't Kill Me 2021 Calendar; $8

TF Publishing/World Market

If your gift recipient loves plants but can't keep real ones alive, give them this mini wall calendar. It features, well, plant arrangements they can't kill, like succulents, bonsai trees, and snake plants. This calendar will surely add a dose of green to their home office.

Buy it: World Market

7. The New Plant Parent: Develop Your Green Thumb and Care for Your House-Plant Family; $17

Harry N. Abrams/Amazon

All gardeners want one simple thing: to know more about keeping their plants alive and thriving. This book has all the essentials for cultivating houseplants. It's full of tips and tricks for repotting a plant, taking care of certain types of plants, and adjusting light for your plant baby's survival.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Homenote Bamboo Plant Labels; $14

HOMENOTE/Amazon

Plant labels are a great way for your giftee to remember where they planted their rosemary versus their parsley before they sprout. This 60 label set comes with a pen, so the labeling process is a breeze.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Blue Q Proud Plant Mom Socks; $13

Blue Q/Amazon

Proud plant moms want to show off their love for their greenery any way they can. That's why these crew socks will be a hit with any of your green-thumbed friends. Blue Q also donates 1 percent of its sales revenue to Doctors Without Borders.

Buy it: Amazon

10. EuroGraphics 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle; $20

EuroGraphics Toys/Amazon

This 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle will occupy your gift recipients from the fall harvest to the spring planting season. The challenging design of multiple succulents features each plant's common and scientific name.

Buy it: Amazon

11. AeroGarden Indoor Hydroponic Garden; $124

AeroGarden/Amazon

If seasons don't matter to your giftee and they want to start their herb garden right now, then the AeroGarden is going to be their best friend. They'll be able to grow herbs like dill, thyme, and mint indoors in the middle of winter. Thanks to the LED grow lights, there is no need to worry about plants getting enough sunlight. They can grow up to six plants at a time, all year round.

Buy it: Amazon

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Get Playstation Plus and 12 Other Subscriptions for 80 Percent Off With This Entertainment Bundle

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Photo by EVG Culture from Pexels

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If you're looking to buy a gift for yourself or a loved one who has a wide variety of interests, this All-In-One Entertainment Bundle has all the streaming, language learning, exercise, and even group activity apps a person needs to get them through those cold winter months. Right now, the entire bundle is priced at just $200, which is 80 percent off the typical total. Here's a rundown of just five of the services you'll receive.

1. PlayStation Plus // One-Year Subscription

With a Playstation Plus subscription, you'll have access to an enormous online community of gamers to play against in classics like Star Wars: Battlefront II and the Call of Duty series on the PlayStation 4 (and PlayStation 5 when it launches). Subscribers are also given two free games per month and can participate in exclusive sales and other discounts on the PlayStation Store.

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If you’ve found yourself marveling at the History Channel and its hours of historical content, you’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg. This one-year subscription to History Hit TV will take you back in time through Ancient Greece and Egypt, the Middle Ages, and into the modern day. These stories are told through hundreds of history documentaries, interviews, and films, and with a subscription, you’ll even score an entire library of podcasts.

3. Yogadownload Unlimited Plan // One-Year Subscription

Bring some much-needed change to your fitness routine with this 4.9-star-rated yoga app. It comes with access to a library of over 1700 top-rated yoga and fitness classes that you can complete anytime from home.

4. Memrise Language Learning // Lifetime Subscription

This lifetime subscription to Memrise, CNET's pick for one of the best language apps of 2020, offers tutorials in 22 languages, featuring short video clips from 30,000 native speakers. Memrise distinguishes itself from other language learning apps with a unique approach that mimics the way you’d learn a language from another human, so it still has the personal feel of an in-person class.

5. Kast TV Premium // One-Year Subscription

Kast might be your only ticket to connecting with your group of buddies from college or an annual Friendsgiving this year. The video-sharing app allows you to watch TV or play games together with others, all from your very own living rooms through simultaneous desktop and webcam streaming. Hold a movie night, game night, or virtual house party to make the holidays feel special during this unique year.

Prices subject to change.