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io9's Ultimate Guide to 2018's Scifi, Fantasy, and Superhero TV

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We just wrapped up a killer year in TV, and it looks like 2018 is poised for similar excellence, thanks to all the long-awaited series returns (for both new seasons and midseason cliffhanger resolutions) and enticing brand-new shows. Here’s your guide to what’s on the horizon (along with a few that will have aired by the time you read this).



Midseason premiere: January 1 at 8:00 pm, Fox

After the midseason finale, which revealed the appropriately Biblical identity of the “Sinnerman” slayer who’s been lurking on the fringes, Lucifer eased back into its third season with another one of its more lighthearted standalone episodes. This time, we got a flashback to the Devil’s arrival in the City of Angels, long before he started larking around with the LAPD.


The Gifted

Midseason premiere: January 1 at 9:00 pm, Fox

We put this show on our 2017 list of best shows, so you can bet we’re excited to see what the mutants (and their friends) get up to next. The Strucker family has already gone through a ton of drama and horror in just half a season, so we hope they get some good news soon. Probably not though, considering the X-Men villains who recently popped up.

The X-Files

Season 11 premiere: January 3 at 8:00 pm, Fox

Feelings were mixed on season 10 of The X-Files, and our feelings about last night’s premiere were mixed as well. Hopefully things will improve quickly, although we have some concerns. We already know Monica Reyes, the Cigarette Smoking Man, and some other familiar faces will be back, and none other than Mr. I-See-Dead-People himself, Haley Joel Osment, will star in a Skinner-centric episode.


The Good Place

Midseason premiere: January 4 at 8:30 pm, NBC

Just when we think they’ve painted themselves into a corner, the writers for The Good Place remind us how talented they are. Everyone on this show is amazing, but D’Arcy Carden really kicked it up a notch last year with her increasingly human depiction of the lovable yet unpredictable AI Janet.


Steven Universe

New episodes premiere: January 5 at 7:30 pm, Cartoon Network

We’re only getting two new episodes on this date, and we don’t know when we’ll get more. But any new Steven Universe is a good thing.


Agents of SHIELD

Midseason premiere: January 5 at 9:00 pm, ABC

We’ve been telling you for awhile that if you gave up on Agents of SHIELD awhile ago, you’ve been missing out—and it’s time to get back in the fold. So far this season’s been a little less intense than last season, but we’ve still been loving watching the team do their thing in outer space... in the future.


Star Trek: Discovery

Midseason premiere: January 7, CBS All Access

Where did Captain Lorca point the Discovery when he fiddled with that “final jump” and sent the ship in the opposite direction of Starfleet and safety? Is Lt. Stamets ever going to recover from what he’s been through? And most importantly, is Lt. Tyler a Klingon in disguise, or what? These questions may or may not be answered in the second half of what’s so far been an intriguing but oft-frustrating premiere season.


The Magicians

Season premiere: January 10 at 9:00 pm, Syfy

The Magicians haven’t been feeling so, well, magical after losing their powers last season. But now they’re bringing sexy back, heading out on an epic quest to restore magic to all the realms. Unfortunately, they’ve still got a secret fairy takeover of Fillory to deal with. Will magic bring balance, or destroy them all? Time to hit the high seas and find out.


Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Series premiere: January 12, Amazon

Ronald D. Moore (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) and Bryan Cranston are among the producers of this anthology series based on stories by legendary scifi author Philip K. Dick—so that means dystopian, crime-filled cities and tales of artificial humans, space tourism, and totalitarian governments.


Midseason premiere: January 15 at 8:00 pm, The CW

Three words: Legion. Of. Superheroes.

The Flash

Midseason premiere: January 16 at 8:00 pm, The CW

At his highest of highs, the newly-married Barry Allen faced a huge dilemma—run or let himself be arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, just like his father. The show returns with “The Trial of the Flash,” which you may remember was one of the various glimpses we got of past and future incidents when Barry returned from the Speed Force at the beginning of the season.

Black Lightning

Series premiere: January 16 at 9:00 pm, The CW

The CW is about to shake up the Arrowverse line-up by introducing a retired superhero who lives outside its continuity: Black Lightning, who not only finally gets a live-action adaption, but is also bringing along his heroically-inclined daughters for the ride. Not being connected to the other DC TV series means Black Lightning should be able to tell its own story, and we couldn’t be more excited for it.


Midseason premiere: January 17 at 8:00 pm, The CW

The ending to the big Black Hood mystery didn’t thrill us, but perhaps there’s more to the story. One thing’s for sure, Riverdale High is about to get a lot more busy with the arrival of Southside High transfers. We look forward to more red lipstick, awkward dance scenes, secretive moms, bad dads, and Jughead eating everything in sight in the second half of the season.



Midseason premiere: January 18 at 8:00 pm, The CW

Danneel Ackles (wife of Jensen “Dean Winchester” Ackles) guest stars, as the show continues to do what it’s done since 2005, and will continue to do forever and ever and ever...



Midseason premiere: January 18 at 9:00 pm, The CW

After learning there was a mole hiding in their ranks, Team Arrow is fractured. Again. But hey, at least we’ve basically broken away from the flashbacks.


Series premiere: January 21 at 8:00 pm, Starz

The always-great J.K. Simmons stars in this scifi thriller about a pencil-pusher who realizes the government agency he’s working for has long been concealing the existence of a parallel dimension. Things get really odd when his double (a badass secret agent) pops up in his world and enlists him to help catch a killer who’s also slipped in from the other side.


Altered Carbon

Series premiere: February 2, Netflix

By now you’ve probably seen some of the images and trailers touting Netflix’s take on Richard K. Morgan’s cyberpunk classic. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and it has a killer mystery to match. A soldier (at first Will Yun Lee, then Joel Kinnaman) wakes up after his apparent death in an unfamiliar body, the beneficiary of technology that allows human consciousness to be uploaded into a new “sleeve” when the old one expires—and is soon tasked with solving a freaky futuristic mystery.


Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block

Season premiere: February 7, Syfy

The horror anthology returns to take inspiration from another Creepypasta tale; this time, the story will follow a young woman who becomes caught up in a series of bizarre disappearances, with Rutger Hauer playing a man with a tragic past who may be connected to the mystery.


Legends of Tomorrow

Midseason premiere: February 12 at 9:00 pm (taking over Supergirl’s timeslot), The CW


Legends of Tomorrow has really been leading the pack of CW superhero shows, but we’re extra-excited leading into the midseason premiere, considering Matt Ryan’s excellent magician-asshole John Constantine arrived at the end of the last episode. Fingers crossed he’ll stick around for the full season—and maybe beyond.

Stargate: Origins

Series premiere: February 15, MGM’s new digital platform Stargate Command

We recently got a new teaser that gave us our best look yet at the latest installment in the Stargate series, and as the title suggests, it’ll travel back in time to explore the adventures of young Catherine Langford. It’s got kind of a swashbuckling, Indiana Jones vibe—except with, you know, crazy alien technology.


The Tick

Midseason premiere: February 23, Amazon

It’s been months since the first half of The Tick reboot came to Amazon, but there’s still plenty of time to binge-refresh those six episodes in anticipation of the second half. When you do, you’ll recall the midseason finale ended with Arthur being kidnapped—just as he and the Tick were getting into their superhero groove. Also, the Terror is most definitely alive, which is surely gonna shake things up.


Ash vs. Evil Dead

Season premiere: February 25 at 9:00 pm, Starz

Finally, finally, gorehounds will get the long-awaited third installment of the splat-tastic horror comedy. This season sees Ash settling down in Elk Grove, Michigan, where he’s attained hero status after spending decades as the town pariah—and where he reconnects with the daughter he never knew he had. Of course, supernatural mayhem and gallons of stage blood are never far behind on Ash vs. Evil Dead, so all that warm fuzzy stuff will probably be perilously short-lived.


The Walking Dead

Midseason premiere: February 25 at 9:00 pm, AMC

The Saviors escaped the elaborate trap Rick set for them and his son Carl has been bitten by a zombie (although he’s not quite dead yet), so Rick lost a hell of a lot on the midseason finale. But overall this current season has been thrilling enough that, despite some irritating contrivances, has made us actually eagerly for the show’s return.


Once Upon a Time

Midseason premiere: March 2 at 8:00 pm, ABC

The “soft reboot” seventh season continues with more fairy-tale drama in the big city.


Jessica Jones

Season premiere: March 8, Netflix

Though we finally got a trailer for the second season of Jessica Jones, we still don’t know much about where the grumpy curmudgeon is headed. What we do know is that Jessica’s usual mood pretty much sums up our feelings about 2017—so this is absolutely the best thing to debut early in 2018. Also, David Tennant’s Purple Man is back to haunt Jessica, although presumably he’s just in her mind. Presumably.


Series premiere: March, Syfy

It’s prequel time! This David S. Goyer series will delve into the status quo of Superman’s home planet Krypton two generations before it’s set to be destroyed. Kal-El’s grandfather, Seg-El, leads his house in a turbulent time and joins forces with DC Comics character Adam Strange, a time-traveler who warns him of Kypton’s impending doom.



Second midseason premiere: April 16 at 8:00 pm (reclaiming timeslot from Legends), The CW


Guess who’s back? Back again.


The Handmaid’s Tale

Season premiere: April, Hulu

Hulu’s landmark adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel returns, and if the season one finale was any indication, things are about to change big-time in Gilead. Of course, this far out, we don’t know anything about the plot for certain, but we sure have tons of questions. Where was that van taking the pregnant Offred/June? Will we see her lead a revolution to unseat the misogynistic, fundamentalist government? Will she reclaim her daughter and reunite with her husband and Moira? And what carefully-selected pop songs will underscore the action in season two?


Lost in Space

Series premiere: May, Netflix

A whole new generation is about to learn the catchphrase “Danger, Will Robinson!” when Netflix reboots this 1960s series about a family of space colonists who become stranded on a distant planet with their helpfully cautious robot. So far the most exciting thing about this series is the casting of Parker Posey as the villainous Dr. Smith, but it’ll be interesting to see what tone the show takes—will it be as campy as the original?—and how it’s otherwise updated for contemporary audiences.


Also Coming in 2018


We don’t yet know the exact dates these shows will hit the airwaves, but we’re excited for them just the same.

Archer: Danger Island

Season premiere: FXX

Danger Island will see the animated comedy—which used to be about secret agents—shift from season eight’s Dreamland setting to another alternate reality: A tropical paradise circa 1939. Archer will be a (boozy) seaplane pilot, a talking parrot will sound an awful lot like Dr. Krieger, and we can only hope it’ll be open season on “Phrasing!” once again.


Castle Rock

Series premiere: Hulu

Stephen King and J.J. Abrams cooked up this horror series that draws faces, places, and themes from King’s stories, set in and around the author’s reliably eerie fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine.


The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Series premiere: Netflix

Originally set to join Riverdale on the CW, the Archie Comics adaptation—which puts a much darker, more occult-focused spin on the teenage witch character than the 1990s Melissa Joan Hart sitcom ever did—recently jumped to Netflix. So far, no word on casting or whether or not there’ll be a sassy talking cat in this version, but if it’s based on the recent (excellent) comics, Satan should be pleased.


Cloak and Dagger

Series premiere: Freeform

Marvel superheroes meet Freeform’s trademark young-adult angst in this drama about the title duo. The trailer looked surprisingly good, though the show does appear to take some liberties with the characters’ comic-book origin stories.



Season premiere: Netflix

We’re curious to see how life picks up for Matt Murdock after the explosive finale of The Defenders. He’s been beaten up, shot, and otherwise mauled so often we don’t know how he’s still standing—but we expect a lot more of the same for season three.


Doctor Who

Season premiere: BBC America

Jodie Whitaker will break new ground for the iconic series when her run as the Thirteenth Doctor begins. This 11th season will also be the first to feature Chris Chibnall as head writer and executive producer, after the exit of Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin.


The Expanse

Season premiere: Syfy

One of the best scifi shows on TV returns for its third season with a new challenge for the crew of the Rocinante: An alien stargate! Plus, there’s still plenty of human conflict to come among Earth, Mars, and the Belters, especially now that the lines of loyalty have become so blurred. Also, we’re dying to see what Fred Johnson does with his brand-new protomolecule stash.


Fear the Walking Dead

Season premiere: AMC

Last year, Fear the Walking Dead cleared the field with a giant flood and the fates of several main characters were left hanging in the balance. This year, new showrunners are likely to steer the show in a new direction for season four, especially with the addition of cast members Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, and, most importantly, Lennie James—who’ll be taking his Walking Dead character, Morgan, back in time to cross over with this show.



Midseason premiere: Fox

Here’s the least insane thing that happened on the midseason finale for what’s one of the most insane shows on TV: A fistfight between Alfred and young Bruce Wayne, after which Alfred is fired from his job at Wayne Manor. Alfred, fired? What’s next? We can never predict on Gotham, and that’s why we dig it.



Season premiere: The CW

iZombie doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It’s a quality zombie story with lots of laughs and tons of heart, and Rose McIver also doesn’t get enough credit for the plethora of personalities she takes on week to week. But the big news for season four is that not only does the world know about zombies, but the undead have also claimed Seattle.



Season premiere: Syfy

The show will wrap up after its fifth season, so while there’s an endgame in sight for the scifi bounty hunters in the upcoming season four, there’s still plenty of time to get mixed up in some new interplanetary adventures.



Series premiere: Netflix

“In this zombie thriller set in Korea’s Joseon dynasty...” is all we need to hear to get us hooked on this eight-episode series. We will accept your offer of historical-drama zombies, Netflix, with great and curious pleasure.



Season premiere: FX

The first season of Noah Hawley’s Marvel series blew us away, so we can only imagine what visuals await us in season two. More discoveries likely lie ahead as well, but we’re really excited to see all the mutants flex their powers as much as possible.


Luke Cage

Season premiere: Netflix

Luke is great and all, but thanks to a mishap in The Defenders we’re getting a Misty Knight closer to the version of the character in the comics this second time around. We can’t wait.


The Man in the High Castle

Season premiere: Amazon

Amazon’s alternate-history Philip K. Dick adaptation—which imagines a timeline in which the Nazis triumphed in World War II—will get even more adventurous in its third season, as more characters learn more about the existence of alternate universes.


Miracle Workers

Series premiere: TBS

Steve Buscemi plays God as a slacker boss in this seven-episode workplace comedy where the workplace just happens to be Heaven. Daniel Radcliffe plays a low-level angel who’s suddenly tasked with preventing Earth’s destruction.



Series premiere: Syfy

George R.R. Martin’s space-set horror novella is becoming a 10-episode series, with the author himself—taking a very brief break from working on The Winds of Winter, no doubt—confirming on his blog that the show is hoping for a summer debut on Syfy.


The 100

Season premiere: The CW

Everything fell apart on Earth when last we left the survivors. God knows what’s been going on in that bunker or what new challenges await them all once a new group of humans lands on the planet in season five.


The Orville

Season premiere: Fox

The first season of Seth MacFarlane’s Star Trek homage wasn’t flawless, but it was often hilarious. Season two will presumably continue the adventures of the Orville crew as they navigate rescue missions, stupid fuck-ups, and personal drama. Given the events of the season finale, the “will they or won’t they” tension between Ed and Kelly is presumably mostly resolved, and it’s likely we’ll see some new characters in season two that’ll help re-shape the dynamics on the ship.



Series premiere: WB’s as-yet-unnamed streaming service

Warner Bros.’ new digital subscription network has proved controversial so far, but it’s betting that a classic DC Comics teams will help pull in viewers. Titans will include characters so far underutilized in Warner’s recent wave of live-action superhero projects—Robin, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy will make up the main team, but we’ll also see Hawk and Dove in recurring roles. We honestly have no idea what to think of this one yet, but expectations are very high.


The Umbrella Academy

Series premiere: Netflix

We’re still unclear how this adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s Dark Horse comic will play out, considering how different the casting makes it sound. But it stars Ellen Page, which is rad.



Season premiere: HBO

In 2016, Westworld became an instant pop cultural phenomenon; by the end, we were all convinced that we might be secret robots, too. All that season one last-act chaos—Dolores is now a stone-cold killer; Maeve is now the smartest computer in the Wild West; freakin’ Samurai World exists?—will no doubt have plenty of repercussions going forward, and we can’t wait to pick our jaws off the floor week after week reacting to wherever the writers take the show next.


Young Justice: Outsiders

Season premiere: WB’s as-yet-unnamed streaming service

The beloved animated show returns for a long-awaited and much-anticipated third season, now confirmed to be airing in late 2018.


Also Possibly Coming in 2018

There are also some shows we think we’ll be seeing in 2018... but we don’t know for certain.


American Gods

Season premiere: Starz

After a tremendous first season, the future of 2017's most exciting new show is apparently in doubt after the sudden departure of its showrunners. Will we ever make it to the House on the Rock?


American Horror Story

Season premiere: FX

An eighth season of the long-running anthology is definitely happening. We just don’t know exactly when it’ll appear—or what its theme will be. We can only pray it’ll be an improvement over last season.


Galaxy Quest

Series premiere: Amazon

The long-in-development series adaptation of the scifi comedy film is finally, definitely, a go; it’ll feature two generations of the NSEA Protector’s crew, with likely cameos by movie characters, as well as sly commentary on how scifi fandom has shifted from “nerds only” to massive mainstream adoration.


Marvel’s New Warriors

Series premiere: TBD

Marvel’s New Warriors wasn’t the series or team-up fans were expecting, but the announcement made us... nutty. With a network still to be announced, this one is set to feature our favorite tail-equipped heroine, Squirrel Girl, plus Mister Immortal, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Microbe, and Debrii. They’ve been called “fiercely average superheroes,” and we hope this comedy is going to prove very entertaining for Marvel fans.


Mr. Robot

Season premiere: USA

Mr. Robot had a hell of a third season. Considering where we left off, Elliot is either going to be able to sit back and relax finally, or he’ll have a lot more work to do. Probably the latter.



Season premiere: Starz

This show takes so long between seasons that desperate fans came up with a name for their agony: “Droughtlander.” Season three premiered in September 2017, so don’t expect the in-the-works season four to appear any earlier than that.



Series premiere: TNT

Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson’s dystopian scifi action film was one wild ride. How will it translate to the small screen? We’ll find out when Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly board a space ship instead of a train, and try to survive within its minimal walls. Some will definitely still have it better than others, so expect a healthy dose of social commentary. With the pilot directed by Doctor Strange’s Scott Derrickson, we have no doubt we’re in for a visual treat.