The Year Ahead in TV

From Loki to Last of Us, on Hulu or Netflix or Disney or HBO, it's going to be a big year for the small screen.

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Screenshot: Disney+

Sabina Graves covers genre television for Gizmodo, with a focus on inclusion in front of and behind the camera. You can follow her coverage here, and email story ideas and tips to sgraves@gizmodo.com

The Top Story:

Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will see more major story arcs that started on the Disney+ slate of shows. First, in the upcoming cinematic release Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, we’ll see Jonathan Majors return as Kang the Conqueror; we first saw him as He Who Remains (a Kang variant) in Loki season one, where he was instrumental in the re-creation of the multiverse. Season two of Loki drops in the summer, so expect more big twists. We also anticipate more important storylines breaking in the new Disney+ series Secret Invasion and Agatha: Coven of Chaos. 

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What We’re Waiting For:

  • The year of Pedro Pascal. He plays the best adoptive daddy in not one but two shows: First, HBO’s adaptation of the PlayStation video game series The Last of Us, where he guides a young girl through the post apocalyptic zombie apocalypse; and then the return of The Mandalorian with his foundling Grogu. Mask on or mask off, we’re excited to see him mow down baddies to protect his children.
  • The second seasons of Squid Game and Severance, both standouts in the sci-fi thriller mystery space. We want to see how they’ll be able to pull off even more surprises.
  • The Doctor Who 60th Anniversary is a huge celebration of the BBC’s classic time travel adventure show, with David Tennant reprising his role as The Doctor. The three episode special will see the return of familiar faces from throughout the multi-generation franchise.
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Unconventional Wisdom:

The big battle in streaming is binge watching versus weekly drops. After following the lead Disney+ set with weekly releases more platforms have pivoted to having major titles released in a more scheduled manner to stay in the zeitgeist longer. Netflix seems to be the last one bent on their all at once drops, which has made the streamer get more crafty to keep shows like Stranger Things and Wednesday in the minds of fans for longer through merchandising exclusives, online panels, and experiential activations like The Stranger Things Experience.

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Shows to Follow:

  • The Mandalorian Season 3 - Disney+
  • The Last of Us - HBO and HBO Max
  • Doctor Who 60 - BBC
  • Loki Season 2 -Disney+
  • Agatha: Coven of Chaos - Disney+
  • Our Flag Means Death Season 2 -HBO Max
  • Severance Season 2 - Apple
  • Squid Game Season 2 - Netflix
  • Ahsoka - Disney+
  • Secret Invasion - Disney+

People to Follow:

  • Pedro Pascal - star of The Last of Us and The Mandalorian
  • Vico Ortiz - star of Our Flag Means Death
  • David Jenkins - Creator of Our Flag Means Death

Companies to Watch

  • HBO Max: The platform is still purging content in the wake of the Discovery+ merger. We’ll see what’s still left by mid 2023.
  • Interactive marketers. Streamers are teaming up with experiential production companies like Fever (Stranger Things: The Experience), JFI Productions, and Secret Cinema for immersive pop-ups to offer interactive marketing opportunities that will immerse audiences in the world of TV shows.
  • Merchandise collaborations. Netflix has partnered up with Hot Topic for exclusive fashion and accessories for shows like Wednesday. Funko and Mondo will also support fandom presence for shows through their collectibles lines.
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A Longshot Bet:

There’s going to be a huge shuffle of IP at various platforms. A lot of the intended Warner Bros. slate for HBO Max needs re-homing, so look to Hulu, Amazon and Apple TV to pick up major titles from the WB catalog. And with James Gunn leading DC Studios TV and animation, we could see partner production companies and streamers picking up more content across the board.

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Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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