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If 2022 will be remembered as the year that Game of Thrones won the battle to be crowned the next, uh, Game of Thrones, 2023 might go down as the year that Peak TV finally peaked. Yes, there are still literally hundreds of new scripted TV shows making their way to streaming platforms and many of them still cost an arm and a leg but as shows like Ted Lasso have proven, the ones with the biggest price tags don’t always guarantee success.
In keeping with THR’s tradition, we surveyed the scripted landscape for all the major players in town and have whittled down our annual list to a mere 10 shows that we’re going out on a limb to say will be the ones that cut through the clutter to become the talk of the town. We’ve got the obvious (a Shonda Rhimes-penned Bridgerton prequel) and the not so obvious (prepare to feel your feelings with Jason Katims again) as well as everything in between. One thing that’s new this year: Rather than doing 23 shows in 2023, our field of 10 also takes a larger look at what else is coming across a variety of platforms as cutting this tally made for some really tough calls. (With apologies to Disney+, we know there’s much more to come from Marvel and Star Wars so neither are included here.)
So without further ado, here’s our 10 picks for the can’t-miss new scripted series expected* to come in 2023. (Presented in alphabetical order, premiere dates included where available.)
*COVID-19 is still a factor, as are evolving slates as many platforms are undergoing slate reviews under new executive regimes so there are no guarantees.
1. Citadel (Amazon, 2023)
Fresh off its $1 billion play in Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon has another bank breaker with Citadel, a so-called global event series from Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo that has been in the works since 2018. The series boasts a cast led by Game of Thrones grad Richard Madden and global star Priyanka Chopra Jonas and plans are already under way for local language spinoffs with an Indian installment of the mega-budget action spy series already casting. The U.S. installment has, like a number of other Amazon originals, changed showrunners and a round of expensive reshoots. The drama is already on track to become Amazon’s second most expensive show ever produced and the Jennifer Salke-led streamer hasn’t even gotten to marketing yet. While LOTR was greenlit under Amazon’s previous exec regime, Citadel is going to be a make-or-break moment for Salke, whose other big swings in the coming year include dramas starring Christoph Waltz (The Consultant, due this winter) and Rachel Weisz (Dead Ringers).
2. Dear Edward (Apple, Feb. 3)
Why yes, we are indeed still upset that Amazon canceled Jason Katims’ extremely personal autism series As We See It, which marked a return to form for the Parenthood and Friday Night Lights showrunner. Next up for the king of the tearjerker (with apologies to Dan Fogelman) is Dear Edward, a weepy drama based on the best-seller by Ann Napolitano. Wonka’s Colin O’Brien stars as Edward Adler, a 12-year-old who survives a commercial plane crash that kills every other passenger on the flight — including his family. As Edward and a diverse ensemble of others affected by the tragedy try to make sense of life after the crash, unexpected friendships, romances and communities are formed. Like Katims’ FNL and Parenthood, Dear Edward is described as a “heartbreaking, life-affirming and uplifting story about survival, resilience, connection and the examination of what makes us human.” Further helping this show crack our top 10 is its killer cast, which features a reunion between Katims and his former FNL leading lady Connie Britton, as well as Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black). Other highlights from Apple’s 2023 drama slate include Band of Brothers and The Pacific sequel Masters of the Air, Black Panther drama The Big Cigar featuring Andre Holland and LaKeith Stanfield in horror story The Changeling.
3. Fatal Attraction (Paramount+, 2023)
We strive to showcase programs from all the major conglomerates and streamers here and we’ll be honest: the Paramount+ bench is perhaps the weakest of all the major platforms when it comes to new arrivals in the coming year. Sure, there’s more of Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone “Dutton-verse” in store but outside of that? The closest thing we’ve got here is Fatal Attraction, which won us over based on its exploration of mental illness and the strength of its casting. Lizzy Caplan steps into Glenn Close’s shoes in this reboot of the 1987 feature with Joshua Jackson taking on the role previously played by Michael Douglas. As for the rest of the slate? HBO Max reject Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, an update on the MTV update of Teen Wolf and Kiefer Sutherland in
Designated Survivor Rabbit Hole.
4. The Idol (HBO/HBO Max)
Consider us intrigued: Grammy winner The Weeknd stars in this L.A.-based music industry series that he co-created alongside Reza Fahim and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. Lily-Rose Depp (yes, that Depp). The series has already undergone creative changes, including to its creative direction as it now centers on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop singer. Other HBO originals earmarked for 2023 include The White House Plumbers and a Jodie Foster-led installment of True Detective.
5. The Last of Us (HBO/HBO Max, Jan. 15)
We’re going out on a limb here and saying this will be one of the most talked-about new series of the year as the premium cable network courts diehard fans of the PlayStation game and new viewers alike. Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian) stars in the series that is set 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization as Joel, a hardened survivor of the apocalypse who is hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl (Bella Ramsey, Game of Thrones) out of an oppressive quarantine zone. The seemingly small job becomes a brutal journey as they come to depend on one another for survival. Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) serves as showrunner on the series, which counts the game’s writer and creative director, Neil Druckmann, among its exec producers. Elsewhere on HBO Max, expect Mindy Kaling’s animated Velma, Greg Berlanti’s The Girls on the Bus and limited series Love & Death.
6. Poker Face (Peacock, Jan. 26)
Rian Johnson (Knives Out) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll). Do we need to say more? OK, fine. The Star Wars: The Last Jedi director makes his TV debut with this character-driven, case of the week mystery series that sees the always fantastic Lyonne hit the road and cross paths with a new cast of characters (Adrien Brody, Chloë Sevigny, Dascha Polanco, Ron Pearlman, Lil Rel Howery, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tim Meadows to name a few) as she sets out to solve one bizarre crime after another. Will this be Peacock’s big must-see show? One other caught our eye: Mrs. Davis, the AI drama starring Betty Gilpin from creators Tara Hernandez (The Big Bang Theory) and hitmaker Damon Lindelof (Lost, Watchmen).
7. Queen Charlotte (Netflix, 2023)
Shonda Rhimes knows a hit when she sees one. After a parade of missteps on broadcast after Scandal, the Grey’s Anatomy mastermind launched strong at Netflix with Bridgerton. Although Rhimes doesn’t serve as showrunner on the flagship series and didn’t write any of its episodes (so far), she’s the creative force behind prequel series Queen Charlotte. India Amarteifio plays the younger version of the character, with Bridgerton’s Golda Rosheuvel reprising her role in the spinoff. Rhimes serves as showrunner and is writing the series, marking her second original for Netflix following fellow hit Inventing Anna. While Bridgerton may have cooled, it’s fair to expect Rhimes to bring the heat back to the franchise with this love story.
8. Shogun (FX, 2023)
Speaking of folks we wouldn’t bet against, FX CEO John Landgraf has been working to get his take on Shogun right for a decade when he originally set this project up at former corporate sibling Fox. After changing writers a couple times and officially migrating to FX in 2018, this limited series based on James Clavell’s 1975 novel promises to be the cable network’s largest international scale production to date. Unlike the former NBC take, Landgraf’s FX series will be told from the Japanese POV and has been updated to feature a more culturally sensitive and accurate portrayal. Shogun also boasts the biggest budget Landgraf has ever dedicated to anything in the network’s history and was cast out of Japan. Hiroyuki Sanada (Army of the Dead, Lost), Anna Sawai (F9, Pachinko) and Cosmo Jarvis (Raised by Wolves). Also on FX’s radar: The Full Monty update, a return to Justified and Retreat, The Sterling Affairs and Retreat, the new series from The OA duo Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij.
9. Shrinking (Apple, Jan. 27)
Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence, Emmy winner Brett Goldstein, Jason Segel and … Harrison Ford. Where do we sign? This 10-episode comedy starring and written by Segel revolves around a grieving therapist (the How I Met Your Mother grad) who starts to break the rules and tell his clients exactly what he thinks. Ignoring his training and ethics, he finds himself making huge, tumultuous changes to people’s lives … including his own. Ford, who already has a Yellowstone prequel under his belt and dons his Indiana Jones fedora once again in 2023, plays a blue-collar shrink in the series that counts Ted Lasso’s Lawrence and Goldstein among its creative team. Apple’s comedy roster also features Strange Planet, a new animated series from Dan Harmon (Rick and Morty) that’s based on the graphic novel of the same name, the aspirational Chris O’Dowd series The Big Door Prize and retro-future dramedy Hello Tomorrow starring Billy Crudup (The Morning Show).
10. 3 Body Problem (Netflix, 2023)
Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss adapt Liu Cixin’s Hugo Award-winning trilogy in their first series under their nine-figure overall deal with the streaming giant. In the works since late 2020, Benioff and Weiss team with Alexander Woo (The Terror) on the sci-fi epic that tells the story of humanity’s first contact with an alien civilization. Exec producers include Rian Johnson and Brad Pitt, with a cast lined with familiar faces: Eiza González (Baby Driver), Game of Thrones grads John Bradley, Liam Cunningham and Jonathan Pryce, among others. Elsewhere at Netflix, keep your eyes peeled for All the Light We Cannot See, from Stranger Things exec producer Shawn Levy.
Editor’s note: This story was updated Jan. 19 to add Reza Fahim as a co-creator of The Idol.
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