As we enter the era of Peak Streaming, TooFab has got you covered with a guide to the most anticipated new series coming to the newest streaming platforms.
By the time 2020 comes to a close, we will be fully immersed into a new and frightening world of streaming entertainment options. If we're living in the era of peak TV, this will definitely be known as the era of peak streaming, and it's definitely going to be too much for many TV viewers.
Originally cord-cutters began abandoning traditional cable packages because of the cost, instead choosing to watch what they wanted on the handful of streaming services available for classic shows ("Friends," "The Office," etc.) and some of their originals as well ("House of Cards," "Orange Is the New Black").
Now, however, companies have quickly created the same problem for consumers, because in order to keep up with all their favorite shows, new and old, John and Jane Q. Public will have to shell out as much, if not more, than they did for their cable packages.
You could easily spend more than $100 trying to keep up with just the major players in this new streaming landscape, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, CBS All Access, Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, DC Universe, Acorn TV, Sling, Peacock, Quibi, and even Facebook.
While most viewers already have their favorites among the established bunch, we thought we'd give a helping hand to anyone overwhelmed by all the new ones coming their way who aren't sure which ones are right for them.
As such, this is a breakdown of some of the most exciting original programming coming to new streaming services in 2020 (we're including Apple TV+ and Disney+ because they're still pretty fresh). We may not be able to solve the budget-stretching it would take from most of us to keep up with everything, but hopefully we can point you in the direction of the right fit for you and your family.
Already a major player in the streaming wars thanks in large part to its original "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian," Disney+ is unveiling an aggressive slate of original programming, but they are moving slowly with so many of them. While there are new "Rogue One" and Obi-Wan Kenobi series on the horizon, as well as Marvel projects starring the likes of Scarlet Witch, Vision, Hawkeye, Loki, She-Hulk, Moon Knight and Ms. Marvel, and even a "Lizzie McGuire" revival, none of these are guaranteed to arrive in 2020.
As such, we tried to stick with the biggest projects we know are coming soon to whet our appetites, alongside such established hits as "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series" and a new season for "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." Disney is clearly also relying on its incredibly popular lineup of established classics, and with 10 million reported sign-ups on day one, that gambit seems to have worked quite well.
$6.99/mo., available now
"The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"
Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan pick up their wings and shield for this limited series that takes place directly after the world-shattering events of "Avengers: Endgame." This is the big one for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a big-screen budget and its big-screen stars coming to the streaming platform to tell more grounded and fleshed-out stories. There are plenty more coming behind it, so Disney is probably needing this to be a "Mandalorian"-sized hit. Is there a Baby Yoda they can toss in there?
(Coming Late 2020)
"Monsters at Work"
The "Toy Story" animated specials on ABC have worked because they got the original voice cast, and that's what Disney is banking on here. This latest exploration of the "Monsters Inc." franchise reunites John Goodman and Billy Crystal to pick up the story of the original film six months later, with the city now fueled by the power of children's laughter, instead of terror. Pixar has yet to drop the ball, and with the original cast on board -- plus plenty more big stars -- we've no reason to think this won't have all the charm of the earlier entries in the series.
"Diary of a Female President"
The bold story of a future president of the United States, this series narrated by Gina Rodriguez, tells the story of her life as a Cuban-American 12-year-old girl just trying to get through middle school, but it is knowing her future fate as the leader of the free world that injects her story with so much promise and intrigue. Everything we go through shapes the person we become, so it will be fascinating to see how her seemingly mundane problems shape a future president.
(Coming January 2020)
Another recent entry into the fray, Apple TV+ went all out with its launch series centered around Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon's "The Morning Show." Other notable launch series included Hailee Steinfeld's period piece "Dickinson," Jason Momoa's sci-fi "See" and the ambitious alt-reality space saga "For All Mankind."
With that launch so recently behind us, there isn't really anything immediately new on the horizon, but there are many series slated to come to the platform in the next year or two, as well as a few notable recent launches like M. Night Shyamalan's twisted horror series "Servant" about a baby that may or may not be real. Off to a solid start, there is plenty more to come.
$4.99/mo., available now
Steven Spielberg and company have been spotted all over the place filming new episodes for this iconic anthology series that is a little more high-flying sci-fi, but still very much in the "Twilight Zone" family of television classics. This time, he's joined by "Once Upon a Time" creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz to add that extra flair of sinister whimsy. While details are slight at this time, the original was notable for being able to land big stars for its one-and-done format, so this should definitely be one to watch for several reasons.
Already picked up for two seasons, this animated musical series about a group of caretakers of the titular New York landmark is just jam-packed with incredible star power and talent including Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kathryn Hahn, Stanley Tucci and Daveed Diggs. Honestly, we don't need to know much more about it than that because it has "Frozen" power and it sounds absolutely charming and delightful and a little bit bonkers, too.
"Truth Be Told"
Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul take center stage in what is already a powerful story about a true-crime podcaster who must come face-to-face with the murderer she helped put behind bars ... but what if he's innocent. A cast including Lizzy Caplan, Elizabeth Perkins, Mekhi Phifer, Ron Cephas Jones punctuate a taut thriller that's as much about an incredible uncertainty as it is about its incredible cast.
(Premiered December 6)
Obviously, one of the biggest marquee attractions for this new streaming service is the fact that it's effectively bundled with the entire HBO slate of original programming, including the upcoming "Game of Thrones" spinoff series, as well as having access to the entire WarnerMedia library of content. As far as the sheer power of its intellectual property, then, HBO Max is arguably second only to Disney+ in its library of content, which will be including the streaming juggernaut "Friends," as well as "The Big Bang Theory" and a ton more.
The streamer also has a ton of original programming on its slate, though much of it has murky release dates at best, including buzzworthy shows such as the animated "Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai," "Dune: The Sisterhood," and several DC series including a live-action "Green Lantern" series and "Strange Adventures" anthology series. Below are some of the bigger series we have even more confidence might launch with (or near enough) the service itself based on the fact they are among the few shows listed on the services' official website.
$14.99/mo., Premieres May 2020
This one picks up the story eight years after the original, which means a whole new cast of New York's finest teens and a hyper-modernized look at how "Gossip Girl" can use modern technology to torment and toy with them for years and years to come. Plus, since this is a direct sequel, there's still every chance that Blake Lively or Leighton Meester or someone could make a surprise return. Kristen Bell is back as the narrator for continuity buffs, and because how could you top her?
"The Flight Attendant"
When she's not cursing up a storm as Harley Quinn on DC Universe's newest animated series, Kaley Cuoco is going for dramatic in this intriguing new series about a flight attendant who wakes up hungover and next to a dead body. As she tries to hide from whatever happened and the investigation closes in, she finds herself wondering if she is, perhaps, a murderer. Cuoco stars and produces this passion project based on the novel of the same name and it's already looking like a nail-biter.
"Raised by Wolves"
This high-concept science fiction series is created and executive produced by Ridley Scott and Aaron Guzikowski. It tells the tale of two androids whose mission is simply to raise a group of children on a new planet. Sounds simple enough, until differing religious views and factions begin to tear their charges apart. This looks like an intense allegory of the divide we are seeing in our modern world, and sci-fi is at its best when it shines a reflective light on what we're seeing today.
After the success of CBS All Access (and ABC jumping in as part of Disney+), NBC is looking to try its hand at streaming, though there is not yet a lot known about how they're planning to structure what's officially been called Peacock, after the network's famous colorful logo. What we do know is that it will be the streaming home of popular NBCUniversal properties like "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation," along with a slate of original programming.
Along with new projects like a "Dr. Death" series based on the popular podcast, Peacock will also pick up some scraps from terrestrial networks like "A.P. Bio," which moves to Peacock from NBC with its third season, and "Brave New World," originally bound for USA. And while we're as excited as anyone about Soleil Moon Frye's "Punky Brewster" return, it's only a pilot commitment thus far so we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. Still, there are other projects to get excited about that already have series orders.
unknown, possible free ad-supported version, Premieres April 2020
"Saved by the Bell"
Perhaps the most exciting of these, for fans of a certain generation, is the latest revival of the classic "Saved by the Bell" series. Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez are set to reprise their roles for the sequel series while Mark-Paul Gosselaar's Zack Morris is now the mayor?! His initiative to send students from closed low-income schools to higher performers like Bayside High sets the stage for a more woke "Bell." And while there's no word on guest appearances by Gosselaar or any of the other OG cast, we wouldn't be surprised to see some of them drop by.
Untitled "Battlestar Galactica" Reboot
This one is a bit baffling, considering we're not that far removed from the last "Battlestar Galactica" reboot (which will also be available here), and that one was incredibly well-received by fans and critics. Nevertheless, with "Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail behind this latest look at the battle between Cylons and humans, though in typical "Robot" fashion, it's already kind of confusing as Esmail tweeted this will not be a remake of the 2004 "BST but rather "a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit." Okay, then!
Untitled "Real Housewives" Spinoff
Perhaps the most surprising announcement that hasn't really been talked about much is the fact that Peacock will be the exclusive home of its very own "Real Housewives" franchise. In other words, somewhere out there is a new group of women in a new city that are probably already filming their boozy adventures and Bravo fanatics are going to find themselves suddenly very interested in this Peacock streaming service if they want to stay up-to-date on all of the "Housewives" action, and make sure they know who these people are when Andy Cohen inevitably has them as guests on "Watch What Happens Live."
One of the boldest and most innovative of the new streamers, Quibi is looking at the shorter video format that appears to be preferred by the younger demographics and exploring that as the basis of its business model. In other words, like Snapchat original programming, Quibi's focus is going to be on creating shorter bite-sized pieces of content.
That doesn't mean they won't do long-form projects. It just means they'd be more inclined to offer short-form episodes of long-form stories. Think about those 15-minute episodes of series like "Adventure Time" and "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" that found huge audiences for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. While there are a lot of shows in development, like a very cool survival series starring Sophie Turner and Corey Hawkins called -- ahem -- "Survive," we're again focusing on shows we are confident will premiere in 2020.
$4.99 with ads / $7.99 without ads, Premieres April 6
Perhaps the best example of how this short-form episodes for long-form storytelling might work will play out in this highly-anticipated remake of the classic "Fugitive" story. This time around, Kiefer Sutherland of "24" fame steps into a lead role as the detective trying to capture a man who "didn't kill my wife" -- er, make that didn't blow up a commuter train. Boyd Holbrook takes on that other key role, while Tiya Sircar plays an ambitious reporter who may just be making things worse.
"Spielbeg's After Dark"
This is the kind of programming conceit that could only work on a modern platform, but it gives an interesting level of creative control to Steven Spielberg and the team behind this horror anthology series. At his request, "After Dark" will only be available after sunset, making its title also when viewers will be forced to watch it. The series will also be written by Spielberg, making this truly his vision from how the story is told to when it can be viewed, and that's the kind of bold experimentation that moves entertainment forward.
Already the queen of Twitter, Chrissy Teigen is taking her unique brand of wit and sarcasm to a short-form series where she serves as judge over actual small claims cases with actual plaintiffs and actual defendants and actual grievances. If Judge Judy can do it, Chrissy Teigen can do it ... and maybe she can match her sass for sass. Even better, Chrissy's mom Pepper Thai will serve as bailiff making this even more surreal. That said, there's something very now about having your actual small claims grievance decided by Chrissy Teigen on a short-form streaming service. Welcome to 2020!