2021 is already starting off stronger than 2020, with a ton of new and returning television releases slated to premiere this year. While a lot of exciting new releases had their production halted due to the spread of COVID-19, many production companies have now been able to work around lockdown and get back to their projects.
Breakout TV shows like Euphoria and Insecure are slated to return this year, and you might add a new series or two to your repertoire, with series premieres for shows like The Equalizer or Clarice.
Whether they’re old favorites, the latest binges, or reboots, there is something on this list for everyone. Finding something new to binge is perhaps the greatest cure to lockdown loneliness, so let us know which shows you’ll be watching during 2021.
Wandavision – Disney+
Wandavision premiered on Disney+ on January 15th, which means you can go stream it right now. It is definitely one of the most exciting releases of 2021 so far, as it is the first time the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever created a television series. The miniseries stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany as Wanda and Vision, two superheroes who seemingly live normal, suburban lives. The couple begins to suspect that things are not as they seem, and they struggle to conceal their powers.
Snowpiercer Season 2 – Netflix
Season 2 of Snowpiercer is arriving on Netflix on January 25th, starring Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly. The new season is set to follow a new power struggle, one that emerges as people are polarized by their loyalty either to Layton or Mr. Wilford. Mr. Wilford has an entirely new train this season, as well as a new game plan that could change the course of everyone’s lives. While Layton and Mr. Wilford fight for power, Melanie makes a shocking discovery that could change humanity forever. This plot might sound very different from season one, but the entirety of season two will once again still take place on a train set– although star Annalise Basso hopes the series will someday move off of the train.
The Equalizer – CBS
The Equalizer premieres on CBS on February 7th and is the second reboot of the iconic 1980s drama. The re-vamped show stars Queen Latifah as the lead, and she is also credited as an executive producer. Using a female lead in the role is a new take on the franchise, as Edward Woodward played the lead in the original series, and Denzel Washington portrayed the character in the movie. Similar to the original film plot, Queen Latifah will play a mysterious and enigmatic character who helps those with nowhere left to turn, using her toolbox of extensive skills. The show is written by Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, who will also serve as the showrunners.
Clarice – CBS
In the decades since The Silence of the Lambs was released, there have been a few spinoffs, but nothing quite like Clarice. This new CBS show takes place a year after the events of the original film, starring Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling. The series will also star Devyn A. Tyler, Lucca De Oliveira, and Kal Penn. In Clarice, the show’s fictional FBI is attempting to recover from a selection of disasters in 1993. The plot is said to not include a “traditional” serial killer but will explore topics like the white gaze and women’s rights. Due to copyright conflict, the show will feature many of the characters that NBC’s Hannibal were not able to have, including serial killer Buffalo Bill.
Snowfall Season 4 – FX
The first two episodes of Snowfall Season 4 will premiere on February 21st, with a new episode premiering each subsequent week. Season 4 will take viewers to the year 1985, during the height of the crack epidemic. Ronald Raegan has just won his re-election and is proclaiming it a new day in America. Tensions heighten between the lives of characters like drug dealer Franklin Saint and CIA operative Teddy McDonald, and the characters’ worlds are fated to intersect. The television series was created by John Singleton, who passed away in 2019. Dave Andron currently serves as showrunner.
Euphoria Season 2 – HBO
Euphoria quite literally took the world by storm when it was first released in summer 2019, becoming one of the most talked-about shows of the last few years. The television series was quickly renewed for a second season after receiving widespread praise, and it is expected that most of the cast will return to their roles for the second installment. When asked about whether or not the season would include important topics like COVID-19 or the Black Lives Matter movement, Colman Domingo, who plays Ali, said “I think possibly all of it because I know that he’s very interested. Sam [Levinson] is very astute and interested in the world, and letting the show hold a mirror up to society, and deconstruct it, and smash it over the head with a hammer, so I feel he would do all of it.”
While COVID-19 has halted some production, the second season is slated to release later this year, with no specified date yet. There is also no trailer to come yet for the second season, but we can likely expect it as we get closer to the season premiere. However, there have been two special episodes made since the end of the first season, one of them, called “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” released on HBO Max on December 6th. The second episode, called “F*ck Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob,” premieres at 9 pm on January 22nd.
Atlanta Season 3 – FX
Donald Glover’s Atlanta follows a group of friends attempting to break into the rap industry, earning nominations for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards after the critically-acclaimed second season ended in 2018. Unfortunately, fans have had to wait a long time for season three after it was further delayed by COVID-19. However, the Television Critics Association has confirmed that Atlanta is back in production, and the third season will release later this year. The good news for fans is that the third and fourth seasons are shooting at the same time, so season four should follow shortly after season three.
According to FX president John Landgraf, most of Atlanta’s third season will shoot outside the US, likely meaning that the audience will get to see some of the tour that Paper Boi was going on before the second season ended. While there is no trailer or confirmed plot for the third season yet, we can expect these teasers sometime within the coming months.
The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 – Hulu
The Handmaid’s Tale was renewed for a fourth season before the third season even came to a close in 2019. Originally, the fourth installment was slated to premiere in late 2020, but production was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic and the show was delayed. Showrunner Bruce Miller shared that the season was halfway done in December and that we can expect the fourth season to come out sometime during 2021. This season will only have ten episodes instead of the typical 13, three of which will be directed by lead actress Elizabeth Moss. Miller said that this decision for a shorter season is a creative one and that this particular storyline just seemed to break down into ten episodes. The most recent teaser for the season was released in June 2020 and can be watched below.
Insecure Season 5 – HBO
Issa Rae’s hit TV show Insecure was renewed for its fifth and (unfortunately) final season in 2020 before season four even concluded. Rae always planned on wrapping up her storyline in five seasons, which means that she already has a solid on-screen conclusion in mind for her characters. HBO confirmed that production of Insecure started in January and would be released sometime in late 2021. The cast has been writing and doing table reads over Zoom during quarantine, but Issa Rae isn’t planning on including ideas of lockdown or social distancing in the new season, saying she’s already “fatigue[d]” by it. There are no teasers or trailers out yet for season five, but hopefully, these will come sometime in the next few months.
Loki – Disney+
Loki was announced in 2018 when Disney said that they had plans to create a television show about the character for their streaming service, Disney+. The series follows the brother of Thor, played by Tom Hiddleston, and will answer the burning question of what happened to the character following the events of Avengers: Endgame. Disney has described the show as a “crime thriller,” so it might be a little darker than what we’re used to seeing on the streaming platform. The show is currently slated to release in May of this year, with no specific date yet. Loki is going to span six episodes, with each of them ranging between 45 minutes to an hour in length. There is an extended trailer that was released this past September, which can be watched below.
Succession Season 3 – HBO
Succession, which is either a dark comedy or a drama depending on how you look at it, is returning for its third season in 2021. In HBO’s lineup video they released to tease their upcoming slate of premieres, Succession was featured as a returning series this year. While seasons one and two premiered sometime during the summer, it’s likely that season three will come a bit later in the year due to, you guessed it, delays caused by COVID-19. The main cast will all return, as well as some new additions including Sanaa Lathan and Linda Emond. The third season will, as usual, explore themes of wealth, power, and family ties. While there are no teasers or trailers yet, we should be able to expect them as we get a bit closer to the season’s release.
The Boondocks Reboot – HBO
In 2019, HBO Max renewed The Boondocks for a two-season order which is expected to include 24 episodes and one 50-minute special. The reboot is currently scheduled to release in late 2021 after complications from the pandemic, with an October or November premiere seeming the most likely. The original artist and writer Aaron McGruder will return for the reboot after leaving the show before its fourth season. The series has had an overwhelming cultural impact, and McGruder wants to extend that impact by discussing our heated political and cultural environment. “There’s a lot to say and it should be fun,” notes McGruder in a 2019 interview with Deadline. No trailers have been released yet, but hopefully, we can get a more solidified release date soon.
Power Book III: Raising Kanan – STARZ
This STARZ TV series from legendary artist 50 Cent is expected to drop sometime during the summer of 2021, and there have already been some teaser trailers released to get viewers excited. Power Book III is part of a group of 4 spinoff series from Power, executive-produced by 50 Cent, which is a series that ran from 2014 to 2020.
Power Book III is a prequel to the events of Power, showing viewers how Kanan Stark’s story began, since they already know how it ended. Kanan Stark was the character originally played by 50 Cent himself, and fans are definitely excited to see the events of the prequel play out. There is no specified release date for the series yet, but hopefully, it will be announced as the summer moves closer.