10 most exciting TV shows to look forward to in 2018

Peak TV shows no sign of abating.

There may not be a trip to Westeros for more Game of Thrones in 2018 but there’s still plenty of exciting looking television to look forward to over the next twelve months. The slate of new shows arriving in 2018 is tantalisingly good and narrowing this list down to just ten picks wasn’t easy.

There are plenty of old favourites returning for a new series this year too of course with Arrested Development, Luther and a Marvel/Netflix triple bill of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage all scheduled for a 2018 release. It’s the new arrivals which really whet the appetite though with shows covering everything from grisly mysteries and satirical comedy to lavish dramas and psychological horror.

Here are ten of the most hotly anticipated small screen treats heading your way in 2018:

Castle Rock

In this June 1, 2017, photo, author Stephen King speaks at Book Expo America in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Appearing initially on Hulu, this new series from J J Abrams is a dark horror/thriller set in the fictional town of Castle Rock where characters from across Stephen King’s various novels all reside.

A short teaser trailer released last year suggests the likes of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, Misery, It, and The Shining are all somehow involved. Sissy Spacek and Bill Skarsgard are both signed up to star, with the latter having already played a memorable part in last year’s big screen adaptation of the aforementioned It. While exact details of the show’s plot are thin on the ground, the personnel involved and unique premise is certainly enough to raise anticipation levels.


Carey Mulligan stars in the BBC drama Collateral (BBC)

An intriguing BBC crime drama here from playwright and two-time Academy Award nominee, David Hare. Spread across four days, each one a different episode, the story follows the police investigation into a seemingly inexplicable murder of a pizza delivery man in central London.

What really makes Collateral really stand out from the crowd though is its choice of leading lady. Heading the investigation as DI Kip Glaspie is Carey Mulligan. Mulligan has shone in a host of movies including Drive, Inside Lleywn Davis and Never Let Me Go, so expect great things from her in this rare small-screen role. 

Patrick Melrose

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch shoots scenes in Glasgow which has been transformed into New York City for filming of the TV show “Melrose”, in Scotland, Sunday Oct. 29, 2017. (John Linton/PA via AP)

Edward St Aubyn’s series of semi-autobiographical novels following the lives and times of the titular dysfunctional playboy, is being turned into an intriguing new series for Sky Atlantic. The show is likely to receive plenty of public attention thanks to the fact that Sherlock himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, has taken on the lead role. Expect much decadence and aristocrats behaving badly with each episode tackling a new novel and a different stage in Melrose’s turbulent life.

Cunk On Britain

Diane Morgan as the always insightful Philomena Cunk (BBC/House of Tomorrow)

One of the most hotly anticipated comedy shows of 2018 will surely be this upcoming BBC series courtesy of Diane Morgan’s wonderfully dry satirical creation, Philomena Cunk. Co-written by Charlie Brooker, Cunk On Britain will rather daringly attempt to take us on a journey through the entirety of British history to date. For anyone struggling with the lack of Screenwipe this Christmas, this will undoubtedly prove a timely tonic.

Vanity Fair

Olivia Cooke and Tom Bateman star in the latest adaptation of Vanity Fair (ITV)

ITV is producing this latest adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel about Victorian High Society and its sure to be a must-watch for period drama fans. It’s got a strong ensemble cast including rising star Olivia Cooke, Tom Bateman and Michael Palin and ITV appear to have spared no expense in bringing this new interpretation of Thackerary’s classic to the screen. The last adaptation of note came in the late 90s, so 2018 would appear to be the perfect time for a fresh take on the source material. 

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

FILE – This Feb. 1, 2016 file photo shows brothers Ethan Coen, left, and Joel Coen at the world premiere of “Hail, Caesar!” in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

If you are a fan of the Coen Brothers’ film output then the prospect of them creating an anthology TV series set in the Old West is immediately cause for great excitement. It’s the brothers’ first attempts at writing and directing a TV show, though they have of course previously dabbled in the Western genre to great success with the excellent True Grit.

James Franco, Zoe Kazan and Stephen Root are all involved while Tim Blake Nelson will appear as the titular Buster. Keep an eye out for this one on Netflix in late 2018.


Cary Fukunaga at the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street on May 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Peabody)

Another exciting upcoming release here from Netflix which comes courtesy of writer Patrick Somerville and in-demand director Cary Fukunaga. In recent years the multi-talented Fukunaga has directed Sin Nombre and Beasts of No Nation as well as the superb first season of True DetectiveA filmography that certainly earmarks him as someone whose output is worth keeping an eye out for.

Maniac is actually based on a popular Norwegian show from 2014. Billed as a dark-comedy, it centres around the surreal flights of fantasy experienced by two patients in a psychiatric hospital. Jonah Hill and Emma Stone will both star, reuniting for the first time since Superbad.

The Romonoffs

In this Sept. 7, 2013 file photo, “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner poses for a portrait on day 3 of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Fans of Mad Men will be especially intrigued by creator Matthew Weiner’s latest show for Amazon Prime Video. The showrunner’s latest series is an anthology focusing on an array of people across the globe who all believe themselves to be descended from the Romanov Royal family.

While further details are being kept to a minimum at present, the star-studded cast is hugely impressive. Diane Lane, Aaron Eckhart, Jack Huston, Amanda Peet, Corey Stoll as well as Mad Men collaborators Christina Hendricks and John Slattery are all onboard. 

The Alienist

Dakota Fanning, Daniel Bruhl and Luke Evans in The Alienist (TNT)

Another exciting 2018 offering here courtesy of Cary Fukunaga. This time he’s helped create a gritty period crime drama set in New York at the turn of the 20th Century based on the popular novel of the same name by Caleb Carr.

The Alienist begins an eight episode run on TNT later this month and features Daniel Bruhl as the lead character, a criminal psychologist tasked with solving a series of gruesome murders. Bruhl will be supported in his investigations by Luke Evans’ newspaper illustrator and Dakota Fanning’s headstrong secretary. Fair warning though, judging from the plot synopsis, it looks like this won’t be one for the faint of heart.

The Terror

AMC’s tense new thriller The Terror (AMC)

After the ongoing success of The Walking Dead, AMC’s latest major offering is another horror series. The Terror is inspired by true events and is based on a popular 2007 novel. The story is set in the late 19th Century and follows a Royal Navy crew on a dangerous mission to the arctic circle to try and uncover the Northwest passage.

Beset by increasingly hazardous conditions and dwindling resources,  tensions begin to fray and the crew are forced into a desperate battle for survival. Jared Harris and Ciaran Hinds star in what looks set to be a harrowing TV spectacle.

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