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2019 genre TV preview: So many superheroes, Game of Thrones ends, and Star Wars begins

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Jan 3, 2019

No matter what kind of nerdy, genre-centric show you're into, 2019 will have something for you. We do live, after all, in the golden age of television. And while that moniker is usually associated with dramas and "prestige" television, there's nothing stopping science fiction, fantasy, and superhero TV shows from proving their worth and taking over schedules on cable and streaming services alike.

While we're still waiting to get premiere dates for some geek mainstays, including what could very well be the final season of Marvel's Jessica Jones, this is what we know so far. Here are the 2019 genre television premiere dates you should mark on your calendar and await with bated breath.

IF YOU LIKE SUPERHEROES:

Comic book-based heroes haven't just taken over the big screen. The most recent live-action superhero craze started on television, arguably, with The CW's Arrow, which saw its first episode in 2012. Now in its seventh season, Arrow and most of the resulting Arrowverse — which also encompasses The Flash, Supergirl, and Black Lightning — will be returning in January. Arrow (January 21), The Flash (January 15), and Supergirl (January 20) get mid-season premieres, though, while Black Lightning returns for a triumphant second season on January 21.

In other DC superhero news, cult favorite Young Justice returns for its third season, Young Justice: Outsiders, on January 4. Young Justice was brutally canceled after Season 2 in 2013 at Cartoon Network, and fans started a number of viral petitions that eventually worked. In November 2016, the powers that be at Warner Bros. Animation announced a third season. But Season 3 didn't have an official home until April 2017, when it was promised the series would premiere on DC's upcoming subscription streaming service (now known as DC Universe). Outsiders is expected to wrap up Season 2's cliffhangers and bring a slightly more adult spin to the beloved series.

In addition to Young Justice, DC Universe is also premiering its second live-action series, Doom Patrol, on February 15. The show will follow the titular team — led by Dr. Niles Caulder/The Chief and consisting of Robotman, Negative Man, Crazy Jane, and Elasti-Woman — in the wake of its introduction on Titans, DC Universe's other live-action series. The series will start out with the Doom Patrol receiving an urgent mission from Cyborg and go forth from there, most likely exploring the same ragtag found-family themes first introduced in Titans' "Doom Patrol" episode.

Also premiering on February 15: The Umbrella Academy. Dark Horse Comics has long dominated the indie publishing field, so it's fitting that one of its most popular series, created and written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, is finally getting a television show. The series, premiering on Netflix, follows a group of seven superpowered adoptive siblings in an alternate world to our own. Their adoptive father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, aka The Monocle, prepares the incompatible siblings to save the universe from the apocalypse.

Over in Marvel world, the second (and most likely final) season of The Punisher premieres on Netflix on January 18. Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, will go up against Ben Barnes' Billy Russo once again. Only this time around, "Pretty" Billy has taken on his comics-canon Jigsaw persona after the events of Season 1.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO TALK ABOUT:

If superheroes aren't your thing but you still enjoy the action associated with all those big-bad battles, check out Deadly Class, premiering January 16 on SYFY. Based on the Image Comics series of the same name, Deadly Class follows Marcus Lopez Arguello as he's enrolled at King's Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts, a secret school for assassins. Heavily influenced by '80s punk culture, Deadly Class introduces a fantastic new cast of psychopaths for you to root for as they beat the crap out of high-stakes targets and one another.

Also on SYFY, The Magicians Season 4 premieres on January 23. Mixing magic, drama, and humor, the series is a cult favorite — and everything changed at the end of Season 3. Season 4 will, hopefully, see the Questers get their memory and their magic back.

And for something really different? What We Do in the Shadows, the 2014 horror-comedy mockumentary from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, is getting a television series in 2019 (exact date TBD). The American television adaptation will premiere on FX and follow three vampires on Staten Island who have been roommates for hundreds of years.

LITERALLY EVERYONE YOU KNOW WILL BE TALKING ABOUT:

The Walking Dead returns for a Rick-less second half of Season 9 on February 10. After Rick Grimes' not-death at the end of the first half of Season 9, Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier will take over as the series mainstays, which is appropriate given that they're the only original cast members remaining from Season 1. If you miss Rick, no worries: We've been promised three Rick-centric feature films (yes, really). Until then, see what happens post-Whisperers reveal and how the members of the Hilltop, Alexandria, the Kingdom, and Oceanside fare.

If zombies aren't your thing, there is a good chance dragons are. Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and final season in April (an exact premiere date has yet to be announced). Season 8 will — supposedly — answer the biggest question posed since the runaway hit series took off in 2011: Who will sit on the Iron Throne?

We knew we were getting a new season of Stranger Things this year from Netflix. It turns out Season 3 premieres July 4 and takes place around that same time. Eleven, Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and the rest of the Hawkins gang will (we assume) battle a new danger posed by the Upside Down, despite Eleven's having closed the portal at the end of Season 2. More details to come.

PURE SCIENCE FICTION:

As far as raunchy comedies about a video game-loving slacker who turns out to be the chosen savior of a ruined future go, Future Man does pretty darn well for itself. Future Man Season 2 premieres on Hulu on January 11 and will follow the events of Season 1's attempt to right the wrongs Josh, Tiger, and Wolf made along the way.

Star Trek: Discovery returns January 17 on CBS All Access for its second season. Scene-stealing stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, and Wilson Cruz will be joined by Anson Mount's Christopher Pike, Ethan Peck as a young Spock, and Rebecca Romijn as Number One, burying Discovery further into Trek canon than ever before.

Perhaps the most anticipated yet under-the-radar show of the year already is gen:LOCK, a web series from Rooster Teeth, the team behind Red vs. Blue, RWBY, and other animated and live-action series. Premiering January 26, gen:LOCK follows the story of a diverse group of pilots — led by Michael B. Jordan's Julian Chase — who command enormous mechas in a dystopian future.

Finally, we look to a galaxy far, far away. Disney's upcoming streaming service, Disney+, is doubling down on Star Wars television fare, reportedly due to Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story's box-office flounder. Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian doesn't yet have a premiere date beyond "2019," but the Pedro Pascal-led series about a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy couldn't be more hyped.

Also expected from Disney+ in 2019 is the final season of the surprise-revived Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The series was canceled after, technically, five seasons. The previously unaired sixth season was released on Netflix in 2014, ultimately ending on a positive note but otherwise leaving fans wanting more. The announcement that fans would definitely be getting more happened at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, during which Lucasfilm announced The Clone Wars Season 7 and premiered a trailer. Most importantly: Ahsoka(!) is(!!) back(!!!).

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