2021 sci-fi shows
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10 new sci-fi shows we're excited to watch in 2021

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Jan 2, 2021, 6:58 PM EST (Updated)

Sure, we’re all pumped for new seasons of Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale, but there are also plenty of new shows on the horizon for 2021 that have us amped. From Superman to secret small town aliens, here are the 10 new shows we can’t wait to watch in this new year.

With the pandemic affecting pretty much every TV show production and causing numerous starts and stops this past year (and that trend expected to continue for at least the first several months of 2021), it’s hard to guarantee which shows will actually hit their 2021 debut dates (especially as films like Jurassic World: Dominion and The Batman have already punted off to 2022). But that hasn’t stopped us from getting excited and marking our calendars, anyway.

The lineup runs the gamut from cable, to network, to streaming projects, and there are plenty we didn’t mention here because their release dates are still kind of nebulous. Shows like the Suicide Squad spinoff Peacemaker, and the DC series Green Lantern, are in the works at HBO Max — but we don’t know if they’ll actually debut in 2021 (and 2022 feels more likely). Then there’s Hulu and FX’s new Alien series, which will likely drop in 2022. The same for all those new Star Wars shows on Disney+, as Andor and Kenobi are likely slated for 2022 at this point.

No list of 2021 TV shows would be complete without plenty of Marvel fare from Disney+ making the cut, so we’ll explain that caveat now — we had to cap it, or else all those Marvel shows would’ve simply overtaken the list. So yes, we’re obviously pumped for projects like WandaVision, Falcon and Winter Soldier, and Hawkeye on Disney+. It’s just that Loki looks like it could be the most fun and wildly weird of the bunch, so it’s holding down the Marvel slot on the list.

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The Nevers (HBO)

This is a wild concept on the surface — The Nevers is set in the Victorian era and follows a group of superpowered women in a big ol’ science fiction story — but the behind-the-scenes shake-ups and pedigree adds to the intrigue. Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) created the series, but he departed well into production to take some time off. The cast includes Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, and Nick Frost. Aside from Whedon, the show also hails from several other Buffy/Angel-era alums, including Doug Petrie and Jane Espenson. Plus, you know, it’s HBO — so the production quality should be rock solid. The series is slated to debut in the summer.

Disney+ Sizzle

Loki (Disney+)

The time-twisting events of Avengers: Endgame provided a fascinating set-up for a Loki series on Disney+, with the God of Mischief disappearing with the Tesseract into parts unknown. Turns out he’s run afoul of the Time Variance Authority, and gets embroiled in a wild thriller across all of human history. The first trailer looks absolutely bonkers, with Loki zipping across eras and possibly launching a presidential bid along the way(?!). It looks to be a vehicle to show off the greatness of Tom Hiddleston, basically, and isn’t that what we all deserve. It’s also just one of many, many Marvel shows in the works for Disney+. The show is tentatively expected to release around May 2021.

Resident Alien | Official Trailer 1 | Series Premiere Wednesday, January 27 At 10/9c | SYFY

Resident Alien (SYFY)

Imagine a small-town murder mystery, with a pinch of This Is Us, all with an alien played by Alan Tudyk in the middle of the bizarro action. Yeah, that’s essentially the elevator pitch for SYFY’s new original series Resident Alien, based on the acclaimed Dark Horse comic of the same name — and we can’t wait for it. Tudyk is joined by Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund, and Terminator alum Linda Hamilton in the cast list. It’s set to premiere on Jan. 27 on SYFY.

Superman and Lois The CW

Superman & Lois (The CW)

The CW’s Arrowverse is gaining a new original series in 2021, spinning out of the world of Supergirl (which is slated to wrap up its run next season). The series brings back Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane, as the duo look to report the big stories at The Daily Planet, raise their family, and of course save the world a few times along the way. With OG super-show Arrow already done, and shows like Supergirl and Black Lightning wrapping up this upcoming season, Superman & Lois represents an ambitious new project to kickstart the next era of the Arrowverse.

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Y: The Last Man (FX on Hulu)

It seems like we’ve been hearing about a potential adaptation of Y: The Last Man for years (and we have, as the show has been in various stages of development hell for half a decade) — but now it’s finally set to hit the airwaves. The post-apocalyptic FX on Hulu series, based on the award-winning comic from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, is set in a world where men have largely gone extinct — except for one man and his pet monkey. The series follows the survivors in this world, as they try to rebuild humanity. The comic is one of the most acclaimed of the modern era, and the story is an ambitious and gorgeous one — here’s hoping they do it justice.

The Book of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett (Disney+)

We were pretty much all surprised to learn Disney+ is giving Boba Fett (played by Temuera Morrison) his very own miniseries of sorts, as revealed at the end of The Mandalorian's second season finale. Boba and his mercenary pal Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) became key players in the final arc of The Mandalorian’s second season, and now they’re off to establish their very own criminal syndicate in Jabba the Hutt’s old stomping grounds. The show will debut around December 2021, with a proper third season of The Mandalorian to follow in 2022.

MacGruber Peacock

MacGruber (Peacock)

The SNL spy spoof, starring Will Forte, is getting the full series treatment at Peacock. The concept, based on the extremely handy agent MacGyver (you know, the guy who can build a bomb out of bubblegum and a pencil), was already been turned into a movie back in 2010. Forte is set to reprise the role for the series, and is also attached as a producer. MacGruber, sadly, isn’t as adept as MacGyver when it comes to solving the world’s problems. Look for plenty of laughs and explosions when this one hits streaming — currently slated for the back half of 2021.

Foundation — Teaser | Apple TV+

Foundation (Apple TV+)

Apple’s upstart streaming service has already taken some big swings with genre shows, with projects like See, Servant, and For All Mankind already renewed for second seasons. But Foundation is arguably the most ambitious to date. The series, based on the sci-fi book series by Issac Asimov, spans centuries and is one heck go a big swing to try and bring to life. The cast includes Lee Pace, Jared Harris, and Laura Birn. The series is being produced by David S. Goyer and David Ellison. No word yet on a premiere date, but the hope is to drop it in 2021.

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Cowboy Bebop (Netflix)

One of the most acclaimed anime sci-fi stories in history is finally getting the big-budget, live-action treatment thanks to Netflix. It’s a big, stunning, future-set sci-fi world — and it’ll be brought to life with stars John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell. Even cooler? The director of the original anime series, Shinichirō Watanabe, is also helping out as a consultant. You know, just to make sure they hopefully get all the little details right. Sadly, no word yet on when this one will premiere — but the plan is for mid-to-late 2021.

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The Lord of the Rings (Prime Video)

This massive, expensive and ambitious adaptation of the Lord of the Rings franchise has been in the works for a while now — despite production being delayed for a while due to the pandemic. The show will reportedly be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which means it’ll follow characters and stories well before the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. But, this being J.R.R. Tolkien, there are near-limitless stories to tell. The series has also reportedly locked in a massive cast, though we still don’t know exactly who and what the story will be. It’s tentatively set to premiere in late 2021, but there’s no formal date. Once the show does arrive, though, there should be plenty more to come. Amazon reportedly signed up to spend around $1 billion as part of its production plan with a massive, five-season commitment.