Six very popular genre shows are sitting out 2017.
And that’s rather unusual. Often, shows are like sharks — they keep moving forward or die, producing new content every year lest their talent deals lapse. Plus networks love consistency, where a known show reliably fills a certain slot. But for these six titles, we’re not getting any new episodes until 2018, and all for different reasons:
FX’s Atlanta. The acclaimed freshman drama delivered strong ratings plus picked up two Golden Globe awards this week (for best comedy and best actor for creator Donald Glover). But in a way Atlanta was a victim of its own success. After the show premiered, Glover was cast as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo stand-alone Star Wars movie, which started production this month. Usually, actors are forbidden from taking on any commitments which interfere with their show’s production schedule but FX must have agreed to accommodate Glover’s huge opportunity (wisely too, as appearing in a Star Wars film will only help bring more attention to Atlanta). “It’s an amazing opportunity for him, we try to be as accommodating to the talent as we can,” said FX executive Eric Schrier.
HBO’s Westworld. The breakout sci-fi drama took a couple years to make it to air, so it’s perhaps not surprising it will take awhile for another round. The densely plotted, special-effects-filled series is labor intensive, and showrunner Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy want to have all 10 episodes written before starting filming. So we’re going to have to wait awhile before we find out what “SW” is all about.
FX’s American Crime Story. Another huge freshman title from the fall, American Crime Story riveted with its tale of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, plus swept up some Emmy and Golden Globes. But FX’s follow-up in the anthology series, Katrina, has taken awhile to get underway as the writers have taken some time to figure out the story. “It’s taken us time to get material we’re happy with,” FX CEO John Landgraf said. Plus, FX has another limited series from executive producer Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan, coming in March. But FX will more than make up for it in 2018, because there will be two installments of ACS, as the third edition, Versace, will debut within six months of Katrina.
Netflix’s Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones: Netflix now has so many Marvel series that they’re not all airing each year. So while 2017 will have plenty of Netflix-Marvel shows, the first three titles the streaming service launched — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage — are all benched this year. Instead, 2017 will have the limited series The Defenders (which includes characters from all the network’s Marvel shows) and the series premiere of Iron Fist. This year will likely also see the premiere of Daredevil spin-off The Punisher, though no date has been set.
And this doesn’t include certain zombie titles — shows that are off the air, yet not canceled, and are expected to come back at some point. They’re like the walking dead (just not including The Walking Dead). Examples include HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is working on a ninth season after five years off the air and could very well return this year; FX’s Louie, which has Louis C.K. taking a break for an indeterminant amount of time; Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, which has the comedian taking a protracted hiatus from making another season; And PBS’ Sherlock, which is airing this year, but isn’t expected next year (and may or may not ever come back).