Hollywood 2021: Buzzy TV Series

TV shows and series we look forward to:

Bel-Air (Peacock)

A new dramatic take on the 1990s Will Smith-led family comedy. Based on Morgan Cooper’s viral video that delivered the same swagger to the iconic series, the Fresh Prince joins Quincy Jones and other original producers in the reimagining that explores the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today.

 

Cabin in Black and White (Netflix)

The six-episode scripted drama explores the adolescent life of Colin Kaepernick, focusing on his high school years and the experiences that led him to become an activist.

Jaden Michael stars as the young quarterback and activist; Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) are cast as his adoptive parents.

Kaepernick appears as the narrator of the drama, exec-produced by Ava DuVernay and others.

Cowboy Bebop (Netflix)

Based on the 1998 Japanese anime TV series from writer Cain Kuga, Cowboy Bebop was globally popular and is considered one of the biggest series in the anime genre.

John Cho stars in the live-action space western that was delayed by both the pandemic and after the actor suffered a knee injury on set.

Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, Geoff Stults and Tamara Tunie co-star.

Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me (Netflix)

Oscar winner Jamie Foxx (Ray) returns to television in this scripted comedy inspired by the relationship with his daughter, Corinne. The father-daughter duo exec produce the series, which will see Foxx play multiple characters opposite Kyla-Drew (who plays Corinne).

David Alan Grier reunites with former In Living Color co-star Foxx in the comedy.

The Dropout (Hulu)

Comedienne Kate McKinnon stars as disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Based on the ABC News podcast, the limited series traces how Holmes raised millions to fund the biotech start-up, while hiding the fact that her touted blood-testing machine didn’t really work. It marks the first series regular role for the SNL Emmy winner.

The Friends Reunion Special (HBO Max)

The interest in this special and the original series has only grown after the former NBC comedy became a megahit for a second generation as new audiences found the series on Netflix.

Generation (HBO Max)

Zelda Barnz, 19, co-created and co-wrote the script (alongside her father, Daniel Barnz) for this 10-episode half-hour dramedy that follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.

Lena Dunham mentored Zelda Barnez and produces the series.

Martha Plimpton stars alongside Justice Smith, Sam Trammell and Chase Sui Wonders.

Girls5eva (Peacock)

30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are getting the band back together for this musical comedy about a former one-hit wonder girl group that takes another shot at stardom.

The cast includes Grammy-and Tony-winners Sara Breilles and Hamilton‘s Renee Elise Goldsberry, as well as Busy Philipps and Paula Pell.

Impeachment: American Crime Story (FX)

Originally intended to air before the 2020 presidential election, the third season of the Emmy-winning FX anthology from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk focuses on the Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton scandal.

Lewinsky produces the season, which is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s best-seller A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. 

Sarah Paulson stars as Linda Tripp; Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart) plays Lewinsky; and Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex) is Paula Jones.

 

In Treatment (HBO, fall)

A decade after its third season wrapped, the Emmy-winning drama has been revived for a fourth season with a new cast.

Three-time Emmy winner Uzo Aduba steps into the role of the therapist (originally played by Gabriel Byrne).

New showrunners join the original creative team for the reimagined fourth season that will offer a diverse trio of patients in the half-hour drama series.

Inventing Anna (Netflix)

Shonda Rhimes makes her writing and showrunning debut for the streamer with this drama based on a 2018 New York magazine story about a fake German heiress who conned her way into the New York society scene.

The Christmas romance breakout Bridgerton was Shondaland’s first scripted foray for Netflix, but this limited series starring Ozark Emmy winner Julia Garner as Anna Delvey marks the first episodes Rhimes herself has written since the 2018 series finale of Scandal.

 Anna Chlumsky, Laverne Cox and Rhimes collaborators Katie Lowes, Jeff Perry and Anna Deavere Smith co-star.

Lisey’s Story (Apple)

Oscar winner Julianne Moore (Still Alice) stars in the series, based on Stephen King’s 2006 horror-romance best-seller, about a woman who realizes that her late husband wasn’t all that she believed.

King, in a rare move, will write all eight episodes of the thriller that sees him reteam with exec producer J.J. Abrams.

Maid (Netflix)

Showtime hopes that creator John Wells can capture lighting in a bottle again with this original dramedy based on Stephanie Land’s best-selling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. 

Margaret Qualley (Fosse/Verdon) stars as a single mother who turns to housekeeping to make ends meet.

Like Shameless, it explores poverty in America.

Nick Robinson and Andie MacDowell (Qualley’s real-life mother) co-star.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (Disney+)

One of the popular sports movie franchises comes to TV with this half-hour comedy starring Lauren Graham as a parent who starts her own rag-tag team — and recruits the famed Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) back to the ice to coach them.

It promises to be an uplifting family comedy.

Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)

Based on the book by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty, the limited series reunites the team behind the HBO Emmy winner.

David E. Kelley reteams with Nicole Kidman, who stars as a woman running a wellness center, on a mission to reinvigorate the minds and bodies of nine strangers.

The star-studded cast includes Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Michael Shannon, Manny Jacinto, Regina Hall and Samara Weaving.

Pachinko (Apple)

Based on Min Jin Lee’s New York Times best-selling novel, the big-budget epic drama begins with a forbidden love and then shifts into a sweeping saga that journeys from Korea to Japan and America to tell the story of war and peace, love and loss, triumph and reckoning.

The series is told in three languages (Korean, Japanese and English) and produced across multiple continents.

The ensemble is headed by Lee Min-ho (Boys Over Flowers), Jin Ha (Devs), Anna Sawai (Fast & Furious 9), Minha Kim (After Spring), Soji Arai (Cobra Kai) and Kaho Minami (Angel Dust).

 Physical (Apple)

Rose Byrne stars as a mother who finds her power through the world of aerobics in this 1980s-set dramedy from creator Annie Weisman (Desperate Housewives).

Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) directs the pilot for this series, which counts Sera Gamble (You, The Magicians) as an exec producer.

Schmigadoon (Apple)

SNL Cecily Strong reteams with Lorne Michaels for this star-studded comedy that’s described as Groundhog Day meets Enchanted. 

Strong and Keegan-Michael Key star as a couple who turn to a backpacking trip to reinvigorate their relationship and discover a magical town in which everyone acts as if they’re in a musical from the 1940s.

They then discover that they can’t leave until they find “true love.”

The star cast also features Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, Kristen Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Jaime Camil and Jane Krakowski.

Underground Railroad (Amazon)

Moonlight Oscar winner Barry Jenkins adapts Colson Whitehead’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel as a limited series that chronicles a young woman’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South.

After escaping her Georgia plantation for the Underground Railroad, she discovers a railroad full of engineers and conductors, along with a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.

Newcomer Thuso Mbedu stars as Cora. Joel Edgerton and Chase W. Dillon co-star in the series, which reunites Jenkins with Moonlight producers Plan B.

WandaVision (Disney+)

Disney+’s Year of Marvel kicks off in January with Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprising their roles as Wanda and Vision, respectively, set in suburbia.

March brings The Falcon and Winter Soldier, followed in May with Loki, animated What If … in the summer and Hawkeye in the fourth quarter.