With a slew of reboots, spinoffs, revivals and originals on their way 2022 is proving to be one of the richest years for TV in recent memory.
But with so much on its way, it can be hard to keep track of what to watch, or when you can watch it.
Here, CBC News has compiled some of the best series coming out in 2022 — with release date and streaming platform when available — all arranged by what kind of shows you might like.
Looking at both TV and film coming out in 2022, it can feel like just about everything is either a sequel, reboot or extended universe. For those looking for something truly original (and perhaps slightly weird) check out shows such as Astrid and Lilly Save the World, premiering Jan. 26 on CTV’s Sci-Fi channel, and streaming on Crave.
Starring Ontario’s Samantha Aucoin and Manitoba’s Jana Morrison — with filming largely completed in Newfoundland — it’s been described as Buffy the Vampire Slayer mixed with Shaun of the Dead. The show follows two bullied girls who accidentally open a portal to a “terrifyingly quirky monster dimension.”
Elsewhere, Adult Swim’s animated adult comedy Smiling Friends (the first two episodes premiered Jan. 10 on Amazon Prime and Apple TV+) is a hyper-surreal tale of two friends employed at a company whose only goal is to make people smile. Fans of Rick and Morty or Aqua Teen Hunger Force may find a home here.
And finally, CBC and BET’s The Porter — premiering Feb. 21 on CBC Gem — looks at railway workers of the 1920s and the subsequent creation of the world’s first Black union. In an interview with CBC News, showrunner and writer Annmarie Morais said making a show about the experience of Black people in this country — that goes beyond the topics of slavery and the Underground Railroad — reveals “a foundational part of the history of Canada” that rarely finds its way to the screen.
2022 will be a boon year for horror — specifically on Netflix. There’s 1899, an eight-episode “horrifying nightmare” from the makers of Dark, about passengers on a migrant steamship who discover another ship drifting in the open ocean. It’s possible the tale takes at least partial inspiration from the 1872 discovery of Canadian-built ghost ship Mary Celeste, when eight crewmen — along with the captain and his wife and daughter — vanished without a trace. Their bodies were never found.
The Midnight Club (based on the Christopher Pike novel, and helmed by The Haunting of Hill House, Doctor Sleep and Midnight Mass director Mike Flanagan) is about a group of terminally ill patients who meet nightly to exchange scary stories — eventually from beyond the grave. Meanwhile, Archive 81 (based on the podcast of the same name) follows an archivist who reconstructs a filmmaker’s work, only to stumble upon a dangerous cult.
All of Us Are Dead is a South Korean high school tale about students trapped inside their school … by zombies. And finally, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman will find its home on TV more than 30 years after the comic was first released, led by David Thewlis, Stephen Fry, Gwendoline Christie, Patton Oswalt and more.
All of Us Are Dead will go live Jan. 28, and Archive 81 premiered Jan. 14; the others do not yet have confirmed release dates.
Long considered a doomed endeavour, studios are taking a chance on stories adapted from video games in 2022. A Halo TV series is slated to release sometime in 2022 through Paramount+, with B.C.’s Pablo Schreiber taking on the role of Master Chief.
The narrative-heavy game The Last Of Us is receiving the HBO treatment (HBO content is available in Canada through the Crave streaming service) with production putting out calls for extras in Southern Alberta throughout last year. Craig Mazin, who created HBO’s five-part miniseries Chernobyl, is executive producer and showrunner.
Lastly, Netflix is trying again on Resident Evil after a fairly disastrous animated series released in 2021. The new live-action will follow sisters Jade and Billie Wesker both before and after the franchise’s “T-virus” infects and nearly eradicates all life, and will release sometime in 2022.
Real life, real drama
For the true-crime/deep-dive fans, three “based on a true story” miniseries are coming in 2022. Hulu’s Pam & Tommy sees Lily James and Sebastian Stan take on the roles of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee in the period immediately following their whirlwind marriage and legal battle over a honeymoon sex tape. It will be available in Canada on Disney+ on Feb. 2.
Elsewhere, Shonda Rhimes’s Inventing Anna is only the latest adaptation of the story around how Anna Sorokin defrauded New York’s elite. Netflix will release the miniseries on Feb. 11.
Using the name Anna Delvey and presenting herself as a German heiress, Sorokin scammed bankers and hoteliers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over years. Though she was only released from prison in 2021, there has already been a play about her life (Anna X by Joseph Charlton), while a second TV series by Lena Dunham is planned for release through HBO.
And Elizabeth Holmes — the founder of the disgraced and discredited blood-analysis company Theranos, and who was convicted of fraud earlier this month — will be profiled in The Dropout. That show, based on the podcast of the same name, stars Amanda Seyfried and will premiere on Disney+ in Canada on March 3.
Reboots, reboots, reboots
Get your nostalgia fix this year with The Proud Family reboot The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. It will hit Disney+ on Feb. 23, while the live action Avatar series — starring Paul Sun-Hyung Lee of Kim’s Convenience — began production in late 2021 and may launch on Netflix as early as 2022, though that has yet to be confirmed.
And Bel-Air, the Will Smith Fresh Prince reboot, will hit screens in Canada on Feb. 14 at 9 p.m. ET on Showcase, and will also be available to stream through STACKTV on Amazon Prime.
The grittier, grown-up take on the West Philly tale features newcomer Jabari Banks as Smith’s original character in hour-long episodes, which will bring “Will and the Banks family into the world as we know it now,” the creators shared in a statement.
Big franchises, big spinoffs
The extended universe has proven to be the way forward for both film and television. This year sees Peacemaker, starring John Cena in the titular role — which he first took on in 2021’s Suicide Squad. The first three episodes premiered on Crave on Jan. 13.
And later in the year, the most expensive season of TV ever made arrives with Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings. The $450 million US-budget show will release weekly, starting Sept. 2.
More franchise juggernauts are set to premiere in 2022, though without hard dates. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will pair Anson Mount’s Christopher Pike with Ethan Peck’s Spock; House of the Dragon will represent the first of many Game of Thrones spinoffs coming down the pipe; and both Star Wars: Andor (a Rogue One prequel) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (starring Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in Episodes I, II and VII) will further expand the somewhat bloated Star Wars universe later this year.
At the same time, many popular shows will continue their runs in 2022. The Walking Dead will release part two of its final season on Feb. 20 — available one week early on AMC+, through Amazon Prime or Apple TV+. Season four of the Laura Linney and Jason Bateman-led crime thriller Ozark will go live on Netflix on Jan. 21, and royal drama The Crown‘s fifth season will drop in November, as per an announcement from new Queen Elizabeth Imelda Staunton.
Superhero fans can expect to stream season three of Amazon Prime’s The Boys on June 3, and — after a three year hiatus — Donald Glover fans can start watching season three of Atlanta on March 24.
And while Netflix’s surrealist multi-dimensional series Russian Doll and Stranger Things are both set to receive new seasons in 2022, neither have firm release dates.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to receive a significant expansion, alongside theatrical releases. And while none have firm release dates, many seem to have Canadian influence. Among others, Moon Knight will welcome actor Oscar Isaac into the MCU as Marc Spector, an ex-Marine with dissociative identity disorder and powers that (sometimes) wax and wane with the phases of the moon.
Ethan Hawke also stars in what is expected to be the first MCU Disney+ show of 2022, with Ontario’s Emily VanCamp rumoured to reprise her MCU role of Sharon Carter. A new trailer will debut during the NFL Super Wild Card matchup on Monday, Jan. 17.
She-Hulk focuses on Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters (played by Saskatchewan’s Tatiana Maslany), who receives Hulk’s powers after a blood transfusion — but retains her intellect. Later on, Secret Invasion will pair Samuel L. Jackson and B.C.’s Cobie Smulders with industry veteran Olivia Colman, in a story about an attempted global takeover by shapeshifting aliens.
And last but certainly not least, Canadian teen Iman Vellani will star in Ms. Marvel, one of the comics company’s most popular young heroes. Sixteen-year-old Kamala Khan’s run as Ms. Marvel first began in 2013, and — once her minseries debuts — that character will become the first onscreen Muslim superhero in the MCU.