‘The Punisher’ to ‘El Chapo’: The best TV shows coming in 2017

A list long enough to keep you inside all damn year.

It really has been a stonking good year for TV. The NME team had a monumental challenge picking our ten favourite shows of 2016 in the end-of-year roundup. We were introduced to Stranger Things, felt paranoid watching Black Mirror and were shocked about the OJ Simpson result again 21 years later watching American Crime Story. The broadcasters and streaming services have a lot to live up to in 2017, but with modern remakes in the works like Watership Down and A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Marvel Universe shows like Iron Fist and The Punisher and a final season of Girls, there’s plenty to be excited about. You’ll be elated when your friends cancel plans.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris

Based on Lemony Snicket’s gleefully dark (and adult-friendly) children’s books, A Series of Unfortunate Events stars Harris as fiendish Count Olaf, determined to swindle the orphaned Baudeliaire siblings out of their inheritance by any means. Expect dastardliness.

When it’s on: Jan 13


Channel: FX
Starring: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Jean Smart

Yep, another superhero show, but Legion is no strutting villain-puncher – he’s a hugely troubled young man suffering from dissociative identity disorder, with each of his countless personas possessing its own (often bizarre) superpower. Indicative of ‘Legion”s eccentricity: Aubrey Plaza and Jermaine Clement have recurring roles.

When it’s on: Feb


Channel: Netflix
Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney

Leaving behind comedy for something grim ‘n’ grittier, Jason Bateman directs and stars in this drama about a married man haplessly caught up in the world of money laundering, forced to move to Missouri to pay a debt to a dangerous drug lord. We’re getting ‘Breaking Bad’ vibes.

When it’s on: Second half of 2017


13 Reasons Why

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette

Produced by Selena Gomez and Spotlight director Tom McCarthy, this brooding teen drama, based on a 2007 YA novel, tells the story of high-schooler Hannah Baker, who commits suicide after carefully documenting her reasons for doing so on 12 cassette tapes, each directly addressing one of her peers. Angsty slamming of lockers is a given.

When it’s on: TBC

Big Little Lies


Channel: Netflix
Starring: Jason Momoa, Zoe Boyle

Hunksome Jason Momoa plays a fur-trader in 18th-century North America, where violence is endemic and business negotiations regularly devolve into murder. Sweeping historical drama, then, with lashings of ‘Game of Thrones’-esque gore on top.

When it’s on: Jan 20

The Punisher

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Jason Bernthal, Jaime Ray Newman, Jason R. Moore

With his guest appearances on Daredevil proving wildly popular, Marvel’s trigger-happy vigilante gets a series of his own. Few details have emerged as yet, aside from Jason Bernthal reprising his winningly deranged performance as Frank ‘Punisher’ Castle.

When it’s on Late 2017



Channel: HBO/Sky Atlantic
Starring: Pete Holmes, Lauren Lapkus

We’re not short of edgy sitcoms in which stand-ups play exaggerated versions of themselves – Louie, Master of None, Maron, Lady Dynamite – but as they’re all pretty great we can handle one more. Co-produced by Judd Apatow, Crashing stars comedian Pete Holmes as a comedian (obvs) whose wife leaves him for a boxer.

When it’s on: Feb


Channel: NBC (in the US; TBC in the UK)
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk

A sitcom about a failing insurance company, set (twist!) in the DC universe. Imagine The Office with a distant backdrop of superpowered punch-ups. The UK broadcaster has yet to be announced, but we’d be amazed if this doesn’t get picked up over here.

When it’s on: TBC 2017

Watership Down

Channel: BBC One
Starring: John Boyega, James McAvoy

The most traumatising ‘children’s movie’ ever gets a four-part animated remake by the BBC, with an all-star voice cast that, Boyega and McAvoy aside, also boasts Olivia Colman, Nicholas Hoult and Sir Ben Kingsley. The BBC says it’s toning down the harrowing violence of the 1979 original, although it’s made no such promises about the crushing melancholy.

When it’s on: TBC 2017

The Last Kingdom

Channel: BBC Two
Starring: Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, Emily Cox

The bloody Vikings vs Saxons series returns for a second swing of the axe. Series one drew widespread acclaim for its lush cinematography and spectacular battles, and with an even-more-epic scale promised for series two we may finally have a serious challenger to Game of Thrones’ crown.

When it’s on: TBC 2017


El Chapo

Channel: Netflix
Starring: TBC

Following the success of Narcos – the story of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar – Netflix is now dramatising the crazy-ass life of Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, described by the US government as “the most ruthless, dangerous, feared man on the planet”.

When it’s on TBC 2017

Santa Clarita Diet

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant

Barrymore and Olyphant are married real-estate agents whose world implodes when Barrymore goes through “a dramatic change” – what that entails, Netflix ain’t sayin’. The showrunner is Victor Franco – creator of acclaimed cult sitcom Better Off Ted – so the laughs should be frequent and ingenious.

When it’s on: Feb 3

Iron Fist

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick

The fourth Netflix show based on Marvel’s ‘street-level’ heroes stars Finn Jones (Game of Thrones’ Loras Tyrell) as the titular protagonist, a superpowered martial-artist dedicated to spinny-kicking bad’ns in his NYC neighbourhood. Iron Fist will also be teaming up with Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage forThe Defenders, arriving on Netflix later in 2017.

When it’s on: March 17

Big Mouth

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph

From the pop-culture-warped minds of Family Guy writer Andrew Goldberg and comedian Nick Kroll comes an animated show about two teenage pals traversing puberty together. Expect surreal digressions and cringing bodily mishaps.

When’s it on TBC 2017


Channel: Netflix
Starring: Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup

This 10-episode drama series stars Naomi Watts as a therapist who develops obsessive and dangerous relationships with the people in her patients’ lives. Keen armchair psychoanalyst? Gypsy should be right up your street.

When it’s on: TBC 2017


Dear White People

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Logan Browning, Antoinette Robinson, Brandon P Bell

A spin-off from the acclaimed 2014 indie flick, this series focuses on a diverse group of non-white students dealing with racial awks at a very-white Ivy League college. Fans of the film will be happy to learn that its writer/director Justin Simien is again on screenwriting duties here.

When it’s on: TBC 2017


Channel: Netflix
Starring: Anna Torv, Cotter Smith

Its terrible title sounds like that of a crappy Syfy show, but this actually looks great: produced by Charlize Theron and super-director David Fincher, it’s a 1979-set drama following two FBI agents as they crack cases by interviewing imprisoned serial killers.

When it’s on: Second half of 2017

Stranger Things

Channel: Netflix
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown

This summer, when we weren’t talking about Brexit, we were comparing notes on the brilliant new Netflix ’80s themed sci-fi show Stranger Things. The second season has now been confirmed, introducing a whole host of new characters (and keeping the old ones – expect Barb). Sure to be the most hyped TV release of 2017.

When’s it on: Probably summer 2017