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125 Books Becoming TV Series We Cannot Wait to See

A new take on Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones spin-offs, plus plenty of mystery, drama, and superheroes: We’ve got details on the hottest books and comics coming to TV and streaming.

by | April 15, 2021 | Comments

SHADOW AND BONE season 1 cast

(Photo by Netflix - "Shadow and Bone")

The Queen’s Gambit. Big Little Lies. The Walking Dead. Game Of Thrones. The WitcherAlex Rider. The Alienist. Made For Love. Little Fires EverywhereTom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. Watchmen.

Some of the most talked-about TV series of the past few years are all based on novels and other published works. So what will the next hit be? We’ve rounded up a list of books, comic books, and graphic novels currently in development as TV or streaming series that have the potential to become the next big Certified Fresh thing.

We’ll update our list as new information becomes available with new titles added, projects that have been canceled, release dates announced, and stars that have been attached. As with all good reading material, make sure to bookmark it.

Did your favorite book that is becoming a TV series not make our list? Is there a book you’d like to see made into a show? Tell us about it in the comments!


Alex Cross

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Characters from author James Patterson’s books.
The Fanbase: Fans of Patterson’s novels and their adaptations, as well as works by similar authors like Jeffery Deaver (The Bone Collector).
What We Know So Far: Variety broke the news in 2020 that Amazon Prime Video was developing the series.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Morgan Freeman has starred as Alex Cross in two film adaptations —  Kiss The Girls and Along Came a Spider — of Patterson’s works, and Tyler Perry played him in one Alex Cross. All are very much not Certified Fresh. TV adaptations of Patterson’s work have fared somewhat better.


All the King’s Men

Network: TBD
Based On: Kennedy Ryan’s book series.
The Fanbase: The three-book series, which includes the best-seller Queen Move, follows best friends who dedicate their lives to electing leaders who support their visions. Topics like Native rights, missing and murdered indigenous women, climate change, pay equity, and voter suppression make the book series incredibly relevant right now.
What We Know So Far: The Traveling Picture Show Company is producing the limited series. More details are forthcoming.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s a topical piece and with the right backing (say, a plug from Stacey Abrams or Michelle Obama), it could win in a landslide.


All the Queen’s Men

Network: BET+
Release Date: Summer 2021
Based On: Christian Keye’s 2014 romance novel, Ladies Night.
The Fanbase: It’s a sexy romance thriller that deals with a double-crossed madam (Marilyn Deville) within the male stripper universe and is produced by Tyler Perry Studios. So there are fanbases. Plural.
Everything We Know So Far: Keyes created the series and also appears as hitman The Concierge. Other cast members in the 10-episode drama include Skyh Alvester Black as a dancer with a hidden past and Candace Maxwell as the house’s DJ who aspires for more.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The show might not bring about as many serious issues as Starz’s stripper series P-Valley, but there’s always an audience ready to make it rain for scantily clad men.


Anatomy of a Scandal

Sienna Miller

(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for New York Magazine)

Network: Netflix
Based On: Sarah Vaughan’s 2018 novel.
The Fanbase: People who love well-acted and quippy dramas about rich people and their problems of privilege, a la Big Little Lies.
What We Know So Far: Focusing on women caught in the wake of a scandal rollicking through an elite British circle, the six-part anthology comes from names like David E. Kelley and House Of Cards’ Melissa James Gibson. The cast includes Michelle Dockery and Sienna Miller (pictured).
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Pretty good. Kelley’s Emmy-winning Big Little Lies has a cumulative 89% Tomatometer score with two Certified Fresh seasons.


Baahubali: Before the Beginning

Network: Netflix
Based On: Indian author Anand Neelakantan’s trilogy.
The Fanbase: Fans of Neelakantan’s novels, but also those who enjoy shows about strong female heroines. And maybe also fans of The Crown, Netflix’s hit series about the ascention and reign of a female monarch.
What We Know So Far: Meant to run six seasons (two seasons per title), the story follows Sivagami, a character who rises from a defiant girl to a not-to-be-messed-with queen. Set in Mahishmati, the story coincides with a time when that ancient Indian kingdom becomes powerful. Indian actress Mrunal Thakur stars.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Netflix’s original Indian programming like Sacred Games and Leila have gotten fairly strong reviews. There’s a chance for this to do better if it finds an international audience.


The Ballad of Black Tom

Network: AMC
Based On: Victor LaValle’s 2016 horror novella based on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story, “The Horror at Red Hook.”
The Fanbase: Those who enjoyed Amazon’s Them, HBO’s Lovecraft Country, and WGN’s Underground.
What We Know So Far: This is a retelling of a story by noted racist H.P. Lovecraft from the point-of-view of a young Black man from Harlem. AMC announced in 2017 that it was developing the project and then things went quiet, but in February 2021, the cable channel announced that it was partnering with sister channel Shudder on a yet-to-be-titled horror anthology series that would focus on “stories of Black horror from Black directors and screenwriters” — LaValle being one of them. Perhaps his Black Tom adaptation will be part of this?
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Pretty good if it secures the pedigree of those shows that appeal to the same fanbase — or juggernauts like HBO’s Watchmen or FX’s American Horror Story.


Beacon 23

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: Lena Headey attends The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

(Photo by Danny Moloshok /Shutterstock)

Network: AMC and Spectrum
Based On: Hugh Howey’s 2015 novel.
The Fanbase: Howey already has a huge fanbase and AMC is also adapting his Wool (see below). But the story, which is a sci-fi thriller about two people trapped together at the end of the known universe, could bring in an audience similar to The Expanse or other popular properties.
What We Know So Far: Ready Player One’s Zak Penn is creating and adapting the series with Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey (pictured) executive producing and starring as Aster, a woman who mysteriously finds her way to a lighthouse in the darkest recesses of the universe.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Headey’s fanbase coupled with the love of the books could make this a beacon of light for the networks.


The Bonfire of the Vanities

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Tom Wolfe’s 1987 novel.
The Fanbase: If done well, prestige TV and literary snobs who flock to elite Emmy darlings like AMC’s Mad Men.
What We Know So Far: Wolfe’s novel was a scathing attack at the classism and racism of 1980s New York. This project, which was announced in 2016, comes from Chuck Lorre with Boardwalk Empire’s Margaret Nagle writing. While it may seem odd that the guy known for middle-of-the-road multi-camera work like Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory is involved with something like this, remember that he also did critical darling The Kominsky Method for Netflix.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It can’t be any worse than Brian De Palma’s 2008 movie version. With the right casting and prestige-TV production value and storytelling, the novel’s themes may strike a cord with modern audiences.


A Brief History of Seven Killings

Network: HBO
Based On: Marlon James’ Man Booker Prize–winning 2014 novel.
The Fanbase: Jamaican author James’ book follows the 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley through the 1980s crack wars in New York and beyond. Fans who are interested in social justice and those who were drawn to films like Judas and the Black Messiah might come out for this.
What We Know So Far: THR reported in 2017 that HBO was adapting the novel as a limited series with Insecure’s Melina Matsoukas on board to direct and James writing the script while Empire’s Malcolm Spellman would executive produce and serve as showrunner.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: With that pedigree, pretty good.


The Broken Earth Trilogy

N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season novel

(Photo by Laura Hanifin/courtesy of N.K. Jemisin; Orbit Books)

Network: TNT
Based On: N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning 2015 sci-fi novel.
The Fanbase: Sci-fi lovers, seismologists, and those who like stories of women with special abilities.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2017 that the project was in early development with 24: Legacy’s Leigh Dana Jackson penning the adaptation. From the article: this is an “epic drama set in a world where civilization-destroying earthquakes occur with deadly regularity. A small minority of inhabitants has the ability to quiet these earthquakes.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The book is part of a hugely popular trilogy and could fit in nicely with the network’s other popular sci-fi series, Snowpiercer.


The Case of Cyntoia Brown

Network: Starz
Based On: Cyntoia Brown-Long’s 2019 memoir, Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System.
The Fanbase: The limited series is inspired by Brown-Long, who served 15 years of a life sentence for killing a man when she was 16 (something she has maintained was an act of self-defense). The fanbase could bring in true-crime fanatics like those who campaigned for the release of Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery, as well as prison reform advocates like those who watched director Ava DuVernay’s documentary film, 13th.
Everything We Know So Far: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and La La Anthony are executive producing while Power Book III: Raising Kanan’s Santa Sierra is writing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Given the current political landscape and the focus on police and prison reforms, this could be a major cultural talking point.


Cat’s Cradle

Noah Hawley

(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Network: FX
Based On: Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical sci-fi-tinged 1963 novel.
The Fanbase: There is already a cult-like following around the late author’s work. But the pilot for this project was written by Noah Hawley (pictured), so that would bring in fans of his programs — in particular, his trippy and vibrant FX series Legion.
What We Know So Far: Told in the first-person narrative, Vonnegut’s novel involves time travel and ostensibly begins as a story about a man researching what important Americans were doing the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Hawley’s adaptation has been in the works for a while. He told Collider in 2020 that “it is not a dead show” and he has been partnering with Swiss Army Man’s Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwanon on the project.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: High (if they can ever complete the project).


Chapelwaite

Network: Epix
Based On: Stephen King’s short story, “Jerusalem’s Lot.”
The Fanbase: Fans of King’s work and others who enjoy either a good scare or a lot of family drama.
What We Know So Far: Set in the 1850s, Adrien Brody plays a recently widowed father of three who relocates his family to his small, sleepy town in Maine. There, he will have to confront the terrors and secrets that have haunted his family for generations. Schitt’s Creek’s Emily Hampshire plays a writer there on an assignment who is also struggling with finishing her own work.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Going solely based on recent adaptations of King’s work, it may be hard to tell. The Stand, which aired on what was then called CBS All Access, only has a 57% Tomatometer; however, HBO’s The Outsider was Certified Fresh with 91%.


Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Jo Piazza’s 2018 novel about a cutthroat and politically ambitious heroine.
The Fanbase: People who enjoyed shows like HBO’s Veep, the 1999 movie Election or other sardonic stories about determined people who must weight the consequences of success.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2019 that Julia Roberts — then just coming off of Amazon’s Homecoming — was in discussions to star and executive produce this limited series. It was going to be adapted by playwright and creator of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, Jon Robin Baitz.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: On the one hand, people may revel in watching Julia Roberts get her hands dirty in a political romp. On the other, we may all be too burned out with actual political mudslinging to invest interest.


The Cleaners

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: The Ken Liu short story that appeared in the 2020 fairy tale-themed anthology Faraway.
The Fanbase: Although it’s loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea, think more sci-fi fans of shows like Amazon’s The Expanse than those who enjoy battling princesses and witches in ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
What We Know So Far: In 2020, Deadline reported that The OA writer Dominic Orlando and Carnival Row star Orlando Bloom were involved in adapting Liu’s near-future set story about inanimate objects that carry their owners’ experiences with them so that they can be re-lived through touch. The eponymous “cleaners” are charged with sanitizing these pieces so as to relieve their own emotional burdens.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It sounds more like Black Mirror meets Beauty and the Beast — both of which have high Tomatometer scores.


Conversations With Friends

Joe Alwyn

(Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Network: Hulu
Based On: Sally Rooney’s 2017 debut novel.
The Fanbase: Those who loved Hulu’s adaptation of another Rooney novel, Normal People.
What We Know So Far: Joe Alwyn (pictured), Jemima Kirke, and Alison Oliver star in this 12-episode series about two college friends and former partners who become obsessed with a married couple a few years their seniors.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Just make sure to give Alwyn a chain necklace.


Daddy

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Jonathan Parks-Ramage’s 2021 novel, Yes, Daddy.
The Fanbase: People who enjoy dark psycho-thrillers like Netflix’s You or Elite.
What We Know So Far: The series’ lead character is Jonah Keller, a recent New York transplant with dreams of becoming a famous playwright. Until then, he starts dating an older, successful one. Things go awry when Jonah goes to the Hamptons with his beau.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could easily become a cultural talking point about consent and abuse, à la FX on Hulu’s A Teacher.


Daisy Jones & the Six

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 novel.
The Fanbase: Rock fans who like to go behind the music.
What We Know So Far: Partly inspired by Fleetwood Mac, Daisy Jones stars Riley Keough (Elvis’ granddaughter!) as the face of a 1970s rock band that exploded out of the L.A. music scene — and then broke up at the height of their fame. It’s told in documentary style with “interviews” with the band. Other stars include Camila Morrone, Sam Claflin, and Suki Waterhouse.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The show is on many outlets’ most anticipated new releases lists.


Dan Brown’s Langdon

LANGDON -- "Pilot" -- Pictured: (l-r) Sumalee Montano, Ashley Zukerman as Robert Langdon, and Rick Gonzalez

(Photo by Rafy/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Network: Peacock
Based On: Dan Brown’s 2009 novel, The Lost Symbol.
The Fanbase: Puzzle masters and those who were obsessed with Brown’s Da Vinci Code series of books or the critically-panned Tom Hanks–starring feature films The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Inferno adapted from the books.
What We Know So Far: Manhattan and A Teacher’s Ashley Zukerman — pictured, center, in a first-look image from the series — stars as famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. In the series, he must solve various puzzles to save his kidnapped mentor and thwart a chilling global conspiracy.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It has a cache similar to other addictive procedurals like NBC’s Blindspot and The Blacklist.


Dawn

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Octavia Butler’s 1987 science-fiction novel.
The Fanbase: Sci-fi fans who’d like to see more stories of women of color in that space.
What We Know So Far: From IndieWire: Heroine Lilith Iyapo was rescued by aliens after a nuclear war wiped out most of the human race, including her husband and son. Now, two centuries later, she must help her saviors resurrect our species.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Butler’s books are beloved and this is the first book in a trilogy, so it’s a good bet that this series could be around for a while.


Deadtown

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Catherynne M. Valente’s 2017 novella, The Refrigerator Monologues.
The Fanbase: People who like wry takes on the superhero genre, like Amazon’s The Boys, as well as people who like wry takes on female assassins, like AMC and BBC America’s Killing Eve.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2018 that Whip It’s Shauna Cross was developing the story about five women who meet in purgatory and discover that their entire lives were spent in service to various male superheroes — and died because of it. Now they are discovering their own powers.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It would make a nice companion piece to The Boys, which has two Certified Fresh seasons.


The Devil in the White City

Network: Hulu
Based On: Erik Larson’s 2003 historical non-fiction about the 1893 Chicago world’s fair and H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who was lurking around the city at the same time.
The Fanbase: People who enjoy historical drama and true crime.
What We Know So Far: Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company bought the film rights in 2010, but it was announced as a limited series for Hulu in 2019. Martin Scorsese is also an executive producer.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could make a killing.


Dexter

Dexter title sequence video screencap

(Photo by Showtime)

Network: Showtime
Based On: Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter book series.
The Fanbase: Die-hard fans of the original series about the vigilante serial killer may tune in for this limited series revival.
What We Know So Far: Showtime announced in 2020 that a 10-episode limited series revival of its popular drama was set to premiere in fall of 2021. Michael C. Hall (pictured) would return as the killer with a code.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: There’s a lot riding on this project to redeem the original series’ oft-mocked finale.


DMZ

Network: HBO Max
Based On: DC comic series
The Fanbase: It’s a “superhero” show about a medic stuck in the aftermath of a bloody civil war. Couldn’t be more topical.
What We Know So Far: In 2020, HBO Max gave a series order to this four-part project from Ava DuVernay and Westworld’s Roberto Patino. Set in the near-future when America is at odds and Manhattan is a demilitarized zone, Rosario Dawson stars as a medic attempting to find her lost son. Benjamin Bratt also stars as the leader of a powerful street gang.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It has the right pedigree.


Dopesick

Network: Hulu
Premiere Date: 2021
Based On: Journalist Beth Macy’s 2018 book about the opioid crisis.
The Fanbase: People who came out for stories of corruption and cover-ups like The Big Short and Spotlight and people who have lost family to the epidemic.
What We Know So Far: Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kaitlyn Dever, and Will Poulter are some of the stars in the limited series written by Danny Strong and directed by Barry Levinson. The series looks at the crisis from every angle, be it a small Virginia mining community to the big fish of Big Pharma.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Very good.


The Downstairs Girl

Stacey Lee author of The Downstairs Girl

(Photo by courtesy of the author; Penquin Books)

Network: TBD
Based On: Stacey Lee’s 2019 young-adult historical fiction.
The Fanbase: Those who loved Netflix’s Bridgerton and The CW and HBO Max’s Gossip Girl series as well as period-set stories of race with an upstairs-downstairs dynamic like Apple TV+’s Dickinson.
What We Know So Far: Aminta Goyel is adapting the half-hour series about a Korean teen secretly living in a basement with her guardian in 1890 Atlanta. By day, she’s a maid to one of the city’s wealthiest families. By night, she pens an anonymous newspaper column that discusses race, gender bias and the women’ movement. Bound Entertainment is producing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Let it embrace anachronistic music and language and it could be the next Dickinson or Underground.


Dune: The Sisterhood

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s novel (not, reportedly, Frank Herbert’s).
The Fanbase: Fans of Dune in all its iterations.
What We Know So Far: HBO Max gave a straight-to-series order for the TV series, meant to accompany the upcoming film starring Timothée Chalamet. Showrunner Jon Spaihts left the project in 2019. Then, of course, the coronavirus hit and release dates and schedules shifted.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Too early to tell.


Earthsea

Network: TBD
Based On: Ursula K. Le Guin’s book series.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy the dense and immersive book series, which includes an array of interesting characters — many people of color.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2019 that film producer Jennifer Fox was working with studio A24 to develop the series.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Fans will be expecting greatness, having been burned before by not-so-great 2004 miniseries that aired on what was then called the Sci Fi Channel.


The Essex Serpent

Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Sarah Perry’s 2016 novel.
The Fanbase:  Romantics who like to debate where faith and science meet. If the 1893 setting is kept, fans who like their historical fiction with a dash of the supernatural like BBC series The Living and the Dead or film The Woman in Black.
What We Know So Far: It’s an English drama about a widow who, now released from her abusive marriage, set out for the village of Essex because she hears there might be a mythical serpent there. Claire Danes plays the widowed Cora, while Tom Hiddleston — pictured above in a first-look image from the series — will play Will Ransome, the trusted leader of a small rural community. Mrs. Wilson’s Anna Symon is adapting the novel and Clio Barnard (The Selfish Giant) is directing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It has a wealth of talent on board and is being distributed by Apple TV+, which routinely strives for prestige-TV quality. Chances seem pretty solid.


The Expatriates

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Janice Y. K. Lee’s 2016 novel.
The Fanbase: Centered on the close-knit expatriate community in Hong Kong, the series could draw an interest in travelers or even those who relate to series about deep female friendships like HBO’s Sex and the City.
What We Know So Far: Nicole Kidman’s production company optioned the book and, in 2019, The Farewell’s Lulu Wang signed on as an executive producer. It’s also been reported that Big Love’s Melanie Marnich and Australian writer Alice Bell will serve as co-showrunners.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: If the series can capture the book’s social satire, it should score with both viewers and critics.


Felix Ever After

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Kacen Callender’s 2020 YA novel.
The Fanbase: Trans people, their families and others interested in seeing a love story centered on a Black, queer teen.
What We Know So Far: Amazon announced it had bought the rights to the book in August 2020 — just a few months after it was released.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: If done well, it could find a comfortable place in Amazon’s library comparable to the one Love, Victor has at Hulu.


The Firekeeper’s Daughter

Michelle and Barack Obama

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Network: Netflix
Based On: Angeline Boulley’s 2021 novel.
The Fanbase: Anyone interested in a teenage (reluctant) super sleuth who takes down authority and who also happens to draw upon her knowledge of chemistry and the Ojibwe traditional medicine to crack the case.
What We Know So Far: Barack and Michelle Obama optioned the novel for a TV adaptation before its debut as part of their Netflix-based production company, Higher Ground. The press release notes that “Mickey Fisher (Reverie, Extant) will serve as showrunner, and will co-write with Wenonah Wilms (Horsehead Girls) who will also serve as an executive producer” and that “like author Boulley, Wilms is from the Ojibwe tribe (Sault Ste. Marie and Red Cliff bands, respectively) and will bring her lived experiences to this series.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Hoping it will be more like Veronica Mars than Nancy Drew.


Fleishman Is in Trouble

Network: FX on Hulu
Based On: Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s 2019 novel.
The Fanbase: Divorcees going through a mid-life crisis and people who enjoy poppy storylines on the subject. Also, lots of journalists and literati who may be hate-watching and hoping for schadenfreude.
What We Know So Far: Journalist Brodesser-Akner’s debut novel was a smash hit when it was published, telling the story of a man separated from his wife and trying dating on for size through the eyes of a long-time friend who is also stunted in her marriage.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Casting will be a huge factor, as the plot is a slow burn given that it doesn’t involve something more attention grabbing like a murder mystery or assault.


Foundation

Network: Apple TV+
Premiere Date: 2021
Based On: Isaac Asimov’s book series.
The Fanbase: Fans of the influential sci-fi book series who also appreciate the work of the series creators David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman.
What We Know So Far: Told over several centuries, Jared Harris and Lee Pace star in the futuristic drama about exiles who struggle to save civilization.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of most anticipated shows of 2021.


Read Also: “Everything We Know About the Foundation Streaming Series


Gang Leader for a Day

Network: AMC
Based On: Sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh’s memoir of the same name.
The Fanbase: People interested in what it means to be Black and poor in notoriously racially-divided Chicago.
What We Know So Far: Venkatesh’s bestseller chronicles what happened when he, a wide-eyed sociology student, planned to interview members of the nation’s largest public housing project. A gang leader told him that, if he really wants answers, he needs to experience it first hand. AMC announced in 2017 that it was developing the project with with Hand of God’s Ben Watkins writing and serving as an executive producer with others like actor-producer Ed Burns.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Too early to tell.


The Girl Before

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

(Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

Network: HBO Max
Based On: JP Delaney’s 2018 novel.
The Fanbase: The book is marketed as “in the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Woman in Cabin 10, and Gone Girl,” so people who like those books and the related film adaptations, Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.
What We Know So Far: Gugu Mbatha-Raw will star in the four-episode limited series about a woman who moves into an ultra-minimalist dream house. The catch? Its architect (David Oyelowo) makes tenants abide by his strict rules. Then she discovers that the previous tenant died there.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: If the adaptation is more Gone Girl than Girl on the Train, it should do well. Director Lisa Brühlmann (Emmy nominated for her work on Killing Eve) also serves as executive producer along with the producers of The English Game, which got a mixed reception from critics, but was praised for strong acting and gorgeous production.


Girl Waits with Gun

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Amy Stewart’s 2015 novel.
The Fanbase: Fans of The Alienist, Miss Scarlet and the Duke, Enola Holmes, Godless, and similar historical fiction featuring fearless, crime-fighting women.
What We Know So Far: The book is inspired by Constance Kopp, one of the United States’ first female deputy sheriffs, a title she earned in 1914. If that premise isn’t enticing enough, Deadline reported in 2018 that it will be written by Veep’s Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan and produced by Elizabeth Banks and her husband, Max Handelman, who were producers on the Pitch Perfect films and Hulu series Shrill.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: We’ll have to wait and see if it comes in dead or alive, but stories of early gun-toting female law enforcement types seem to be a hit with critics and earn Fresh Tomatometer scores.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Stieg Larsson’s Millenium book series.
The Fanbase: Variety reported in 2020 that this series would concentrate on hacker-with-anger-issues, Lisbeth Salander (sorry to fans of the books’ other protagonist, Mikael Blomkvist).
What We Know So Far: No writer or cast has been announced, but attached producers include Rob Bullock (The Night Manager) and Andy Harries (The Crown). Variety also noted that this “will not be a sequel or continuation of the story from the books or the films into which they were adapted. It will instead take Salander and place her in today’s world with a wholly new setting, new characters, and a new story.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Two of the five films based on the series earned Certified Fresh badges, one was Fresh, and two were Rotten. It’s hard to say without actors, writers, or directors attached, but if we trust in trust in the producers’ previous work and Amazon Studios productions based on books like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Alex Rider, and The Boys, it looks promising.


The Girls on the Bus

Greg Berlanti and Julie Plec

(Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images)

Network: Netflix
Based On: A chapter of Amy Chozick’s 2018 book, Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and One Intact Glass Ceiling.
The Fanbase: People interested in the unglamorous world of political reporters who spend years on the campaign trail — and the sometimes unlikely allies they make along the way.
What We Know So Far: Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries) and Arrowverse creator Greg Berlanti (both pictured) are executive producing the series with Plec writing along with Chozick. With a title meant to subvert Timothy Crouse’s 1973 book The Boys on the Bus, this story will concentrate on four female reporters. Do note, however: Deadline reported in 2019 that the series will feature fictional candidates.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Could it end up like HBO’s The Newsroom? Or Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt, which fared better, but was (infamously) canceled anyway. Or maybe, with the right cast, it will soar like feature film A Private War, which starred Rosamund Pike as a war correspondent. Plec and Berlanti both have fairly good Tomatometer track records, though this series most likely has no vampires or superheroes.


Gone For Good

Network: Netflix
Based On: Harlan Coben’s 2002 novel.
The Fanbase: People who already found the adaptation of Coben’s books like The Stranger and The Woods or his series The Five on the streamer, as well as others who enjoy family-centric mysteries like the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places.
What We Know So Far: This five-part French series will star Finnegan Oldfield as Guillaume Lucchesi, a man in his 30s who never believed his older brother was actually guilty of killing his first love — even if he did disappear soon after her body was found. Now that his new girlfriend has gone missing, Guillaume has to answer to questions from the past.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The Coben-Netflix partnership has previously delivered solid Tomatometer scores, so things look promising for this project.


Gossip Girl

Whitney Peak and Joshua Safran on the set of the 'Gossip Girl'

(Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Network: HBO Max
Premiere Date: July 2021
Based On: Cecily von Ziegesar’s book series.
The Fanbase: The Lonely Boys and Girls who grew up fascinated with Serena and Blair — and a new generation who must learn that tights are not pants.
What We Know So Far: Joshua Safran, who worked on the original series created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, serves as showrunner for the latest adaptation about social media-obsessed and Manhattan elites. Safran is pictured above on set with actress Whitney Peak, who plays Zoya Lott in the series.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Like so many series about teens, this show may not appeal to all the olds who review TV, but it will definitely find an audience with the youths. The 2008 series’ first season is Certified Fresh; however, it is only one of six.


Green Lantern

Network: HBO Max
Based On: The DC Comics character
The Fanbase: Shocking no one, the 10-episode series counts Greg Berlanti as a co-writer and executive producer. But the streaming service option means that things can get more creative than they might have been able to on broadcast TV.
Everything We Know So Far: According to Variety, Finn Wittrock stars as Guy Gardner, “a hulking mass of masculinity” and “embodiment of 1980s hyper-patriotism.” But, you know, likable. The article also reports that the “story spans decades and galaxies, beginning on Earth in 1941 with the very first Green Lantern, secretly gay FBI agent Alan Scott, and 1984, with cocky alpha male Gardner and half-alien Bree Jarta. They’ll be joined by a multitude of other Lanterns — from comic book favorites to never-before-seen heroes.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: If it’s anything like the other shows in the Berlanti-verse, we’re looking at an easy six-season run.


Greyboy

Network: TBD
Based On: Cole Brown’s 2020 book, Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World
The Fanbase: Those who understand the struggles and stereotypes that face mixed-raced people. According to Deadline, “through a series of personal anecdotes and interviews with his peers, [Brown] transports us to his adolescence and explores what it’s like to be young and in search of identity. He digs into the places where, in youth, a greyboy’s difference is most acutely felt: parenting, police brutality, depression, and dating, to name a few.”
Everything We Know So Far: Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi and her mother/business partner, Keri Shahidi, are developing the book as part of their deal with ABC Signature.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It will be interesting to see how this show compares to what has already been covered in Grown-ish as well its sister shows Black-ish and Mixed-ish.


The Gryphon

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Wolfgang Hohlbein’s 2000 novel.
The Fanbase: German author Hohlbein brings with him a huge audience already. But fans of Stephen King’s work will also appreciate it …
What We Know So Far: … Because, according to a 2021 Variety article, the plot revolves around three outsiders who deal with a monster. Showrunners Erol Yesilkaya and Sebastian Marka are turning the book into six, 45-minute episodes.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Too early to tell. But executive producers Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann were producers on 2007 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner The Lives of Others, and the series is being made by W&B Television — which produced three-Certifed Fresh-seasons sci-fi hit Dark for Netflix — in cooperation with DogHaus Film for Amazon Studios.


Half Bad

Network: Netflix
Based On: Sally Green’s young adult book series.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy supernatural stories as allegory, such as HBO’s True Blood.
What We Know So Far: Green’s stories are set in a world where witches and humans live together. Some witches are deemed “good” (or White) and some deemed “bad’ (or Black). Nathan is a teenager who is half White and half Black and therefore known as a Half Code. Variety reports that Giri/Haji creator Joe Barton is adapting the books and that Andy Serkis is an executive producer.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Giri/Haji is Certified Fresh at 100%, and, though better known to audiences as an actor, this show brings Serkis to the producing table. The Magicians author and Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman listed Half Bad, among the best books of 2014, calling it “an enthralling fantasy in the Harry Potter tradition.”


Harriet the Spy

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 book series.
The Fanbase: It’s an animated series about a children’s book character, but it also has names attached that may interest adults.
What We Know So Far: Apple TV+ announced the series order in 2020 with Beanie Feldstein set to voice the fiercely independent 11-year-old in 1960s New York. Other voices include Jane Lynch as Ole Golly, Harriet’s controlling nanny, and Lacey Chabert as Marion Hawthorne, the head of a popular clique at Harriet’s school. The project will be written by Will McRobb, who co-created The Adventures of Pete & Pete. He will also serve as an executive producer.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Apple TV+ has had success with inventive kid programs like Helpsters and programs about kids like Home Before Dark, season 1 of which is Certified Fresh, so there’s hope.


Harry Potter

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE,

(Photo by Warner Bros./Everett Collection)

Network: HBO Max
Based On: J.K. Rowling’s book series.
The Fanbase: Fans of the beloved books and movies (although there still may be some backlash to Rowling from members of the trans community regarding prior comments).
What We Know So Far: The Hollywood Reporter broke the news in early 2021 that a live-action TV series based on the Harry Potter series was in extremely early talks and that no writer or cast had been set yet.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Every property in the filmed Harry Potter universe, save the most recent, has been Certified Fresh. Protego!


Havenfall

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Sara Holland’s 2020 novel.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy stories of teens who discover they have access to hidden powers or other dimensions, such as Freeform’s Shadowhunters or HBO’s His Dark Materials.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2020 that Amazon was developing the series with Divergent writer Evan Daugherty. The story follows a teenager who discovers the Colorado hotel she’s staying in for the summer has portals to other realms.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s too early to tell. But with the right star-powered casting …


Heartstopper

Network: Netflix
Based On: Alice Oseman’s graphic novels.
The Fanbase: Fans of YA queer-centric rom-coms like Hulu’s Love, Victor or even Netflix’s Sex Education.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2021 that Netflix would be turning the novels into an eight-part series with Oseman writing and Welsh director Euros Lyn (Doctor Who) directing. The story follows teen boys at an all-boys British grammar school who fall hard for each other. It also takes on more nuanced subjects like mental illness.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Oseman is untested as a TV writer and without cast, it’s a bit too early to tell, but Lyn won a BAFTA TV Award for Last Tango in Halifax, and his experience as a director also includes Torchwood, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, Daredevil, His Dark Materials, and other titles that boast Certified Fresh seasons.


Highfire

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Eoin Colfer’s 2020 novel.
The Fanbase: Entertainment Weekly described it as “Pete’s Dragon, but, like, an adult thriller version of that.”
What We Know So Far: The animated fantasy series from Artemis Fowl’s Colfer was in early development at Amazon as of 2020. Nicolas Cage voices a dragon with interesting tastes in pop culture and a love of vodka. He used to be great, but now lives in a shack in the Louisiana swamp. It’s there that he strikes up a friendship with a young boy from a local moonshine mob.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Hopefully for Cage and his fans, this adaptation will fare better than Artemis Fowl.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, Marvin

(Photo by Touchstone/courtesy Everett Collection)

Network: Hulu
Based On: Douglas Adams’ radio series and reading material.
The Fanbase: The cult around this sci-fi story is strong.
What We Know So Far: Deadline broke the news in 2019 that Carlton Cuse and Jason Fuchs were adapting the series about Arthur Dent, a Brit and the last surviving human after aliens destroy Earth.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Good, although it would be fitting if it got a Tomatometer score of 42.


HOOPS

Network: TBD
Based On: Kennedy Ryan’s book series.
The Fanbase: Set in the world of the NBA, this romance series about three different couples with connections to the sport could bring in fans of series like BET’s The Game.
What We Know So Far: News of the rights aquisition only recently hit, with The Traveling Picture Show Company producing the limited series. No development team has been announced yet.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could be a slam-dunk for romance fans, but it’s still early in the game.


House of the Dragon

Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Matt Smith, and Paddy Considine

(Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage; HBO; Jim Spellman/WireImage; Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

Network: HBO
Based On: George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book, Fire & Blood.
The Fanbase: People still mad about the Game of Thrones finale.
What We Know So Far: The prequel to Thrones is co-created by Martin and Colony’s Ryan Condal with Miguel Sapochnik and Condal serving as showrunners. Centering on a civil war in House Targaryen, it sets in motion events that eventually lead to the early seasons of GOT and reminds fans that history is written by the victors. Stars include Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Matt Smith, and Paddy Considine (pictured above). HBO is also reportedly working on three more Thrones series based on the history of the Seven Kingdoms, Essos, and beyond.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The talent attached almost guarantees an engaging series. If HBO provides the support it gave the original show, securing high Tomatometer scores should be a breeze.


Read Also: “Everything We Know About Game Of Thrones Prequel Series House of the Dragon


The Inheritance Games

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ 2020 novel.
The Fanbase: Secret passages, puzzles, a surprise fortune and a squabbling rich family? Think: the movies Knives Out and Clue or Peacock’s upcoming adaptation of Karen M. McManus’ One of Us Is Lying.
What We Know So Far: Deadline broke the news in 2020 that the book had been optioned ahead of its release and that Notorious co-creator Josh Berman was executive producing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: May the series be the surprise windfall that we all deserve.


The Inheritance Trilogy

Network: TBD
Based On: N.K. Jemisin’s popular sci-fi book series.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy stories of gods battling mortals and the fight to save humanity from a corrupt family that dominates it all.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2021 that Searchlight TV had optioned the series and that Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios would also be producing with the aim of turning the source material into an “epic, live-action ongoing fantasy series.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Think: HBO’s Game of Thrones meets Starz’s American Gods — between them lies a Certified Fresh score.


The Institute

Network: TBD
Based On: Stephen King’s 2019 novel.
The Fanbase: It might sound like an ouroboros given how often this show pays homage to King, but fans of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
What We Know So Far: In 2019, writer David E. Kelley and director Jack Bender, who have already worked together on an adaptation of King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy for Mr. Mercedes, announced plans to adapt the book as a limited series. It follows a boy with special powers who is kidnapped and sent to live in an institute where a staff perform various experiments on him and other students. He escapes and a small-town sheriff is on the case.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Mr. Mercedes has one Certified Fresh season and an overall 91% score. How special are these powers?


Interior Chinatown

Network: Hulu
Based On: Charles Yu’s National Book Award–winning novel.
The Fanbase: It’s a story of assimilation, typecasting, and career versus family — one or all which are relatable to most everyone.
What We Know So Far: Variety broke the news in 2020 that Hulu was developing a series based on the novel with Yu, who has written for shows like HBO’s Westworld and Facebook Watch’s Sorry For Your Loss.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Part of the creativeness of the book is that it’s written like a film script. Half the work is already done! Now it’s just a matter of casting.


Jack Reacher

Alan Ritchson

(Photo by Robin L Marshall/Getty Images)

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: The Lee Child book series.
The Fanbase: People already tuning into Amazon for its Jack Ryan series or who enjoy other stories of high-stakes investigations like the Bourne movies or USA’s adaptation of Shooter.
What We Know So Far: Variety reported in 2020 that Blue Mountain State and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s Alan Ritchson will star and that first season will focus on the first book in the series, 1997’s The Killing Floor.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Hopefully better than the Tom Cruise–starring film adaptations (the first did decent; the second did not).


Joe Pickett

Network: Spectrum
Based On:
C.J. Box’s book series.
The Fanbase:
The books are about a small-town Wyoming game warden and his family who are navigating their world’s changing political and socio-economic climate. It could bring in audiences who enjoy Paramount+’s Yellowstone and Netflix’s Ozark.
What We Know So Far:
Spectrum has ordered a 10-episode first season from creators John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle. For All Mankind’s Michael Dorman is starring.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit:
Fingers crossed that the show can find an audience as devout as the ones who watch either Yellowstone or Ozark.


Joyland

Network: Freeform
Based On: Stephen King’s 2013 novel.
The Fanbase: Given the network, expect PG-13 spooks like Apple TV+’s Home Before Dark.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2018 that Chris Peña (Jane the Virgin) and Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M.) were writing the pilot and that the plot centers on “a college student who takes a summer job at an amusement park in a North Carolina tourist town, confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child and the way both will change his life forever.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could bring in the YA crowd à la the network’s smash, Pretty Little Liars.


Kindred

Network: FX
Based On: Octavia E. Butler’s 1979 novel.
The Fanbase: People who appreciate how different genres can be used to discuss historical fiction, à la shows like Amazon’s Them or HBO’s Watchmen.
What We Know So Far: According to Variety, the show — which is only so far at the pilot stage — follows “Dana, a young Black woman and aspiring writer who has uprooted her life of familial obligation and relocated to Los Angeles, ready to claim a future that, for once, feels all her own. But, before she can get settled into her new home, she finds herself being violently pulled back and forth in time to a nineteenth-century plantation with which she and her family are most surprisingly and intimately linked. An interracial romance threads through her past and present, and the clock is ticking as she struggles to confront the secrets she never knew ran through her blood.” Watchmen’s Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is writing the pilot and executive producing. Other executive producers include The Americans co-creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: With that pedigree, the show could easily find some kindred spirits among critics.


The Kingkiller Chronicle

Network: TBD
Based On: Patrick Rothfuss’ fantasy book series.
The Fanbase: Those who love the books — and especially those who love the man spearheading the adaptation, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
What We Know So Far: The series, which follows adventurer and musician Kvothe as he narrates his life to a scribe, is not the easiest to adapt because it’s not told in a linear fashion. Showtime had planned to take on the project in 2017 and then backed out. And Miranda told Entertainment Weekly in 2020 that the story is “still a code that’s waiting to be cracked.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Good. If they can ever figure out how to tell it.


Lady in the Lake

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Laura Lippman’s 2019 novel
The Fanbase: True-crime fanatics who enjoy period dramas and vigilante heroines.
What We Know So Far: Set in 1960s Baltimore, Natalie Portman plays Maddie Schwartz, a housewife and mother who becomes an investigative journalist after a murder goes unsolved. Her actions put her in contact with Lupita Nyong’o’s Cleo Sherwood, a hard-working mother who is also trying to advance Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda. Honey Boy’s Alma Har’el is directing and co-wrote the limited series. In addition to its stars, executive producers include Jean-Marc Vallée.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Pretty good. It has the star power to be Apple TV+’s answer to Hulu’s Certified Fresh limited series Little Fires Everywhere.


The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Roadside Attractions)

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Walter Mosley’s 2010 novel.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy a creative take on a murder mystery and a complex look at aging.
What We Know So Far: Samuel L. Jackson stars in the six-part limited series about a man with dementia who has been all but forgotten by his family (and himself). But a sudden lucidity may help him solve his nephew’s death. Other cast members include Walton Goggins and Omar Miller.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Good. Mosley is a deeply admired writer with a lot of credits. The film Devil in a Blue Dress is Certified Fresh with an 88% Tomatometer score.


The Last Thing He Told Me

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Laura Dave’s 2021 suspense novel.
The Fanbase: Fans of Julia Roberts, in particular, the mysteries she’s starred in like Amazon Prime Video series Homecoming and films The Pelican Brief or Conspiracy Theory.
What We Know So Far: Julia Roberts will star in the limited series about a woman whose husband unexpectedly vanishes. Dave is co-creating the series with Spotlight writer Josh Singer.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It has a thriller element that could make the Twitterverse — and critics — very happy.


The Lincoln Lawyer

Network: Netflix
Based On: Michael Connelly’s book series.
The Fanbase: Fans of Connelly’s Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles attorney who takes on cases big and small from the back of his Lincoln Town Car.
What We Know So Far: Originally set up at CBS, the series counts David E. Kelley as an executive producer and stars The Magnificent Seven’s Manuel Garcia-Rulfo. According to Connelly’s letter on Netflix’s press site, “season 1 will consist of 10 one-hour episodes and will be based on the second book in the series, The Brass Verdict.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Solid. The Matthew McConaughey film adaptation of the books is Certified Fresh with am 83% Tomatometer.


Julianne Moore and Clive Owen star in Stephen King's Lisey’s Story

(Photo by Apple TV+)

Network: Apple TV+
Premiere Date: June 4, 2021
Based On: Stephen King’s 2006 psychological thriller.
The Fanbase: Fans of King’s work as well that of producer J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and of the star pedigree.
What We Know So Far: Flashing from present to the past, Julianne Moore plays the widow of a famed novelist (Clive Owen) who begins to question moments of their relationship. King told journalists during the show’s winter 2021 Television Critics Association press tour that “Lisey’s Story means a lot to me because it’s the one that I love best. It’s a story about love and marriage and creative impulse and it’s also got a kick-ass villain in it.” Moore and Owen are pictured above in a first-look image of the series.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: King, who wrote all the episodes for the miniseries, has a lot riding on his adaptation of his own work to series. The goal: to match or best Mike Flanangan’s 2017 adaptation of King’s Gerald’s Game, which holds a Certified Fresh 91% score on the Tomatometer.


Lockwood & Co.

Network: Netflix
Based On: Jonathan Stroud’s book series.
The Fanbase: Could it be a show with kids that’s not actually a kids’ show like Stranger Things? Or a silly comedy about spooky creatures like What We Do in the Shadows or Ghosts?
What We Know So Far: Edgar Wright’s production company has teamed with Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish and others on an adaptation of the book series about a group of kids who fight spirits and other villains.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: This clearly has the power to be very, very funny.


The Lord of the Rings

clockwise from top left: Robert Aramayo (photo courtesy of Amazon), Nazanin Boniadi (Steve Mack/Everett Collection), Joseph Mawle (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images), Owain Arthur in Hard Sun ‘Not the End of the World’, (Season 1, ep. 105 (photo: Mark Johnson / ©Hulu/BBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection), Ismael Cruz Cordova at 54th New York Film Festival, October 14, 2016 (Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection), Morfydd Clark (Wolf_Marloh), Charlie Vickers (Taylor Rettke), Tom Budge (Pier Carthew), Tyroe Muhafidin (Samson Makumbe), Sophia Nomvete (Max Parker)

(Photo by clockwise from top left: courtesy of the actor; Steve Mack/Everett Collection; Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images; Mark Johnson / ©Hulu/BBC / Courtesy: Everett Collection; Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection; Courtesy Amazon Studios: Wolf_Marloh, Taylor Rettke, Pier Carthew, Samson Makumbe, Max Parker)

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: J.R.R. Tolkien’s book series
The Fanbase: Tolkienites and others who want to see how this thing plays out.
What We Know So Far: An all-star cast and an extremely expensive production will focus on a story set way, way before the events of The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. Click to see Rotten Tomatoes’ detailed run-down of what’s in store for the series.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Every Lord of the Rings film title in the franchise is Fresh, except the last (which just barely misses it), and the appetite for adaptations of Tolkien’s stories is there. Everyone will be watching, including some who will have schadenfreude if this fails, but if the production value holds up from films to series, it should score high.


Read Also: “Everything We Know About The Lord of the Rings Amazon Series


The Magpie Murders

Network: PBS Masterpiece
Based On: Anthony Horowitz’s 2017 novel.
The Fanbase: People who like their murder mysteries with puzzles and blood.
What We Know So Far: Horowitz, who also created the British series Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders, is adapting his story into a six-part limited series about a book editor who must search through the pages of her star writer’s unfinished novel to find clues as to how he died.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: As long as audiences don’t get impatient and try to Google for spoilers …


Maid

Network: Netflix
Based On: Stephanie Land’s 2019 memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
The Fanbase: Fans of dramedies about real-life issues like Showtime’s Shameless or Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.
What We Know So Far: Based on Land’s own experience as a person who grew up middle class and then spent a period of time as a single mother living below the poverty line. Margaret Qualley, Anika Noni Rose, A Teacher’s Nick Robinson, and Qualley’s mother, Andie MacDowell, star. Molly Smith Metzler is writing and John Wells, who adapted the American version of Shameless, is an executive producer.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It has the pedigree to make it.


The Man Who Fell to Earth

Chiwetel Ejiofor

(Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

Network: Showtime
Premiere Date: 2022
Based On: Walter Tevis’ 1963 sci-fi novel.
The Fanbase: The story, about an alien who comes to Earth in the hope of finding a way to bring his drought-stricken community to our world, has already seen on TV adaptation, a film adaptation starring David Bowie, and a Bowie musical inspired by it.
What We Know So Far: Chiwetel Ejiofor (pictured) is starring in the project while Clarice’s Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet are writing the script. Naomie Harris and Jimmi Simpson also star.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The movie adaptation, as well as the recent Netflix adaptation of Tevis’ The Queen’s Gambit, are hits; Kurtzman and Lumet’s Clarice, however, is not.


The Midnight Club

Network: Netflix
Based On: Christopher Pike’s 1994 novel.
The Fanbase: Fans who grew up on Pike’s YA horror books as well as those by R.L. Stine (whose Fear Street series is getting the Netflix film treatment).
What We Know So Far: Variety reports that the 10-episode series, which follows kids at a hospice center who gather to tell ghost stories, includes cast members like The Baby-Sitters Club’s Aya Furukawa and Power’s William Chris Sumpter. It’s created by The Haunting of Bly Manor’s showrunner Mike Flanagan along with Leah Fong.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It has the right set-up, including the involvement of Flanagan, who has a perfectly Fresh Tomatometer record. But will it be too depressing?


Milk Fed

Network: TBD
Based On: Melissa Broder’s 2021 novel.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy their meet-cutes with a touch of irony.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2020 that Little Fires Everywhere’s Liz Tigelaar had bought the rights to the book and would write the series. According to the article, the plot is about a “love affair between an ambivalently Jewish woman with an eating disorder and the zaftig Orthodox woman who works at her local LA frozen yogurt shop.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Rom-com enthusiasts could lap this up.


The Miss Pat Show

Network: BET+
Based On: The comedian’s 2017 memoir, Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat.
The Fanbase: Patricia Williams, who is better known by her stage name Miss Pat and who was one of Variety’s 10 comics to watch in 2019, has an avid fanbase of those who enjoy her honest, no-nonsense recounts of how she went from being a convicted felon and drug dealer to suburban mom.
Everything We Know So Far: The 10-episode series, which is multi-camera, is based on Williams’ stand-up as well as her memoir. Cast members also include J. Bernard Calloway and Tami Roman.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could find an audience interested in frank humor told in a classic sitcom style, such as the ones who turned in for NBC’s The Carmichael Show.


Network: Apple TV+
Premiere Date: April 30, 2021
Based On: Paul Theroux’s 1981 novel.
The Fanbase: Although it’s set in modern times, this is a prequel to the novel. It could bring in a whole new fanbase — people who know nothing about the original’s tale of a father’s desperate attempts to save his family from the effects of capitalism.
What We Know So Far: Justin Theroux (who is the nephew of author Paul) stars as the obsessive father Allie Fox in this story created by Luther’s Neil Cross.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Given recent health and environmental events, the story could resonate with audiences. In any case, we’ll find out soon!


Mouthful of Birds

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Samanta Schweblin’s Spanish-language short story collection, which was published in 2008 and translated into English in 2019 by Megan McDowell.
The Fanbase: Horror, traumatic childhood, violence, madness — if it leans into the absurd, it could be a good fit for fans of Noah Hawley’s Legion or maybe Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. But if drama is more the focus, it might be better suited to fans of Haven or Castle Rock.
What We Know So Far: Hala writer-director Minhal Baig is adapting the horror drama, which Deadline describes as one that “circles madness, trauma, and violence in a darkly absurd, profoundly eerie, and ultimately human way, as our protagonist attempts to come to terms with a traumatic event from her childhood that she cannot remember.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Done right, it could easily be a buzzed-about show of the moment.


My Glory Was I Had Such Friends

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Amy Silverstein’s 2017 memoir of the support group who helped as she waited for a heart transplant.
The Fanbase: Those who love a tear-jerker.
What We Know So Far: Jennifer Garner stars in the series adaptation, which she is executive producing along with J.J. Abrams and (spoiler alert) Silverstein herself.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: As long as it doesn’t get too mushy.


The Mysterious Benedict Society

Network: Disney+
Premiere Date: June 25, 2021
Based On: Trenton Lee Stewart’s 2007 novel.
The Fanbase: It has an Umbrella Academy vibe, but perhaps not as dark (because, you know, Disney+).
What We Know So Far: Tony Hale plays the eponymous Mr. Benedict, who recruits four orphans — each with a unique skill — to help him stop a plot that could have global consequences.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It premieres in summer 2021 and could be a family-friendly watch like 2020’s The Baby-Sitters’ Club.


Naomi

Network: The CW
Based On: Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker’s comic character
The Fanbase: It’s a comic series about a woman of color that’s executive produced and co-written by Ava DuVernay. It’s exactly in The CW’s wheelhouse.
Everything We Know So Far: The Wrap reports that Kaci Walfall stars in the pilot as an “effortlessly cool and confident high school student” who also has the ability to travel across the multiverse.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: If it gets picked up to series, it would fit nicely in the network’s repertoire of programming that also includes DC’s Stargirl and Kung Fu.


Nine Perfect Strangers


Network: Hulu
Based On: Liane Moriarty’s 2018 novel.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoyed HBO’s adaptation of Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and other stories about people who hide their pain and tragedy behind perfect veneers.
What We Know So Far: BLL’s David E. Kelley, along with co-creator John Henry Butterworth, re-teams with star/executive producer Nicole Kidman for this miniseries about people who connect while on a wellness retreat. Other stars include Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Michael Shannon and Samara Weaving.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: There’s a ton of pressure on this to be a thing. With Kelley and Kidman running the show, the chance it’ll match BLL‘s two Certified Fresh seasons is high.


Ninth House

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Shadow and Bone young-adult author Leigh Bardugo’s 2019 novel.
The Fanbase: Ninth House was Bardugo’s first in the adult space. But she already has a loyal fanbase (and probably more so after the TV adaptation of Shadow and Bone, which is part of her successful Grishaverse series, hits Netflix).
What We Know So Far: Deadline announced the news of the deal in 2019 and explains that it is “set at an alternate Yale, Bardugo’s real-life alma mater, where the secret societies guard dangerous, magical secrets, and ghosts haunt the campus.” Bardugo will executive produce the series with her frequent collaborator Pouya Shahbazian (the Divergent film series), who is head of film and TV at New Leaf.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: We’re expecting big things from the Shadow and Bone adaptation, and Shahbazian most recently produced Certified Fresh films Love, Simon and American Honey. In any case, it’d be nice to confirm many assumptions about what Ivy League colleges’ secret societies are really about.


The Old Man

Jeff Bridges

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)

Network: FX on Hulu
Based On: Thomas Perry’s 2017 thriller.
The Fanbase: An action thriller about a retired intelligence officer who learns he’s the subject of an assassination attempt could appeal to mystery fans as as well as those who love classic films like North by Northwest and The Fugitive.
What We Know So Far: Star Jeff Bridges is battling lymphoma, but FX has not announced plans to recast him. Other stars include John Lithgow, Amy Brenneman, Alia Shawkat, and Gbenga Akinnagbe.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Strong Emmy potential for this one.


Olga Dies Dreaming

Network: Hulu
Based On: Xochitl Gonzalez’s novel.
The Fanbase: It’s about siblings in a gentrifying neighborhood who have issues with their politically absent and distant mother. So, anyone who has ever had an awkward night at the dinner table.
Everything We Know So Far: Deadline reports that Hulu has ordered a pilot based on the book, which Gonzalez is writing and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is directing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Feuding families are always interesting to watch, but this one sounds like it could bring in those who enjoyed the conflicts in series like Starz’s Vida.


One of Us Is Lying

Network: Peacock
Based On: Karen M. McManus’s 2017 young-adult mystery.
The Fanbase: Think The Breakfast Club meets The Usual Suspects.
What We Know So Far: The plot revolves around a bunch of high-school students hauled into detention for having phones on campus (which is against school policy). They all insist they’re innocent. Then one dies and blackmailing of the others begins. Peacock announced the eight-episode order in 2020 with Elite co-creator Darío Madrona set as showrunner.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Give it a week-by-week roll-out, and it could be captivating hit.


Oona Out of Order

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Margarita Montimore’s 2020 novel.
The Fanbase: People who are still talking about Sliding Doors or who question whether they’re doing life right.
What We Know So Far: Deadline broke the news of the adaptation in 2021, describing the premise as “as a sophisticated love story that chronicles a romance interrupted and a lifetime rearranged” and that “it revolves around Oona Lockhart, who at the strike of midnight on her nineteenth birthday wakes to find she is the surprise new inhabitant of her 55-year-old body.” The Expatriates’ Alice Bell is adapting.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Could be quirky enough to work.


Overlook

The Shining

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Stephen King’s 1977 thriller, The Shining.
The Fanbase: People who still have questions about that creepy hotel.
What We Know So Far: The project, another partnership between King and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, was announced in 2020 and “explores the untold, terrifying stories of the most famous haunted hotel in American fiction.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: As long as those in charge don’t get writer’s block.


Pachinko

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Min Jin Lee’s 2017 historical fiction.
The Fanbase: An immigration story, but also one that deals with racism and forbidden love, it could find an audience for those who watched AMC’s The Terror: Infamy.
What We Know So Far: Told in Korean, Japanese, and English and featuring an international cast, the adaptation from Soo Hugh (The Terror) will follow four generations of a Korean immigrant family.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Soo’s record as a writer and producer trends Fresh with a 94% Certified Fresh score on the first season of The Terror, co-created by David Kajganich.


Panic

Panic key art season 1

(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Release Date: May 28, 2021
Based On:
Lauren Oliver’s 2014 young adult novel.
The Fanbase:
It’s a story of graduating seniors in a small Texas town who must fight one another to win enough money to escape their circumstances. In doing so, they all must come to terms with their fears and risk a serious of dangerous events. There’s a Hunger Games element, obviously. But it also relates to anyone just dying to graduate high school and get out of Dodge.
What We Know So Far:
Bloodline and Power alum Enrique Murciano plays the town sheriff while the kids are played by Olivia Welch, Mike Faist, Jessica Sula, Camron Jones and Ray Nicholson.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The suspense element might make the show appealing to a broader audience — if they can keep it going through multiple episodes.


Paper Girls

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Author Brian K. Vaughan and illustrator Cliff Chiang’s comic book series.
The Fanbase: The comparisons to Netflix’s Stranger Things are inevitable.
What We Know So Far: Set during Halloween 1988, a quartet of Ohio newspaper delivery girls (played by Sofia Rosinsky, Camryn Jones, Riley Lai Nelet and Fina Strazza) get caught between warring faction of time-travelers. According to Variety, as the characters “travel between our present, the past, and the future — they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Kind of too early to say, but the source material is pretty popular.


Peacemaker

John Cena, Danielle Brooks, Robert Patrick, Jennifer Holland, Chris Conrad

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures; Matt Doyle, Manfred Baumann, Dana Patrick, Helen Palmaira/Courtesy HBO Max)

Network: HBO Max
Release Date: January 2022
Based On: DC Comics characters.
The Fanbase: It’s a spin-off of The Suicide Squad and created by James Gunn with an all-star cast. So, let’s just describe the fanbase as devout.
What We Know So Far: The cast includes John Cena reprising his Suicide Squad role as the show’s titular ruthless killer obsessed with peace at any cost. Danielle Brooks, Robert Patrick, and Steve Agee also star.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Does it really matter what the critics think? Fans will be arguing this show’s merits until the end of time.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Network: Disney+
Based On: Rick Riordan’s book series
The Fanbase: The books have a devout fanbase who were not happy with the film versions.
What We Know So Far: Variety reported in May 2020 that a TV adaptation of the books was in early stages of development and Riordan’s wife, Becky, tweeted that November that a pilot script had been sent to executives.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Between the Star Wars and MCU spin-offs, Disney+ has proven it knows how to make flashy TV takes on known IPs.


The Peripheral

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: William Gibson’s 2014 sci-fi novel.
The Fanbase: Gamers and fans of alternate reality, but also those who believe that everything is connected.
What We Know So Far: The story of interconnected plots focuses on a woman in the near future who doesn’t know if the murder she saw is real or part of a virtual game she is monitoring and a London-based publicist who lives in a post-apocalyptic 22nd century. Variety reports that Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are executive producing and stars include Jack Reynor, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Gary Carr.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: High — if audiences can keep up with the plot twists.


Pieces Of Her

Toni Collette

(Photo by odd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Network: Netflix
Based On: Karin Slaughter’s 2018 novel.
The Fanbase: Fans of mystery-thrillers, but also maybe of ones that make you question the secrets your parents kept hidden (à la FX’s The Americans.)
What We Know So Far: Created by Fosse/Verdon’s Charlotte Stoudt, Bella Heathcote stars as a woman who begins to question her mother Laura (Toni Collette, pictured) after she easily (and violently) stops a mass shooting. Then people from Laura’s past start to appear, and they must go on the run.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s probably also worth noting that Stoudt’s credits also include Showtime’s Homeland and Netflix’s House of Cards.


The Player’s Table

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Jessica Goodman’s 2020 novel, They Wish They Were Us.
The Fanbase: Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars fans, but also those who like actress Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria) and/or musician Halsey.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2021 that HBO Max was developing the series. It would star the women (the latter in her TV acting debut) as characters from an affluent Long Island community who are attempting to solve their friend’s murder — which means also questioning what happened to them.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The odds seem in its favore: Sweeney has appeared in a good bit of Fresh/Certified Fresh fare, and Annabelle Attanasio (writer-director of 100% Certified Fresh film Mickey and the Bear) is attached to write, direct, and executive produce the series.


The Power

Leslie Mann

(Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Naomi Alderman’s 2016 sci-fi novel.
The Fanbase: The women’s empowerment story you may not have been expecting.
What We Know So Far: Leslie Mann (pictured) stars in the 10-episode series that, according to Elle magazine, “takes place in an era where women develop an electrical current within their bodies, aiding their rise to power across the globe.” The article also reports that Alderman is creating the series and that The Handmaid’s Tale’s Reed Morano is directing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Mann has a mixed Tomatometer track record, but is ultimately one of Hollywood’s most likable stars. Add a jolt of Handmaid’s Tale talent, and we’d be shocked if it didn’t.


Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Sara Shepard’s book series
The Fanbase: This version is from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and others, so expect to see some fans of The CW’s Riverdale in addition to PLL die-hards.
What We Know So Far: According to E!, this story will find a new group of Liars attempting to uncover a crime from 20 years ago when “a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The original has an 81% series score, but no Certified Fresh seasons. Will this get an A+ with critics? Aguirre-Sacasa could make that happen.


The Pursuit of Love

The Pursuit of Love book cover

(Photo by Vintage books)

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Nancy Mitford’s 1945 novel.
The Fanbase: A period piece about family drama that stars Lily James? Why yes, the fans of PBS’s Downton Abbey will care about that. Especially because …
What We Know So Far: It also stars Andrew Scott. The Newsroom star Emily Mortimer is adapting the series, which also stars Emily Beecham and Dominic West.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Some may tune in just for the costumes, but they’ll still tune in. It’s got a lot of star power behind it.


Ragdoll

Network: AMC
Premiere Date: Late 2021
Based On: Daniel Cole’s 2017 suspense thriller
The Fanbase: It’s described as a modern-day serial killer thriller (a la the network’s Killing Eve) with a Faustian twist.
Everything We Know So Far: Lucy Hale, Thalissa Teixeira and Henry Lloyd-Hughes play British detective investigating a serial killer who taunts them by leaving them a list of his or her targets — with a familiar name last he last entry.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s a gory suspense thriller with a sardonic sense of humor. While it may not have the obsessive and sapphic nature of Killing Eve, the whodunnit (or who might do it) could draw in viewers.


Red Rising

Network: TBD
Based On: Pierce Brown’s sci-fi novel series.
The Fanbase: Reviews for the books include comparisons to Hunger Games and Ender’s Game, so people who’d like to see movies like that in TV series form.
What We Know So Far: The project, reportedly, has had a lot of stops and starts. Brown told the Orlando Sentinel in 2019 that “I put together a pretty good team” and that “we’ve been developing it in private so that when we take it out, it fully reflects the vision.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Pretty good if it can ever get made.


Revelations

Network: The CW
Based On: Stephen King’s short story, “The Revelations of ‘Becka Paulson.”
The Fanbase: A jaded audience who appreciates the dark humor of series like The CW’s Reaper or TBS’s
Miracle Workers.
What We Know So Far: The CW confirmed it was developing the series in 2020, with Last Man Standing’s Maise Culver serving a writer. The story follows a wide-eyed young woman who accidentally shoots herself in the head with a nail gun, causing an over-it Jesus to force her to be the one to stop the apocalypse by showing why Earth is worth redeeming.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could work as a snarky take on a procedural, similar to The CW’s iZombie, which has a 90% series score and a Certified Fresh first season.


Ringworld

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Larry Niven’s sci-fi series.
The Fanbase: Devotees of these books have seen many attempted adaptations explode. They want this one to work.
What We Know So Far: Prolific writer-director-producer Akiva Goldsman is working on the series, telling Collider in 2020 that Game of Thrones’ Alan Taylor would direct the pilot. Set in the future, the story focuses on Louis Gridley Wu — a bored genius who joins a young woman and a couple of aliens on an adventure to explore, and uncover, the mysterious of an area beyond their world.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It had better be (see “the fanbase” above).


Roar

Nicole Kidman in March 2020

(Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Cecelia Ahern’s 2018 book of short stories.
The Fanbase: This is anthology series that shows how women of various backgrounds are (or aren’t) surviving. It shouldn’t be hard to find an audience for this post-COVID.
What We Know So Far: Nicole Kidman (pictured) executive produces and stars in the eight-episode series created by GLOW’s Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch. Other stars include Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever and GLOW lead Alison Brie.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Could this be the primal scream of a show that so many women need?


Rodham

Network: Hulu
Based On: Curtis Sittenfeld’s alternate history about Hillary Clinton.
The Fanbase: Fans of the former Secretary of State and presidential candidate who believe her husband’s career halted her own.
What We Know So Far: In 2020, Hulu announced that it was teaming with The Affair creator Sarah Treem on this imagination of what would have happened had Hillz not married Bill.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Given how much heat Hulu got for its documentary series about Clinton, we’d say there’s an audience, and if Treem can duplicate her past success, the series has a great chance.


The Sandman

Sandman cast

(Photo by Netflix)

Network: Netflix
Based On: Neil Gaiman’s comic book series.
The Fanbase: Gaiman’s series adaptations like Starz’s American Gods and Amazon’s Good Omens have frequently pleased his fans and expanded his audience.
What We Know So Far: After — fittingly — being stuck in development hell for years, Wonder Woman writer Allan Heinberg is now heading this series about the king of dreams (Tom Sturridge) who escapes after an 105-year imprisonment and sets about restoring order to his kingdom. Gwendoline Christie also stars as Lucifer with other cast members including Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, and Charles Dance. Note that this story is not directly related to Lucifer, the Tom Ellis series that relies on Gaiman’s interpretation of the fallen angel.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Given Gaiman’s track record, the chances are very good.


Read Also: “Everything We Know About Netflix’s The Sandman Series


The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Network: Netflix
Based On: Stuart Turton’s 2018 novel.
The Fanbase: A whodunnit that mixes Knives Out with a sort of Freaky Friday–like twist.
What We Know So Far: Sophie Petzal is adapting the story of a murder mystery at a country estate that would be a lot easier to solve if you didn’t keep waking up in someone else’s body.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The plot is intriguing, but will the streamer’s binge-watch release schedule ruin the surprise?


Sex/Life

Network: Netflix
Based On: B.B. Easton’s 2016 memoir, 44 Chapters about 4 Men.
The Fanbase: High Fidelity with a twist.
What We Know So Far: UnReal’s Stacy Rukeyser is adapting the series about a bored school psychologist (Sarah Shahi) who decides to journal about her wild child past — only to find that her husband (Mike Vogel) begins to act out some of these escapades.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could be a relatable binge-watch for bored housewives (and bored other people) everywhere.



Network: Netflix
Premiere Date: April 23, 2021
Based On: Leigh Bardugo’s book series.
The Fanbase: Bardugo already has a strong fanbase, but people always seem to love a story about a powerful teen girl living in a war-torn world.
What We Know So Far: Jessie Mei Li stars as Alina Starkov, an orphan living in what remains of a Russia-like world. She realizes she has a power that could be what’s needed to free her country.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s one of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated shows for 2021. And it’s coming very, very soon. We’re betting it’ll find an enthusiastic audience whatever the score.


Shelter

Network: Amazon Prime Video or IMDb TV
Based On: The books in Harlan Coben’s young adult series.
The Fanbase: Coben’s library of books are beloved (as evident by other entries on this list), but this story of an orphaned teen who discovers his new girlfriend — and late dad — may not be who he thought they were, could bring in a captive younger audience.
Everything We Know So Far: Variety reported in 2021 that Amazon Studios was making a pilot based on the first book in Coben’s Mickey Bolitar book series. Shadowhunters’ Ed Decter will serve as showrunner. The Variety article also states that, if picked up to series, the show could stream on either Amazon Prime Video or newer platform IMDb TV.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: The show could find an audience akin to other programs that are ostensibly about young adults but also entice people old enough to vote and rent cars (see also: Shadowhunters, His Dark Materials).


The Shining Girls

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Lauren Beukes’ 2013 novel.
The Fanbase: This metaphysical thriller that makes one question what’s really happening and if the narrator is trustworthy could interest people who claim Memento is their favorite Christopher Nolan movie.
What We Know So Far: Elisabeth Moss stars as a reporter who survives a violent attack but whose sense of reality begins to shift as she searches for her assailant. Wagner Moura also stars and Strange Angel’s Silka Luisa serves as showrunner.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Moss’s track record for pretty much everything is rock solid.


Slam!

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Pamela Ribon and Veronica Fish’s graphic novels
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy female-centric adult animated series like Harley Quinn.
What We Know So Far: Ribon is adapting the half-hour series that Deadline reports is “set in the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super-cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, follows two young women who will have to decide if their budding friendship is stronger than the pull of a team when a win is on the line.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Too early to tell how long this bout will go.


Sleeping Beauties

Stephen King and Owen King's novel "Sleeping Beauties"

(Photo by Scribner)

Network: AMC
Based On: The 2017 novel co-written by Stephen and Owen King.
The Fanbase: Exhausted women everywhere.
What We Know So Far: While no casting news has been announced, the logline is an understandable one: “In a small Appalachian town, there’s a strange mystical occurrence that causes all the women to fall asleep, leaving the men to try and rescue them. But do the women want to be rescued?”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: TV adaptations of King’s projects have been hit or miss, and AMC also couldn’t get a strong audience for the adaptation of his other son, Joe Hill’s, NOS4A2.


Read Also:Every Upcoming Stephen King Movie and TV Adaptation


Slow Horses

Network: Apple TV+
Based On: Mick Herron’s spy novels Slow Horses and Dead Lions.
The Fanbase: Those who enjoy a British spy drama with scenery-chewing actors.
What We Know So Far: According to Deadline, Gary Oldman stars as “Jackson Lamb, a brilliant but irascible leader of a group of spies who end up in MI5’s Slough House, having been exiled from the mainstream for their mistakes.” Kristen Scott Thomas stars as a high-ranking MI5 official and Jonathan Pryce and Olivia Cooke also star.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Oldman won raves when he starred in the film adaptation of John le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which is Certified Fresh with an 83% score.


The Spook Who Sat by the Door

Lee Daniels

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

Network: FX
Based On: Sam Greenlee’s 1969 novel.
The Fanbase: Although this is a work of fiction, audiences who appreciate stories of government corruption and civil rights like BlackKklansman may relate.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2021 that FX had ordered a pilot of the adaptation of this novel about the CIA’s first Black member. Lee Daniels (pictured) is producing, Raising Dion’s Leigh Dana Jackson is writing, and The Twilight Zone’s Gerard McMurray is directing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Good, given the success of BlackKklansman and similar recent projects like Judas and the Black Messiah.


The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

Network: AMC
Based On: John le Carré’s 1963 novel.
The Fanbase: AMC is hoping to draw an audience similar to those who came out for the Tom Hiddleston–Hugh Laurie adaptation of le Carre’s The Night Manager.
What We Know So Far: The project was announced in 2017 with Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy set to write.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Depends. Night Manager got a ton of buzz. The adaptation of le Carre’s The Little Drummer Girl got good reviews — and a 95% Certified Fresh Tomatometer score — but not as much attention.


Station Eleven

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Emily St. John Mandel’s 2014 novel.
The Fanbase: The sci-fi audience who doesn’t mind stories that seem too close to home.
What We Know So Far: Hiro Murai is directing and Patrick Somerville is writing the miniseries about survivors of a flu-like pandemic. The cast includes Daniel Zovatto, Lori Petty, Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel and David Wilmot.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Given current events, this one is going to have to tread lightly.


Stone Junction

Network: TBD
Based On: Jim Dodge’s 1998 novel.
The Fanbase: Set in 1980s California with a sci-fi twist, it clearly draws influence from George Lucas’ work.
Everything We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2021 that Game of Thrones’ Alan Taylor was directing the pilot that “depicts the fantastical childhood and adolescence of Daniel Pearse and culminates with his battle for life against oblivion” that is also “a tall tale of rebellion, romance, revenge, and magic, woven into an American coming-of-age story.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It really depends on the casting and the channel it’s on, but the same kind of audience that came out for the film adaptation of Ender’s Game could enjoy this.


The Summer I Turned Pretty

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Jenny Han’s book series.
The Fanbase: People who loved Netflix’s whimsy film adaptations of Han’s To All the Boys series.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reports that Amazon has ordered an eight-part series based on the book with Han writing the pilot. She will co-showrun with Haven’s Gabrielle Stanton. Newcomer Lola Tung stars. The story follows a multigenerational family. Plus, there’s a love-triangle involving two brothers.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Fans of the books are already choosing which brother’s team to be on.


Sweet Tooth

Netflix sweet tooth

(Photo by Netflix)

Network: Netflix
Premiere Date: June 4, 2021
Based On: Jeff Lemire’s comic book series.
The Fanbase: Fans of the series as well as others who’d like to see human-animal hybrids survive an apocalypse.
What We Know So Far: A project long in the works, Robert Downey Jr. (pictured) is one of the executive producers on the series about Gus (Christian Convery), a human-deer hybrid who leaves home just in time to discover that the world has suffered an horrific event. Other stars include Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar and Will Forte with Josh Brolin serving as narrator.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Oh, deer. We hope so.


The Sympathizer

Network: TBD
Based On: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 2015 novel.
The Fanbase: The book tells the story of a half-Vietnamese, half-French undercover communist agent who was held as a political prisoner during the Vietnam conflict and was forced into a confession. He then lived in exile in the United States.
What We Know So Far: It was reported in 2021 that Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Little Drummer Girl) was directing and that A24 and Rhombus Media were producing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s a hot-blooded topic that could garner quite an audience with the prestige-drama set.


The Talisman

Steven Spielberg

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)

Network: Netflix
Based On: Stephen King and Peter Straub’s 1984 fantasy horror novel.
The Fanbase: King fans have been waiting for this one for decades. But its premise could also draw in fans of other series about kids who straddle different worlds, like HBO Max’s Harry Potter series or HBO’s His Dark Materials.
What We Know So Far: With producers including Steven Spielberg (pictured) and Stranger Things’ Matt and Ross Duffer, the plot follows a 12-year-old boy who goes on a quest to find someone who could help his dying mother. The journey takes him to another, much more sinister, version of our world. Stranger Things’ Curtis Gwinn would serve as showrunner.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: According to The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, this has been a passion project of Spielberg’s even before the book was published. But it also may have competition from a film version of the novel, but all signs point to a winner.


This Is Going to Hurt

Network: AMC
Based On: Adam Kay’s memoir, This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor.
The Fanbase: Anyone who spent the quarantine (re)watching NBC’s Scrubs.
What We Know So Far: Ben Whishaw stars as a fictionalized version of Kay, whose memoir AMC says was “scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends” and “tell(s) the unvarnished truth of life as a doctor working in Obstetrics and Gynecology.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: 1. Whishaw. 2. The series is  produced by global content company SISTER (Giri/Haji, Chernobyl, Gangs of London — all Certified Fresh). 3. Lucy Forbes (In My Skin, The End of the F***cking World season 2 — Fresh and Certified Fresh) is confirmed as the series lead director. 4. AMC. Can we call it now?


Three-Body Problem

Liu Cixin's book trilogy, including Three Body Problem

(Photo by Netflix)

Network: Netflix
Based On: Liu Cixin’s book trilogy.
The Fanbase: Those searching for extraterrestrial life — and wondering what we do when we find it.
What We Know So Far: Netflix announced in 2020 that it was adapting the comprehensive texts as a series through a partnership with Game of Thrones David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and The Terror: Infamy’s Alexander Woo.* No casting has been announced.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Netflix knows the stakes are high to get this one right. Plus, Benioff, Weiss, and Woo have a lot of Certified Fresh seasons between them.


Three Pines

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Louise Penny’s crime novels.
The Fanbase: People who enjoy quirky investigators, especially ones who are French Canadian but who speak English with a British accent.
What We Know So Far: Deadline reported in 2020 that Amazon was adapting the books — known for their hero, Chief Inspector Gamache — and The Tunnel’s Emilia di Girolamo will write with Humans director Sam Donovan serving as head director.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s a bit early to tell, but both The Tunnel and Humans have Fresh scores, with the latter having one Certified Fresh season.


A Time For Mercy

Network: HBO
Based On: John Grisham’s 2020 novel, a follow up to his A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row.
The Fanbase: Those who relate to Grisham’s Jake Brigance character, a modern-day Atticus Finch who defends the downtrodden in often racially-charged cases.
What We Know So Far: Variety reports that Matthew McConaughey, who played the character in the 1996 movie adaptation of A Time to Kill will star in this series, reporting that his hero’s latest case is “a young man who killed his mother’s boyfriend, a deputy sheriff, with the boy claiming the man was abusive toward his mother, himself, and his little sister.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It’s certainly topical, A Time to Kill was Fresh, and the McConaughey’s True Detective season 1 performance earned that multiple-Emmy-winning season its 87% Certified Fresh score.


The Time Traveler’s Wife

Network: HBO
Based On: Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel.
The Fanbase: Fans of Starz’s Outlander who wonder what Jamie was up to when Claire was away and others who enjoy a good sci-fi tinged romance.
What We Know So Far: Sherlock’s Steven Moffat is writing this adaptation with Theo James and Rose Leslie set to star as a man who has the ability to travel through time and the spouse whose life is impacted by this power.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Fingers crossed that it will be better than the 2009 movie version.


Tokyo Vice

Network: HBO Max
Based On: Jake Adelstein’s 2009 memoir, Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan.
The Fanbase: With the first episode directed by Michael Mann and written by J.T. Rogers, this is a story for those who want an adrenaline rush without leaving their living room.
What We Know So Far: Ansel Elgort stars as a Missouri journalist who moves to Japan and gets sucked into the city’s criminal underworld. Ken Watanabe and Rachel Keller also star.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It may depend on if the show can keep this suspense level going for an entire season.


True Blood

True Blood season 1 HBO poster

(Photo by HBO)

Network: HBO
Based On: Author Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries book series (also known as the Sookie Stackhouse Novels).
The Fanbase: Fan(g)s who want a re-do of the original series’ final season.
What We Know So Far: TVLine reported in 2020 that HBO was in extremely early stages of developing a reboot of the popular drama series with NOS4A2 creator Jami O’Brien co-writing the pilot with Riverdale’s Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It depends on how enthusiastic HBO is to sink its teeth into more of the edgy soap. Aguirre-Sacasa has a great Tomatometer record.



Network: Amazon Prime Video
Premiere Date: May 14, 2021
Based On: Colson Whitehead’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel.
The Fanbase: A blend of historical and science fiction, the series could find an audience with fans of shows like WGN’s Underground or Apple TV+’s Dickinson.
What We Know So Far: Thuso Mbedu plays a young slave seeking freedom in the antebellum South. She soon discovers that the Underground Railroad is an actual railway with engineers and conductors that’s making its way under the Southern land.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: This is Barry Jenkins’ first TV project and the cinematography in the trailer alone make it look captivating. We will find out very soon.


The Vanishing Half

Network: HBO
Based On: Brit Bennett’s 2020 novel of historical fiction.
The Fanbase: It’s a story of race and family and knowing your ancestry that would interest anyone who ever took a DNA test.
What We Know So Far: Aziza Barnes and Jeremy O. Harris are adapting and executive producing the book about light-skin Black twins from a small Southern town. After they escape to New Orleans, they go their separate ways — one deciding to live her life as a white woman. No casting has been announced, but other executive producers include Issa Rae.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Casting will play a major part in its success, but Barnes, Harris, and Rae all have good Tomatometer track records.


The Walking Dead Daryl and Carol Series

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier - The Walking Dead _ Season 10 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

Network: AMC
Based On: Robert Kirkman’s TWD comic book characters.
The Fanbase: Fans of the popular TWD franchise, particularly Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon and Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier.
What We Know So Far: “They’re going to be off on a different journey,” showrunner Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly in 2020. “And that show’s going to feel hopefully a little tonally fresh. They’re just in a different stage of their lives and it’s more of a road show, which I think will be really fun.”
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: TWD fans will quickly devour this show, and TWD has been on a Certified Fresh streak of late. Maybe the series’ final season will tell us more about its spinoff’s chances.


The Wheel of Time

 

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: The beloved fantasy series by Robert Jordan (James Oliver Rigney Jr.).
The Fanbase (updated): Readers have suggested the best fanbase comparisons are to those of The Witcher, Game of Thrones, or perhaps The Lord of the Rings. Season 1 reportedly features a female-centric story, but the series overall is about a person who has been prophesied to save the world — or destroy it.
What We Know So Far: The extremely large cast includes Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, and Zoë Robins and is adapted by Rafe Judkins.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Judkins has a mixed Tomatometer record as a writer and producer with series with Certified Fresh seasons on titles like Chuck and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and also early Netflix series Hemlock Grove, which didn’t perform well. But he’s also got executive producers Uta Briesewitz (Westworld) and Marigo Kehoe (The Crown), and Mike Weber (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) on the project, as well as fantasy author Brandon Sanderson, who completed Jordan’s book series following the writer’s death, and Jordan’s widow Harriet McDougal as consulting producers.


The White House Plumbers

Network: HBO
Based On: Egil “Bud” Krogh and Matthew Krogh’s 2009 book, Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the White House
The Fanbase: History buffs who still enjoy kicking around Nixon.
Everything We Know So Far: Deadline reports that this five-part limited series, which is based on public records as well as the Krough’ book, will look at Howard Dean (Domhnall Gleeson), E. Howard Hunt (Woody Harrelson) G. Gordon Liddy (Justin Theroux) and the men behind the Watergate break-in that led to the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Veep executive producers Alex Gregory and Peter Huyck are writing the script with that show’s showrunner, David Mandel, directing.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: With these guys involved, it sounds a lot more enjoyable than Showtime’s The Comey Rule.


Wings of Fire

Network: Netflix
Based On: Tui T. Sutherland’s book series.
The Fanbase: According to the press release, it’s a family-friendly animated series about dragons who “embark on an evolving quest that will bring them face to face with their true selves and the overwhelming scope of this savage war they are destined to bring to an end.”
Everything We Know So Far: Ava DuVernay’s production company is adapting the series with Dan Milano (Glitch Techs), Christa Starr (Mystery Science Theater 3000), Justin Ridge (Star Wars Resistance) serving as showrunners for the 10-episode series.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Netflix’s animated programs have included She-Ra the Princess of Power, Carmen Sandiego and other shows that interest kids without melting parents’ minds. So there’s a wing and a prayer that this one could work too.


The Wives

Network: Amazon Prime Video
Based On: Tarryn Fisher’s 2019 novel.
The Fanbase: People who enjoy saucy thrillers that not only ask how well you know your spouse — but how well do you want to know your spouse.
What We Know So Far: Kayla Alpert is adapting this book about a woman who knows her husband is married to two other women (he only sees her on Thursdays). But her curiosity gets the best of her and she befriends one of them — making her ask a lot more questions about her partner.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Alpert is also an executive producer of Netflix’s Wednesday, which is about the Addams Family heroine. This might suggest that she knows how to fill this with dark comedy and tantalizing scenarios.


Read Also: “Everything We Know About The Witcher Season 2


Wool

Network: AMC
Based On: Hugh Howey’s story as part of his post-apocalyptic Silo series.
The Fanbase: It’s an AMC show about a man who lost his wife after a post-apocalyptic event (no, not that show).
What We Know So Far: Variety reported in 2018 that Into the Badlands’ LaToya Morgan was adapting the series. Howey may be getting impatient. In 2019, he tweeted a request for AMC to cast Sam Elliot as the lead.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Who knows what the future holds?


Y: The Last Man

Ben Schnetzer interviewed in Toronto in April 2019

(Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images for "The Grizzlies" Premiere And After Party)

Network: FX on Hulu
Based On: Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s comic book series.
The Fanbase: Fans of the comics have waited a very long time for this series to air, as it’s gone through various iterations and showrunners (Eliza Clark is now in charge).
What We Know So Far: Set in a post-apocalyptic, one cisgender man is the only holder of a Y chromosome left alive (he also has a pet monkey). The cast includes Diane Lane, Ben Schnetzer (pictured), Ashley Romans, Diana Bang and Olivia Thirlby.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: Hard to say. Will critics vote Y? (Or N?)


The Young Team

Network: TBD
Based On: Graeme Armstrong’s 2020 novel.
The Fanbase: People who know (or need to know) that Scotland is about more than what they see on Outlander.
Everything We Know So Far: According to Variety, Synchronicity Films has optioned the rights to the story. It’s about teen gang members in Scotland’s former industrial heartland of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire.
Chances It Will Be a Certified Fresh Hit: It could be the gritty, honest look at institutional failures and teen (boys) with no other way out a la HBO’s The Wire.


*Full disclosure: The writer of this article is married to Woo (Three-Body Problem). They have two cute children and an extremely photogenic cat.


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