(Photo by Netflix)
Another year, another another onslaught of epic TV shows from Ewan McGregor’s return, to the Star Wars universe with Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi to Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk’s debut to the streamer, to the long-awaited premiere of Stranger Things 4 – an event that didn’t just break Netflix’s streaming records, but brought Kate Bush’s 1985 hit single “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” back to the radio, onto the charts, and into the pop culture mainstream.
The streaming wars continued to rage on and curious bumps were hit along the way, including a surprise dip in Netflix’s subscribers and April’s chaotic merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery. Yet, as the pandemic regulations eased and television production schedules normalized, the realm of peak TV continued to push out originally scripted shows in large numbers.
2022 gave us the delightfully deadpanned arrival of Wednesday to Netflix and the tearful farewell to NBC’s This Is Us. FX’s The Bear cooked up glorious spoonfuls of tense drama and Amazon’s gruesome superhero satire The Boys continued to drop jaws. And HBO’s The White Lotus had us under its juicy spell, yet again.
Obviously, we’re just cracking the surface regarding the year’s biggest TV tidbits. Read on to catch up on the top TV and streaming news of 2022.
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Keanu Reeves in Talks for Lead Role in Period Serial Killer Drama Devil in the White City. The actor would later drop out of the project along with executive producer Todd Fields, it was reported in October. New Justified Limited Series at FX Will Be Based on the late Elmore Leonard’s Crime Novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit. The limited series reboot announced Timothy Olyphant’s return as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. The Godzilla Monsterverse Expands to Apple TV+. Co-created by Matt Fraction (Hawkeye) and Chris Black (Star Trek: Enterprise), the series will connect to the Legendary movie franchise which began with 2014’s Godzilla and center on a family trying to uncover its own buried secrets and its links to the secret Monarch organization; Kurt Russell and his son Wyatt Russell were announced as the series’ stars in July.
Read More: The Bear Tops Our Best TV Shows of 2022
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Tales of The Walking Dead Casts Terry Crews, Anthony Edwards, and Parker Posey in the Anthology Series. Poppy Liu and Jillian Bell were also announced as cast members in the new one-hour anthology series focused on new stories with new and existing characters in The Walking Dead universe; Olivia Munn, Danny Ramirez, Loan Chabanol, Embeth Davidtz, and Jessie T. Usher were added to the spinoff later in the month. Amazon Studios and Ridley Scott Are Developing a Blade Runner TV Show. The series, which was given the official greenlight by Amazon in September, is said to be set after the events of Blade Runner 2049, with Scott producing and Shining Girls showrunner Silka Luisa on board to write and executive produce the project. Quentin Tarantino in Talks to Direct Episodes of FX’s Limited Series Justified: City Primeval. The Oscar-winning filmmaker was in early talks to helm two episodes of the highly-anticipated series; in November, he broadened his vision by expressing his plans to direct his own limited series in 2023.
(Photo by Peter Kramer/AMC)
Isle of the Dead: AMC Announces Another New TWD Spin-Off, Starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan. Set to premiere on AMC and AMC+ in 2023, the series — since renamed to The Walking Dead: Dead City — will find enemies Negan and Maggie traveling to post-apocalyptic Manhattan, where more undead terror will surely follow. What Will Amazon’s Acquisition of MGM Mean for Bond, Rocky, and Silence of the Lambs? Amazon completed its $8.5 billion purchase of MGM, giving the streamer access to over 4,000 movie titles and 17,000 TV episodes, leading to wide speculation regarding the small screen future for popular IP like, for instance, the James Bond franchise; in fact, fans would find out late in the month that a James Bond–tied reality competition series, 007’s Road to a Million, is in the works. Halo Sets Global Viewership Record at Paramount+. During the 24-hour period following the series premiere, the video game adaptation’s premiere episode broke Paramount+’s record as the most-watched original series premiere worldwide.
Harrison Ford to Star in his First Major TV Role, In Apple TV+’s Comedy Shrinking. The Indiana Jones icon and Oscar-nominated actor announced his first major TV role in Jason Segel’s comedy about a therapist who begins telling people exactly what he thinks of them. The series is due in January 2023. Ford’s second lead TV role, opposite Helen Mirren in the Yellowstone prequel series 1923, was announced in May, but premiered in December, making it the first lead TV role for Ford to actually hit our eyeballs. Walter White and Jesse Pinkman Will Appear in Better Call Saul Final Season. At PaleyFest, series co-creator Peter Gould officially announced the guest appearances of Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul for the prequel’s sixth and final season. Netflix Loses 200K Subscribers in the First 3 Months of 2022 and Expects To Shed 2 Million More… The surprising drop, which the streamer partially blamed for password sharing, led to a 35-percent dip in the company’s stock price; in October, the platform reported a gain 2.4 million subscribers, and acknowledged titles like Stranger Things season 4, Korean law drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo, the action-thriller The Gray Man, romantic drama Purple Hearts, and Ryan Murphy’s Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story for the recovery.
(Photo by Netflix)
Viola Davis To Star in Peacemaker Spinoff. The Oscar-winner reprised her Suicide Squad role as Amanda Waller in James Gunn’s spinoff series starring John Cena. The Winchesters, Gotham Knights, and Walker Independence Ordered to Series at the CW. Spinoffs of Supernatural and Walker were ordered by the network, along with the buzzy Batman sequel series, while it axed seven other series: Roswell, New Mexico, In the Dark, Legacies, Charmed, 4400, Naomi, and Dynasty. A New Daredevil Is on the Way at Disney+. A new 18-episode series about The Man Without Fear, written by Matt Corman and Chris Ord (Covert Affairs) went into development with the return of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) announced later in July; Margarita Levieva, Sandrine Holt, and Michael Gandolfini joined the cast in December.
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)
Stranger Things Season 4 and Obi-Wan Kenobi Premiere With Record Number of Viewers. In its first two weeks of release, Part 1 of the fourth installment of the Netflix hit was watched more than 781.04 million times, which set a record (at the time) as the most-watched English language Netflix series ever – an accomplishment that would be broken by Netflix’s Addams Family spinoff series Wednesday in November (racking up 341.2 million viewing hours in its first week). As for Ewan McGregor’s Star Wars series, Disney+ tweeted the series was the “most-watched #DisneyPlus Original series premiere globally to date, based on hours streamed in an opening weekend.” Carol Burnett Returning to TV to Star With Kristen Wiig in Apple TV+ Comedy Mrs. American Pie. The program, based on the novel by Juliet McDaniel, will be set in the ’70s and revolve around Maxine Simmons (Wiig) who wants to become a member of Palm Beach high society, where Burnett’s gossipy Norma is a longstanding member. Allison Janney, Laura Dern (who will executive produce), Leslie Bibb, Ricky Martin, and Josh Lucas also star. Game Of Thrones Sequel Series Focusing on Jon Snow Planned. Rumor had it that the latest spinoff of HBO’s landmark fantasy series would star Kit Harington as the fan-favorite character. George R.R. Martin confirmed the project a week later.
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Stranger Things Spin-Off, Live-Action Death Note Series Adaptation on Tap for Duffer Brothers’ New Production Company. The Duffers announced their new production company, aptly titled Upside Down Pictures, and titles on their slate of projects include a Stranger Things spin-off series, a live-action adaptation of the popular anime Death Note, and a series adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Talisman. Black Mirror season 6: Zazie Beetz, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara, and Aaron Paul Reportedly Join Cast. Joining the top-line cast announced for the series’ highly-anticipated return will be Paapa Essiedu, Danny Ramirez, Clara Rugaard, Auden Thornton, and Anjana Vasan. Orphan Black: Echoes: Krysten Ritter Will Star in and Executive Produce the Spin-Off Series. She will play Lucy, a woman with an unimaginable origin story, striving to find her place in the world.
(Photo by Ben Rothstein/Prime Video)
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Uncovers Tolkien’s Hidden Stories. During Amazon’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour, creators J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay revealed the series would not be based on The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, instead revealing the series, which would take place during the Second Age of Middle-earth, was inspired by the author’s various appendices, with common themes from Tolkien’s work set to appear throughout the show. Christina Ricci Confirmed in Wednesday Series Role. Ricci defined the role of Wednesday Addams in the 1990s films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. Jeffrey Dean Morgan Guest Stars in The Boys Season 4. The casting reunites The Walking Dead star with Supernatural creator Erik Kripke, who is The Boys showrunner.
(Photo by Ollie Upton/HBO)
House of the Dragon Experiences A Behind-the-Scenes Shake-Up. Co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnick has exited the Game of Thrones prequel series to focus on his first-look development deal with HBO, leaving Ryan Condal to serve as showrunner moving forward, with director Alan Taylor joining the program as executive producer for season 2. Squid Game Emmy Winner Lee Jung-Jae Will Lead Star Wars Series The Acolyte. Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae, who won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, will star in Star Wars: The Acolyte opposite Amandla Stenberg and Jodie Turner-Smith.
(Photo by Susie Allnutt/Netflix)
Netflix’s Epic Avatar: The Last Airbender Cast Keeps Growing. Netflix’s buzzy live-action adaptation added more talent to its sprawling cast, including the likes of Prey‘s Amber Midthunder, Ghosts star Utkarsh Ambudkar, Mythic Quest‘s Danny Pudi, and Star Trek icon George Takei. Cartoon Network Studios Merges Teams With Warner Bros. Animation. The fallout from the Warner Bros. merger with Discovery continued when the television studio laid off 82 scripted, unscripted, and animation employees, with 43 other vacancies remaining permanently unfilled. Chairman Channing Dungey called the moves a “strategic realignment” in a company wide memo, which explained the plans to merge Cartoon Network Studios’ development and production groups under Warner Bros. Animation. Henry Cavill Will Leave His Lead Role As Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher. Cavill took to Instagram to break the news that he’d be leaving the passion project after season 3, confirming in a different post on the social media platform that he’d be returning to the DC universe as Superman. The cookie didn’t crumble the way he expected, however, and, in December he gave an update on Instagram that he’d no longer be playing the Man of Steel. The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth will be Cavill’s replacement for The Witcher season 4, the actors announced on social media at the time.
Read More: New on Netflix in January 2023
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Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Is Tapped To Lead Marvel’s Wonder Man Series at Disney+. The role in the program, which is being developed by Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings director Destin Daniel Cretton and Hawkeye co-producer Andrew Guest, will mark the third high-profile comic book character the Watchmen and Aquaman alum would be cast to play. Bryan Fuller’s Friday the 13th Prequel Series Is a Go at Peacock. The Hannibal creator teamed with A24 to bring to life Crystal Lake to life. While the creator and studio are currently mum on the story details, speculation leads us to believe the series will take a trip back to the formative years of Jason Voorhees, and his murderous mom Pamela, before he became everyone’s favorite hockey mask-wearing slasher. Stranger Things 5 Will Have ‘A Little Big of Everything,’ The Duffer Brothers Say. During a Los Angeles event hosted by comedian Patton Oswalt, Ross Duffer teased the grand scope of the fifth and final Stranger Things season, saying: “I think that what we’re trying to do is go back to the beginning a little bit in the tone of [season] 1, but scale-wise it’s more in line with what [season] 4 is. Hopefully it’s got a little bit of everything.”
(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass Creators Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy Move to Amazon. The genre content creators left their Netflix deal for a multi-year overall series deal with Amazon Studios where they will develop and produce projects under their Intrepid Pictures banner to exclusively stream on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide. First Look at The Boys Spinoff Gen V and First Full Trailer for The Last of Us Drop at Brazil Comic Convention. Amazon Studios and HBO granted fans an exciting first look at both highly-anticipated series at Brazil Comic Con, the world’s largest comic book convention. Both releasing in 2023, Gen V takes place at a college specifically geared for young superheroes, and The Last of Us is the long-awaited video game adaptation from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey.