17 TV Series Worth Watching in 2017: From ’24: Legacy’ to Ken Burns Doc to ‘Game of Thrones’

January 7, 2017 5:00 am
24: Legacy
Corey Hawkins in 24: Legacy (Ray Mickshaw/FOX)
American Gods
Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) on AMERICAN GODS (Starz)


Whether or not the number of shows on television today makes you want to crawl under the bedsheets and just lie in the dark for a while, there is plenty of good stuff for those willing to wade into the fray among the 2017 TV shows.

Here are 17 that seem particularly promising for ’17.

Sneaky Pete, Amazon, Jan. 13 Bryan Cranston returns to series TV for the first time since Breaking Bad. He’s lost the orange suit and grown some hair, but he still has serious anger issues in the tale of a con man who gets in way over his head.

Homeland, Showtime, Jan. 15

Claire Danes’ Carrie Matheson returns to America, this time New York, in a series that’s taken a long and winding road since its acclaimed origin. The good news: Many fans thought it got back on track last season.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Inventions, Smithsonian, Jan. 16

While grownups were barking “Turn that noise down,” scientists and guitarists were working on turning it up, with technology from the transistor radio to ever-more-massive amplifiers for those infernal guitars. A six-part series.

Six, History, Jan. 18

Navy SEAL team targets a Taliban leader in this scripted fictional series. Don’t expect everything to go smoothly.



Can You Stand the Rain, BET, Jan. 24

This three-part series dramatizes the story of New Edition, five Boston teenagers who overcame all the odds to become rich and famous. Except there were some side effects they didn’t anticipate. The group itself helped oversee this project, so it may smooth over a few problems, but there are plenty left.

Riverdale, CW, Jan. 26

This dark new series is loosely based on the old Archie comics. By “loosely,” we mean the story’s dynamic revolves more around a sordid murder than on Veronica catching Archie chatting up Betty at the malt shop. Although that could happen, too.

24: Legacy
Corey Hawkins in 24: Legacy (Ray Mickshaw/FOX)


24: Legacy, Fox, Feb. 5

Kiefer Sutherland is over on ABC’s Designated Survivor, where he got a promotion from defending the president to playing the president. So Fox has taken the opportunity to re-reboot one of its most successful franchises with a new tormented hero. Corey Hawkins plays the leader of a hit squad for the good guys.

Legion, FX, Feb. 8

Noah Hawley of Fargo fame bases this new series loosely on X-Men, and it stars Dan Stevens in a very different role from Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey.

Blacklist: Redemption, NBC, Feb. 23

The original Blacklist, let’s be truthful, has lost a bit of its early momentum. So it’s trying for resuscitation by building a new story around Ryan Eggold’s Tom, who almost died about 25 times in the original.

Iron Fist, Netflix, March 17

The Marvel world continues to expand on Netflix, which has been putting particular emphasis on the neuroses and angst of its well-known characters.

Newtown, PBS, April 3

This new documentary suggests that some of the numbness from the Sandy Hook school massacre is only now starting to wear off.

The Great War, PBS, April 10

This six-hour series portrays World War I as an epic standoff that illustrates both the senselessness and the seeming inevitability of large-scale armed conflict in which thousands or millions will die.

Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access, date TBD

New cast, same vague destination. All that matters to fans is that it’s back, again, and CBS has enough faith so it has become the main lure for enticing viewers to the network’s new All Access subscription service.

Fargo, FX, date TBD

Noah Hawley of Fargo fame has also written a new Fargo. Details are sparse, but could anyone resist a dark comedy built around The Parking Lot King of Minnesota?

Game of Thrones, HBO, date TBD

With only two seasons left, it’s time to start some serious office pools over who if anyone will survive to the end.

From the documentary series, VIETNAM: Long Khanh Province, Republic of Vietnam….SP4 R. Richter, 4th Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade, lifts his battle weary eyes to the heavens. (PBS)

Vietnam, PBS, fall

Ken Burns’ long-awaited epic on the troubling war whose fallout helped reshape America into what we are today. Expect it to be intense and not always flattering toward U.S. policies.

American Gods, Starz, date TBD

Adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s near-legendary comic book about gods living among ordinary people probably won’t look like your average sitcom about weird neighbors.

—David Hinckley for RealClearLife

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