Among the overwhelming glut of content straining for your attention in 2019, there are a few gems that will (hopefully) be worth the wait. From the return of former one-off shows like Fleabag and Big Little Lies to the coming marathon of heavy-hitters that Disney has under its belt, here are a few pop-cultural items that will keep us entertained all year long.
Desus & Mero
The most illustrious show in late night is heading from Viceland to Showtime. The Bronx’s own Desus Nice and The Kid Mero will bring their quick-witted sense of humor to the network on February 21, promising more off-the-cuff jokes and interviews in a new weekly format.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
Netflix has had a tough time breaking into the late-night space, but the streamer seems to have found its groove with Patriot Act, the weekly series that goes in-depth on a variety of topics—from immigration enforcement to the hype around Supreme. Minhaj, with his Daily Show bona fides and relentless charm, is the glue that binds the formula together. A release date for the next batch of episodes has not yet been set.
The Crown, Season 3
Netflix’s sumptuous chronicle of the British royal family leaps ahead in Season 3, with actress Olivia Colman taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II. The rest of the cast is rounded out by Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, and Ben Daniels as Lord Snowdon. A release date has not yet been set.
Fleabag, Season 2
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s witty dramedy about a narcissistic Londoner struggling with sex addiction was a critical success in 2016, catapulting the actress-writer-producer as an auteur on the rise. In 2019, the show will return for a second season, though a release date has not yet been set. Waller-Bridge will head off the series premiere with a victory lap, performing the original Fleabag stage show with previews starting February 28 and running March to April 7 in New York.
Plus, an honorary mention: Killing Eve, the BBC thriller series that Waller-Bridge created, will return for a second season in the spring, albeit without her involvement.
Love Island, Season 5
Speaking of Brits, next year will bring the return of Love Island, the wildly addictive reality-competition series that became the most-watched series in ITV2 history. Thanks to a pick-up from Hulu, American audiences got hooked, too (so much so that CBS is plotting an adaptation). A release date has not yet been set, but the show typically premieres in the summer.
Big Little Lies, Season 2
Soon, we’ll know the backstory behind Reese Witherspoon(’s character) chucking ice cream at Meryl Streep(’s character) when the juicy HBO series returns. Directed by Andrea Arnold, Season 2 will pick up where the first left off, hopefully bringing even more drama—and dispelling concerns that the former miniseries is overstaying its welcome.
Untitled Mr. Rogers Movie
Tom Hanks stars in this upcoming drama about Mr. Rogers, a saintlike giant of children’s programming, and his stirring friendship with a cynical journalist profiling him for Esquire. Directed by Marielle Heller, the story, set for an October 2019 release, seems poised to be the big-screen equivalent of a warm hug.
Netflix has assembled a crack team for this royal drama about a mischievous prince ascending to the throne. Directed by David Michôd, the film stars Internet boyfriends Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson as Henry V and the Dauphin, respectively. A release date has not yet been set.
The prim and proper series is back in movie form next year, with all the main cast—including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, and more—returning for a film adaptation, written by series creator Julian Fellowes. A brief new trailer and some juicy stills have been released, teasing what fans can expect with the film hits theaters on September 20, 2019.
If we must select one of the trillions of reboots that are sure to come out next year, let’s go with this (hopefully) refreshing take on the detective story, starring Kristen Stewart (and some kooky threads), Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska. Elizabeth Banks pulls double duty on this, directing and starring as the all-seeing Bosley. The remake hits theaters on November 1, 2019.
John Wick 3
Keanu Reeves’s outrageously violent franchise will ride back into theaters for a third installment, this time co-starring Halle Berry. We’ll all get to see those crazy stunts Reeves performed on horseback on the big screen when the movie comes out on May 17.
Little is known about Donald Glover’s upcoming film, Guava Island, which is billed under his musical moniker, Childish Gambino. However, we do know it stars Rihanna and Black Panther’s Letitia Wright and, because he’s releasing it under his musical banner, it might feature some new Childish tunes. A release date has not yet been announced.
One of the most confusingly star-studded movies of 2019 is Tom Hooper’s adaptation of Cats. Yes, Cats! As in the impossibly popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical starring actors in bizarro cat makeup and costumes, playing characters with names like Bombalurina and Skimbleshanks. This film is set to star Idris Elba, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and Taylor Swift. It will enter stage right on December 20, 2019.
The sequel to the wildly popular remake of Stephen King’s killer clown horror story will return on September 6, 2019, starring Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader as grown-up members of the Losers Club.
Disney’s Mega Year
Disney is a studio known for flexing so hard it hurts, but next year, it may be more powerful than ever. In no particular order, here are just a few of the major offerings we’ll be getting from the studio in 2019: Star Wars: Episode IX, The Lion King remake, the Aladdin remake, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Frozen 2, and Toy Story 4.
More Great Stories from Vanity Fair
– Is this the end of peak TV?
— R.B.G.: What On the Basis of Sex gets wrong
— Why The Mule feels like Clint Eastwood’s magnum opus
— The rise and fall of the scumbro in 2018
— Is Netflix really too big to fail?
Looking for more? Sign up for our daily Hollywood newsletter and never miss a story.