Here are the Coolest New Sci-Fi TV Shows Airing in 2017, 2017…ish and beyond.
It looks like Marvel will have their hands full once again as they prepare to launch the Iron Fist series, the Defender series, and the Punisher series with Netflix, the Inhumans with ABC, and Legion with FX next year. If I’m being honest, though, I’m most excited for the Halo series. It only makes sense to have Spielberg in control of such an epic series! I’m glad it’s happening (please, please let it happen), ya know, eventually!
Because of the nature of television (“Ah, it’s canceled!” “Oh no, it’s pushed back!” “Jeez Louise, it’s just a rumor!”) this list of new Sci-Fi TV Shows will be separated into 4 sections:
- New Sci-Fi TV Shows Definitely Happening in 2017
- New Sci-Fi TV Shows Probably Happening in 2017 or 2018
- Sci-fi novel-to-TV adaptations that look cool and are planned (but not very much is known at this point.)
- Returning Sci-Fi TV Shows we all know and love.
1. New Sci-Fi TV Shows DEFINITELY Happening in 2017
Beyond: January 2, 2017
The sci-fi starts right away, with Freeform’s series about a young man who spends 12 years in a coma, and comes out with strange new powers. The service intends to make the entire series available to binge watch via Hulu and On Demannd, while also rolling it out through a traditional week by week release.
Legion: February 2017
This new Marvel series follows Legion, or David Haller, the schizophrenic mutant son of Charles Xavier, plagued by split personalities that allow him to harvest unfathomable power, would trade it all for a little bit of normalcy. His incredible power comes at the expense of damaging his mind. Legion is on the run from himself, trying to find some aspect of sanity, when he unexpectedly falls in love. Haller will be played by Dan Stevens, and was created by Noah Hawley.
Iron Fist: March 17, 2017
An upcoming Netflix web series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Fist is the 4th new Marvel series that will lead up to the Defenders miniseries. After being orphaned and disappearing, Danny Rand is back after 15 years to reclaim his families company. This billionaire trained with the Buddhist monks for nearly all his life to become a martial arts expert, and has the ability to call on the mystical power of the Iron Fist. But will he use it to defend his city as the Iron Fist, or carry out his families legacy?
Star Trek Discovery: May 2017
The first Star Trek television adventure since 2005 will be on CBS starting May 2017. Set 10 years before the events of the original Star Trek series, separate from the timeline of the concurrent feature films, Discovery explores a “previously mentioned” but never explored event from the history of Star Trek while following the crew of the USS Discovery.
Inhumans: September 2017
The recently revealed series, another superhero collaboration between Marvel and ABC, has an ambitious release planned for September next year, with an IMAX theatrical debut for the first two episodes during the summer.
The Defenders: 2017
This long-awaited Netflix crossover series will bring the 4 most street-smart Marvel heroes on the scene together to form the Defenders. Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil and Jessica Jones will fight to protect their cities (Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem), or maybe band together to destroy a powerful villain who’s threatening the world! We’ll have to wait and see. The series, which started filming in early November, locked down many of the writers and show-runners from the Daredevil series, including Marco Ramirez and Douglas Petrie.
Time After Time: 2017
Despite mixed critical reception when the 1979 novel by Karl Alexander was released, ABC decided to turn the peculiar story into a series. The novel follows H.G. Wells, who in turn follows Jack the Ripper, when they end up in modern day New York via Wells’ time machine. Wells wants to capture the Ripper and turn him over to justice, and naturally meets a lady along the way. Wells will be played by Harry Potter alum Freddie Stroma, and Jack the Ripper by Josh Bowman of the TV series Revenge.
The first TV comedy of the DC universe, Vanessa Hudgens stars as an insurance adjuster who protects regular citizens from the damages caused by superhero/villain battles. It sounds like it won’t be taking itself very seriously, which I think is the best approach for this concept. Hopefully Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment use this chance to turn things around, considering how their movies have been going… plus the guy who plays Abed from Community (Danny Pudi) is one of the main characters! Cool. Coolcoolcool.
The Punisher: 2017
In a move surprising pretty much everyone, the Punisher series was bumped up to a 2017 release by Netflix, making it their third new Marvel series to debut next year, with Iron Fist and the Defenders. No one knows yet whether it will come out before the Defenders, but it started filming in Early October, just before The Defenders got started, so … maybe? Also, it makes sense to film them around the same time, as they share at least a few characters, and likely more than a few locations.
This series, being co-written by popular and controversial Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card, is being produced as an original series for BYU TV, and is slated to come out in 2017 with a 10 episode first season. The basic premise is that 400 years after humans go extinct, a mysterious alien race brings us back… for mysterious reasons. I hear mystery plays a big part.
The Tick: 2017
After surviving Amazon’s “Pilot Season” experiment, the company announced that the show had been picked up for a full first season, and it would be arriving on Amazon Prime sometime in 2017. For those interested, Amazon is still offering you the chance to watch the pilot for free.
The Handmaid’s Tale: 2017
Margaret Atwood’s dystopic tale is being adapted by MGM Television and Hulu, with a release date currently set for “early 2017.” Elisabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, Joseph Fiennes and Yvonne Strahovski are all on board.
This Doctor Who spinoff is already out in the UK (as of October 22), but for those of us in the US, we’ll have to wait until 2017 for BBC America to bring it out over here.
As the next list in our 2017 Sci-Fi Addict entertainment forecast series, we searched and scoured for the best sci-fi authors releasing new sci-fi books this coming year. Hugo Awards, best-sellers, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards are all up in this list, so you know it’s going to be a good year.
The first half of the list will contain stand-alone sci-fi novels, as well as the first books in new series, so you can try something new in 2017. [Click here to read more…]
2. New Sci-Fi TV Shows PROBABLY / MAYBE Happening 2017ish
The Last Policeman: 2017
The Last Policeman is a Ben H. Winters sci-fi novel released in 2012 which is being adapted for a television series by NBC. The novel follows Hank Palace, a New Hampshire detective, as he works on solving cases. The catch? Earth is literally in its final years, with a catastrophe-level asteroid hurtling toward the planet, with no scrappy crew of oil-rig drillers in sight to save us. As the world around Palace descends into ever increasing chaos, with society preparing for / unraveling as the eventual impact draws closer and closer, he tries to keep focused on work, and keep some form of hope alive by closing cases and solving crimes.
Spin: 2017 / 2018?
This upcoming 6-hour miniseries is an adaptation of Robert Charles Wilson’s Hugo Award-winning novel Spin, by Syfy. The team grabbed the incredibly talented Jim Uhls (Fight Club, Jumper) to script the Syfy miniseries. The novel centers on a young scientist who must save humanity from a mysterious cloud that has surrounded the planet and blacked out the stars before it brings about the apocalypse.
The announcement happened back in 2015, and there’s been little word since, so 2017’s not seeming likely.
3001: The Final Odyssey: 2017?
Syfy is behind another Arthur C. Clarke adaptation hopefully coming out soon. Frank Poole, the hero of 2001: A Space Odyssey, is revived 1000 years after his death to face an even stranger, more futuristic world. 3001 will be released in the form of a miniseries, and though no release date has been discussed, Syfy is saying the series is still in active development.
Orville: Fall 2017
This unorthodox riff off Star Trek will star creator Seth McFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad!, Ted, everything else on TV) as the captain of the Orville, a spaceship in future Earth’s interplanetary exploration fleet. Set roughly 300 years in the future, the less-than-professional crew of the less-than-top-of-the-line spaceship will travel through space; comedy, drama, and misadventures to follow.
Production for the Superman prequel series was set to begin in Montreal, summer 2016, followed by shooting the pilot in Serbia in September. British actor Cameron Cuffe has been cast as Seg-El, one of the ancestors of Jor-El and Kal-El. Seg-El is a prodigal technical genius, but after the El family was stripped of its rank, he is now living as a member of Krypton’s lowest caste. This series will discover what led up to the destruction of Krypton and act as a prequel for the Superman we all know and love.
Altered Carbon: 2017
[ADDED: Thanks eremiticjude!]
Netflix has ordered a 10 episode series based on Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 cyberpunk novel Altered Carbon. Laeta Kalogridis (the scribe for the Shutter Island movie adaptation) will serve as the writer and showrunner for the series, while Miguel Sapochnik (Repo Men) will be directing the first episode, and Joel Kinnaman will play the main character, Takeshi Kovacs. The story takes place in the 25th century, where minds / personalities can be digitally downloaded and transferred between bodies, and follows Kovacs, who has elite training, as he investigates a murder.
The Dark Tower: 2018
Stephen King fanatics must be ecstatic! Blockbusters movies and a complimentary TV show? It’s a good time to start reading the Dark Tower series. Media Rights Capital will create the series out of the fourth novel, Wizard and Glass, and is said to be working off the movies. According to EW, the plan is for 10 – 13 episodes, and to start shooting in 2017 with a 2018 release date. Idris Elba will be in the series, though Matthew McConaughey isn’t confirmed. His character will be in the series, and in the novels, he takes on different forms, so though it would be nice to have McConaughey, it’s not necessary. The film’s director and writers will help on the series as well, though they are reportedly looking for a showrunner.
Lost in Space: 2018
Netflix is reviving Lost in Space, and it’s set to arrive in 2018. Black Sails star Toby Stephens will play the main role of John Robinson.
This next year is bringing a wide range of genres to the nerdiverse, with classic literature adaptations (like Kindred, by Octavia Butler), the gross misadventures of the 1980’s sensation Madballs, and every superhero and antihero you can think of in-between. So here’s a list of some 2017 sci-fi comics coming out that we thought looked interesting! Naturally, there’s an INHUMAN (get it? get it??) amount of comics being released ceaselessly by Marvel, DC, and the other big name [Click here to read more…]
3. Sci-Fi Adaptations That Look Freaking AWESOME… that will happen eventually… hopefully…
Halo: Happening, eventually
Announced half a million years ago at the Xbox reveal in 2013, this Steven Spielberg-produced Halo series was set to come out in Fall 2015 on Showtime, but then never happened. However, Showtime confirmed that the series is “still in very active development” though no possible release date was mentioned. 2017 seems unlikely, but maybe 2018? Joseph Statten, writer for the original Halo video games, will be on staff for the series as well.
The Foundation: Happening, eventually
HBO and Jonathon Nolan are set to adapt Isaac Asimov’s trilogy about AI and the future of humanity. It’s been backburnered for a while, especially with Nolan working on Westworld. But with Westworld up and running (and very popular), perhaps we’ll see it soon? Nolan has said previously that it’s still definitely happening.
Gateway: Happening, eventually
Syfy is back at it (again…) with a Frederik Pohl adaptation about humanity’s first contact with alien life. Oh yeah, and David Eick of Battlestar Galactica is producing it.
The Thousandth Floor: Confirmed
Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, everything you care about) is creating an adaptation of Katharine McGee’s upcoming novel of the same name, which analyzes life 100 years in the future in a 1,000 story skyscraper separated by class. When a young woman dies from falling from the top floor, what follows may upend society as they know it. The novel is set to arrive next year, but it’s not known if the series will as well.
Red Shirts: Happening, eventually
FX is behind this Star Trek-inspired sci-fi comedy, by John Scalzi (also behind Old Mans War), which follows young ensign on the starship the Intrepid, as he slowly realizes that the red shirts (low-rank crew members) are being picked off, one by one, and he may be next. FX acquired the rights back in 2014, but not much news has come out since.
Ancillary Justice: Optioned
This book stole every award the year it was released, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year. As Ann Leckie’s debut novel, that’s pretty impressive. Fox picked up the rights in 2014 and intends to bring this space opera to the small screen…soonish. An incredibly epic tale, we’ll see AI-controlled soldiers, giant spaceships, and a genderless alien race.
Brave New World: Happening, eventually
Steven Spielberg is helping Syfy to produce this adaptation. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is set in the distant future (2540) in a utopic looking dystopia where the masses are dumbed down with drugs and sensual entertainment, and everyone is grown from a test tube and born into a specific social caste they can’t ever leave.
The latest bit of news is that comic writer Grant Morrison and Crank co-director Brian Taylor will be headlining the series for Syfy.
Lock In: Optioned
Hello again, John Scalzi! Yet another Scalzi novel is being adapted to film, this time by Legendary TV, who have produced a metric &%$#-ton of awesome movies, including Batman Begins, Watchmen, Inception, The Hangover, Pacific Rim, and my personal guilty pleasure, Sucker Punch. <3 The concept is this: a highly contagious virus spreads around the globe and leaves roughly 1% of the population completely physically paralyzed, but leaves them their mental capabilities. In an attempt to lead somewhat normal lives, humanoid robots called threeps (after C-3PO) are invented that can be controlled by the minds of the paralyzed people. 25 years after all this goes down, peculiar murders are popping up, and one detective finds it’s part of a much larger problem.
The rights were picked up in 2014, and since then, it’s been radio silence.
HBO and Darren Aronofsky were working on adapting this Margaret Atwood series I write about constantly called MaddAddam. It’s a dystopic fiction about an ultra-consumerist world being wiped out by a “Waterless Flood,” and what comes after.
However, in October, Vulture was told by HBO reps that the series was no longer in development, while just a prior. Aronofsky had told them the series “is all written. We are working hard on it, and trying to figure it out. We are still in play.”
Hyperion: Tentatively confirmed
Bradley Cooper (yes, that Bradley Cooper from The Hangover) is somewhat obsessed with Dan Simmons’ epic Hugo Award-winning novel, Hyperion. Luckily for him, Syfy (again!) picked up the whole Hyperion Cantos series for adaptation into a miniseries. The story involves many timelines and stories about the Hegemony and those who oppose it, and people called the Shrike Pilgrims who are trying to find the Time Tombs. This is way too intense to describe in a couple sentences, so go read it first!
Strange New Things: Confirmed
A dark and religious sci-fi novel by Michael Faber, called The Book of Strange New Things follows Christian missionary, Peter, as he leaves his wife and planet behind to convert an alien race called the Oasans, from their planet of Oasis. Peter is shocked to discover that the aliens already know, and love, Christianity, and that things on Earth are not as they seem. The book is being adapted into an Amazon Studios and will be directed by Kevin MacDonald, who primarily directs biographies and other works of nonfiction.
Richard Madden (Robb Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones) will star in the main role of Peter.
The Heart Goes Last: In Development
MGM Television is working on this adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel.
Old Man’s War: Happening, eventually
Syfy picked up this Hugo Award nominated series (also by John Scalzi) about old people sacrificing themselves to protect interplanetary human colonists by transferring their consciousness to younger, nanobot-infused bodies with yellow cat eyes. The show will be called “Ghost Brigade,” though it’s another of Syfy’s many “in development” properties at this point.
The City & The City: Happening, eventually
BBC has decided to attempt to adapt this confusing and intense police/sci-fi drama, using Tony Grissoni to create the series. Grissoni, the writer of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas seems like a perfect match for this futuristic tale of two cities that many readers describe as a “transformative event.” It begins when a detective discovers a foreign student murdered with her face all sorts of mangled and ends with a possible discovery of a third city, cloaked in myth. No word yet on a possible release date.
Dawn: Early Development
Allen Bain, a producer who made a ton of films I’ve never heard of, somehow snapped up the rights to Octavia Butler’s novel, Dawn, the first in her Lilith’s Brood series. In the distant future, humanity has all but decimated the earth with nuclear weapons, leaving it nearly uninhabitable. One of the last human survivors wakes up on an alien spaceship to see her strange alien captors, the Oankali, uncomfortably sexually-arousing, tentacle-covered, somewhat-humanoid aliens with 3 genders, who tell her they would like to breed with humanity in exchange for fixing the Earth. I’m curious and slightly disturbed, and can’t wait til this series becomes a reality.
Bain got the rights in September 2015, and apparently, development was estimated to take 1 – 2 years, so maybe it’ll get started with production next year?
Luna: New Moon: In Development
Ian MacDonald’s new novel of the same name had the rights snapped up even before the release of the book. CBS Productions and Shane Brennan of NCIS are adapting the story, set in 2110, which takes place after the moon has been turned into a near-feudal colony by 5 huge mining corporations. No word on a potential start date for filming or release date yet.
Red Mars: In Development
Finally, Spike TV is bringing a little bit of hard sci-fi to your living room. This adaptation of the Kim Stanley Robinson series grabbed writer J. Michael Straczynski (Thor, World War Z) to transform his Mars Trilogy for the screen. The story begins in the near future (2026) after humanity lands the first 100 colonists on Mars and intend to start terraforming. This highly philosophical novel should be a very intriguing series.
Straczynski was apparently offered the chance to showrun, but turned it down, so Peter Noah came onboard. However, he left the show back in August over creative differences, so the original January 2017 premiere date got pushed, though there’s no word yet on how far.
We have a ton of great new original science fiction video games coming out in 2017, as well as some anxiously awaited sequels.
Stock up on Mountain Dew Code Red now, because you probably won’t be leaving the house for a while when these games come out. I’m personally really excited for Scalebound (playable, customizable dragons? Hell yes.)
Zero K: Tentative
Deadline’s saying FX may create a TV series out of the positively received novel of the same name, by Don DeLillo. The novel follows a billionaire who attempts to save his wife from terminal illness by putting them both in cryogenic storage until a cure is found. The novel is narrated by the main characters son, so we can assume he will play a part as well.
ABC won a bidding war for the rights to this series about a secret government group who develops a list of Doomsday scenarios, and how to defeat them, and then has to start dealing with those scenarios after the list is stolen. No word on a release date or filming date yet.
Ghosted: In Development
Fox is working on a paranormal sci-fi comedy series, being described at the X-Files meets Ghostbusters, starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson. We’ll be very interested to see where this one goes.
Spaced Out: In Development
A sci-fi workplace comedy from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence? Yes, please! NBC’s ordered a pilot, but no word yet on a release date.
The Machine: In Development
Syfy (… sheesh, the must love sci-fi or something) is developing a series based off the 2013 British sci-fi thriller. No release or shooting dates have been proposed yet.
Black Lightning: In Development
Greg Berlanti, already producing Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, will add another superhero series to the mix with Black Lightning.
Elements: In Development
James Frey (he of the Million Little Pieces) is apparently busy adapting the Canadian series Time Out into an American TV show about a man trying to find his wife after the onset of an ice age.
War of the Worlds: In Development
MTV is set to bring us a War of the Worlds adaptation (scripted by their Teen Wolf team), with no potential release date yet.
Lifeline: In Development
YouTube Red picked this series up and is working with The Rock to bring this tale of near-future time travel to life.
Impulse: In Development
Impulse, also being developed as a mini-series by YouTube Red with Doug Liman, is a continuation of the ‘Jumper’ novels, focusing on book three. Doug Liman is slated to direct the mini-series.
Untitled Superhero Comedy: In Development
Fox is working with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on an unnamed superhero comedy series about a brilliant intern who begins unknowingly working for a billionaire crimefighter.
Turned On: In Development
Fox and Paul Feig are also developing a sci-fi comedy series, this one about an inventor who creates a robot to handle the more awkward parts of her life. Things get weird, though, when the robot self-actualizes.
Y: The Last Man: In Development
This series, an adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn’s celebrated series about all mammals with a Y chromosome suddenly dying, except for one man and one monkey, has been in the works for a while. But, they recently picked up a showrunner, so hopefully things will be moving forward soon.
Stranger in a Strange Land: In Development
Syfy strikes again, with a proposed adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s sci-fi classic. No comment yet on how they will handle the rampant nudity.
The Building: In Development
Neil Gaiman and Fox are teaming up for a series that expands on the 2015 sci-fi thriller ‘Parallels.’ No word yet on a potential release date.
Snowpiercer: In Development
TNT is working on a Snowpiercer series, based on the South Korean sci-fi thriller which was itself based on a French graphic novel.
Dr. Mirage: Early Talks
The CW is in “early talks” with Valiant Comics about producing a series based on the character of paranormal investigator Dr. Mirage, who, among other things, can talk to the dead.
It looks like 2017 will be the year time travel makes a comeback. I mentioned the recent popularity of the time travel genre in books, but it appears to be bleeding into movies and television as well.
This is the first of a series of 5 articles letting you know what cool sci-fi stuff is coming out in the next year, so check out the biggest, baddest, most awesome sci-fi films you can expect next year!
4. Sci-Fi TV Series Returning 2017
- Returning in 2017, but no specific date yet:
- 12 Monkeys: Syfy
- Dark Matter: Syfy
- The Killjoys: Syfy
- Wynonna Earp: Syfy
- Cleverman: SundanceTV, ABC
- Into the Badlands: AMC
- Mr. Robot: USA
- Orphan Black: BBCA (Final Season)
- Preacher: AMC
- Stranger Things: Netflix
Shadowhunters: Freeform – January 2, 2017
Sleepy Hollow: Fox – January 6, 2017
Colony: USA – January 12, 2017
Face Off: Syfy – January 24, 2017
The Magicians: Syfy – January 25, 2017
Humans: AMC – February 2017
The 100: CW – February 1, 2017
The Expanse: Syfy – February 8, 2017
iZombie: CW – April 4, 2017
Outlander: Starz – April, 2017
Sense8: Netflix – Early 2017
SuperMansion: Crackle – Early 2017
The Strain: FX (Final Season) – Summer 2017
The Walking Dead: AMC – Late 2017
Westworld Season 2 – Late 2017 or Early 2018
Which upcoming new sci-fi TV shows are you most excited for? Which series were you surprised to see returning? Did we miss any new sci-fi tv shows? Comment below!