As we start off a new year and a new decade, there are many things to look forward to, including a number of new series. The Hollywood Reporter recently released a list of its picks for the most-anticipated new scripted TV shows in 2020. We’re highlighting four series from it that offer the expectation of especially noteworthy performances. As continuous students of their craft, actors in particular, should keep these upcoming shows on their radars.
We’re not even mad that an Aussie will be portraying an American because it’s Cate Blanchett, and she can do no wrong. Blanchett plays conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly in this series based on true events. Schlafly was nicknamed “the first lady of the conservative movement,” and the series focuses on her work in the 1970s to stop the Equal Rights Amendment movement. Depending on when you were born, you may be more familiar with the Schlafly craft brew than the political figure, but chances are you’ve heard the name Gloria Steinem. Rose Byrne, another Aussie, portrays the famous feminist activist, and the show’s powerhouse cast also includes names like Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Paulson, James Marsden, and Niecy Nash. Between them and Blanchett, actors can hope for performances that double as master classes in acting.
When Steve Carell and The Office creator Greg Daniels unite to make a show, you know people will be talking about it. Since Carell will also be starring in the new workplace comedy, it unquestionably made our list. Those actors who are particularly focused on the comedy genre should watch the upcoming series, and they can anticipate how Michael Scott will fare when his work is space-related, rather than paper industry-related. Perhaps Carell’s role in Space Force is radically different than The Office character that made him a household name, though, with no traces of the world’s best boss. You’ll have to wait until the show releases to find out, at which point you can take in performances from other well-known names that are attached, including John Malkovich and Ben Schwartz.
You may be a fan of Sir Patrick Stewart from his previous work as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Or perhaps you know him as Professor Charles Xavier from the X-Men films. You might even like him best as the narrator in Ted and Ted 2. Regardless, it’s always a fascinating experience to watch a thespian reprise a role, especially when said thespian has classical theater experience that he brings to the table. Actors can eagerly await Stewart’s performance in this newest installment of the series, which will be a follow-up to Star Trek: The Next Generation and will explore a new chapter of Picard’s life. Stewart isn’t the only Star Trek alumnus coming back for the show — keep an eye out for other returning cast members like Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Jeri Ryan, and Jonathan Frakes.
Jane Levy stars as the titular character in this upcoming musical comedy series, and while she might not have the name recognition of some of the other leads on our list, her performance is another one that actors can anticipate. As Zoey realizes that she can hear what people are thinking through extravagant musical numbers that only she can hear and see, Levy is tasked with keeping such an extraordinary premise grounded with her performance. And based on this first look at the show, we’re excited to see how she maintains such a feat. Other cast members offer the promise of strong performances as well, with names like Peter Gallagher, Lauren Graham and Skylar Astin attached to the show.
Many start the new year with the hope of better things. Perhaps you’ve bought a new gym membership, or maybe you’ve blocked your ex on Instagram. Regardless of your personal goals for 2020, though, there’s universal anticipation within the industry for the new shows coming to us in this new year. And don’t just take our word for it — you can find here The Hollywood Reporter’s full list of its picks for “The 20 Most-Anticipated New Scripted TV Shows in 2020.”