A new year has never been more welcome and with it comes an abundance of new binge-worthy content. According to research done by Verizon Specials, during the pandemic Americans watched an average of three hours and 56 minutes of TV a day, which is nearly 17% more than in 2019.
According to data culled from Hub Research, 37% of consumers say they watched more television in 2020 than they did before the pandemic and major streaming platforms have been the greatest beneficiaries of this. Netflix NFLX +1.7% has seen the most subscriber additions at 49% and the smallest number of dropped subscriptions at just 5%.
TV Time culled data from its 15 million registered app users worldwide to see what new original Netflix series TV lovers are the most excited about. The common thread for the series picked is nostalgia.
The series fans cannot wait to binge are based on bestselling novels, comic books, video games and anime. Also on the list are a host of highly anticipated spin-offs and sequels. Of note, the pandemic caused halts in production schedules across entertainment, so these are the shows fans expect and hope to see in the new year.
1. Fate: The Winx Saga
2. Resident Evil
3. Shadow and Bone
4. Vikings Valhalla
5. The Sandman
7. Firefly Lane
8. The Witcher: Blood Origin
9. Cowboy Bebop
10. The Cuphead Show!
Today, Netflix announced that Shadow & Bone, which will consist of eight one-hour episodes, will premiere globally in April 2021. The series, based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels, finds us in a war-torn world where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free. With the monstrous threat of the Shadow Fold looming, Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to hone her power, she finds that allies and enemies can be one and the same, and nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. There are dangerous forces at play, including a crew of charismatic criminals and creatures that feast on human flesh. It will take more than magic to survive. This Netflix original series comes from Bardugo, Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment, Eric Heisserer, Pouya Shahbazian and Lee Toland Krieger.
Bardugo, who also serves as executive producer, and showrunner, writer and executive producer, Heisserer, explain how they combined both the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology for the show. Both book series take place in the same universe, but on different timelines.
“The books are all set chronologically, so we technically don’t get to events in the Six of Crows books until after the Shadow and Bone books have ended,” says Heisserer. “So, what Leigh and I had to do was essentially invent prequel stories for the key Six of Crows characters this season to fit alongside what is happening in the Shadow and Bone storyline. That’s been the heavy lifting.”
Bardugo adds how they built something entirely new that still stays true to the characters and the heart of the stories. “Eric took two fantasy series, with powers and creatures and horrors and heists, and molded them into this cohesive, incredible thing.”
Another upcoming series getting a lot of buzz is Firefly Lane, which is based on the New York Times NYT +0.1% bestselling book of the same name. This is the story of two inseparable best friends and their enduring, complicated bond which spans four tumultuous decades as they endure all of life’s hardships together. This series stars Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke and comes from showrunner and executive producer Maggie Friedman. As a side note, Heigl has never been better.
Back to that nostalgia factor, Vikings Vahalla is a spin-off of the popular Vikings series on History; Resident Evil and The Cuphead Show! are both based on hit video games and the upcoming live-action series The Sandman and Cowboy Bebopare based on the comic book and anime series of the same name.
The highly-anticipated Fate: The Winx Saga follows the coming-of-age journey of five fairies attending Alfea, a magical boarding school in the Otherworld where they must learn to master their powers while navigating love, rivalries and the monsters that threaten their very existence. From creator Brian Young (The Vampire Diaries) this is a live-action reimagining of the Italian cartoon Winx Club from Iginio Straffi.
There is comfort in nostalgia and with each of these upcoming series, fans can expect to get lost in new and exciting worlds.