2015 has been a year of significant growth in television. So much so, that some TV executives have speculated that there is simply too much content. The exponential growth of television content means that viewers can continually narrow their focuses without reducing the number of shows they consume. As next year approaches, TVEnthusiast is predicting the changes to the medium of television. Throughout New Years week, we will run a series of articles that look at television in 2016. Each article will focus on a different market of the industry. From Network to Streaming, if there is a means of consuming content in 2016, we will be covering it.
Looking Towards 2016 in Premium Cable
While many of us TV fans anxiously await the return of their favorite premium cable shows, the major networks – Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax – are prepping to add some more hopeful new programs to our lists. The new 2016 premium cable offerings vary from financial dramas to demonic horror, ensuring there will be something for almost everyone. Here are the top shows to look out for making their debut as the New Year unfolds:
Why You Should Watch It: An insider look into the financial world from the eyes of a US Attorney and a hedge fund king, Billions aims to give serious political undertones while examining the contemporary state of Wall Street. With both Damien Lewis (Homeland) and Paul Giamatti (Straight Outta Compton) as the leads, expect some great dramatic scenes with these two acting powerhouses.
What Could Go Wrong: With The Big Short, House of Cards, Suits, and the TV-movie Too Big to Fail already examining the ties between politics and finance, audiences may not feel a need to give this subject any more thought.
Why You Should Watch It: Creator Terrence Winter and executive producer Martin Scorsese struck gold with Boardwalk Empire, and for that alone it should be worth checking out this pilot. But also, Scorsese is responsible for some of the most in depth music documentaries of the past three decades. The rock n roll era is his specialty.
What Could Go Wrong: Without compelling characters and a strong narrative arc, music dramas can get stale fairly fast. Judging from the trailer, Vinyl doesn’t look like it will make that mistake, but that’s not to say it won’t.
Why You Should Watch It: Thanks to The Walking Dead, creator Robert Kirkman could probably get any show he wants off the ground. This time around, he’s adapting his own comic into a 10 episode first season. Focusing on a man haunted by supernatural possessions, Outcast shows a lot of promise for fans looking for straight forward horror done right.
What Could Go Wrong: Kirkman also created Fear the Walking Dead, which is a significant step down from the quality of its parent show. Even though director Adam Wingard is helming the pilot, there isn’t much that has been revealed about this show that has sparked a whole lot of interest.
Why You Should Watch It: A comedy set in New York starring Sarah Jessica Parker may catch the attention of Sex and the City fans. Chronicling a woman’s divorce process that proves to me more difficult than she initially thought, this sitcom could provide some insight for newlyweds or the newly engaged.
What Could Go Wrong: Riding the success of Sex and the City as well as standing alongside female fronted comedies like Veep and Girls, there isn’t much that could go wrong here aside from the show not being very funny. Chances are, this will be a big hit for HBO.
Air Date: Summer 2016
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood
Why You Should Watch It: It may be easier to list a reason not to watch it. An adaptation of a hugely successful Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain) film, created by Jonathan Nolan, and starring a cast that also includes James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, and Clifton Colling Jr, Westworld is a sci-fi thriller about a futuristic theme park that has all the potential of a great TV series.
What Could Go Wrong: The crushing weight of expectations could be too much for one show to handle. And if the show isn’t an immediate success, the high production cost could become a bit of a risk for HBO.
Why You Should Watch It: Creator Cameron Crowe is no stranger to behind the scenes music dramas. His 2000 megahit Almost Famous is one of the best music films of all time. Now that he’s teaming up with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company, this comedy about the lives of a touring arena rock band will be a treat for rock music fans, especially because the show’s music supervisor is none other than Kelly Curtis, the manager of Pearl Jam.
Also of note is the British mini-series The Young Pope starring Jude Law as a newly elected Pope who must deal with the overwhelming responsibilities that come with this position. HBO will release the 8-episode film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino (Youth, The Great Beauty).
Unfortunately for fans of The Leftovers, HBO has decided to renew the show for one final season. The series has had a very mixed reception over its two season run, but at least its fans will have closure as opposed to an abrupt ending. Although since the show is created by Damon Lindelof, fans may still have more questions than answers by the end of this third season.
What do you think? Tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast throughout the holidays as we continue to roll out articles on the current state of TV in 2015 and what to expect in 2016.