Most anticipated TV shows in 2022: Stranger Things 4, Lord of the Rings, Bridgerton and more

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things, Donald Glover in Atlanta and Golda Rosheuvel in Bridgerton
(Image credit: Netflix/FX)

Looking ahead to the most anticipated shows of 2022? All good couch potatoes — and we count ourselves among them — are. Fortunately, we've got a whole calendar of what to look out for. And, since everyone's taste varies, our list is an eclectic sampling of the top TV shows and series arriving in the new year across all of the best streaming services.

For some of these shows, we'll explain why we're so excited. For others? We've got their release dates and channels, so you will know when to mark your (digital) calendars so you don't miss an episode. Some of them are even the best renewed TV shows you may know about, but didn't know were returning quite so soon.

Because for every big Marvel show on Disney Plus, many others go without being talked about, and you don't want to miss a scene, right?

Peacemaker (HBO Max) 

The DCEU's first series (the DC TV shows are their own thing) stars the last character and actor you might have expected. A spin-off of 2021's The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker gives a whole show to the movie's most aloof scene-stealer: John Cena's Christopher Smith. Yes, Peacemaker, the guy who looks like he has a hospital bedpan for a helmet, is actually getting his own show. Joined by The Suicide Squd co-stars Steve Agee and Jennifer Holland, Peacemaker's out of the hospital and drafted back to duty doing very bad things. This time, though, he's got a pet eagle he refuses to house-train and a father (Robert Patrick) who thinks he's pathetic. Consider this the next step in Mr. Cena's path to Hollywood superstardom — Henry T. Casey

Release date: January 13

The Gilded Age (HBO) 

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes turns his eye (and pen) to the booming timess of the 1880s New York City, called the Gilded Age. The motley crew of characters range from the old money aristocrats to freshly rich industrialists to penniless strivers. After the death of her father, young Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson) moves from rural Pennsylvania to the city to live with her snobby socialite aunt (Christine Baranski). Marian is soon caught up in a social war between Aunt Agnes and the new neighbors, the wealthy tycoon George Russell (Morgan Spector) and his ambitious wife Bertha (Carrie Coon). Agnes and “good” society argue that there’s only so far new money goes, but the Gilded Age brings upheaval and change. It’s truly out with the old and in with the new. - Kelly Woo

Release date: January 24

The Flight Attendant season 2 (HBO Max)

Kaley Cuoco stars in The Flight Attendant

(Image credit: The Flight Attendant/HBO Max)

Put your seatbacks and tray tables in the upright position, because The Flight Attendant is getting ready for take-off once again. The dark comedy/thriller was the first truly great HBO Max original, and we’re excited to see more zany, dangerous, high-flying adventures for Cassie Bowden (Kaley Cuoco). She’s sober, living in L.A., has a boyfriend and isn’t just an airline employee anymore … she might be, like, a secret agent? No, not really, but she is a CIA asset, which continues to put her in sticky situations. In good news, Cassie’s move doesn’t preclude an appearance by Zosia Mamet, whose uptight lawyer Annie tends to steal every scene she’s in.  - Kelly Woo

Release window: Spring 2022

Pachinko (Apple TV Plus) 

outh Korea model and actor Lee Minho attends an opening event of Innisfree on November 25, 2015 in Shanghai, China.

(Image credit: Visual China Group via Getty Images)

The popularity of Squid Game proved that there is a substantial audience out there for foreign-language series. People are willing to read subtitles now! As long as the story is good, which is not a problem for Pachinko. It’s adapted from Korean-American author Min Jin Lee’s acclaimed novel and features a big ensemble cast, led by Lee Min-Ho. The sweeping saga starts in 1883 with forbidden love, then chronicles four generations of a Korean immigrant family as they journey between Korea, Japan and America. Over the years, they contend with war, poverty, racism and intolerance, but never give up their dreams for better lives. - Kelly Woo

Release window: Spring 2022

Atlanta season 3 (FX) 

Earn, Al and Darius' European vacation is finally getting underway in the new year. Yes, Paper Boi and his friends are looking to put that incident with the gun (and all their personal drama) behind them, at least until new reasons to disagree appear. Showrunner Donald Glover's been very stingy with details, but a first teaser trailer proved that Atlanta's still got it. The short clip features Al sitting at a table in a luxurious-looking room, surrounded by people staring at the walls. Also expect to see more Vanessa, as Zazie Beetz has been seen in the photos shot on the set of Atlanta season 3 that have been shared on social media. A second clip, shared above, gave us much more. — Henry T. Casey

Release date: March 24

Stranger Things (Netflix) 

Picking up where we left things in Stranger Things, the big news is that Hopper's not actually dead, but stuck in a Russian prison. And this season, we're going to learn something big about Hopper's past, as David Harbour has said, "I know specifically that in season 4 we will give you a big, huge reveal about Hopper’s back story which you’ve sort of sensed in certain ways, but we haven’t really told you about it." But that's only one element of the big scary mojo at play in Stranger Things season 4. Footage of the season teased at Netflix's TUDUM event revealed the Creel House, a big (possibly haunted) house which looks to have roots in Hawkins' spooky history. Netflix has also given us reason to believe that we'll learn more about Eleven's childhood, with a trailer focused on her days under the care of Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine). — Henry T. Casey

Release window: Summer 2022

Lord of the Rings (Amazon Prime Video)

Lord of the Rings Prime Video show

(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Twenty years have passed since the release of Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Rings. The film and its two sequels went on to become cultural touchstones and massive blockbusters that raked in billions of dollars. Now, Amazon is spending a lot of money in the hope of capturing some of that Lord of the Rings magic — and enticing viewers to Prime Video. The company paid $250 million just on the rights to adapt some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, not to mention hundreds of millions more on production. It even flagged a release date for the series over a year in advance, like it was a Marvel movie.

Very little is known about the actual plot of the Lord of the Rings show, other than that it is set in the Second Age, centers on the re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth and features an appearance by Elven queen Galadriel (played by Morfydd Clark, not Cate Blanchett). But we’re all very curious if Amazon’s big bet will pay off.  - Kelly Woo

Release date: September 2

Bridgerton season 2 (Netflix)

Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton and Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma in Bridgerton season 2

(Image credit: Nettflix)

And just like that, we're getting more of the the sex and the city we really want to see! Bridgerton will bring back its heady mix of Jane Austen and Gossip Girl for a second season of romance, intrigue and seduction among the aristocrats of the London ton. Bridgerton season 2 finds  the story moving on from Daphne and the Hot Duke to her brother, the viscount Anthony (Jonathan Bailey). He’s ready to find a wife and settle down, and his quest for love brings him face to face with the beautiful Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). Unfortunately, she doesn’t like him one bit, believing him to be the consummate rake. It’s a classic Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet situation, which means Anthony has some work to do before he can win her heart. - Kelly Woo

Release window: 2022

House of the Dragon (HBO) 

House of the Dragon on HBO

(Image credit: HBO)

Game of Thrones may have dropped the ball in the endzone, but the fantasy drama had no equal in racking up viewers, awards and relevance for most of its run. It was, perhaps, the last piece of true monoculture we had. So, it’s no wonder that every network and streamer is throwing a lot of money at finding a replacement. HBO has a leg up, since they can expand on the existing IP. They started out with five spinoff ideas, made one failed pilot and will unveil the first Game of Thrones successor this year. House of the Dragon is a prequel that focuses on a period when House Targaryen ruled Westeros. Matt Smith and Emma D’Arcy don silver-blonde wigs as Prince Daemon and Princess Rhaenyra, whose rivalry over the throne will have deadly consequences. There will be blood, and there will be fire, because you can expect to see plenty of dragons. - Kelly Woo

Release window: 2022

Moon Knight (Disney Plus)

Oscar Isaac stars in Moon Knight

(Image credit: Disney Plus)

Moon Knight had us ready to hit play when we learned it would star Oscar Isaac as the brooding, menacing caped vigilante who beats people up at night. On top of all that, the Moon Knight aka Marc Spector, believes he's connected to the Egyptian moon god Khonshu (he probably is), who is one of the personalities inside of Spector (who is suffering from dissociative identity disorder, or DID). If that weren't enough? Ethan Hawke is reportedly in the film, and rumor has it that Moon Knight will be the way we get a proper introduction to Mahershala Ali as Blade, the daywalking vampire hunter. — Henry T. Casey

Release window: 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney Plus)

Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney Plus with Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

So far, Lucasfilm has fallen behind Marvel in releasing Disney Plus shows, but they may start to catch up this year with the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor and possibly Ahsoka and others. One thing Lucasfilm has over Marvel is that none of the latter’s projects have hit quite as big as The Mandalorian. That sample size of one (so far) has given us hope for the upcoming series, but none are quite as exciting as Obi-Wan Kenobi, which sees Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the Jedi knight from the prequel trilogy. Ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, he is watching over a young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. But his former pupil, now Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), remains a very dangerous threat. And though we know where they eventually end up, it’ll be interesting to see how they get there. - Kelly Woo

Release window: 2022

Only Murders in the Building season 2 (Hulu) 

Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short star in Only Murders in the Building

(Image credit: Hulu)

The true crime dramedy was my favorite show of 2021 (and the one I recommended most to other people), so yes, I’m anticipating season 2. Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez all gave outstanding performances, and they have already returned to begin filming the next installment. We also know the victim of the murder in the building that is in question: persnickety board member Bunny. The trio was found at the scene and arrested for the crime. They will need to find a way to clear their name — while recording everything for their podcast, of course. How is the audio in prison? Can’t imagine it’s good. - Kelly Woo

Release window: 2022

She-Hulk (Disney Plus)

She-Hulk starring Tatiana Maslany

(Image credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty; Marvel)

Ask anyone who watched Orphan Black: You wouldn't like Tatiana Maslany when she's angry. And so the role of Jennifer Walters — a lawyer who transforms into She-Hulk — seems like it's a perfect fit for Maslany, who made her name as an utter chameleon capable of playing an array of identical "seesters." Of course, Walters will be joined by her cousin Bruce Banner, as Mark Ruffalo is confirmed to appear in the series. And She-Hulk and Hulk will have at least two villains to fight. Tim Roth is set to play the super-strong Abomination, while Jameela Jamil has been cast as Titania. — Henry T. Casey

Release window: 2022

Ted Lasso season 3 (Apple TV Plus) 

Brendan Hunt, Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein will return in Ted Lasso season 3

(Image credit: Apple TV+)

All good things eventually come to an end, right? So, we won’t be surprised if Ted Lasso season 3 is the final act. This would follow a simple format: AFC Richmond, the team that Coach Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) was hired to coach (with the intention that he'd fail) was relegated in the season 1 finale and promoted back up at the end of season 2. The question at hand is obvious: Can Ted bring Richmond to a championship? Making matters more complicated, Nate joined the dark side, working for Rupert’s rival club. Plus, Roy and Keeley's relationship seems to be on the rocks, while Rebecca and Sam are still on a break. But as long as Ted keeps baking those biscuits, we've got a hunch that good things will happen to the team in 2022. — Henry T. Casey

Release window: 2022

The White Lotus season 2 (HBO)

Jennifer Coolidge wears sunglasses in The White Lotus

(Image credit: HBO)

It looks like showrunner Mike White is bringing another bunch of terrible rich people to a fancy resort. While most of the details around The White Lotus season 2 are unconfirmed, we do know that Jennifer Coolidge is coming back for another stay. Will she reprise the role of Tanya McQuoid, the living burden on everyone around her that's just trying to mourn her mother's passing, or will she bring another wealthy weirdo to life? Also, it seems that this next season won't be taking place at the same White Lotus (Maui's Four Seasons was expensive to shoot in), so we are likely going international. — Henry T. Casey

Release window: 2022

More notable 2022 TV releases

  • This Is Us season 6 (NBC) - Jan. 4
  • How I Met Your Father (Hulu) - Jan. 18
  • Ozark season 4 (Netflix) - Jan. 21
  • Billions season 6 (Showtime) - Jan. 23
  • The Afterparty (Apple TV Plus) - Jan. 28
  • Pam and Tommy (Hulu) - Feb. 2
  • Inventing Anna (Netflix)  - Feb. 11
  • Bel-Air (Peacock) - Feb. 13
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4 (Amazon Prime Video) - Feb. 18
  • Killing Eve season 4 (BBC America) - Feb. 27
  • The Dropout (Hulu) - March 3
  • Outlander season 6 (Starz) - March 6
  • Peaky Blinders season 6 (Netflix) - Early 2022
  • Ms. Marvel (Disney Plus) - Summer 2022
  • The Crown season 5 (Netflix) - November 2022
  • Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Amazon Prime Video) - December 2022
  • Andor (Disney Plus) - 2022
  • Brideshead Revisited (BBC/HBO) - 2022
  • Halo (Paramount Plus) - 2022
  • The Last of Us (HBO) - 2022
  • The Mandalorian season 3 (Disney Plus) - 2022
  • Russian Doll season 2 (Netflix) - 2022
  • Secret Invasion (Disney Plus) - 2022
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount Plus) - 2022
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (HBO) - 2022
  • The Umbrella Academy season 3 (Netflix) - 2022
  • The Wheel of Time season 2 (Amazon Prime Video) - 2022
  • Willow (Disney Plus) - 2022
  • The Witcher: Blood Origin (Netflix) - 2022
Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.