40 major TV events to get excited for in 2018

Written by:
January 3, 2018
Updated on January 4, 2018
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40 major TV events to get excited for in 2018

With every new year comes new goals, new resolutions, and perhaps most importantly, new TV. For some shows, 2018 will represent a fresh start - such as with the replacement of Hoda Kotb for Matt Lauer on Today or the revival of classics like Roseanne - while many more beloved shows will be coming to an end, including perennial favorites like Scandal. And all the while specials, annual sporting events, and awards ceremonies punctuate the TV landscape — little reminders that some things really never do change.

Americans are living in what has been called the "Golden Age of Television," which shows no sign of slowing down. Read on to explore 40 major television events that are worth tuning in for in 2018.

# 40. Hoda Kotb on Today

January 2

On January 2, Hoda Kotb replaced Matt Lauer as co-anchor of NBC’s Today, following Lauer’s firing after allegations of sexual misconduct. Kotb joins longtime anchor Savannah Guthrie, thereby making history as the first all-women Today Show anchors.


# 39. Grown-ish

January 3

Debuting on Freeform this January is Grown-ish, a spinoff of the Emmy-nominated sitcom Black-ish. The show follows Zoey Johnson, played by charming wunderkind Yara Shahidi, in her first year of college. It has already garnered early positive reviews for its diversity and exploration of cultural issues.

# 38. The X-Files

January 3

The delightful conspiracy-theory classic was revived in 2016 for Season 10, and finally returns after a long hiatus for Season 11. Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return in a Season that critics are hailing as a return to the original show’s best moments.

# 37. Golden Globe Awards

January 7

As usual, this year's nominees for the Golden Globes 2018 were met with a mixture of excitement and disappointment. Why, for example, was Insecure snubbed for a nod? As usual, the awards ceremony will provide an exciting preamble to its more popular sister, the Oscars.

# 36. The Chi

January 7

Lena Waithe's The Chi, airing on Showtime, is already being praised by critics. The Chi is a coming-of-age story set in Waithe's hometown of Chicago, exploring the complexities of life in the South Side.

# 35. David Bowie: The Last Five Years

January 8

Airing on HBO, the documentary special follows the last five years of one of the world’s most beloved, creative, and ingenious musical artists, David Bowie. Directed by Francis Whately, the film meditates on the icon’s life when he was largely absent from the public.

# 34. Tyra Banks Returns to America's Next Top Model

January 9

For Season 23, Rita Ora took over hosting duties on America’s Next Top Model, the popular competition series that started in 2003. In Season 24, Tyra Banks returns to claim her throne. The model turned juggernaut will be back to teach a whole new crop of aspiring models what it means to be on top.

# 33. Black Lightning

January 16

Black Lightning is the latest superhero show to join the CW, joining popular superhero series like Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. The show stars Cress Williams as a superhero with unique electrical talents who is forced to come out of retirement to protect his community.

# 32. The assasination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

January 17

Following the huge success of American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, Ryan Murphy is taking on the earth-shaking murder of one of fashion’s most iconic figures. The Assassination of Gianni Versace tells the story of Versace’s murder, set in the lurid heat of 1997 Miami.

# 31. Scandal

January 18 -- return from midseason break for final episodes

The final season of Shonda Rhimes' arguably most popular show, Scandal, began in October of 2017 and early 2018 brings the series finale. While many will be sad to say a final farewell to the Gladiators lead by Olivia Pope, recent rumors have pointed to a potential crossover concept paired with How to Get Away with Murder.

# 30. Fixer Upper's series finale

Early 2018 (TBD)

The announcement that Chip and Joanna Gaines, the star’s of HGTV’s popular series Fixer Upper, would be leaving the show after the fifth season was met with heartbreak from fans across the country. The final season is sure to be emotional and features some prestigious celebrity guests including First Lady Laura Bush and football star Tim Tebow.

# 29. RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars

January 25

The cult classic reality competition, RuPaul’s Drag Race returns to Vh1 for its third season on January 25. RuPaul promised that the series would bring back the show’s most legendary Queens, meaning that the series should be nothing short of spectacular.  


# 28. The Grammys

January 28

This year’s awards will honor the best in music from the past year, with nominees including JAY-Z, Kendrick Lamar, and Lorde. Surprisingly, Ed Sheeran was not nominated for anything this time around.

# 27. Bachelor Winter Games

February 2018

The world of The Bachelor is constantly changing and growing with new spinoffs and revisitation of old favorites. In 2018, the series will introduce The Bachelor: Winter Games, which will air in February at around the same time as the Olympic Games. The show will feature contestants from all over the world and include an athletic component.

# 26. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

February 2018

The original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy ran for five seasons between 2003 and 2007, starring five gay men with expertise in food and wine, interior design, culture, grooming, and fashion respectively, charged with transforming the lives of hapless straight men. The reboot, which airs on Netflix, will take on more social justice and mental issues as well as general lifestyle changes.

# 25. 2 Dope Queens

February 2

Following the success of their hilarious podcast, 2 Dope Queens, Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson will star in their own comedy special on HBO. Directed by Tig Notaro, the four-part special was taped in front of a live audience at Brooklyn’s King’s Theater, and will cover the important topics of “New York,” “Hair,” “Hot Peen,” and “Black Nerds.”

# 24. Super Bowl LII

February 4

The 52nd Super Bowl will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With over 111 million viewers for last year’s championship, the event is generally the biggest television event in the U.S. every year. Justin Timberlake is scheduled to headline this year’s halftime show, marking his return from the famed “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004.

# 23. Winter Olympics

February 9-25

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, where the world’s greatest athletes will gather to compete. Russia, however, has been excluded from competing as punishment when it was found that the country was systematically doping its athletes to gain advantage.

# 22. Here and Now

February 11

HBO is adding another drama series to its roster of prestigious television shows. From Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under and True Blood, Here and Now is a darkly comical drama about a progressive multi-ethnic family. It stars Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter as the parents of their three adopted and one biological children.

# 21. Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G

February 27

Airing on the USA Network, this true crime drama takes a deep dive into the murders of two of hip hop's most beloved and iconic rappers — deaths that remain a mystery to this day. The series was directed by Anthony Hemingway, who also directed The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, and features a full line-up of big-name stars including Josh Duhamel and Jimmie Simpson. Unsolved will focus largely on the police investigation that surrounded the mid-90s events.

# 20. The Looming Tower

February 28

Based on the Pulitzer-prize winning book by Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower tells the story of the events that lead up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With a cast including Tahar Rahim, Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, and Alec Baldwin, the Hulu show will explore the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the 90s, as well as the intense rivalry between the FBI and the CIA.

# 19. The Bachelor Finale

March 2018

The 22nd season of The Bachelor premiered on the first day of the new year, but the most exciting part of the show is always the finale. Likely in March, the show will finally reveal who Arie Luyendyk Jr. chose. Around this time the show will likely also announce the next season’s Bachelorette.

# 18. The Americans

March 2018 (expected)

FX’s The Americans will air its final season in 2018, with estimates placing the premiere in March. Taking place three years after the Season 5 finale, the action in The Americans ramps up as never before as the Cold War finally draws to a close.

# 17. Academy Awards

March 4

After a year filled with fantastic movies across every category, this year’s Oscar season is shaping up to be incredibly competitive. Early predictions suggest that Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Get Out, and Call Me by Your Name will be major winners.

# 16. American Idol

March 11

American Idol was supposed to leave the airways for good following its 2016 season. But after a hiatus of just one year, the singing competition is back, and it's certainly shaking things up this time around. The 2018 judges are Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie which should, making for a diverse and exciting group.

# 15. Rise

March 13

A new teen drama is heading to NBC in the form of Rise. The show follows the true story of a high school English teacher struggling to revive the school’s fledgling theater program. It stars How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radnor as the teacher, as well as breakout Moana star Auli’i Cravalho.

# 14. The Terror

March 26

In March, AMC welcomes a new drama, The Terror, directed by Ridley Scott and based on a novel by Dan Stevens. Starring Jared Harris and Tobias Menzies, the series is set in the 19th-century and follows the Royal Navy on a dangerous journey to discover the Northern Passage.

# 13. Roseanne

March 27

Two decades after it went off the air, Roseanne is returning to ABC. The show is bringing back almost all of its original stars, including Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Sara Gilbert, and Michael Fishman for a nine-episode revival. In a TV landscape filled with affluence, Roseanne is a welcome return to working-class America.

# 12. Westworld Season 2

Spring 2018

More than a year after Westworld’s explosive first season wrapped up, the hit show is returning to HBO in the spring of 2018. Fans are already hard at work predicting what will come next for the adventure park dominated by sentient robots. The trailer promises that all the show’s favorite characters will be back.

# 11. Veep

April 2018 (expected)

Unlike many prestigious shows, the Emmy award-winning Veep regularly airs at the same time every April. However, due to star Julia Louis-Dreyfus's treatment schedule for breast cancer, the show did postpone production which could lead to a later air date. Nonetheless, everyone involved is still hard at work on the beloved and award-winning comedy series' final season.

# 10. Handmaid's Tale Season 2

April 2018

The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the classic book of the same name by Margaret Atwood, was a groundbreaking success, leading Hulu to renew the series for a second run. This time around, the show’s action takes place after the book's story had finished, leaving many fans wondering what will come next. The show’s creators have said that Atwood had a hand in driving the story, and that the theme of the following season will be motherhood. 

# 9. Jesus Christ Superstar Live!

April 1

Since NBC aired their live telecast of The Sound of Music in 2013, networks have been airing their own versions of beloved musicals in real-time. Jesus Christ Superstar Live! will join the ranks on April 1, just in time for Easter. The event will star John Legend as Jesus and Alice Cooper as King Herod.

# 8. The Bachelorette

May 2018

No announcements have been made regarding 2018’s Bachelorette as most fans look to the current female contestants of The Bachelor for an inkling of who might emerge as the new leading lady. Though the official air date has not been announced, the show usually airs in May following the conclusion of The Bachelor.

# 7. Little Women on PBS

May 13

Masterpiece Theater is airing its own version of the beloved story Little Women. The story follows four sisters against the backdrop of the American Civil War. The series will star Angela Lansbury as Aunt March, with relative newcomers playing the four girls.

# 6. Royal Wedding

May 19

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced their wedding date as May 19, 2018, at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. It's still unclear whether the Prince will have a grand televised event for his wedding like his brother did but considering the state of excitement the engagement has already garnered, it looks likely that at least some sort of fanfare will be in order.

# 5. Tony Awards

June 10

This summer, the 72nd Tony Awards will honor the best in live theater for the previous year. “Dear Evan Hansen” was the major winner for 2017, while “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and the much-buzzed-about “Mean Girls” are anticipated to be major U.S. performances in 2018.

# 4. Fifa World Cup

June 14

The FIFA World Cup will take place in Russia this June, bringing together 32 soccer teams from around the world in an event that draws over 3 billion worldwide viewers. The United States team failed to qualify for the tournament the first time since 1986.

# 3. VMA's

Late August (expected)

MTV’s Video Music Awards may not be the most prestigious musical honor granted to artists, but it is certainly one of the most fun. The show is responsible for some of the most iconic musical performances in recent history including the Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna kiss, Miley Cyrus’ giant teddy bears, and Beyoncé’s iconic Lemonade medley.

# 2. House of Cards


Following shocking allegations of sexual misconduct, Netflix fired star Kevin Spacey from House of Cards and severed all ties with the actor. However, the show will continue for one final season, focusing on Robin Wright’s character Claire in her new role as President of the United States. The final season is expected to hit Netflix sometime in 2018.

# 1. The Emmys

September 17

What better way to cap off a year of a fantastic television programming than with its annual awards show? The Handmaid's Tale, Veep, and Big Little Lies all took home multiple awards in 2017, we look forward to seeing who the big winners will be in 2018.

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