Netflix’s Most Promising New Original Shows Of 2017

Netflix is not content to release one or two television series a month, which is arguably enough to justify anyone’s monthly subscription fee. The company released close to 50 series in 2016, and plans to continue upping its original series production in 2017. In addition to returning series like Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Daredevil, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, here’s a look at the most promising 12 new series they will add into their programming mix in 2017.

Santa Clarita Diet

From Victor Fresco, the showrunner behind Better Off Ted, the Santa Clarita Diet of the title is actually a reference to cannibalism. Drew Barrymore stars as Sheila and Timothy Olyphant (Justified) as Joel, married real estate agents whose lives take a dark turn when Sheila dies. By “dark turn,” they mean: Sheila turns into a zombie. She has to maintain her marriage, parent her daughter, and keep her real estate business running (with competition from a rival real-estate agent played by Nathan Fillion) while also finding a source of human flesh. Patton Oswalt and Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) also recur in the 10-episode series. Santa Clarita Diet debuts on February 3rd.


Based on Sophia Amoruso’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, Girlboss chronicles Amoruso’s rise from Dumpster diver to fashion icon as the founder of the company, Nasty Girl. The book is described by The Washington Post as “Lean In for misfits,” following Amoruso’s upward trajectory and her difficulties coping with life as her own boss. The series comes from Kay Cannon, a former 30 Rock and New Girl writer, who is also behind the screenplays for the Pitch Perfect films. Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland) is set to play the anarchist turned CEO lead alongside Dean Morris (Breaking Bad), and Johnny Simmons. Charlize Theron exec produces.


Co-produced with CBC in Canada, Anne is a new take version of Anne of Green Gables, Canadian author L.M. Montgomery’s classic, much-adapted novel. With a much larger budget than the beloved ’80s version, the eight-episode series is meant to be a “grittier” look at life in Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s. Fourteen-year-old Canadian-Irish newcomer Amybeth McNulty landed the lead role in the series, and will star alongside fellow Canadians Dalila Bela (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Corinne Koslo (Sweeney Todd) and Aymeric Jett Montaz. The series focuses on an abused orphan who is mistakenly sent to live with an aging brother and sister. Anne subsequently changes not only their lives, but the lives of those in the small town. The series is expected to air in the spring.

Dear White People

Based on Justin Simien’s crowd-funded hit cult movie of the same name, the Dear White People series follows several people of color as they struggle to navigate a predominantly white Ivy League university and deal with casual daily racism. Simien returns to write the series and direct the first episode, which will see Powers actress Logan Browning playing the Tessa Thompson character, a bi-racial film major. Brandon P. Bell will reprise his role from the movie. He’ll play Troy Fairbanks, the son of the dean of students and a charming political science major campaigning to become the school’s first black student president. Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori and Ashley Blaine Featherson also star in the 10-episode series, the second for Netflix from Lionsgate (Orange is the New Black). Its release date has yet to be determined.


Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive) and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) will topline this Netflix series created by newcomer Lisa Rubin. Watts will play Jean Holloway, a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationship with the people in her patients’ lives. Crudup will play her husband, while Lucy Boynton (Sing Street) co-stars as a college drop-out who had to leave school in order to support her addictions. The first two episodes of the psychological thriller will be directed Sam Taylor-Johnson, who also directed Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s no release date yet on the series.

Marvel’s The Punisher

A spin-off of Marvel’s Daredevil series on Netflix, Jon Bernthal’s The Punisher was the best thing about the second season of Netflix’s parent series, which is why Netflix is moving ahead with a title it had not originally planned when it signed a deal with Marvel to produce Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. Steve Lightfoot — a writer on Hannibal, Narcos and The Transporter: Series — has been tasked with showrunner duties. The spin-off series is expected to be an origin story for the character of Frank Castle/The Punisher, picking up after the death of his family (rather than continuing his post-Daredevil story). Rumors suggest it will debut in late fall of 2017.


Based on Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas’ book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, this Netflix series is stacked with talent. It is toplined by Fringe’s Anna Torv and Jonathan Groff (Hamilton, Looking). Longtime character actors Cotter Smith and Holt McCallany also star. The series is based on the criminal profiling work of Douglas — who investigated the Atlanta Child Murders in the late 70s and early 80s and who inspired the character of Jack Crawford in the Hannibal — and Robert Ressler, who coined the term “serial killer” and worked on the homicide investigations of Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Chase and John Joubert. Set in 1979, the Netflix will revolve around two FBI agents who interview imprisoned serial killers to try to solve ongoing cases. Dexter showrunner Scott Buck will be serving in the same role here, as well as writing the series along with Joe Penhall (The Road). The series, which was originally pitched to Fox, is executive produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron.


Created by Bill Dubuque — who wrote the Ben Affleck-starring The Accountant and the Robert Downey, Jr.-starring The JudgeOzark is about a man who moves from the the suburbs of Chicago to the Ozarks in order to pay off a debt to a Mexican drug lord. It’s described as a “dark, sexy, action packed hour-long family drama with a twist,” and will involve the underground world of illegal money laundering. Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) plays the lead — a family man and a money launderer for the second largest drug cartel in Mexico — and will direct half the episodes. Laura Linney will play his wife. The premise and cast suggests it has Breaking Bad potential. The series was shot last summer in Lake Ozark, Atlanta, and Chicago.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

Set in 1991, the satirical sequel to the prequel to Wet Hot American Summer will take inspiration from St. Elmo’s Fire, Singles, and The Big Chill. Most of the characters from the movie and the prequel will return (among them, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine, Amy Poehler, Josh Charles and Bradley Cooper), and the sequel will also add Alyssa Milano and Jai Courtney, among others. David Wain and Michael Showalter return to write the series, which is expected to pick up where the original movie left off. Shooting began last October, so the series will likely debut in the summer.


Executive producer Jenji Kohan — the creator of Weeds and Orange is the New Black — will bring this 10-episode series about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling to Netflix. Created by Liz Flahive (Homeland) and Carly Mensch (Orange is the New Black), G.L.O.W. is inspired by the real story of the 1980s female wrestling league. Set in Los Angeles and showcasing big hair and body slams, the series tells the fictionalized story of Ruth (Alison Brie), an out-of-work actress who finds one last attempt to live her dreams when she’s thrust into the glitter and spandex world of women’s wrestling. Marc Maron is also in the cast, as well as British singer Kate Nash and female wrestler Kia “Awesome Kong” Stevens. Ellen Wong, who played Knives Chau in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, is also in the mix.

Friends from College

Friends from College comes from Nicholas Stoller (Get Him to the Greek, The Muppet Movie, Neighbors) and his wife, Francesca Delbanco. The series follows a group of Harvard graduates in their forties who experience varying degrees of success in their personal and professional lives. Stoller and Delbanco are real-life Harvard grads in their 40s, so it’s material that is familiar to them. If Netflix and Nicholas Stoller working together isn’t enough to pique your interest, the cast should do the trick. It stars Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon, Annie Parisse, Fred Savage, and Jae Suh Park. Billy Eichner will also recur in four episodes as Dr. Felix Forzenheim, a fertility doctor. The series is expected to air later this year.