Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel in Amazon Prime's "The Marvelous...

Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel in Amazon Prime's "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel." Credit: Amazon Prime/Nicole Rivelli

When will your favorite TV series return?

Depends on your definitions of "when" and "favorite." With a resumption in production well underway, much of NBC and CBS's prime-time schedules will begin to fill out by Thanksgiving while ABC and Fox already have had a head-start.

But many of those other series on cable or streaming — those cult hits with devoted fan bases that tend to count the days between seasons — will be arriving a little later.

Much later.

An ETA of mid-to-late 2021 is likely for most, while 2022 is not out of the question either. There are numerous complicating factors, one of them well-recognized (the pandemic), but shows with intricate shooting schedules ("Westworld") and international locales ("Killing Eve") have other layers of complexities to navigate.

Then, there are those productions ("Outlander") that always seem to drag on.

Here, then, are some attempts at answers. These are based on trade reports and official network pronouncements. What's missing in most instances are precise launch dates. For those, we'll offer our own best estimates:


FX has already ordered three more seasons of "AHS," but first things first: What about the long-delayed 10th? Last May FX said it would be pushed back to 2021. The subject of this season? Co-creator Ryan Murphy told the Wrap in April after production was halted that the 10th would be "a weather-dependent show so now I don’t know. I don’t know what we’re going to do. " Production has yet to begin.


: Donald Glover as Earnest Marks on FX's "Atlanta."

: Donald Glover as Earnest Marks on FX's "Atlanta." Credit: FX/Curtis Baker

Star Donald Glover has been busy with other projects, and so for that matter have the other stars (Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz) — so busy that they may have forgotten, like us, that they still have this day job. A third season was ordered, then a 4th (in August, 2019) with production set to begin last spring. But the finale of the 2nd clearly spelled out the problems there, as Paper Boi (Henry) and Earn (Glover) were set to undertake a European tour. In the era of COVID, travel remains profoundly problematic, while half of the third was (and is) going to take place in Europe. Glover, in fact, has written both seasons, but the delay could now mean the show won't be back until 2022. The show has not yet resumed production.


This HBO sophomore sensation which scored two best actor/comedy Emmys for star Bill Hader will resume production on the third season in 2021, most likely January. Co-star Stephen Root told Collider recently that "I think we're not probably gonna be [going] back until January to do this, but hopefully HBO is going to let the powers-that-be write Season 4, and maybe we can do those real quick together." No word on an airdate, but sometime in 2021 seems reasonable enough.


Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy...

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill in a scene from AMC's "Better Call Saul."  Credit: AMC/Sony Pictures Television/Greg Lewis

The fifth season wrapped April 20, and while a sixth and final season has been ordered, production has yet to begin. At least one star (Giancarlo Esposito) has indicated that shooting will get underway in Albuquerque next March, while co-executive producer Mark Johnson told the Washington Post in August that "Saul" will get "very creative in where and how we shoot," adding, "if that doesn't work, then at least our show has a lot of deserts and open roads." Meanwhile, all we can tell you for certain is that the writer's room is cranking out stories. ETA: 2022.


Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades on Showtime's "Billions."

Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades on Showtime's "Billions." Credit: SHOWTIME/Mark Seliger

"Billions" will return for a 6th season next year, but we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves here: There's the matter of those 5 episodes from season 5 that were never completed. The first seven were wrapped before the production was sidelined. Those began airing last May. Now, Showtime will split the season, by airing the back five next year.


The great Amazon Prime cop series was to begin production on the 7th and final season last spring. But that didn't happen, but according to reports, production is about to ramp up again. But if so, can we expect a spring, 2021, arrival date? Maybe, but that seems like a tight deadline. Summer 2021 seems more realistic.


Do try to curb our enthusiasm, but (Yes!) "Curb" is scheduled to begin shooting sometime before the end of the year on an 11th season. Also, it's anyone's guess what Larry David has exactly in mind. But anyone can easily make an educated guess: This 11th just might be about the pandemic. No ETA, but 2021 seems like another good guess, if the 11th will indeed be as topical as we can assume.


Last seen almost a decade ago (Dec. 7, 2010), this remarkable series about a New York psychiatrist (played by Gabriel Byrne) and his string of aggrieved clients has picked perhaps the perfect time to resume production on a long-awaited 4th season. This time, it will star Uzo Aduba. Production will begin in New York by year's end, with a 2021 airdate on HBO.


"JR" appeared to be one of those shows that would be put on indefinite hold (that overseas shoot schedule) but apparently nothing keeps Amazon Prime's "JR" down. Gossip column stories in October reported that star John Krasinski was observed filming scenes in Rome "at the Piazza di Spagna square, and on the Spanish Steps, looking in good spirits." That 3rd was ordered way back in early 2019. When will it arrive? 2021 seems likely but 2022 a little more likely.


Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri on BBC America's "Killing Eve."

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri on BBC America's "Killing Eve." Credit: BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle/Laura Radford

Production on the 4th was scheduled to begin last August, with the plan to complete shooting around now. That, of course, is the plan no longer. BBC America's "Eve" has yet to restart production and reasons are obvious — travel. The many European locales are one of "Eve's" enduring attractions, and so without those, no "Eve." A spokesperson told Deadline this past summer, "'Killing Eve' shoots across multiple European locations [and] due to the uncertainty of the world as a result of COVID-19, no shooting schedules for Killing Eve season four have been locked in at this point and there are various scenarios in play."


Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan on Starz's "Outlander."

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan on Starz's "Outlander." Credit: STARZ/Aimee Spinks

Despite popular impression to the contrary, "Outlander" really has been fairly regular in terms of timing, with seasons typically arriving at one-year intervals since launch back in 2014. That will certainly change. As always, there's a paucity of news with the exception of an October appearance on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" by star Sam Heughan, who said shooting had not yet begun but would "soon." Meaning what, exactly? If "O" began production today, a return to the air could be expected by late fall next year. However, COVID-19 protocols are complicating factors. Heughan joked about love scenes, but what about crowd or battle ones? Special effects are likely to be deployed, and those are both time-consuming and expensive. My guess is that "O" won't be back on the air until 2022, with a remote possibility of 2023.


"Queen Sugar"  on OWN.

"Queen Sugar"  on OWN. Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./OWN/Skip Bolen

This OWN hit has resumed production in New Orleans and may — I emphasize may — be back on the air this February. (OWN isn't confirming an airdate yet.) Unlike most series, "Queen Sugar" actually caught a small break when filming on the 5th season was shut down last March. It offered showrunner Ava DuVernay a chance to rewrite the season, which she has. Per OWN, the 5th "will tackle 2020 and the Impact of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and elections on the Bordelon Family and community."


Good ol' "Rick and Morty": Does anyone ever even know when a new season will arrive, including Adult Swim? Apparently co-creator Dan Harmon does (or should). During a virtual conversation at PaleyFest NY 2020 over the summer (as reported by Syfy Wire), Harmon said "We’re more on schedule than we’ve ever been" because of COVID-19, adding: "It kind of makes you have to focus on the whole process when you don’t have this office environment anymore … Everyone has to run this bee colony remotely, so the honey just gets made more consistently. It’s working for us." His target date:some time in 2021.


Natasha Lyonne as Naia in Netflix's "Russian Doll." 

Natasha Lyonne as Naia in Netflix's "Russian Doll."  Credit: Netflix

The acclaimed Netflix freshman (about a woman who repeatedly dies in a time loop while trying to solve the mystery of her death) dropped all the way back on Feb. 1, 2019, and since then, fans (much like star Natasha Lyonne's Nadia) have been waiting on answers. Netflix ordered a second season in June of that year, but still nothing. Lyonne has been busy, most recently in "Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine," but not with this show. A cause for concern? Maybe: Netflix has undergone a corporate overhaul, with a new mandate to expand the list of shows with a broad-base appeal. Call "Doll" what you like, but "broad-based" is not a phrase that comes readily to mind. ETA is still unknown.


The third season arrived Oct. 15 on CBS All Access, while a 4th season has been ordered too. Production, incidentally, began just this week (Nov. 2). That's the good news, Trekkies. Now, the somewhat sobering: Don't expect a 4th season arrival until at least this time next year, although a spokeswoman said, "It's definitely too early for us to say as we just started production this week."


Millie Bobby Brown in Netflix's Season 3 of "Stranger Things." 

Millie Bobby Brown in Netflix's Season 3 of "Stranger Things."  Credit: Netflix

Yes, production on the fourth season is underway in Atlanta and (no) we can't tell you whether it'll be set in fictional Hawkins or not. (Maybe not: Theories abound it'll be set in a faux-Kamchatka, where our dear Hopper — David Harbour — is now incarcerated.) Like so much else, "Things" began production in January and was expected to wrap in August. One, maybe two, episodes were shot. Production then resumed late September. "Things," as you well know, has a challenge: The cast is getting older, so the clock is ticking. Once the 4th wraps production next spring, the 5th season (which hasn't been ordered but of course will be) should get underway. When will the 4th arrive? With one exception (the 2nd season), "Things" has dropped in July, and July, 2021 now seems like a doable drop-date for the 4th, too.


Jeremy Strong in HBO's "Succession."

Jeremy Strong in HBO's "Succession." Credit: HBO/Zach Dilgard

"Succession" was to begin work on the 3rd season last April, but you know how that turned out. Now, production will get underway in New York later this fall. And here's something you can take to the bank: The third will air in 2021.


Amazon Prime's superhero satire/hit picked up a third season order last summer during Comic-con@Home's virtual festival where it was announced. (The second season began Sept. 4th.) Left unannounced however was a production startup time. More than most series, "The Boys" is a complicated shoot — hey, all that fake blood and all those SFX guts aren't so easy to get on film as you might think, OK? — then, in October, showrunner Eric Kripke tweeted, "Season 3 begins filming early 2021. You're not [expletive] ready." Let's hope "The Boys" is.


Emma Corrin as Diana, Princess of Wales on "The Crown."

Emma Corrin as Diana, Princess of Wales on "The Crown." Credit: Netflix/Des Willie

The fourth season of Netflix's great prestige drama drops Nov. 15 but what of the 5th? Ah, the fifth, when Imelda Staunton takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Olivia Colman and which was expected to be the last season (until showrunner Peter Morgan decided there was enough story for one more after that.) Trade reports say the show will not begin filming until June 2021. That means the 5th will not arrive until 2022, and my educated hunch is November of that year. Yes, that's two years from now.


The 5th season of Amazon Prime's "The Expanse" — which may be one of those best-shows-on-TV-you're-not-watching — arrives Dec. 16, when the first three episodes drop, then weekly thereafter. Like "Yellowstone," this show was born under a lucky star: Canceled by Syfy, picked up by Amazon, the 5th season was largely completed by last February. Then more luck: According to reports a 6th season has also been ordered. Production on that began late summer.


Elisabeth Moss on Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale."

Elisabeth Moss on Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale." Credit: Hulu/Jasper Savage

"Handmaid's Tale" returned to production in September (in Toronto) while Hulu said the 4th will arrive sometime next year. And when might that be? The first couple of seasons launched in April and the third in June, 2019. It's a good bet the fourth will arrive later than even that. A reasonable guess: Fall, 2021.


Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel in Amazon Prime's "The Marvelous...

Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel in Amazon Prime's "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel." Credit: Amazon Prime/Philippe Antonello

Amazon ordered the 4th season last December, but production is not expected to get underway until January, 2021. TV Line reported in October that series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino said "We’re starting back on January 7 [while] costume fittings are happening [now], sets are being built like mad. All of the stuff is happening. We’re breaking our stories, we’re writing. And then in December we’re dragging the actors in and we’re going to table read the scripts. And then, come January 7, it’s, ‘On your mark, get set, go.'" Expect that long-delayed 4th to arrive December, 2021.


Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier on...

Cassady McClincy as Lydia, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier on AMC's "The Walking Dead." Credit: AMC/Jackson Lee Davis

The penultimate 10th season was set to air last April, was moved to early October and will now wrap early next year. Which brings us to the 11th and final season. Production on that was supposed to begin last May, and instead started up in September. At that time, showrunner Angela Kang told EW ''We're actively in preproduction, so we're going to start shooting pretty soon, if all goes well. And so far so good.″ No word on air date, but you can figure it out for yourself — the first half of the season next fall, and the second half in 2022.


There will be a 4th season for the HBO series, and it won't be here for years. My guess: 2023. There are many reasons for the long delay, while co-creator Jonathan Nolan elaborated on some in an interview with Variety last May: "I think when we sat down to do the show, we didn’t quite realize how difficult it would be to make this show — [laughing] how many years it would take per season." Under the best of circumstances, by the way, that's typically two but these are hardly the best of those. Said Nolan, "the show must go on, but it must go on safely. So balancing those two things against each other is something that we’re going to be talking about a lot later in the year."


Kevin Costner as John Dutton on Paramount Network's "Yellowstone."

Kevin Costner as John Dutton on Paramount Network's "Yellowstone." Credit: Paramount Network/Danno Nell

Taylor Sheridan's neo-western — also a major hit for the Paramount Network — got lucky for the third season because filming wrapped before COVID hit, and then got unlucky because production on the 4th, which was scheduled for June, got scrapped. Then, it got lucky all over again. Sheridan had already written seven episodes of the 4th, and due to COVID, decided to concentrate production in just one location — Montana, where the Dutton ranch is located. Weather is always a factor here, so "Yellowstone'' typically shifts to some soundstages in Utah. Not this year. The show built a gymnasium near the ranch, so the cast and crew don't have to travel. Per a show spokesperson, " 'Yellowstone' season 4 is currently in production and slated to air sometime next year." According to Variety, the plan is to present the show as a cinematic experience, perhaps programming two episodes in a single night with limited commercial interruptions.

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