Rachel Brosnahan in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Rachel Brosnahan in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Credit: Amazon Studios/Philippe Antonello

Full throttle.

That, in a phrase, is the TV industry at the moment, and for many moments to come. Hundreds of shows are in production, some nearing airdate. That "peak TV" era we used to hear about — the one that hit a valley in 2019-20 — is about to re-peak all over again.

Nevertheless, what about those other shows — the few, the proud, the binge worthy that have been mostly gone for over a year?

Those too are finally on the horizon. This list looks at just 23, which are expected (more or less) shortly. Specific return dates for a few of these remains unofficial, so a "best guess" must suffice. All will almost certainly be on the air by the fall of next year, while you'll see most of them a whole lot sooner.


"All Creatures Great and Small" Season 2: Shown from left...

"All Creatures Great and Small" Season 2: Shown from left to right: George Pandhi (Kriss Dosanjh) and Colonel Merrick (James Fleet). Credit: Playground Entertainment/MASTERPIECE/Helen Williams

This adaptation of the James Herriot book series about a wise and humble vet (Nicholas Ralph as Herriot himself) who tends to the flocks, literally, in the Yorkshire Dales, was a big hit for PBS — in part because it also starred Dame Diana Rigg (who died in September, 2020, at the age of 82.) She has been replaced by Patricia Hodge, the veteran stage (most recently "Private Lives") and TV actor ("Rumpole of the Bailey"). The rest of the excellent cast — Anna Madeley (housekeeper Mrs. Hall), Samuel West (vet Siegfried), Rachel Shenton (Helen, James' love interest), and Callum Woodhouse (Siegfried's ne'er do well brother Tristan) — is all back. The second season arrives Jan. 9 at 9 p.m.


Donald Glover  on FX's "Atlanta."

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

FX has teased the third season with an epic teaser — "epic" in the sense that it tells you nothing, but promises everything. With a track of the Sun Ra 1970 song — "It's After the End of the World, " — you the viewer are left to assume that over the long COVID break, "Atlanta '' has perhaps morphed into something else — apocalyptic horror, maybe? Anyway, we'll all soon find out. The third arrives at long last on March 24, with Earn (Glover), Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield) and Van (Zazie Beetz) in Europe, on tour, and involved in much else. Should be great. Ten episodes in total (two the first night) and each will stream the following day on Hulu.


Bill Hader in HBO's "Barry." 

Bill Hader in HBO's "Barry."  Credit: HBO/Aaron Epstein

Gone nearly three years (May, 19,2019 — the same night "Game of Thrones" wrapped), "Barry" has been absent longer than just about any other major series sidelined by the pandemic. But we now know "Barry" will be back because HBO released a still photo of stars Bill Hader and Henry Winkler on set (presumably) in August. "Time for another hit," per that tease. Anthony Carrigan — who plays No Ho Hank — told podcaster Marc Maron last June that the third was about to start shooting, according to a story on the website UPROXX. So, let's say production on the third has wrapped by the time you read this. What's a reasonable ETA? Last week of March, 2022 (only because the first two seasons launched in March).


Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill on "Better Call Saul."

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill on "Better Call Saul." Credit: AMC/Sony Pictures Television/Greg Lewis

Production on the sixth and final season began in March, and is now scheduled to arrive spring, 2022. My original hunch was early or mid-February, when the first, second and fifth seasons launched. However, star and lead Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on July 27, then returned to the set a couple of months later. Expect 13 episodes to close out this classic starting — my new guess — first week of April.


(L-R): Condola Rashad as Kate Sacker, Paul Giamatti as Chuck...

(L-R): Condola Rashad as Kate Sacker, Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades and Allan Havey as Karl Allerd in Showtime's "Billions."   Credit: SHOWTIME/Jeff Neumann

You really don't need to be a "Billions" fan to know that Damian Lewis — Bobby Axelrod) — has left this gilded building for good (Corey Stoll has been named a cast regular.) But you also wouldn't be wrong for wondering — how much longer? The 6th-but-still-not-officially-final season arrives Jan. 23.


The cast of ABC's "Black-ish," which returns for its final...

The cast of ABC's "Black-ish," which returns for its final season on Jan. 4. Credit: ABC

Of the major commercial network shows yet to arrive, this pair finally have the same premiere date — Jan. 4. Yes, these are special seasons indeed because they are the wrap ones. Let's start here with "Us" (NBC/4, 9) The season launch episode is entitled "The Challenger," presumably referring to Kevin's (Justin Hartley) traumatic viewing on TV of the Challenger disaster on Jan. 28. 1986 when he was a young lad. (Kevin, of course, left Madison — Caitlin Thompson — at the altar in the season 5 finale, so the Challenger is to blame? We and poor Mad will find out.) With "Black-ish" (ABC/7, 9:30), you can expect a cameo by former first lady Michelle Obama, while Zoey (Yara Shahidi, "Grown-ish") is back from college.

Pictured: (l-r) Lyric Ross as Deja, Susan Kelechi Watson as...

Pictured: (l-r) Lyric Ross as Deja, Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Eris Baker as Tess, Faithe Herman as Annie -on NBC's "This Is Us." Credit: NBC/Ron Batzdorff


Phoebe Dynevor starred as Daphne in season one of Netflix's...

Phoebe Dynevor starred as Daphne in season one of Netflix's "Bridgerton." Credit: Netflix/Liam Daniel


While some fans had expected a Christmas Day 2021 2nd season launch, they'll have to settle for March 25, 2022, instead. The first (which launched Dec. 25, 2020) largely focused on the courtship of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) while the second is about Lord Anthony Bridgerton's (Jonathan Bailey) search for a spouse -- presumably newcomer Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley), who arrives in London with her younger sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) from India.


Ralph Macchio in "Cobra Kai."

Ralph Macchio in "Cobra Kai." Credit: YouTube/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television/Guy D'Alema

The 4th season launch is right around the corner — Dec. 31 — which barely gives you time to catch up with the 3rd season. (So, what are you waiting for?) The basic plot line remains the same — as Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) continue to prepare for that huge, climactic All Valley Karate Tournament (which will probably arrive in the 5th season?)


Zendaya in HBO's "Euphoria."

Zendaya in HBO's "Euphoria." Credit: HBO/Eddy Chen

Returning Jan. 9 (most likely at 9), "Euphoria" hasn't been gone as long as most other COVID-delayed series, thanks to a pair of clever (and effective) "bridge" episodes that aired in December 2020 and January, 2121. These two-handers effectively kept fans apprised of Rue (Zendaya) and Jules (Hunter Shafer) or at least their fragile psychic states. Fans were apparently divided on the episodes because they were so intimate and intense — the one with Rue and Ali (Colman Domingo) taking place in one long take in diner. (But hey, that's what COVID did — limit production scale.) At least those fans know what to expect next month — more intensity.


Anthony Anderson reprises his role when "Law & Order" returns...

Anthony Anderson reprises his role when "Law & Order" returns for its 21st season.  Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Richard Shotwell

What may — make that must — be the longest hiatus in network TV history ends at long last on Feb. 24 (NBC/4, 8) when the classic mother ship arrives back after a 12-year break. (NBC is calling this "the 21st season.") What do we know about this so far? A few things: Jeffrey Donovan ("Burn Notice") will join in a lead role (Donovan once had a couple of bit parts on the original series.) Anthony Anderson is back full time as Det. Kevin Bernard ("black-ish" is wrapping this season), and Hugh Dancy (NBC's "Hannibal '') is also aboard. Could S. Epatha Merkerson -- Lt. Anita Van Buren - - join up? (Maybe a cameo or two?) Camryn Manheim ("The Practice") will be here instead as new character, Lt. Kate Dixon.


"The Lord of the Rings" Amazon Original Series coming to...

"The Lord of the Rings" Amazon Original Series coming to Prime Video on Sept.2, 2022. Credit: Amazon Prime Studios

If any series is the "most-anticipated series of 2022" this would be the one. And yet, this most anticipated of them all still hasn't got an official title yet. But at least there's an official launch date: Sept. 2, 2022. Here's the logline: "This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings,' and will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness." Any questions?


Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton), Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie...

Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton), Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) of  "Outlander." Credit: STARZ/Robert Wilson

Season six — arriving March 6 at 9 — is based on "A Breath of Snow and Ashes," the sixth book in the Diana Gabaldon series. Here's what the news release is hinting at: "If Season four asked 'What is home?' and Season five asked, 'What are you willing to do to protect your home?,' Season six explores what happens when there is disharmony and division among the inhabitants of the home you’ve created: when you become an outsider, or an ‘outlander,’ so to speak, marginalized and rejected in your own home." Yes, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) have a busy stretch ahead on Fraser Ridge.


Jason Bateman as Martin 'Marty' Byrde, Laura Linney as Wendy...

Jason Bateman as Martin 'Marty' Byrde, Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde in "Ozark."   Credit: NETFLIX

It's the beginning of the end — specifically, Jan. 21 — but you may rest assured that the end will be a long time in coming. Netflix will split this final season in two parts of seven episodes each. When does the second half drop? (A bad guess might not be at the same time next year.) The premiere ("The Beginning of the End") opens with a shocker, but I can't tell you what that is because Marty (Jason Bateman), Wendy (Laura Linney) or Ruth (Julia Garner) would be contractually required to kill me. As fans well know, the Byrdes — Wendy and Marty — are now tied to the hip of the Mexican cartel, and one hip in particular: Navarro's (Felix Solis).


Liev Schreiber  in "Ray Donovan The Movie" on Showtime.

Liev Schreiber  in "Ray Donovan The Movie" on Showtime. Credit: SHOWTIME/Cara Howe

Fans howled when Showtime canceled "Donovan" in February, 2020, and Showtime took note. The series didn't get a full reprieve, but at least a movie one — arriving Jan. 14 at 9 — to tie up loose ends. Here's the throughline: "The new film picks up where season seven left off, with Mickey (Jon Voight) in the wind and Ray (Liev Schreiber) determined to find and stop him before he can cause any more carnage. It will also weave together the present-day fallout from the Donovan/Sullivan feud with Ray and Mickey's origin story from 30 years ago."


Millie Bobby Brown in Season 3 of "Stranger Things."

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

"Stranger Things" began production on the 4th season Feb. 14, 2020, then shut it all down a month later. The show restarted production mid-September … then shut it all down again for a couple of weeks. Stranger things have happened to other shows in this strange pandemic year, but "Things" seemed to have the quirkiest luck. Part of the problem is simply logistical, including multiple locations in Atlanta and New Mexico. Plus how — or where — will those "Soviet" scenes be filmed? New Mexico? Recall the third's final scene, where some prisoner — come on! not David Harbour's Jim Hopper — is being fed to a Demogorgon in a Kamchatka prison camp. "We’re not in Hawkins anymore," said a recent tease. OK, so where? In any case, "Things" will return in the summer of 2022, and my bet is midyear, around July 4.


Jeff Probst will be back with a new group of...

Jeff Probst will be back with a new group of castaways on "Survivor 42."   Credit: CBS/Robert Voets

"Survivor 41" may have just wrapped but "42" is right around the corner: March 9 (CBS/2, 8). What to expect? CBS has a 50% diversity mandate in place, requiring that half of each cast on unscripted series must be "Black, Indigenous or People of Color." And yes, this diverse cast will once again converge on Fiji.


Jason Sudeikis appears in "Ted Lasso" on Apple TV+.

Jason Sudeikis appears in "Ted Lasso" on Apple TV+.

Star Hannah Waddingham (who plays Rebecca Welton) dropped the biggest clue to date about a third season return, when she said on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" that the show will start production Feb. 14, 2022. "Rather lovely," she said. So, another midsummer launch (the second arrived July 23)? No obvious reason why not. The more intriguing question: Could the third be the last season?


Imelda Staunton in Netflix's Season 5 of "The Crown."

Imelda Staunton in Netflix's Season 5 of "The Crown." Credit: Netflix/Alex Bailey

The Imelda-Staunton-as-Queen-Elizabeth 5th season started filming only in June which means a 2022 arrival date, but when in 2022? Let's go out on a limb here — a particularly sturdy one, in fact. The fifth will likely arrive on schedule in Nov., which gives everyone plenty of time to mentally prepare for the new Queen, Prince Charles (Dominic West), and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki).


Kaley Cuoco in HBO Max's "The Flight Attendant." 

Kaley Cuoco in HBO Max's "The Flight Attendant."  Credit: HBO MAX/Colin Hutton

HBO Max ordered a second season of its breakout hit, then promptly announced that it will likely land in the spring of 2022. "Coming very soon," star Kaley Cuoco said in an Instagram post in September. Sooner than the spring? That's unlikely and there's an outside shot now at a summer 2022 launch, per some press reports.


Rachel Brosnahan stars in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel."

Rachel Brosnahan stars in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Credit: Amazon Studios/Philippe Antonello

The fourth season drops Feb. 18, with a pair of episodes arriving each Friday for four weeks thereafter. A recent teaser established (or hinted at) a fully confident Midge Maisel, who's ready to take her act to the world, without apologies or as a second banana. "You know what's great about me?" Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) tells her manager (Alex Bornstein). "It's when I'm me. No more opening act gigs. I will only do gigs where I can say what I want. That's what Lenny [Bruce] would do." The 4th season opens in 1960.


Annabelle Holloway as Gracie, Cailey Fleming as Judith in "The...

Annabelle Holloway as Gracie, Cailey Fleming as Judith in "The Walking Dead." Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC

"TWD" wrapped the first part of its final (11th) season last October, and will pick up the second part of the 11th on Feb. 20 (AMC, 9), consisting of eight episodes. The third and final stretch? My guess: Next fall. Here's the throughline on these next eight: "'The Walking Dead' returns with many of our heroes fighting imminent hellfire under Reaper attack; while others battle Mother Nature’s torrential wrath in Alexandria. For all, their world is literally crashing down around them …" By the way, episodes are available a week earlier on AMC+.


Evan Rachel Wood attends the premiere of HBO's "Westworld" Season...

Evan Rachel Wood attends the premiere of HBO's "Westworld" Season 3 at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 5, 2020, in Hollywood, California.  Credit: TNS/Frazer Harrison

After that wild, woolly third season, there was some idle speculation that "Westworld" might have just 3D printed its last "host." But so much for speculation: "World" will be back for a fourth season. Nevertheless, expect a late 2022 launch. Production was finally underway this fall, with no clear sense of a wrap date. But because the show is so complicated and HBO is no rush, let's now presume fall.

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