'Ted Lasso' to 'Loki': 13 anticipated TV series coming out in 2021

These are the fresh seasons and new series hitting small screens

While some much-anticipated shows, such as the Friends reunion and Sex and the City reboot, have yet to announce release dates, there are other series that we can count on being on our screens before the end of the year.

Season four of The Handmaid's Tale, for example, comes out later in April, while the second instalment of Ted Lasso will drop in July.

Here's a list of the most popular series coming to screens this year, with expected release dates:

'The Handmaid's Tale' (season four)

Release date: April 28

Season four of The Handmaid's Tale premieres on Wednesday on Hulu, and will be available on OSN in the UAE the very next day.

Adapted from Margaret Atwood's classic novel of the same name, the show tells the dystopian tale of Gilead, a totalitarian society where women have become a tool for reproductivity.

The new season picks up with June, or Offred (played by Elisabeth Moss), who is back in Gilead determined to seek revenge against those who hurt her.

'Star Wars: The Bad Batch' (season one)

Release date: May 4

The newest show in the Star Wars galaxy is both a spin-off and sequel to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a CGI-animated series focusing on Clone Force 99, also known as the Bad Batch, a group of elite clone troopers who are first introduced in The Clone Wars.

The show centres on the titular squad and their daring mercenary missions in the aftermath of the Clone Wars.

The show is debuting on Tuesday, May 4 (a favourite date for Star Wars fans), and the premiere episode will be a one-off 70-minute special. On Friday, May 7, a shorter episode two will release, with subsequent episodes releasing weekly every Friday on Disney+ after that.

'Master of None' (season three)

Release date: May (exact date TBA)

Master of None still. Netflix
Aziz Ansari and Shoukath Ansari in 'Master of None'. Courtesy Netflix

After a four-year absence, Master of None returns to Netflix for the third season. The first two seasons focused on Aziz Ansari as he played Dev Shah, a single actor aged 30, mostly following his romantic, professional and personal experiences in New York City.

The last season, which aired in 2017 was set in New York and Italy, seemingly had a happy ending, although it also left some questions (which we won't reveal in case we spoil it for anyone).

The third season will be called Master of None Presents: Moments in Love and much shorter than in the past, with only five episodes, all directed by Ansari.

Details are still sparse, but rumours abound that it will instead fellow Dev's close friend Denise, played by Lena Waithe.

'Loki' (season one)

Release date: June 11

Loki, also known as the "god of mischief” in the Marvel universe, and made famous by British actor Tom Hiddleston in the films, finally gets his own TV spin-off. The six-episode series on Disney+ is set to begin after events in the 2019 blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, in which Loki was last seen using the Tesseract – a cosmic cube that gives immense power to whoever wields it – to escape custody.

In the two trailers released, Loki is brought to the headquarters of the Time Variance Authority, who tell him he needs to fix “reality” after he broke it when he used the Tesseract. A moustached Owen Wilson is also seen in the trailer, as the head of the TVA trying to get a handle on Loki.

'Elite' (season four)

Release date: June 18

This Spanish-language teen thriller, set in the fictional elite school of Las Encinas, became an instant global hit when it premiered in 2018. With murder, intrigue and all the drama you can expect from a story set in a high school, the show’s good-looking cast members have become international stars overnight.

Starting with a murder in season one – and the show has since claimed more lives over season two and three as secrets are exposed and loyalties tested – season four promises to bring even more twists as the last instalment ended with a major cover-up.

While some of the show’s beloved cast members will not return, including Mina El Hammani (who played Nadia), Danna Paola (Lucrecia) and Jorge Lopez (Valerio), producers have promised new faces and even more drama.

'Rick and Morty' (season five)

Release date: June 20

Another season, another new adventure as the Emmy-winning animated show Rick and Morty returns. The critically acclaimed series follows the hijinks of scientist Rick and grandson Morty, although the new season looks to have an increased focus on supporting characters such as Summer (Morty's sister).

The season four finale, which came out in May 2020, took a closer look at Rick's strained relationship with his daughter Beth (Morty's mum) and also caught up with a load of plot threads from seasons two and three. We won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t watched the show yet, though.

Back in 2018, it was announced that Rick and Morty would be renewed for a long-term deal ordering 70 episodes over an unknown number of seasons – meaning there are still, at least, 60 more to come.

'Ted Lasso' (season two)

Release date: July 23

Considering the trailer for season two of Ted Lasso got almost 2 million views in a day, it's safe to say it's a much-anticipated release this year. This heartwarming show about a football coach from America who moves to the UK to bring a failing team back from the brink came out last summer to much acclaim, and the second instalment looks just as charming.

Ted is back, as is the rest of the Richmond team, and they're trying to break a cycle of ties. Enter sports psychologist (played by Sarah Niles from I May Destroy You).

"Kindness is making a comeback," wrote Apple TV in its announcement.

The season debuts on Friday, July 23, and is available exclusively on Apple TV+.

'Money Heist' (season five)

Release date: August (exact date TBA)

Money Heist. Courtesy of Netflix
The final season of 'Money Heist' is schedule to release in August. Courtesy of Netflix

One of Spain's most popular shows Money Heist, also known as La Casa de Papel, become a global smash hit after airing on Netflix. The first two seasons focused on a group of people, who are recruited by The Professor and use cities as code names, break into the Royal Mint of Spain for an ambitious plan to rob the bank.

After pulling off the heist, the second season had the group reunite for another, similar mission, this time on the Bank of Spain.

We won't give too much away, but the fifth and final season picks up where the cliffhanger in season four left off, with The Professor possibly finally meeting his match.

'Cobra Kai' (season four)

Release date: Second half of 2021

COBRA KAI (L to R) RALPH MACCHIO as DANIEL in episode 304 of COBRA KAI Cr. TINA ROWDEN/NETFLIX
A scene from 'Cobra Kai'. Courtesy Netflix

This series, set 30 years after the original The Karate Kid films and the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, became a major success when it debuted on YouTube Red in 2018.

Now we're on season four, and fans will be eager to catch up as they were left with a real cliffhanger at the end of the latest instalment (but we'll avoid giving away any spoilers).

There is no specific release date announced, but it's looking likely it'll come out towards autumn or winter.

Catch up on past seasons on Netflix in the meantime.

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (season eight)

Release date: TBC 2021

The cast of the comedy series 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', from left, Stephanie Beatriz, Andre Braugher, Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero and Joe Lo Truglio. AP
The cast of the comedy series 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', from left, Stephanie Beatriz, Andre Braugher, Andy Samberg, Melissa Fumero and Joe Lo Truglio. AP

Jake Peralta, Captain Raymond Holt, Charles Boyle and the whole Brooklyn Nine-Nine gang are making a return to the small screen for their last hurrah, as the Golden Globe-winning sitcom, set around a rag-tag bunch of NYPD staff in the fictional 99th Precinct, will end after its eighth season.

The final season, which has been blighted by delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, is set to premiere in 2021, though a confirmed date is yet to be revealed. It will consist of a shorter run of only 10 episodes, compared to season six's 18 and season seven's 13.

We know it will tackle the Black Lives Matter movement, as four episodes already written were scrapped to focus instead on issues of police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death.

"Can a comedy sustain the things that we're trying to talk about?" Andre Braugher (Captain Raymond Holt) said on Entertainment Weekly's The Awardist podcast. "I don't know. It could be a really groundbreaking season that we're all going to be very, very proud of, or we're going to fall flat on our face."

'Sex Education' (season three)

Release date: TBC 2021

Sex Education season 2. Netflix
A scene from 'Sex Education' season two. Courtesy Netflix

It's been officially announced that the students and parents of Moordale Secondary School will be returning to our screens in 2021 for a third instalment of popular British series Sex Education.

The show follows Otis (Asa Butterfield), a pupil whose mum Jean (Gillian Anderson) is a relationship therapist, and who becomes popular when he starts dishing out love advice to his classmates.

There is no specific release date for the Netflix show just yet, but it has been confirmed that it will be before the end of this year.

'You' (season three)

Release date: Between October and December

Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail in 'You'. Courtesy Netflix
Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail in 'You'. Courtesy Netflix

Season three of You, one of Netflix's biggest shows, has been scheduled for a release in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to industry publication Deadline.

The American psychological thriller developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, and based on the books by Caroline Kepnes, stars Penn Badgley as Joe, the lovelorn psychopath, murderer and stalker who truly believes he's doing right by the women he becomes obsessed with (or does he?).

Kepnes third book in the series, You Love Me, which the new season of the TV show is said to be based on, came out earlier in April. The description says Joe has moved on from cities and former interest Love Quinn, to a small island in the Pacific Northwest, where he falls for single mother and librarian Mary Kay DiMarco. "Joe won't meddle, he will not obsess. He'll win her the old-fashioned way ... by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town."

How close to the book the TV show's plot will stick, we do not know.

'The Witcher' (season two)

Release date: Between October and December

This image released by Netflix shows Henry Caville in a scene from the series "The Witcher," based on a fantasy novel series that found fame as a video game. (Katalin Vermes/Netflix via AP)
Henry Cavill in a scene from the series 'The Witcher'. Netflix via AP

Deadline announced that, alongside You and Cobra Kai, a second season of the top Netflix show The Witcher will also be released later this year.

The fantasy epic drama, which premiered in 2019, follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a lonely monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people are often more wicked than beasts. Production wrapped on the latest season earlier in April, reports Deadline, after being delayed for more than a year because of the pandemic.

These scheduling delays even reportedly caused Thue Rasmussen to leave the show, seeing Basil Eidenbenz recast in the role of the witcher Eskel.

The show is based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy novel series of the same name and was created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich.

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Updated: May 3, 2021 04:56 PM

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