House of the Dragon and 6 other genre shows that won’t be back in 2023
2022 was a huge year for science fiction and fantasy on TV. From big HBO series like House of the Dragon, Westworld, and His Dark Materials to The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on Amazon, Stranger Things season 4 on Netflix, and a slew of new Marvel and Star Wars offerings on Disney+, there were so many great series that it was often hard to even keep up with them all. If the end of Game of Thrones signaled a new era of TV where every studio wanted their own big-budget fantasy show, 2022 was the year those ambitions fully came to fruition.
Alas, one side effect of our current genre show boom is that it’s not quick or easy or cheap to create these fantastical worlds. With shows getting more and more complex, two-year gaps between seasons have become the norm. So even though we may have met some new favorite characters this past year, we’ll be waiting a while to see them again.
We can at least mentally prepare ourselves for the long wait. Here are seven shows that we know won’t return until 2024.
1- House of the Dragon
There were a lot of shows to get excited about this past year, but the biggest may have been House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel series set nearly 200 years before the original show.
We knew HBO was developing a number of Game of Thrones spinoffs, but we didn’t know if they would be any good. Happily, House of the Dragon was quite good. Its first season covered roughly three decades of Targaryen family history, setting up the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons while simultaneously getting us to love and hate various members of its sprawling cast. It all led to a fateful encounter in the skies over Storm’s End where Aemond Targaryen’s monstrously huge dragon Vhagar chomped Lucerys Velaryon and his mount Arrax into bits.
The season ended with Rhaenyra Targaryen, the usurped Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, glaring furiously into the camera as she received news of her son’s death. It’ll be a minute before we see what her next move is, however; House of the Dragon season 2 will begin filming in early 2023, and HBO Programming President Casey Bloys confirmed that season 2 will not air until at least 2024. Until then, our watch continues.
2- Stranger Things
Over its first three seasons, Netflix’s paranormal ’80s science fiction show Stranger Things earned a passionate audience dedicated to its lovable characters, creepy monsters, and ’80s references. Season 4 premiered this year, and it brought the Hawkins hype to a whole new level. From the introduction of new villains and heroes like Vecna and Eddie Munson to the it introduced new generations of viewers to the music of Kate Bush and Metallica to the massive hours-long episodes, there was a lot to talk about this season of Stranger Things.
Stranger Things 4 ended with the reveal that Vecna had succeeded in his evil plan to fracture the boundary between Hawkins and the nether dimension known as the Upside Down. Now monsters are creeping into our world, and our group of scrappy heroes are facing a threat bigger than anything they’ve faced before.
Considering how big the scale of Stranger Things has become, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that we won’t be returning to Hawkins in 2023. “I think we’ll [shoot] next year. They’re finishing writing it this year, and they need to prep and stuff, so hopefully it’ll be this year. But I think that’s the plan. So it’d probably come out mid-2024, based on our track record,” Jim Hopper actor David Harbour told GQ.
Season 5 is slated to start filming in May 2023. This is a show that requires a ton of work even after the cameras are done rolling. Here’s hoping that the show hits Harbour’s mid-2024 projection.
3- The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Another enormous series that debuted this year was Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Based on the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books, this new series is set millennia before the story we all know and love, during the Second Age of Middle-earth. Galadriel is a warrior scouring the evil for evil, Elrond is a young diplomat trying to strengthen ties between the elves and dwarves, and Sauron is in hiding while he plans his comeback.
The Rings of Power received a somewhat mixed reception, but people were definitely talking about it. New adaptations of Tolkien’s work don’t come around all that often, and the Second Age has never been depicted onscreen outside of the opening minutes of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring. Amazon spent a mind-numbing amount of money on this thing, and The Rings of Power was one of those shows you had to watch even just to see how it all turned out.
Despite any missteps, the first season won the show plenty of fans. Amazon is interested in making at least five seasons of The Lord of the Rings, and work on season 2 is already well on the way. Filming started in the fall off 2022. But with a show as enormous as The Rings of Power, it’ll take a while to put it all together.
No release date has yet been announced for The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2, but given everything we know about it, it’s pretty much guaranteed that it won’t be here in 2023.
4- Star Wars: Andor
One of the sleeper hits of 2022 was Star Wars: Andor, the latest Star Wars show to premiere on Disney+. Unlike the two other live-action Star Wars series that came out this year, The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor flew pretty far under the radar…until it debuted and shocked audiences and critics alike with how great it was.
Andor follows the titular secret agent played by Diego Luna from Star Wars: Rogue One, detailing his earlier adventures that changed him from self-serving scoundrel to a stalwart fighter for the Rebellion. But it was also an ensemble show featuring a large cast of standout performances from the likes of Stellan Skarsgård, Faye Marsay, and Andy Serkis, among others. Genevieve O’Reilly reprised her role from a deleted Revenge of the Sith scene as senator-turned-Rebel Mon Mothma, helping tie Andor back to George Lucas’ films even as it did its own thing.
The first season of Andor covered approximately a year in the life of the title character, but season 2 will cover far more as it bridges the gap between Andor’s do-or-die proclamation that he’s joining the Rebellion and the devastating events of Rogue One.
Showrunner Tony Gilroy has let us down easy, making it known that Andor’s second and final season will most likely premiere in 2024. “I have two more years to go,” Gilroy told The Wrap while season 1 was airing. “We start shooting in November  on Part 2. And I don’t know if … Our past pattern was two years, but I mean, I’ll be on … We’ll shoot from November to August. And then our post[-production] last time was about a year.”
That puts us right on schedule for a 2024 release. Don’t worry too much; there’ll be plenty of other Star Wars things to hold us over in the meantime.
From the twisted mind of James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad), Peacemaker was HBO Max’s first big hit of the year. John Cena played Christopher Smith, aka Peacemaker, an off-the-wall antihero willing to kill as many men, women, and children as needed to achieve peace. It was about as chaotic and hilarious as you’d imagine.
The show’s viewership rose by a stunning 44% by the time of its finale, leading to a quick renewal from HBO Max. However, Gunn’s a busy guy. Even after Peacemaker season 2 was confirmed, he was quick to reiterate that the next project he had on the docket was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3; Peacemaker season 2 would have to wait a while.
Things at DC Studios have been quite chaotic since then. Gunn has assumEd the role as co-CEO alongside Peter Safran. Together they’ve implemented several changes, including the axing of Wonder Woman 3 and blocking Henry Cavill’s return as Superman.
So where does that leave Peacemaker? As of this writing, the show is still coming back. But it hasn’t been filmed yet and Gunn currently has his hands full trying to reorient the entire DC cinematic universe, so it’ll likely be a bit before we see it. At the very least, we’re not expecting it in 2023.
6- The Umbrella Academy
Another superhero show coming down the pike is The Umbrella Academy. Like Peacemaker, this one is about heroes that stretch the definition of the term. The members of the Hargreeves family must deal with their own dysfunctional baggage as well as whatever world-ending disaster they’ve inadvertently caused.
Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy saw the heroes visit an alternate timeline where their surrogate father had adopted a whole different set of super-babies. Shortly after the third season premiered, Netflix announced that The Umbrella Academy would be getting a fourth and final season.
The Umbrella Academy season 4 is slated to start filming in early 2023, and will consist of only six episodes. Though the smaller episode count might make you think it could get done sooner, we’re still not banking on seeing this one until early 2024.
7- Squid Game
Last but not least we have Squid Game. The dystopian Korean drama premiered on Netflix in 2021 and quickly became the most-watched show in the history of the streaming platform. A second season was inevitable, but we know for sure it’s not coming next year.
Squid Game follows a group of down-on-their-luck people who are roped into a bloody tournament of children’s games where the losers die and the winner walks away with an enormous jackpot. It was edge-of-your-seat stuff, and it quickly caught on with fans around the world.
Netflix was very quick to renew Squid Game for season 2, but since then things have been somewhat quiet. Writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk spent years designing the first season as a standalone story. How long will he take to give us more?
According to GameRant, production on season 2 is scheduled to start in 2023, and Dong-hyuk is hoping to have it out to viewers in 2024.
And thus concludes our list of shows taking the year off in 2023. Which one will you miss the most?
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