On Monday, I revealed my picks for the 10 best TV shows of 2017. Now it’s time to look at which shows from this year’s freshman class immediately set themselves apart from their peers in the most competitive TV environment ever.
In this era of Peak TV, new shows have to grab audiences from the get-go and keep them hooked; if a freshman series spends its entire first season finding itself, it likely won’t be back for a second. Thankfully, each of the shows on this list debuted more or less fully-formed and are already more than holding their own with the best that broadcast, cable and streaming have to offer.
One important distinction: I define “new shows” as ongoing series, and not documentaries, other limited series or revivals in which the original cast returns for new episodes, even if years (or decades) have passed. That’s why a couple of 2017 debuts from Monday’s top 10 list, including The Vietnam War and Twin Peaks: The Return, are absent from the lineup below.
Be sure to set aside some holiday binge time this month for these superb freshman series: