The year 2019 is going to be exciting for new and returning post-apocalyptic and end-of-the-world themed television. If you’re looking for something to help you prepare for the end or to escape from real life, you’ll have plenty of options whether you’re watching on a broadcast station or streaming. Check out what’s premiering this year. We’ll start out with a list of the new shows and then review the returning shows and when you can expect them back. (Don’t miss our sister story about post-apocalyptic movies premiering in 2019 here.)
New Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows in 2019
The Passage – January 14
This is based on the trilogy by Justin Cronin also called The Passage. Although not technically post-apoc, I’ve decided it deals with enough overlapping themes that I’m including it in this list. It premieres January 14 on Fox. Fox’s synopsis reads: “The Passage focuses on Project NOAH, a secret medical facility where scientists are experimenting with a dangerous virus that could lead to the cure for all diseases, but also carries the potential to wipe out the human race. When a young girl, Amy, is chosen to be a test subject, Federal Agent Brad Wolgast is the man who is tasked with bringing her to Project NOAH. Ultimately, however, Wolgast becomes her surrogate father, trying to protect her at any cost. Brad and Amy’s journey will force them to confront Project NOAH’s lead scientists (including Henry Ian Cusick from Lost and The 100!). … But as Project NOAH’s scientists hone in on a cure that could save humanity, these new beings begin to test their own powers, inching one step closer to an escape that could lead to an unimaginable apocalypse.”
Kingdom – January 25
This Netflix series takes place in medieval Korea, where a crown prince goes on a suicide mission to stop an outbreak. Apparently, a deceased king resurrects in this series, so it sounds pretty cool to us. This period zombie show is in Korean with subtitles available, and it sounds really promising.
Black Summer (release date TBA)
Want more #ZNation? Guess what! #BlackSummer premieres in 2019 on @netflix . It is the origin story of #ZNation – created by the same team. Filming was completed in October. It stars Jaime King (@Jaime_King), and directed by Z director @jrhyams pic.twitter.com/4brsfIMgaO
— David Michael Latt (@DavidMLatt) December 29, 2018
Despite Syfy’s cancelation of Z Nation, its Black Summer prequel is still coming to Netflix with eight episodes to start. The series’ synopsis reads: “A mother, torn from her daughter embarks upon a harrowing journey, stopping at nothing to find her. Thrust alongside a small group of American refugees, she must brave a hostile new world and make brutal decisions during the most deadly summer of a zombie apocalypse.” This series will star Jamie King, who has not appeared in Z Nation. Others slated so far to appear in Black Summer include Kash Hill, David Haysom, Bud Klasky, Jayson Therrien, Justin Chu Cary, Kelsey Flower, Christine Lee, Sal Velez Jr., Gwynyth Walsh, ERika Hau, Edsson Morales, Tom Carey, Nathaniel Arcand, Zoe MArlett, Ty Lsson, and Brad Pajot, according to IMDB. None are Z Nation characters.
Schaefer said at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con that Black Summer is “before the apocalypse got weird and was just scary.” It’s more of an “old school” take on the zombie lore. Jodi Binstock also said that it’s “not tongue in cheek, it’s very very serious.”
Snowpiercer (release date TBA)
This one is finally coming, and likely this year! It will premiere on TNT and the synopsis reads: “After a new Ice Age hits the planet, the last of humanity live in a train that circles the planet, divided strictly and brutally by class.” This series is badly needed because you might not realize that Snowpierccer the movie actually wasn’t released in many parts of the world. The TV series’ first showrunner, Josh Friedman, left after it was ordered to series. He was replaced by Scott Derrickson of Doctor Strange fame for the pilot, but then Derrickson also left because he felt like Graeme Mason was asking for too many extreme reshoots. Here’s what he tweeted when he left:
The 72-page Snowpiercer TV pilot script by @Josh_Friedman is the best I’ve ever read. The feature-length pilot I made from that script may be my best work.
The new show runner has a radically different vision for the show. I am forgoing my option to direct the extreme reshoots.
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) June 29, 2018
That all makes me nervous. I’m not really sure what to expect.
Good Omens (release date TBA)
This Amazon series already has a trailer, so it could be releasing any day now. The synopsis reads: “An angel and a demon must team up to prevent the antichrist from ending the world.” It’s a team-up with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, which means it’s probably going to be amazing, despite the cliche-sounding synopsis. David Tennant is one of the stars (yay!!!!) along with Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Ardia Arjona, Michael McKean, Jack Whitehall, Miranda Richardson, Mireille Enos, Reece Shearsmith, Frances McDormand, Derek Jacobi, and Nick Offerman.
Y (release date TBA)
Y (originally called Y: The Last Man) is about a virus that mysteriously kills every man on Earth except one. Barry Keoghan from Dunkirk is the lead, and the series will also star Lashana Lynch, Imogen Poots, Diane Lane, and Marin Ireland. This is supposed to air on FX in 2019, but a date hasn’t been set yet, so we’re still waiting on this highly anticipated series.
See (release date TBA)
This one’s going to air on Apple’s new streaming service, so that’s exciting. It’s about a world where all of humanity has lost its ability to see (yes, everyone is blind). But then two twins with sight are born. Stars include Jason Momoa (yes, THAT Jason Momoa), Sylvia Hoeks, Alfre Woodard, and Hera Hilmar.
Daybreak (release date TBA)
This Netflix series is an apocalypse dramedy, which we need more of now that The Last Man on Earth is canceled. The synopsis reads: “Navigating a post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and Mad Max-style gangs, a teenage outcast searches for his lost love in this humorous drama series.” When it’s ultimately released, you can see it on Netflix here.
Dark Tower (release date TBA)
It’s unclear if this one will be released in 2019, but we do know that it’s being developed at Amazon. It will no longer tie into the 2017 film as originally planned, but it will be a complete reboot instead. Glen Mazzara is the showrunner, and that’s exciting considering what he did with The Walking Dead. The series will be 10 to 13 episodes long.
Chernobyl (release date TBA)
— HBO (@HBO) July 26, 2017
This is a documentary miniseries coming to HBO about the Chernobyl disaster, which gives us a good look at what an apocalypse might look like.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer revival (TBA)
This may not be 2019, but we’re still looking forward to it. Joss Whedon is helming the return of Buffy — but this time it will be a different Buffy. It’s unclear if this is a reboot or a revival, but we’re hoping for the latter. We probably won’t see this in 2019, but one can hope. Hopefully it’s better than some of those other recent reboots (Charmed, I’m looking at you.) Fans are having mixed reactions so far. Some are excited and some are nervous. Some want old characters to come back, and some hope this is a revival with all new characters and maybe some cameos from the first series.
A new Halo TV series is coming to Showtime but not until 2020. The series will have 10 episodes and will cover the Human-Covenant War. It won’t start filming until June 2019. Master Chief will be in the series, along with Dr. Halsey.
We still have a lot of post-apocalyptic shows returning to enjoy too. Here’s a look at some of them.
The 100 – Returns April 30, 2019
— Jason Rothenberg (@JRothenbergTV) December 21, 2018
If you haven’t seen The 100, you must remedy that mistake. (Watch here!) We don’t know the premiere date yet for Season 6, but it will likely be in the middle of the season on The CW, maybe April. Reviews are mixed for the last couple seasons, but the way that Season 5 ended has left us anxious for more. Oh, and Bob Morley is directing at least one episode.
— Jason Rothenberg (@JRothenbergTV) January 8, 2019
The Walking Dead (February 10) & Fear the Walking Dead
— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) January 8, 2019
The Walking Dead returns on Sunday, February 10. Fear the Walking Dead will return this summer, probably the week after The Walking Dead’s season finale. Both shows have changed dramatically this past season, so it will be fascinating to see what happens next.
The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale will return to Hulu for a third season, but we don’t know exactly when. Considering that Seasons 1 and 2 premiered in the summer, it’s probably a safe bet to expect it back in summer 2019. This show isn’t easy to watch, but it’s also impossible to turn away from.
Game of Thrones (April)
— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) January 7, 2019
We like to include Game of Thrones in the apocalyptic category, although not everyone will agree. GoT comes back for its final season in April on HBO. Catch up here.
— Douglas Pasko (@dougpasko) October 29, 2018
The Outpost has been described as a post-apocalyptic series with a fantasy twist (kind of like Shannara Chronicles.) The CW has picked up this series for a second season. Expect it mid-season or this summer (or maybe even later.) A lot of people missed this show. You can watch it here.
A lot of people really enjoyed The Rain’s first season on Netflix. In fact, it was so popular that it was renewed for a second season. We’ll likely see it back late spring or early summer 2019. The series takes place six years after a birus carried by rain wiped out most of the people in Scandinavia. Two Danish siblings leave their bunker to find most of civilization is gone.
Lost in Space
go watch lost in space (remake) on netflix thank u pic.twitter.com/aq0sVrt9EC
— alina will be back soon (@vintagebarnes) January 8, 2019
Lost in Space doesn’t focus on the apocalyptic nature of the show, but it’s still there in the backstory (and the main story is typically very survival based.) The show was renewed for a second season on Netflix, we just don’t know yet when it’s premiering.
3% is returning for a third season on Netflix. It’s unclear exactly when it’s coming back, but it’s returning sometime this year. It’s a Brazilian dystopian series. The synopsis reads, “In a future where the elite inhabit an island paradise far from the crowded slums, you get one chance to join the 3% saved from squalor.”
Apocalypse NowThis on Facebook Watch
The only thing scarier than too many bees is no bees at all — and we're in big trouble.
Posted by Apocalypse NowThis on Friday, December 21, 2018
Apocalypse Now This on Facebook Watch continues to release new episodes. The series looks at all the different ways that the world could end. They’re currently releasing Season 2.
— Multimedia Horror (@PHSHorror) December 30, 2018
Season 5 of Black Mirror is releasing sometime in 2019. And although I don’t know if this season will include any apocalyptic episodes, I’m including it in the list because its apocalyptic Metalhead from Season 4 was very good. Stay tuned!
Expect to see more of Syfy’s Van Helsing. Syfy renewed the series for Season 4, but it will have a new showrunner. We likely won’t see this one until the latter part of 2019.
Reality Survival Shows in 2019
Reality survival shows can be quite entertaining because they give us a taste of what it might take to survive after the apocalypse. I personally loved the craziness that was the reality show Utopia (until they canceled it way too soon) and haven’t found anything that quite pulls me in like that since, but I’m still looking. I also really enjoyed Hunted, but that one disappeared without ever officially being canceled. Here’s what’s shaping up for 2019:
- The reality show Castaways on ABC wrapped up its Season 1 finale in September 2018. At this point, we don’t know if it’s being renewed. We hope it will be because it’s a pretty realistic look at trying to survive without modern technology, and that’s relevant to a post-apocalyptic audience.
- Survivor is still around. Guess it’s “surviving” and not going anywhere, haha. It just wrapped up Season 37 (oh my gosh, it’s been around THAT long?) in December 2018. It returns on February 20, 2019 for Edge of Extinction.
- The Last Alaskans: This series airs on the Discovery channel and follows several families and trappers in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It airs Sundays at 10 p.m. Eastern.
- Alaska: The Last Frontier: This one airs on the Discovery Channel too, and follows a family that lives off the grid in Alaska. The latest season is currently airing on Sunday nights.
- Alone: This series airs on the History channel and follows the daily struggles of 10 individuals (or seven teams) who are trying to survive in the wilderness using limited equipment. It’s actually on Season 6, believe it or not. (How have we missed this until now?) Season 6 will be in northern Canada‘s Arctic Circle. A premiere date hasn’t yet been set. This will be the most brutal season yet, as they build their own shelters, hunt their own food, deal with deadly bears, moose, and wolves. There are no camera crews and no gimmicks.
- Naked and Afraid: This reality show on the Discovery channel follows two survivalists – a man and a woman – who must survive naked in the wilderness for 21 days. They have to produce or find their own water, food, shelter, and clothing. The new season starts March 16, 2019 at 9 p.m. Eastern.
- The Island with Bear Grylls – Series 6 begins in 2019 and they were taking applications in October. Participants see if they can survive on a remote island with just their clothes, a few tools, and basic training. A mystery prize is up for grabs.
See anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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