Home Latest News The Most Anticipated Streaming Titles of 2023 – Variety

The Most Anticipated Streaming Titles of 2023 – Variety

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By Tyler Aquilina
Note: This article is based on content from Variety Intelligence Platform’s special report “Dare to Stream,” available exclusively to subscribers.
The streaming wars thus far have been defined by a flood of new content, as the major players attempted to woo subscribers with a continuous supply of exclusive programming.
But that’s beginning to change, with the gloomy economic climate ushering in a new cost-consciousness and beginning to deflate the peak TV content bubble. Indeed, the volume of original content released by the top SVOD services is set to drop this year for the first time since the streaming wars began in earnest.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the content flood will slow to a trickle. With a crowded field of streamers still very much abiding by the old mantra of “content is king,” 2023 will still see a vast number of new and returning titles on streaming, even if that number is less vast than in years prior.
With that in mind, Variety Intelligence Platform has once again curated a list of its most anticipated streaming titles slated for release next year. Read on for the TV series and movies, in no particular order beyond being organized by platform, that could be the biggest draws for their respective services in the coming year. 
“3 Body Problem” (TBD 2023)
As the first major project from showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss since “Game of Thrones” concluded, the sci-fi epic “3 Body Problem” would be a significant TV event under any circumstances. However, this will be Benioff and Weiss’ first series created under one of Netflix’s signature massive overall deals (theirs was reportedly worth $200 million), which adds an extra wrinkle. With such deals likely becoming rarer as Hollywood enters a new period of austerity, and Netflix already reining in costs, Benioff and Weiss are no doubt under pressure to prove they can deliver hits for the streamer — not to mention repair their reputations a bit after “Thrones’” divisive ending.
“Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” (TBD 2023)
A prequel to Netflix’s sultry smash, “Queen Charlotte” will attempt to turn a hit series into a homegrown franchise, something the streamer’s library has conspicuously lacked all these years. It seems doubtful “Queen Charlotte” will reach the viewership heights of the “Bridgerton” mothership, but with EP Shonda Rhimes taking a hands-on role (she does not handle showrunning duties on “Bridgerton” but is doing so for the prequel), it at least seems destined to score good buzz and strong ratings.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (TBD 2023)
Netflix’s live-action adaptations of popular animated series have underwhelmed thus far (see: 2017’s widely reviled “Death Note” movie, the quickly canceled 2021 “Cowboy Bebop” series) but that hasn’t stopped anticipation for the upcoming “Avatar” remake from running high. The original Nickelodeon series was one of Netflix’s most watched titles for months following its debut on the service in 2020, and retains a devoted fan base that could make the new adaptation a major hit for the streamer. The original series creators’ departure from the project over creative differences may be an ominous sign, but either way, “Avatar” remains one of Netflix’s marquee titles for next year.
“The Witcher” S3 (Summer 2023)
While “The Witcher” S2 fell short of the viewership for its first season (which still ranks among Netflix’s top 10 most watched English-language shows), the fantasy epic remains a major title and key franchise play for Netflix, with prequel series “Blood Origin” set to debut in December. Season 3 may also see increased interest in the wake of the news that star Henry Cavill will exit the series after its conclusion, with Liam Hemsworth taking up his role for the already-ordered S4.
“Extraction 2” (TBD 2023)
Netflix has often struggled to get sequels to its most successful films off the ground, with planned follow-ups for “Bright” and “6 Underground” later being canceled. So the arrival of “Extraction 2” is something of a coup for Netflix; the original film, featuring Marvel star Chris Hemsworth as a black ops mercenary, still ranks among the streamer’s most watched movies ever. “Extraction 2” will also serve as an interesting test case for whether sequels to Netflix movies, which have long been lambasted as unmemorable, can manage to reel audiences back in.
“The Mandalorian” S3 (March 1)
Despite Disney+’s numerous trips to the “Star Wars” galaxy this year (“The Book of Boba Fett,” “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” “Andor”), nothing has managed to equal the success of its flagship series, “The Mandalorian.” The long-awaited return of “Mando” (the S2 finale dropped almost two years ago now) will give Disney+ a needed shot in the arm; though the service has had a robust year of international sub growth, it has lagged behind Netflix and other streamers in viewing time. “The Mandalorian” remains one of the few Disney+ series that has managed to cross over beyond the core audience of devoted franchise fans, so S3 should give the service a significant boost in Q1.
“Secret Invasion” (Spring 2023)
The presence of pre-established characters in the lead has been the most reliable driver of viewership for Marvel’s Disney+ series thus far, demonstrated by biggest hits “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and especially “Loki.” Star Samuel L. Jackson’s grand return to the franchise as Nick Fury, then, should help push “Secret Invasion” toward the top of Marvel’s streaming slate. The series will also see “Game of Thrones” alum Emilia Clarke make her MCU debut, no doubt adding another major draw for genre fans.
“Peter Pan & Wendy” (TBD 2023)
“Peter Pan & Wendy,” a live-action remake of one of Disney’s most beloved properties, has been in the works for quite a while; indeed, it made VIP+’s list of most anticipated streaming content last year when still slated for 2022. It seems 2023 will finally see the film’s release, at which point we’ll find out if all the years of anticipation — and the many other live-action Disney remakes released in that interval — have been to its benefit.
“Only Murders in the Building” S3 (TBD 2023)
Already one of Hulu’s biggest hits, the breakout mystery-comedy “Only Murders in the Building” seemingly managed to grow its audience with this year’s second season. Per Nielsen, the series racked up over 1 billion more minutes streamed during S2’s run than S1’s, suggesting many viewers caught up with the series in time for or during the rollout of the second season. It’s likely “Only Murders” hasn’t yet peaked; the series scored several nominations at this year’s Emmys for its first season, and the forthcoming S3 has already added more star power with the casting of Paul Rudd and “Grey’s Anatomy” alum Jesse Williams.
“Tiny Beautiful Things” (TBD 2023)
An adaptation of a best-selling essay collection, “Tiny Beautiful Things” (not to be confused with Netflix’s “Tiny Pretty Things”) boasts “Little Fires Everywhere” creator Liz Tigelaar as showrunner, Reese Witherspoon (who also produced and starred in “Little Fires”) and Laura Dern as executive producers, and “WandaVision” star Kathryn Hahn in the lead role. Glossy literary adaptations have historically performed well for Hulu; in the wake of its debut, the streamer claimed “Little Fires Everywhere” was the most watched drama ever on the service, and “Nine Perfect Strangers” spent five weeks on the Nielsen streaming top 10 chart, the most of any Hulu series besides “Only Murders in the Building” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The added bonus of Tigelaar and Witherspoon’s re-teaming also helps make “Tiny Beautiful Things” a likely contender for Hulu’s next breakout hit.
“The Last of Us” (Jan. 15, 2023)
HBO Max has unsurprisingly become a major booster for HBO series, which now typically draw the majority of their viewership on streaming. As a video game adaptation that will likely draw many younger (read: cord-cutting) viewers, “The Last of Us” will likely continue this pattern, and perhaps even widen the gap between linear and streaming viewing. Based on Sony’s popular post-apocalyptic game (the original “Last of Us” ranks among the bestselling PlayStation games over the past decade), the series is also poised to become a major hit for HBO, though it will certainly have to win over some skeptics given video game adaptations’ spotty track record onscreen.
“Succession” S4 (Spring 2023)
Despite its popularity within the entertainment industry, “Succession” draws a much smaller audience than populist HBO series like “House of the Dragon” and “Euphoria.” Still, the show’s critical and awards pedigree make it one of HBO’s marquee titles for 2023, particularly with new seasons of “Dragon” and “Euphoria” unlikely to arrive until 2024. The acclaimed third season also drew “Succession’s” biggest audience to date, and it’s unlikely that viewership will decrease as the twisted Roy family saga moves toward its climax.
“And Just Like That…” S2 (TBD 2023)
The first season of “Sex and the City” revival “And Just Like That…” wasn’t exactly beloved by critics and viewers, but hate-watching is still watching: The series apparently delivered and retained enough viewership for HBO Max to order a second season, though “AJLT” had been billed as a limited series. If it’s unlikely S2 can match the buzz of the first season — you can only kill off Mr. Big once, after all — it is likely that many viewers will be curious enough to see what it has in store for the second go-round.
“Gen V” (TBD 2023)
“Gen V” is technically the second spinoff of Amazon’s superhero hit “The Boys,” after the short-form animated anthology “The Boys Presents: Diabolical.” But the live-action spinoff, set at a college for superpowered young adults, represents the true expansion of “The Boys” into a franchise for Prime Video. The main series has delivered strong viewership; it racked up more than 6.7 billion minutes of viewing time in the U.S. during the rollout of season 3 this year, per Nielsen. The IP factor, plus the promise of more ribald superhero antics, should help draw plenty of viewers to “Gen V” as well.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” S5 (TBD 2023)
While it did not deliver viewership numbers on the level of “The Boys” or “The Lord of the Rings,” this year’s penultimate season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” still ranks among Prime Video’s most watched TV seasons by Nielsen’s metrics. Indeed, the mere fact that the series has survived this long is proof of its popularity. “Mrs. Maisel” is the last remaining relic of Amazon’s “pilot season” voting stunts and prestige-over-mass appeal TV strategy, and will end its run as the second longest-running Prime Video series ever (behind only “Bosch”). The fifth and final season will arrive next year, and with it the true end of an era for Amazon’s streaming efforts.
“1883: The Bass Reeves Story” (TBD 2023)
Taylor Sheridan’s “Yellowstone”-verse is shaping up to be Paramount+’s signature franchise. Prequel series “1883” was the service’s most watched original series premiere ever, according to the streamer, and two more separate spinoffs (“1923” and “6666”) are on the way. “1883” will also be extended with “The Bass Reeves Story,” starring David Oyelowo as the real-life lawman, which had originally been developed as a separate project. It’s unclear how exactly “Bass Reeves” will tie in with the franchise (though mothership series star Cole Hauser will reportedly appear in a new role), but the “Yellowstone” branding will likely be enough to draw viewers’ interest.
“The Continental” (TBD 2023)
“The Continental” will expand the “John Wick” franchise to TV (albeit minus Keanu Reeves) with a “three-part special event” focusing on the titular hotel for assassins. Peacock struck a deal with “Wick” distributor Lionsgate to release the series, originally slated for Lionsgate’s own Starz platform, in the U.S. It should be a get for Peacock; each “John Wick” film has outgrossed the last entry thus far, with 2019’s “Chapter 3” nearly doubling “Chapter 2’s” worldwide gross, and two more entries are on the way, plus a spinoff film, “Ballerina,” set to star Ana de Armas. A premiere date for “The Continental” has not been announced, but with “John Wick: Chapter 4” set for release in March, the franchise is poised to surge back into the public consciousness, which can only be a boon for the TV series.
“Bupkis” (TBD 2023)
Pete Davidson may have left “Saturday Night Live,” but luckily for NBCUniversal, he’s keeping his next project in the family (with “SNL” head honcho Lorne Michaels exec producing). Described as a “heightened, fictionalized version” of Davidson’s life, “Bupkis” will be a key release for Peacock, whose originals have struggled to connect with viewers. Taking advantage of the NBC brand by mounting a project with Davidson — the biggest breakout star “SNL” has produced in recent years — is a no-brainer, and Peacock is no doubt hoping the comedian’s many young fans will tune in in droves.
“Ted Lasso” S3 (Spring 2023)
“Most anticipated” is a fitting moniker for the third and (maybe) final season of “Ted Lasso,” which has reportedly been in production for nearly a year. The long gap and the more tepid reception of season 2 could end up hurting the sports dramedy’s prospects, but as the flagship hit for Apple’s streaming platform — it remains the only Apple TV+ series to crack the weekly Nielsen streaming top 10, and has racked up numerous Emmys — “Lasso” is still one of the blockbuster streaming releases of 2023, provided it can get to the finish line.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” (TBD 2023)
Move over, Netflix; it’s Apple’s turn to release a $200 million Martin Scorsese picture. The auteur’s first feature since 2019’s multi-Oscar-nominated “The Irishman” is sure to be a major awards play for Apple, and will represent the tech giant’s first real play at a wide theatrical release ahead of its streaming debut (though Apple is collaborating with legacy studio Paramount on that front). A dark historical epic set in 1920s Oklahoma, “Killers” is hardly the most commercial title, but the presence of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro should attract viewers’ interest, and the film is all but certain to get plenty of press on next year’s awards circuit.
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She has been writing columns on consumer gadgets for over 2 years now. Her areas of interest include smartphones, tablets, mobile operating systems and apps. She holds an M.C.S. degree from Texas A&M University.