Geek-friendly TV shows we can't wait to watch in 2016 (pictures)

Check out our guide to the best sci-fi, fantasy and geek-tastic shows coming to TV and streaming services.

Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
1 of 34 Fox

"The X-Files"

The beloved spooky series returns with a six-episode miniseries. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are back on the case as Scully and Mulder. In the age of smartphones and digital cameras, proving those alien conspiracies should be a lot easier.

Click on to see all the shows we think will have you glued to your sofa this year.

2 of 34 Netflix

"Luke Cage"

Marvel superhero Luke Cage made his small screen debut in 2015's "Jessica Jones" on Netflix. Mike Colter reprises the role in his own show, developed by Cheo Hodari Coker.

3 of 34 The CW

DC's "Legends of Tomorrow"

Former "Doctor Who" companion Arthur Darvill (pictured left) is time-travelling again in this superpowered spin-off from CW's "The Flash" and "Arrow". The show features DC Comics characters including the Atom, Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

4 of 34 ABC

"Twin Peaks"

David Lynch returns to the town of Twin Peaks for another nightmarish slice of small-town weirdness starring Kyle MacLachlan (pictured right) as FBI agent Dale Cooper.

5 of 34 PictureLux/Splash News/Corbis

"Angie Tribeca"

Freeze! Co-created by Steve Carell, the cop show spoof goes on the beat with Rashida Jones as Angie Tribeca of the LAPD's RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit). In an interesting fusion of traditional television with binge watching, the first ten episodes appear in one go on TBS on 17 January.

6 of 34 HBO


HBO is quick on the draw in this western with robots, co-created by Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote the "Dark Knight" films with his brother Christopher. It's based on the 1973 film and stars Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris.

7 of 34 BBC

"The Living And The Dead"

Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham, co-creators and writers of "Life On Mars" and "Ashes To Ashes", turn back the clock even further to Victorian England. Ghosts and myths come to life as the industrial revolution brings about monumental changes in this BBC show starring Colin Morgan from "Merlin" (pictured right).

8 of 34 HBO


Based on the controversial Vertigo comic by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and developed by Seth Rogen, this HBO show stars Dominic Cooper as a preacher blessed with the word of God, a trigger-happy girlfriend and a best bud who's a vampire.

9 of 34 Fox


"Lucifer" is based on the Vertigo comic written by Mike Carey, which is itself a spin-off from the "Sandman" comic written by Neil Gaiman. Welsh actor Tom Ellis plays the devilish antihero, in exile on Earth and helping the LAPD solve crimes.

The infernal action continues with sitcom "Angel from Hell", in which Jane Lynch is an angel on CBS. (Disclosure: CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)

10 of 34 ABC


A dystopian vision of non-humans facing discrimination from the humans around them, this is a joint production between American, Australian and New Zealand to air on ABC in Australia and SundanceTV in the US.

11 of 34 s_bukley / Shutterstock


Current comedy kingpin Judd Apatow and Lesley Arfin are behind this romantic comedy starring Gillian Jacobs (pictured) and Paul Rust. Netflix has already ordered a second season.

12 of 34 Michael Hurcomb/Corbis

"The Get Down"

Baz Luhrmann and Shawn Ryan bring a look at New York's 1970s music scene to Netflix. Jimmy Smits joins a cast of youngsters including Justice Smith, Herizen Guardiola and Shameik Moore (pictured).

13 of 34 Bettmann/Corbis

"The Crown"

The first British production from Netflix explores the lives of Queen Elizabeth II (pictured in 1954, gawd bless 'er) and the royal family. It stars, among others, former "Doctor Who" Matt Smith, as well as John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.

14 of 34 Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

"Special Correspondents"

Ricky Gervais is another big name coming to Netflix with a remake of a 2009 French comedy. Gervais stars with Eric Bana, Vera Farmiga and Kelly Macdonald.

15 of 34 Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

Untitled Woody Allen TV series

The story goes that Kevin Spacey bought a Netflix subscription for comic and film director Woody Allen so he could see how this streaming business works. When it came to producing his first TV show, Allen chose Amazon Video. "I don't know how I got into this", he admitted. "I have no ideas and I'm not sure where to begin."

16 of 34 Rich Polk


Having voiced the lead in Netflix show "Bojack Horseman", Will Arnett (pictured left) gets his own comedy, developed with his "Arrested Development" boss Mitch Hurwitz.

17 of 34 NBC

"Emerald City"

It seems nothing is safe from gritty reboots these days. "The Wizard Of Oz" is reinterpreted with Dorothy and her police dog transported to the war-torn land of Oz. Stylish director Tarsem Singh is in charge.

18 of 34 Cinemax


A spooky series based on the comic by artist Paul Azaceta and Robert Kirkman, author of "The Walking Dead". On Cinemax, the show chronicles the story of Kyle Barnes and his battles with demonic possession.

19 of 34 Paul Drinkwater/USA Network


Co-created by "Lost" producer Carlton Cuse, the show is set in a near future occupied by mysterious alien invaders. Josh Holloway (pictured right) from "Lost" and Sarah Wayne Callies from "The Walking Dead" star.

20 of 34 Fox

"Second Chance"

The story of a corrupt former sheriff who is killed and revived in the body of a younger man by technology billionaires. The lead is British actor Robert Kazinsky, who will also appear in the "Warcraft" movie in 2016.

21 of 34 exen/Splash News/Corbis


Based on the Stephen King novel, this show sees James Franco travel back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination. It's produced by streaming service Hulu.

22 of 34 Splash News/Corbis


"Scott Pilgrim" star Mary Elizabeth Winstead uses her brain in this CBS comedy-thriller from the creators of "The Good Wife", in which aliens have eaten the brains of members of the US government. (Disclosure: CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.)

23 of 34 Splash News/Splash News/Corbis


Winona Ryder leads this 1980s-set drama from the makers of "Wayward Pines", in which a young boy's disappearance leads to a supernatural conspiracy.

24 of 34 News Corp Australia

"The Kettering Incident"

The biggest TV show ever shot in Tasmania, this long-gestating AUS$15 million eight-part series stars Matt Le Nevez (pictured left) and Elizabeth Debicki (pictured right) from "The Great Gatsby" and "The Man from UNCLE" remake.

25 of 34 Nate Beckett/Splash News/Corbis


James Bond writers Robert Wade and Neal Purvis adapt Len Deighton's novel, which is set in an alternate world where the Nazis won the war. It's similar to "The Man in the High Castle", a hit on Amazon Video in 2015, but set in the UK and follows a murder mystery in Nazi-occupied London. Sam Riley (pictured) is set to star.

26 of 34 Paramount Pictures

"Tomorrow, When the War Began"

Another book coming to the small screen after an underperforming movie (pictured left), this story of invasion by a foreign power was originally written by John Marsden and is produced by Australia's ABC.

27 of 34 John Medland


Based on "The Mortal Instruments" series of books by Cassandra Clare, this is a new version of the story on ABC Family after an earlier big screen outing failed to live up to its potential.

28 of 34 New Line Cinema

"His Dark Materials"

Philip Pullman's trilogy of fantasy novels come to the small screen on BBC One, telling the story of a young girl in a magical world not so different from our own. The show is the first commission from Bad Wolf, a US/UK production company founded by former BBC executives Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner, who helped revive "Doctor Who".

29 of 34 Emu Creek Pictures

"Wolf Creek"

Having spawned two cult ozploitation horror films, the vicious outback predator Mick Taylor, played again by John Jarratt (pictured), is splattering tourists on Australian streaming service Stan.

30 of 34 Twentieth Century Fox Film/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis


It's all for you, Damien. A continuation of the classic 1976 movie "The Omen" (pictured), the A&E show follows the Antichrist as a fully-grown man.

31 of 34 BBC/Steffan Hill/Mikel Camara

"Hard Sun"

You've heard of post-apocalyptic stories -- this is pre-apocalyptic. BBC series "Hard Sun", by Luther (pictured) creator Neil Cross, follows two detectives in a world doomed to destruction five years from now. How do they maintain order when a life sentence no longer means anything?

32 of 34


Based on the Belgian TV series "Cordon", this CW show is written by Julie Plec, co-creator of "The Vampire Diaries".

33 of 34 Syfy

"The Magicians"

Based on the novel by Lev Grossman, this Syfy series sees a young man enroll at a school for magicians only to discover that magic is more real, and more dangerous, than he thought. We're guessing they're talking more than making your watch disappear.

34 of 34 MTV

"The Shannara Chronicles"

The long running series of fantasy novels by Terry Brooks come to the small screen on MTV, of all places. "Smallville" creators Al Gough and Miles Millar write the series, which will be filmed in New Zealand.

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