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The best fantasy shows coming in 2020

There was a lot of exciting TV in 2019, and 2020 is definitely not slowing down in that regard, whether we're talking about the return of old favorites or the arrival of brand new stories. If you're a fan of fantasy and the supernatural, the year ahead promises to offer plenty of new viewing options across a multitude of networks and streaming services, and we're here to help you figure out what you should be watching.

It's going to be a big year for spooky new supernatural series, whether we're talking about haunted houses or magical adventures. It's also going to be a very big year for revivals of franchises, from Amazing Stories to Penny Dreadful to Netflix's The Haunting universe. Plus, a new Marvel Studios series will dig into the occult, a Stephen King classic will get a new adaptation, and the King Arthur legend will get a remix courtesy of comics legend Frank Miller. From high fantasy to horror and everything in between, these are the TV shows we're looking forward to in 2020.

Locke & Key

In 2008, writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez debuted Locke & Key, a horror-fantasy comic that would quickly become one of the most successful books of its kind in the 21st century. Locke & Key caught on quickly with readers, so much so that Hollywood soon came calling, and in 2010 Fox Television and DreamWorks teamed up to adapt the comic into a pilot. Sadly, Fox didn't pick up the pilot to series, and the single episode was relegated to a fan screening at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con.

Thankfully for all of us, Locke & Key's chances of making it to the screen stayed alive over the years, and after yet another failed pilot at Hulu, Netflix swooped in and ordered a series based on the book.

Locke & Key follows the Locke family, who move back to their ancestral home — a strange and very old house known as "Keyhouse" — in Massachusetts after the murder of their father. There, they find that the house is actually home to a series of keys, each with its own unexpected and often dangerous magical properties. Of course, they're not the only ones who want the keys, and a dark struggle ensues. Locke & Key finally arrives on Netflix February 7, 2020.

Spectros

Netflix is a streaming service so packed with content that you may just find yourself paralyzed by just how many choices you have. That means you'll basically never run out of things to binge, but it also means it's important to know where to look for the shows you crave. This year, fans of supernatural drama in the U.S. should be prepared to check out Spectros, a new Brazilian series from Netflix and writer/producer Douglas Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story).

The eight-episode first season is set to introduce viewers to the Liberdade district of Sao Paulo, Brazil, which happens to be home to a large and vibrant Japanese population. Because of this blending of cultures, the story — which follows five teenagers as they encounter the supernatural — will be an intriguing mix of Brazilian folklore and Japanese ghost stories. Season 1 of Spectros is set to debut on Netflix on February 20.

Dispatches from Elsewhere

Some shows are easy to classify from the moment we hear about them, because some shows revel in genre. Then there are those shows that seem to fall into gray areas of genre, story, character, and just about everything else. Dispatches From Elsewhere, the new AMC series created by Jason Segel, certainly looks like it has the potential to be one of those shows.

According to Deadline, the series is set to follow "a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined." Trailers for the series frame it as an interesting hybrid of conspiracy thriller, psychedelic adventure, and uplifting journey of self-discovery, as the characters search for a mysterious woman named Clara and argue over whether or not what they're doing is a real quest or just an elaborate hoax. With that in mind, we really don't know how much fantasy will actually be involved in this series, but we can't wait to find out. Starring Segel, Sally Field, Eve Lindley, Richard E. Grant, and André Benjamin (of OutKast fame) Dispatches from Elsewhere arrives March 1.

Amazing Stories

The last few years have seen a revival of the anthology series as a TV storytelling format, whether we're talking about standalone seasons of shows like American Horror Story and True Detective or standalone episodes of shows like The Twilight Zone and Creepshow. It's a good time to turn over individual portions of a popular brand to specific filmmakers and let them tell a self-contained story. With that in mind, it seems fitting that executive producer Steven Spielberg is returning to Amazing Stories.

A revival of the Spielberg-led anthology series from the 1980s has been in the works for several years, and in 2020 it will finally make its debut on the Apple TV+ streaming service. Under the guidance of showrunners Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, the series is set to bring us an all-new line-up of... well, amazing stories. Not much has been revealed about the full lineup of episodes, but we do know that the first episode is called "The Rift," and will star Kerry Bishe, Whitney Coleman, Edward Burns, and more. Amazing Stories debuts March 6.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond

The Walking Dead began as a comic book series and then expanded to television in 2010, where it quickly became one of the biggest things in the history of cable TV. Since then, the flagship series in the franchise has continued its run on AMC, and a spinoff series titled Fear the Walking Dead has enjoyed its own successful run. Now, in 2020, it's time for yet another expansion.

In addition to a promised series of films starring original Walking Dead hero Rick Grimes, the Walking Dead universe is adding a third series to its ranks with The Walking Dead: World Beyond. While the first series followed an ever-shifting group of survivors as they tried to establish a community in the zombie apocalypse and the second explored what happened to a group of people as the apocalypse started to break out, World Beyond will take us into the story of the first generation of young people who've actually grown up with the apocalypse. They've come of age in a world of privilege, behind walls that protected them from the walkers beyond. Now it's time for them to venture out into the hellish landscape for the first time, and we can't wait to see what that looks like. World Beyond premieres April 12.

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

Penny Dreadful launched in 2014 as a new take on the pulpy, sensationalized fiction from which it derived its title. Over the course of three seasons, viewers met familiar faces ranging from Abraham Van Helsing to Dorian Gray to Frankenstein's monster, and saw them re-interpreted in exciting new ways that made for an addictive horror series. Now, in 2020, the next chapter in the Penny Dreadful story begins.

While the original series took place in the 1800s and had a very European feel, City of Angels will (as the title suggests) move the action to Los Angeles, California. The new series is set in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and because of its California roots it will also pull heavily from Mexican folklore for its subject matter, which will include demons walking among the Earth and the Mexican deity Santa Muerte. Starring Natalie Dormer, Daniel Zovatto, Nathan Lane, and more, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels arrives April 26.

Cursed

Frank Miller is one of the most celebrated and talked-about comic book creators of his generation, and in recent years his popularity and influence have allowed him to take an even more direct role in adaptations of his work. With Cursed, Miller will have a very direct hand in a new Netflix drama series based on his own illustrated book, co-created with writer Tom Wheeler (The Cape), and it'll be very interesting to see what that kind of creative control in the streaming series format looks like for him.

Cursed follows Nimue (Katherine Langford), a young woman who is destined to become the Lady of the Lake of Arthurian Legend. In a remix of the classic King Arthur tales, the series finds young Nimue teaming up with Arthur, who is presented as a young mercenary. Together, they must embark on a quest to find Merlin, and deliver a legendary sword to him. The book was released in October 2019, and the series itself will arrive on Netflix some time in 2020.

The Haunting of Bly Manor

Mike Flanagan is one of the most exciting horror storytellers working today, in part because he seems equally adept at translating beloved stories to both the big and small screens. In terms of film, he's done it with Stephen King novels like Gerald's Game and Doctor Sleep, and in 2018 he made the leap to streaming series with The Haunting of Hill House, which lovingly reimagined Shirley Jackson's classic novel with an ensemble cast and a ton of heart. Now, in 2020, The Haunting is set to continue, in a different house with a different story.

In 2019, Netflix announced that Flanagan and much of his Hill House ensemble cast — including Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, and Kate Siegel — would return for The Haunting of Bly Manor. Just as Hill House reimagined a story from Shirley Jackson, the new season will reimagine Henry James' classic novella The Turn of the Screw. The Haunting of Bly Manor doesn't have a premiere date yet, but we can probably expect it to arrive sometime around Halloween 2020.

Helstrom

Though it reached a climax of sorts with Avengers: Endgame in 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't slowing down any time soon. We'll be seeing new characters and old favorites from Marvel on the big screen for years to come, but one of the most pleasant side-effects of the MCU's success and expansion is what's happening on the small screen. That includes plenty of new shows — including The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision — arriving on Disney+ in the coming months, but even that's not all we can expect. We'll also be seeing new interpretations of Marvel heroes over on Hulu, including Helstrom.

Helstrom is based on the Marvel Comics characters Daimon and Satana Helstrom, who in their original forms are presented as the children of Satan. In the new Hulu series, Daimon and Ana are cast as the children of a horrific serial killer, who attempt to make amends for their father's wrongs by hunting down the worst that humanity has to offer. Much like Doctor Strange before it, we can expect Helstrom to dig into some of the more occult-heavy corners of the Marvel Universe, and we'll find out exactly how it does that when the series lands on Hulu at some point in 2020.

The Stand

It's a very good time to be a Stephen King fan. The Master of Horror himself is still churning out novels and stories after more than 40 years of scares, and the recent success of film adaptations like IT means that more and more studios are returning to King's back catalog for new adaptations, including updated takes on stories that have already made it to the screen. The Stand, from writer/director Josh Boone, is easily one of the most ambitious of these new adaptations. 

King's novel about the survivors of a superflu that wipes out most of America and the supernatural struggle that follows was already adapted once, as an ABC miniseries in 1994. Boone's version is hoping to bring updated effects and an even more impressive ensemble to the party when it finally debuts on CBS All Access. Among the stars in the cast are James Marsden, Alexander Skarsgard, Amber Heard, Greg Kinnear, Whoopi Goldberg, and many more. Plus, King himself has stepped in to script the final episode, offering up a new coda for the novel that he's had in his head for years. We can't wait to see what that turns out to be. The Stand is expected to arrive at some point in 2020.