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Must-Watch TV Sitcoms Coming In 2021 And Beyond

The future is always a stressful concept, but we're here to make it better: There are some laughs headed our way. The lineup of upcoming sitcoms is an impressive roster of high-profile stars, surprising premises, classic tropes, and strong track records. These are shows that we can't wait to binge and discuss with our friends.

What excites us most about the sitcoms on this list is how varied they are, offering everything from caustic satire to absurdist charm to comedic comfort food. There are shows that delve right into messy real-world conflicts and ones that offer an escapist refuge from whatever's bugging you in your day-to-day life. No matter what style of comedy you like, you're sure to find something here that you'll wish was airing tonight or just one click away on your favorite streaming service.

Don't worry: It'll all show up eventually. Here are the must-watch TV sitcoms coming in 2021 and beyond.

Made for Love (HBO Max, April 1)

Dark comedy hits new and even darker depths with HBO Max's acerbic, brutal Made for Love. Cristin Milioti stars as Hazel, a woman on the run from her tech genius husband (Billy Magnussen), who has kept the two of them cozily ensconced — if you ask him — in his futuristic compound. The series opens with a flash to Hazel's desperate escape from her high-tech imprisonment, and we follow her as she tries to stay one step ahead of her relentless husband and his nearly infinite resources ... including a tracking chip embedded in her brain.

It's a pitch-black look at an abusive, controlling relationship, but at the same time, it's horribly funny: a kind of cross between Elisabeth Moss' The Invisible Man and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Few actresses are as good at that kind of high-wire tension act than Milioti, and here she's ably joined by a strong supporting cast: Magnussen, Ray Romano, Noma Dumezweni, Dan Bakkedahl, and Augusto Aguilera.

Advance critical reviews praise the performances in particular, with Variety saying, "Magnussen deploys a perfectly blank-eyed smile with just about every line that only barely masks Byron's restless, simmering anger. Milioti is similarly deft in her performance as a woman only barely hanging on as she withstands a marriage she can't stand, no matter what the data might be telling her obsessive, controlling husband."

Birdgirl (Adult Swim, April 4)

Harvey Birdman fans should flock to Birdgirl, the spinoff that began airing in April 2021 on Adult Swim. The always likable Paget Brewster voices Birdgirl — also known as Judy Ken Sebben — who has to juggle somewhat hapless superhero antics and rehabilitate the morally dubious company she just inherited from her father.

Birdgirl — with the help of her designated Birdteam — is determined to heroically clean up the company's mistakes. And she has her work cut out for her. According to the show's press release (quoted on CBR): "On a good day, [the Sebben & Sebben company's work] involves clearing redwood forests or operating for-profit children's hospitals."

As the trailer will show you, she's not exactly destined for immediate, glowing success. But she is destined for the same kind of smart and surreal comedy that made the earlier Birdman series a hit. And we're already huge fans of her pet, the unbelievably cute Birdcat.

Paget is joined by Rob Delaney, Kether Donohue, John Doman, Sonia Denis, Negin Farsad, Tony Hale, and Lorelei Ramirez.

Chad (TBS, April 6)

When you first look up Chad, you might wonder if you're reading the casting description right. You are: star and creator Nasim Pedrad is a woman in her late thirties playing a 14-year-old boy. (As Vulture says, "It all makes sense once you've seen her Aziz Ansari.") Pedrad, a Saturday Night Live veteran with all the impression chops she could possibly need, is eager to delve into the comedic gold-mine the casting provides. As she said (quoted in The Hollywood Reporter): "A big thank you to [the network] for understanding that my true essence is that of an awkward and misguided 14-year-old boy."

Chad focuses on a teenage Persian boy saddled with the responsibility of being "the man of the house," and aside from its high-concept casting stunt, it's a family comedy at heart. And the family part is important to Pedrad, who said, "I'm thrilled to be able to portray a Middle Eastern family not working for or against Jack Bauer on network TV."

The series was originally going to air on Fox but has since moved to TBS, and Pedrad has praised the show's new home for giving her the creative freedom to make something that's both bold and close to her heart. It should pay off with a fascinating, funny series.

Home Economics (ABC, April 7)

If you think your family get-togethers are weird, just wait for ABC's Home Economics. In the show Deadline describes as "heartwarming yet super-uncomfortable," we follow the entangled lives of three adult siblings who exist in three very different economic worlds. One brother, Connor (Jimmy Tatro), lives in the lap of luxury — and Matt Damon's old house — while his sister, Sarah (Caitlin McGee), lives in a cramped apartment her family tries to pretend is "cozy" rather than just "small." In between is Topher Grace's Tom, a middle-class struggling writer ... who wants to write his next novel about his family, not that he can bring himself to tell them about it.

The show isn't destined for biting satire. Instead, it's a warm look at family ties overcoming monetary differences and the siblings banding together against all kinds of misfortune, from unemployment to a failing marriage. The sweet banter and feel-good nature of this are sure to make it reliable comfort viewing.

Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me! (Netflix, mid-April 2021)

Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx hasn't done a sitcom in twenty years, but he's returning to the form for Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me, which his daughter Corrine is producing for Netflix. It's a father-daughter project behind the screen and on the screen, although Foxx's fictional TV daughter, Sasha, will be played by Kyla-Drew.

Foxx, who stars as a cosmetics entrepreneur, may embarrass the teenage Sasha, whose arrival in his house upends his life, but we're pretty sure that Corrine Foxx won't have anything to be ashamed of. She's pleased to finally be revisiting her family history — including how excruciating it could be to be a self-conscious teenager with a very famous father. She told EW, "It's so fulfilling to see how these stories have grown into something that my dad and I can cherish and love. This is our story, and it's just like, 'Wow, at least we went through all that for something!'"

The series also serves as a mini-reunion for In Living Color, bringing in David Alan Grier to star alongside Foxx and Kyla-Drew. Grier describes the series as offering a "throwback vibe" and plenty of "old-school laughter," which should make it perfect family viewing. If only we could all put our awkward teenage years to such good use.

Big Shot (Disney+, April 16)

Get excited for a story of sports redemption headed by none other than John Stamos, as Disney+ gears up to start airing its new dramedy series Big Shot. Stamos plays Coach Marvyn Korn, whose disgrace at the NCAA level leads to him taking an unlikely position coaching girls' basketball at a private high school. The administration doesn't have high hopes, and Korn doesn't know anything about dealing with high school girls. But soon, he starts connecting with his players — and they start opening up to him about their passions, insecurities, and dreams.

This inspirational sports story might not reinvent the wheel, but we're not always looking for originality. Sometimes you just want some heartwarming charm, and Big Shot seems to have plenty to offer. And executive producer David E. Kelley has a long history of making incredibly entertaining shows, all but guaranteeing that Big Shot will be a big hit.

Rutherford Falls (Peacock, April 22)

Michael Schur has created some of our favorite big-hearted comedies of recent years — Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and the unexpectedly twisty and profound The Good Place — so we're hyped for his latest show, Rutherford Falls, which is due to premiere on Peacock on April 22.

The show stars Ed Helms as Nathan Rutherford and Jana Schmieding as Reagan Wells, two long-time friends in the small town of Rutherford Falls — a town founded by one Nathan's ancestors, as he'll be sure to point out to anyone who will listen. Nathan is keen to hold onto every scrap of his family's legacy ... even the statue of the founder, which is so poorly located that people keep crashing into it. He teams up with Reagan, who hopes to use some of the high-profile battle over the statue to boost the profile of her tribe's cultural center, which isn't thriving half as well as their casino. And, unsurprisingly, the whole thing attracts the attention of a podcaster (Dustin Milligan) who senses the chance to tell "a story about stories."

The show also co-stars Michael Greyeyes and Jesse Leigh, and based on the trailer, we're already prepared for Greyeyes to prove to be a scene-stealer.

Housebroken (Fox, May 31)

You've heard of pet therapy, but probably not like this. Fox's upcoming animated comedy Housebroken tells the story of standard poodle Honey (voiced by Lisa Kudrow), who serves as therapist and support group arranger for the neighborhood's pets and strays. So that's what they get up to when you're not home. It's like a more neurotic — and furrier — Toy Story.

In addition to Kudrow, Housebroken boasts an exciting cast of voice actors: Nat Faxon, Tony Hale, Will Forte, Jason Mantzoukas, and Sam Richardson. And with BoJack Horseman now wrapped up, we could all use a few more psychologically complex cartoon animals in our lives. Since Geek Tyrant lists the pets as including a "sex-positive tortoise," "an aging Persian cat beauty queen," "a power-hungry fake service dog," and a "psychotic hamster," it should fill that niche and add plenty of wacky humor of its own. We'll just have to see if our pets watch it as avidly as we will.

Turner & Hooch (Disney+, July 16)

Disney+ is rebooting the Tom Hanks classic Turner & Hooch, one of the best man-dog team-up movies of all time, as a new series starring Josh Peck. Peck plays Scott Turner, an uptight U.S. Marshal who winds up caring for Hooch, who will soon prove to be man's best friend and Turner's best partner. Together, they'll become a crime-fighting force to be reckoned with.

Hooch is played by five different dogs of the same breed taking turns: Arnie, Hammer, Obi, Cyd, and Mya. Since Deadline has posted their bonafides, we can assure you that they're all such good dogs. Hammer excels at stunts, Obi is a canine genius, Arnie is a total sweetheart with a well-used bark, Mya is a hard worker with a flair for making a mess, and Cyd is the "king of rollovers and belly ups for belly rubs." What good boys! What a good girl!

Josh Peck's not bad, either, and neither is the rest of the human cast, which is rounded out with Lyndsy Fonseca, Carra Patterson, Vanessa Lengies, Antony Ruivivar, Brandon Jay McLaren, Jeremy Maguire, and Becca Tobin.

Schmigadoon! (Apple TV+, summer 2021)

Apple TV+ has landed the high-concept comedy series Schmigadoon!, which its showrunner Cico Paul has described as "a love letter to golden age musicals from start to finish." The pitch? "Groundhog Day meets Enchanted," says The Hollywood Reporter. That's enough to get us interested, and the more detailed explanation is even better.

The series, starring Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, has an irresistible idea behind it: a couple in a struggling relationship accidentally wind up in a quaint small town that works by the rules of an old movie musical ... and they can't make it out again until they've found true love.

Get ready for a lot of songs — including some by gifted Broadway performers — a lot of laughs, and some affectionate poking-fun at a genre everyone behind the show clearly loves. Paul talked to Deadline about the joys of working on Schmigadoon! during the coronavirus pandemic, when all the real-life theaters were shut down: "It's a sad time to see Broadway that way. We got to make musical theater during this time. And it was really wonderful."

Physical (Apple TV+, summer 2021)

Apple TV+ goes back to the 1980s with the 2021 dramedy Physical, starring Rose Byrne. And get ready to have flashbacks to leotards, leg-warmers, and a ton of VHS tapes, because we're talking about aerobics.

Byrne plays Sheila, who bottles up her insecurities, complexities, and sense of humor to better play the stifling role of perfect wife for her politically ambitious husband. Aerobics offers her an outlet — and soon her workout routine turns into a surprising moneymaker. As Apple TV+ Press puts it, "The series tracks her epic journey from a stifled, overlooked enabler to a powerful, confident economic force, as Sheila transforms into someone we take for granted today (but was entirely radical at the time) — the female lifestyle guru."

Physical has the potential to be an acerbic combination of Mad Men-like historical observations, a great character story, and a hilarious look at the ancestors of today's influencers and lifestyle bloggers. Plus, Byrne has a terrific track record with both cutthroat drama and funny, bittersweet comedy: Not many people could do both Damages and Bridesmaids. A fantastic lead and an original, creative premise have us sold on this one.

Only Murders in the Building (Hulu, 2021)

True crime fans know how to poke fun at themselves, as great spoof podcasts like A Very Fatal Murder and Done Disappeared and series like American Vandal show, so we're excited for Hulu's Only Murders in the Building.

The show has an incredible cast lined up, with Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez all poised to star in this series about true crime fans who band together to solve a murder in their shared apartment complex. Nathan Lane and Amy Ryan have also joined, increasing the comedic and dramatic starpower and suggesting that this apartment building might continue to fill out with actors we love. Jamie Babbitt, who directed the cult LGBTQ comedy But I'm a Cheerleader, will be taking the reins. Hulu released an intriguing promotional poster that already has fans on Twitter clamoring for a full trailer. Appropriately, we're keeping our eyes on it.

Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (HBO Max, 2021)

HBO Max's Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai is the animated comedy Gremlins prequel we never knew we always wanted. The show will go all the way back to 1920s Shanghai to reveal the adventurous childhood of Sam Wing, the shop owner from the original movie. Together with his mogwai — the familiar and adorable Gizmo — and a street thief, Sam will go up against gremlins and creatures from Chinese folklore in order to do the right thing and get some treasure in the process.

James Hong, Ming-Na Wen, B.D. Wong, and Matthew Rhys will be providing voice work, as will A.J. LoCascio, Izaac Wang, and Gabrielle Green. Early promotional images show evocative, painterly art that will make this a world viewers want to really sink into. This should please longtime Gremlins fans and also provide a new entry point for animation fans and people who may have missed the original movie.

MacGruber (Peacock, 2021)

Let's get goofy with the return of MacGruber. Once a series of Saturday Night Live sketches with Will Forte spoofing MacGyver, the concept then returned as an overlooked-but-hilarious movie in 2010. Now "America's ultimate hero and uber patriot" is getting out of prison and getting a mission to save the world by facing down an old enemy.

Action movie parodies don't get much more fun than MacGruber, and it's a great sign that the film's director, Jorma Taccone, is already lined up to return alongside Forte. Peacock has put out a teaser trailer for the series, and there's still time to cross our fingers and hope that some more of the film's stars, like Val Kilmer and Maya Rudolph, will return for even more fun. We're prepared for this to fall into the same category as great TV parodies like Police Squad or Reno 911, so now's a great time to check out the movie if you haven't already.

The Sex Lives of College Girls (HBO Max, 2021)

Mindy Kaling is assembling a huge cast for HBO Max's The Sex Lives of College Girls, a title we all want to avoid saying around our parents. The show follows the lives of three freshmen roommates at a college in Vermont. The young actresses and actors include people you might remember from Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Gavin Leatherwood) or the teenage romcom Dash & Lily (Midori Francis) or the Broadway production of Mean Girls (Renée Rapp).

Kaling's show is sure to be designated HBO's successor to the departed Girls, but it's not retreading old ground: its cast is younger and more diverse, and the issues they're exploring are different. Deadline reels off an intriguing and comedically promising list of character traits, from an inexperienced but extremely enthusiastic sex-positivity to a secret Republican background to a former big fish in a small pond to membership in a high-profile Black family in the public eye.

Peacemaker (HBO Max, January 2022)

The internet is already hyped for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, and Gunn is already hyped about the movie's HBO Max spinoff series, the action-comedy Peacemaker. Set to premiere in January 2022, the show will follow (as you may have guessed) John Cena's Peacemaker.

Gunn wrote all eight episodes and is slated to direct several as well, including the first. In addition to Cena, the cast will include Steve Agee, Jennifer Holland, Danielle Brooks, Chris Conrad, Chukwudi Iwuji, and Robert Patrick. And if the photos Gunn's shared are any indication, everyone behind the scenes is having a blast.

There hasn't been any formal word yet on whether Peacemaker will be a sequel, a prequel, or something in between, but with Gunn's past track record, the results are bound to be entertaining. So while you're getting ready for The Suicide Squad, go ahead and mark your calendars for Peacemaker, too.

Girls5eva (Peacock, TBA)

Girls5eva is the buoyant, insightful nineties nostalgia show we can't wait for. Produced by Meredith Scardino, Tina Fey, and Robert Carlock, the show follows the now middle-aged members of a former girl-pop group — played by Sara Bareilles, Busy Philipps, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Paula Pell — who come back together to try to regain the former stardom.

Girls5eva is destined to make us laugh — just take a look at some of the lyrics of the title song, which E! quotes: "Gonna be famous 5eva, 'cause 4ever's too short (too short) / Gonna be famous 3gether, 'cause that's one more than 2gether / So what are you waiting 5?" But it also seems to have a lot to say about the realities of both stardom and adult womanhood. When talking with IndieWire, Scardino said she was interested about showing the life events of women in their 40s "through this backdrop of pop music."

Busy Philipps told E!, "When [the characters] were popstars, they had no control over the words that were coming out of their mouths and the dance moves and the things they were wearing and the relationships that they were put in, and now they're in a different place in their lives, and the question becomes, how do you take ownership of your own story and how do you rewrite it?"

The Boondocks (HBO Max, 2022)

2022 will see the revival of The Boondocks, the second animated TV series based on Aaron McGruder's iconic comic strip, so viewers left bereft by the end of Adult Swim's 2006-2014 show can now rejoice. The Boondocks — as always – will follow the Freemans, a black family, in their new life in a suburb that falls under the control of the despotic Uncle Ruckus. But the new reboot will cover fresh, contemporary territory, taking on timely issues of race, culture, and politics, and offering plenty of biting comedy of all of the above.

The series follows McGruder's resurrection of the comic strip, which he brought back in a series of Instagram posts in 2019, a year that had too much controversy and satire-worth targets to ignore. McGruder told Deadline, "It's crazy how different the times we live in are now -– both politically and culturally -– more than a decade past the original series and two decades past the original newspaper comic. There's a lot to say and it should be fun." So much to say, in fact, that HBO Max has already committed to two seasons, which is good news for us all.

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies (Paramount+, TBA)

The pitch for a Grease prequel series started at HBO Max before landing at Paramount+ and undergoing a metamorphosis — just like Sandy Dee and Danny Zuko. Originally planned as a more general prequel called Rydell High, the show now has a more specific and enticing concept: Rise of the Pink Ladies. It will provide, as The Hollywood Reporter puts it, "a focus on how Sandy, Rizzo, Jan, Marty and Frenchy came together and how the reverence, fear and moral panic they sparked changed Rydell forever." Annabel Oakes, who has written for shows like Sirens, Awkward., and Atypical, will serve as creator and showrunner.

Another Grease prequel, Summer Lovin', is in the works from the same producers, and it may prove to be linked. We may be at the start of a Grease Cinematic Universe, so whip out your leather jackets, pink satin baseball jackets, and your poodle skirts and get ready to join in the fun.

The Curse (Showtime, TBA)

The Curse is sure to be a blessing for viewers. For one thing, it features the promising on-screen pairing of the Academy Award-winning Emma Stone and Nathan for You's Nathan Fielder. The Safdie Brothers of Uncut Gems, true masters of high-octane and hectic tension, are producing. Benny Safdie will also appear in the show, in one of his rare but intriguing turns as an actor.

Showtime describes the show as "a genre-bending scripted comedy that explores how an alleged curse disturbs the relationship of a newly married couple as they try to conceive a child while co-starring on their problematic new HGTV show." The playfulness of the show-within-a-show format and the quirk of the curse add a ton of appeal to an already charismatic cast and some knowledgeable executive producers. And Showtime seems excited about the show, especially after the casting of Stone, with Executive VP Amy Israel telling Deadline that The Curse's team is sure to put together a "groundbreaking satire that is both unexpected and deeply human."

A League of Their Own (Amazon Prime, TBA)

Sure, plenty of movies become TV shows. But do they all have D'Arcy Carden? With The Good Place over and Janet (and Bad Janet, Neutral Janet, and Disco Janet) shelved for good, we need our Carden fix. Not to mention our required dose of Abbi Jacobson, who hasn't been on-screen as often since Broad City wrapped up. A League of Their Own has us covered.

Amazon has promoted the show as offering a new perspective on the baseball movie classic, exploring issues of sexuality and race that the original film mostly didn't touch on. And the series will be more of a reimagining than a remake, with Carden and Jacobson playing entirely new characters. Their official description, as quoted in Elle, sounds like a home run: "The show will begin with the formation of the league in 1943 and follows the Rockford Peaches season to season as they struggle to keep the team alive through close games, injuries, late night bar crawls, sexual awakenings, not crying and road trips across a rapidly changing United States."

Well, just as long as there's no crying. We all know the rule about no crying in baseball.

Rap Sh*t (HBO Max, TBA)

HBO has previously worked with Issa Rae on her show Insecure, and now, they're bringing her new comedy, Rap Sh*t, to HBO Max. The show tells the story of a fledgling rap group formed by two long-lost friends (who, if Rae's talent for writing and portraying awkward social interactions is any indication, may have been lost to each other for good reason).

We're looking forward to the show, especially since — with Insecure still on the air — it means we'll be getting a double-dose of Rae. But another bonus for viewers is the show's music, which will be put together by Rae's company Raedio: Rap Sh*t has the potential to offer TV some original music, something we're always excited about. With full-on musical comedies like Schmigadoon! on the docket of upcoming sitcoms, Rap Sh*t may not be the most obvious candidate for cool new songs, but music fans shouldn't let it escape their attention.

The Green Beret's Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse (TBA)

This fate of comedy anthology show The Green Beret's Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse is a little uncertain, but we're willing to bet on its success: If the people behind it can script out how to survive an apocalypse, surely they can take their series through a couple unexpected curveballs.

Netflix ordered a season of the show in 2017, anticipating good things from a show that would combine the thrills of a survival documentary with some absurd comedy and deliberately over-the-top apocalypses. Production on the show even wrapped in 2018, meaning that there's a nearly complete series out there somewhere, just waiting to be aired. (Director Adam Newacheck has released some incomplete episodes on Vimeo, for intrigued fans.) The show was temporarily on Netflix's backburner due to what Newacheck describes as "red tape," but it may well have been picked up again and put out in 2020 had it not been for COVID-19, which abruptly made a survivalist comedy about dealing with — among other things — a pandemic seem like a bad idea.

But it's worth keeping an eye out for The Green Beret's Guide. Since all it needs is a little post-production tweaking, it's entirely possible that it will still show up on Netflix once the time is right.