This is an excerpt from TV Guide Magazine’s 2022 Preview issue. For more inside scoop on what’s coming to TV and streaming in the new year, pick up the issue, on newsstands Thursday, January 13.
When it comes to TV, 2022 is filled with options ranging from generation-spanning family dramas like ABC’s Promised Land to unscripted docuseries like FX’s Welcome to Wrexham. Below, we round up a few of the must-see titles heading to television this year.
Rides goeth before a fall in this tale of billionaire Uber CEO Travis Kalanick (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who presided over a toxic, sexist atmosphere at the ride-hailing company he helped found before being forced out in 2017. To prepare, the actor talked to colleagues of the entrepreneur. “He made spectacularly bad choices, but he [was also] beloved by a lot of his team. That complexity made him intriguing,” Gordon-Levitt says. The show, which costars Kyle Chandler, is about more than Uber. “Dudes preaching ‘Win at all costs!’ at the biggest tech companies are not doing good for the world.” (Sunday, Feb. 27, 10/9c, Showtime) —Kate Hahn
A suspicious life insurance policy. A murder plot involving the impersonation of a Dateline NBC producer. A suicide attempt via ballpoint pen. The absurd details of Missouri’s Pam Hupp and her schemes are ideal for six episodes of “grounded drama with a twist of dark comedy,” says showrunner Jenny Klein. Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger transforms into Hupp, charged in the 2011 homicide of coworker Betsy Faria (Katy Mixon) after first fingering husband Russ Faria (Glenn Fleshler). “Pam reminded me of moms I knew growing up in Illinois,” Klein notes. “It was chilling to unpack how she maneuvered in this quiet Midwest town to get what she wants.” (Tuesday, March 8, 10/9c, NBC) —Linda Maleh
Saginaw, Michigan’s Tom Smallwood was laid off from his GM assembly-line job in 2008, and he ultimately made the bold choice to pursue his dream of becoming a professional bowler. That true tale inspired the opening frame of this family-centric sitcom, with Tom (Pete Holmes, Crashing) getting warm support from his loving wife (Katie Lowes, Scandal) and the local bowling alley owner who coaches him (Chi McBride, Hawaii Five-0). Executive producer Brian d’Arcy James looks for Holmes’ everyman charm to strike big with viewers. “What I hope is that people will say, ‘Yeah, I just want this guy to win.’” (Thursday, March 31, 9:30/8:30c, CBS) —Robert Edelstein
A soapy saga about life at a successful vineyard in California’s Sonoma Valley, this multigenerational drama is really about the American Dream: “what it takes to achieve it, and what it takes to hold on to it once you do,” says executive producer Matt Lopez. Formidable Latino patriarch Joe Sandoval (John Oritz) considers handing over the vines to his daughter Veronica (Christina Ochoa). But with the return of his ambitious estranged son Antonio (Tonatiuh), his stepson Mateo (Augusto Aguilera) yearning for acceptance, and Joe caught in a love triangle (with his wife and brother!), the grapes won’t be the only things that get crushed. (Monday, Jan. 24, 10/9c, ABC) —Linda Maleh
Another Ken Burns project, another comprehensive, essential look at all sides of a historical great: Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in establishing these United States…yet he also owned and enslaved human beings. “He never was finished with himself,” biographer H.W. Brands states in this four-hour docuseries. “He always thought that he was a work in progress.” Mandy Patinkin brings Franklin’s 18th-century words to vivid life. (Monday–Tuesday, April 4–5, 8/7c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org) —April P. Bernard
Viewers obsessed with the zombie world probably already know what to expect from the six stand-alone episodes in this new franchise entry: “So much of it came out of fans’ questions,” says Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, who admits that one-offs like baddie Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Season 10 flashback hour are his favorites. These “isolated stories,” as Gimple calls them, “potentially do very, very different things, with different genres, new characters in situations and different places in the timeline of the shows.” (Summer, AMC and AMC+) —Emily Aslanian
Move over, Ted Lasso! It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney and “Deadpool” himself, Ryan Reynolds, are getting into the soccer game with this new comedic docuseries charting their attempts to revive the struggling U.K. football club they bought together in 2020. The show — which scored a two-season order — should be both a classic underdog tale about the Wrexham Red Dragons players and a look at how the working-class Welsh town handles these two goofy outsiders. (TBA, FX) —Damian Holbrook