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8 New and Returning Shows We Can't Wait to Watch in December 2022

Exciting spin-offs, a musical biopic, and an Octavia Butler adaptation end the year on a strong note.
  • The Witcher: Blood Origin, National Treasure: Edge of History, 1923, Little America  (Photos: Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, Apple TV+/Primetimer graphic)
    The Witcher: Blood Origin, National Treasure: Edge of History, 1923, Little America (Photos: Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, Apple TV+/Primetimer graphic)

    Though there will certainly be plenty of festive offerings, December TV is more action-packed than ever. Netflix will unveil a new Witcher series (after all, what's Christmas without some Elves?) as FX brings its highly anticipated adaptation of Octavia Butler's Kindred to streaming. Noah Centineo gets into some spy shenanigans in The Recruit, while Apple TV+ takes us through Little America. The National Treasure franchise opens up a new chapter, and Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren join forces in 1923. But if you're still hankering for holiday treats, Prime Video has a new baking challenge filled with Dr. Seuss-inspired feats. 

    Here are the shows the Primetimer staff can’t wait to watch this December:

    George and Tammy

    Premieres December 4 on Showtime



    On the heels of winning the Academy Award for her portrayal of Tammy Faye Bakker, Jessica Chastain is back playing one-half of yet another famously troubled marriage. In Showtime's six-part limited series, Chastain stars as Tammy Wynette, the First Lady of Country Music, whose "Stand By Your Man" gave voice to women sticking it out through a marriage's tough times. Opposite Chastain is Michael Shannon as Wynette's husband, country star George Jones. The series marks a few reunions for Chastain, who co-stars with Shannon for the first time since the 2011 thriller Take Shelter, and is once again working with director John Hillcoat, who directed her in 2012's Lawless. The series is based on the memoir by Wynette and Jones' daughter Georgette and also stars Steve Zahn, Walton Goggins, Kelly McCormack, and Katy Mixon. — Joe Reid

    Little America Season 2

    Premieres December 9 on Apple TV+

    It's taken nearly three years, but Little America is back with a new collection of stories adapted from Vox Media's Epic Magazine. This warm-hearted anthology series comes from Lee Eisenberg and Siân Heder, who executive produce alongside Alan Yang, Kumail Nanjiani (now starring in Welcome to Chippendales), and Emily V. Gordon. Although the series title seems to suggest this is understated TV, each season is a rich mosaic made up of immigrant experiences. The latest batch of episodes journeys from Minneapolis, where a Somali chef braces for the state fair, down to Texas for a kissing marathon and some good, old-fashioned disappointing your immigrant parents. Season 2 features performances by Shaun Toub, Isuri Wijesundara, Phylicia Rashad, Alan S. Kim, and Ki Hong Lee. — Danette Chavez

    Kindred

    Complete series available December 13 on Hulu




    Octavia Butler's acclaimed 1979 novel gets a series adaptation via FX on Hulu. The story follows Dana, a Black woman and aspiring writer who finds herself pulled backwards in time to a plantation in 1815. While being jarringly yanked between past and present, she must attempt to survive the horrors of antebellum America while encountering truths about her inherited past. Mallori Johnson (WeCrashed) plays Dana, while Escape at Dannemora's Micah Stock plays Kevin, her new love interest.

    Other cast members include Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) and Gayle Rankin (GLOW) as the plantation owner and his wife, respectively. Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, who served as a consulting producer on Watchmen, adapts Butler’s novel. Zola director Janzica Bravo helmed the pilot episode. Kindred is a genre-blending classic of late 20th-century literature, so expectations are high. All eight episodes of Kindred will drop on Hulu on December 13th. — Joe Reid

    Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge

    Premieres December 13 on Prime Video




    The holidays are the perfect time for TV shows that don’t ask too much of us. We can engage our brains from January through November: In December, we can put on soft pants and gorge on the sweet, sweet entertainment. That’s why Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge could be an ideal option: It promises charming competitors, interesting desserts, and even the nostalgia hit of children’s literature. Prime Video has revealed the show will pair pastry chefs and “cake artists” to create Seuss-inspired confections. This suggests the challenges will be so elaborate that one baker alone can’t handle them. Does that mean we’ll see the Lorax’s forest made out of buttercream? Will a fondant Horton sit on an egg made of tiramisu? Will there be an episode called One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Swedish Fish? Hopefully the answer is yes. — Mark Blankenship

    National Treasure: Edge of History

    Premieres December 14 on Disney+




    Does someone have eyes on the Declaration of Independence? 15 years after Nicolas Cage’s Ben Gates last graced our screens, National Treasure returns with an entirely new cast and an even bigger conspiracy. Newcomer Lisette Olivera takes on the role of lead treasure hunter Jess, a resourceful DREAMer who sets out to uncover the truth about her family’s mysterious past and recover a lost Pan-American treasure. Jess may have a few friends on her side, but in order to find the treasure, she’ll have to outsmart Billie Pearce (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a wealthy black market antiquities expert.

    In addition, original stars Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel will reprise their respective roles as tech genius Riley Poole and FBI Agent Peter Sadusky. Unfortunately for fans hoping to see Ben Gates steal a different historical document, Cage isn’t expected to appear in the Disney+ thriller, but rumors are swirling that he’ll make a cameo in the not-yet-officially-announced second season. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    The Recruit

    Premieres December 16 on Netflix




    There’s never a shortage of crime thrillers, but Netflix’s The Recruit has a particularly good hook: A young CIA lawyer stumbles into a deep state conspiracy after he discovers a damning letter written by a former spy. This has shades of The Firm, and since the duplicitous rogue agent is a woman, there may be notes of Killing Eve. The show stars Noah Centineo, making a decided departure from rom-coms like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sierra Burgess is a Loser. It will be interesting to see how he fits in an edgy project like this one. — Mark Blankenship

    1923

    Premieres December 18 on Paramount+




    The Taylor Sheridan-verse continues to expand with 1923, the second Yellowstone prequel on Paramount+. Set during the time of Prohibition and the Great Depression, which began a decade earlier in Montana, the spin-off stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirror as Jacob and Cara Dutton, the brother and sister-in-law of James Dutton (played by Tim McGraw in 1883). When faced with a historic drought and economic devastation, Jacob and Cara must lean on one another to keep the Yellowstone ranch and secure their family’s future.

    With its sprawling cast and heavy Yellowstone lore, 1923 seems primed for success. If Ford and Mirren can work their movie star magic, Paramount+ may have an even bigger hit on its hands than 1883, which broke records for the streamer when it was released in late 2021. — Claire Spellberg Lustig

    The Witcher: Blood Origin

    Premieres December 25 on Netflix


    The Witcher: Blood Origin will tell the story of the very first Witcher, part of a line of mystical monster slayers who — at least, when they're played by Henry Cavill — are so ripped they wear out their armor. This Netflix prequel will also go deeper into Elven lore and trace the events that lead to the "Conjunction of the Spheres." But if none of that means much to you, or you just never got into the books or games, then know this: Michelle Yeoh stars as Scian, the last of a nomadic tribe of sword-elves. Yeoh was dynamic as part of Star Trek: Discovery, but Blood Origin offers the chance to watch her brandishing a magical sword in the face of impossible odds. The Witcher franchise has been a hit for Netflix, though the changing of the guard in the original series could make it a dicier prospect going forward. But with Yeoh co-leading a new installment, the future of this fantasy world still looks bright. —  Danette Chavez

    TOPICS: Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, FX, Paramount+, Showtime, 1923, Dr Seuss Baking Challenge, George & Tammy, Kindred, Little America, National Treasure: Edge of History, The Recruit, The Witcher: Blood Origin