The 17 Best TV Shows of 2024 … So Far

From “3 Body Problem” to “X-Men ’97,” TheWrap highlights the best in television in broadcast, cable and streaming

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Maya Erskine in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Cyclops in "X-Men '97" and Jess Hong in "3 Body Problem." (Prime Video/Marvel Studios/Netflix)

We’re not even halfway through 2024 and television has already given audiences plenty of worthy shows to delight on across broadcast, cable and streaming.

Netflix’s ambitious “3 Body Problem” turned physics theories into a sci-fi thriller, while Apple TV+’s “Palm Royale” showed us the hilarious — and deadly — inner workings of Palm Beach society. HBO’s “True Detective: Night Country” brought the celebrated anthology series into the endless darkness of the Alaskan winter, and network shows like “9-1-1” and “Abbott Elementary” finally made their anticipated returns following the resolution of the Hollywood double strikes.

Check out TheWrap’s staff picks for the best TV shows of 2024 (so far) below:

3 Body Problem
Eiza González, Jess Hong, Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo and Alex Sharp in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: Netflix)

“3 Body Problem” (Netflix)

For the second time in their careers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have adapted the unadaptable with “3 Body Problem.” Also from “The Terror” Season 2 showrunner Alexander Woo, Netflix’s latest sci-fi series is based on the book of the same name by Liu Cixin and tells the story of a woman who asks aliens to come visit Earth, knowing that her choice will forever doom humanity. Decades later, the top minds in the world scramble to avoid just that. When “3 Body Problem” is at its best, it offers viewers harrowing visuals as it ponders whether or not humanity deserves to survive, as told through the journeys of five scientist friends. — Kayla Cobb

9-1-1 Season 7 cast
Oliver Stark, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kenneth Choi, Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, Aisha Hinds, Gavin McHugh and Ryan Guzman in “9-1-1” (Credit: Disney/Justin Stephens)

“9-1-1” (ABC)

Who would’ve thought that cancellation would be the best thing to happen to “9-1-1”? After getting dropped from Fox last spring, the Ryan Murphy-produced first responder drama was quickly picked up by ABC and kicked off a renaissance for the show going into its seventh season. After a prolonged hiatus due to the strikes, the show returned with a new lease on life and an epic three-part premiere event chronicling a high-stakes cruise ship disaster. Series creator Tim Minear returned as showrunner full-time to shepherd the show through its network change, bringing back the epic-level emergencies from the early days while also spotlighting the characters’ inner lives. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the season unfolds. — Jose Alejandro Bastidas

"Abbott Elementary" Season 3
Tyler James Williams and Quinta Brunson in “Abbott Elementary” (Credit: ABC)

“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)

“Abbott Elementary” returned in full force following last year’s Hollywood strikes, with its third season shaking up dynamics among the beloved teachers as Janine (Quinta Brunson) departed her classroom to work for the school district. While the first two seasons gave viewers some insight into the teachers’ personal lives, Season 3 dives deeper into relationship woes felt by Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) and Jacob (Chris Perfetti) — who eventually move in together — while still keeping Janine and Gregory’s complex feelings for one another in the mix. Plus, having an all-star roster of guest stars — including Bradley Cooper, Keegan-Michael Key, Philadelphia Eagles players Jason Kelce, Jalen Hurts and Brandon Graham, Josh Segarra and Sabrina Brier — doesn’t hurt. — Loree Seitz

Ian Ousley as Sokka, Kiawentiio as Katara and Gordon Cormier as Aang in Netflix's "Avatar: The Last Airbender"
Ian Ousley, Kiawentiio and Gordon Cormier in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Credit: Netflix)

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (Netflix)

The live action adaptation of Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko’s animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” recaptured the world originally envisioned by the creators and brought it to the forefront of pop culture once again. The Netflix series cast actors who took up the mantles of Aang (Gordon Cormier), Katara (Kiawentiio), Sokka (Ian Ousley), Prince Zuko (Dallas Liu), Uncle Iroh (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), Fire Lord Ozai (Daniel Dae Kim) and more with ease. Though not beat-for-beat with the original, the new show hit many similar marks and made changes to the structure and chronology of the story, from the Airbender genocide shown in the first moments to the earlier introduction of Kim’s Ozai. Masterful visual effects capture the elaborate four nations and realistic bending styles, plus guest stars like Arden Cho, Utkarsh Ambudkar and more bring familiar faces to life. — Dessi Gomez

JB Smoove and Larry David in Season 12 of Curb Your Enthusiasm
JB Smoove and Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (Credit: HBO)

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)

Larry David should feel prettaaay, prettaaay, pretty good about the 24-year run of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO as it heads towards its series finale. In its 12th season, the 86-year-old comedian, writer and actor, along with the supporting cast of J.B. Smoove, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Ted Danson, Cheryl Hines, Tracey Ullman, Vince Vaughn and the late Richard Lewis, haven’t lost their touch. The final chapter brings new wild situations and headaches for Larry, flashy guest appearances from the likes of Troy Kotsur, Sean Hayes, Dan Levy, Lori Loughlin and Bruce Springsteen, and tons of laugh-out-loud moments. Time will tell if the show’s conclusion sticks the landing with audiences — and avoids the controversy that the Seinfeld finale faced — but one thing’s clear: While it may be the end of an era for David, it likely won’t be the last we hear from him. — Lucas Manfredi

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Sofia Vergara in “Griselda” (Credit: Elizabeth Morris/Netflix)

“Griselda” (Netflix)

Sofía Vergara established herself as a Hollywood powerhouse with her comedic stylings. With “Griselda,” she proved she can blow the house down just as well in a dramatic role. The actress was the driving force behind Netflix’s six-episode crime drama based on the life of Griselda Blanco, one of the deadliest drug cartel bosses in Miami history. Working as an executive producer alongside the creatives behind “Narcos,” the show captured Griselda’s remarkable rise among the cartel ranks, along with the tragedies that led to her downfall. In a crowded limited series race, Vergara better be top of mind for a best actress nomination. — JAB

Austin Butler and Callum Turner in “Masters of the Air” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Masters of the Air” (Apple TV+)

“Masters of the Air” closes out the WWII miniseries trilogy from Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, this time turning its attention to the sky. The Apple TV+ show chronicles the efforts of the 100th Bomb Group, nicknamed the “Bloody Hundredth” to bring the war to Hitler’s doorstep through the eyes of best friends Major Buck Cleven and Major Bucky Egan, played brilliantly by Austin Butler and Callum Turner. Featuring a strong supporting cast — including Anthony Boyle, Barry Keoghan and Nate Mann, among others — the series showcases the growth of incoming young men as they see the brutal reality of war first hand. Spotlighting personal conflicts, loss and romantic entanglements, the series caters to military history buffs just as much as it does to period drama lovers. — LS

Monarch
“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters”

Oftentimes you hear people bemoaning the humans in a “Godzilla” movie. Why can’t it just be oops, all monsters? But what “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” did (ingeniously) was create a compelling drama built almost exclusively around the human characters living in a post-Godzilla world. Set shortly after the events of 2014’s “Godzilla,” the official kick-off of the MonsterVerse, “Monarch” deals with the titular organization of government-sanctioned monster hunters; in particular Lee Shaw, a character played in the present by Kurt Russell and in the distant past by his son Wyatt Russell. This, like the rest of “Monarch,” was a gambit that paid off. Both Russells contribute equally to the character, adding contours and layers that might not have actually appeared had a single actor essayed the role. And yes, it’s very fun when Godzilla shows up. But it’s a testament to the show that you aren’t constantly wondering where he is. When the creatures appear, it’s always at the right time and for the right amount of time. With “Monarch,” it’s all about the human drama. And the human drama is good. — Drew Taylor

Donald Glover and Maya Erksine lay in bed in Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Donald Glover and Maya Erskine in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (Credit: Amazon)

“Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (Prime Video)

Leave it to Donald Glover to take one of the most flashy, sexy and star-studded blockbusters of the early 2000s and turn it into something tender, pensive and … well, still sexy. Glover and cocreator Francesca Sloane reimagined the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt-starring spy film “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” for Amazon’s Prime Video, stripped it of its glitz and grandeur and drilled down into the wellspring of pathos beneath. Maya Erskine and Glover star as the new Jane and John Smith, two assassins contracted into a cover marriage by a faceless corporation of death. The marriage may be fake, but the love they find is shockingly real, and really messy — the stakes amplified by the ax hanging over their heads if they can’t do it all right. Half “hit of the week” procedural, half relationship dramedy, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” also has a positively inspired rotating door of guest stars including Ron Perlman, Paul Dano, Michaela Coel and Parker Posey. — Haleigh Foutch

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Kristen Wiig and Ricky Martin in “Palm Royale” (Credit: Apple TV+)

“Palm Royale” (Apple TV+)

“Palm Royale” transports viewers to the sunny, pastel-filled world of Palm Beach high society, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just glitz and glamor. The Apple TV+ series presents the glossy world through the perspective of outsider Maxine Simmons (Kristen Wiig), who envies the ritzy lives led by narcissistic housewives enough to make it her mission to enter the formidable walls of the town’s most exclusive club, the Palm Royale. Set in 1969, the dramedy finds Maxine caught in between clashing cultures of traditional high society and the emerging civil rights struggle, all while displaying the likes of a retro high-stakes drama. Featuring an impressive cast of Allison Janney, Carol Burnett, Laura Dern, Ricky Martin and Josh Lucas, “Palm Royale” promises a thrilling watch full of jaw-dropping twists and turns. — LS

Reacher
Alan Ritchson in “Reacher” (Credit: Amazon)

“Reacher” (Prime Video)

The first season of “Reacher” was a ton of fun. It introduced Alan Ritchson’s Jack Reacher, a mountain-of-a-man previously played by Tom Cruise in two feature films, now sticking more faithfully to the books. But the second season was even better. It built on everything that worked about Season 1, chiefly by giving Reacher, who in the books is a drifter who stumbles into mystery every time he steps off the bus, a personal connection to the latest conundrum. It also expanded on the mythology by tethering Reacher to a larger group of characters (who will hopefully continue to orbit him going forward). Season 2 took some dramatic detours from the source material (like replacing Los Angeles and the desert for New York and the tundra), but it still maintained the soul of the piece. It also confirmed Ritchson as one of the most underrated performers on television. Yes, his physicality is unparalleled, but his delivery of the barbed one-liners is even better. He’s the true heir to the Schwarzenegger throne nimbly jumping between comedy, action and drama. And he makes everyone — young or old, man or woman — swoon dreamily. Now that’s something. — DT

Drake Bell on "Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV" (ID)
Drake Bell on “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” (Credit: Investigation Discovery)

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” (Investigation Discovery)

The treatment of child stars in the 1990s and 2000s has been a hot topic for years now, but ID’s latest docuseries feels like the start of a necessary reckoning. “Quiet on Set” meticulously chronicles producer Dan Schneider’s regime as the top creator of kids’ programming at Nickelodeon and the various toxic workplace allegations, legal battles and incidents of abuse that happened under his watch. Interviews with prominent stars like Drake Bell helped raise the profile of the docuseries to impressive heights, capturing an audience of 16 million viewers across platforms in just a week. Since its release, other child actors from Nickelodeon and beyond started to speak out about their experiences — a sign that the work of directors Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz might just lead to meaningful change. — JAB

Shogun
Hiroyuki Sanada and Anna Sawai in “Shōgun” (Credit: Katie Yu/FX)

“Shogun” (FX)

Set in 16th century Japan, this sweeping adaptation of the James Clavell novel is everything you could ever want in a miniseries: Jaw-dropping action, swooning romance, cutthroat political intrigue and an international cast to die for. Hiroyuki Sanada is elegance and danger personified as Lord Toranaga, who sees a chance to stave off his impending fall from power with the arrival of Englishman John Blackthorne (the appealingly Tom Hardy-esque Cosmo Jarvis). Blackthorne’s knowledge of the outside world proves to be a critical advantage for a brilliant strategist like Toranaga. The “barbarian” Blackthorne is also not to be underestimated: He may not always know what’s being said around him, but he’s always able to navigate the ever-shifting political currents around him. Toranaga’s translator Mariko (Anna Sawai) is also adept at playing the game of politics and romance on several levels at once. The 10-episode series’ only drawback is that it isn’t longer. — Sharon Knolle

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“The Traitors” Season 2 cast (Credit: Euan Cherry/Peacock)

“The Traitors” (Peacock)

​​TV’s most-talked about reality show of the winter was undeniably “The Traitors” Season 2. After making a subdued splash for hardcore reality fans with its freshman installment, the Peacock competition show became a water cooler event as it meshed the worlds of Bravo’s “Real Housewives,” network reality competition shows like “Survivor” and “The Bachelor” and other notable figures — including a former British politician. As cliques formed in the show’s lux Scottish castle, the season was full of surprises and betrayals until the very end. Hosted by the hilarious Alan Cumming, “The Traitors” is only gaining traction, with casting already underway for its third season. — LS

true-detective-night-country-kali-reis-jodie-foster-hbo
Kali Reis and Jodie Foster in “True Detective: Night Country” (Credit: Michele K. Short/HBO)

“True Detective: Night Country” (HBO)

Over a decade after viewers were captivated by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson’s gripping inaugural season of “True Detective,” the HBO anthology crime series reinvented itself through the eyes of showrunner, writer and director Issa López. López leaned into the supernatural elements of Season 1 to craft a haunting mystery, enlisting acting legend Jodie Foster and newcomer Kali Reis to helm the fourth season as detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro, respectively. The duo put their resentment of one another aside to investigate the disappearance of several men working at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station in the small town of Ennis, Alaska. As Danvers and Navarro trace the mystery back to a cold case involving the brutal murder of an indigenous woman, “Night Country” brings attention to a community often overlooked by mainstream media. — LS

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
Danai Gurira in “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” (Credit: AMC)

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” (AMC)

Whether you stayed with “The Walking Dead” ’til the bitter end, or gave up somewhere along the 11-season slog, “The Ones Who Live” is an easy, welcome re-entry point. In fact, it might be the best “The Walking Dead” has ever been. Focused on the Odyssean love story between Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), “The Ones Who Live” has thrust and purpose, honed to a tight six episodes, with supporting characters who make more impact in their single-episode arcs than others made in years on the flagship series. Lincoln and Gurira were closely involved in the making of the spin-off, and it shows in the love and respect for their characters — two true fan favorites, who over a long, very slow burn, became one of TV’s great romances. Fortunately, “The Ones Who Live” doesn’t run from that, it leans in. Yes, there’s still ample post-apocalyptic world-building, shocking gore and terrible, no good, very bad humans who want to remake the world in their image. But, the super power of “The Ones Who Live” is the faith it puts in its leading duo; as performers, as creators and as a love story worthy of this time and focus. It’s just damn good to see Rick Grimes again. — HF

“X-MEN ’97” (Credit: Marvel Animation).

“X-Men ’97” (Disney+)

There have been plenty of good-to-great reboots of beloved series in the past few years. But there’s something about “X-Men ’97,” perhaps owing to its animated origins, that feels as though these new episodes are picking up right where the beloved 1990s show left off. And that’s no easy feat. While the animation has definitely improved, it still maintains the spirit of the original, including its willingness to adapt any silly comic book moment that more serious-minded endeavors would probably have sidestepped. By the time the third episode rolls around, which involves clones and babies and the Hellfire Club, you know that you are in capable, extremely nerdy hands. It’s a shame that Beau DeMayo, the creator of the new series and, by all accounts, its central creative force, was dismissed shortly before the series premiered. It’s unclear what happened, exactly, but as far as the work he delivered goes, well, it’s simply astonishing. — DT

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