Which of these 11 epic fantasy/sci-fi shows will emerge triumphant in 2024?

Will we see a repeat of the House of the Dragon vs. The Rings of Power battle in 2024? How will newcomers like Avatar: The Last Airbender and 3 Body Problem fare? And who will walk away with the crown?
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /
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In 2021, TV fans were treated to a good old-fashioned battle royale: which epic fantasy show would emerge triumphant: House of the Dragon, HBO's follow-up to its smash hit Game of Thrones; or The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon's dive into the unexplored waters of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth?

The dust has long since settled on that fight. House of the Dragon had better ratings, better audience reception, and more critical love. Having watched both series, I can also opine that House of the Dragon was simply the better show: more dramatic, better paced, and better made, with a clearer vision behind it.

So there isn't a ton of debate on who won that round. But in 2024, both shows will return for their second seasons, and anything can happen in Round 2. In fact, there are a few epic sci-fi/fantasy shows coming our way this year, both returning favorites and new challengers. Who will emerge triumphant as king of the genre shows? Let's run through the candidates and see if we can't figure it out.

But first, let's get through some honorable mentions. There's a lot of sci-fi/fantasy TV on the way in 2024, but not every show is a genuine contender for the crown. Some of these shows may surprise us, but for now, I'm counting them out of the battle for the best of the best:

  • Halo: The second season of this video game adaptation is heading to Paramount+ in February. Considering how mild a splash the first season made, I can't imagine the second being in content as Show of the Year.
  • Star Trek: Discovery season 5 is heading to Paramount+ early in the year and Star Trek: Prodigy season 2 to Netflix sometime after that. Discovery has a fanbase but hasn't really become part of the wider conversation despite four years on the air, and Prodigy is a more niche animated show that Paramount+ canceled before Netflix picked it up.
  • Invincible got a ton of buzz when it premiered on Amazon Prime Video in 2021, and while it's still a great show, Amazon has blunted the impact of season 2 somewhat by releasing in two halves: four episodes in 2023 and the next four at some to-be-determined time in 2024. The staggered schedule limits how much hype it can build.
  • There's a lot of Star Wars TV coming out in 2024. Star Wars TV shows have been hit and miss, so I'm reserving judgment on Star Wars: Skeleton Crew and Star Wars: The Acolyte until I see them. Star Wars: Andor season 2 I'd be happy to rank as a contender, but with the news that it might get delayed into 2025, it may not get a chance to fight.
  • The fourth and final season of The Umbrella Academy is coming to Netflix this year. The third season of this superhero show was weaker than the first two, and the fourth has a reduced episode order. Hopefully the show can go out on a high note, but it's probably too late for it to soar.
  • The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 2: The Book of Carol is the unmanageably long name AMC has given to the second season of its Daryl Dixon show. I kind of want to disqualify it for the name alone, even if The Walking Dead franchise didn't feel diminished since the end of the original series.
  • There are a lot of Marvel shows coming in 2024, including Echo, Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, Ironheart and Daredevil: Born Again. Call my cynical, but with Marvel missing so often in 2023, their 2024 shows are going to have to prove themselves before I can believe they'll become part of the zeitgeist again.
  • The second half of Outlander season 7 is heading to Starz this year. It has a bit of an Invincible problem, what with Starz splitting the season like this, but it's not that big a deal. At this point, Outlander has a devoted core audience and will be fine without the fantasy/sci-fi crown.
  • We still don't have a release date for The Legend of Vox Machina season 3 yet, but we assume it's coming this year. The show is a big too lightweight to compete with some of the other contenders, though.

A round of applause for our runners-up. Now onto the main event: which of these sci-fi/fantasy shows has the quality, mass market appeal, and positive buzz necessary for it become the genre show of 2024? Click the button below and let the games begin!