Once upon a time, you could look forward to your favourite show coming back without even needing to check its return date. Give or take a couple of weeks, these were pretty much set in stone year after year: you knew the latest season of Game of Thrones was coming in April, for example.
This is still true for a number of the big fall shows – The Walking Dead’s latest season still arrives every October – but TV schedules are increasingly fluid, with bigger talents and productions meaning these things take longer to come together, and more shows than ever before meaning the need for a quick return isn’t quite as pressing as it used to be.
We’ve already seen the likes of Netflix, HBO, and FX changing the game on this front. Master of None took a year off after its debut season, with Season 2 released last year. In 2018 we’ll get second seasons of Westworld and Atlanta, two of the biggest and most critically acclaimed TV shows of 2016, neither of which aired in 2017.
Looking even further forward, then, there are a number of big, beloved shows set to give this year a miss, before returning (hopefully triumphantly) in 2019.