Rick’s Walking Dead spinoff, Netflix’s live-action Avatar, and more new TV this week

We are now in the doldrums of February; it’s still kinda chilly, the days aren’t quite long enough yet, and the Valentine’s candy sales are down to the dregs.

Luckily, we always have TV — and these days, we tend to have a lot of it! This week is no exception, with plenty of flair to take the edge off. Most notably, there are big franchise releases like Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, both marking a dramatic return to a major property (live action and “with Rick and Michonne,” respectively). But you can also venture off the beaten path, with a new sci-fi thriller from Apple starring Noomi Rapace, or an animated sci-fi comedy from Prime Video starring Keke Palmer and Stephanie Hsu.

Here’s all the best new TV premieres and finales this week:

New shows on Netflix

Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Genre: Live-action cartoon adaptation
Release date: Feb. 22, with all episodes
Showrunner/creator: Albert Kim
Cast: Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio, Ian Ousley, and more

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Long ago, the four nations lived in harmony — but that was in cartoon form. Now Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming to live action, with eight new episodes from Netflix. Spoiler alert: The Fire Nation is, once again, going to change everything when they attack.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive season 6

Lewis Hamilton, Danny Ricciardo, and Sergio Perez stand on the track while a national anthem plays in Drive to Survive. Image: Netflix

Genre: Sport docuseries (fast car guys)
Release date: Feb. 23, with all episodes
Showrunner/creator: James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin
Cast: A bunch of 2023 Formula 1 drivers

Season 6 will be covering the most recent season of Formula 1, which means it’s audiences’ first time seeing how the ups and downs of the season (including the first-ever Vegas race) landed with the drivers.

But this time it’s more than that: With plenty of controversy and shake-ups building around F1 teams going into the 2024 season — including a major team change and an undisclosed allegation that made Red Bull reportedly ask their team principal to step down — no doubt Drive to Survive season 6 will have a lot to read into.

New shows on Prime Video

The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy

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Genre: Animated sci-fi comedy
Release date: Feb. 23, with all eight episodes
Showrunner/creator: Cirocco Dunlap
Cast: Stephanie Hsu, Keke Palmer, Kieran Culkin, and more

What kind of cases do you get at an intergalactic medical facility? A whole host of things, including parasites, time loops, and deep-space STIs. Luckily the crack team — or, at least, the second-best crack team — in the universe is here to field all those health ailments. It’s an animated comedy, so odds are everything will go totally a-OK, with no screw-ups or anything.

Expats season 1 finale

Margaret (Nicole Kidman) peers down out a window Photo: Jupiter Wong/Prime Video

Genre: Drama
Release date: Feb. 23
Showrunner/creator: Lulu Wang
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Sarayu Blue, Ji-young Yoo, and more

After the night of the blackout changed everything for our three principal players, the women are all left to own up to their choices, own their grief, and find some way — any way — to move forward.

New shows on Apple TV Plus


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Genre: Twisty sci-fi
Release date: Feb. 21, with three episodes
Showrunner/creator: Peter Harness
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Jonathan Banks, and more

After going up into space and experiencing a near-fatal accident on the ISS, Jo (Noomi Rapace) returns to Earth ready to rest and recuperate with her daughter. But suddenly pieces of her life seem to be changed — or even missing.

Criminal Record season 1 finale

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Genre: Crime procedural
Release date: Jan. 10
Showrunner/creator: Paul Rutman
Cast: Cush Jumbo and Peter Capaldi

Eight episodes in and this crime thriller has gotten personal, with both detectives prompted to focus their energies on their children while they work to remedy the miscarriage of justice at the heart of the show.

New shows on AMC Plus

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

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Genre: Zombie spinoff
Release date: Feb. 25, with one episode
Showrunner/creator: Scott M. Gimple, Danai Gurira, and Andrew Lincoln
Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, and more

There have been Walking Dead spinoffs aplenty, but this is the first — and the long-awaited, long-promised — one to feature Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), who are working to reunite in what AMC calls an “epic love story.” Per their plot summary, the two are “kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were.” Can they find each other, around all those walking dead?