Every year, if you look at the Oscar schedule in February, you can see several of the titles that will turn up again on Essentials. Here are the ones from this year's Oscar schedule that seem likeliest (in my opinion):
THE LONGEST DAY...each May, TCM has a Memorial Day themed Essential. Since they are bringing this one in from the Fox library for Oscar, I would imagine it will air again on Saturday before Memorial Day...in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a large part of that weekend is devoted to John Wayne war films.
In a similar vein, there is always a big budget horror film they play as an Essential around Halloween. Looking at the Oscar schedule, I see YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. So that seems like it will be used for Essentials and considering how much they love Mel Brooks at TCM, I may be right. I also think it will be used for Movie Camp (formerly Essentials Jr.).
More titles that seems very much like Essentials for 2016 according to this latest schedule include--
DAY FOR NIGHT (there's usually an important foreign film as part of Essentials and this one would certainly fit the bill)
YOU'RE A BIG BOY NOW...they love Francis Ford Coppola at TCM, and I can see Sally Field selecting this title.
HEAVEN CAN WAIT...since he's a huge fan of Tierney, I can see Robert Osborne picking this film.
A STAR IS BORN '76...the Streisand version. In fact, my crystal ball tells me this one will be paired with the Garland version for one of those nights when they do two back-to-back Essentials.
THE DEER HUNTER...I definitely see Sally picking this one. Don't you?
STEEL MAGNOLIAS...I think this one, like NORMA RAE in 2015, will be the Essentials title that stars Sally Field.
SABRINA...has Essentials and Robert Osborne written all over it.
FRENCHMAN'S CREEK...a possibility?
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE...another strong possibility.