The best TV shows airing in 2019

From dramas and documentaries to comedy and entertainment shows, here are all the biggest new and returning series of the year. What will you be watching?

Martin Freeman, Olivia Colman, Holliday Grainger, RuPaul

2019 has been a stellar year for TV so far – and there’s much more to come.


Whether you’re into period dramas like Gentleman Jack and Peaky Blinders or contemporary thrillers such as Line of Duty and Traitors, there’s a scintillating range of series on offer.

In the world of entertainment, there’s also the return of some of Britain’s biggest shiny floor shows – take Strictly and The X Factor for instance – as well as the addition of The Greatest Dancer and a Shipwrecked reboot.

In comedy, Catastrophe is back for a final series and Alan Partridge bumbles back onto our screens with a brand new show.

Netflix release dates 2019: all the major upcoming TV shows revealed

And finally there’s a diverse selection of documentaries, from David Attenborough’s new Netflix series to Danny Dyer’s exploration of his family history.

Check out all the series to look out for in 2019, below…


Dark Money

Channel: BBC1

Air date: Monday 8th July 2019

Dark Mon£y (BBC)
Dark Mon£y on BBC1

A four-part drama by writer Levi David Addai (Damilola, Our Loved Boy), about a London family that accepts a substantial pay-off from a renowned filmmaker to keep silent about the abuse of their youngest son. Read more

Peaky Blinders series 5

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

Peaky Blinders s5 BBC publicity pic, BD
Peaky Blinders series 5 on BBC1

Cillian Murphy returns as Tommy Shelby in Stephen Knight’s Birmingham-based gangster family epic, which is moving to BBC1. Sam Claflin and Emmet J Scanlan (seen most recently in Butterfly) join the fray. Read more

Adult Material

Channel: Channel 4

Air date: TBC

Hayley Squires (Getty)

Hayley Squires stars as a leading British porn star in a drama examining the adult film industry. It promises to be a timely look at how porn’s influence on mainstream culture has affected society’s ideas of consent. Sheridan Smith was originally attached to the project but dropped out due to a scheduling conflict. Read more

The Man

Channel: ITV

Air date: late 2019

Ken Nwosu as Thomas Benson in The Man

Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett is back with a new three-parter, The Man, which looks at the impact of workplace bullying. Ken Nwosu stars in the lead role of the psychological drama as Thomas Benson, a hard-working father who bottles it during a pitch to a client, a career mistake which ends up having disastrous consequences. Read more

The Looming Tower

Channel: BBC2

Air date: Friday 26th April

Jeff Daniels) stars in The Looming Tower, coming to BBC2 in spring 2019 (Photo by: JoJo Whilden/Hulu)

The Looming Tower is a political thriller charting the events in the run-up to 9/11 during the late 1990s. It stars Jeff Daniels as the chief of the New York FBI’s Counterterrorism Centre, and follows internal rivalries between the FBI and the CIA. Read more


Channel: BBC1

Air date: Sunday 17th February

Baptiste, BBC1
Baptiste on BBC1

The Missing’s beloved detective, Julien Baptiste, is getting his own spin-off show. The new drama stars Tchéky Karyo as the titular sleuth and Tom Hollander as a man desperately searching for a disappeared sex worker in Amsterdam. Read more

Summer of Rockets

Channel: BBC2

Air date: 22nd May 2019

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 15/05/2018 - Programme Name: The Summer of Rockets - TX: 12/05/2018 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Kathleen Shaw (KEELEY HAWES) - (C) Little Island Productions - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian
Summer of Rockets on BBC2

Stephen Poliakoff’s semi-autobiographical six-part series set in Britain during the Cold War stars Toby Stephens and Keeley Hawes. Read more

The Luminaries

Channel: BBC2

Air date: TBC

The Luminaries

Casino Royale’s Eva Green is starring in the TV adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries. The drama promises to be “an epic story of love, murder and revenge” and is set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island during the boom years of the 1860s gold rush. Read more

Outlander series 5

Channel: Amazon Prime

Air date: TBC

Outlander Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe were auditioned together in what is known as a 'chemistry read' (STARZ)

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe will reprise their roles as the beloved Jamie and Claire in a fifth series of Outlander, which will see the pair facing new challenges, adversaries and adventures as the show delves into American history and continues the story of the Frasers settling in the New World. Read more

The Nest 

Channel: BBC1 

Air date: TBC

Nicole Taylor (Getty)

Nicole Taylor, the Bafta-winning writer behind Three Girls, is back with a brand new Glasgow-set surrogacy thriller which explores the life-changing consequences of a wealthy couple asking a teenage girl to carry their baby. Read more

The Left Behind

Channel: BBC3, BBC1

Air date: Wednesday 10th July 2019

The Left Behind

Gethin (Sion Daniel Young) is a single, working class young man living in South Wales with his sister and her family. He scrapes by on zero-hours employment at a chicken shop, and is content to hang out with his friends and help raise his young niece. But increasing problems lead him to question how far he’s been ‘left behind’ in his own country – and he starts to pay attention to the extremist far-right views of those around him. Read more

A Confession

Channel: ITV

Air date: TBC

Getty, TL
A Confession on ITV

The latest drama based on real events from writer Jeff Pope focuses on the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in March 2011 and the lengths Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher (Martin Freeman) went to in order to catch her killer. Read more

War of the Worlds

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

War of the Worlds on BBC1

Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall star in a brand-new adaptation of the HG Wells sci-fi classic, which follows a young couple as they defy the prejudices of society and attempt to start a life together, all the while trying to survive an alien invasion. Read more

The Crown series 3

Channel: Netflix

Release date: TBC

(Getty, JG)
The Crown series 3 on Netflix

Olivia Colman inherits the burden of the crown worn so dazzlingly by Claire Foy, who played Queen Elizabeth in series one and two. The saga of the British royal family now moves into a new era covering 1964-76. Read more

Line of Duty series 5

Channel: BBC1

Air date: Sunday 31st March