The best TV dramas and comedies airing in autumn 2019

From The Crown to The Politician, from The Good Place to His Dark Materials – here's the best of drama and comedy across TV and on-demand

Autumn drama

As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, at least we can comfort ourselves with the fact that autumn 2019 has some excellent TV in store for us.

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The BBC, ITV, Netflix, Amazon, Sky and Channel 4 have lined up some brilliant new comedies and dramas this year, while old favourite shows will be back with their latest seasons.

Here’s what you should be watching:


The Crown series 3 – Netflix

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown series 3 (Netflix)

Air date: Sunday 17th November

At last, Netflix’s flagship drama The Crown is back for season three! But this time around, all the stars have been replaced with a slightly older bunch of actors to cover the next chapter in Queen Elizabeth’s life. The monarch is now played by Olivia Colman, with Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, and Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles. Read more


World on Fire – BBC1

World on Fire

Air date: Sunday 29th September

This ambitious World War Two drama will follow the “intertwining fates” of ordinary people from Britain, Poland, France and Germany during the first year of the conflict, as their lives are disrupted and upended. Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt is set to star alongside Sean Bean, Lesley Manville, Jonah Hauer-King and Julia Brown. Read more


The Politician – Netflix

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Air date: Friday 27th September

Glee creator Ryan Murphy is taking us back to high school with The Politician, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tony-winning actor Ben Platt. Rich Californian schoolboy Payton Hobar (Platt) is determined to go to Harvard and ultimately become US President – but first, he must win the election for Student Body President. “Ruthless rivals. Sordid scandals. Backstabbing and betrayal. High school is the perfect training for a life in politics,” runs Netflix’s tagline for the comedy drama. Read more


His Dark Materials – BBC1

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Air date: Sunday 3rd November

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials novels are heading to the BBC, and all the early signs are promising – especially the cast, which includes Dafne Keen as our heroine Lyra, James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as balloonist and explorer Lee Scoresby.

Series one is based on the first novel in the trilogy, Northern Lights, and begins in Oxford in a parallel universe where the child Lyra plays with her friend Roger – accompanied by their “daemons”, physical manifestations of their souls which take the shape of animals. But Roger is mysteriously stolen away, and the glamorous Mrs Coulter offers her a new home, and Lyra soon finds herself at the centre of events which could alter the course of the entire universe. Read more


Liar series 2 – ITV

Liar series 2

Air date: Autumn 2019 (expected)

The first series of Liar had us gripped, making viewers question who was lying about an alleged rape: Laura Nielson (Joanne Froggatt) or Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd)? But then (spoiler alert!) the awful truth was revealed, vindicating Laura and exposing Andrew as a serial rapist. However, writers Harry and Jack Williams delivered one last twist, revealing in the final moments of the series that Andrew had been murdered. Series two will now explore the mystery of who killed him, with Gruffudd appearing in flashbacks and Katherine Kelly joining the cast as DI Karen Renton. Read more


Dublin Murders – BBC1

Dublin Murders

Air date: Autumn 2019 (expected)

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This crime drama is based on the Dublin Murder Squad novels by Tana French, but is brought to our screens by Sarah Phelps – the screenwriter behind all those Christmastime Agatha Christie adaptations. Starring Killian Scott and Sarah Greene as detectives investigating two murders, it’s a dark and twisty psychological thriller set in Ireland around the turn of the Millennium. Read more

Read on for more autumn shows…