The best TV shows airing in 2020

From returning Doctor Who and Last Tango in Halifax to new series with David Tennant, Keeley Hawes and more, here's the best of 2020 TV

Best TV shows 2020

2020 is shaping up to be a year jam-packed with terrific telly.

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There are some much-loved returning shows, from Doctor Who to Call the Midwife to Endeavour.

Plus, those TV bigwigs have been cooking up a host of exciting new series and one-offs for us to enjoy. There’s an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s bestseller Normal People, David Tennant’s new Channel 4 series Deadwater Fell, and Keeley Hawes’ return to the force in ITV factual drama Honour.

Read on for a full list of all the TV to look forward to in 2020 – and beyond:


Glass Houses

Channel: ITV

Air date: TBC

Glass Houses

The Vicar of Dibley star Dawn French is set to play a dangerous village gossip in Glass Houses. Her character Maggie Connors is a busybody who gives an indiscreet interview to a local radio interviewer that sparks off a series of unexpected happenings in the fictional town of Thurlbury. 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


Doctor Who series 12

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

17009053-low_res-doctor-who

Jodie Whittaker and her Doctor Who team will be back in 2020 for another series of adventures on the BBC. Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill are all set to return, and reports suggest that actor, writer, presenter and general polymath Stephen Fry also has a role in an upcoming episode… Read more


Jan 22nd 

Channel: BBC2 

Air date: TBC

Netflix's Our Planet Royal World Premiere, London, April 2019. (L-R) Michaela Coel

Created by and starring Michaela Coel of Chewing Gum fame, Jan 22nd promises to be a “provocative” series exploring the question of sexual consent in today’s world, where gratification is only a dating app away. Read more


Normal People

Channel: BBC3

Air date: 2020

Sally Rooney Normal People (Getty)

Sally Rooney is adapting her critically acclaimed novel Normal People for BBC3. The modern love story chronicles the romance between Marianne and Connell – both from a small Irish town, but from very different backgrounds – whose relationship is tested at various junctures in their lives. Read more


Outlander series 5

Channel: Amazon Prime

Air date: Early 2020

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


Homeland season 8

Channel: Channel 4

Air date: early 2020

Claire Danes in Homeland (Channel 4, EH)
Homeland series 8 on Channel 4

The eighth and final season of Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, will bring an end to the ever-twisting political thriller. Read more


The Nest 

Channel: BBC1 

Air date: TBC

The Nest

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


Marcella series 3

Channel: ITV

Air date: TBC

Marcella (ITV, EH)

Marcella will be returning for a third series on ITV, with Anna Friel reprising her role as the troubled detective. The new eight-part season will “delve further into the psychology” of Marcella and follow her new line of work as an undercover cop. Read more


The Barking Murders

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

Stephen Merchant in The Barking Murders
BBC

From Jeff Pope and Neil McKay, the award-winning team behind The Moorside and Appropriate Adult, this new factual drama is about the victims of “the Grindr serial killer” who drugged and murdered four young men he met on a dating app and will star Sheridan Smith and Stephen Merchant. Read more


Noughts & Crosses

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 10:00:01 on 08/11/2018 - Programme Name: Noughts & Crosses - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: ***PICTURE STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL:10:00 HRS THURSDAY, 08/11/2018*** CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR NEW BBC ONE DRAMA NOUGHTS & CROSSES The much anticipated adaptation of Malorie Blackman's award-winning young adult book series Noughts + Crosses has begun filming in South Africa for BBC One. Sephy Hadley (MASLI BADUZA), Callum McGregor (JACK ROWAN) - (C) Mammoth Screen - Photographer: Ilze Kitshoff. BBC, TL
Noughts & Crosses on BBC1

Malorie Blackman’s bestselling novel, set in a dystopian world where races are segregated and the ruling class is black, is being adapted for television. Peaky Blinders actor Jack Rowan and newcomer Masali Baduza lead the cast. Read more


Strike: Lethal White

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike (BBC, EH)

Sleuthing double act Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke) and Robin Ellacott (Holliday Grainger) will be back on our screens for a new four-part adaptation of JK Rowling’s latest crime novel, Lethal White. The story begins when Strike receives a visit from Billy, a troubled young man asking the detective to investigate a crime he believes he witnessed as a child. Read more


Inside No. 9

Channel: BBC2

Air date: TBC

Inside No 9 (BBC, EH)
Inside No 9 (BBC, EH)

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s anthology series welcomes the likes of Jenna Coleman, David Morrissey, Maxine Peake and Jill Halfpenny for new episodes. Read more


The Pale Horse

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

pale-horse-cast

And Then There Were None and Ordeal by Innocence writer Sarah Phelps tackles her next Agatha Christie tale – The Pale Horse –  set in 1961 and centring around the character of Mark Easterbrook, a man whose name appears on a mysterious list found inside the shoe of a dead woman. Read more


Liar series 2

Channel: ITV

Air date: TBC

LIAR_EPISODE1_01
Liar series 2 on ITV

Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd will both return for the second series of Liar to answer the many questions we had after the shock series one ending. Read more


The Good Karma Hospital series 3

Channel: ITV

Air date: 2020

Good Karma Hospital

Set in an Indian hospital and starring Amanda Redman and Amrita Acharia, ITV’s The Good Karma Hospital will return for a third series. Read more


LIFE

Channel: BBC1 

Air date: 2020  

LIFE is an “epic story about seemingly ‘ordinary’ people who turn out to be anything but” from the writer of Doctor Foster, Mike Bartlett. Set in a divided house in Manchester, it brings together four stories from different flats to tell a bigger tale about what happens when people step out of their own personal space and take a closer look into the lives of others. Read more


The North Water 

Channel: BBC2

Air date: 2020

Jack O'Connell

Jack O’Connell and Colin Farrell lead the cast of The North Water, a four-part thriller based on the critically acclaimed novel by Ian McGuire. The 1850s-set survival series, which takes place in the UK and the ice floes of the Arctic, tells the story of Patrick Sumner (O’Connell), a disgraced ex-army surgeon who finds himself on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath (Farrell). Read more


The Singapore Grip  

Channel: ITV

Air date: 2020

GettyImages-1128316790

The Singapore Grip, starring David Morrissey and Luke Treadaway, is a new drama from the makers of Poldark adapted from JG Farrell’s 1978 novel of the same name. The show will follow a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion during the Second World War. Read more


The Trial of Christine Keeler

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

Keeler

James Norton and Emilia Fox star in this series shining a light on the infamous Profumo Affair of 1963, promising to “take a fresh look at one of the most infamous British stories.” Read more


Belgravia

Channel: ITV 

Air date: 2020

First look image from Belgravia

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is adapting his novel Belgravia into a six-parter starring Tamsin Greig and Harriet Walter. The 19th century-set drama revolves around the Trenchard family who attend a ball hosted by the Duchess of Richmond on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, sparking a series of events that will have consequences for decades to come in London’s wealthiest neighbourhood. Read more


The Serpent

Channel: BBC1

Air date: TBC

Tahar Rahim
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Set in the 1970s, French actor Tahar Rahim will play notorious serial killer Charles Sobhraj who became the chief suspect in a spate of unsolved murders of young Western travellers in India, Thailand and Nepal. Read more