The biggest 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, kicking off the brand-new decade with plenty of shows to lowet excited about now; from hotly-anticipated on-offs and series like BBC One’s Dracula, to some much-loved returning shows, from Doctor Who and Call the Midwife to Endeavour.

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Looking ahead, there are plenty of future water-cooler dramas to add to your diary, including 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:


Dracula – BBC One

Dracula - episode 1

Sherlock creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have penned a bloodcurdling adaptation of Dracula, starring Danish actor Claes Band as the blood-sucking vampire created by Bram Stoker for his 1897 novel. The three-part series, which also stars John Heffernan and Gatiss himself, will first air on New Year’s Day, so we haven’t long to wait…


The Stranger – Netflix

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Netflix is adapting Harlan Coben’s nail-biting novel The Stranger into an eight-part thriller series, starring The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage as a man whose world is turned upside down by a woman who reveals secret information to him about his wife.


Glass Houses – ITV

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.


The North Water – BBC Two

Jack O'Connell in The North Water - now filming for BBC Two - TNW_NW_2709_EP1_5519_Edit

Set in the late 1850s and adapted from Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series will depict the harrowing exploits of a whaling vessel called Volunteer and its passengers, namely the ship’s doctor Patrick Sumner (Jack O’Connell) and the unhinged harpooner Henry Drax (Colin Farrell). Filmed on a ship, the series also stars Line of Duty and The Irishman star Stephen Graham, as the Volunteer’s captain.


The Luminaries – BBC Two

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.


Doctor Who series 12 – BBC One

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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…


Jan 22nd – BBC Two

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.


Normal People – BBC Three

normal people

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.


Succession series three – Sky Atlantic and NOW TV

Succession

The Roy family are returning for another series following the shock plot-twist at the end of season two. Expect more twists, back-stabbing, exotic locations, and sumptuous clothes.


Outlander series 5 – Amazon Prime

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.


The English Game – Netflix

Craig Parkinson (Getty, EH)

Former Line of Duty star Craig Parkinson, Edward Holcroft and Kevin Guthrie all star in Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes’ latest series about the history of football, exploring “how those involved in its creation reached across the class divide to establish the game as the world’s most popular sport”.


Homeland season 8 – Channel 4

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.


The Nest – BBC One

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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.


Marcella series 3 – ITV

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.


The Barking Murders – BBC One

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.


Noughts & Crosses – BBC One

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.


Strike: Lethal White – BBC One

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.


Too Close – ITV

Emily Watson (Getty)

Emily Watson (from Chernobyl) stars as a forensic psychiatrist in ITV’s upcoming three-part drama Too Close, based on the novel by Clara Salaman (written under under the pseudonym Natalie Daniels).


Inside No. 9 – BBC Two

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.


The Pale Horse – BBC One

The Pale Horse - First Look

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.


Riviera series 3 – Sky Atlantic

Riviera

A third season of Riviera has been confirmed, as Julia Stiles returns as Georgina for eight more episodes of the hit drama based around the lush paradise that is the French coast.


Industry – BBC One

Nabhaan Rizwan
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Set in 2008, the upcoming drama will cover the global financial crisis and follow a handful of aspiring bankers just out of university, each trying to build a career in finance by acquiring full-time roles at a particular investment bank based in London. David Jonsson and  Informer’s Nabhaan Rizwan have both been cast.


There She Goes series two – BBC Two

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Returning to our screens is There She Goes, the funny but highly emotional comedy drama about a couple whose daughter, Rosie, has severe learning difficulties. Starring David Tennant and Jessica Hynes, and written by Shaun Pye.


Liar series 2 – ITV

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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…


The Good Karma Hospital series 3 – ITV

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.


LIFE – BBC One

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.


The Singapore Grip – ITV

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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.


The Trial of Christine Keeler – BBC One

Programme Name: The Trial of Christine Keeler - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Christine Keeler (SOPHIE COOKSON) - (C) Ecosse Films - Photographer: Ben Blackall

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.”


Belgravia – ITV

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.


The Serpent – BBC One

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.