New and most-anticipated TV dramas still to come in 2020

There are still plenty of televisual treats to come in the next few months.

John Boyega in Small Axe

So we’ve made it more than halfway through the unending year that is 2020! And we’ve already had more than 100 new dramas (yes, we counted) across the BBC, Netflix, ITV, Amazon, Apple TV+, Disney Plus, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, and all the myriad of channels and streaming services. But what’s next?

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There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has shaken up the TV industry, with many productions forced to pause mid-shoot and other upcoming dramas facing serious delays. Still, despite it all, viewers still have plenty of great television to look forward to this year – projects which completed filming before the lockdown, and which are now getting ready to hit our screens.

We’ve already given you a heads up for the best TV shows of 2020 – here are the shows which you can get ready to watch for the rest of the year.

Ratched (Netflix)

RATCHED (L to R) SARAH PAULSON as MILDRED RATCHED in episode 101 of RATCHED

Air date: 18th September 2020

Ryan Murphy’s latest drama Ratched is a prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest (the 1962 novel and 1975 movie), and it’s set to tell the “origin story” of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched – played by Sarah Paulson. As Netflix puts it: “In 1947, Mildred arrives in Northern California to seek employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect image of what a dedicated nurse should be, but the wheels are always turning and as she begins to infiltrate the mental health care system and those within it, Mildred’s stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smouldering within, revealing that true monsters are made, not born.”

Roadkill (BBC One)

Hugh Laurie in BBC One's Roadkill

Air date: TBC, 2020

In this “major new political thriller”, Hugh Laurie stars as (fictional) Conservative politician Peter Laurence. The four-part drama, Roadkill, sees his public and private life falling apart; “As the personal revelations spiral, he is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse, expertly walking a high wire between glory and catastrophe as he seeks to further his own agenda whilst others plot to bring him down. However events show just how hard it is, for both an individual and a country, to leave the past behind. With enemies so close to home, can Peter Laurence ever out-run his own secrets to win the ultimate prize?” Other cast includes Helen McCrory (of Peaky Blinders), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld), and Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders, Normal People).

His Dark Materials (BBC One)

Dafne Keen Lyra His Dark Materials

Air date: TBC, 2020

Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, Amir Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda return for the second season of His Dark Materials, based on the series of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman. Now we’re moving on to the events of the second novel, The Subtle Knife, and the dual stories of Lyra Silvertongue and Will Parry are set to collide in a parallel universe as they pursue the truth about Dust.

The Boys (Amazon)

Homelander and Maeve in The Boys on Amazon Prime Video

Air date: TBC, 2020

Amazon’s brutal superhero satire The Boys is set to continue the story of Billy Butcher’s band of vigilantes and their war against corporate-owned super-team “The Seven”. Returning stars include Karl Urban (as Billy Butcher), Jack Quaid (Hughie), Laz Alonso (Marvin), Tomer Capon (Frenchie) and Karen Fukuhara (Kimiko); on the other side, we have Antony Starr (an increasingly-unhinged Homelander), Dominique McElligott (Queen Maeve), Jessie T Usher (A-Train), Chace Crawford (aquatic hero The Deep), Erin Moriarty (Starlight), and Nathan Mitchell (Black Noir). Season two also introduces a new “hero” (and Neo-Nazi) called Stormfront, played by Aya Cash.

Two Weeks to Live (Sky)

Maisie Williams in Sky One's Two Weeks to Live
Sky Uk Ltd

Air date: Autumn 2020

Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams stars in Two Weeks to Live, a “comic tale of love and revenge born from a seemingly harmless prank that goes terribly wrong.” Her character Kim Stokes is billed as a “strange young misfit” who was just a little girl when her father died in murky circumstances, and who has since lived a remote rural life of seclusion (and survival skills training) with her mother Tina. So when a night at a local pub sets in motion “a chaotic series of events” that puts her life (and several others) in danger, the group soon find themselves on the run from both murderous gangsters and the police. But are Kim’s survival skills the key to saving them all?

Ghosts (BBC One)

Ghosts

Air date: Autumn 2020

In March, production on series 2 of Ghosts managed to scrape “over the line” just before lockdown began, with filming completed just in the nick of time. The comedy centres around a young couple, Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe), who have inherited a decrepit country manor – but when they move in with big renovation plans, they discover a collection of spirits already living there. And the ghosts have plans of their own.

All Creatures Great and Small (Channel 5)

Top Left: Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West) Top Right: Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) Middle: James Herriott (Nicholas Ralph) Bottom: Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley)

Air date: Autumn 2020

All Creatures Great and Small was a much-loved TV drama when the original aired between 1978 and 1990. Now the series, which is based on the memoirs of rural Yorkshire vet James Herriot, has been rebooted with a brand-new cast. Stars include Nicholas Ralph, Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Callum Woodhouse, and Rachel Shenton.

Industry

Industry (BBC)

Air date: TBC, 2020

Eight-part drama Industry follows a cohort of ambitious twenty-somethings as they join a top investment bank in London in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. These young graduates must chase after a limited number of permanent jobs in the cutthroat world of international finance.

I Hate Suzie (Sky)

Billie Piper I hate Suzie

Air date: 27th August 2020

Meet Suzie Pickles (Billie Piper), an actress who has her life upended when she is hacked and pictures of her emerge “in an extremely compromising position”.  In this “bold, bracing” eight-part drama titled I Hate Suzie, we watch her unravelling as the scandal impacts every area of her life. Across eight episodes, we follow her through “shock, denial, fear, shame, bargaining, guilt, anger and acceptance” as Suzie and her best friend/manager Naomi (Leila Farzad) try to hold her life, career and marriage to Cob (Daniel Ings) together.

The Singapore Grip (ITV)

The Singapore Grip

Air date: TBC, 2020

Luke Treadaway, David Morrissey and Charles Dance star in The Singapore Grip, adapted from J.G. Farrell’s 1978 novel of the same name. Set during the Second World War, the six-part drama will tell the story of a prosperous British family and a powerful rubber business in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion.

Adult Material (Channel 4)

Adult Material

Air date: Autumn 2020

Starring Hayley Squires in the lead role, Adult Material introduces us to Jolene Dollar – a leading British porn star and mother-of-three who has been working in the adult industry for years. But one day on set, an encounter with an 19-year-old called Amy leads to the unravelling of her career, reputation and personal life. This four-part drama promises to examine how porn’s influences has affected society’s ideas of consent. Also stars Kerry Godliman, Siena Kelly, Julian Ovenden, and Rupert Everett.

Honour (ITV)

Honour
ITV

Air date: Autumn 2020

Keeley Hawes, star of Bodyguard and The Durrells, will play Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode in Honour, a two-part drama about the so-called ‘honour killing’ of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod in 2006. When it was announced by ITV, Honour faced a backlash for what Banaz’s sister called “the angle they chose to go with”, and its framing as an ultimately uplifting story; it’ll be interesting to see whether this feedback has been taken into account.

Bridgerton (Netflix)

The stars of Bridgerton

Air date: TBC, 2020

Netflix has commissioned a nice, proper period drama called Bridgerton, based on the romance novels of Julia Quinn. It’s the story of a well-to-do family in Regency-era high society London, and it has a star-studded ensemble cast including Nicola Coughlan (of Derry Girls fame), Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey, Polly Walker – and Julie Andrews as the show’s narrator.

The Third Day (Sky)

The Third Day jude law

Air date: 15th September 2020

The first three episodes of The Third Day come under the banner “Summer” and star Jude Law as a man called Sam who travels to an isolated island off the British coast, where he witnesses local residents taking part in strange customs that bring past traumas flooding back. The next (and final) three episodes are titled “Winter”, and star Naomie Harris as Helen – an outsider who arrives on that same island seeking answers. Plus, there’s a special live episode in between the two seasons (called “Autumn”, naturally) which promises to be “groundbreaking”.

Away (Netflix)

Hilary Swank Away

Air date: 4th September 2020

In what sounds a lot like Hulu and Channel 4’s space drama The First (feat. Sean Penn), this new Netflix drama stars Hilary Swank as an astronaut who leads the first human mission to Mars. The show, which is titled Away, is billed as a “thrilling emotional drama” in which Swank’s character Emma Green grapples with her decision to leave her family behind on Earth for three whole years – including her NASA engineer husband Matt (Josh Charles) and their daughter Lex.

Small Axe (BBC)

John Boyega in Small Axe
BBC

Air date: TBC, 2020

Small Axe is an anthology of TV movies from Oscar-winning writer and director Steve McQueen, with cast including Star Wars actor John Boyega and Line of Duty’s Rochenda Sandall. Set within the West Indian community, the five episodes will begin with Enoch Powell’s notorious ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech of 1968 and take us through to the mid-80s. The series title is drawn from a Jamaican proverb, “if you are the big tree, we are the small axe”, which means that relatively marginal or small voices of dissent can successfully challenge more powerful voices. The first two films in the series, “Mangrove” and “Lovers Rock”, have already been selected by Cannes Film Festival; and all of the five films will premiere on BBC One later this year.

Riviera (Sky)

Riviera (Sky/NOW TV)

Air date: Autumn 2020

In season three of Riviera, Julia Stiles’s Georgina is joined by cast newcomer Rupert Graves – who is set to play her “charismatic” new ally Gabriel. Georgina is in search of stolen artworks across the globe, and as Sky puts it, “Now a rising star in international art restitution, Georgina has reinvented herself as Georgina Ryland.”

The Undoing (Sky)

The Undoing with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant

Air date: Autumn 2020

Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant lead the cast of this tense drama about a woman called whose world starts to disintegrate when her husband goes missing – leaving behind a string of terrible revelations as questions are raised about his true identity. The Undoing is based on the novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz.

Tin Star (Sky)

Tin Star 3
Sky

Air date: November 2020

This will be the third and final season of Tin Star – and it’s also shifting location from the Canadian Rockies to the English city of Liverpool. Tim Roth, Genevieve O’Reilly and Abigail Lawrie return as the Worth family, who are back in the UK after two decades “to confront their menacing past”. But the secrets they hold are a threat to a group of dangerous criminals still operating in Liverpool, including crime boss Michael (Ian Hart).

Strike: Lethal White

Lethal White episode 4
BBC

Air date: 2020

In BBC One’s adaptation of JK Rowling (aka Robert Galbraith)’s latest Cormoran Strike novel, Strike: Lethal White, Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger reprise their roles as private investigator Cormoran Strike and his professional partner Robin Ellacott to investigate more crimes.

The Sister (ITV)

First look at The Sister on ITV

Air date: TBC, 2020

Luther creator Neil Cross brings us a suspenseful new murder mystery titled The Sister, starring Russell Tovey as a man with a terrible secret who is trying to escape the (literal) ghosts of his past. As Cross himself put it, this is “a tale of psychological suspense, of guilt and ghosts and murder. Oh, and love. Always love. Our job is to make viewers want to sleep with the lights on.”

Young Wallander (Netflix)

Young Wallander
Netflix

Air date: 3rd September 2020

Six-part Netflix drama Young Wallander is based on the best selling Kurt Wallander novels by Henning Mankell, which were previously adapted for the BBC with Kenneth Branagh in the lead role. This adaptation will follow a younger version of the iconic Swedish detective – but in addition to functioning as a prequel, the English-language show promises to be a “modern reimagining” which transplants the young Wallander (played by Adam Pålsson) into present-day Sweden.

Des (ITV)

David Tennant in Des on ITV

Air date: TBC, 2020

David Tennant stars in Des, a true crime drama about the real-life serial killer Dennis Nilsen. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Nilsen murdered several men and boys in his flat, preying especially on the young and vulnerable; his crimes went undetected until police were called following reports of human fragments of flesh and bone clogging the drains. In three episodes, this drama will tell the story of the arrest and trail of “Des” through the prism of three different men – Nilsen himself, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, and biographer Brian Masters. Tennant is joined in the cast by Daniel Mays, Jason Watkins, Ron Cook and Faye McKeever.

US (BBC)

Us - First Look
BBC

Air date: TBC, 2020

Douglas Petersen (Tom Hollander) is an apparently happily-married man who is blindsided when his wife Connie (Saskia Reeves) tells him she has fallen out of love with him. But it’s not over yet! Because the couple and their son have already planned a big family holiday together across Europe, and they’re still determined to go. The four-part drama was filmed in London, Amsterdam, Venice, Barcelona and Paris, and is based on the Man Booker long-listed novel by David Nicholls.

LIFE (BBC)

Air date: TBC, 2020

Mike Bartlett’s six-part drama LIFE follows the parallel stories of the inhabitants of four different flats within a large house in Manchester. These separate storylines are united by the theme of overcoming modern isolation and making real human connections. Stars include Alison Steadman, Peter Davison, Adrian Lester, Victorian Hamilton and Rachael Stirling.

The Crown (Netflix)

The Crown

Air date: TBC – 2020?

Admittedly, Netflix has yet to confirm that season four of The Crown will definitely arrive in 2020, but we can’t see why it wouldn’t. Filming for the new season just about scraped over the line before the lockdown began in March, with the second incarnation of the cast shooting their final scenes before handing on the baton to the new Queen (Imelda Staunton) and co. In season four, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Josh O’Connor will pick up the story in 1977 and take us through the ’80s, introducing us for the first time to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin).

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Check out what shows are on in the immediate future with our TV Guide