Are you curious about what you might have missed in the world of television this year? Then dive in as we unveil's annual round-up of the 50 must-watch TV shows.


Over five days, we're revealing our top picks as selected by our team of editorial experts. Today, 29th December, we're excited to present rankings 20 to 11, representing some of the most creative and compelling television experiences offered this year.

Don't miss out tomorrow when we continue our countdown, revealing the elite top 10 series, including the highly anticipated show that has earned the prestigious title of No. 1 TV series of the year.

20. Only Murders in the Building

Available on Disney Plus

The third season of Only Murders in the Building saw the genre-mashing Hulu series finally assume its full and final form. Packing in the guest star to end all guest stars in Meryl Streep (plus an abundance of additional scene-stealing cameos), an all-out musical and as many twists and turns as the previous instalments combined, the comedy drama defied the odds to keep getting better season after season. Martin Short, as the irrepressible Oliver Putnam, was this season's brightest star, his shine rivalled only by that of his on-screen romantic partner-in-crime, long-time Academy darling Streep.

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And, thanks to the now traditional season finale cliffhanger, we get to enjoy more from our favourite Arconia podcasters in a fourth season, which looks set to see the trio delve into yet another murder mystery brimming with potential for the cocktail of silliness and emotional depth Only Murders has made its core tenet. – Minnie Wright, News Editor

19. Poker Face

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale and Benjamin Bratt as Cliff Legrand in Poker Face

Available on Sky

Rian Johnson really doesn’t need to prove himself anymore. For years, he has been crafting truly innovative film and TV stories, all while laughing at convention and accruing his fair share of detractors because of it. Still, if he wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t a one-hit wonder when it came to the mystery/detective genre, after devising the brilliant Benoir Blanc mysteries (Knives Out and Glass Onion), then he’s done it here.

Poker Face, created by Johnson, is both a throwback and a revolution all at once, a murder mystery series which channels Columbo while adding a key twist – the detective, an amateur in this instance, is a walking, talking lie detector. Said detective is played by Natasha Lyonne, who Russian Doll fans will know to be an utterly charming lead, but who also gets to flex some new dramatic and comedic chops here.

Add in a compelling road trip plot which hangs over the entire season and Poker Face proves to be an absolute joy, with a unique, light-hearted and comical tone that also retains some bite. – James Hibbs, Drama Writer

18. Yellowjackets

Shauna about to chop up a dead rabbit on her kitchen counter
Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Available on Paramount Plus

Arriving more than a year after the first season marked it out as one of the best new series of recent years, Yellowjackets’ second run cemented its reputation as an atmospheric, intriguing and extremely watchable piece of television.

As with the first outing, it follows the surviving members of a girls' football team left stranded in the wilderness after a catastrophic plane crash – unfolding in two timelines, both immediately after the crash and picking up with their adult lives 20 years later.

There are some hugely engaging performances from both the younger and older casts – with Sophie Thatcher and Juliette Lewis among the standouts – and enough disturbing twists and turns to keep viewers hooked despite a lack of concrete answers to some of the show’s overarching questions. Indeed, fans looking for answers will have to wait a little while longer – this is a slow-burning drama that seems likely to further amp up the mystery before anything is conclusively wrapped up. – Patrick Cremona, Senior Film Writer

17. Dead Ringers

Rachel Weisz in Dead Ringers.
Courtesy of Prime Video

Available on Prime Video

Eyebrows were raised when Amazon announced it had ordered a miniseries based on David Cronenberg’s twisted psychological thriller Dead Ringers – with fans left wondering how the master of body horror’s chilling 1988 film could possibly be topped. But though the series ultimately falls slightly short of the film, it nonetheless comfortably ranks as one of the most daring and innovative shows of 2023 – with Rachel Weisz’s tour de force dual performance arguably the year’s finest small screen acting achievement.

As with the original film, the gender-swapped six-part series focuses on identical twin gynaecologists Beverly and Elliot (both Weisz), who habitually swap places with each other for reasons that cross ethical boundaries in both their personal and professional lives. Visually striking and containing just the right amount of shock value, it’s a series that intelligently explores themes of identity, fertility and obsession – while writer Alice Birch’s sharp and witty script gives Weisz plenty of brilliant lines. – Patrick Cremona, Senior Film Writer

16. The Crown

Imelda Staunton, Olivia Colman and Claire Foy in The Crown
Imelda Staunton, Olivia Colman and Claire Foy in The Crown. Netflix/Justin Downing

Available on Netflix

Few shows have created such a ripple effect in the press as the sumptuous and haunting Netflix drama The Crown in its lifetime, and this reached fever pitch ahead of the sixth and final season as the series tackled perhaps the most seismic event in recent royal history: the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Arguably the most theatrical run of the series, creator-writer Peter Morgan chooses to prize raw emotion with a dash of whimsical sentimentality to find an emotional truth amid some more questionable historical accuracy. The handling of Diana’s final days and death was a gut-wrenching triumph with the maelstrom sense of dread found in a Greek tragedy, while the swan song for arguably the show’s greatest portrait - Princess Margaret (played to perfection by Lesley Manville) - is so incredibly moving that you almost forget the show’s royal trappings entirely.

While the series's final messaging may be questionable to many, and perhaps rather cloying to some, there’s no denying the wealth of talent in front of and behind the camera. – Lewis Knight, Trends Editor

15. Silo

Rebecca Ferguson in Silo, wearing a brown jacket

Available on Apple TV Plus

After a peak in the early 2010s, dystopia is back - and Silo proves it.

Rarely does a set mean so much to a show - but in Silo, it’s everything. The expansive silo is at the centre of it all in the masterful Apple TV+ sci-fi, and it couldn’t be done any other way. Based on Hugh Howey’s Wool novels, the series, starring Rebecca Ferguson among other Hollywood greats, asks one huge question: what lies outside?

Across 10 episodes, we’re taken on countless twists and turns, with Ferguson’s Juliet stopping at nothing on her quest for the truth. Even the episodes that go completely off-piste (there’s a full one about fixing the generator) are completely gripping. Finally, in episode 10, we find out the answer to that central question of what’s outside the silo, leaving us on one of the best cliffhangers of the year.

Stars like Ferguson, Tim Robbins, David Oyelowo, Rashida Jones and the great Harriet Walter play off each other perfectly and, thankfully, it’s been confirmed that season 2 is on its way. – Louise Griffin, Sci-Fi & Fantasy Editor

14. Time

Available on BBC iPlayer

Following 2021’s BAFTA-winning prison drama Time, starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, Jimmy McGovern returned for another instalment of his heart-wrenching, fearless prison drama.

This time, we followed three women forced to share a cell: Orla (Jodie Whittaker), a single mother arrested for "fiddling" with her electricity supply, pregnant heroin addict Kelsey (Bella Ramsey), and Abi (Tamara Lawrance), a woman convicted of killing her baby. The show portrayed the latter as a vulnerable character rather than a monster and, while it initially seemed like the three women were imprisoned for crimes of completely different natures, it soon became apparent they all had one motivation in common: motherhood.

With gripping performances from the three leads, this was a relentless, violent and yet compassionate portrait of women behind bars. – Molly Moss, Trends Writer

13. Sex Education

Ncuti Gatwa and Asa Butterfield in Sex Education

Available on Netflix

Netflix’s premier teen drama had a lot to contend with in season 4: a status quo-shifting premise, a cast outgrowing their roles (in both age and popularity), a sizeable raft of newcomers and, of course, the need to offer fans a satisfactory farewell to Moordale’s finest. Admirably, Laurie Nunn and her writing team overcame (most of) these obstacles, delivering a distinct final chapter which nevertheless stayed true to the show’s life-affirming ethos.

As Otis (Asa Butterfield) awkwardly shambled his way into unlikeability, co-stars Emma Mackey and Ncuti Gatwa stepped up to steal the show. The former gave a truly heart-wrenching turn as Maeve grappled with a terrible loss – I challenge anyone not to get misty-eyed during that funeral episode – while the latter faced an identity crisis in typically mesmerising form. It all culminated in a fitting finale, which neatly leaves our characters exactly where they need to be. – David Craig, Senior Drama Writer

12. Black Mirror

Available on Netflix

Since Black Mirror first landed in 2016, the best episodes have captivated viewers with sharp satire focused on the perils of technology. The show returned for a new five-part series earlier this year, but only a couple of episodes felt like they were navigating familiar territory.

There was the darkly comic Joan Is Awful, which offered both a very funny stab at Netflix and at the ethics of AI technology, and Beyond the Sea – a heart-tugging exploration of technology as a substitute for human connection that was reminiscent of previous Black Mirror episodes such as Be Right Back. Loch Henry, meanwhile, took aim at society's fascination with true crime drama, while the remaining two episodes – Mazey Day and Demon 79 – ventured further into horror.

There might have been fewer technology scares and more horror leanings than in previous seasons, as well as more travelling back in time rather than focusing on the future in season 6 – but Black Mirror remained as disturbing as ever. – Molly Moss, Trends Writer

11. Lupin

Available on Netflix

With three seasons of this impeccably-written series under its belt, Lupin still manages to retain its range of clever twists and momentum that keep viewers guessing right until the very end.

If you were to ask any Lupin fan for their one reason as to why you should tune into this series about France’s well-known gentleman thief, it’s simply for Omar Sy’s portrayal of Assane Diop. Blending enigma, wit and charm, Assane’s deliberately unserious disguises are made for viewer enjoyment. But the pulling off of his most ambitious stunts yet prove to be edge-of-your-seat viewing as he seeks to steal some of France’s most prized possessions.

With the third season, we get further intriguing insight into Assane’s younger years, demonstrating how the avenging of his father’s death still looms large over him today. But this third season is also the one that will leave you questioning everything you’ve known about Assane so far, providing unexpectedly welcome instability to an otherwise smooth watch of a series. – Morgan Cormack, Drama Writer

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