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30 TV shows to get excited about in 2020

Find out the top TV shows being released in 2020

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
20 January 2020
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It is the start of a new decade, which means a time for a host of new TV shows! If one of your resolutions for the year is to watch more prestige telly, you can most certainly come to the right place. From gritty dramas to delightful comedies, it looks like there is going to be plenty of competition at the Emmy Awards this year. Check out some of the most exciting TV shows coming to our screens in 2020, from Phoebe Waller Bridge's new show to much-anticipated novel adaptations…


Season five of Outlander will be out in February, and will see the Fraser family finally together in America. While Brianna and Roger comes to terms with living in colonial America, Jamie must do his duty to end the revolution while simultaneously protecting his fugitive godfather, Murtagh. Of course, plenty of other trials and tribulations will be guaranteed, since the Frasers are never far away from danger!

When and where: Amazon Prime, Monday 17 February

The Pale Horse

Missing the BBC's Agatha Christie adaptation this Christmas? Don't worry, we'll have one soon enough! Starring Rufus Sewell, the synopsis reads: "When a murder investigation is launched into the death of a young woman, a mysterious list of names is discovered in her shoe -prompting an inquiry not only to find the killer, but also to understand the list of names. Who wrote the list, and who do these names refer to?" Written by Agatha Christie aficionado Sarah Phelps, we can't wait to check it out.

READ: Lexi from Netflix's Cheer is back at Navarro and fans are delighted

When and where: BBC, TBC


Fancy watching Phoebe Waller Bridge's new comedy drama? Of course you do! Starring Unbelievable star Merritt Wever as a woman who receives a text inviting her to reinvent herself, and Domhall Gleeson as her lifelong crush, this is one that we definitely won't be missing from the creator of Fleabag and Killing Eve.

When and where: HBO, TBC

Noughts and Crosses

Fans of the book series have been waiting years for this Malorie Blackman adaptation, which takes place in an alternate world where black and white people are segregated and known as 'Crosses' and 'Noughts' respectively. In this world, two childhood friends from different circumstances fall in love. The synopsis reads: "Against a background of prejudice, distrust and powerful rebellion mounting on the streets, a passionate romance builds between Sephy and Callum which will lead them both into terrible danger."

When and where: BBC One, TBC

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Sam is effectively made the new Captain America, while Bucky, with a new arm courtesy of Wakanda, is left jealous that his oldest friend chose someone else to be his successor. However, if the pair started to get along, they could make an incredible team. We suspect that this will feel like a continuation of Endgame, and we're excited to see what the new Marvel TV Universe will hold!

When and where: Disney+, Autumn

The Nest

This five-part series starring Line of Duty's Martin Compston and Gentleman Jack's Sophie Rundle follows the trials of a wealthy couple struggling to conceive, who ask a teenage girl to be their surrogate. As you can imagine, things don't go quite according to plan. The synopsis reads: "Can the dreams of Kaya, Emily and Dan be fulfilled or have all three embarked on a relationship of mutually assured destruction?"

When and where: BBC One, TBC

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Glass Houses

Dawn French stars as Maggie Connors, a gossip in a close-knit community, who causes drama following a radio interview. The official synopsis reads: "Maggie is a central character in town who makes it her business to know a bit about everyone’s lives. When a radio journalist interviews her for a small reportage piece about local life she gives him far more detail (and embellishment) about the locals and their personal lives than he was counting on. In the days and weeks following the show’s broadcast, Maggie sees the butterfly effect of how her very public gossip-fest affects various figures around the town and disrupts their lives."

When and where: ITV, TBC

The Serpent

Fan of true crime dramas? This might be the one for you. The official synopsis reads: "Charles Sobhraj was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers across India, Thailand and Nepal through 1975 and 1976. Psychopath, con man, thief and master of disguise, having slipped repeatedly from the grasp of authorities worldwide, by 1976 serial killer Sobhraj was Interpol's most wanted man and had arrest warrants on three different continents. When Herman Knippenberg, a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into Sobhraj's intricate web of crime, he sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will see these two diametrically opposed men engaged in a chase across the porous borders of the Hippie Trail, as Knippenberg seeks to bring Sobhraj to justice for his terrible crimes." Starring Jenna Coleman, Billy Howle and Ellie Bamber.

When and where: BBC One, TBC

Killing Eve

After a brilliant season two cliffhanger, we are eager to get back to the world of Eve, our favourite psychopath Villanelle and Constantine. Early snaps of filming have already hinted what Villanelle will be up to – and unsurprisingly it involves plenty of disguises and probably an accent or two.

When and where: BBC One, TBC

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Our Girl

The season four six-part series sees Georgie working as a Sergeant while living with her family in Manchester. Training a new group of medics, she decides against going to Afghanistan with her family. However, following a near-fatal accident, Georgie realises that she has to face her fears and return to Afghanistan, joining her 2 Section family once more.

When and where: BBC One, TBC


Based on the real life murder of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, a young woman who was killed by her father and her uncle after she left her husband for another man, the series looks at the terrifying case. The series stars Keeley Hawes as DCI Goode, the police officer who becomes consumed with getting justice for Banaz. Speaking about the show, Keeley said: "It is a privilege to be working on Honour. In a time when honour killings are still rife, it is critical to shine a light on such an important subject. Banaz Mahmod’s story, and DCI Goode’s subsequent investigation, is certainly one that needs to be told and I am proud to be a part of it."

When and where: ITV, TBC

The Luminaries

Based on the bestselling novel, the official synopsis reads: "The Luminaries tells an epic story of love, murder and revenge, as men and women travelled across the world to make their fortunes. It is a 19th century tale of adventure and mystery, set on the Wild West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the boom years of the 1860s gold rush."

When and where: BBC Two, early 2020

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Normal People

The bestselling novel from Sally Rooney will be a 12-part series with Room director Lenny Abrahamson on board, and Sally herself serving as executive producer. Speaking about the TV adaptation of her hugely popular novel, she said: "As a long-time admirer of Lenny Abrahamson’s work, it's a special privilege for me to be working alongside him on the adaptation of Normal People. I couldn’t be happier with the cast and team we’ve put together, and I’m very excited to watch them bringing new life to the story on screen."

When and where: BBC Three, 2020

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Last Tango in Halifax 

Four years after the season three finale, this beloved show is back for season four! The synopsis reads: "Alan and Celia are now seven years into their marriage but, having moved into a desirable bungalow with stunning views across the Calder Valley, ​they aren't quite seeing eye to eye. It isn't just their differing politics that's a source of tension; Alan's new supermarket job brings an unexpected challenge in the form of a wild local lad, and at Far Slack Farm Gillian faces trouble with a giraffe. Meanwhile John is back on the scene, and Caroline finds herself entangled in an emotional debacle with someone at work. Into all of this jets Alan's brother Ted on holiday from New Zealand. But it turns out he’s only bought a one-way ticket… and he hasn't come alone." We can't wait!

When and where: BBC One, TBC

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The show will be returning for what is expected to be a four-part series in 2020. Starring Shaun Evans as a young Morse, the show's creator Russell Lewis has hinted at what fans can expect from the upcoming series, saying: "We're thrilled ITV has asked #TeamEndeavour to continue to add to the Casebook of Colin Dexter's immortal creation, and take E. Morse and Oxford's Finest into a new decade of decimalisation, package holidays, the Oil Crisis, Blackouts, Three Day Weeks, and Europa Endlos. We end, then, on the brink of the Black Forest, chicken in a basket, 1970s."

When and where: BBC, TBC


From the brilliant mind of Russell T Davies, this five-part series will look at the lives of a group of young gay men, Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin, who are affected by the outbreak of HIV while living in London in the 1980s. Speaking about the drama, Russell told Radio Times: "They’re all based on my experiences. They’re all 18 years old in 1981, that was my age in 1981, in a sense they’re all part of me but equally they’re all invented… Some of them do [die of AIDs]."

The official synopsis reads: "Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin are young lads, strangers at first, leaving home at 18 and heading off to London in 1981 with hope and ambition and joy… and walking straight into a plague that most of the world ignores. Year by year, episode by episode, their lives change, as the mystery of a new virus starts as a rumour, then a threat, then a terror, and then something that binds them together in the fight."

When and where: Channel 4, summer

The North Water

This creepy period drama follows Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon who decides to sign up as the ship's doctor during a whaling expedition to the Artic. The synopsis reads: "On board [Sumner] meets the harpooner Henry Drax, a brutish killer whose amorality has been shaped to fit the harshness of his world. Hoping to escape the horrors of his past, Sumner finds himself in a male-dominated world, on an ill-fated journey with a murderous psychopath. In search of redemption, his story becomes a harsh struggle for survival in the Arctic wasteland." Starring Colin Farrell, Jack O’Connell and Stephen Graham, this is set to be a good one!

When and where: BBC Two, TBC

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Michael Sheen looked simply unrecognisable when he was snapped filming in his role as Chris Tarrant in the upcoming ITV drama, which is focused on the 2001 Who Wants to be a Millionaire? cheating scandal. The incident saw Charles Ingram, an Army major, accused of cheating after a friend in the live audience, lecturer Tecwen Whittock, was thought to cough after every correct answer.

When and where: ITV, TBC

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The Crown

Season four will take Her Majesty into the 1980s, and will introduce Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher. The Queen, who will once again be played by Olivia Colman, will face difficulties once again as she butts heads with the new Prime Minister over the Apartheid, the miners' strike and the Falklands War. This period of history was also personally distressing for the Queen following a kidnap attempt on her daughter, Princess Anne, and an assassination attempt at the 1981 Trooping the Colour.

When and where: Netflix, November/December

READ: Claire Foy is returning to The Crown for season four


Starring Episodes star Tamsin Grieg, Philip Glenister, Harriet Walter, Tom Wilkinson and Alice Eve and written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, the series looks at the upper class society in the 1900s. The official synopsis reads: "Belgravia is a story of secrets and dishonour amongst the upper echelon of London society in the 19th Century. When the Trenchards accept an invitation to the now legendary ball hosted by the Duchess of Richmond on the fateful evening of the Battle of Waterloo, it sets in motion a series of events that will have consequences for decades to come as secrets unravel behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode."

When and where: ITV, TBC

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Best Interests

This hard-hitting drama will look at a legal battle between parents of daughter Marnie, who has a life-threatening condition, and the doctors who believe it is in her best interests to be allowed to die. As the parents begin the legal process to keep their daughter alive, the drama looks at both sides of the argument. The drama is penned by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne, who said: "As a parent of a three year old I've looked at the cases in the media about 'best interests' with some fascination and a little dread. When the worst happens, how do you keep your head when everything around you feels wrong? We are going to try and tell a nuanced story that talks about this issue from all sides."

When and where: BBC One, TBC

The Handmaid's Tale

After the season three finale, which saw June gravely wounded after successfully managing to help a group of children escape from Gilead, it seems like anything could happen in the upcoming season four. Speaking about what to expect to The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Bruce Miller said: "I see a world beyond [the current one]. I would watch an episode about the Nuremberg trials after Gilead falls. There are lots of worlds you think of... where everything has changed so much. My arc is still very much the arc of the novel, which is the arc of this one woman's experience in Gilead at this time and her recollections that paint this picture of what it was like and what the experience of this world was like, which really is still the book."

When and where: NOW TV, Summer

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Season three will see Marcella working in Belfast as an undercover detective. With the new identity of Keira, she manages to infiltrate a famous crime gang – but what about the past that she has left behind her?

When and where: ITV, TBC

I Hate Suzie

Starring Billie Piper, the show is focused on a has-been celebrity who finds their career and marriage in trouble after a sensitive photo is leaked online. The official synopsis calls the series a "bold, bracing, funny drama about the moment in life when the mask slips, asking if any us can survive being well and truly known."

When and where: NOW TV, TBC

Four Lives

Previously named The Barking Murders, this drama looks at the murders of four men by serial killer Stephen Port, who used a dating app to lure four men - Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor – to their deaths back in 2013 and 2014. The show will also look at the controversial police investigation into the deaths, and the victims' families' subsequent determination to get justice for their lost loved ones.

When and where: BBC Two, TBC

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Strike: Lethal White

Cormoran Strike and Robin are back for their fourth outing in this adaptation from JK Rowling's popular crime novels. In Lethal White, Robin and Cormoran are struggling with their work relationship when they are commissioned by a MP who says he is being blackmailed, and asks the detectives to look into the case.

When and where: BBC One, TBC

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Inside No. 9

The creepy yet genius anthology series starring Steve Pemberton is returning for another series, and as one of the most innovative and creative shows on television, we can't wait to see what the new stories, all based around the number nine, will have in store.

When and where: BBC Two, autumn

Inside No. 9: Series 5 Trailer | BBC Trailers


This show follows detectives Sunny and Cassie as they investigate historic murders that have taken place years, if not decades, earlier. Each of the first three seasons of the show have been better than the last, and so we have high hopes for the new series.

When and where: ITV, TBC

Gentleman Jack

Season two of Gentleman Jack has been confirmed, and Suranne Jones spoke about her delight at returning as Anne Lister. She said: "I'm so thrilled that I will be joining Sally Wainwright on the second part of Anne's journey. We always dreamed there would be more and now we get to play it all out. A huge thank you to the BBC, HBO and Lookout Point for giving us our second series. It's such amazing and positive news. I love working with the brilliant and talented Sophie Rundle and can't wait to create some more Lister and Walker moments with her too."

When and where: BBC One, TBC

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Happy Valley

Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but since writers teased that the show could potentially return in 2018, surely 2020 will be the year it actually happens, right? The cast has previously spoken out about how much they'd like to do another season, with Sarah Lancashire explaining: "There's going to be a very big full-stop to the piece." James Norton added: "Obviously, it relies on Sarah, and Sally most of all, who hopefully one day will give us the phone call. I know that she has ideas, but more than that, I don't know." Sally Wainwright previously spoke to Digital Spy about the delay, explaining: "Happy Valley's not on the back-burner as such, it's just going to take me a long time to get to it because I've got to do Gentleman Jack 2… We've got pretty clear ideas of where the story's going to go."

When and where: BBC One, 2020?!

READ: Happy Valley star gives MAJOR update on season three

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