20 hottest new TV shows to get excited about from August onwards in 2021

Check out 2021's telly highlights here

Emmy Griffiths

While last year saw plenty of TV shows filming schedules interrupted due to worldwide lockdowns, it looks like we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in 2021! With plenty of brand new shows set to air and land on streaming services, check out our top picks here... 

MORE: 29 amazing films based on true stories

The White Lotus, 16 August, NOW/Sky

Created, written, and directed by School of Rock creator Mike White, this social satire set at an exclusive Hawaiian resort follows the vacations of various hotel guests over the span of a week. But with each passing day, a darker complexity emerges in these picture-perfect travellers, the hotel’s cheerful employees, and the idyllic locate itself.


Nine Perfect Strangers - 18 August, Hulu in the US,  20 August, Amazon Prime Video in the UK

Nicole Kidman continues her pitch-perfect foray into television with another novel adaptation from the author of Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty. The story follows a group of people who meet at a wellness retreat, completely unaware of the truth behind their stay. Melissa McCarthy and Luke Evans are also set to star. 

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WATCH: Nicole Kidman stars in Nine Perfect Strangers

Life After Life - BBC 

Based on the bestselling novel, Life After Life is WWI and WWII Groundhog Day-esque tale in which Ursula Todd lives her life over and over again, experience different major life events each time. But what is it that Ursula so desperately needs to stay alive for? Each of Ursula’s alternative lives brings new challenges and half-memories of what has come before, and with every one, fascinating, joyful, traumatic, witty and surprising experiences and relationships. 


Thomasin McKenzie is set to play Ursula

Anatomy of a Scandal - Netflix

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery will star in the new Netflix drama - and it sounds amazing! Based on the bestselling novel Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, the series is about "sexual consent and privilege set in London". Michelle will play Kate, a criminal barrister who specialises in sexual crimes, while Sienna Miller will play Sophie Whitehouse as "an Oxford graduate, a wife and a mother of two whose perfectly charmed life is about to implode".


Stay Close - Netflix

Netflix synopsis for the new Harlan Coben show reads: "Stay Close questions how much you really know someone. Three people living comfortable lives each conceal dark secrets from those closest to them; Megan, a working mother of three; Ray, the once-promising documentary photographer, now stuck in a dead-end job pandering to celebrity-obsessed rich kids, and Broome, a detective unable to let go of a missing person’s cold case.

"Lorraine, an old friend from Megan's past, delivers some shocking news that will impact on all three characters.  As the past comes back to haunt them, threatening to ruin their lives and the lives of those around them, what will be their next move?" 


The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle - Netflix 

Based on the bestselling novel, this is an Agatha Christie-type thriller, with a master twist. In the story, the narrator lives the same day as a murder takes place in a crumbling mansion over and over again, each time embodying a different person who could have been involved in Evelyn Hardcastle's murder. 

Virgin River season three - July 9, Netflix

Are you a fan of the sweet romantic drama show? The synopsis for season three reads: "In Virgin River season three, we've got even more drama in store for our beloved characters. Highlights include, a funeral, a fire, a divorce, a hurricane and a new romance, in a twist-packed season that'll keep fans on the edge of their seats." Eek! 


Lord of the Rings - Amazon Prime Video

After halting production mid-2020, this prequel series has resumed filming in New Zealand. While we don't know a lot about the plot (yet), we do know it will take place during the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. 


The Rig - Amazon Prime Video, StarzPlay

This story follows Magnus and his crew aboard the Kinloch Bravo oil rig, stationed off the Scottish coast in the dangerous waters of the North Sea. The synopsis reads: "When they are due to be collected and return to the mainland a mysterious and all-enveloping fog rolls through. The rig is hit by massive tremors, and they find themselves cut off from all communication with the shore and the outside world. As the crew endeavour to discover what’s driving this unknown force, a major accident forces them to ask questions about who they can really trust."

Angela Black - ITV

Described as a "Hitchcockian" thriller by ITV, Angela Black focuses on a suburban homemaker (Joanna Froggatt) whose seemingly perfect life is hiding some big secrets. Angela seems to have it all: a lovely house in suburban London, a fulfilling but not overly demanding job, two wonderful sons and a charismatic, hard-working husband, Olivier. But beneath this façade of charmed domesticity, Angela is also the victim of domestic abuse.


The Gilded Age - HBO 

Love a Julian Fellowes period drama? If so, you will be all over his latest series based in the US in the late 1800s. Chatting to the Los Angeles Times about the project, he said: "These people were extraordinary. You can see why they frightened the old guard, because they saw no boundaries. They wanted to build a palace, they built a palace... They redesigned being rich." 

Landscapers - NOW TV/Sky 

Inspired by true events, Olivia Colman is back on our screens as Susan, a woman who manages to go ten years undetected after murdering her parents and burying them in her back garden. The synopsis reads: "This blackly comic, narratively playful true-crime drama is based on extensive research, hours of interviews and direct access to the accused, who have always protested their innocence of murder.


Conversations with Friends - BBC 

Following the massive success that was Normal People, Sally Rooney's second novel is being adapted for a series by the same team behind the romantic tale of Connell and Marianne. This one looks at the friendship between Frances and Bobbi, and their subsequent relationship, and is set to star Joe Alwyn. Frankly, we can't wait for another sweet story from these master storytellers!


Excited for the second TV adaptation from Sally Rooney?

Sex Education season three - Netflix

After a heartbreaking cliffhanger, fans of this Netflix comedy hit are keen to return to the strange, somewhat American high school in which our favourite characters attend. So will Maeve and Otis finally get it together? Are Eric and Adam officially an item now? How will Jean deal with her baby news? Roll on season three already!

MORE: Sex Education season 3: everything we know so far

My Name is Lizzie - Channel 4 

This upcoming true-crime drama looks at the true story of the murder of Rachel Nickell in 1992, and how the police sent officer Lizzie Jones to go undercover to become sexual bait for their prime suspect. 

The Great season two - Channel 4 

After a smash hit first season, filming is currently underway for The Great season two - and we're certainly hoping for a late 2021 airdate! The show stars Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning as Emperor Peter and Catherine the (soon-to-be) Great in the early years of their marriage. Expect the unexpected with this wacky period drama. 


Elle stars as Catherine the Great

Inventing Anna - Netflix

From Shondaland comes this real-life story of how a woman named Anna Delvey managed to con New York's high society by pretending to be a wealthy heiress in a stranger-than-fiction tale. 

You season three - Netflix 

Hello you. Season three of the hit Netflix show sees Joe settled down with the psychopath mother of his unborn child, Love. Of course, he already has his eye on his next victim, his next-door neighbour. So what will the serial killer get up to next? 


The charming serial killer is back in You season three

Vigil - BBC

Starring Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie, and written by Tom Edge, who has previously penned episodes in shows including The Crown and Strike, the official synopsis for the six-part series reads: "The mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board a Trident nuclear submarine bring the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. 

"DCI Amy Silva leads an investigation on land and at sea into a conspiracy that threatens the very heart of Britain’s nuclear deterrent." 


Shaun Evans also stars in this new drama

Never Have I Ever season two - Netflix

Devi is back for more boy drama and family trouble in season two of this hugely popular comedy series. In the season one finale, Devi finally kisses her long-term frenemy Ben Gross, just as her crush Paxton decides that he wants to get to know her. We can't wait for the inevitable long triangle action! 


Are you excited for the show's return?

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