The best new TV shows in 2020

The best new TV shows in 2020

Your ultimate guide to the very best TV shows coming in 2020. Whether you’re into comedy, drama or something in between, we’ve got you covered

2020 is shaping up to be a vintage year of television. Let’s uncork it…

Must-watch TV shows 2020

If you thought 2019 was the best year of telly in the entire history of the medium (and it was), get a load of 2020. Alongside a load of returning favourites, there are many, many incredible new shows you will be obsessively talking about until 2021.

 

Check out our full list of top TV Drama to watch in 2020 below, and keep this page bookmarked for updates and new shows throughout the entire year.

 

Click here to see the very best Comedy coming up in 2020.

Drama

White House Farm

This fact-based drama revolves around an infamous night in August 1985 when five members of the same family were murdered at an Essex farmhouse. Based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts – and starring Freddie Fox, Mark Addy and Stephen Graham – this series aims to throw fresh insight into this tragedy.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

White House Farm will air on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) on Wednesday 8 January.

 

Dracula


They don’t come more hotly anticipated than this one. From the makers of Sherlock (Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss) comes this retelling of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale. Starring Danish actor Claes Bang (The Girl In The Spider’s Web) as the toothy Count, the three-episode series looks terrifying – and terrifyingly good to boot.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Dracula will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) on New Year’s Day.

 

Deadwater Fell

David Tennant – an actor whose name signals quality, and we’re very much including DuckTales in that sentiment – stars in this crime drama following two families in aftermath of a horrifying murder. From Grantchester creator Daisy Coulam, this looks set to be a challenging yet rewarding watch.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Deadwater Fell will air on Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141) on Friday 10 January.

 

Treadstone


If that word rings a bell for Bourne fans, give yourself a point. This new series set in the franchise’s world explores the origins (and present-day actions) of Operation Treadstone, the infamous CIA programme that turned recruits like JB into almost superhuman assassins. Season 1 sees sleeper agents across the globe “awakened” to continue their deadly missions.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Treadstone will air on Amazon Prime Video from Friday 10 January 2020.

 

COBRA

Starring Robert Carlyle as Britain’s Prime Minister (the best PM since Hugh Grant in Love Actually?), this drama set in the heart of government deals with the fallout of a major crisis that threatens to engulf the country – and what happens in the corridors of power during such an emergency.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

COBRA will air on Sky One/HD (CH 109/110) on Friday 17 January.

 

Star Trek: Picard


While Star Trek films have stalled a bit in recent years, its telly offerings have soared. First there was the ace Star Trek: Discovery, and now comes this Patrick Stewart-fronted show about Jean-Luc Picard, set 20 years after the events of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. It has a very Logan vibe about it (there’s a farm!), and we’re all in for it.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Star Trek: Picard will air on Amazon Prime Video from Friday 24 January 2020.

 

Hunters

Jordan Peele’s name has become a stamp of quality, but this new Amazon Original Series has more stamps than a Post Office. As well as being executive produced by Peele, this series – which follows a diverse band of Nazi hunters living in 1977 New York City – stars none other than Al Pacino. As well as those two powerhouses, the starry cast includes Lena Olin (Chocolat), Dylan Baker (Damages) and Carol Kane (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt).

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Hunters will air on Amazon Prime Video from Friday 21 February.

 

Us

David Nicholls followed up his you’ve-absolutely-positively-read-it-wasn’t-it-sad-but-beautiful novel One Day with Us, a story about a couple on the brink of divorce. Here, Tom Hollander and Saskia Reeves play the embattled husband and wife, who despite everything, agree to go ahead with a family trip to Europe alongside son Albie (Tom Taylor).

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Us will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The Singapore Grip

From the makers of Poldark comes this story of a British family living in Singapore at the time of the Japanese invasion during the Second World War. Besides its interesting premise about a part of history rarely covered in drama, the cast is very, very good, featuring David Morrissey, Jane Horrocks and Traitors’ Luke Treadaway.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Singapore Grip will air on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) with a transmission date TBC.

 

War Of The Worlds

You wait an age for a decent adaptation of HG Wells’ classic novel, and then two come along at once. Unlike the Beeb version, this one is set in modern-day Europe, with mankind facing a devastating alien attack. An acclaimed cast including Gabriel Byrne and Elizabeth McGovern make this one Doomsday scenario you’ll be happy to settle in with.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

War Of The Worlds will air on FOX/HD (CH 157/199) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The Trouble With Maggie Cole

In a small coastal community, Dawn French is the village gossip who reveals a bit too much (along with some half-truths) about the locals and their personal lives in a radio interview. It then all, as they say, kicks off. Alongside the irrepressible French are Mark Heap, Vicki Pepperdine and Julie Hesmondhalgh. That’s gossip worth spreading!

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Trouble With Maggie Cole will air on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The Pale Horse

Nobody has done Agatha Christie on TV quite so well as writer Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None, Ordeal By Innocence). In this fifth Christie adaptation from Phelps, who also penned Dublin Murders, Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Swell) investigates a list of names found in a dead’s woman’s shoe – and it includes his own…

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Pale Horse will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Flesh And Blood

If Imelda Staunton isn’t yet considered a national treasure, then it’s surely only an admin error. This four-part drama follows three adult siblings whose widowed mother declares she’s fallen for a new man – but the siblings soon start to doubt his motives. Staunton stars as the neighbour with an unhealthy attachment.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Flesh And Blood will air on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) in early 2020.

 

Noughts + Crosses

Based on the award-winning young adult book series by former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, Noughts + Crosses is set in an alternative history in which African people had enslaved white Europeans and are the ruling class. Peaky Blinders’ Jack Rowan and newcomer Masali Baduza play Callum and Sephy, the star-crossed characters at the centre of it all.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Noughts + Crosses will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Honour

Bodyguard won the 2019 Virgin Media Must-See Moment BAFTA award, and its star Keeley Hawes is back. This time she’s swapped for politics for policing as the lead detective investigating the death of Banaz Mahmod, who was murdered by her family for falling in love with the wrong man, in this drama inspired by real events.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Honour will air on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) in early 2020.

 

Small Axe

This is huge. Oscar winner Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave) has created an anthology series featuring an all-star, all-British cast – including John Boyega (Star Wars) and Letitia Wright (Black Panther) – set in London’s West Indian community. It will tell five stories from the late 1960s through to the early 80s. One of the picks of the year.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Small Axe will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Belgravia


With the doors to Downton Abbey seemingly closed, Julian Fellowes is back to reclaim Sunday nights with another blast of top hats and corsets (although probably not in one ensemble). It stars Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner), Harriet Walter (The Crown) and Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness).

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Belgravia will air on ITV/HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Boys

Russell T Davies has produced some of the country’s best and most-loved recent dramas. So, when he says he’s been working on and researching this one for years (and years), expectations are through the roof. Examining the lives of a group of gay men during the outbreak of HIV in the 1980s, Boys has a cast that includes Neil Patrick Harris, Keeley Hawes and Stephen Fry.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Boys will air on Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Best Interests

Does Jack Thorne ever sleep? His Dark Materials, Kiri, The Virtues, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, The Accident… and we’re only stopping there because we’ve run out of space. Best Interests tells the story of a family’s fight to keep their daughter alive when the doctors believe she should be allowed to die. Like all Thorne’s work, it’s timely, insightful and not to be missed.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Best Interests will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

January 22nd

Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum) is one of the most exciting voices in British TV – so the very timely drama she’s written and stars in, about sexual consent in contemporary life, should be one of the TV highlights of 2020. This 12-episode series is co-produced by HBO, so expect it to look gorgeous too.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

January 22nd (working title) will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Invisible

This one has a real Hot Fuzz feel about it. Set in Bath, Invisible’s feature-length crime mysteries feature plenty of warmth and humour too. Rising star Tala Gouveia is the tough and ambitious DCI McDonald, while Virgin Media BAFTA winner Jason Watkins (The Crown) plays unassuming DS Dodds. 

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Invisible will air on ITV/HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Adult Material

I, Daniel Blake’s Hayley Squires leads this drama examining how the influence of adult material on mainstream culture has affected society’s ideas of consent. It’s told from the perspective of the fictional Jolene, a woman who has been working in the adult movie industry for years.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Adult Material will air on Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141) with a transmission date TBC.

 

LIFE

The new one from Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett is about the residents of a large house in Manchester, split into four flats. It’s said to explore “love, loss, birth, death, the ordinary, the extraordinary and everything in between” – with Alison Steadman (Gavin & Stacey), Peter Davison (Doctor Who) and Adrian Lester (The Rook).

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

LIFE will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Four Lives

Set to be one of this year’s most talked-about dramas, Four Lives comes from the team behind The Moorside and Appropriate Adult. Going beyond the headlines about serial killer Stephen Port, it focuses on the families of his victims and their fight to uncover the truth. Starring Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith, this looks truly unmissable.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Four Lives will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Generation Z

A biting satire from director Ben Wheatley (High Rise, Free Fire)? We’re all in. When a mysterious military convoy carrying a toxic substance crashes into a retirement home, the residents become infected – and are soon on the rampage. A group of teenagers find themselves in a bloody and messy battle royale.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Generation Z will air on Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Quiz

Back in the early 2000s, Major Charles Ingram, his wife Diana and their accomplice Tecwen Whittock managed to cheat their way to winning one million pounds on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire… by coughing. Quiz stars Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen, Fleabag’s Sian Clifford and Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Quiz will air on ITV/HD (CH 103/113) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Roadkill

Hugh Laurie returns in a big BBC One thriller, playing a forceful and charismatic government minister on the brink of glory – and catastrophe. Written by Collateral’s David Hare, it looks like a role tailor-made for Hugh, particularly after his stunning performance in The Night Manager.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Roadkill will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The Nest


Martin Compston (Line Of Duty) and Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders) play a wealthy Glasgow couple desperate for a baby until a chance encounter with a teenage girl and a pact that will change all of their lives forever. The emotional thriller also stars Mirren Mack and is penned by BAFTA-winning Three Girls writer Nicole Taylor.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Nest will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Baghdad Central

This ambitious crime thriller is set in 2003. Saddam has fallen, and Baghdad finds itself at the centre of the coalition’s efforts to secure the region. Iraqi ex-policeman Muhsin al-Khafaji (Waleed Zuaiter, Altered Carbon), who has lost everything in conflict, is forced into a desperate search for his estranged elder daughter.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Baghdad Central will air on Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The Luminaries


Set on New Zealand’s South Island during the 1860s gold rush, The Luminaries tells a story of love, murder and revenge as men and women compete to make their fortune. Eve Hewson (Robin Hood), Himesh Patel (Yesterday) and Eva Green (Casino Royale) lead an incredible cast in author Eleanor Catton’s adaptation of her own epic, award-winning novel.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Luminaries will air on BBC Two HD (CH 102) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The North Water


Colin Farrell and Jack O’Connell headline this survival thriller set in the UK and ice floes of the Arctic during the late 1850s. O’Connell plays a disgraced ex-army doctor on a whaling expedition, where he meets Farrell’s brutish harpooner. These two actors going toe-to-toe should be quite the dramatic spectacle.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The North Water will air on BBC Two HD (CH 102) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Inside Man

Writer Steven Moffat’s CV is basically a website list of all the most fun TV shows of the past few decades – Sherlock, Doctor Who, Press Gang, Jekyll and Coupling, as well as 2020’s Dracula. The synopsis reads: “A prisoner on death row in the US and a woman trapped in a cellar under an English vicarage cross paths in the most unexpected way.” Bound to be brilliant!

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Inside Man will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

Normal People


Sally Rooney has been dubbed “the first great millennial novelist” and “Salinger for the Snapchat generation”. This eagerly awaited BBC Three adaptation of her second novel spans the years 2011 to 2015, exploring the shifting dynamics of Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) as they move from school to university.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

Normal People will premiere on BBC iPlayer and then air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date for both TBC.

 

The Serpent

Tahar Rahim stars as Charles Sobrhaj, one of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century, and Interpol’s most wanted man in 1976 as the chief suspect in up to 20 unsolved murders of young Western travellers in Asia. Victoria’s Jenna Coleman plays his partner and accomplice.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Serpent will air on BBC One HD (CH 101/108) with a transmission date TBC.

 

The Stranger

Reuniting the team behind Netflix series Safe, including bestselling novelist Harlan Coben, this psychological thriller sees The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage as Adam Price, a man whose seemingly perfect life comes crashing down when a stranger reveals a shocking secret. The cast also includes Jennifer Saunders, Happy Valley’s Siobhan Finneran and Game Of Thrones’ Paul Kaye.

 

When can I watch it and on what channel?

The Stranger will air on Netflix with a transmission date TBC.

 

Click here to see the very best Comedy coming up in 2020.

 

Find out what’s on this week

Visit the Your TV Week homepage for daily updates on the best TV, movies and sport!

 

How to watch Amazon Prime Video with Virgin TV

Prime Video is available to all Virgin TV customers with a V6 box, powered by TiVo®. Simply sign up to Amazon Prime Video via their website, and you can log in on the box. And because Prime Video is fully integrated into TiVo®, you can search without even going into the app. Just select Search & Discover from the Home menu and type in the name of the show or movie you’re after.

 

How to watch Netflix with Virgin TV

If you have a TiVo® box or Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo®:

 

Press home on your remote

Select Apps & Games

Select All Apps 

Select Netflix

 

If you’re already a Netflix subscriber, you can also access the app through Search & Discover or by pressing Red on channel 204. Just sign in with your existing login and start watching. And you’ll only have to log in the first time you use it. 

 

If you’re new to Netflix, then you’ll need to subscribe to use the app. The easiest way to do this is by going to netflix.com/virginmedia. You can also subscribe using the Netflix app in Apps & Games.

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Catch Up TV: Catch Up TV content available for up to 7 days or up to 30 days after broadcast, depending on content.

On Demand: Content available to view depends on TV package. Time limits apply for viewing chargeable On Demand content – see virginmedia.com. Once purchased, all chargeable On Demand content must be viewed within 48 hours. Premium channels and upgrades must be kept for at least 30 days.

Netflix: Netflix subscription required at extra cost.

Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime subscription required at extra cost. 18+. Click here for T&Cs.

Image Credits: Dracula © Hartwood Films – Photographer: Robort Viglasky

The Nest © Studio Lambert – Photographer: Mark Mainz

Four Lives © ITV Stuios / BritBox – Photographer: Ben Blackall

The Luminaries © BBC – Photographer: Kirsty Griffin

The North Water © Harpooner Films Limited – Photographer: Dean Rogers

Normal People © Element – Photographer: Enda Bowe