It’s the end of an era! Shortly after the ball dropped to usher in 2020, Friendsfans found themselves adrift on a carpet canoe as the series was officially removed from Netflix, leaving it unavailable on subscription streaming services until HBO Max launches in May.
One of the last remaining Marvel movies on Netflix will soon depart in a matter of weeks as Black Panther is scheduled to leave Netflix on March 4th, 2020. Here’s why it’s leaving, when the other Marvel movies are set to leave and where the movie streams next.
Black Panther is one of Marvel’s most influential movie releases to date. Introducing Wakanda and the character of Black Panther who was first seen in Captain America: Civil War, the movie broke ground.
The movie came to Netflix in Canada and the United States in September 2018. It came to Netflix part of much-discussed Disney deal which in the US ran between 2016 and 2019 although in Canada its been a fixture for many years prior.
How it worked is that all theatrical Disney movies came to Netflix after an 8-9 month period. In the case of Black Panther, the movie began streaming on September 4th, 2018.
Why is Black Panther leaving Netflix?
After a Disney title came to Netflix it then remains available for one year and six months. In the case of Black Panther that means the removal date is March 4th, 2020. This has since been confirmed with all prior Disney departures and Black Panther’s date showing on Disney+.
The movie is naturally moving over to Disney+ which is set to have all the MCU movies as soon as it possibly can. The only caveat is that Netflix owns the second window rights to Disney movies too. That means we’ll see Black Panther back on Netflix in a number of years.
Once Black Panther leaves, it’ll only see two main Marvel movies left on Netflix. Avengers: Infinity War is due to leave in the summer and shortly thereafter, Ant-Man and the Wasp will follow.
Will you miss Black Panther when it’s gone from Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.
Welcome to your Netflix Original movie preview of 2020. This list below is everything we know about the movies currently scheduled for release in 2020.
Now it’s worth noting that in most cases, details are either sketchy or severely lacking. That’s because in most cases these movies are likely in very early development. Don’t worry though, as this list is going to grow and evolve over time so be sure to keep it bookmarked.
English Movies Coming to Netflix in 2020
A Boy Called Christmas – Christmas movie with all-star cast based on the novel of the same name.
Altered Carbon: Resleeved – Anime companion movie to the main Netflix live-action series written by Dai Satō and Tsukasa Kondo and directed by Jō Nakajima.
Army of the Dead – Zack Snyder directs the spiritual successor to Dawn of the Dead due out in late 2020. Stars Dave Bautista and Ana de la Reguera.
Awake – Disaster movie about people unable to use electronics or sleep. Directed by Mark Raso and stars Jennifer Jason Leight and Frances Fisher.
Bright 2 – Sequel to the 2017 Netflix movie starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.
Christmas on the Square – Holiday movie from Dolly Parton about a small town being threatened by a major corporation.
Coffee & Kareem – Comedy starring Ed Helms, Betty Gilpin, Taraji P. Henson and Jesse Hutch about a cop trying to clear his name. Directed by Michael Dowse.
Desperados – Heather Graham, Robbie Amell and Nasim Pedrad star in this comedy about a young woman traveling to Mexico to delete an accidental email.
Eurovision – Comedy starring Will Ferrell about two musicians given the opportunity to represent their country at the famous singing contest.
Feel the Beat – Drama about a girl returning home to help a group of dancers prepare for a big competition. Stars Sofia Carson and Enrico Colantoni. Directed by Elissa Down.
Fatal Affair – Drama directed by Peter Sullivan with Nia Long, Omar Eps and Kj Smith starring.
First Ladies – Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro star in a comedy about a same-sex white house couple.
Hillbilly Elegy – Ron Howard directs this adaptation of the book series about a man recalling his life growing up in the Midwest. Stars Amy Adams and Haley Bennet.
Cast grid for Hillbilly Elegy at Netflix
Holidate – Christmas movie starring Kristin Chenoweth and Emma Roberts about two single people agreeing to be plus-ones for holiday celebrations.
Horse Girl – Drama directed and written by Jeff Baena starring Alison Brie finds her dreams intersecting with real life.
Hubie Halloween – Adam Sandler Halloween comedy movie.
Jingle Jangle – Upcoming Christmas movie about a toymaker and his granddaughter. Stars Forest Whitaker and directed by David E. Talbert.
Last Letter from Your Lover – Felicity Jones stars as Ellie who plays a young journalist who becomes obsessed with letters between two lovers in the 1960s.
Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave – Sequel to the movie and series currently on Netflix.
Mank – Gary Oldman, Lily Collins and Tuppence Middleton star in this David Fincher directed movie following Herman J. Mankiewicz’s and the development of the 1941 movie, Citizen Kane.
Moxie – Amy Poehler directs this comedy starring Hadley Robinson and Lauren Tsai about a girl starting a feminist revolution at her school.
Operation Christmas Drop – Holiday romantic comedy.
Actor and comedian Jason Manford reveals what’s in store as he hosts brand new game show First & Last and tells us why he’s paying tribute to his comedy heroes….
Actor and comedian Jason Manford is hosting a brand new game show that celebrates being distinctly average!
With 10,000 up for grabs each week, eleven contestants must compete in a range of funny games with one golden rule: they must avoid coming first or last because if they do they will be immediately eliminated.
Here Jason, 38, who starred in comedy drama Scarborough last year alongside ex Corrie actress Catherine Tyldesley and is currently starring in West End musical Curtains, tells What’s On TV what to expect, reveals own first and last experiences and tells us who his all time favourite game show hosts are…
Jason Manford talks to What’s On TV
What’s On TV: Can you give us the gist of the show? It sounds fun…
Jason Manford: “This is not about winners or losers; it’s about being in the middle, being very average. That’s most us really isn’t it! So this kind of celebrates your Average Joes, your 5 out of 10s. When contestants come on I say, ‘Are you quite competitive?’ They say, ‘Oh yes, really competitive’ and I’m like, ‘Well that’s not going to help you at all here!’ This is especially for people who are just kind of alright at things.”
Contestants have fun playing First & Last
Give us an idea of some of the challenges they face
JM: “It’s a mixed bag. For example we might start the show with 11 contestants all inside giant cardboard boxes and they’ve got to jump out but whoever jumps out first and whoever jumps out last is eliminated. There’s also a hashtag game where they might pick a person, a song or a film and we see which has got the most and least hashtags online. It’s all very silly but great fun. I take the mickey out of it the whole time because you can’t present a show like this and be deadly serious. I’ve played it with my kids at home, they loved the hashtag round!”
What are the game shows that you’ve loved watching and who are your all time favourite hosts?
JM: “The Generation Game with Bruce Forsyth is always a classic. I loved Brucie. I grew up watching that as a kid and absolutely loved it. I hope I emulate it in a way, in as much as I love the slight ribbing of contestants and having a bit of fun with them.
“Blankety Blank with Les Dawson is also right up there. Les Dawson is one of my comedy heroes. I loved his dryness and the fact he looked like he didn’t really want to be there in the studio. I’ve actually got a little joke in the middle of each episode of First & Last which is a bit of a homage to Les Dawson so you’ll have to look out for. It’s quite subtle.”
Jason Manford promises all kinds of madcap and silly fun in the studio
What about your own First and Last? What have you come first in and what have you come last in? You’ve won lots of awards over the years…
JM: “Well I’ve not won any for a while I must say! In 2018 I won one for ‘Hardest Working Comedian’ I did a mammoth tour and I thought, ‘Ah that’s a good award, I’ll show it off to my family’. My brother immediately said, ‘Well it doesn’t say ‘Funniest Comedian’ does it?’ So there you go, immediately put in my place!”
JM: “That takes me back to school and getting picked last in games when you’ve got to get into team. Getting picked last at home time, now that was more troubling! The amount of times I’d just be sat there waiting for someone to collect me.”
You’re currently starring in Curtains in the West End and then touring with it. How’s that going?
JM: “It’s great, it’s such a lovely show, a real Whodunit. I play a detective, a kind of Columbo character and the music’s great. It’s written by the same people who did the musicals Chicago and Cabaret and is so much fun to do.”
Jason’s all time favourite game show hosts were Bruce Forsyth and Les Dawson
Which musicals have you really loved?
JM: “Well I’ve been lucky enough to be a lot that I’ve loved; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweeney Todd, Guys and Dolls. They’re some of my favourites to be honest. But it would be lovely to have a crack at a more serious one in the future, maybe Les Mis or something like that, that would be a lovely opportunity but I just see what comes up next. I don’t really make plans any more.”
Would you like to do more TV drama in the future?
JM: “Yes I’m writing a couple of things so hopefully I’ll get them off the ground at some point. My wife’s a drama producer, she’s made lots of different telly programmes, Black Mirror for Netflix, The Split for BBC1, so it would be great if we could do something together. I loved doing Scarborough, that was great fun so yes, I definitely want to do more TV drama.”
First & Last, presented by Jason Manford, begins on BBC1 on Saturday, 4 Jan, 8.15pm
Despite Netflix throwing most of their efforts into original programming, it still has a few contracts leftover from other cable channels. Here are all the AMC, FX, Starz and Showtime titles coming to Netflix in 2020.
Looking for all the content coming from the big three networks in the US including NBC, ABC, and CBS? Like this list, the titles on the way from those three are slowly drying up.
Note: this list only applies to Netflix in the United States other regions will vary dramatically in some cases.
AMC Series Coming to Netflix in 2020
Only two AMC shows come to Netflix with Into The Badlands having wrapped up in 2019. Its remaining shows are either licensed to Hulu thanks to an output deal or for new shows, like The Walking Dead: World Beyond, they’re not being licensed at all.
The Walking Dead has, at least for me, had a bit of a resurgence in recent years even with its slimmed down cast. The main AMC show has now been running for a decade and it looks like it still has legs in it going forward.
Netflix only still gets new seasons of the main show while Fear The Walking Dead heads to Hulu and the brand new third series, World Beyond, isn’t expected to hit any streaming service.
Despite having lost its main star, Emmy Rossum, Shameless is still running in true Showtime fashion.
A reduced cast hasn’t stopped Shameless still being enjoyable to watch with more Gallagher disasters around the corner.
FX Series Coming to Netflix in 2020
FX notably supplies its content to Hulu in almost all circumstances. Netflix holds onto several FX shows mainly those with Ryan Murphy’s involvement.
American Crime Story is set to return for a third season in September 2020 with the third season, Impeachment. However, given Netflix only gets those roughly a year after airing, we’re not expecting it to be on Netflix until late 2021.
American Horror Story (Season 9)
Ryan Murphy’s biggest show to date continues to be American Horror Story. The anthology horror series continues to be a ratings juggernaut and the latest season is set during the 1980s.
There is a slight chance Netflix could lose American Horror Story given recent news about Hulu being the new permanent home of FX content but we’ve yet to hear anything yet.
POSE (Season 2)
POSE is the other Ryan Murphy series we expect Netflix to get getting at some point in the new year.
The flamboyant series is all about the late 1980s in New York and the culture changes the city is going through.
Starz Series Coming to Netflix in 2020
Outlander (Season 4)
Netflix Release: Unknown
The period drama that has a huge audience dropped on Netflix quietly in 2019 and has seen three seasons added thus far.
It’s not technically a Starz show (as per a few other caveats on this list) but Sony who actually licenses Outlander to Netflix. The reason we can’t give a definitive date is that Netflix hasn’t been getting new seasons in any sort of coherent release schedule. All we know is that we’re expecting more in 2020.
What shows on this list are you looking forward to catching in 2020? Let us know in the comments.
I can’t help but wonder if Messiah is a response to the rise of Trump and politicians who have amassed fervent followers. Are they really the answer or just complete frauds…?
The premise of this new Netflix drama centres around a charismatic man (Mehdi Dehbi), with fleeting resemblance to Jesus, who emerges in the Middle East and seemingly performs miracles. But while social media explodes the CIA are on the case.
Jude Law’s upcoming New Pope may take an irreverent approach to big religion, but there’s really nothing around that challenges faith.
There are several intersecting threads to this drama from Australian writer Michael Petroni (Queen of the Damned, Till Human Voices Wake Us, The Book Thief, Miracles).
The man who will come to be called Al-Masih emerges when ISIL is bearing down on Damascus in Syria. While he tries to convince a fearful throng that salvation is at hand a terrifying sandstorm overwhelms the city and cripples ISIL vehicles. Footage instantly goes viral of the defiant man offering hope and he soon amasses 2000 followers, that’s real not online.
This attracts the attention of CIA officer Eva Geller (Michelle Monaghan) who is keen to get to the bottom of his credibility and thwart any unnecessary movement. But she is also battling an illness which will doubtless become her Achilles heel…
When Al-Masih leads his flock blindly to the border, Israeli intelligence officer (Tomer Sisley) enters the scene, questioning the arrested man. Juggling his own family problems, he is shocked when Al-Masih seems to know much about his personal life. Does he have a higher power?
By episode two another subplot is introduced when struggling Texas preacher (John Ortiz) is considering drastic action and daughter Rebecca (Stefania LaVie Owen) is about to flee her smalltown woes. Aussie Wil Traval also surfaces as FBI agent, complete with a Southern drawl.
There’s also a young Palestinian refugee Jibril (Sayyid El Alami) who we keep hearing will be required to undertake a pivotal role as part of God’s plan….
These threads weigh things down heavily and more focus would be welcome. But Messiah is otherwise rather Homeland in tone. Scenes are filmed in Jordan and New Mexico with subtitles added for foreign languages. There’s an ongoing tension around Middle East conflict with an American determined to take charge. But unlike the terrorist drama, this provokes questions of faith. Even the promotion for the show asks “Will he CONvert you?”
The cast also includes Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney, Jane Adams and Philip Baker Hall. Aussie Kate Woods is one of 2 directors.
Having viewed several episodes I’m intrigued as to where this is headed, but nervous about whether it will offer a payoff or leave everything ambiguously in the eye of the beholder.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey -both of whom produced that dreadful series The Bible– are also producers here… meaning there is probably good reason to tread with caution.
Netflix is an outrageously annoying content machine, producing more new TV shows and films than any one person can possibly watch in a lifetime if they want to also remain a productive member of society. Luckily for Netflix, I have no desire to interact with people or ever leave my house, so I
It was a great year for British television. Today, as we close out the year, we wanted to take a look back at the new British TV series and miniseries that premiered in 2019.
Please note that not all of these shows are legally available to stream in the US. We’d love to see more of them getting picked up, but for now you may have to look to UK DVDs if you really want to see something. It’s possible to order DVDs from Amazon UK, but you’ll need a region-free DVD player to view them if you’re in most other parts of the world. We’ve listed streaming availability where possible.
In the UK, we recommend checking iPlayer, BritBox, or Amazon to locate any series for which you’ve missed the original air date.
New British TV Shows in 2019
Network: Channel 4
Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) stars as a hairdresser named Polly in this series about a small Welsh community torn apart by a terrible accident. The series takes us through the aftermath – families waiting for news, lives changed forever, and the search for someone to blame.
Ricky Gervais (The Office: UK) stars as Tony, a man whose life is forever altered when his wife dies of breast cancer. Rather than killing himself, he decides to choose anger, attempting to punish the world by doing whatever he pleases, no matter who it might hurt.
This spinoff from the series The Missing sees Tchéky Karyo returning as Julien Baptiste, a clever detective who agrees to help the Dutch police look for a missing sex worker in Amsterdam. Tom Hollander (Rev) and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) also appear.
Stephen Merchant stars as serial killer Stephan Port in this factual drama about Port’s 2014-15 murders. Using the app Grindr, Port victimised a total of eleven men, ultimately being sentenced to life in prison for his crimes.
Where to Watch: TBD
Morven Christie stars in this series about a family liaison officer assigned to missing persons case for two children. Though capable, her position is compromised by the fact that she unwittingly had a one-night stand with their stepfather.
Set in 1795, this period drama depicts the lives of a former East India Company soldier who’s determined to create a safe home in Delhi for his family. Critics have dubbed it “The Dehli Downton”. Tom Bateman (Vanity Fair) and Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) star.
This working-class comedy follows a young man named Vinnie (Joe Gilgun) and his occasionally criminal friends as they go about their lives in the northern English town of Hawley. It’s a lively, rough-around-the-edges comedy about desperate small-town life and the ever-present question of whether there might be something better elsewhere.
Brassic gets its name from Cockney rhyming slang. It’s a shortening of “boracic lint”, slang for “skint”.
Holliday Grainger (C.B. Strike) stars as DI Rachel Carey in this six-part miniseries about a detective assigned to arrest and charge a special force soldier accused of a terrible crime allegedly captured on CCTV. While investigating, she uncovers a dark conspiracy that calls the accuracy of the footage into question.
Where to Watch: TBD
CATHERINE THE GREAT
Network: Sky Atlantic & HBO
Helen Mirren stars as Catherine the Great in this four-part miniseries. The series covers the later portion of her life, from 1764 until her death in 1796. Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), Richard Roxburgh (Rake), and Paul Ritter (No Offence) also appear.
When university lecturer Dr. Leah Dale confronts a student about suspected cheating, the student takes it as a personal attack. A simple academic issue soon spirals out of control, putting both women at risk. Katherine Kelly (Happy Valley) and Molly Windsor (Three Girls) star in this chilling psychological drama.
Screenwriter Craig Mazin created this moving five-part historical adaptation of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The series includes a number of actors likely to be familiar to British TV fans, including Jared Harris (The Crown), Stellan Skarsgård (Pirates of the Caribbean), Paul Ritter (No Offence, Friday Night Dinner), and Emily Watson (Miss Potter).
Though not strictly British, this series was a US/UK co-production and included a lot of well-known British actors.
This four-part miniseries follows a photojournalist who goes on a journey to uncover the true identity of Tank Man. He initially captured a photo of the man during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, but it’s not until 20 years later that he decides to seek answers. Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle) stars as Lee Berger, and English actress Sophie Okonedo (Mayday) also makes an appearance.
Guy Pearce stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in the latest adaptation of this Dickens Christmas classic. In this three-part series, he’ll be forced to confront the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future as he rethinks his way of living. Tom Hardy (Peaky Blinders) has been cast in an as yet undisclosed role, and Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings) will play the Ghost of Christmas Past. Charlotte Riley (Press) will play the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Jason Flemyng (From Hell) will be the Ghost of Christmas Future.
Martin Freeman (Sherlock), Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey), and Imelda Staunton (Cranford) star in this drama based on a real-life tragedy. The series dramatises the search for Sian O’Callaghan, a young woman who went missing in Swindon, Wiltshire after a taxi ride.
Sheridan Smith (Gavin & Stacey) stars as Sam, a debt-ridden mum trying to get by on a zero-hour contract cleaning job while her husband attempts to gain full custody of their children. While on the job, she overhears information that leads her into the world of insider trading.
This drama is set in the fictional BPS Bridewell women’s prison, and focuses on the women who live there, and the woman who runs the place. Many have compared it to British prison series Bad Girls, and at least one cast member, Alicya Eyo (who plays new Governor Dominique Darby), was also in Bad Girls.
This sitcom follows a man who takes his girlfriend home to meet his family on the Isle of Wight. As would be expected of a British sitcom, the family has quirkiness in spades – a doting mother, a controlling stepdad, an Alan Titchmarsh-obsessed stepbrother, and an eccentric handyman neighbour.
Where to Watch: TBD
This police procedural anthology series takes place inside an interrogation room where investigators use every trick they’ve got to get the answers they need. David Tennant stars in one episode.
This dystopian action series takes us to a world where a virus has turned some people into “mooks” – fast, brutal, and feral creatures that attack the non-infected after the sun goes down. Sean Bean (Game of Thrones), Adam Brody (The O.C.), and Billy Zane (Back to the Future) star.
This new sitcom focuses on three friends who are obsessed with a fictional massively multiplayer online roleplaying game, Kingdom Scrolls. British TV fans will likely recognize Alexa Davies, best known for her roles as Kate in Detectorists and Aretha in Raised by Wolves.
Not to be confused with the 2016 Australian crime drama, this British drama follows three seemingly normal mums as they cope with a variety of secrets. The series is based on the Windermere novels by Paula Daly, and it stars Anna Friel (Marcella), Sinead Keenan (Little Boy Blue), and Rosalind Eleazar (Rellik)
This adaptation of Gillian Cross’s children’s book series follows an earlier 1996 adaptation, also made for CBBC. In this version, Nicholas Gleaves (Scott & Bailey) plays the strange headmaster with magical powers.
Toby Jones (Detectorists) takes on another comedy role in this series about a depressed single dad who works as a coach driver. His mundane existence is shaken up when he takes a group across the English Channel and finds a migrant stowed away in his wheel arch. Jones co-wrote the series with playwright Tim Crouch.
Based on the Dublin Murder Squad book series by Tana French, the first season of this British-American-Irish co-production features eight episodes adapted from In the Woods and The Likeness. Killian Scott (C.B. Strike) stars as Rob Reilly, and English detective dispatched to investigate the murder of a young girl just outside Dublin.
The case forces Reilly to confront his own dark past, and it puts his relationship with partner Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene, Penny Dreadful) to the test.
In this sketch comedy series, comedians Ellie White and Natasia Demtriou perform sketches about modern life, motherhood, and feminism. In one sketch, they do lifestyle demonstrations for other mums, pledging to be “as small and as clean as possible”. In another, Demetriou’s plans for finding love involve playing to the desire men have for a small, hairless creature that is both sexually appealing and helpless.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: W & Pop TV
Anna Paquin stars as Robin, an American PR executive living in London. Though she succeeds in the office, her personal life is another matter entirely. The cast includes many familiar British faces, including Sophie Okonedo (Mayday), Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek), Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), and Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon).
In this Manchester-based (but Belfast-filmed) sitcom, five teenagers get their first flat – and all the worries and uncertainties that go along with that step. Topics covered range from the trivial to the serious, with episodes on anxiety, mental health, and sexual identity.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: Sky One & ABC
In this comedy-drama, a wealthy London housewife faces serious chances of circumstance after her husband dies. She’s forced to move herself and her two children back to her hometown of Newcastle in Australia, only to find that no one there likes her. Star Sarah Kendall was also the creator and writer of the six-episode series.
The incomparable Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) ventures into historical drama, bringing us the story of 19th century English industrialist, landowner, and lesbian Anne Lister. Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) stars as Lister, a Yorkshire woman who was very much ahead of her time.
Other cast members include Sophie Rundle as Ann Walker, Timothy West as Jeremy Lister, and Stephanie Cole as Aunt Ann Walker.
Ghosts is a quirky new sitcom about a group of ghosts that have accumulated over the course of centuries in a country house. When a young couple inherits the grand but crumbling pile, they have to learn to co-exist. The series was written and performed by a number of cast members from the BBC children’s series Horrible Histories.
A Japanese detective Kenzo Mori travels to London to figure out whether his brother Yuto, presumed dead, is actually dead. Yuto is believed to have killed the nephew of a Yakuza member, and the search draws Kenzo into the dark and dangerous criminal underworld of London.
Julia Ormond stars as Julia Day, a wealthy 60-year-old woman who falls in love with a handsome man 26 years her junior. As secrets come to light, no one can be sure what’s real and what’s merely convenient.
David Tennant and Michael Sheen star in this adaptation of the Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman book of the same name. It follows angel Aziraphale (Sheen) and demon Crowley (Tennant) as they attempt to prevent Armageddon.
This Edinburgh-based dramatic miniseries centers around two brothers who accidentally run over and kill an old man. When they attempt to cover it up, they trigger all manner of consequences they never imagined.
Also known as The Heist at Hatton Garden, this series is based on the true story of a spectacular diamond heist carried out in London by a group of elderly criminals. The all-star cast includes Timothy Spall (Blandings), Alex Norton (Taggart), David Hayman (The Paradise), and Kenneth Cranham (The White Princess).
Based on the trilogy by Oxford novelist Philip Pullman, this eight-episode fantasy series takes place in an alternate world where each human has an animal companion called a daemon. A young orphan girl living at Jordan College, Oxford, is drawn into a dangerous puzzle when her friend, a fellow orphan, is kidnapped.
After a holiday to France, a middle-class British family finds an illegal immigrant, Sami, hiding in their boot. This comedy-drama follows Sami as he builds a new life in the UK.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: Sky Atlantic
Set in 1955 Tangier, an American debutante (played by English actress Juno Temple) begins to free herself from the social rules she’s lived by. The series is based on Anais Nin’s famed collection of erotic short stories.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: Acorn TV
Hugo Speer and Sharon Small star in this gritty police procedural that follows an elite murder investigation squad in London. At the same time, team lead DI David Bradford (Speer) is still puzzling through the mysterious disappearance of his wife.
This drama stars Elen Rhys (Ordinary Lies) and Julian Looman as a pair of international detectives who solve crimes on the Baleric island of Mallorca. It’s a light, action-driven drama with a bit of British and German culture clash between the detectives.
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars in this series based on the real investigation into the death of French student Amélie Delagrange. Clunes plays DCI Colin Sutton, the man who led the task force that ultimately brought her killer to justice.
Award-winning comedian Spencer Jones plays his alter ego Herbert Clunkerdunk, a man constantly distracted by his imagination. It’s an imaginative series that’s perfect for any adult who’s ever had trouble shutting down their childlike thoughts and being a proper adult.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: BBC TWO
Richard Gere stars in his first major television role as Max Finch, American newspaper owner. The 8-part series is a psycho thriller about power, politics, and the media. Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders), Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley), Sinéad Cusack (Marcella), and Ciarán Hinds (Above Suspicion) are among the other cast members.
This sketch comedy is designed to shine a light on the British Muslim experience. Starring Ali Shahalom and Aatif Nawaz, sketches include colleagues competing to be the whitest in the office, Muslim holidaymakers trying to get through security, and an enthusiastic barber from Bethnal Green.
Where to Watch: TBD
NOUGHTS & CROSSES
Network: BBC One
This series is an adaptation of the novel series of the same name by Malorie Blackman. The series takes place in a dystopian world where black “Cross” citizens rule over the white “Noughts”, and the writing was overseen by Being Human creator Toby Whithouse.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: BBC One Wales
Larry Lamb and Melanie Walters (both of Gavin & Stacey) reunite in this fun family drama about a North Wales holiday camp owner who contemplates selling up after his Welsh wife dies. Though the series has been criticised for inauthentic North Wales accents, it offers a feel-good viewing experience and scenery from a different part of the UK than we typically see in TV and film. Hayley Mills (Wild at Heart) also appears as Iona.
This quirky sitcom focuses on a young woman who is plagued by constant, irrepressible sexual thoughts. She doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, but it’s intruding on her ability to function normally. As she attempts to get a handle on her problem, she’s also embarking on a journey of personal growth and exploration in the city of London. The series is an adaptation of Rose Cartwright’s book of the same name.
DS Matilda Stone (Olivia Vinall) solves crimes with substantial interference from her crime writing aunts Cat (Julie Graham), Beth (Sarah Woodward), and Jane (Siobhan Redmond) Stone. Doc Martin writer Julian Unthank wrote, produced, and even acted a bit in the series (as “man in drag” and “author Waldo Butcher”).
Emma Greenwell stars as Myfanwy Thomas, a young woman who finds herself at the Millennium Bridge in London surrounded by corpses and no memory of how she ended up there. While the series is American, it features a largely British cast, and it takes place in London. It was based on the novel of the same name by Daniel O’Malley, originally adapted by Stephenie Meyer of Twilight fame.
Prior to her early death at the age of 41, Jane Austen began a new and different sort of work. It was the story of Sanditon, a fledgling seaside resort town along the southern coast of England. It was never finished.
In this miniseries, screenwriter Andrew Davies (Mr. Selfridge, Pride & Prejudice) finishes her final masterpiece. Rose Williams (Curfew) stars as Charlotte Heywood, and Theo James plays the outrageous Sidney Parker. Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax) and Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise) also appear.
Where to Watch: PBS Masterpiece (Coming Soon) | DVD
Network: BBC One
Not to be confused with the 2018 movie of the same name, this sitcom is set in the seaside town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire. The series was written by Derren Litten (Benidorm), and revolves around a group of friends who meet up at a local pub each Friday night. Stephanie Cole (Doc Martin) is among the cast members.
Where to Watch: TBD
This three-episode sitcom dives into the gritty, low-pay world of pizza delivery in South London. Friends and delivery drivers Joshua and Ricky just want to get by, move out, and meet women.
Where to Watch: TBD
THE SPANISH PRINCESS
This period drama is based on the novels The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory, and it’s a sequel to the previous miniseries The White Queen and The White Princess. The series follows teenage princess Catherine of Aragon as she travels to England to meet her husband by proxy.
This six-episode period drama takes place during the Cold War, and it follows a Russian-born Jewish inventor who’s been tasked with a secret MI5 mission. The man, Samuel Petrushkin (Toby Stephens), specialises in the development of hearing aids, and he’s asked to contribute his expertise to the Cold War efforts in England. Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) and Timothy Spall (Blandings) also appear.
This UK adaptation of the Norwegian series Valkyrien stars Mark Strong (Stardust), Carice Van Houten (Game of Thrones), and Daniel Mays (Good Omens). In it, a surgeon runs an illegal medical clinic to treat desperate patients who can’t or won’t seek help through traditional avenues – hoping all the while that he can find a cure for his wife’s illness.
Aisling Bea (Trollied, Finding Joy) stars as Aine, a single Irish Catholic woman who has a nervous breakdown while living in London and teaching English as a second language. Sharon Horgan (Catastophe) co-produces and co-stars as Shona, her older sister.
Line of Duty’s Martin Compston stars in the six-episode first season of this new crime drama based on an idea by Val McDermid, author of the Hill/Jordan books that were adapted into Wire in the Blood. The series is set at the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science, and it follows 23-year-old Emma Hedges (Molly Windsor, Cheat) as she investigates a fictitious case study that’s oddly similar to her own past.
Where to Watch: TBD
Network: Channel 4 & Netflix
Emma Appleton stars as Feef Symonds in this period drama about a young woman recruited in post WWII London to help identify a Soviet spy in the Cabinet Office. Keeley Hawes (The Durrells) also appears.
This miniseries is based on the events surrounding the Profumo affair of the 1960s, when Secretary of State for War John Profumo was found to be having a sexual relationship with Christine Keeler, a 19-year-old aspiring model. Sophie Cookson (Red Joan), James Norton (Grantchester), and Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) are among the stars of the upcoming series.
Where to Watch: TBD
TURN UP CHARLIE
Idris Elba stars as Charlie, a struggling DJ and confirmed bachelor. When he sees a possible upside for his career, he reluctantly agrees to play nanny to a good friend’s dreadful young daughter. Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) stars as his famous friend Sara.
This four-part Scottish miniseries tells the story of Anna Dean (Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire), a mother whose young son was murdered more than a decade prior. She’s been accused of sharing information about the man she believes to be guilty, damaging his reputation and causing him to be attacked. The series focuses on the trial and a mother’s unrelenting search for the truth.
Set in 1900s Vienna, this three-part drama follows brilliant English doctor Max Liebermann as he studies under Sigmund Freud. When Liebermann encounters Austrian detective Oskar Rheinhardt, they forge a partnership to take on some of Vienna’s most deadly and disturbing cases.
Stephen Graham (Line of Duty) stars in this dramatic miniseries about a man whose life falls apart after his ex-wife and young son move to Australia. To cope, he travels to Ireland to find his estranged sister Anna, inadvertently dredging up a horrific repressed memory from his past.
Kate Beckinsale stars in this drama about a woman who believes herself to be a widow, only to find that her husband did not actually die in a plane crash. While watching a news story on unrest in the Congo, she sees a man who looks like her husband and sets off to figure out what happened.
Rob Lowe stars as Chief Constable Bill Hixon in this comedy-drama about a widowed American police chief who moves to Lincolnshire with his teenage daughter after he’s sacked for assaulting a boy who shared inappropriate images of his daughter online. Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle, Detectorists) stars as Lady Mary Harborough, a local judge who becomes well-acquainted with Hixon.
Henry Cavill stars in this upcoming series about a solitary monster hunter in a world full of wicked people. It’s been billed as Netflix’s attempt at a Game of Thrones-style series, and though it doesn’t premiere until December 20th, it’s already been renewed for a second season.
The series is based on the book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski.
This miniseries shines a light on the lives of ordinary people from Poland, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom during the early years of World War II. The large and talented cast includes Helen Hunt (Mad About You), Lesley Manville (Mum), and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Mackenzie Crook (Detectorists) stars as everyone’s favourite turnip-headed scarecrow in the latest adaptation of this much-loved children’s classic about a scarecrow who comes to life and befriends local children. Crook has written the episodes, and he’ll be doing a bit of directing, too. Other cast members include Michael Palin, Zoë Wanamaker, Steve Pemberton and Vicki Pepperdine.
Matt Berry (The IT Crowd) and Alun Armstrong (New Tricks) star in this sitcom about Victorian detectives in 1887 London. While investigating a murder, the two pick up a third partner – the chief of police’s clever adoptive daughter.
This series follows the Manchester-based Lyons family as they their lives progress through 15 years of politics, technology, and human events. Emma Thompson, Rory Kinnear, and Anne Reid are among the cast.
The best thing about the overabundance of shows on television is that even though there are copious amounts of bad television to watch, they’re fairly well matched by good television.
And 2019 was no exception.
No matter what you enjoy, there was something excellent to watch.
Narrowing the best wasn’t an easy task, but remember, this is one person’s opinion.
Find out what made our list for 2019.
Succession – HBO
Succession Season 1 was a masterclass in unlikeable people living what they thought were their best lives unhindered, but Succession Season 2 doubled down on the personal angst and ethical business decisions.
Kendall got set up to take the fall for his egomaniacal father, Logan. Logan pulled Shiv closer by dangling Waystar/Royco before her. Shiv and Tom’s married life imploded under the pressure.
Eldest son Connor decided to run for president. And darling misfit Roman began to grow up and blossom despite incessant verbal abuse.
Still laugh-out-loud funny, this time around, we found ourselves feeling for the Roy children, and that’s an incredible feat.
Fleabag – Amazon Prime
Phoebe Waller-Bridge deserves her time in the spotlight. Killing Eve is splendid, but what she’s achieved on Fleabag is even better.
No holds barred conversations on sex, grief, and family chaos got even better in the second (and final!) season with the introduction of the hot priest.
It’s a theme that seems far more prevalent abroad than in the US (even Derry Girls went there), but the touching way the story unfolded was delightful.
Better Things – FX
Pamela Adlon has created one of the most moving portraits of a family we’ve ever seen.
She tackles adult topics that others might find too honest to portray on television.
That includes discussions on aging, dating, sex, gender, friendship, and motherhood to name just a handful.
It feels as uniquely personal as it is to its creator and writer, Adlon herself.
Barry – HBO
Feeling for despicable people has become all the rage in entertainment, and Barry goes for broke.
There isn’t a single character who we’d want as a friend, but it’s still heartbreaking seeing their dreams dashed and friends murdered.
All of the characters are memorable and their antics unforgettable, but it’s going to be hard to compare to what happened on “Ronny/Lily.”
We can’t wait for Hader and co-creator Alec Berg to try to top it.
The Crown – Netflix
Even after changing the cast as the Queen ages, The Crown didn’t skip a beat.
Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies bring their own flair to Elizabeth and Philip, and Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Daniels continue the wild side with Margaret and Tony.
The Crown Season 3 had a more episodic focus that really allowed all on board to shine.
And introducing the monarchy we see in the news every day (hello Prince Charles) makes the Crown even more timely.
On Becoming a God in Central Florida – Showtime
Kirsten Dunst alone makes this show worth watching, but the funny little story at the center of On Becoming a God in Central Florida is different than anything else on television.
It’s engaging in its silliness while still calling to light the darker side of capitalism and surprisingly heartfelt.
Watching will surely touch you if you’ve ever struggled to make ends meet or considered biting into a get-rich-quick strategy to roll the dice with your future.
But it’s the well-developed and layered characters who keep you watching while they otherwise wander into absurd territory.
Chernobyl – HBO
Chernobyl isn’t easy to watch, but such a terrifying event in our shared history shouldn’t bring enjoyment, it should bring enlightenment.
This HBO miniseries reinforces how important it is for a government to be forthright, even when facing one of their greatest disasters.
With an honest portrayal of the historical event, Chernobyl reopened a conversation we needed to revisit.
Fosse/Verdon – FX
Also of significant historical importance is the story of Bob Fosse and Anne Verdon.
Theirs was a tumultuous relationship that didn’t end happily, but their creative endeavors tied them together for life.
Especially in the #MeToo era, this examination of a love and working partnership is a good lesson on power and gender.
The Morning Show – Apple TV+
Apple TV+ launched on the promise that The Morning Show would succeed.
Reese Witherspoon is one of the busiest women in entertainment, and she chooses her projects well.
Partnering with Jennifer Aniston in a story studying women in business, in entertainment, and in love, what seemed more fluffy at the onset took a dramatic turn.
Steve Carrell took a risk on a role that won’t endear him to many, and Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass thrived in their roles. Jay Carson and Kerry Ehrin created a winner.
Killing Eve – BBC America
Phoebe Waller-Bridge strikes again.
Killing Eve Season 2 went further into the twisted fascination Eve Polastri has with assassin Villanelle.
Sandra Oh’s performance ensured that we’d squirm with each step she took closer to her nemesis, and Jodi Comer thrilled as the brazen killer taking her heart for a spin.
The season ended with a betrayal that could change the entire dynamic of the series and throws Eve’s future into chaos.
As someone recently said in a comment for one of our favorites of the decade, it’s not a great time for broadcast network television.
But narrowly missing the list included This Is Us, The Good Place, as well as other off-broadcast fare including Dead to Me, Catastrophe, and (don’t laugh) A Discovery of Witches. Sometimes you have to vote for sheer enjoyment.
What made your list of best shows of the year? Not just in entertainment value, but with the writing, the performances, and the messages they’re trying to send?
Happy New Year, hope you had a great night and a safe one given the situation around the country. Allow me to distract you from the toils of news with some entertainment choices and a look ahead to the year in TV.
Stan kicks things off with the first new Aussie drama of the year today, The Gloaming. Emma Booth & Ewen Leslie lead this mystery which plummets Tasmania back into winter, Scandinoir style. Worth a look.
Netflix also unleashes its wild reality format The Circle with a bunch of overt young Americans -you’ll either love or hate this, there isn’t much in between. I’m also enjoying first eps of Messiah by Aussie Michael Petroni which drops today… review to come.
Tomorrow Jodie Whittaker returns in a new season of Doctor Who. “Spyfall Part I” is hot off the BBC satellite. You can see it on iview from 6:55am tomorrow. Subsequent eps should be on iview each Monday but won’t screen until 8pm Thursdays if you want to wait for the hi-res. Dracula, from former Who-showrunner Steven Moffat, infests Netflix from Saturday.
On Sunday 10 is back into the jungle with Julia Morris, Chris Brown and a bunch of new celebs. This is the earliest I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here has ever launched. Then on Monday it’s game on for Sunrise v Today as Karl Stefanovic & Allison Langdon take on David Koch & Sam Armytage. Expect much noise while you are still enjoying your summer break.
Monday is also the Golden Globe Awards, Live from 12pm AEDT on Arena. Marry Me Marry My Family returns to SBS next Tuesday.
The Australian Open follows from January 20 and big reality shows will follow from around February 3. Married at First Sight is again the one to beat. Official OzTAM ratings are not with us until February 9.
The year is noteworthy for the Tokyo Olympics which screen on Seven for two weeks from July 24. Unlike Rio, timezones will be extremely favourable for Aussie primetime. All other networks will be forced to programme around this period with either “alternate” entertainment or just treading water. Seven will promote the hell out of post-Olympic programming so expect big guns blazing in August, including the expected new take on Big Brother.
In 2020 we also get a bunch of big talent shows filming in new studio spaces, a new-look MasterChef Australia and My Kitchen Rules, David Speers on Insiders, Informer 3838 as the first of two expected drama on Lawyer X, 35 years of Neighbours, another Pilot Week, double Australian Survivor, and Michael Portillo (finally) on Great Australian Railway Journeys.
Sunday marks another milestone for the blog and the winners of the annual TV Tonight Awards will be published next week.