01 January 2020 16:33
Winter Love Island (ITV2) The UK's most talked-about reality show gets a spin-off. The South Africa-set series will feature Iain Stirling's inimitable acidic commentary, with Laura Whitmore replacing Caroline Flack. If two series a year seems like overkill, it appears the show's bosses have the answer. Rumour has it they've cast more personalities than simply "bronzed and buff", including "someone related to the royal family" and perhaps the villa's first goth. Avenue 5 (HBO/Sky Atlantic) Hugh Laurie plays the captain of a cruise ship in space, given to saying things like "Set phasers to fun", in Armando Iannucci's comedy and first show since the gloriously profane Veep.
The cast – featuring Zach Woods, Suzy Nakamura, Rebecca Front and Himesh Patel – is extraordinary. The writing will be spectacular. You are going to watch the hell out of this. Mrs Fletcher Facebook Twitter Pinterest Bed browser … Kathryn Hahn in Mrs Fletcher Photograph: HBO (HBO/Sky Comedy) Any show that starts with a deaf 80-year-old man pumping out hardcore porn in a packed retirement lounge is sure to catch your attention. In this sparky comedy, Eve (Kathryn Hahn) is left with a case of empty nest syndrome when her son heads off to college. But instead of lighting scented candles and sinking into blissful baths like her friends, she takes the parental road less travelled of chain-smoking and getting into porn. Read our interview with Kathryn Hahn. February Noughts and Crosses (BBC One) Malorie Blackman's series of novels finally gets a television adaptation, and a splashy one at that. Set in a world where Africa has developed technology faster than Europe and ended up as the dominant superpower, Noughts and Crosses is a coming-of-age story that explores race and privilege. It'll be enormous and, just to seal the deal, Stormzy is in it. Spring The Mandalorian Facebook Twitter Pinterest Bounty … The Mandalorian Photograph: 2019 Lucasfilm Ltd (Disney+) Look, you already know about The Mandalorian, because all the US culture sites you read haven't shut up about it since it started. A big-budget Star Wars series created by Jon Favreau for the new streaming service Disney+. The Mandalorian is set five years after Return of the Jedi and follows the adventures of a bounty hunter. It stars Pedro Pascal, Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog – and a Baby Yoda that has already gone viral. 31 March The Boys (Channel 4) Following the nightmarish sci-fi explosion of Years and Years, The Boys is a return to more grounded but no less devastating territory for Russell T Davies. Three young gay men in the 1980s find themselves affected by the Aids crisis. Davies has hinted that this might be his most personal work yet, saying of the characters: "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." A Suitable Boy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Big-hitting period drama … Tanya Maniktala and Mahira Kakkar in A Suitable Boy. Photograph: Supriya Kantak/BBC/Lookout Point (BBC One) The BBC's first period drama featuring an entirely non-white cast. Based on Vikram Seth's breeze block of a novel, A Suitable Boy ostensibly follows a family's efforts to find a husband for their 19-year-old daughter, though it broadens out into a stark state-of-the-nation look at post-partition India. Andrew Davies adapts, Mira Nair directs, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala and Tabu star. This is going to be big. Summer The Plot Against America (HBO/Sky Atlantic) The Wire mastermind David Simon executive produces this adaptation of Philip Roth's chilling novel, which imagines what life might have been like in the US if Franklin D Roosevelt had lost the 1940 election to the controversial aviator Charles Lindbergh. Winona Ryder plays a Jewish woman, Evelyn Finkel, with John Turturro also starring as rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf, a man with unexpected connections to Lindbergh, thought by many to be a Nazi sympathiser. Alan Partridge travelogue (BBC One) After the wonderful This Time, Alan Partridge returns to the BBC with an as-yet-untitled travelogue that seems destined to be another success, if only because Steve Coogan used its filming to worm his way out of a driving ban. And if it isn't a success? He and Rob Brydon also have The Trip to Greece coming out this year. Hunters Facebook Twitter Pinterest Quest … Al Pacino and Logan Lerman in Hunters. Photograph: Christopher Saunders/Amazon Studios, Prime Video (Amazon) Riding high from his showy turn in The Irishman, Al Pacino moves to the small screen with his best work of the past 15 years. The year is 1977, a team of Nazi-hunters uncover the beginnings of a Fourth Reich in the US and set off on a bloodthirsty quest to stop them. It's timely, outlandish and Jordan Peele is executive producing. January 22nd (BBC Two) Described as "a fearless, frank and provocative drama that explores the question of sexual consent in contemporary life", January 22nd is Michaela Coel's hugely awaited follow-up to Chewing Gum. In contemporary London, a novelist's drink is spiked with a date-rape drug, and as a result she is forced to embark on a painful journey of self-discovery. Lovecraft Country (HBO/Sky Atlantic) Another Jordan Peele series – although here he's working with JJ Abrams – Lovecraft Country is a horror drama about a man travelling across Jim Crow territory to find his missing father. There are two things standing in his way: the first is the harrowing racism of white America in the 1950s. The second is monsters. Normal People (BBC Three) Her 2017 debut Conversations with Friends catapulted millennial author Sally Rooney to the literary big leagues. But it was her follow-up – about school friends Marianne and Connell whose lives intersect for years after they've left their small town – that confirmed the Irish writer as a master of quietly devastating yarns. With the producers of The Favourite and Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson on board, quality seems assured for this small-screen version. Quiz Facebook Twitter Pinterest Oblivious... Michael Sheen playing Chris Tarrant in Quiz. Photograph: Matt Frost/ITV/PA (ITV) Remember when Charles Ingram and his wife Diana landed the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire jackpot back in 2001 via a scam that saw the Major go 50-50 with a coughing accomplice? Stephen Frears directs this imagining of their unlikely heist, with Matthew Macfayden and Sian Clifford playing the Bonnie and Clyde of prime-time ITV and Michael Sheen as oblivious quizmaster Chris Tarrant. Ratched (Netflix) Sarah Paulson is sure to be equally electrifying and terrifying in this retelling of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest from Ryan Murphy. An origin story of the titular Nurse Ratched, it will show her descent from normal nurse to menacing matriarch of the mental health ward. Expect evil deeds and high camp. Run (HBO/Sky Atlantic) Now that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is an all-conquering superstar, it's time for her DryWrite partner Vicky Jones to have a go. Described as a romantic comedy thriller, Run is the story of "a woman living a humdrum existence, who one day gets a text inviting her to fulfil a youthful pact promising true love and self-reinvention by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame". Definitely worth a punt, especially as Waller-Bridge has a recurring role and is executive producer. Small Axe Facebook Twitter Pinterest Triumphs and hardships of black Britons … Letitia Wright in Steve McQueen's Small Axe. Photograph: Des Willie/BBC/McQueen Limited (BBC One/Amazon) A Turner prize-winning artist and an Oscar-winning director, Steve McQueen tries his hand at the small screen with this anthology series delving into the history of London's West Indian community. Spanning the late 60s to the early 80s and starring Star Wars actor John Boyega and Letitia Wright (Black Panther, Avengers), the show offers a window into the triumphs and hardships of black Britons. The Eddy (Netflix) Jack Thorne and Damian Chazelle unite for a Netflix musical drama about a jazz club in Paris. And, listen, I know. You've already made your mind up about this one. You're either going to stream it the second it arrives online, or avoid it like the plague. Would it kill you to give it a try? The Undoing (HBO/Sky Atlantic) The great Hugh Grantaissance continues. Following his delightful work in Florence Foster Jenkins, Paddington 2 and A Very English Scandal, Grant teams up with Nicole Kidman for this HBO drama from the creators of Big Little Lies. Kidman stars as a rich therapist whose life is torn apart when her husband is accused of murder and disappears. It sounds a bit boilerplate, but with Kidman and Grant both in the middle of television-aided purple patches, you would be silly to miss it. This Is Going to Hurt (BBC Two) "This morning I delivered little baby Sayton – pronounced Satan, as in king of the underworld." Never less than laugh-out-loud funny, Adam Kay's bestselling memoir about life as a junior doctor in obstetrics and gynaecology gets the BBC treatment – and he promises it will make us laugh, cry and vomit. If you haven't read his tales of women burning their vaginas by stuffing fairy lights inside and trying to turn them on ("bringing new meaning to the phrase 'I put the Christmas lights up myself'"), start bracing yourself now. To be confirmed • This article was amended on 1 January to correct an error in the main image.