The best TV shows to watch this autumn

The best TV shows to watch this autumn

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Friday, 11th September 2020
Credit: Des Willie / Netflix, BBC, ITV
Credit: Des Willie / Netflix, BBC, ITV

Autumn is the time of year when there are plenty of new shows to sink into your sofa with and be transported to another world. Here are some of the ones to watch. 


The Haunting of Bly Manor

Netflix, Friday 9th October 

From the producers of The Haunting of Hill House comes another creepy ghost story. Based on the Henry James novel The Turn of the Screw, the series follows young governess Dani (Victoria Pedretti), who arrives at the Bly estate to be a live-in nanny for two children. Although nothing is as it seems as Dani starts to see mysterious apparitions haunting the manor.

Many of the cast from The Haunting of Hill House are returning, but the narrative of the two series are not connected, with this series involving a completely new storyline.


Netflix, Friday 18th September 

Nurse Ratched was first introduced in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and became famous for her tyrannical, cold and cruel nature while working in Salem State Hospital.

The Netflix series goes back to the beginning of Ratched’s career in 1947, when she arrives at a psychiatric hospital in Northern California.

She begins with idealistic intentions, but as she delves deeper into the mental health care system, a darkness that was once dormant begins to fester inside and a buried monster begins to emerge.


ITV, September 

Honour tells the devastating true story of the murder of young Londoner Banaz Mahmod, who was killed for falling in love with a man her family deemed inappropriate.

Written by Gwyneth Hughes, Keeley Hawes plays DCI Caroline Goode, who fights to discover the truth about the murder of Mahmod, which was the result of an ‘honour killing', and bring her five killers to justice.

DCI Goode soon discovers that Mahmod had previously gone to the police five times to report threats to her life by her family, but these reports had gone ignored, making DCI Goode determined to bring Mahmod justice.

The Crown

Netflix, Sunday 15th November 

Series four of the drama will once again see the return of Olivia Colman playing Queen Elizabeth II, Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margret.

This series begins in the late 1970s and sees the introduction of Emma Corrin as Lady Diana Spencer and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.     

Small Axe


From the Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, this new decades-spanning dramatic anthology series follow London’s West Indian community and their arduous fight for racial justice.

The five-part series tells five stories and begins at the moment of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968. A restaurant called The Mangrove opens in Ladbroke Grove, and although at first a friendly local rendezvous, it soon becomes a hub for fierce resistance.

The Third Day 

Sky Atlantic, Tuesday 15th September 

Dennis Kelly’s new mind-bending miniseries, The Third Day, chronicles the journeys of two new arrivals on a mysterious island off the British coast.

Both Sam (Jude Law) and Helen (Naomie Harris) set foot on the island seeking answers, but they encounter the same enigmatic inhabitants and their rigidly preserved rituals and traditions.

Starring Jude Law, Naomie Harris and Emily Watson, the ambitious drama is told in three parts, including a theatrical element broadcast live from the island.


BBC One, Sunday 20th September

Based on David Nicholls’ best-selling novel of the same name, Us sees Tom Hollander star as Douglas Petersen, an industrial biochemist hell-bent on saving his marriage to his wife Connie (Saskia Reeves).

Connie broke the news of her wish for a divorce on the eve of their planned European tour, and Douglas seizes the holiday as his last chance to reverse the marital breakdown.

Douglas has three weeks, six countries and twelve cities to convince Connie to stay, but when his accompanying son Albie meets Kat (Thaddea Graham) along the way, his plans go awfully awry.


ITV, Monday 14th September 

Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

David Tennant stars in this true-crime thriller about the Scottish serial-killer Dennis Nilsen who killed twelve men in London between 1978 and 1983.

Based on Brian Master’s book Killing for Company, the series dissects the psychology of a murderer through his time in custody. Jason Watkins (The Crown) stars as the book-author Masters, and Daniel Mays (Line of Duty) plays police officer DCI Peter Jay.  

Adult Material 

Channel 4, October 

Hayley Squires (I, Daniel Blake) stars in Chimerica creator Lucy Kirkwood’s brand-new drama, Adult Material.

Squires plays Jolene Dollar, a mother of three who proudly earns her keep as one of the UK’s top porn performers. When she meets the 19-year-old Amy (Siena Kelly) on set, Jolene tries to look out for her, but finds that she can’t protect the young adult from her own choices.

Rupert Everett plays Jolene’s long-term friend and businessman Caroll Quinn, a porn-industry old timer who’s seen it transform into a multi-million-dollar business.

Adult Material explores what is fake and what is real in the underground world of the adult film industry.

We Are Who We Are

BBC Three 

From Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, comes this coming-of-age drama series following two American teenagers living on a military base in the Italian seaside town of Chioggia.

Jack Dylan Grazer (IT) plays Fraser Wilson who has just arrived from New York, the son of the new military commander Sarah, played by Chloë Sevigny (The Act).

Fraser forms a close bond with Caitlin Poythress, played by newcomer Jordan Kristine Seamón, and together the pair explore their true identities in the hazy daze of adolescence.


BBC Two, late autumn 

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

Set in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Industry explores the cut-throat world of investment banking through the eyes of a group of young grad-schemers.

British writing duo Konrad Kay and Mickey Down take on the ultra-competitive culture of international finance, with rising star Myha’la Herrold (Modern Love) leading the drama as Harper, the sole American jostling for status among her British cohort at a London bank.

Lena Dunham (Girls) directs the series; viewers can expect sex, drugs and sub-prime loans.

The Undoing  

Sky Atlantic, Monday 26th October        

From David E. Kelly, the writer of Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant star in this psychological thriller as the married couple Grace, a successful therapist, and Jonathan Fraser, an oncologist.

Set in high-society New York, the pair are living the perfect life until their world is thrown upside-down overnight, when a violent death and a very public disaster leads to a series of disturbing revelations.


BBC One 

Hugh Laurie (Credit: BBC)
Hugh Laurie (Credit: BBC)

Hugh Laurie leads this political thriller as the charming politician Peter Laurence. When damning secrets become public, Laurence is determined to further his political agenda despite the imminent threat to his career. 

Laurie stars alongside Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Westworld) and Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders).





BBC One 

The new Doctor Foster spin-off set in Manchester follows the intertwining lives of four families living in the same apartment block.

Life explores what happens when people look outside their interior lives and enter someone else’s, through love and loss, birth and death.                                    


Two Weeks To Live

Sky One, Wednesday 2nd September

Kim Noakes (Maisie Williams) is a misfit and loner, she was raised single-handedly away from mainstream society in seclusion and forced to learn bizarre survival techniques by her mum Tina (Sian Clifford) in response to her dad dying under suspicious circumstances when she was young.

Now a grown-up and ready to strike out on her own, Noakes enters society again on a secret mission to honour her father’s memory.

When Noakes walks into the bar of socially awkward Nicky (Mawaan Rizwan) and his brother Jay (Taheen Modak), it sets in motion a series of events that puts their lives in danger and sees them on the run from a murderous gangster and the police.

The Duchess

Netflix, Friday 11th September 

Katherine Ryan plays a single mum trying to find the right balance juggling her career, teen daughter Olive (Kate Byrne) and boyfriend Evan (Steen Raskopoulos) in new sitcom The Duchess, which Ryan writes, produces and stars in.

Melodramatic and glamorous, Katherine has a fear of commitment, and her relationship with Olive is more like a friendship than a mother-daughter relationship.

Katherine loves her life as a mum so much, she questions if she should have another baby with her ex, Olive’s troubled and estranged father played by Rory Keenan, leading to plenty of mishaps and awkward run ins.


Channel 4

The much-loved game show returns for another series of whimsical tasks and wisecracks under the dictatorship of Greg Davies and Alex Horne in its new home on Channel 4.

Davies and Horne will test Daisy May Cooper, Johnny Vegas, Katherine Parkinson, Mawaan Rizwan and Richard Herring on their creative task solving skills.

Awkwafina is Nora from Queens

BBC Three, Sunday 13th September

Awkwafina (The Farewell) stars as Nora Linn, a twenty-something stoner trying to make her way in the world after deciding to move out of the apartment she shares with her grandmother and father.

SNL’s Bowen Yang stars as Nora’s sensible cousin, Edmund, who helps Nora navigate the fast-paced life of Flushing, New York City. 

Truth Seekers

Amazon Prime

The cornetto-loving comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost collaborate again for this paranormal caper.

Frost is joined by Samson Kayo (Timewasters) and Emma D’Arcy (Wanderlust), with the trio playing a group of amateur ghost-hunting vloggers who uncover an Armageddon conspiracy which could spell the end of the human race.


The Great British Bake Off

Channel 4, Tuesday 22nd September 

The show that inspired the nation to get baking is back for another series, with a new group of eager home bakers ready to prove they know their choux pastry from their short pastry.

This series will see Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith return as judges, with Noel Fielding hosting, who will be joined by a brand-new host Matt Lucas.

Little Mix The Search

BBC One, Saturday 26th September 

One of the world’s biggest names in music, Little Mix, are searching for the next big pop band who will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to join them on their next tour.

Hosted by Chris Ramsey, the show sees Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock on the hunt for single members to form a new boy, girl or mixed-sex band and mentor the next generation of talent.

Britain's Got Talent 


The quest for Britain’s top talent continues following the auditions that aired earlier in the year. Leader of the legendary Diversity dance troupe, Ashley Banjo, stands in for Simon Cowell as guest judge.

The first of five semi-finals saw funny man juggler Steve Royle become the first to reach the final.

The Voice 


Judges Sir Tom Jones, Megan Trainor, and Olly Murs continue their coaching of the nine remaining contestants as they search for the UK’s next great voice. A catch-up episode will air before the live shows begin.

Strictly Come Dancing


Credit: BBC
(Credit: BBC)

For its eighteenth series, Strictly has recruited the likes of comedian Bill Bailey, Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo and journalist Ranvir Singh to strut their stuff on the dance floor.

Olympic boxing legend Nicola Adams will be making history as part of the show’s first ever same-sex pairing.

Expect sparkly suits and some questionable Salsa dances from this year’s twelve contestants.


Million Pound Cube


The entertainment series has upped the stakes with their biggest jackpot yet, with one million pounds on offer for the contestant who can handle the pressures of the iconic box and complete the tasks the cube throws at them.

Phillip Schofield hosts and contestants will be in pairs from the same household, with nine lives between them to complete seven games.

Each game increases the prize fund and gets them closer to the ultimate jackpot.

Don’t Rock The Boat


AJ Odudu and Freddie Flintoff (Credit: ITV)
AJ Odudu and Freddie Flintoff (Credit: ITV)

Freddie Flintoff and AJ Odudu host the new reality series which sees 12 celebrities put their physical and mental strength to the test, as they attempt to row the entire length of Britain.

Love Island winner Jack Fincham, supermodel and broadcaster Jodie Kidd, Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis, former deputy Labour leader Tom Watson and X factor finalist Fleur East are some of the names set to take part.

Rowing a backbreaking 500 miles, the celebrities will get to experience Britain’s breathtaking shoreline, with checkpoints in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

To add to the pressure, there will also be onshore challenges that celebrities can use to gain advantages over their competition.


The French Open

ITV4, Sunday 20th September 

The Parisian Grand Slam Roland-Garros is going ahead with Covid-19 safety guidelines in place to protect fans and players, making it the first major tennis tournament that will allow fans to watch matches in person since the pandemic began.

The tournament has been postponed to 21 September and the stadium will be filled to up to 50 percent of its capacity.

Premier League 

Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video, Saturday 12th September 

The Premier League is back in action and will see newly crowned champions Liverpool looking to kick-start their campaign to defend their first ever title.

Elsewhere, the newly promoted Leeds United, West Brom and Fulham will battle it out for the top spot.

There will be 220 games shown live this season across Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video.


Prince William Documentary


Prince William is on a global mission to celebrate the work of local heroes and explain the importance of fighting for the natural world to secure a better world for future generations.

The film is the result of two years of exclusive access and follows Prince William as he travels from Africa to Asia, from London to Liverpool, and even to the Sandringham estate, building on his passion for African conservation and learning about what can be done to nurture the environment.

Louis Theroux: Life on the Edge 

BBC Two, Sunday 6th September 

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

In a new 25-year career retrospective, Louis Theroux looks back at over 60 hours of documentaries he has made for the BBC.

Having investigated subjects as disparate as mental health, UFO seekers and polyamory, Louis delves back into the footage both seen and unseen to reveal some surprising common threads.

He also catches up with some of the characterful contributors to update their life stories.

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Autumn is the time of year when there are plenty of new shows to sink into your sofa with and be transported to another world. Here are some of the ones to watch.