From Big Boys to Curb Your Enthusiasm: 14 shows you can't miss in early 2024

From Big Boys to Curb Your Enthusiasm: 14 shows you can't miss in early 2024

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Friday, 5th January 2024
Louisa Harland in Renegade Nell, Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm and Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson in Doctor Who over a multicoloured TV screen backdrop
Renegade Nell (credit: Disney), Curb Your Enthusiasm (credit: HBO) and Doctor Who (credit: BBC/Bad Wolf/Disney/PA)

Our pockets might be empty and the weather tornado-y, but there's a boatload of new TV coming soon to keep us buoyant while we're cooped up indoors.

Here are just some of the many shows to look out for, starting with a jam-packed January.

Gladiators - 13 January, BBC One

The hit 1990s game show returns, promising tight competition and even tighter spandex. Can members of the public take on the elite cabal of athletes and bodybuilders?

The Gladiators have all been given gloriously camp names: contestants will have to face off against the likes of Comet, Bionic, Electronic, Apollo and Phantom, among others. There to celebrate victory and mourn defeat are presenting duo Bradley Walsh (The Chase) and son Barney. Let the games begin. — JM

Big Boys - 14 January, Channel 4

Despite dropping us back into the baptism of Glens Vodka that is fresher's, Jack Rooke's Big Boys won us over with its hilarious and heart-warming portrayal of an under-represented friendship: a shy and closeted, semi-fictionalised version of Rooke, Jack, and his very straight lad's lad of a roomie, Danny. Rooke has now penned a second series about their second year, no doubt just as witty, frank and tender, which sees Jack still navigating grief and Danny his mental health amidst more sexual misadventures, drug experiments and hun worship. — HB

True Detective: Night Country - 14 January, Sky Atlantic

Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) plays Detective Liz Danvers in her first leading TV role in 50 years. Eight scientists go missing near a tiny Arctic town where sunlight is scarce, and the truth hidden. Danvers teams up with Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis), in a partnership they agree will go as far as solving the case, and not a minute further. — JM

Love Island: All Stars - 15 January, ITV2

Following the success of fan favourites (or in some cases, fan least-favourites) returning to the show for a second chance at love in series eight and 10, ITV has decided to make a series out of it. Although no contestants have yet been confirmed, many iconic islanders are speculated to have signed on. Maya Jama will return to host and Iain Stirling to add his sardonic narration. — ECS

Masters Of The Air - 26 January, Apple TV+

Steven Spielberg signs off on an adaptation of John Orloff's Masters of the Air, taking his Band of Brothers franchise to the skies of the Second World War where the 100th Bomb Group fought the horrors of Hitler's Third Reich. Expect more visceral and poignant action, with Saltburn's central creep Barry Keoghan, and our new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa, among the vast ensemble of pilots conducting the nerve-jangling bomb raids and dogfights. Oh and it's led by Elvis Presley—I mean Austin Butler. — HB

Curb Your Enthusiasm - 5 February, Sky Comedy

Larry David (Seinfeld) is back, and he’s ready to make it everyone’s problem. Expect more nitpicking from showbusiness’s most neurotic man, in the 12th and final series of the semi-improvised sitcom.

As David prepares to hang up his boots as the Curb frontman, there is speculation that the comedian is involved in a potential revisiting of Seinfeld. The eponymous Jerry Seinfeld teased in October 2023 that “Something is going to happen.” Quite the step up for “a show about nothing.” — JM

One Day - 8 February, Netflix

A scene from One Day sees Leo Woodall stand in front of an old building holding Ambika Mod's face
Ambika Mod and Leo Woodall in One Day (credit: Ludovic Robert/Netflix)

David Nicholls' One Day (2009) jerked so many tears with its tragicomic tale of star-crossed lovers that it was immediately adapted for a feature film starring Anne Hathaway in 2011—but it's arguably only remembered for Hathaway's questionable Yorkshire accent. This new 14-part series will suit the story's serial structure, and fellow Brits Ambika Mod (This Is Going to Hurt) and Leo Woodall (The White Lotus) should prove a better fit for the central couple (and their accents). — HB

Celebrity Big Brother - March, ITV2

ITV will have its first crack at Big Brother’s celebrity spin-off this March, announcing it via X (formerly Twitter) with the somewhat ominous message: “celebrities… Big Brother is coming to get you.”

The show will air seven nights a week, with the live stream continuing into the early hours. With rumoured contestants such as Rebekah Vardy, Louis Walsh and EastEnders star Max Bowden, let’s hope this year’s celebs can live up to the 22 years’ worth of housemates that have come before them, including Gemma Collins, Julian Clary and Rylan. — ECS

3 Body Problem - 21 March, Netflix

David Benioff and DB Weiss of Game of Thrones fame (and later, infamy) have teamed up with True Blood writer Alexander Woo to bring Liu Cixin’s novel to life.

The sci-fi epic starts in the 1960s in Mao’s China, where a woman’s single decision ripples across space and time. Eventually, reality itself begins to come undone, in an adventure that continues in Oxford, New York and Panama. — JM

Fallout - 12 April, Prime Video

Grab your Pip-Boy and head into an irradiated Los Angeles for Amazon’s mega-budget adaptation of the beloved video game franchise. The show follows Ella Purnell (Never Let Me Go) as Lucy, who decides to leave the underground ‘Vault’ she has called home her entire life, following nuclear Armageddon. On the surface, she finds a whole host of monsters, not all of them human. — JM

Doctor Who - May, BBC One

Later this year, Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education) bursts back onto screens as the latest iteration of the time traveller.

2023’s 60th anniversary and Christmas specials haven’t been afraid to break the mould. After a chance encounter with Isaac Newton, gravity is now called ‘mavity’. The festive special saw Davina McCall (Big Brother) nearly killed by a Christmas tree, shortly before goblins sang a musical number about eating babies. Who knows what Gatwa’s first full-length series has in store? — JM

Renegade Nell - Spring, Disney+

Sally Wainwright’s latest drama features Louisa Harland (Derry Girls) as a woman who, after being accused of murder, becomes the most feared highwaywoman in 18th century England. Along for the ride is Nick Mohammed (Ted Lasso) as Billy Blind, a spirit ready for an adventure that involves Queen Anne herself.  Nell will need all the help she can get as life changes, and Europe tears itself apart. — JM

Inside No. 9 - Spring, BBC Two

Just when you think there are no more locations with ‘9’ written on them, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen) pull out six more. The pitch-black comedy is returning for one last outing stuffed full of guest appearances. Entering Shearsmith and Pemberton’s weird worlds are Vinette Robinson (Boiling Point), Adrian Scarborough (Gavin and Stacey) and Charlie Cooper (This Country), among many, many more. — JM

The Regime - 2024, Sky Atlantic

“All we are doing is realising our dream,” warns the authoritarian leader losing her grip on a fictional European state, played by Kate Winslet (I Am Ruth).

Those who stand in the way of that dream tend not to be looked on favourably. There are arrests and humiliating public apologies for perceived wrongdoers. All the while, Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal) is on the sidelines to sarcastically praise Winslet’s “wonderful way with halfwits”. — JM

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Our pockets might be empty and the weather tornado-y, but there's a boatload of new TV coming soon to keep us buoyant while we're cooped up indoors.