We may only be two weeks into 2019, but the small screen is off to a flying start. From the jaw-dropping return of Luther sending Twitter into a twist, to the bar-rattling suspense of Ben Stiller’s prison drama, Escape At Dannemora, currently showing on Sky Atlantic, we’ve had more sofa-hiding, pillow-chewing and laugh-out-louding than entire previous years have given us.
And True Detective — promising a cracking return to form — hasn’t even started yet (tonight, Sky Atlantic, be there).
So, if this was the year you resolved to read more, travel more or just generally go outside more, we’re here — remote controls in hand — to disappoint you. Because, from highly anticipated returning series to brand new shows from George Clooney (yes, really) and Richard Gere (again, really), these dramas, thrillers and fantasies will be keeping you firmly on the sofa.
Game Of Thrones season 8
Release date: Set your alarm for 2am, Monday 15 April on Sky Atlantic
Winter has finally come for George R.R. Martin’s history-making, record-breaking epic. The eighth and final season will pack plenty of punches, endeavouring to wrap things up in only six episodes of big-budgeted, cinematic majesty.
Season 7’s cliffhanger ending saw the White Walkers bring down the Wall, so a gigantic clash between the living and dead will undoubtedly be on the agenda. According to the show’s co-executive producer Bryan Cogman, our “disparate characters will come together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death.” A happy-ever-after, then…
Release date: Spring on Amazon Prime and later this year on BBC Two
This upcoming series already has a lot of good things going for it. For a start, the premise sees Michael Sheen’s angel Aziraphale and David Tennant’s demon Crawley teaming up to prevent the end of the world. Then there’s the fact it’s an adaptation of a Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett fantasy novel. Oh, and Jon Hamm’s in the mix as an angel too. Count us in.
Peaky Blinders season 5
Release date: Spring on BBC One
So far, the Peaky Blinders have taken on the Italian mafia, the Russians and the Church. Given that the end of season 4 saw Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) elected as an MP for Birmingham, we’d hazard a guess at who the family will be doing business with this time. Suit up for the return of Steven Knight’s award-winning, stylish and swaggering series – with Sam Claflin and Anya Taylor-Joy joining the cast.
Killing Eve season 2
Release date: Spring/summer on BBC One
The original, witty and rebellious Killing Eve brought a much-needed breath of fresh air to our screens last year. When it’s quite finished cleaning up at awards season, the whip-smart cat-and-mouse spy series – about a bored MI5 officer who becomes obsessed with an assassin, and vice versa – will no doubt bring us even more thrills, built on the inspiringly-cast duo of Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.
Big Little Lies season 2
Release date: June on Sky Atlantic
If you enjoyed Killing Eve but never got around to Big Little Lies, set aside a weekend and get yourself caught up on one of the best shows of the decade. Based on Liane Moriarty’s bestseller and starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, this addictive mystery drama follows three mothers caught up in a murder investigation. With Meryl Streep joining the cast in season 2, that’s more than a big little reason to get involved.
Release date: Summer on Channel 4
George Clooney directs and stars alongside Hugh Laurie, Kyle Chandler and Christopher Abbott (First Man) in an adaptation of Joseph Heller’s celebrated, satirical World War II novel. If you’re yet to read/Google it, Catch-22 tells the story of a young bombardier for the U.S. Air Force who is fighting a constant battle to survive, all the while wanting to avoid his military assignments. It’s a bit of a – well, the clue is in the title…
Release date: Winter on BBC Two
Richard Gere, Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders) and Billy Howle (On Chesil Beach) are exactly that in this eagerly anticipated drama about a powerful, self-made media tycoon. Caden (Howle) is heir to his father Max’s British newspaper, but his self-destructive lifestyle threatens to topple the whole empire.
The Crown season 3
Release date: This year on Netflix
It’s been said every year this decade, but this year – this very year of 2019 – could very well be the one known in history books as Olivia Colman’s Year. Hotly-tipped to bag the Best Actress Oscar for The Favourite in February, she’ll be taking the throne once again as our very own Queen Elizabeth II in March as Peter Morgan’s critically acclaimed Netflix series continues.
Helena Bonham-Carter takes the reins from Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Josh O’Connor plays a young Princes Charles and Tobias Menzies replaces Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh.
Release date: This year on Netflix
Netflix comes for us all, eventually… and this time they’ve managed to lure in Sir David Attenborough and the award-winning team behind Blue Planet and Planet Earth. This ambitious docuseries – which never fails to shock, surprise and send sales of polar bear cuddly toys skyrocketing – will take us on a journey through some of our planet’s most awe-inspiring natural habitats.
What about movies? These are the films you’ll want to watch in 2019 too…