With 2016 featuring some of the most gripping and innovative TV series to ever grace our screens – think Stranger Things, The Night Manager, and The Crown as well as welcome returns from favourites The Missing, Black Mirror, and Game of Thrones – the bar has been set high for 2017. So, with everything from chilling thrillers to riotous comedies, we’ve whittled down the best TV shows set to burst onto the screens this year – we’re talking Sky, Netflix, BBC and beyond – all guaranteed to have you hooked right from the first episode.
Stranger Things Series Two
Brimming with paranormal weirdness, this nostalgia-stirring supernatural drama was Netflix’s most popular show to date. Word of advice: if you haven’t watched the first season – do so, immediately. You’ll be hooked from the sound of the first '80s riff. Series one ended on a gripping cliff-hanger, with many unanswered questions. Will we ever find out what happened to Barb? What has become of the creepy Upside Down world? Will the mysterious Eleven make a dramatic return? All will be revealed…
When: due to air late summer, Netflix
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Taking inspiration from the much-loved, darkly comic Lemony Snicket novels, Netflix is attempting a much grander adaptation than its 2004 film counterpart, which starred Jim Carrey. In this new eight-episode series, Neil Patrick Harris will play the sinister Count Olaf, alongside Louis Hynes and Malina Weissman as the resourceful Baudelaire children – Violet and Klaus. According to Harris, the new series is “shockingly dark” and “super faithful to the books.”
When: January, Netflix
In the BBC’s latest period drama, a prodigal solider returns from Africa to avenge the death of his father. With Steven Knight at the helm – the brains behind the fantastic Peaky Blinders –the show is guaranteed to be a big success, but throw director Kristoffer Nyholm (The Killing), and a shirtless Tom Hardy into the mix, and you’ve pretty much got your all your Christmasses at once..
When: January, BBC One
Fortitude Series Two
As one of the safest towns on earth, violent crimes are not familiar to the residents of Fortitude. In fact, they never happen at all – cue the first season of Fortitude, and a series of harrowing, sinister events. In the much-anticipated second season, a fresh murder wreaks havoc amongst the Artic community, plunging it into turmoil once again.
When: January, Sky Atlantic
Game of Thrones Series Seven
In the penultimate series of this fantastical, dragon-fuelled saga, tensions begin to sky rocket, as Daenerys finally lands back in her motherland to face a formidable Cersei Lannister. Stopping at nothing to protect her Iron Throne, will the Dragon Queen defeat her unrelenting usurper? What will become of Jon Snow, The King of the North, and of the White Walkers lurking beyond the wall? With only two seasons left, series seven is going to be nothing short of spectacular.
When: Summer, Sky Atlantic
Sherlock Series Four
The long wait is finally over for hardcore Sherlock fans, as the fourth series gets into full swing. Kicking off on New Year’s Day, Sherlock and Watson are back to their old antics, so expect the usual mysterious, sinister surrealism that comes with each brilliantly crafted episode. The new series, however, exploded with a shocking plot twist that left viewers on the edge of their seats.
When: January, BBC One
In a brand new satirical sketch show, the Bafta-winning team behind The Revolution Will Be Televised and Brexageddon, bring a whole new set of riotous pranks to the table in BBC Two’s comedy series, Revolting. With their own unique brand of ballsy humour, Jolyon Rubinstein and Heydon Prowse ridicule the state of the nation, targeting everyone from hippies to hipsters, bankers to politicians. There are no-holds-barred, so expect a rip-roaring torrent of abuse and hilarious anecdotes.
When: January, BBC Two
Set in 18th-century North America, Netflix’s newest period drama stars Jason Momoa (who played Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones), in a ruthless game of wealth and power, which sees unrelenting fur traders battling it out against the mighty Hudson's Bay Company, in a bid to take control of the fur trade. Momoa plays a merciless trader driven by lust and revenge, and that can only mean one thing – guaranteed gratuitous shirtless shots coming your way.
When: January, Netflix
Described as “Archie Comics via Twin Peaks”, this dark comic book adaptation sees Archie Andrews – the ‘all-American teen’ – return to Riverdale after the summer break, still reeling from the tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom. As he re-evaluates his life, he decides to pursue a career in music, but amid the troubled waters of sex, romance, school and family, Archie and his gang become entangled in a dark, sinister Riverdale mystery.
When: January, Netflix
Billions Series Two
In the first season of power hungry Billions – think Wolf of Wall Street with dark undertones – award-winning actors Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis went head-to-head in a dangerous hedge fund game of cat and mouse. The cut throat world of New York finance continues in series two, but billionaire Bobby Axelrod (Lewis) finds himself in a precarious position when his money-making tactics steer him into dubious territory.
When: February, Sky Atlantic
Easy Series Two
In the second series of this continuing comedy, this star-studded anthology follows a diverse mix of professional and Bohemian Chicagoans fumbling through the modern maze of love, sex, technology and culture. Each episode is like a short film and many of the scenes are improvised, which make them addictively entertaining.
When: September, Netflix
Mr Robot Series Two
When Elliot Alderson, a socially dysfunctional, paranoid hacker played by Rami Malek, is recruited by a mysterious underworld character to help bring down a huge conglomerate and start a social revolution, his life changes dramatically. Dubbed as Fight Club for the cyber generation, series two paints a much darker, more destructive view of a world where change is on the horizon – but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s for the greater good.
When: July, Amazon Prime
Z: The Beginning of Everything
In in this enchanting series biopic, Christina Ricci stars as Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the 1920s socialite and wife of author F Scott Fitzgerald. The series explores Zelda Sayre's life before she meets her future husband – unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Z takes viewers on a thrilling journey amid wild jazz-fuelled parties, giving a glimpse into Zelda Sayre's glamorous, yet somewhat depraved life. With tales of turbulent love affairs, alcoholism and failed marriages, Z is a gripping take on one of the most notorious love stories of all time. The Killing's Nicole Yorkin has written the pilot, with actor/director Tim Blake Nelson at the helm.
When: February, Amazon Prime
Santa Clarita Diet
Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant and Nathan Fillion, star in this heart-warming comedy about a husband and wife Sheila and Joel, and their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson). Both working as realtors, the couple become increasingly disenchanted with their uneventful, suburban lives in Santa Clarita, California. That is, until Sheila experiences a dramatic change that sees their lives spiral out of control, but in a comical and positive way.
When: February, Netflix