2023 is going to be a year of long-awaited drama treats on UK TV. There’s the Luther film finally arriving on Netflix in March, Unforgotten is back after that Series 4 finale in 2021, and we’re getting the second season of Good Omens that has had the shows’ many enthusiastic fans on the edge of their seats for two years.
It’s also a year of dramatic goodbyes: Happy Valley returned for its third and final series on New Year’s Day, Endeavour will wrap up after over a decade of detective work, and 2023 might also squeeze in the sixth and final season of The Crown.
This is our roundup of the British TV shows we’re most excited to see returning to our screens in 2023. We’ll keep this updated as new details are announced.
Happy Valley Series 3
Sally Wainwright’s excellent crime drama Happy Valley came back for its third and final series on New Year’s Day, so we kicked off the 2023 telly on a good note. Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran and James Norton all returned in their respective roles of Sgt. Catherine Cawood, her sister Clare, and jailed villain Tommy Lee Royce – this time, the discovery of a gangland murder victim in a reservoir took Catherine right back to the start of her story with Tommy. And the Happy Valley finale was as explosive as we hoped it would be.
Endeavour Series 9
Sadly, the ninth series of Endeavour was the show’s last, and it was always going to be emotional. We finally learn the bittersweet truth about why DI Fred Thursday – Endeavour’s mentor and friend, played brilliantly by Roger Allam – never appears in Morse’s later life (his character was never mentioned in the original John Thaw series), which star and director Shaun Evans promised would be a melancholy, sad yet satisfying ending to the show. The Endeavour finale was a fittingly generous farewell to the series.
Unforgotten Series 5
After the heartbreaking events of the series four finale, Chris Lang’s much-loved ITV crime drama returned for its fifth season in February, becoming one of the first exclusive releases on ITV’s new streaming service ITVX. Sanjeev Bhaskar was joined by newcomer Sinead Keenan as DCI Jess James, as the team investigated a new cold case when a skeleton was found in a renovated building. No sooner was Series 5 over than Series 6 was confirmed by ITV, so watch this space for more details.
Luther: The Fallen Sun
Instead of a new series of Neil Cross’ London-based detective drama Luther, we got a one-off film on Netflix. Idris Elba returned as John Luther, alongside the likes of Andy Serkis and Cynthia Erivo, and while he was up against a terrifying new villain, the movie lost some of the TV series’ small-scale charm.
Taskmaster Series 15
No sooner had the Series 14 champion lifted their trophy than the cast of Taskmaster Series 15 was revealed: Frankie Boyle, Jenny Eclair, Ivo Graham, Mae Martin and Kiell Smith-Bynoe will be the lucky five competing against each other, with Greg Davies remaining the Taskmaster and little Alex Horne his trusty sidekick. The live shows were recorded in September 2022 and begin airing on 30th March – the even better news is we’ve had confirmation of six more series and a brand-new spin-off, Junior Taskmaster.
Guilt Series 3
Mark Bonnar (Litvinenko) and Jamie Sives (Chernobyl) will reprise their roles as brothers Max and Jake in the third and final series of Guilt, the award-winning comedy drama written by The Gold‘s Neil Forsyth. The final four episodes will see the brothers go up against old and new enemies, seeking increasingly desperate solutions to their problems, while exploring their pasts to find a way out of their dangerous existence. As well as returning cast members like The Gold‘s Emun Elliot and The Crown‘s Sara Vickers, new additions to the cast include Help‘s David Hayman and Slow Horses‘ Tamsin Toploski. As well as airing on BBC Two from Thursday 27th April, all four episodes will be available as a box set on BBC iPlayer.
Inside No. 9 Series 8
The good news is the Inside No. 9’s eighth season has already kicked off, as its first episode was technically the 2022 Christmas special ‘The Bones of Saint Nicholas’, a spooky festive tale which sees a cast including Simon Callow playing characters camping overnight in a haunted church. The bad news is Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have confirmed the show is ‘pausing’, potentially for good, after season 9 airs in 2024. The rest of series 8 will air from Thursday 27th April at 10pm on BBC Two.
The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die film
As the fifth and final series of The Last Kingdom aired in March 2022, fans were thrilled to discover that filming had already finished on the show’s feature-length sequel, Seven Kings Must Die, which is due to air on Netflix on 14th April. Executive producer Nigel Marchant confirmed the film will be a standalone story which could be enjoyed ‘even if you haven’t seen the TV show’, so it isn’t too closely linked to the events of the Series 5 finale. Alexander Draymon reprises his role as Uhtred of Bebbanburg alongside Arnas Fedaravičius as Sihtric and Mark Rowley as Finan, however due to a scheduling conflict, Eliza Butterworth did not return as Aelswith. It was released on Netflix on 14th April.
Black Mirror Series 6
It’s been a long four years since the last installment of dystopian anthology series Black Mirror arrived on Netflix, but series 6 is finally on the way, with Charlie Brooker confirming he approached the series by “deliberately upending” his “core assumptions” about the programme, and suggesting we might see things he’d previously sworn to avoid. Series 6 has an impressive cast including Salma Hayek (Frida), Paapa Essiedu (The Lazarus Project), Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek), Himesh Patel (Yesterday), and Catastrophe‘s Rob Delaney. Episodes will be titled ‘Joan is Awful’, ‘Loch Henry’, ‘Beyond the Sea’, ‘Mazey Day’ and ‘Demon 79’. Series 6 will be released on Netflix on 15th June.
Man Like Mobeen Series 4
Announced on creator and star Guz Khan’s Instagram account in September 2020, as reported by Comedy.co.uk, hit BBC Three comedy Man Like Mobeen has been a long time coming. The BBC confirmed filming started in autumn 2022, and the fourth series will conclude the story of Mobeen, a young man trying to go straight and be a good role model for his younger sister. Series three left fans on a serious cliffhanger that saw Mobeen going to prison, and that’s where the final series will kick off, with Mobeen (Guz Khan) and his best friend Nate (Tolu Ogunmefun) trying to get to the end of their sentence without causing too much mayhem. It arrives on BBC iPlayer on Thursday 8th June.
Staged Series 3
The third and final series of David Tennant and Michael Sheen‘s lockdown comedy actually premiered on BritBox back in November 2022, but a wider audience will finally be able to enjoy their Zoom-based shenanigans when the series arrives on the BBC this month. Series 3 has a different (but still incredibly entertaining) tone as Tennant and Sheen’s families navigate life after lockdown, and is a fitting and poignant end to a show that kept us laughing when we needed it most. Staged series 3 will begin airing on BBC One on Wednesday 14th June and the whole series will be available to binge on iPlayer.
Good Omens Series 2
The long-awaited return of Good Omens has kept the show’s many fans on tenterhooks since Series 2 was confirmed in June 2021, and at last year’s NYC Con panel Neil Gaiman broke the news that the show would be back on our screens in “summer 2023”. Seeing as the first season rounded off the events of the Terry Pratchett-Neil Gaiman book from which it was adapted, this second run will take in unused plot ideas and sequel plans discussed by Pratchett and Gaiman, including a naive but curious new angel called Muriel, former nuns Nina Sosanya and Maggie Service returning for new roles as eccentric London shopkeepers, and Miranda Richardson coming back to play a demon called Shacks. Amazon Prime has confirmed Good Omens Series 2 will be released on July 28th.
World on Fire Series 2
To the delight of fans following series one’s tense cliff-hanger ending, Peter Bowker’s WWII drama following multiple interconnected stories from around the world during the war, was recommissioned in November 2019. Then, the pandemic intervened – but thankfully, the BBC confirmed Series 2 filming had finally begun in July 2022. Series 2 begins in October 1940, moving from wartime Britain into occupied France, Nazi Germany, and the North African desert. It arrives on BBC One on Sunday 16th July.
Heartstopper Series 2
When comedy-drama Heartstopper debuted on Netflix in early 2022 it quickly amassed an enormous fanbase who fell in love with the show’s heartwarming tone, sensitive portrayal of inclusive romance and excellent LGBT representation. In May 2022 we got confirmation of not one but two new seasons, and production on series 2 started in September, with Netflix introducing us to new cast members on Instagram. These include Jack Barton as Nick’s older brother David, Leila Khan as Sahar Zahid and Nima Taleghani as teacher Mr Farouk. Season 2 of Heartstopper is released on Netflix on 3rd August.
Starstruck Series 3
Rose Matafeo’s critically-acclaimed feel-good comedy about a messy millennial who unwittingly starts a romance with a Hollywood film star (Nikesh Patel) is back for its third series. The BBC confirmed Series 3 was in the works in June 2022, and both Matafeo and Patel will reprise their roles over six new episodes, with Matafeo also directing part of the series for the first time. It returned on Monday 28th August on BBC Three.
Sex Education Series 4
Filming for Sex Education’s fourth series began in August 2022, and it’s going to be quite a step change from previous series. For a start, Moordale Secondary was closed at the end of Series 3, so the teens are now scattered in different locations, and many of the show’s stars also aren’t returning, including Simone Ashley as Olivia, Patricia Allison as Ola and Tanya Reynolds as Lily. More positive casting news includes Ncuti Gatwa returning as Eric despite his Doctor Who casting, while another Whoniverse alumnus Thaddea Graham (who played Bel in the Flux series) joins the cast. Another exciting newcomer to the Series 4 cast is Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy as Thomas Molloy, Maeve’s American mentor. It will be released on Netflix on 21st September.
When Aussie soap Neighbours was cancelled and broadcast its final episode in 2022, it truly felt like the end of an era, nowhere more so than in the UK where it had been broadcast on Channel 5 since 2008, but previously had not one but two daytime TV slots on the BBC for 22 years. Thankfully, the mourning period was short, as a mere four months after the last episode Amazon Freevee confirmed they were bringing the show back! Less than a year later, the new episodes are almost ready to air, with a host of Neighbours favourite characters returning, including Susan and Karl Kennedy, Toadie, Paul Robinson, and the much-loved Harold Bishop. The new series of Neighbours arrives on Amazon Freevee from 18th September 2023.
Time Series 2
Jimmy McGovern’s multi award-winning hit drama Time is back for its second series with an impressive new cast including and Bella Ramsey (The Last of Us), Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins) and Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker. Series 2 will examine life in a women’s prison, with Whittaker, Ramsey and Lawrance arriving as inmates, and Finneran reprising her role as prison chaplain Marie-Louise. Filming for the three-part drama took place in Liverpool.
Vigil Series 2
Suranne Jones will reprise her role as Detective Amy Silva for Vigil Series 2, and this time instead of being stuck scarily far below terra firma on a submarine, she’s going to be looking to the skies, investigating some dodgy deaths in the Royal Air Force. The six-part series will also see the return of Rose Leslie as Silva’s detective partner Kirsten Longacre, with new cast members including The Hour‘s Romola Garai and Dougray Scott (A Town Called Malice). Filming took place in Scotland and the series will arrive on the BBC before the end of the year.
Doctor Who Series 14
After the 60th anniversary episodes in November, Doctor Who Series 14 is expected to begin ‘over the festive period’ in 2023 with a Christmas special, the first episode featuring Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor and Millie Gibson as his companion Ruby Sunday. How far into 2024 we’ll have to wait for the rest of Series 14 remains to be seen, but at least we should get a flavour of it this side of January.
RELEASE DATES TBC
Around the World in 80 Days Series 2
It’s been over a year since a second series was confirmed, and we seem no closer to news on filming or release date, but considering the first season of Around the World in 80 Days came out around Christmas we could be in luck for the tail-end of 2023. David Tennant, Leonie Benesch and Ibrahim Home are almost certain to reprise their starring roles, and we’ll bring you news of other cast announcements as they arrive.
Bad Sisters Series 2
We know it’s not British, but this Irish dark comedy has such a huge fanbase we couldn’t leave its second series confirmation uncelebrated. After its first series was such a hit, it was no surprise to hear Apple TV+ had renewed Bad Sisters for Series 2, so we can expect the murderous Garvey sisters back for more sinister shenanigans soon. Creator Sharon Horgan will reprise her lead role when filming begins – we’ll confirm more news when we have it.
Bridgerton Series 3
We knew we were getting a third (and fourth!) series of Bridgerton even before the second series was released in March 2022, and filming started in July last year, so a 2023 release date is likely. So far, we know Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley are returning as the heads of the Bridgerton household, and Hannah New will be joining the cast as Lady Tilley Arnold. The plot will centre around the developing love story between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Feartherington (Nicola Coughlan) and will be based on the fourth book in the Bridgerton series.
Colin From Accounts Series 2
This hit Australian romantic comedy got rave reviews when it landed in the UK via BBC Two earlier this year, so fans will be pleased to hear series two now has the official green light as of August 2023. The eight-part first series was created, written by and starred Patrick Brammall (Evil) and Harriet Dyer (American Auto) as messy, single adults Ashley and Gordon, who unite over a car accident involving a border terrier they name Colin From Accounts. The original series was based on a true story so it’ll be interesting to see where the second series takes us. Filming will commence soon.
Gangs of London Series 3
The brutal, gripping and unforgiving second series of Gangs of London aired in autumn 2022, and thankfully we didn’t have to wait long for Sky to confirm series 3 was on the way. With filming beginning in September 2023 we probably won’t get a third season this year – in the meantime, we’ve rounded up what the explosive season 2 finale might mean for what’s in store in the show’s future.
Ghosts Series 5
The Ghosts creators are really spoiling us lately. After Series 4 (with its shock plot twist) aired in 2022, and just before we got our teeth into the show’s third Christmas special in December, the team confirmed Ghosts Series 5 was officially on the way in 2023. The team are ‘hugely excited by the new stories we have to tell and further secrets we get to reveal’ and confirmed shooting will begin in the new year, so we can probably expect it around autumn.
Industry Series 3
Game of Thrones star Kit Harington is joining the cast of Industry for its third season, which began filming in April 2023. This gripping high finance drama follows a group of young bankers making their way in the intense, high-pressure, sex-and-drugs-fuelled environment of international bank Pierpoint & Co. Harington will play Henry Muck, the CEO and Founder of Lumi, an new green tech energy company that Pierpoint will become embroiled with in Series 3.
Karen Pirie Series 2
Vigil‘s Lauren Lyle will return to her title role in the second series of Karen Pirie, ITV’s crime drama based on the popular series of Val McDermid novels. The first series, in which the fearless Scottish investigator looked into a cold case for the death of a barmaid, was one of ITV’s most-watched dramas of 2022, and Series 2 will see Pirie reopen the investigation into the unsolved kidnap of a wealthy young heiress and her baby son back in 1985. The second series will once again be produced by the team behind Line of Duty and written by The Curse‘s Emer Kenny. Filming is due to commence in Scotland in early 2024.
SAS Rogue Heroes: Series 2
The first series of SAS: Rogue Heroes – the real-life story of the formation of the SAS in World War Two – exploded onto our screens in autumn 2022, attracting over 9 million viewers, and the series concluded with the teasing caption ‘TO BE CONTINUED’. The BBC have confirmed filming for series two began in May 2023, and will rejoin series one’s lead characters David Stirling (Connor Swindells) and Paddy Mayne (Jack O’Connell) in spring 1943, with other returning cast including Sofia Boutella as Eve Mansour and Dominic West as Dudley Clarke.
Shetland Series 8
The eighth series of this popular murder mystery drama will be taking a decidedly fresh turn, as Ashley Jensen will take over from Douglas Henshall as the show’s lead detective, starring as new character DI Ruth Calder. Calder returns to her native Shetland to retrieve the vulnerable witness to a gangland murder, assisted by returning DS Tosh (Alison O’Donnell) who is also investigating a string of mysterious animal deaths. Filming began in April, so we’ll confirm a release date later in the year.
The Crown Series 6
Originally this Netflix drama about the history of the royal family was supposed to end after six series, then it became five, and then creator Peter Morgan decided he couldn’t do the show justice in that time and so a sixth series was announced. While Imelda Staunton will reprise her role as The Queen alongside the other returning Series 5 cast, the show will also introduce three relative newcomers to play Prince William and Kate Middleton, with Meg Bellamy playing Kate, Rufus Kampa as 15-year-old Prince William and Ed McVey playing the adult prince. Filming for this final series – which will cover the tragic death of Princess Diana – began just a week before The Queen died back in September 2022.
The Devil’s Hour Series 2
This dark and twisty Amazon Prime thriller – which stars Jessica Raine (Call The Midwife) as a troubled mum caught up in a hunt for a serial killer – earned critical acclaim when it debuted in 2022, and soon afterwards it was recommissioned for a further two series. Filming on Series 2 beginning in early 2023, and it’s been confirmed that Raine will return alongside Peter Capaldi reprising his role as the sinister Gideon.
The Horne Section TV Show
If you haven’t enjoyed series 1 of Alex Horne’s new sitcom, now is the time to catch up – because series 2 is officially on the way. In this quirky comedy, Horne plays a fictionalised version of himself, frustrated at being Greg Davies’ little assistant, who wants his own late-night talk show featuring his real-life band The Horne Section. As well as Taskmaster’s own Greg Davies and former contestant Desiree Burch, The Horne Section TV Show also features a very funny Georgia Tennant as the withering Channel 4 exec who accidentally commissions the show. Filming for series 2 will commence later this year.
The Lazarus Project Series 2
After the debut series of time-travelling sci-fi drama The Lazarus Project aired on Sky Max last summer, Sky was quick to announce series 2 was on the way in August 2022, confirming it will be released in autumn 2023. Creator Joe Barton said filming was already underway back in December, and so far we know software developer-turned time-travelling secret agent George (Paapa Essiedu) is back alongside his girlfriend Sarah (Charly Clive) and fellow agents Shiv (Rudi Dharmalingam) and Archie (Anjli Mohindra). Barton has also confirmed the second series is about full-on time travel as opposed to Series 1’s time loop issue, and the stakes are raised by the discovery of a rival group to The Lazarus Project.
The Rig Series 2
Prime Video’s supernatural thriller The Rig gave us literal chills when it was released in January 2023, and the good news is Series 2 is on the way already. The first series starred Line of Duty‘s Martin Compston as part of a crew aboard a Scottish oil rig which becomes cut off from all communications and is surrounded by a mysterious, ominous fog, before crew members start having strange visions. After the explosive finale, Prime Video has confirmed Compston will return alongside Game of Thrones‘ Iain Glen and Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire, with Series 2 taking place in a ‘bold new location’. Filming began in Scotland in June 2023.
The Tourist Series 2
The first series of The Tourist was the most-watched drama of 2022, with over 11 million viewers tuning in to watch Jamie Dornan (The Fall) as a man with amnesia, who wakes up in an Australian hospital and has to race to piece together his identity before his past catches up with him. Dornan is back for Series 2 alongside Danielle MacDonald (Unbelievable) as Constable Helen Chambers, and this time they’re visiting Ireland to find out more about his character’s murky past. New cast members for the second series include Industry‘s Conor MacNeill, Justice League‘s Francis Magee and The Northman‘s Olwen Fouéré, with filming beginning in Dublin in April 2023.
Trigger Point Series 2
Almost 11 million viewers tuned in to the first series of Trigger Point – the gripping ITV bomb squad drama from Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio – when it debuted in January 2022, so it’s no surprise the show will return for Series 2. Vicky McClure will reprise her role as bomb disposal expert Lana Washington, alongside most of her crew from Series 1, including Mark Stanley (Happy Valley), Unforgotten‘s Nabil Elouahabi and After Life‘s Kerry Godliman. Filming wrapped in May 2023.
Other Shows Returning in 2023:
Am I Being Unreasonable Series 2
Annika Series 2 (August 2023)
Bloods Series 3
Before We Die Series 2 (Sunday 25th June 2023)
Beyond Paradise Series 2 (and 2023 Christmas Special)
Black Ops Series 2
Blue Lights Series 2
Call The Midwife Series 13
Death in Paradise Series 12 (February 2023 – filming for Series 13 began in May 2023)
Everyone Else Burns Series 2 (Series 1 review)
Extraordinary Series 2
Finding Alice Series 2
Funny Woman Series 2
Grace Series 4
Grantchester Series 8 (delayed until 2024 on ITV)
Heartstopper Series 3
Hullraisers Series 2 (Autumn 2023)
Louis Theroux Interviews Series 2
Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing Series 6
Never Mind The Buzzcocks Series 3 (23rd August 2023)
Our Flag Means Death Series 2
Ridley Series 2
Sanditon Series 3 (Thursday 17th August 2023)
Save Me Series 3
Screw Series 2 (30th August 2023)
Sherwood Series 2
Showtrial Series 2
Silent Witness Series 26 (January 2023)
Taboo Series 2
The Bay Series 4 (March 2023) and Series 5 (TBC)
The Responder Series 2
The Suspect Series 2
The Tower Series 2 (ITV, 28th August 2023) and Series 3 (TBC)
The Undeclared War Series 2
The Wreck Series 2
Top Boy Series 5 (7th September 2023)
Unforgotten Series 6
Waterloo Road (January 2023, and Series 2 in May 2023)
Wreck Series 2 (2024)