An iconic video game adaptation, a Bridgerton spin-off and another Netflix reboot – 20 must-see TV shows in 2023

From tantalising true crime sagas and glossy new sitcoms to homegrown comedies and multi-million- dollar war epics, 2023 is shaping up to be one hell of a year on the box. Some of the biggest names in the business continue to gravitate towards small-screen storytelling, and with such a vast wealth of material to choose from, who can blame them? Settle back, get comfortable and take notice — these are the shows you’ll be bingeing over the next 12 months.

Welcome to Chippendales

(Disney+, January 11)

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Kumail Nanjiani in Welcome to Chippendales

Kumail Nanjiani stars as Somen “Steve” Banerjee in this barmy true-crime soap opera that tells the story of how a slippery entrepreneur with big ideas — and bigger frenemies — started America’s premier male-stripping empire. Mayhem and murder ensue in this thrilling reconstruction. The always reliable Dan Stevens features, alongside Murray Bartlett (last seen as the hotel manager in the first series of The White Lotus) and Juliette Lewis.

The Last of Us

(Sky Atlantic / Now, January 16)

Are we allowed to call this a zombie drama? Developed for television by franchise creator Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl writer Craig Mazin, The Last of Us takes its cue from an award-winning video game about a world-weary smuggler who is hired to protect and transport an all-important teenager — and, possibly, humanity’s saviour — across a post-apocalyptic America. There may be monsters ahead. Games of Thrones alumni Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey co-star.

That ’90s Show

(Netflix, January 19)

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Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rudd in That 90s Show

Hey, kids, remember That ’70s Show? Well, this is the glossy period spin-off that nobody asked for. Yep, we’re back in the Forman household, and the official synopsis mentions something about Eric and Donna’s teenage kid (gasp!) staying with Grandpa Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Grandma Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) for the summer. But that’s not important. What matters is that most of the original cast (Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, included) are involved. It might be fun.

Fleishman is in Trouble

(Disney+, February 22)

Jesse Eisenberg leads the charge in this handsomely assembled dramedy based on the best-selling novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Eisenberg is Toby Fleishman, a 41-year-old divorced Manhattanite whose head is all over the shop. He has only just started dating again when, suddenly, his ex-wife disappears. Now, Toby is raising two kids alone — the perfect time for an existential crisis. Claire Danes, Lizzy Caplan, Adam Brody and Christian Slater lend support.

True Detective

(Sky / Now, release date TBC)

Do we really need another round of True Detective? Probably not. Are we intrigued by the prospect of Jodie Foster headlining proceedings? You betcha. This fourth iteration of the hit-and-miss anthology stars Foster as a troubled crime-solver investigating the disappearance of six men at an Alaskan research station. Kali Reis plays the partner and Christopher Eccleston and Fiona Shaw feature. It could be a sensation.

Masters of the Air

(Apple TV+, spring)

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Superstar producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) reunite for another World War II epic, this time from the perspective of the US Army Air Forces. Austin Butler, last seen shaking his hips as the king of rock ’n’ roll in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, portrays a handsome pilot. Callum Turner, Barry Keoghan and Fionn O’Shea are included. Pencil it in as a major awards contender.

A Man in Full

(Netflix, release date TBC)

Writer David E Kelley and director Regina King deliver their long-awaited adaptation of a tricksy Tom Wolfe novel. Jeff Daniels plays an Atlanta real estate mogul facing bankruptcy. Diane Lane is the uppity ex-wife who will do anything to maintain her status. There is more to this sinister tale than declining bank balances and desperate businessmen. William Jackson Harper and Lucy Liu co-star.

Daisy Jones & The Six

(Prime Video, March 3)

Based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, this promising musical-drama tells the fictional story of an iconic 1970s rock band who packed it in at the height of their fame. Decades later, the members of “The Six” (loosely inspired by Fleetwood Mac) tell their story for the first time. Reese Witherspoon is an executive producer, while Sam Claflin and the awesome Riley Keough share top billing. We’re excited.

Love and Death

(Sky Atlantic / Now, release date TBC)

Do not adjust your television set. This is, in fact, another high-end retelling of the Candy Montgomery story. Jessica Biel portrayed the famous Texas housewife accused of butchering her neighbour in last year’s Candy — and now it’s Elizabeth Olsen’s time to shine. David E Kelley (yes, him again) writes and Jesse Plemons features. Approach with caution.

Boiling Point

(BBC, mid 2023)

A cinematic highlight of 2022, Philip Barantini’s Boiling Point imagined a particularly stressful night for a frazzled head chef (the incomparable Stephen Graham) at a fancy London restaurant. The film was shot in a single take, and this five-part televisual follow-up promises to at least dabble in the technical wizardry employed by its theatrical predecessor. This time around, chef Carly (Vinette Robinson) is the one running the show. Graham co-stars and executive produces.

Succession

(Sky Atlantic / Now, spring)

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Brian Cox is back in another season of Succession

Where do we go next? Last time we saw them, the Roy siblings were well and truly snookered. Dad Logan (Brian Cox) had secretly convened with his ex-wife to ensure that their kids get no say in his company’s future. Or something.

It all happened so fast, but we do know this: Tom (the wonderful Matthew Macfadyen) has, indeed, sold his soul to the devil, and we cannot wait to see what his wife Shiv (Sarah Snook) has to say about it.

Best Interests

(BBC, release date TBC)

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Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan star in Best Interests

Writer Jack Thorne (Help, The Virtues) is behind this hard-hitting four-part legal drama about a mother and father facing an unimaginable dilemma. Their daughter suffers from a life-threatening illness. Doctors reckon it is in the child’s best interests to be allowed to die — but mam and dad disagree. Things get complicated. Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen lead the way.

Secret Invasion

(Disney+, spring)

Their movies have started to suck, but the folks at Marvel Studios continue to impress on the small screen, and this explosive new spy thriller — based on a fan-favourite comic story — is likely to be another hit for producer Kevin Feige and co. Samuel L Jackson returns as former SHIELD director Nick Fury to wage war on an invisible breed of extraterrestrial tourists. Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman and our own Killian Scott co-star.

Extrapolations

(Apple TV+, release date TBC)

Little is known about this handsomely populated ensemble piece other than a) it is an anthology series about climate change, and b) Meryl Streep is in it. That first bit has us worried. Edward Norton, Marion Cotillard, Sienna Miller, Tobey Maguire and Kit Harrington join Meryl. Phenomenal company — let’s just hope it isn’t too preachy.

Wool

(Apple TV+, release date TBC)

Super Swede Rebecca Ferguson fronts an intriguing new sci-fi epic, set in a toxic, turbulent future where humans have retreated underground. Why, exactly, we’re not entirely sure — and nor are the people who live there. Speed writer Graham Yost adapts the acclaimed novels by Hugh Howey. Tim Robbins, Rashida Jones and David Oyelowo feature.

Sisters

(RTÉ, release date TBC)

Sarah Goldberg (Barry) and Susan Stanley (Hotel Amenities) write and star in this original “dark comedy” about two women — one born in Canada, the other in Ireland — who discover that they’re related. Thus begins an epic road trip to track down their alcoholic father and mend familial ties. The delightful Declan Lowney (Ted Lasso, Alan Partridge) directs.

Sex Education

(Netflix, release date TBC)

Everyone’s favourite raunchy high-school melodrama returns for a fourth season. The fun can’t last forever, and with series regular Emma Mackey’s film career beginning to take off, we wonder how long it’ll be before we bid farewell to the students and staff of Moordale Secondary School. For now, Sex Education is one of the best shows on Netflix, and this latest run welcomes Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy to the line-up.

Lessons in Chemistry

(Apple TV+, release date TBC)

Oscar-winner Brie Larson fronts this warmly anticipated adaptation of the Bonnie Garmus novel. Set in the 1950s, Lessons in Chemistry tells of aspiring scientist Elizabeth Zott (Larson), who isn’t allowed to follow her dream. One thing leads to another, and eventually, she lands a job hosting a TV cooking show. She decides to use her new platform to teach America a few things about how the world really works. Lewis Pullman and Beau Bridges co-star.

Clean Sweep

(RTÉ, release date TBC)

Another homegrown crime thriller — and this one is based on true events. Charlene McKenna plays a young housewife desperately trying to hide her murderous past from her detective husband (Barry Ward). Best of luck with that, Charlene. Gary Tieche writes, and Ronan Burke directs.

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

(Netflix, release date TBC)

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India Amarteifio in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Everything you need to know is in the title. Netflix’s frothy and fruity historical romance gets its first spin-off with an eight-part prequel about a young Queen Charlotte. Returning cast member Golda Rosheuvel shares the eponymous role with young India Amarteifio. You know how these things go. It will probably be huge.

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