Fiction & Drama

James Carroll: 16 TV dramas we’re looking forward to in 2020


2019 was a blockbuster year for TV drama and the trend is set to continue in 2020 with a plethora of new drama launches, returning series and several new major streaming services. Here’s some of the series we’re looking forward to checking out over the coming months:


Dracula (Hartswood Films for BBC) 

Three 90-minute episodes penned by Sherlock writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, who reunite for a version of Bram Stoker’s classic Gothic novel Dracula. Set in Transylvania in 1897 as the blood-drinking Count draws his plans against Victorian London.

White House Farm (New Pictures for ITV) 

From the makers of The Missing comes a new six-part drama telling the true story of one fateful night in August 1985 when five members of the same family were murdered at a farmhouse in Essex. The cast includes Freddie Fox, Stephen Graham and Gemma Whelan.

Anne (World Productions for ITV) 

Four-part drama about the true story of campaigner for justice Anne Williams as she attempts to uncover the truth about her son’s death in 1989’s Hillsborough football tragedy. Maxine Peake plays the lead.

Boys (Red for Channel 4) 

New five-part series opening in 1980s London following the story of the AIDS epidemic and three young men across the decade. With award-winning Welsh screenwriter Russell T Davies.

The English Game (42 for Netflix)

Debut six-part Netflix series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. A new period drama exploring the origins of football, set in the late 1800s, and looking into how the sport crossed class lines and became a worldwide phenomenon after humble beginnings at London’s Limes Field.

Englistan (BBC Studios / Left Handed Films for BBC)

Riz Ahmed has created this nine-part multi-generational family drama for BBC Two. Englistan will follow the story of three generations of a British Pakistani family, the Latifs, as they pursue their dreams over four tumultuous decades.

Succession season three (Gary Sanchez Productions / Hyperobject Industries for HBO) 

The saga of the Roys continues, the family known for controlling the biggest media and entertainment company in the world. An imagined insight into the fast-talking, hilarious and cringeworthy world of social climbing in New York City. Winner of the Golden Globe for best television series in the drama category.

Normal People (Element Pictures for BBC Three)

Sally Rooney adapts her critically acclaimed novel, a modern love story chronicling the romance between Marianne and Connell, both from a small Irish town, but with very different backgrounds, whose relationship is tested at various junctures in their lives.

Noughts and Crosses (Mammoth Screen / Participant Media / Roc Nation)

Malorie Blackman’s bestselling novel, set in a dystopian world where races are segregated and the ruling class is black, is being adapted for television by the production company behind Victoria and Poldark with Jay Z’s Roc Nation as a producer. Peaky Blinders actor Jack Rowan and newcomer Masali Baduza lead the cast.

Quiz (Left Bank Pictures for ITV) 

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s infamous coughing scandal, based on James Graham’s West End play, starring Matthew Macfadyen, Fleabag star Sian Clifford, Helen McCrory and Michael Sheen as Chris Tarrant.

Happy Valley Season three (Red for BBC)

Sally Wainwright’s BAFTA-winning crime drama is expected to return to BBC One, with Sarah Lancashire back as no-nonsense police officer Catherine Cawood.

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (DreamWorks Animation for Netflix)

The animated Netflix series picks up after the events of 2015’s Jurassic World starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, following a group of teens who are left behind on the island of Isla Nublar. Steven Spielberg is an executive producer and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow returns.

Nine Perfect Strangers (Blossom Films / Made Up Stories for Hulu) 

Adapted from Liane Moriarty’s (Big Little Lies) novel of the same name following nine highly strung people at a health-and-wellness resort, on a mission to live healthier lives. Nicole Kidman plays Masha, the resort’s director, tasked with helping them recover. Little do they know what lies around the corner.

Run (DryWrite / eOne / Wigwam Films for HBO)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars in Run, a comedy thriller written by Vicky Jones. The series follows Ruby Dixie (Merritt Wever), a women living a humdrum existence. She functions like clockwork but feels like a fraud. One day she gets a text, inviting her to fulfil a youthful pact promising true love and self-reinvention, by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame, Billy Johnson (Domhnall Gleeson).

His Dark Materials season two (Bad Wolf for BBC) 

Philip Pullman’s fantasy series returns penned by Jack Thorne. Lyra, a young orphan from an alternate world, stays with the scholars in a college in Oxford. On the quest to find her missing friend, she discovers a secret that involves several kidnappings. Check out the His Darker Materials companion podcast to catch up on the first series.

Space Force (3 Arts Entertainment for Netflix)

Upcoming American workplace comedy created by Greg Daniels and Steve Carell, inspired by Donald Trump’s decision to establish a sixth branch of the US military, called ‘Space Force’. Stars Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers and Tawny Newsome.


James Carroll handles dramatic rights for Northbank’s writers and represents broadcasters working in the UK and internationally. Follow @james_carroll.  


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