A little bit of Picard, a little bit of Zoe, some Hugh Laurie – here's what you'll be watching in 2020.

Here’s all the great TV you’ll be watching in 2020

Another year, another avalanche of television to keep track of. Sam Brooks rounds up all the shows you’ll want to watch this year – new, returning, and local.

New Shows

Normal People

The leads of BBC’s Normal People.

What is it? A BBC/Hulu adaptation of that Sally Rooney book you read for book club because everybody loved it and you could read it in an afternoon. Newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal star as the titular normal people.

Where is it? Unconfirmed, but I can guarantee someone will pick it up sooner rather than later.

When is it? Unconfirmed.

Star Trek: Picard

What is it? A new Star Trek show, set 20 years after Nemesis, the terrible film nobody saw, with everybody’s favourite bald god Patrick Stewart returning as Picard.

Where is it? Amazon Prime Video.

When is it? January 24.

Avenue 5

Hugh Laurie in Armando Ianucci’s Avenue 5.

What is it? The new Armando Ianucci (Veep, The Thick Of It) show, set on an interplanetary cruise ship that goes off-course, forcing the crew and passengers to band together to get back to Earth safely. Hugh Laurie heads up the cast.

Where is it? Soho2, on Sky.

When is it? Weekly from January 23.

High Fidelity

Zoe Kravitz in High Fidelity.

What is it? A new version of the Nick Hornby book, which spawned a John Cusack film that your most insufferable friends love. This adaptation swaps John Cusack for Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies) and the movie’s Chicago setting for modern-day Brooklyn, but hopefully keeps the boss soundtrack.

Where is it? Unconfirmed, but I’ll be surprised if someone like NEON doesn’t pick it up.

When is it? February 14 overseas. Unconfirmed here.

American Crime Story: Impeachment

What is it? The third installment of Ryan Murphy’s crime anthology stories, this tells the story of the Lewinsky Scandal and President Bill Clinton’s subsequent impeachment. Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein stars as Monica Lewinsky, Clive Owen plays president Bill Clinton and regular Murphy Muse™ Sarah Paulson plays history’s worst friend, Linda Tripp.

Where is it? Soho2.

When is it? November 2020 in the USA. Unconfirmed here.

Noughts + Crosses

Masali Baduza and Jack Rowan star in the BBC drama Noughts + Crosses.

What is it? An epic six-part BBC adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s YA novel, set in an alternate history in which Africa developed technologically ahead of Europe and enslaved its people. The book was wildly popular, and spawned three sequels.

Where is it? TVNZ on Demand.

When is it? Unconfirmed.

Run

What is it? The fourth Phoebe Waller-Bridge series (after Crashing, Killing Eve and, of course, Fleabag), although Waller-Bridge is only the executive producer (only, he says) and has a recurring role. The creator is her frequent collaborator Vicky Jones, who directed the original production of Fleabag.

Anyway, this stars television’s greatest actress Merritt Wever (Unbelievable) as Ruby, a woman living a dull existence who gets a text to fulfill a years-old pact, promising true love and self-reinvention. Domhnall Gleeson plays her old flame who takes the journey with her.

Where is it? Soho2, then NEON.

When is it? Unconfirmed, but not soon enough.

Returning Shows

Sex Education

The cast of Sex Education season two.

What is it? The surprise Netflix hit of last January, starring Asa Butterfield as a high school kid dispensing sex advice to his classmates, which he proves to be very good at, thanks to growing up with a sex therapist for a mother, played by Gillian Anderson.

Where is it? Netflix.

When is it? The entire second season drops on January 17.

Succession

What is it? Either television’s bleakest comedy or funniest drama, revolving around a Murdoch-esque family being the absolute worst. It just won two Golden Globes, one for Best Drama and one for Best Actor in a Drama. It’s great, it’s bleak, it’s funny, your smartest friend watches it, and you should too.

Where is it? Soho2, then NEON.

When is it? The last season premiered mid-winter this year, so you should expect the same.

Outlander

History’s most lovelorn couple in Outlander season five.

What is it? Only the best (and most infuriating) damn time-travelling romance television on TV! If you haven’t caught up with the oft-troubled love of Claire and Jamie Fraser, there’s no better place to start than Tara Ward’s recaps.

Where is it? Lightbox.

When is it? February 15.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

What is it? Larry David being an asshole for half an hour a week. The show has been off the air for three years, and it returns to a world that is a lot less tolerant of David’s brand of curmudgeon. 

Where is it? SOHO2.

When is it? January 23, 9pm.

Schitt’s Creek

The cast of Schitt’s Creek season six.

What is it? A beloved Canadian sitcom starring legends Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara as the heads of a rich family who find themselves in dire straits, and a direr living situation in a place called Schitt’s Creek. The show’s sixth and final season airs this year.

Where is it? Netflix.

When is it? The show is actually airing in its native Canada right now, and will crawl onto Netflix sooner rather than later. Expect to binge before summer’s out.

Killing Eve

What is it? Depending on your view, it’s either television’s most frustrating queerbaiting drama or television’s best show about two women locked in mortal combat, as Sandra Oh’s Eve tries to stop (or enable?) the murderous Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer.

Where is it? TVNZ OnDemand.

When is it? Sometime this year. And bonus for fans: It’s already been renewed for a fourth season.

Westworld

Aaron Paul in Westworld season three.

What is it? Short answer: Nobody knows. Long answer: An HBO sci-fi/western in which people may or may not be robots in a theme park in a semi-dystopic future. I have not watched it, but many people have! You probably have.

Where is it? Sky/NEON.

When is it? Unconfirmed, but sometime this year.

Local Shows

The Luminaries

Eva Green in The Luminaries.

What is it? Big ol’ BBC/TVNZ co-production based on Eleanor Catton’s big ol’ novel. Eva Green and a range of non-Eva Green actors star.

Where is it? TVNZ.

When is it? Unconfirmed, but sometime this year.

Taskmaster

What is it? A local version of the highly addictive British game show where five comedians complete bizarre tasks to win… something? It’s very silly, wholesome and watchable.

Where is it? TVNZ.

When is it? Unconfirmed.

The Bachelorette

Doctor Lesina Nakhid-Schuster, New Zealand’s first Bachelorette.

What is it? The lady version of The Bachelor! Doctor Lesina Nakhid-Schuster is looking for love amongst New Zealand’s most television-ready bachelors.

Where is it? TVNZ2.

When is it? Unconfirmed.

The Casketeers

What is it? Only New Zealand’s most wholesome show about funeral directors. Read our interview with the stars/legends right here.

Where is it? TVNZ1.

When is it? Sundays at 7PM! The first episode has already aired, go watch it.

The Dead Lands

The leads of TVNZ’s The Dead Lands.

What is it? A co-production between TVNZ and AMC (Mad Men, Walking Dead), this show is an eight part spin-off of the hit 2014 Māori film. It follows a murdererd Māori warrior Waka Nuku rae (Te Koha Tuhaka) who gets sent back to the world of the living to make up for his past sins.

Where is it? TVNZ OnDemand.

When is it? January 24.

1 News At Six

What is it? The news.

Where is it? TVNZ1.

When is it? Six.



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