TV networks and streaming services competing for your hard-earned subscription fee. So there’s no shortage of upcoming TV shows to gorge on over the coming months.
Last year our emotions were put through the emotional wringer by The Last of Us, we got some anger management courtesy of Beef and were privileged to witness the incredible finales of both Succession and Happy Valley. Already in 2024 we’ve seen the arrivals of some brilliant shows including Masters of the Air, True Detective: Night Country and the last ever season of the evergreen (and ever-grouchy) Curb Your Enthusiasm. But there’s plenty more to look forward to, so much so that 2024 is already shaping up to be a vintage year of small screen entertainment.
3 Body Problem – Season 1 (Netflix)
Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss return with an adaptation of Chinese author Cixin Liu’s visionary (and utterly terrifying) sci-fi novel. If it captures one-tenth of the mind-melting scale and scope of the book (which makes War of the Worlds look like Bambi), we’re in for a visual and psychological treat.
We don’t want to spoil too much, but the story involves the Chinese revolution, space telescopes, a spate of strange suicides, virtual reality video games and a truly paradigm-shifting discovery, all adding up to a science fiction tale that’ll leave you feeling very tiny and insignificant indeed. And with two more excellent books in Liu’s series still to adapt, it could be the start of something truly epic.
Release date: 21 March 2024
Manhunt – Season 1 (Apple TV+)
A cat-and-mouse conspiracy thriller set in the aftermath of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, this miniseries follows Lincoln’s friend and United States Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (Tobias Menzies) as he pursues the killer – an actor by the name of John Wilkes Booth (Anthony Boyle). Meanwhile, despite the Confederacy’s surrender, a nation still febrile and divided in the aftermath of the brutal Civil War totters on the brink of yet more bloodshed and chaos.
Release date: 15 March 2024
Ripley – Season 1 (Netflix)
Shot in striking black and white, this eight-part adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novels is written and directed by Steven Zaillian (best known as for his Schindler’s List script) and stars Andrew Scott as the eponymous conman – a shapeshifting sociopath who inserts himself into a young couple’s glamorous world.
Readers who remember Anthony Minghella’s film The Talented Mr. Ripley may wonder if Netflix’s series can match its compelling concoction of wonder and menace (if not its star-studded cast), but we’re hopeful that Zaillian, Scott and co-stars Johnny Flynn and Dakota Fanning can deliver a more in-depth and detailed look at Tom Ripley’s life of deceit, deception and murder.
Release date: 4 April 2024
Fallout – Season 1 (Prime Video)
This live-action series based on the beloved game franchise has been developed by Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy with the full cooperation of Bethesda Game Studios. Judging by the trailer, it’s managed to at least capture the characteristic retro-futuristic aesthetic and knowing humour of the games, but whether or not it’s actually a successful TV show will depend on a lot more than that.
We’re remaining cautiously optimistic about its prospects (after all, The Last of Us was among 2023’s best small screen offerings full-stop despite staying very close to its source material), and let’s face it: seeing Fallout’s idiosyncratic take on a far-future post-nuclear world on the telly is something to look forward to. The cast includes Walton Goggins (as a ghoul!) and Kyle MacLachlan.
Release date: 12 April 2024
Bridgerton – Season 3 (Netflix)
Bridgerton’s take on Regency England (oversexed, racially colour-blind and surprisingly clean) may not be historically accurate, but Netflix viewers don’t care about that: they’re just here for the costumes, the tunes, the romance and the withering putdowns. More of all the above is imminent, with a third season of Shonda Rimes’ series about the well-scrubbed Bridgerton siblings’ attempts to find love amidst the gossip and glamour of early 19th-century London coming in two parts, the first of which arrives in May.
The focal point this time around is the friendship between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, now threatening to turn into something much deeper. Swoon.
Release date: 16 May 2024 (Part 1); 13 June 2024 (Part 2)
House of the Dragon – Season 2 (Max/NOW/Sky)
After a barnstorming first season that expertly set the stage for the conflict to come and ended with a shocking death, House of the Dragon’s second season will see bloody civil war coming to Westeros.
With two rival factions vying for the throne, both of which are in possession of several dragons as well as many thousands of soldiers, this clash promises some eye-popping battle sequences. But, as with Game of Thrones, it’s the human (and reptilian) relationships and drama that will make or break the TV show. Show us the stakes, make us care about the characters – then rip everything apart. We can hardly wait.
Release date: Summer 2024
The Penguin (Max)
Colin Farrell’s portrayal of The Penguin was a stand out in 2022’s The Batman. Donned in latex and with a generic ‘New Yoik’ accent, we saw a glimpse of what this version of The Penguin can be in the Batmaniverse, but wasn’t fully explored in the movie.
It’s good news then that The Penguin will be coming to streaming service Max as a standalone, eight-part TV series. Set a week after the events of The Batman, the TV show explores the Penguin’s rise to power in Gotham’s underworld.
Release date: 2024
M. Son of the Century (Now TV, Sky)
There’s no shortage of wartime epics out there from the American and British perspective. Band of Brothers, Catch-22, The Man in the High Castle, The Pacific, we could go on. The eight-part M. Son of the Century, though, will show Italy’s wartime role in a TV drama format. Based on the novel by Antonio Scurati, directed by BAFTA-winner Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement, Cyrano) and written by Stefano Bises (Gomorrah), M. Son of the Century charts the rise of fascism in Italy, and with it Mussolini’s grasp on power.
Release date: TBA