From landmark dramas to reality shows, the biggest draws this coming year
A dramatisation of Douglas Stuart’s Booker-winning novel; a sixth series of The Crown; and Helena Bonham Carter starring as Crossroads actor Noele Gordon in Nolly. These are just some of the viewing highlights for 2023.
Here is a rundown of some of the shows we know will be the talk of the town next year – and a few that are rumoured to be in the pipeline.
Douglas Stuart, below, is adapting his bestselling Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain into a television series for the BBC. The book, Stuart’s debut novel, is set in 1980s Glasgow and is about a young boy growing up amid addiction and poverty. The story was inspired by Stuart’s own childhood in Thatcher-era Glasgow and is described as a powerful portrayal of a working-class family. The BBC has not yet said if the series will air in 2023, but did confirm filming will take place in Scotland, with further details to be announced in due course.
Nolly and Stonehouse
One of the much-anticipated series for ITVX in 2023, Nolly stars Helena Bonham Carter as Noele Gordon in Russell T Davies’s three-part series charting the unceremonious sacking of the Crossroads star. Gordon, known to her friends as Nolly, played widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap between 1964 and 1981, when she was sacked unexpectedly. Another ITVX release sees Matthew Macfadyen and his wife Keeley Hawes star together in a drama about Labour minister John Stonehouse, who attempted to fake his own death in 1974. The Succession star plays Stonehouse alongside his wife of nearly 20 years, Hawes, who will play Stonehouse’s wife Barbara, in the real-life drama written by former journalist and newspaper editor John Preston.
Big Brother will return to screens following a five-year hiatus after being revived by ITV. The influential reality TV programme aired for 18 years in the UK until it was axed in 2018. It will return on ITV2 and new streaming platform ITVX, with its famous house featuring a “contemporary new look”, ITV previously said. The show’s trademark live evictions will also return with the public once again voting throughout the series and ultimately deciding the winner of the cash prize. The programme – which sees housemates live together in a custom-built home for weeks without access to the outside world in a bid to win – started in 2000 on Channel 4 and Channel 5 took over in 2011. However, it was axed by the broadcaster in 2018 amid a ratings slump.
The revival of the drama series, left, is set to premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer early in 2023. It sees Adam Thomas star alongside his real-life niece Scarlett and his son Teddy. He returns to his role as Donte Charles in the series, while Scarlett, daughter of his older brother Ryan Thomas, and Teddy will play his on-screen children. Angela Griffin, who plays the headteacher, and Katie Griffiths, whose character Chlo was married to Thomas’s Donte at the end of their last season, also reprise their roles. The award-winning series, which originally ran from 2006 to 2015, will also see Strictly Come Dancing star Kym Marsh step into the role of Nicky Walters.
Netflix in 2023
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, The Crown and more
Shonda Rhimes’s Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, a prequel centred on Queen Charlotte’s rise to prominence and power, streams on Netflix. The prequel tells the story of how “the young Queen’s marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in Bridgerton”, the streamer said. Bridgerton, which is produced by Rhimes’s Shondaland, has been a ratings hit for Netflix. Other anticipated shows to air on Netflix in 2023 include the sixth series of The Crown as well as the third series of The Witcher, and a new reality competition series of the streamer’s megahit series Squid Game. The series will see 456 real players enter the game in pursuit of a prize of 4.56 million dollars (£3,736,054).
Ahsoka and The Mandalorian (season 3)
The Mandalorian series three, starring Pedro Pascal, sees the eponymous character and Grogu reunite and travel to Mandalore. Live-action series Ahsoka stars Rosario Dawson in the title role. Set after the fall of the Empire, the series will follow former Jedi knight Ahsoka Tano “as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy”.
True Detective: Night Country
In November, American network HBO confirmed production on the series was underway in Iceland. Stars Jodie Foster, left, and Kali Reis must solve the mystery of a group of men who vanish without trace. Foster will play detective Liz Danvers, Reis is slated to star as detective Evangeline Navarro, with other names listed to appear including Fiona Shaw, Christopher Eccleston and Deadwood’s John Hawkes. HBO’s dark crime anthology was a hit with viewers and critics in 2014, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the lead roles as investigators probing a grisly murder. The second season starred Vince Vaughan and Colin Farrell, while Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali took the lead in the third series. They have traditionally aired on Sky in the UK.
Clarkson’s Farm, Good Omens and KSI: In Real Life
Britain’s most unlikely farmer, Jeremy Clarkson, returns with a second series of Prime Video UK Original Clarkson’s Farm. It will see the introduction of new animals and crops to the former Top Gear presenter’s farm, and also “examines the impact of the current economy on British farmers”. Magical devil and angel screen duo David Tennant and Michael Sheen are back together for another series of Good Omens and there’s also the feature-length documentary featuring KSI, executive-produced by Louis Theroux, which follows the YouTube star and musician to give an inside look at his world. Hit fantasy series The Wheel of Time, starring Rosamund Pike, is also back.