September has already delivered a feast of great new drama on Freeview. But if you haven’t managed to catch up with the new shows, or are wondering what’s coming up later in the year, here’s a quick update to put you in the picture.
Saturday 15 September at 9:15pm
It’s already achieved a cult following in the US, and picked up two Emmy nominations, so you know how good this cat-and-mouse thriller is going to be. It follows the story of MI5 officer Eve Polastri’s efforts to track down a psychopathic assassin. But before long, the hunter becomes the hunted.
Sandra Oh plays Eve and Jodie Comer is the sadistic Villanelle. The series is written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and you’ll recognise the snappy dialogue that Phoebe so brilliantly deployed in her hit BBC series Fleabag. It all starts on Saturday, and if you can’t wait for the next episode, the box set will be available on BBC iPlayer on the same day.
Sunday 16 September at 9pm
Catch up with previous episodes on BBC iPlayer
You haven’t seen it yet? Well, no spoilers from us, just an appetite-whetting summary: Specialist Protection Officer David Budd is assigned to protect ambitious Home Secretary Julia Montague. But when he finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs, the question arises: could he become a threat to the woman he’s guarding?
Game of Thrones fans will instantly recognise Richard Madden acting his socks off (and other items of clothing). And Keeley Hawes is superb, adding to her already impressive list of acting credits.
Written by Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio, it’s no surprise that Bodyguard has been an instant hit: episode one achieved the largest audience for a drama debut since 2006.
Catch up on BBC iPlayer, and then join the rest of the nation watching the story unfold from this Sunday.
Sunday 16 September at 9pm
Catch up with previous episodes on ITV Hub
We all need a little period drama in our TV schedules, and this sumptuous series definitely fills that space.
William Makepeace Thackeray’s literary classic is brought to the small screen by the same company that gave us Victoria and Poldark. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, the seven-part series follows the single-minded Becky Sharp (Olivia Cooke) as she elbows her way into English high society.
There’s a great line-up of stars, including Martin Clunes and Frances de la Tour, along with national treasure Michael Palin, appearing as Thackeray himself.
Black Earth Rising
Monday 17 September at 9pm
Catch up with the first episode on BBC iPlayer
This compelling international thriller follows the fictional journey of a young black British woman on a deeply personal quest.
Michaela Cole plays Kate Ashby, who as a child was rescued from the Rwandan genocide and adopted by Eve Ashby (Harriet Walter), a world class British prosecutor in international criminal law.
Kate is now working in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (John Goodman), but when Eve takes on a case to prosecute an African militia leader, the story propels Kate and Michael into a journey that will upend their lives forever.
Written by Bafta-winning writer Hugo Blick, this is one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year.
Monday 17 September at 9pm
Catch up with the first episode on ITV Hub
Professor Jonah Mulray has a fear of flying. But he’s faced with no choice but to get on a plane when his wife is killed in a car crash in Hong Kong.
When he arrives, Jonah makes a shocking discovery, and over the next eight hours battles to uncover the truth about his wife’s death.
John Simm and Dervla Kirwan star in this gripping series, and Emilia Fox plays the British consul who is trying to assist in unravelling the mystery.
Thursday 20 September at 9pm
Catch up with the first episode and the two previous series on All 4
The acclaimed police drama returns for a third series, and this time DI Viv Deering and her team are up against their biggest challenge yet: the attempted assassination of a local politician by a new far right group.
Writer Paul Abbott clearly relishes the chance to dive back into this darkly comic series: “Chucking wicked humour at grim reality is a great cocktail for digesting the real world and pretending to make sense of it.”
There’s lots more new drama coming up this autumn. Highlights to look out for include:
Butterfly (ITV): Anna Friel stars as the mother of an 11-year-old boy who decides he wants to live life as a girl.
War of the Worlds (BBC): A brand-new adaptation of the HG Wells sci-fi classic.
Cleaning Up (ITV): Sheridan Smith plays a woman caught between the everyday life of a loving mum and the darker world of insider trading.
The First (Channel 4): Sean Penn stars in the sci-fi series following the first human mission to Mars.
Dark Heart (ITV): Tom Riley is a detective investigating gruesome murders, while trying to hold his own fractured life together.
Gentleman Jack (BBC): Suranne Jones stars as Anne Lister –the 19th century landowner known as the “first modern lesbian”.
And let’s not forget Luther, Les Miserables and the regeneration of our brand new Dr Who!
Freeview will keep you up-to-date with all the best new TV shows this autumn. To stay informed about the week’s top picks, simply subscribe to our newsletter – it’s free!