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The next ten TV series that’ll eat up all your time

Posted at 10:15 am, March 23, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment, TV

Are you a serial junkie? Does the sight of a series ending fill your heart with sorrow? Fear not, there’s always more where that came from and below are our picks for the next ten TV series that’ll ruin your social life and reunite you with your beloved sofa.

1. ‘Game of Thrones’

The return of the king of fantasy

There’s no end in sight for George RR Martin’s compelling swords and shaggery epic, with winter drawing closer as dynastic alliances fall apart. It continues to be simply unmissable, and there’s no need for contraband downloading: the series will air one day after its US premiere. (Also the case with the last series of ‘Mad Men’, starting April 16, which sees Don Draper begin his farewell tour. It’s being split into two, and concludes next year, reputedly with a flash-forward to the present day.) Apr 7, Sky Atlantic

2. ‘The Crimson Field’

The Crimson Field

Mud and blood on the Western Front

After her superb take on ‘Great Expectations’ (you know, the one with Gillian Anderson), ‘EastEnders’ writer Sarah Phelps escapes Albert Square for the Somme in the centrepiece of the BBC’s anniversary WWI programming. Oona Chaplin and her medics get knee-deep in the trenches: they could have called it ‘Casualty 1914’.  April, BBC1

3. ‘Jamaica Inn’

Costume drama with booze and balls 

The BBC does literary drama better than anyone, but thankfully we’re not talking Charles ruddy Dickens or Jane blooming Austen here. This should be way more fun. Jessica Brown Findlay of ‘Downton Abbey’ heads to Cornwall’s dodgiest boozer for Daphne Du Maurier’s ripsnorting romp involving smugglers, sea shanties and gothic heaviness.  April, BBC1

4, ‘Prey’

‘The Fugitive’ – but in Manchester

TV dramas tend to go better with John Simm, and the ever-intense Mancunian should bring real class to this promising crime drama, playing a copper and family man accused of a crime he did not commit. April, ITV

5. ‘The Trip to Italy’

Coogan and Brydon bicker

Reuniting tireless impersonator Rob Brydon and Hollywood nearly-man Steve Coogan with director Michael Winterbottom, this surreal show takes a culinary tour of Italy. As with 2010’s ‘The Trip’, they’ll be playing ‘themselves’ in a semi-improvised six-parter, entering metacomic nirvana in the process. April, BBC2

6. ‘Cooks’ Question Time’

Cooks Question Time - Sue Perkins

TV cooking meets Jeremy Kyle

Sue Perkins hosts while a studio audience hungry for blood – oh, all right, cupcakes and seared tuna – grills, broils and bastes a panel of three experts on kitchen issues. Live demos with lashings of food science should make this a lip-smacking treat. April, More4

7. ‘Penny Dreadful’

Horror icons run riot in London 

Dorian Gray! Frankenstein! Mina Harker! Josh Hartnett and Eva Green are immigrants in Victorian London, embroiled in psychosexual intrigue as an asylum’s worth of classic horror characters wreak havoc. So what if it was actually filmed in Dublin? Especially when the last collaboration of exec producers John Logan and Sam Mendes was something called ‘Skyfall’. May, Sky Atlantic

8. ‘A Poet in New York’

A Poet in New York - Tom Hollander

New York City boyo

Do not go gentle into that good night? No chance of that, as Tom Hollander (also heading up BBC2’s third series of ‘Rev’ from March 24) plays the 39-year-old Dylan Thomas, cutting loose and carking it in a haze of adultery and hellraising in Greenwich Village. April, BBC2

9. ‘Playhouse Dramas’

The Dog Thrower© Sky Arts/Justin Downing

Bite-sized dramas for commitment-phobes 

Sky Arts’ eccentric short-drama strand returns. Look out for ‘Foxtrot’ (Billie Piper in a girl-gang heist), ‘Timeless’ (model Cara Delevigne makes her UK acting debut as a soldier’s wife) and Jon Ronson’s surreal ‘The Dog Thrower’ (Matthew ‘Chandler’ Perry v Tim ‘Slutcracker’ Key as competing canine tossers).  May, Sky Arts 1

10. ‘Believe’ 

It combines ‘Gravity’ with ‘Star Wars’

Move over ‘Breaking Bad’: this supernatural drama is all set to be our new unkickable habit. ‘Believe’ starts Mar 27, 9pm, Watch.

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