The best new and returning TV shows to watch in 2023

From 'The Last Of Us' to another season of 'Sex Education'

There isn’t just more great telly than ever before, but also more ways to watch it – a new streamer seems to launch every few weeks. With this in mind, here are the most exciting new and returning series to bookmark in 2023, including comedies, coming-of-age dramas and superhero shows. You’d better be sitting comfortably…

New shows you won’t have seen

Copenhagen Cowboy

Release date: January 5, Netflix
Starring: Angela Bundalovic, Lola Corfixen, Zlatko Buric

Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn returns to his native Denmark for this six-part thriller. Set in Copenhagen’s criminal underbelly, it follows Miu (Bundalovic), a woman with “mysterious supernatural abilities” on a revenge mission. There will be blood, obviously, as well as Winding Refn’s signature neon-drenched visuals.

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Velma

Release date: January 12, HBO Max in the US; UK broadcaster TBC
Starring: Mindy Kaling, Sam Richardson, Constance Wu

This adult animated series gives an origin story to Velma Dinkley (Mindy Kaling), the smartest member of Scooby-Doo’s crew. We know the show will involve a “love quadrangle”, but there’s no word yet on whether Velma, a longtime LGBTQ+ icon and recently confirmed queer character, will be portrayed as such in Kaling’s project. Here’s hoping.

The Last of Us

Release date: January 16, Sky Atlantic and NOW
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna

Based on the hit video game, this post-apocalyptic drama will appeal to The Walking Dead fans. The Mandalorian‘s Pedro Pascal stars as a tough but vulnerable smuggler transporting a teenage girl (Bella Ramsey) with game-changing DNA across a decimated America. It’s such a big deal that Pascal is reportedly pocketing $600k an episode.

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Poker Face

Release date: January 26, Peacock (US); UK broadcaster TBC
Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Adrien Brody

Created by Glass Onion director Rian Johnson, this detective drama has a clever premise. Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) stars as Charlie Cale, a sleuth with a spooky ability to spot when someone is lying. The 10-episode season follows a “case-of-the-week” format, so it could become Murder, She Wrote for the streaming generation.

Daisy Jones & The Six

Release date: March 3, Prime Video
Starring: Riley Keough, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse

Filmed in a mock-doc style like an episode of MTV’s Behind The Music, this miniseries follows a fictional rock band as they explode – then implode – in 1970s LA. It’s based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling book, which was partly inspired by the real-life ups and downs of Fleetwood Mac, so expect plenty of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

Secret Invasion

Release date: early 2023, Disney+
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Kingsley Ben-Adir

Remember the Skrulls – shapeshifting aliens – from Captain Marvel? They’re the focus of this new superhero show that will show a more complex and less badass side to Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury. It’s being billed as a “crossover event series”, so surprise cameos from other Marvel faves are virtually guaranteed.

The Idol

Release date: 2023, Sky and NOW
Starring: Lily-Rose Depp, The Weeknd, Troye Sivan

Co-created by Euphoria‘s Sam Levinson and Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye – who takes on his biggest acting role yet – this long-awaited series is set in the music biz. Lily-Rose Depp plays a pop singer on the comeback trail who begins a relationship with a self-help guru (Tesfaye) who also leads a secret cult. Set the dial to dark and trippy and we’ll be hooked.

Ahsoka

Release date: 2023, Disney+
Starring: Rosario Dawson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Hayden Christensen

This Star Wars spinoff centres on one of the galaxy far, far away’s most formidable women: Rosario Dawson’s former jedi padawan, Ahsoka Tano. After returning in last year’s Obi Wan-Kenobi, Hayden Christensen is back again as Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka’s former mentor who is now very much her nemesis. Let the battle of wills commence.

Dreamland

Release date: 2023, Sky Max and NOW
Starring: Lily Allen, Freema Agyeman, Aimee-Ffion Edwards

Pop queen Lily Allen makes her TV acting debut in this series based on Sharon Horgan’s BAFTA-winning short. Set in Margate, it’s described as “a dark comedic exploration of multi-generational female relationships”. With Doctor Who‘s Freema Agyeman and Peaky Blinders‘ Aimee-Ffion Edwards co-starring, it sounds more than alright, still.

A Town Called Malice

Release: 2023, Sky Max and NOW
Starring: Jack Rowan, Tahirah Sharif, Jason Flemyng

A bold hybrid of crime thriller and family drama, this series is billed as “a musical love letter to the ’80s”. Snatch’s Jason Flemyng heads up a family of London gangsters who move to Spain to rebuild their criminal empire. A trailer featuring Cutting Crew’s classic power ballad ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’ suggests Sky won’t be skimping on the soundtrack syncs.

Gen V

Release date: 2023, Prime Video
Starring: Jaz Sinclair, Lizze Broadway, Chance Perdomo

A spinoff from The Boys – the most grown-up superhero show around – Gen V is set in a school where chosen ones learn to hone their powers. It takes place in the same timeline as season three of The Boys (which aired last year) and showrunner Eric Kripke has said “there is definitely crossover”. Bring it on.

Masters of the Air

Release date: 2023, Apple TV+
Starring: Austin Butler, Callum Turner, Barry Keogh

This World War II miniseries jets in with serious pedigree. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are exec producers, while No Time to Die‘s Cary Joji Fukunaga is one of the directors. Elvis actor Austin Butler leads a stacked cast of rising stars portraying the heroic “bomber boys” who fought the war in mid-air.

Citadel

Release date: 2023, Prime Video
Starring: Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stanley Tucci

Co-created by The Avengers’ Russo Brothers, this “action-packed spy series” is definitely ambitious. Following the launch of a “mothership series” starring Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the Citadel universe will be expanded with spinoffs set in Italy, India, Spain and Mexico. Thankfully, we know from The Rings of Power that Amazon has deep pockets.

Agatha: Coven of Chaos

Release date: winter 2023, Disney+
Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Joe Locke, Aubrey Plaza

After stealing scenes in WandaVision, Kathryn Hahn’s witchy supervillain Agatha Harkness returns in her own show. With Heartstopper‘s Joe Locke and Aubrey Plaza cast in undisclosed supporting roles, this miniseries has everything it needs to create another ‘Agatha All Along‘-style viral moment.

Returning favourites

You

Season: four
Release date: February 9, Netflix
Starring: Penn Badgley, Tati Gabrielle, Lukas Gage

The gripping psychological thriller ups sticks to London, where Penn Badgley’s obsessive serial killer is building a new life as a university professor. The first five episodes launch on February 9, followed by the second five a month later, so steel yourself for a mid-season cliffhanger.

The Mandalorian

Season: three
Release: March 1, Disney+
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito

The Mandalorian‘s creator Jon Favreau has written all eight episodes of this feverishly anticipated third season. According to Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Moff Gideon, we’re “really gonna start to get answers” and can expect newfound “depth and breadth”. Colour us as excited as R2-D2 when he met Grogu.

Yellowjackets

Season: two
Release date: March 24, Paramount+
Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci

When it premiered in 2021, this twisty thriller about a group of women who survived a ’90s plane crash became a huge word-of-mouth hit. Everyone is returning for season two, which probably won’t tell us what really happened to Jackie (Ella Purnell) out in the woods, given that a third season is already in the works. Still, let the guesswork commence!

Succession

Season: four
Release date: Spring 2023, HBO and Sky Atlantic
Starring: Brian Cox, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong

When the Roys return for more power games and PJs – that’s private jets, not pyjamas – it will be with a new major player: Matthew Macfadyen’s Tom. After season three’s shocking climax, he’s no longer a clown on the sidelines, but the sly schemer who warned Logan (Brian Cox) about his kids’ revolt. The stakes are higher than ever and so, presumably, is Logan’s heart rate.

Loki

Season: two
Release date: Mid-2023, Disney+
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Owen Wilson

Tom Hiddleston has called Loki’s second season “a battle for the soul of the TVA”: the mysterious, timeline-monitoring organisation his character is in cahoots with. Beyond this, we know from set photos that part of the season will be set in the 1970s. Well, if any MCU character can pull off flared trousers, it’s got to be Loki.

Big Brother

Season: 20
Release date: Autumn 2023, ITVX
Starring: TBC

As Davina used to say, “do you want another one?” After a five-year hiatus, the OG reality show is back on ITV’s new streaming service. Producers have promised they’ll cast housemates “from all walks of life”. If they get the balance right – and free of cynical influencer types – it could become appointment viewing again like in the noughties.

Sex Education

Season: four
Release date: 2023, Netflix
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey

The hit dramedy has built a reputation for improving LGBTQ+ representation while tackling taboo subject matter in a sensitive way. Soon after Netflix ordered a fourth season, the writers put out a casting call for two new trans characters, one with a “’90s Winona Ryder vibe”. And don’t worry: despite landing the Doctor Who gig, Ncuti Gatwa is back as fan favourite Eric.

True Detective

Season: four
Release date: 2023, Sky Atlantic and NOW
Starring: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis

The first True Detective in four years is set in Alaska, where Jodie Foster and boxer-turned-actor Kali Reis will investigate the mysterious disappearance of six men at a research station. With Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins producing and indie filmmaker Issa López taking over as showrunner, this quality anthology series has enough fresh blood to keep it vital.

Heartstopper

Season: two
Release date: 2023, Netflix
Starring: Joe Locke, Kit Connor, Yasmin Finney

When it debuted in April, this queer coming-of-age series was so warm, charming and emotional that it became a phenomenon. Season two will continue to follow Charlie and Nick’s touching love story while also introducing some “new faces” at Truham Grammar. Let’s hope the soundtrack of box-fresh indie bops slaps as hard as first time out.

Never Have I Ever

Season: four
Release date: 2023, Netflix
Starring: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Richa Moorjani, Darren Barnet

Always smarter than the average coming-of-age series, Never Have I Ever is bowing out with its fourth season. “They can’t be in high school forever,” says co-creator Mindy Kaling, “and it starts looking insane that a 34-year-old is playing a 15-year-old”. Fans will be hoping Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) gets a happy ending, preferably with her on-off love interest Paxton (Darren Barnet).

‘Squid Game’

Season: two
Release date: 2023, Netflix
Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Lee Byung-hun

First, the good news: Netflix ordered a second season of Squid Game in June 2022, which was oddly tardy given that the original became its most-watched series ever. Now, the not-so-good: we don’t know exactly when it’s coming back, though it reportedly goes into production soon, or how the story will continue. But, considering how much Squid Game benefits from the power of surprise, that’s probably the way it should be.

Severance

Season: two
Release date: 2023, Apple TV+
Starring: Adam Scott, John Turturro, Patricia Arquette

This brilliant satirical thriller hinges on an ingenious premise: what if you could completely detach your work life from your personal life? Season one was practically perfect, but director Ben Stiller has said Severance has “always been [conceived as] a multi-season story”. So, brace yourself for more twists, turns and chilling corporate “perks”.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Season: six
Release date: 2023, Channel 4
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovski, Ann Dowd

Recent seasons have been more of a slow burn, but the chilling dystopian drama can still pack a hefty punch. Showrunner Bruce Miller has said that if this concluding chapter “doesn’t feel like the finale of a show, that’s OK,” so don’t expect a ribbon-tied happy ending for the women of Gilead.

Top Boy

Season: five
Release date: 2023, Netflix
Starring: Ashley Walters, Kane ‘Kano’ Robinson, Jasmine Jobson

Twelve years after it debuted – and six after being revived by superfan DrakeTop Boy will bow out with a fifth and final season. Barry Keoghan has joined the cast in an undisclosed role, and stars Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson have said it’s a “chance to come full circle and end the journey in the right way”. The importance of loyalty will surely be a key theme.

The Bear

Season: two
Release date: 2023, Disney+
Starring: Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

Part kitchen drama, part psychological portrait, The Bear was one of 2022’s best new shows – and it has the Golden Globe noms to prove it. A second season was ordered within weeks of the first premiering, so sandwich shop owner Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) will get another chance to perfect the perfect braised beef hoagie while achieving some personal growth. Possibly.

*All release dates are UK

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