The best new and returning TV shows to look forward to in 2022

From 'Pam & Tommy' to the final season of 'Peaky Blinders'

Have we reached peak telly? With so much great content spread across streamers and traditional channels, it’s hard to know what to watch – or to find time to invest fully. With this in mind, here are 30 new and returning TV shows coming out in 2022, including comedies, dramas and genre event series. You’d better be sitting comfortably…

New shows

‘As We See It’

Release date: January 21, Amazon Prime Video
Starring: Rick Glassman, Albert Rutecki, Sue Ann Pien

This eight-part series follows a trio of flatmates who are each on the autism spectrum as they navigate jobs, friendships and the dating world. Based on an acclaimed Israeli series and written by TV veteran Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights), As We See It should strike a serious blow for neurodivergent representation.

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‘Janet’

Release date: Late January, UK broadcaster TBC
Starring: Janet Jackson, Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey

Five years in the making, this career-spanning doc tells the Janet Jackson story in two parts over four hours. With Jackson herself exec producing, expect an insight into her groundbreaking music as well as her relationship with brother Michael. Janet also has an opportunity to re-contextualise the sexist and racist fallout from the singer’s notorious Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction”.

‘Pam & Tommy’

Release date: February 2, Disney+
Starring: Lily James, Sebastian Stan, Seth Rogen

Produced by Seth Rogen, this series tells the rollercoaster story of an iconic ’90s couple. Lily James and Sebastian Stan play Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee as they meet, get married four days later, then deal with the leak of their honeymoon sex tape. Let the memes commence!

‘Inventing Anna’

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Release date: February 11, Netflix
Starring: Julia Garner, Anna Chlumsky, Laverne Cox

Powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes is behind this miniseries about the socialite scammer who enthralled the internet. Ozark‘s Julia Garner plays Anna Sorokin, a Russian-born truck driver’s daughter who reinvented herself as a fake German heiress called Anna Delvey, then defrauded banks, New York hotels and her loaded friends. It’s an incredible story you couldn’t make up.

‘The Lord of the Rings’

Release date: September 2, Amazon Prime Video
Starring: Morfydd Clark, Maxim Baldry, Lenny Henry

This J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation is being touted as the most expensive TV series ever made. Amazon paid a reported $250million for the TV rights in 2017, then made a five-year production commitment worth at least $1billion. It’s set in the Second Age of Middle-earth before the events of the Lord of the Rings novel and films, which should minimise comparisons with Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning film trilogy.

‘House of the Dragon’

Release date: TBC, Sky Atlantic and NOW
Starring: Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifan

Co-created by George R.R. Martin, this Game of Thrones prequel series is set 300 years earlier and focuses on the beginning of the end of House Targaryen. A previous Game of Thrones prequel series called Bloodmoon was nixed by HBO following an unaired pilot, so the fact this one has made it to series is an encouraging sign.

‘Pistol’

Release date: 2022, Disney+
Starring: Toby Wallace, Maisie Williams, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Danny Boyle directs this mouthwatering miniseries about the Sex Pistols, which is based on the memoir of guitarist Steve Jones. Rising stars Toby Wallace (Babyteeth) and Anson Boon (1917) star as Jones and Johnny Rotten, with Maisie Williams as punk icon Jordan, Tallulah Whitehead as Vivienne Westwood and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Malcolm McLaren. God save the network that picks it up.

‘Ms. Marvel’

Release date: Mid-2022, Disney+
Starring: Iman Vellani, Aramis Knight, Matt Lintz

British comedian and screenwriter Bisha K. Ali is head writer on the latest Marvel series, which features the MCU’s first Muslim superhero. Iman Vellani stars as Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Pakistani-American who struggles to fit in until she gains superpowers equivalent to her heroes’. The series will lead straight into next year’s Brie Larson-led movie The Marvels.

‘Call My Agent!’

Release date: 2022, Amazon Prime Video
Starring: Jack Davenport, Jim Broadbent, Hiftu Quasem

The British remake of Call My Agent! will need to be pretty special to match the brilliant French original, which sends up celebrity and workplace culture through the eyes of four frazzled talent agency staffers. The fact that Helena Bonham Carter and Kelly Macdonald have already shot cameos is encouraging – as is W1A creator John Morton’s role as a writer-director.

‘The Idol’

Release date: 2022, UK broadcaster TBC
Starring: Abel Tesfaye, Lily-Rose Depp, Troye Sivan

Co-created by Euphoria‘s Sam Levinson and Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye – who also takes on his first major acting role – this intriguing HBO series is rooted in the music industry. Lily-Rose Depp plays a pop singer who begins a relationship with an enigmatic L.A. club owner who also leads a secret cult. Set the dial to dark and trippy and we’ll be hooked.

‘Mood’

Release date: 2022, BBC Three
Starring: Nicôle Lecky, Jordan Duvigneau, Paul Kaye

Nicôle Lecky writes and stars in this six-part adaptation of her acclaimed stage play Superhoe, a huge hit at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2019. She plays Sasha, an aspiring singer-rapper whose profile grows when a friend introduces her to the murky world of social media influencing. It’s a very timely story told partly through Lecky’s witty original songs.

‘Queenie’

Release date: 2022, Channel 4
Starring: TBC

Candice Carty-Williams is writing this eight-part adaptation of her award-winning debut novel, which is due to start shooting this year. There’s no word on casting yet, but whoever lands the juicy title role – a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman navigating a rough year in London – could really turbocharge their career. Watch this space for further news.

‘Heartstopper’

Release date: 2022, Netflix
Starring: Joe Locke, Kit Connor, William Gao

Alice Oseman has adapted her own webcomics into this coming-of-age series slash queer love story. Newcomers Kit Connor and Joe Locke star as Nick and Charlie, two unassuming grammar school boys who develop feelings for one another. Expect to be charmed, touched and thoroughly invested as their relationship progresses over eight episodes.

‘Daisy Jones & The Six’

Release date: 2022, Amazon Prime Video
Starring: Riley Keough, Camila Morrone, Sam Claflin

Filmed in a mock-doc style, this miniseries follows a fictional rock band as they explode – then self-combust – after forming in ’70s LA. It’s based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling book, which was partly inspired by the real-life ups and downs of ‘Rumours’-era Fleetwood Mac, so “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” is very much the vibe here.

‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

Release date: 2022, Disney+
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Joel Edgerton

Ewan McGregor reprises his role from the Star Wars prequel trilogy in this event series set a decade after the events of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. He’s joined by Hayden Christensen’s Darth Vader, his apprentice-turned-nemesis, in a six-part story that Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy is calling “the rematch of the century”. Kumail Nanjiani and Licorice Pizza‘s Benny Safdie have also been cast in unknown roles.

‘The Last of Us’

Release date: 2022, Sky Atlantic
Starring: Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna

Co-created by Chernobyl‘s Craig Mazin, this is the first HBO series based on a video game. Set in a post-apocalyptic US, it follows troubled smuggler Joel (Pedro Pascal) as he embarks on a treacherous cross-country journey with teenage Ellie (Game Of Thrones‘ Bella Ramsey), who may be key to developing a vital vaccine. Coupled with a sizeable budget, this timely touch should really cement its appeal.

Returning shows

‘Euphoria’

Season: two
Release date:
January 10, Sky Atlantic and NOW
Starring: Zendaya, Hunter Schafer, Sydney Sweeney

After a pair of pandemic specials – both very good, but tonally different – TV’s coolest teen drama returns for a proper second season. The trailer shows Zendaya’s recovering addict Rue dancing to Frank Sinatra‘s ‘Call Me Irresponsible’, which can’t help feeling ominous given past events. Look out, too, for a new character played by Aussie musician Dominic Fike.

‘Peaky Blinders’

Season: six
Release date: February 2022, BBC One and iPlayer
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Anya Taylor-Joy

Creator Steven Knight has said this sixth season will be the last before Peaky Blinders continues in movie form. The trailer hints at a showdown between Cillian Murphy’s Tommy Shelby and Tom Hardy’s Alfie Solomons, but Tommy will also have Sam Claflin’s Oswald Mosley to contend with here. Once again, their machinations will be set to the best soundtrack on TV.

‘Killing Eve’

Season: four
Release date:
February 28, BBC iPlayer
Starring: Jodie Comer, Sandra Oh, Fiona Shaw

The fourth and final season has a new lead writer – Sex Education’s Laura Neal – and promises a “messy, nuanced and totally glorious” conclusion to the tussle between MI5 agent Eve (Sandra Oh) and psychopthic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). Let’s hope it bows out with the same audacious energy it came in with.

‘Atlanta’

Season: three
Release date:
 March, UK broadcaster TBC
Starring: Donald Glover, LaKeith Stanfield, Brian Tyree Henry

Fans of Donald Glover’s award-winning dramedy have been waiting for season three since 2018, when we saw Glover’s music manager Earn and rapper cousin Al (Brian Tyree Henry) jet to Europe for a tour. Filming for the new episodes took place in London, Amsterdam and Paris, so it seems likely to have an “Atlanta on the road” vibe.

‘Better Call Saul’

Season: six
Release date:
early 2022, Netflix
Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn

This 13-episode final season will be released in two parts: the same staggered goodbye parent show Breaking Bad was given in 2013. Ahead of the premiere, co-creator Peter Gould has said fans should ponder what kind of ending Bob Odenkirk’s ruthless and morally bankrupt lawyer really deserves. Death, redemption or something in between? Let the debate commence.

‘I Hate Suzie’

Season: two
Release date:
 2022, Sky Max
Starring: Billie Piper, Leila Farzad, Daniel Ings

Spiky and surprising, this pitch-black comedy about a TV actress with a chaotic private life (Billie Piper) was a dark delight in 2021. Piper told NME in May that she and co-creator Lucy Prebble have “quite a good idea” for season two, which could, in fairness, mean absolutely anything. But with this anything-goes show, gasp-out-loud moments are definitely part of the fun.

‘Derry Girls’

Season: three
Release date:
2022, Channel 4
Starring: Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Nicola Coughlan

Season three of the warm and witty sitcom set in ’90s Northern Ireland was delayed by You Know What, but thankfully it’s now in the can. Creator Lisa McGee says it was always the plan to end the show here, explaining that Derry Girls is a “coming-of-age story following five ridiculous teenagers as they slowly… very slowly… start to become adults”. Don’t expect to say goodbye with dry eyes.

‘Gangs of London’

Season: two
Release date:
2022, Sky and NOW
Starring: Lucian Msamati, Paapa Essiedu, Ṣọpẹ Dìrísù

Super-pacy and bracingly violent, NME branded this brilliant crime drama “Game of Thrones, but without the dragons” when it premiered in 2020. Season two finds gangland London in chaos as its major players mobilise to fill a huge power vacuum. We don’t know too much more, but it’s safe to presume there will be blood.

‘Ghosts’

Season: four
Release date:
2022, iPlayer and BBC One
Starring: Charlotte Ritchie, Kiell Smith-Bynoe, Martha Howe-Douglas

Season four of the inventive and infectiously silly sitcom is due to start shooting this month. According to the BBC, it follows Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) as they try to turn their haunted house into a viable B&B business. Let’s hope their guests aren’t too spooked by the odd bump in the night… or daytime.

‘Sex Education’

Season: four
Release date:
2022, Netflix
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey

The big-hearted Netflix dramedy has built a reputation for improving LGBTQ+ representation while tackling taboo subject matter in a sensitive way, and this looks set to continue in 2022. Soon after Netflix ordered a fourth season in September, the show’s writers put out a casting call for two new trans characters, one of whom is described as having a “’90s Winona Ryder vibe”. We already stan.

‘Top Boy’

Season: four
Release date: 2022, Netflix
Starring: Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson, Shone Romulus

After a six-year hiatus, Drake‘s favourite show made an epic comeback in 2019 with Drizzy himself exec producing. Shooting on this fourth season was complicated by COVID, but star Ashley Walters has promised they’ve rallied to make “another banger”. First up will be resolving season three’s cliffhanger: did Dris (Shone Romulus) actually get shot, and if so, is he still alive?

‘Industry’

Season: two
Release date: 2022, iPlayer
Starring: Myha’la Herrold, Marisa Abela, Ken Leung

Season two of the riveting drama about wannabe bankers started shooting last autumn. According to co-creator Mickey Down, it will explore the “broader question” of why the new recruits chose to enter such a cutthroat industry, while following the fallout from Harper (Myha’la Herrold)’s questionable career choices. We’d bank heavily on another wild ride.

‘We Are Lady Parts’

Season: two
Release date:
2022, Channel 4
Starring: Anjana Vasan, Sarah Kameela Impey, Juliette Motamed

This zingy sitcom about a punk band consisting entirely of Muslim women was one of 2021’s best new shows. Very little has been revealed about season two, which was officially announced in November, but we’re hoping for another batch of bangers to rival ‘Ain’t No One Gonna Honour Kill My Sister But Me’ and ‘Bashir with the Good Beard’. Rock on!

‘Taskmaster’

Season: 13
Release date:
Spring 2022, Channel 4
Starring: Alex Horne, Greg Davies

The Rolls-Royce of comedy panel shows returns for its 13th season early this year with contestants including Ardal O’Hanlon, Chris Ramsey, Judi Love and Sophie Duker. Given that its popularity continues to snowball – Taskmaster won a BAFTA last year, something 8 Out of 10 Cats doesn’t have – expect a 14th season to follow it pretty sharpish.

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