TV is changing faster than ever before. The streaming era is about to turn up to 11 as new niche services are being launched seemingly every month this year, from Peacock (Saved by the Bell reboot!) to HBO Max (Gossip Girl reboot!) to Quibi, which aims to make super short programs that can be watched on your phone on the go.
The good news is, there is going to be so much TV getting made, that there will be something out there for everyone. The bad news? It's getting harder and harder to predict what, exactly, the groundbreaking television will be — some of the best shows of 2019 weren't on my list to start the year, and 2020 is bound to be even more of a free-for-all than ever before.
Still, there is a lot to get excited about, even if your future favorite show has yet to be discovered. Here's a look at what I can't wait to watch in 2020.
1. Schitt's Creek (Pop, Jan. 7)
The sixth and final season of the Canadian riches-to-rags sitcom Schitt's Creek premiered this week, with 13 more episodes due to follow. Described as "a bit of a late bloomer" by actress Catherine O'Hara, who plays the Rose family matriarch Moira, Schitt's Creek has gained cultish momentum in recent seasons ("Yes, Schitt's Creek Really Is That Good," Vanity Fair raved last year), even securing its first Emmy nominations over the summer. Six seasons on, the Rose family is still trying to escape the town of Schitt's Creek after losing their fortune: David (Dan Levy) is planning his wedding to Patrick (Noah Reid), Alexis (Annie Murphy) has been stranded in town for another month after a plane ticket mix-up; Moira is dealing with her movie being shelved, and Johnny (Eugene Levy) continues to make his way in the hospitality industry. "Schitt's Creek's final season might not be self-conscious," writes TV Guide, "but it is self-aware; as the series prepares for one last goodbye, it's interested in how endings become new beginnings."
2. Project Blue Book (History, Jan. 8)
I loved watching actor Aidan Gillen (you might know him better as Game of Thrones' Littlefinger) take a turn as the skeptic-turned-believer Dr. J Allen Hynek in last year's debut season of Project Blue Book, which dramatizes the U.S. government's secret UFO investigation program during the 1950s and '60s. The first season culminated with the 1952 Washington, D.C. UFO incident, and Hynek denying that the sightings had extraterrestrial origins. Based on the trailer, it looks as though the second season will tackle the Roswell "cover-up" and Area 51. Project Blue Book was the most-watched new scripted cable series of the 2018/19 season, and there's no reason to suspect this smart, Robert Zemeckis-backed sci-fi won't continue to be a success.
3. The Outsider (HBO, Jan. 12)
You never quite know what you're going to get when someone adapts Stephen King, but HBO's The Outsider looks quite promising. Ben Mendelsohn stars as a Midwestern cop tasked with investigating the murder of a young boy — a seemingly open-and-shut case, where all clues point to Little League coach Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman, who also directs) as the killer. Ah, but not so fast! Something supernatural is at play — "a human being cannot exist in two realities at the same time," we're told confidently in the trailer, in a way that suggests that, well, maybe somehow someone can. One critic characterized the show as a "mysterious tableaux of dread" and if that wasn't enough to get me on board, Cynthia Erivo, who wowed me in Harriet, stars as the private investigator Holly Gibney, and The Wire writer Richard Price worked on the script.
4. The Magicians (Syfy, Jan. 14)
I've long been a vocal champion of The Magicians, one of the most ambitious shows on television. Still, even expecting the showrunners to do something audacious, fans were left reeling after the end of season 4, when the show killed off its main protagonist. "We want The Magicians to visit strange and fascinating new places, and we know we can't get there by treading the same garden path others have before us," the producers said in a statement after the season ended. "So, we did the thing you're not supposed to do — we killed the character who's supposed to be 'safe.'" While season four focused on a world without magic, restoring magic has tipped the balance dangerously in the opposite direction in season five. The heroes will have to navigate their grief while (once again) trying to save the world.
5. Avenue 5 (HBO, Jan. 19)
Veep creator Armando Iannucci is back at HBO with his sci-fi comedy Avenue 5, which Den of Geek colorfully describes as an "interplanetary ride on the S.S. Poseidon with Gilligan and the Skipper at the helm." Captain Ryan Clark (Hugh Laurie) is responsible for the 5,000 souls aboard his spaceship as it makes its way on an eight-week luxury tour around Saturn. Things get very bad very quickly, though, when disaster strikes and the ship is pulled into what instead might become a three-year orbit. With the ship's wealthy owner Herman Judd (Josh Gad) aboard, as well as customer relations head Matt (Zach Woods), engineer Billie (Lenora Crichlow), and Judd's assistant, Iris (Suzy Nakamura), there are plenty of personalities bound to crash as tension mounts. Inverse calls the result "the funniest thing on HBO... It might even rival Curb Your Enthusiasm."
6. Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access, Jan. 23)
CBS All-Access is making its case as a must-have streamer with Star Trek: Picard, which will see Patrick Stewart return as the beloved (but now former) Starfleet admiral. Set two decades after Star Trek: Nemesis, Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart) is haunted by the death of Data and the destruction of the Romulan home planet, Romulus, by a supernova. "Because [Picard is] no longer in Starfleet, he no longer carries the weight of that behind him," the show's executive producer, Alex Kurtzman, told Entertainment Weekly. "In some ways, it's easier to be [a great man] when you're a captain. But it's an entirely different thing when you don't have an army behind you." Intriguing.
7. Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens (Comedy Central, Jan. 22)
As a major Awkwafina fan (seriously, if you haven't seen The Farewell yet, hup hup), I am 100 percent on board with her getting a quasi-autobiographical show on Comedy Central. Her character, Nora Lum (Awkwafina's real name), is a twenty-something living in Flushing, Queens, with her parents and desperately searching for "purpose" in her life. She's helped (and occasionally hindered) along the way by her father (BD Wong), grandmother (Lori Tan Chinn), cousin (Bowen Yang), and friends. The half-hour episodes "[boast] a predominantly female and diverse slate of directors," Indiewire reports, including Broad City's Lucia Aniello and Russian Doll's Natasha Lyonne.
8. Briarpatch (USA, Feb. 6)
Rosario Dawson is Allegra Dill, a Senate investigator who returns to her hometown of San Bonifacio, Texas, to look into the murder of her sister, a homicide detective. In the process, Allegra discovers a hotbed of crime and corruption where (as the tagline suggests) everyone's a crook. Described in an early review by The Hollywood Reporter as having "the spine and spirit of a down-and-dirty pulp thriller, but when it looks at itself in the mirror, it sees a Southwestern version of Twin Peaks," the pilot is directed by the accomplished Ana Lily Amirpour (Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) — Variety calls her effort "stylish, but somehow not overwhelmingly so." USA plans to operate Briarpatch as an anthology series, with each season focusing on new characters, which makes this is an enticing option for anyone who, like me, sometimes lacks multi-season attention spans.
9. Homeland (Showtime, Feb. 9)
After multiple delays, Homeland will return with new episodes this year for the first time since season seven ended in April 2018. While the show was a huge critical darling during its early years, winning multiple Golden Globes and Emmys, it had slid recently in the eyes of some reviewers — although not everyone's. "Creating a compelling narrative from real-world parallels has always been a specialty of the Showtime drama, but this year feels particularly aggressive," Indiewire raved back in 2018. Now, for its final season, Homeland looks ready to go out with a bang: Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is still putting her memories back together after her brutal interrogation in a Russian gulag caused amnesia. But there is no time to spare — newly-minted National Security Adviser Saul (Mandy Patinkin) is being sent to negotiate peace with the Taliban, and he needs Carrie at his side, for what the network ominously describes as "one last time."
10. High Fidelity (Hulu, Feb. 14)
Zoë Kravitz plays John Cusack — or, rather, Rob — in this television adaptation of Nick Hornby's beloved novel of the same name. While the gender-swapped lead marks a departure from the 2000 High Fidelity movie, as does the new setting of Brooklyn, fans will recognize the list-loving record store owner who sets things off by counting down her "desert island, all time, top five most memorable heartbreaks." Fittingly debuting on Valentine's Day, High Fidelity also stars Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Rob's friend Cherise, and David H. Holmes as Rob's now-out ex. Fun bit of trivia via Entertainment Weekly: Kravitz's mother, Lisa Bonet, played a love interest of Cusack's in the original movie.
11. Hunters (Prime Video, Feb. 21)
In terms of star-power alone, Hunters is one of the most eye-catching TV shows of the winter. Get Out director Jordan Peele is attached as executive producer, and Al Pacino stars in his first regular television role as Meyer Offerman, the head of a troop of Nazi hunters living in New York in 1977. When Jonah Heidelbaum's (Logan Lerman) grandmother is murdered, Jonah's grandfather, Meyer, brings him into the fold of his gang, which aims to prevent the rise of the Fourth Reich in America. Hunters is "cathartic,” Peele said in a press release. "It's noir. It's frighteningly relevant. It's exactly what I want to see on television." Same.
12. The Plot Against America (March 16, HBO)
The Wire alums David Simon and Ed Burns are reteaming to adapt Philip Roth's 2004 alternative history, The Plot Against America, for HBO. The story is told through the eyes of the Levins, a working class Jewish family living in New Jersey in the 1940s as the aviation legend Charles Lindbergh gains political popularity despite his vocal admiration of Adolf Hitler and his participation in the racist and anti-Semitic America First Party. Winona Ryder, Zoe Kazan, and Anthony Boyle are among the stars in the ensemble cast. Simon told Entertainment Weekly that when he'd first been approached to adapt the novel, he'd actually turned it down: "It was right after Obama had been reelected and I said, 'I don't see it,'" he said. "Then, [with] what's happened politically in the last few years ... the very guts of what Roth was writing about suddenly seemed conceivable.”
13. Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu, March 18)
This miniseries, based on Celeste Ng's popular novel of the same name, excavates the secrets that lie behind the perfectly manicured lawns and cheery doormats of Shaker Heights, Ohio, the first planned community in America. Reese Witherspoon plays third-generation Shaker Heights resident Elena Richardson, who could give Witherspoon's Madeline Mackenzie, of Big Little Lies, a run for her money. Elena oversees a brood of teenagers ranging from the outgoing Lexie and Trip, to the more reserved Moody and the black sheep, Izzy. New to the neighborhood is Mia Warren (Kerry Washington), a struggling artist, and her daughter, Pearl (Lexi Underwood). Little Fires Everywhere begins with the Richardsons' house burning down, and then transitions to a flashback that aims to answer the question: Who did it, and why?
14. Mrs. America (FX on Hulu, April 15)
Speaking of politically relevant television, Mrs. America is not about beauty pageants, as the name might suggest, but rather the fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution during the 1970s. Cate Blanchett will star as the conservative constitutional lawyer Phyllis Schlafly in "her first role on American television," Deadline reports, with Rose Byrne playing feminist icon Gloria Steinem and Uzo Aduba portraying Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black congresswoman. "This country has literally been discussing women's rights for over 100 years and this story is as timely and relevant to the times we live in as it was during the tumultuous and passionate period in which it took place," producer Stacey Sher told Deadline.
15. Murder House Flip (Quibi, April)
My two favorite things are home renovation shows and true crime, which means Murder House Flip is bound to be my favorite TV show of all time. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: A home-makeover show in which "[a] colorful cast of forensic specialists, spiritual healers, and high-end renovation experts" attempt to flip stigmatized properties. (It will come as no surprise that it has the same producers as CSI and Penny Dreadful). The show will debut on the new streaming service Quibi, which launches April 6 and aims to specialize in super short programs — Murder House Flip episodes will apparently only be about 10 minutes each, House Beautiful reports. Here's to hoping the show is conducted with as much sensitivity and taste as spookiness.
16. I Know This Much Is True (HBO, likely spring)
I've been on something of a Mark Ruffalo kick lately, which is why I'm excited for the six-episode limited series I Know This Much Is True, in which he plays both identical twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey (à la James Franco in The Deuce). Based on the 1998 novel by Wally Lamb, expect a Gulf War-era family saga that follows the lives of the brothers through sacrifice, betrayal, and redemption. Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine) is set to direct what looks sure to be awards bait come the end of the year.
17. Normal People (Hulu, likely spring)
Normal People, by Irish author Sally Rooney, was everywhere this past spring: "Is carrying a Sally Rooney Book the new Instagram status symbol?" Refinery 29 asked. Hulu has nabbed the television adaptation, which stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as the unpopular but brilliant Marianne, whose mother works as the cleaner for her classmate Connell's family. Connell (Paul Mescal) is popular, and inconvenienced socially by falling for Marianne; the two keep their relationship a secret from his friends. Their dynamic shifts, though, when the two leave their home in County Sligo to attend Trinity College, where Marianne comes into her own. If this is even a fraction as big as the book, it's going to be a hit.
18. Snowpiercer (TNT, likely spring)
Stop me if you've heard this one before. Snowpiercer — based on the 2013 movie of the same name by Parasite director Bong Joon Ho — is finally coming to television after first being put into development way back in 2015. "[T]wo showrunners, two directors, and now two network changes" later, the post-apocalyptic train drama has settled for good at TNT, and will presumably air this spring. The story follows the handful of surviving members of the human race, who live out their days in a class-segregated 1,001-car train that endlessly circles the frozen globe. Daveed Diggs is Layton Well, who lives at the back of the train as a prisoner; Jennifer Connelly stars as Melanie Cavill, a first class passenger who makes the train's announcements over the PA. Orphan Black's Graeme Manson has stepped up as showrunner.
19. Westworld (HBO, likely spring)
Westworld will return this year with a whole host of new characters including ... uh, newly-reminted Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch? Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, and Lena Waithe will also be joining everyone's favorite indecipherable television show for season three, which leaves behind the boundaries of the park after Dolores made her escape — along with five unknown Hosts' consciousnesses — from Westworld last season. "With the fate of so many of the main cast members' characters up in the air come the end of season two, Westworld could do a major reset in season three," notes Den of Geek. The trailers have been pretty heavy on teasing the new cast, along with something that looks like ... Nazi Germany World? Hey, you can't say we weren't warned: These violent delights have violent ends.
20. Devs (FX on Hulu, likely spring)
Sci-fi director Alex Garland wowed audiences with his singular vision in movies Ex Machina and Annihilation; now he's heading to television for the first time to work his magic on the small screen. His new limited series, the eight-episode Devs, is set in Silicon Valley, where Lily (Sonoya Mizuno) works for a secretive tech company, Amaya. When Lily's boyfriend, a cyber specialist named Jamie (Jin Ha) goes missing in an apparent suicide, Lily begins to probe her own company, whose mysterious development division and CEO (Nick Offerman) prove to be more dangerous than she could have imagined. There are a lot of ambitious sci-fi shows coming this year, but Garland is certainly one of the most exciting names to watch, no matter what the medium.
21. Killing Eve (BBC America, likely spring)
The cat-and-mouse games played by MI6 operative Eve (Sandra Oh) and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) will continue for a third season beginning this spring. Gemma Whelan (who you'll recognize as Yara Greyjoy from Game of Thrones) joins the cast this season, which will pick up where it dramatically left off last year — with Eve bleeding out in Roman ruins, having been shot by Villanelle. Pulpy in just the right doses, Killing Eve is one of the most fun shows on TV right now. Thankfully, there's more on the way; it's already been renewed for a fourth season.
22. Lizzie McGuire (Disney+, likely summer)
Disney+ doesn't look like it's going to be pumping the breaks on nostalgia television anytime soon. Lizzie McGuire is being rebooted, with Hilary Duff, now 32, returning to the title role she played between 2001 and 2004. Even the original series creator, Terri Minsky, will be returning as showrunner. While details are scarce, The Hollywood Reporter writes that "the new Lizzie McGuire will revolve around Lizzie as a 30-year-old millennial navigating life in New York City." It looks set to appeal to both McGuire's old fans, who are now thirty-somethings themselves, as well as a whole new generation of teens.
23. Impeachment: American Crime Story (FX, Sept. 27)
American Crime Story won back-to-back Outstanding Limited Series Emmys for The People v. O. J. Simpson and The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which means its forthcoming installment, Impeachment, ought to be on your radar. The program is already controversial for premiering "right around the 2020 U.S. presidential election," Variety reports, and will center on the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Clive Owen will star as the embroiled president Bill Clinton, Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, and Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky (as of the time of writing, Hillary Clinton is still being cast). The real-life Lewinsky is also getting a producing credit. Initially the third season of the anthology series was supposed to center on Hurricane Katrina, but that plan was scrapped in February of last year. "I want this show to be a socially conscious, socially aware examination of different types of crime around the world," creator Ryan Murphy had said of his interest in the Katrina story; it seems that with Impeachment, he's still found a way to pull that off.
24. The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix, likely fall)
Netflix's Haunting of Hill House has been described as "the scariest TV show ever," and director Mike Flanagan is back for round two with The Haunting of Bly Manor, based loosely this time on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Written in 1898, the story follows the hiring of a young governess to watch over two children, Miles and Flora, at the haunted country house, Bly, after the death of kids' parents. While Haunting of Hill House took significant liberties with the Shirley Jackson story that served as its source material, it seems likely that Bly Manor will deal with the same questions of sanity and reality that are at play in James' novella. Victoria Pedretti, who played Nell in Hill House, is set to star as the governess; Oliver Jackson-Cohen will also return.
25. Ratched (Netflix, likely fall)
Cynthia Nixon is leaving behind politics to return to acting alongside Sharon Stone in Ratched, a forthcoming series from the ever-prolific Ryan Murphy. The show, which has already been given two seasons by Netflix, will focus on the character of Nurse Ratched from Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Sarah Paulson will take up the title role first played by Louise Fletcher in Miloš Forman's 1975 adaptation. "Any character you play — particularly the ones that on the surface seem difficult, angry or monstrous — it's our job to represent all kinds of people without judgment," Paulson told The Hollywood Reporter of her role. Ratched is set 20 years before the events of Kesey's novel; Paulson teased that "ideally, by the time we're in season four, we're in that story of the Cuckoo's Nest."
26. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+, likely fall)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe just keeps expanding. This year will see not one, but four MCU series headed to television: The seventh season of Agents of SHIELD on ABC this summer, followed by The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision on Disney+, and Helstrom on the Disney-owned Hulu. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier looks like it has the potential to be the most promising of the bunch; the story picks up after Captain America passed his shield on to his right-hand man, Sam "Falcon" Wilson, at the end of Avengers: Endgame (Anthony Mackie will reprise his role). Opposite Falcon will be Captain America's other trusted friend, the Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes (a returning Sebastian Stan). While we don't know many more specifics — although Deadline reports Zemo, who murdered Black Panther's father, is somehow involved in the plot — it's in great hands: The Handmaid's Tale's Kari Skogland is set to direct all six episodes in the miniseries.
27. The Mandalorian (Disney+, likely fall)
As if there was ever any doubt, The Mandalorian is getting a second season. What was never as certain, but has since been confirmed by showrunner Jon Favreau, is that the second season is coming this year. As usual, Disney+ is keeping details tightly under wraps, but Deadline writes that "[i]nsiders have hinted that several established characters from the Skywalker saga's feature films mythology will make appearances during the show's sophomore season." But who really cares about that; just bring on more Baby Yoda, please.
28. Run (HBO, TBD)
Fleabag was my favorite television show of 2019 (heck, maybe of the decade), so I'm going to run, not walk, to see Run, a new comedy by Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the Fleabag stage play director Vicky Jones. The show follows a woman named Ruby (Emmy-award winner Merritt Wever), who is given the chance to escape her monotonous life when "she gets a text inviting her to fulfill a youthful pact promising true love and self-reinvention by stepping out of her life to take a journey with her oldest flame," per HBO. Domhnall Gleeson will star as a needy life guru, while Waller-Bridge will also have a recurring role. Sign. Me. Up.
29. Lovecraft Country (HBO, TBD)
Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are teaming up as a kind of executive producing supergroup for this road trip horror series that blends the terrors of the Jim Crow south with the fantastical imagination of H.P. Lovecraft. When Atticus Black's (Jonathan Majors) father goes missing, Atticus joins his friend Leti (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to travel across the country in search of him. Little do they realize: Here there be monsters.
30. Succession (HBO, TBD)
At last we'll learn the answer to why Logan Roy was smiling. Succession's fantastic second season ended with Kendall's (Jeremy Strong) startling decision to stab his father in the back, rather than act as Waystar Royco's sacrificial lamb, blowing open the possibilities of where season three could head. While HBO doesn't have any details yet on when to expect Succession's return, the show has premiered in the late summer the past two seasons; I'd expect it then.
31. Insecure (HBO, TBD)
Insecure has been on an extended hiatus since its third season premiered in the summer of 2018, and there have even been concerning rumors that Issa Rae's hit comedy wouldn't return in 2020, either. The good news: Rae has posted to Instagram that the new season is shooting, and HBO confirmed its return in a 2020 promo video that showed Rae's character, Issa Dee, hanging out with her BFFs Molly (Yvonne Orji), Kelli (Natasha Rothwell), and Tiffany (Amanda Seales). Rae's got a little surprise for long-suffering fans, too: The new season will extend from eight episodes to 10.
32. Space Force (Netflix, TBD)
The words "Space Force" make me giggle every time I hear them, so this workplace comedy — which is being brought to Netflix by the OGs of workplace comedies, Office alums Greg Daniels and Steve Carell — is high on my list for most anticipated TV shows of the year. Conceived shortly after President Trump announced his intention to create the sixth branch of the armed forces, Carell will star as General Mark R. Naird, who is tasked with figuring out what exactly a space force does, anyway. John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, and Booksmart star Diana Silvers are all set to costar.
33. Bridgerton (Netflix, TBD)
A lot of work is being done in the literary community to reclaim the romance genre, which tends to be unfairly derided as trashy and unserious. Now the Bridgerton books — a series of mass-market Regency-era romances by author Julia Quinn — are getting the respect of a TV adaptation thanks to Shonda Rhimes. The first season will be made up of eight hour-long episodes, and center on the love lives of the eight wealthy Bridgerton siblings (Entertainment Weekly notes that "the series has eight books, one for each sibling, so it's fair to assume the television adaptation could envision that many seasons"). Indiewire reports that the Bridgerton team is consulting with historians to make sure that "the Regency-era details are accurate," while also sourcing a diverse cast that includes Regé-Jean Page as the duke Simon Basset, Phoebe Dynevor as the eldest sister, Daphne Bridgerton, and narration by none other than the Julie Andrews (!!!).
34. Y (FX on Hulu, TBD)
Mankind is on the brink of extinction after a global catastrophe leaves every living mammal with a Y chromosome dead instantly — everyone except Yorick Brown and his pet monkey, Ampersand. That is the starting point of Y, an adaptation of the acclaimed comic book series Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan. The series has had a rocky road getting to air; first put into the works by FX in 2015, Y lost its executive producers Aida Croal and Michael Green in the spring of 2019, after creative differences with the network. The show has apparently been reworked in the interim, with Barry Keoghan and Diane Lane staying on as leads. Here's to hoping it ultimately gets the treatment it deserves.
35. Pachinko (Apple TV+, TBD)
I've been bursting with excitement waiting for the adaptation of Min Jin Lee's incredible multigenerational novel Pachinko, about a South Korean family who migrates to Japan in the early 20th century. The eight-episode series reportedly sparked a bidding war between different outlets, and Apple has given it "a sizable premium show budget akin to Netflix's The Crown," writes The Hollywood Reporter. Soo Hugh, who worked on the brilliant first season of The Terror, is serving as showrunner and wrote the script. While there hasn't been much news about the show since last spring, I have my fingers crossed that the first episodes eek into this year.
36. Quiz (AMC, TBD)
What do you call it when you ship two people, but not in the hopes that they'll have a romantic relationship but rather that someone will cast them as costars? Well, whatever you call it, that's how I feel about Succession's Matthew Macfadyen and Fleabag's Sian Clifford, who are blessedly appearing together in a three-part drama Quiz, which is based on the true story of a man who cheated his way to winning the U.K. version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with his wife, and then stood trial for it. Michael Sheen stars as the game show host Chris Tarrant — a role he seems born to play, I mean just look at this photo of him in character — and Stephen Frears, of A Very English Scandal, is due to direct.
37. The Luminaries (BBC, TBD)
If there was ever a story begging to be adapted into a television series, it's Eleanor Catton's Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries. Set during the New Zealand gold rush in the 1860s, the book opens when Scotsman Walter Moody stumbles onto a meeting of 12 men (a Chinese goldsmith, a Maori greenstone hunter, a chaplain, a hatter...) discussing a strange crime. Wrapped up in the mystery is Anna Wetherell (Eve Hewson), a prostitute who came to New Zealand seeking adventure only to meet Emery Staines (Himesh Patel) in "an encounter that triggers a strange kind of magic that neither can explain." Patel warns, however, that the show is "very different from the book," so take the synopsis with a healthy grain of salt. Still, I'm comforted by the fact that Catton herself adapted the story into the six-part series for BBC — I absolutely can't wait for this one to air.
— Earlier from The Week: 19 books to read in 2020
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