What to watch on television in 2021

From Henry Cavill to Morven Christie, there are plenty of stars returning in some of our favourite TV shows.

With all the bells jingled and tinsel being taken down, it’s time to focus on the new year.

The TV industry faced untold difficulties in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but as productions started coming to life again, so too has the viewing slate for 2021.

Here are some of the TV shows due to light up the small screen:

CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS

Who is in the cast? Casting details have not yet been released.

What’s it about? The BBC is to continue its burgeoning relationship with Irish author Sally Rooney by adapting her 2017 debut novel Conversations With Friends.

The 12-part series will be directed by Irish film-maker Lenny Abrahamson and produced by Element Pictures for BBC Three, and will be the broadcaster’s second project with Rooney.

The adaptation of her 2018 novel Normal People, starring Cold Feet actress Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell, was a massive hit.

Conversations With Friends follows two college students, Frances and Bobbi, in Dublin as they forge a strange and unexpected connection with married couple Melissa and Nick.

Writer Alice Birch, who worked on Normal People, will also return to pen a number of episodes.

Where can we watch it? It is due to on the BBC in 2021.

Glasgow Times:

THIS IS GOING TO HURT

Who is in the cast? Ben Whishaw has been cast as a junior doctor in BBC Two’s adaptation of Adam Kay’s book This Is Going To Hurt.

What’s it about? This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor is a non-fiction account of Kay’s years in medical training, based on his own diary entries.

It topped the Sunday Times bestseller list and won the Sunday Times humour book of the year prize, and has been translated into 20 languages since it was published in September 2017.

Described as “painfully funny” by Stephen Fry, the book shows in searing detail the experience of being a doctor for the NHS, sharing both the highs and the lows. It also covers political issues around the healthcare system.

Where can we watch it? It is expected to air on the BBC Two in 2021.

Glasgow Times:

WANDAVISION

Who’s in the cast? Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen reprise their roles from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Vision and Wanda Maximoff for a spin-off series.

What’s it about? Plot details are scant for the time being but we know the series who follows the two super-powered beings as they are living their ideal suburban lives and begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

Where can we watch it? It will launch on Disney+ on January 15 2021.

Glasgow Times:

THE BAY

Who’s in the cast? Morven Christie – known for The A Word and Grantchester – is back leading the cast again for series two, as DS Lisa Armstrong.

What it’s about? Series one of the crime drama, which is shot in Morecambe, saw DS Armstrong assigned to the investigation of teenage twins who had gone missing. It soon became clear she had a complicated personal connection, and in the finale, while the case was solved, a lie Lisa had told meant she was suspended from her job.

The new series begins with mum Lisa at a low ebb, forced to do menial police work – but then comes a new case involving a shocking murder. Unexpectedly thrown back onto the front line, Lisa has to prove her worth.

Where can we watch it? The Bay will air on ITV.

Glasgow Times:

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES

Who’s in the cast? The show’s protagonists – Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont – are played by Hacksaw Ridge’s Teresa Palmer, and Matthew Goode, star of Downton Abbey and The Good Wife. Victoria star Tom Hughes joins the cast as Kit Marlowe, an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era.

What’s it about? Series one was Sky One’s most popular drama of 2018. Based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls literary trilogy, it is set in a world where witches, vampires and daemons secretly live and work alongside humans (Diana is a witch and Matthew is a vampire).

There are different timelines throughout the story, and the ten new episodes see Diana and Matthew transported back to London in the Elizabethan era. There, they try to find a powerful witch teacher to help Diana control her magic and search for the elusive Book of Life. And then there’s plenty of drama in the present day too… Where can we watch it? Series two will air on January 8 2021 on Sky One and NOW TV (UK) and January 9 2021.

Glasgow Times:

SERVANT

Who’s in the cast? The name everyone will know is Harry Potter star Rupert Grint; it also stars Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell and Nell Tiger Free. Plus, it’s executive produced by Academy Award-nominated director M. Night Shyamalan.

What’s it about? If you watched series one, you’ll know this is one seriously creepy watch. If you didn’t, spoiler alert: the show follows a Philadelphia couple – Dorothy and Sean Turner (played by Ambrose and Kebbell) – who have a rift in their marriage after an unspeakable tragedy.

They hire nanny Leanne (Free) to look after their baby son, Jericho, but all is not what it seems – Leanne is one sinister babysitter. Oh, and Jericho is actually a “reborn doll”.

Following its suspenseful season one finale, the new episodes of the thriller take a supernatural turn – there’s a dark future ahead for the characters, as Leanne’s true nature is revealed. (Grint, by the way, plays Dorothy’s brother).

Where can we watch it? Season 2 premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, January 15. Catch up on series 1 on the service now.

Glasgow Times:

THE WITCHER

Who is in the cast? Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Geralt of Rivia in the second series of the Netflix hit. It also stars Anya Chalotra as Yennefer and Freya Allan as Princess Ciri.

What’s it about? Season two of the fantasy drama follows Geralt as he takes Princess Cirilla to his childhood home of Kaer Morhen.

The Witcher premiered on Netflix in 2019 to critical acclaim. It is based on the best-selling series of fantasy books and takes place in the medieval-inspired land of The Continent.

Where can we watch it? It has been touted for a 2021 release on Netflix.

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