With temperatures plummeting and the sofa more inviting than ever, autumn TV is about to dominate our lives, so thankfully the programme guides are looking red-hot. Here’s our pick of the best shows…
ITV, 22 September
In one word: Cosy
It’s now six months since Matthew Crawley’s tragic car crash, but what could be a solemn season four is salvaged by the Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) and her put-downs. Look out for Paul Giamatti as Cora’s brother.
BBC Two, 24 September
In one word: Silly
Written by and starring James Corden with Horrible Histories performer Mathew Baynton, this farcical six-part thriller follows two men who get swept up in the world of international conspiracy thanks to a case of mistaken identity.
Sky Atlantic, mid-October
In one word: Gripping
Mirroring the plot of Nordic crime drama The Bridge, British detective Roebuck (Stephen Dillane) and French sleuth Wassermann (Clémence Poésy) are brought together to investigate the death of a top French politician.
Sky Atlantic, mid-October
In one word: Charming
Ricky Gervais collaborator Stephen Merchant stars in this semi-autobiographical sitcom based on his stand-up comedy show, tracking the trials of a geeky Englishman searching for the woman of his dreams in LA.
Sky Living, October
In one word: Bloodthirsty
If True Blood didn’t satisfy your cravings for vampire drama, suck on this. Posing as an American entrepreneur in Victorian London, Dracula (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) declares revenge on those who betrayed him centuries before.
Channel 4, October
In one word: Eye-opening
This new US series set in the Fifties stars Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) and Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls) as researchers Masters and Johnson, who revolutionised the way we think about sex but were criticised for their unconventional methods.
BBC One, 23 November
In one word: Iconic
Even if you’re not a Doctor Who fan, you might be tempted by this special episode to mark 50 years of Tardis time travel. Matt Smith is joined by Billie Piper, David Tennant and, of course, the Daleks.
BBC Two, November
In one word: Funny
“It’s Yes Minister meets Spooks,” says Robert Webb, who stars in this comedy drama alongside Peep Show buddy David Mitchell. Set in a dysfunctional British embassy in the fictional state of Tazbekistan, big laughs are expected.
BBC One, December
In one word: Moving
One Day author David Nicholls is the talent behind this “romantic drama for grown-ups” about the tangled love lives of two couples, played by Olivia Colman, David Morrissey, Sheridan Smith and Sean Maguire. We can’t wait.
BBC One, late December
In one word: Unmissable
The end of series two saw Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) fake his own death in a battle with arch-rival Moriarty. But with a Christmas special and a new series slated for January, we will finally discover just how Holmes survived.
Sky Atlantic, mid-January
In one word: Daring
With writers Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow keeping the plotlines for season three as secretive as the recipe for Coca-Cola, we can only imagine what triumphs and disasters await Hannah, Marnie, Shoshanna and Jenna.
Channel 4, January
In one word: Tense
This much-hyped US drama stars Toni Collette as surgeon Ellen Sanders, who is due to operate on the President. When she is instructed to kill him in order to save her kidnapped family, it spells bad news for your fingernails.