All the exciting TV thrillers coming in 2020

Naomi Gordon
Photo credit: BBC

From Good Housekeeping

Who doesn't love staying in and watching spine-tingling thrillers on TV? Thankfully, there are plenty coming up to keep us on the edge of our sofa.

Here's a look at some of the nail-biting series set to launch on the BBC, ITV and Sky this year...


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James Nesbitt leads crime thriller Bloodlands from Line of Duty's Jed Mercurio, which is set in Northern Ireland.

Nesbitt plays a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) detective called Tom Brannick who has to re-investigate an infamous cold case. The drama begins when a car containing a possible suicide note is pulled from Strangford Lough, which puts Nesbitt on the hunt for a deadly assassin.

The thriller has been written by Chris Brandon and will be directed by Pete Travis, with Mercurio executive producing.

Bloodlands airs on BBC One later this year.

Because the Night

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Russell Tovey stars in ITV's four-part murder story "which exposes the quiet terror of a man trying to escape his past".

The psychological thriller - from Luther creator Neil Cross - follows Tovey's Nathan as his world implodes when a face from his past appears on his doorstep. It's inspired by Cross's 2009 novel Burial.

Because the Night arrives on ITV later this year.

The Nest

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Line of Duty's Martin Compston and Gentleman Jack's Sophie Rundle play a wealthy couple who meet a young woman who agrees to carry their baby for them in BBC One's emotional thriller The Nest.

The five-part series - written by BAFTA-winning Nicole Taylor - will explore who their 18-year-old surrogate Kaya (Mirren Mack) really is, and what brought her to the couple.

As well as Compston, Rundle and Mack, the series stars Shirley Henderson (Stan and Ollie, Happy Valley), Katie Leung (Strangers, Chimerica), David Hayman (Hatton Garden, Fisherman’s Friends), Fiona Bell (Shetland, Acceptable Risk), James Harkness (The Victim, Wild Rose), Bailey Patrick (London Kills, Good Omens), Kate Dickie (Game of Thrones, The Witch), Paul Brannigan (The Angels’ Share, Under The Skin) and Samuel Small (So Awkward, Game of Thrones).

The Nest arrives on BBC One later this year.

The Undoing

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Nicole Kidman reunites with Big Little Lies creator David E Kelly for HBO's thriller The Undoing, adapted from Jean Hanff Korelitz's critically-acclaimed novel You Should Have Known.

The series follows Kidman's successful therapist, Grace Sachs, who is on the brink of publishing her first book when husband Jonathan (Hugh Grant) suddenly goes missing. His disappearance puts the family under immense scrutiny, and secrets about his life begin to unravel publicly.

Donald Sutherland stars as Jonathan's father, Franklin Renner: a retired financier and loving grandfather, tasked with protecting his family when turbulent revelations come to light.

David E Kelly and Kidman executive produce the project and Emmy award-winning writer and director Susanne Bier will direct. Her credits include The Night Manager and Bird Box.

The Undoing airs on Sky Atlantic.

The Pale Horse

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Sarah Phelps adapts another Agatha Christie classic, The Pale Horse for BBC One.

Rufus Sewell leads the series which follows a murder investigation into the death of a young woman which reveals a mysterious list of names is discovered in her shoe. This prompts an inquiry not only to find the killer, but also to understand the list of names. Who wrote the list, and who do these names refer to?

The stellar ensemble cast also includes Kaya Scodelario (Extremely Wicked and Shockingly Evil and Vile), Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster), Sean Pertwee (Gotham, Elementary) and Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Killing Eve).

The Pale Horse airs on BBC One now.

Gangs of London

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British-American series Gangs of London delves into the underbelly of the capital's modern-day criminal underworld.

The Sky Atlantic and HBO production begins with the assassination of the head of a criminal organisation, Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney), which threatens the fragile peace between the intricate web of gangs operating on the streets of the city. Now it's up to the grieving, volatile and impulsive Sean Wallace (Peaky Blinders star Joe Cole) to restore control and find those responsible for killing his father.

The series is directed by Gareth Evans, Corin Hardy and Xavier Gens.

Gangs of London arrives to Sky Atlantic soon.

Too Close

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Chernobyl's Emily Watson will lead new psychological thriller from ITV called Too Close.

The BAFTA-winning actress will play a forensic psychiatrist, Dr Emma Robinson, who is assigned to work with Connie, a woman accused of a terrible crime who claims she can't remember anything.

As Emma gets dangerously close to Connie, the relationship between the two women gets murkier and more complex.

The series is written by actress and author Clara Salaman.

Flesh and Blood

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ITV's Flesh and Blood follows three siblings whose lives fall apart when their widowed mother falls for a new man.

"This is no ordinary relationship drama, as someone in the family will be dead by the end of the story - but the question of who dies and who is the killer keeps us guessing right up to the last moment," ITV released in a statement.

The four-part series is lead by Imelda Staunton and Francesca Annis, with a supporting cast including Russell Tovey, Lydia Leonard, Stephen Rhea and Claudie Blakley.

It's directed by Cheat's Louise Hooper.

Flesh and Blood arrives soon on ITV.

Ridley Road

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BBC One's Ridley Road is a political thriller from writer Sarah Solemani, adapted from Jo Bloom's critically-acclaimed novel of the same title by Jo Bloom.

The series is set against the backdrop of a swinging sixties London we haven’t seen: an East End world where far right fascism is on the rise. When Vivien Epstein follows her lover into danger and he is caught between life and death, Vivien finds herself going undercover with the fascists, not only for him but for the sake of her country.

Ridley Road will air on BBC One later this year.


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Hugh Laurie leads BBC One's four-part political thriller from David Hare, Roadkill.

Hugh plays a Conservative minister called Peter Laurence, who's self-made, forceful and charismatic, but his public and private life seems to be falling apart - or rather is being picked apart by his enemies. As the personal revelations spiral, he is shamelessly untroubled by guilt or remorse, expertly walking a high wire between glory and catastrophe as he seeks to further his own agenda whilst others plot to bring him down.

Roadkill will be directed by Michael Keillor (Line of Duty, Strike) and executive producers are creator David Hare, George Faber and Mark Pybus for The Forge, Lucy Richer for the BBC and Michael Keillor.

Roadkill arrives on BBC One later this year.

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