Best of 2014: Television preview
Ellen E Jones picks this year’s must-see events in television
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Friday 03 January 2014
Saturday Night Live graduate Andy Samberg plays an immature NYPD detective in this new sitcom from the team behind Parks and Recreation. The more interesting casting choice, however, is Andre Braugher as his strict commanding officer Captain Ray Holt. Braugher is best-known as Detective Frank Pembleton in gritty police procedural Homicide: Life on the Street – this time he’ll be playing the role for laughs. 9 January, Channel 4
In HBO’s prestige drama of the year, the Texan double act of your dreams, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, play two policeman recalled to consult on a murder investigation they supposedly solved 17 years previously. If the show itself is half as good as the trailer, this will be an instant classic. February, Sky Atlantic
Better Call Saul
The sound of gunfire is still ringing in our ears from Breaking Bad’s finale, but it’s already time to welcome back dodgy lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) for this prequel spin-off. Saul’s cheerful amorality often provided comic relief in Breaking Bad, but this show is rumored to be darker and more dramatic than you might expect. TBC, Netflix
While David Tennant skips stateside to remake series one of ITV’s hit crime drama, his co-star Olivia Colman will be reprising her role as Sergeant Ellie Miller in a second series. 2013 was a good year for female-led detective shows and Gillian Anderson will also be back for series two of BBC2’s The Fall later in the year. TBC, ITV
Foreign-language period drama might not usually be your thing, but BBC4 have been importing top-notch programming from Danish public service broadcaster DR since The Killing, and they haven’t struck out yet. This one, which replaces Borgen, is set during Denmark’s 19th-century war with Prussia and tells the story of two brothers who fall in love with the same woman. TBC, BBC4
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clark’s bestselling novel about 19th-century practical magic gets a big-budget, seven-part BBC adaptation, starring Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, Southcliffe) and Bertie Carvel (Hidden, The Crimson Petal and the White) in the title roles. Think Harry Potter for sophisticated grown-ups. TBC, BBC1
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 3 Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
- 5 Russell Brand might seem like a sexy revolutionary worth getting behind, but he will only fail his fans
Breaking Bad season 6 is still not happening
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Alfred Hitchcock's unseen Holocaust documentary to be screened
X Factor 2014 results: Chloe Jasmine and Stephanie Nala sent home
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'