The best TV to watch this autumn

·Contributor
·7-min read
As the nights draw in, the best telly begins to roll out. (Sky/BBC/ITV)
As the nights draw in, the best telly begins to roll out. (Sky/BBC/ITV)

Summer's gone - but the telly is back.

The networks, streamers and satellite stations are all rolling out the blockbusters for one of the best autumn TV line ups in years. 

From addictive reality formats old and new to engaging documentaries and the best bingeworthy dramas, the small screen has never been bigger.

Here's the best of what you've got to look forward to:

The best reality TV to watch Autumn 2021

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One, from 18 September)

'Strictly Come Dancing' 2021 contestants Greg Wise, Katie McGlynn, Dan Walker, AJ Odudu, Rhys Stephenson, Tilly Ramsay, Tom Fletcher, Judi Love, Adam Peaty, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Robert Webb, John Waite, Nina Wadia, Ugo Monye, Sara Davies. (BBC)
'Strictly Come Dancing' 2021 contestants Greg Wise, Katie McGlynn, Dan Walker, AJ Odudu, Rhys Stephenson, Tilly Ramsay, Tom Fletcher, Judi Love, Adam Peaty, Rose Ayling-Ellis, Robert Webb, John Waite, Nina Wadia, Ugo Monye, Sara Davies. (BBC)

The nation’s most beloved reality formats are back in town this autumn, and they hardly come bigger that Strictly. 

This year’s celebs include Adam Peaty, Greg Wise and Tilly Ramsay, while John Thwaite will be part of the show’s first same sex male couple.

The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4, 21 September)

(Channel 4)
(Channel 4)

The furore over the switch from BBC to C4 seems long forgotten now as the new line up of presenters and judges joining Paul Hollywood quickly won over fans. 

The classic Bake Off format remains a winner, and a new batch of contestants will be filling the marquee to compete over the best cakes, bakes and delights.

Drag Race UK (BBC Three, 23 September)

RuPaul's Drag Race UK series 2: Picture Shows:  Graham Norton, RuPaul, Michelle Visage - (World of Wonder/Guy Levy)
RuPaul's Drag Race UK (World of Wonder/Guy Levy)

RuPaul seems to have been singlehandedly keeping the spirits of the world during lockdowns and gloom, and the UK version is back. 

This year the guest judges will include Lulu, Russell Tovey, Nicola Coughlan, Alesha Dixon and Matt Lucas.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (ITV, TBC)

The hot weather and bikini showers have been replaced by autumnal Welsh chill as I'm A Celeb goes domestic for another year at Gwrych Castle. 

Read more: Celebrity Masterchef 2021: Who are the finalists?

The line up hasn't been revealed yet, but whomever is crowned king or queen of the castle will go a long way to outshine reigning monarch Giovanna Fletcher.

Walk the Line (ITV, later this year)

Glow Up - Host Maya Jama - (BBC/David Ellis)
Glow Up - Host Maya Jama - (BBC/David Ellis)

The next big musical talent show is Simon Cowell’s eagerly awaited new Maya Jama-fronted series which sees acts compete in front of judges for the chance to take home cash prizes or stay on for more battles. 

Jama's star is on the rise after a big summer of music and football and this could take her right to the top.

The best dramas to watch Autumn 2021

Hollington Drive (ITV, 29 September)

This brilliant high concept drama series stars Anna Maxwell Martin and Rachael Sterling as sisters and neighbours whose lives are turned upside down when their respective children are caught fighting, just as another neighbourhood child goes missing.

Succession S3 (Sky Atlantic, 18 October)

Succession (Sky)
Succession (Sky)

Possibly the most anticipated TV return of the year is the peerless HBO/Sky Atlantic story of media dynasty wars as Brian Cox’s Logan Roy delights in battling his scheming children. 

Season two ended in brilliant style with knives drawn and battle declared between Logan and son Kendall for control of the company.

Doctor Who (BBC One, TBC)

Yaz (Mandip Gill), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Dan (John Bishop) in Doctor Who S13 (BBC Studios/James Pardon)
Yaz (Mandip Gill), The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), Dan (John Bishop) in Doctor Who S13 (BBC Studios/James Pardon)

Jodie Whittaker’s brilliant version of The Doctor is heading for her swansong next year, and will need all the help she can get from her great team of companion allies to get there when season 13 lands this autumn.

Scenes from a Marriage (Sky Atlantic, later this year)

Scenes from a Marriage (Sky)
Scenes from a Marriage (Sky)

The dream duo of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain reunite for this brilliant new series about marital breakdown. 

The remake of Ingmar Bergman's classic seventies series stars college pals Isaac and Chastain, who last played a spicy couple in acclaimed drama A Most Violent Year.

Dexter: New Blood (Sky Atlantic, TBC)

Dexter: New Blood (Sky)
Dexter: New Blood (Sky)

The beloved 2000s series about an ethical serial killer (Michael C Hall) went out with a huge whimper thanks to a widely criticised and unpopular finale. 

The early glimpses of this new sequel series are winning over the fans, and may be going a long way to make amends.

The Wheel of Time (Amazon Prime, 19 November)

Wheels of Time (Amazon)
Rosamund Pike in The Wheel of Time (Amazon)

The hunt for a new Game of Thrones continues as Amazon looks to bring the massive book series by Robert Jordan to life. 

Read more: Covid care home drama is the most timely and important event of the year

Rosamund Pike stars as a mythical heroine on a mission to save a magical kingdom.

The Larkins (ITV, TBC)

Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan as Pop and Ma Larkin (ITV)
Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan as Pop and Ma Larkin (ITV)

The Darling Buds of May was a 90s classic and made the likes of Catherine Zeta Jones and Pam Ferris major stars, and cemented David Jason as the nation's number one actor. 

ITV’s prequel series is a massive coup for the network, with Bradley Walsh, Joanna Scanlan, Tok Stephen, and Sabrina Bartlett playing the family.

Showtrial (BBC One, TBC)

Showtrial (BBC)
New courtroom drama series Showtrial (BBC)

From the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, comes this drama about a wealthy heiress accused of murdering a fellow student, starring Celine Buckens and Cleo Roberts and Tracy Ifeachor.

Hawkeye (Disney+, 24 November)

(L-R): Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE, exclusively on Disney+. (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios 2021)
(L-R): Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE, exclusively on Disney+. (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios 2021)

The MCU telly world continues to expand, with Jeremy Renner and Hallee Steinfeld taking centre stage as the world’s greatest marksman and protégé Kate Bishop. Expect to see Black Widow star Florence Pugh at some point, after she was set on collision course with Hawkeye in the film's post credits sting.

Crime (Britbox, TBC)

Pictured: Dougray Scott as RAY LENNOX and Joanna Vanderham as AMANDA DRUMMOND

(Buccaneer Media/Off Grid Film and TV/Jed Knight)
Dougray Scott and Joanna Vanderham in Crime (Buccaneer Media/Off Grid Film and TV/Jed Knight)

 A sort of sequel to the acclaimed film Filth, Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh's new series looks at the crime fighting antics of some of the worst coppers in Scotland. 

Jamie Sives, Dougray Scott, Ken Stott, Joanna Vanderham all star in this amazing looking binge watch.

The best non-fiction TV to watch Autumn 2021

Schumacher (Netflix, 15 September)

In his day, the German F1 star was the fastest man on earth and the most well known and controversial driver behind a wheel. This film tells the story of his near fatal skiing accident in 2013 and his subsequent lengthy fight for his life.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Sky Max, 21 September)

Greg Davies, Noel Fielding, Jamali Maddox and Daisy May Cooper are the regulars in this revival of the beloved BBC pop quiz show for Sky. 

All the best bits of the classic panel show are back, including the brilliant 'Guess the Intro' round.

Colin in Black and White (Netflix, 29 October)

Colin in Black and White
 (Netflix)
Colin in Black and White (Netflix)

Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay tells the story of iconic NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The superstar athlete sparked fury when he began taking the knee during the national anthem, as a protest against police brutality. 

He inspired a global movement, at the cost of his career.

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+, 25 November)

The Beatles in <i>THE BEATLES: GET BACK</i>. (Linda McCartney)
The Beatles in THE BEATLES: GET BACK. (Linda McCartney)

Peter Jackson’s wave of stunning documentaries continues with his look at the making of the legendary band’s album Let it Be in 1970. 

The Lord of the Rings filmmaker utilises the same digital clean up tech from his WW1 film They Shall Not Grow Old, to refresh the footage of the fab four's last hurrah.

On The Edge With Alex Honnold (Disney+, TBC)

On The Edge With Alex Honnold
 (Disney+)
On The Edge With Alex Honnold (Disney+)

El Capitan conqueror Honnold shook the world and won the Oscar for with his amazing Free Solo film three years ago. He's back for some new gravity and death defying attempts on various terrifying peaks around the world for this new series.

WATCH: Alex Honnold's climbing tips for beginners

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