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11 crime TV shows you shouldn’t miss in 2020

Looking for new crime TV shows coming our way in 2021? Click here.

Dublin Murders, A Confession, Criminal. True Detective, Line of Duty and Top Boy. It’s fairly safe to say that 2019 didn’t disappoint when it came to TV crime drama.

How will the next twelve months compare? Well, our crystal ball is currently out for repair, so we can’t tell you with any real certainty, but from what we can see already – it looks like we’re in for another year of impressively high quality television.

Here are some of the new crime TV shows we think are worth keeping an eye out for next year. Some names you’ll recognise, some you won’t. All are worth remembering, though.

All information is correct as of December 2019. Where no UK channel/air date info is available, details for US broadcast may be shown instead.

New crime TV shows you shouldn’t miss in 2020:

new crime tv shows 2020

The Outsider

We kick off with a series that looks seriously good… An adaptation of Stephen King’s 2018 book The Outsider starring Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, Bill Camp and Paddy Considine – how’s that for a cast, eh? The trailer promises plenty:

Ozark’s Bateman is a Little League coach who is arrested in front of half the town for kidnapping, torturing, killing and mutilating an eleven-year-old boy. He insists he’s innocent, while the town turns against him. The arresting detective, played by the incredible Australian actor Mendelsohn, isn’t so sure about his guilt.

The book ties in to some of King’s wider mythology, we’ll have to wait until mid-January to see if the show does the same.

Where? HBO/Sky Atlantic
When? 12 January

new crime tv shows 2020

Deadwater Fell

David Tennant starring in a new crime drama series about a sleepy community rocked by the murder of children? No, Broadchurch hasn’t been given a makeover and switched channels. This is a totally new crimer starring the former Doctor Who.

Tennant plays Tom, an unassuming GP who moves to a small Scottish village with his wife and three children. One night, the family home burns down with everyone inside. Everyone except Tom, that is.

As the four-part show’s PR puts it, ‘it soon becomes apparent, however, that Kate and her children weren’t killed in the fire and the village realise that something unspeakable has happened.’

Who’s to blame? Well, if the trailer is to be believed, ‘everyone has something to hide’. So it might not be that easy to work it out.

Where? Channel 4
When? 10 January

new crime tv shows 2020

The Sister

Neil Cross (pictured), creator of Luther, moves to ITV for this upcoming four-part murder mystery/thriller. It’s likely to be seen later on in the year and stars Him & Her’s Russell Tovey as the lead, Nathan.

‘As a web of lies, that he thought was dead and buried, comes back to haunt Nathan, he sinks deeper and deeper into the horror of the event that happened ten years ago. I cannot wait to start filming and join this amazing team and cast’, explained Tovey.

It’s based on Cross’s own novel Burial and co-stars the likes of Bertie Carvel (Doctor Foster) and Amrita Acharia (Game of Thrones).

Where? ITV1
When? 26 October

new crime tv shows


This six-part naval thriller is based on writer J S Law’s debut novel of the same name and is being brought to the screen Peter A Dowling, who penned the 2005 Jodie Foster thriller Flightplan. It’s a murder mystery (so think The Hunt for Red October written by Agatha Christie – sort of…) with an as yet unannounced cast, meaning filming hasn’t begun and we shouldn’t expect to see it much before the end of the year.

When a dead submariner is discovered aboard the British nuclear submarine, Tenacity, disgraced military detective Danielle ‘Dan’ Lewis is sent to investigate the accident.

But when the case turns to murder it puts her in conflict with Tenacity’s crew, her Navy superiors, and into the cross-hairs of an assassin who has infiltrated her nuclear base with an agenda that will not only destroy national security but kill Dan and everyone she loves.

Where? ITV1
When? TBC

new crime tv shows

Innocent series 2

Chris Lang’s ITV sleeper hit starring Lee Ingleby aired back in the spring of 2018 and proved to be a very effective and popular miniseries. Few people anticipated a sequel though, given it’s self-contained nature. But ITV has commissioned one.

Lang has decided to take an anthology approach with the follow-up and has come up with a totally new story and cast of characters. Not a huge amount is known about Innocent’s second series as yet, but we’re sure it’s destined to be another tight, twisting thriller that’s well worth catching.

Where? ITV1
When? TBC

new crime tv shows


One of Britain’s greatest living actresses is lined up for this upcoming crime drama centred around an honour killing. Bodyguard and Spooks leading lady Keeley Hawes plays DCI Caroline Goode in this true-life story that’s based on the desperately sad tale of Londoner Banaz Mahmod, a 20-year-old woman who was murdered by her family merely for falling in love with a man they didn’t approve of.

Hawes, who also produces the two-parter, explained, ‘It is a privilege to be working on Honour…in a time when honour killings are still rife, it is critical to shine a light on such an important subject. Banaz Mahmod’s story, and DCI Goode’s subsequent investigation, is certainly one that needs to be told and I am proud to be a part of it.’

Where? ITV1
When? 28 September

new crime tv shows

Killing Eve series 3

You don’t need us to tell you (again) just how good Killing Eve is. So we won’t. All we say is that the third series is due to hit in 2020 and there’s no reason to believe it won’t be just as perfect as the two previous runs.

We were left to think that Villanelle had killed Eve at the end of the second season, but we’re guessing she survived. Call it a hunch, if you like.

Joining the cast for the new series are Game of Thrones star Gemma Whelan and Inside No. 9‘s Steve Pemberton, with Fear the Walking Dead scribe Suzanne Heathcote taking over writing duties.

It’s safe to say that we’re excited.

Where? BBC One
When? 13 April

best new television dramas

Death Comes As An End

Instead of enlisting the help of their usual Agatha Christie adaptor, the Beeb has got Gwyneth Hughes on board to bring this 1944 murder mystery to the screen. Hughes has an impressive CV, having been responsible for the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens’s unfinished work The Mystery of Edwin Drood back in 2012.

Casting has yet to be announced, so we could be looking at late 2020 for this one. Possibly even Christmastime. Which is the perfect time for an Agatha adaptation on telly if you ask us.

Where? BBC One
When? TBC

best new television dramas

The Bay series 2

Morven Christie is due to return for another series of the hit ITV drama that we described in our opening episode review as ‘Morecambe Broadchurch‘. The truth is that there’s a little more to The Bay than that and the series drew quite a loyal following.

Christie is back as police family liaison officer DS Lisa Armstrong and while details are think on the ground at the moment, expect another shocking crime, plenty of secrets and a whole beachful of twists and turns.

Where? ITV1
When? TBC

best new television dramas

Unforgotten series 4

Cold case crime drama Unforgotten is back for a fourth series in 2020, with both leads Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar eager to get back into character as DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan and help create another unmissable six-part series.

Chris Lang is back on writing duties too and is made up to get another run of the popular show. ‘I am so delighted to have been asked to make a fourth series of Unforgotten,’ he said. ‘The reaction to series three was better than I could ever have expected and I can’t wait to discover what lies ahead for Cassie and Sunny and to create a whole new cast of characters for them to grapple with.’

Where? ITV1
When? TBC

new crime tv shows

The Serpent

From the keyboards of Ripper Street writers Richard Warlow and Toby Finlay, The Serpent will tell the disturbing real-life story of Charles Sobhraj, the chief suspect in a series of grisly unsolved murders of attractive young female backpackers across Asia in the mid-1970s.

It stars A Prophet and The Looming Tower‘s charismatic French actor Tahar Rahim as Sobhraj and Victoria’s Jenna Coleman as his accomplice, Marie-Andrée Leclerc.

A portrait of a twisted sociopath and his devoted and equally twisted partner in crime, The Serpent doesn’t look like being 8pm Sunday night family viewing. It could well be one of the darkest crime dramas of the year.

Where? BBC One
When? TBC

Also worth keeping an eye out for next year are: Stephen Merchant and Sheridan Smith in The Barking Murders, the return of Anna Friel in Marcella series 3, Strike: Lethal White, the latest Cormoran Strike, Sarah Phelps’ new Agatha Christie adaptation The Pale Horse, the final series of Tin Star on Sky, series 7 of Endeavour, a new Father Brown with Mark Williams and a western cop thriller in the style of Justified called Deputy

Those are just the highlights too. They’ll no doubt be a fair few surprise hits to enjoy next year.

Crime might not pay, but it can certainly entertain.

Which of these new crime TV shows you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments below…

Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

Follow Steve on Twitter.


    Unforgotten Is great, so pleased to see it back again, Nicola Walker and Sanjay Bhaskar are perfect together.

    Unforgotten is my pick. Nicola Walker is always good, and this series allows her to shine. Looking forward to Season 4.

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