It was an underwhelming December for TV buffs, with most new and returning series failing to deliver as expected. That was true of the critically-acclaimed period comedy-drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which seemed to try too hard at times. It was true of the medieval fantasy drama The Witcher, which couldn’t stand in comparison to Game of Thrones despite a terrific turn from Henry Cavill and Netflix forking over millions per episode. And it was true of the Octavia Spencer, Aaron Paul drama Truth Be Told, which continued a run of disappointments for Apple TV+. We’re not clubbing Inside Edge in the list though, because we didn’t have any expectations to begin with.

A couple of December returnees did defy the trend, with You season 2 and The Expanse season 4 proving their streaming service renewals were justified. But the advantage of living in the era of peak TV means there’s no shortage of new content on the horizon. The start of the new year is no different, with January 2020 bringing new seasons of Sex Education, BoJack Horseman, Doctor Who, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, alongside new entrants involving the Yakuza, Jharkhand, Dracula, Stephen King, Subhas Chandra Bose, and Jean-Luc Picard. Our January 2020 TV guide includes shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Apple TV+, and Sony BBC Earth.

Doctor Who

When: January TBC, 2020
Where: Amazon Prime Video

Jodie Whittaker returns as the Doctor for her second time travel run in the TARDIS, alongside her companions Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole), and Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill). Season 12 will also feature the extraterrestrial mercenary police Judoon, historical figures such as Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Noor Inayat Khan, in addition to guest roles for Stephen Fry, James Buckley (The Inbetweeners), Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard), and others.

A release date on Prime Video in India has not been confirmed but is expected to be in week one.

Dracula

When: January 4, 2020
Where: Netflix

First, they tackled Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock and now, it’s time for a new literary figure: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Except they are staying in the book’s original time period. Set in Victorian London and Transylvania, this BBC-Netflix co-production — it airs on the former in the UK a few days earlier — stars Claes Bang (The Square) as Count Dracula. Season 1 consists of three feature-length episodes.

Netflix January 2020 Releases: Ghost Stories, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Dracula, and More

Giri/Haji

When: January 10, 2020
Where: Netflix

Japanese for “Duty/Shame”, this crime drama finds a detective (Takehiro Hira) travelling from Tokyo to London to look for his long-lost, presumed-dead younger brother (Yōsuke Kubozuka), whose actions are threatening to start a gang war between the Yakuza. There, he meets an alienated cop (Kelly Macdonald) and a Japanese-British sex worker (Will Sharpe). The British press loved the show when it aired back in October in the UK.

Jamtara

When: January 10, 2020
Where: Netflix

Made for Voot but then sold to Netflix, this real life-inspired crime drama — from National Award-winning director Soumendra Padhi — is set in the dark underbelly of the eponymous village in the state of Jharkhand, known as India’s phishing capital. Naturally then, it follows two cousins and their friends who quietly run a phishing scam before a news report overturns their world. Amit Sial (Inside Edge) is part of the cast.

Watch the First Trailer for Jamtara: Sabka Number Ayega

Medical Police

When: January 10, 2020
Where: Netflix

This sequel to the medical drama parody Children’s Hospital finds them doing a parody of both the medical drama and police procedural genres. Returning cast members Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Rob Corddry, and Ken Marino play doctors who are also police officers. They’re cop doctors — or is it doctor cops? As you please. Joel McHale (Community), Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat), Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), Fred Melamed (A Serious Man), Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Limited), and comedian-host Lilly Singh will guest star.

The Outsider

When: January 13, 2020
Where: Hotstar

The resurgence of Stephen King (adaptations) continues with this miniseries based on one of his recent novels, about a detective (Ben Mendelsohn) who pairs up with an unorthodox investigator after a supernatural force factors in the brutal murder of an 11-year-old boy. Jason Bateman (Ozark), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), and Bill Camp (The Night Of) are also part of the cast. A total of 10 episodes, kicking off with a two-hour pilot episode.

Seven Worlds, One Planet

When: January 13, 2020
Where: Sony BBC Earth

Pushed from its December release date, the new natural history series from BBC’s acclaimed natural history documentary team — narrated by Sir David Attenborough — devotes one episode each to the seven continents of our planet, formed by the break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea. Each of them have distinct terrain and in turn, unique animal life, from brightly-coloured Sarada lizards in India to pumas and Andean bears in South America. Hans Zimmer composes.

Little America

When: January 17, 2020
Where: Apple TV+

Apple has poured hundreds of millions into its originals — The Morning Show and See the two big culprits — but quality has yet evaded it. Maybe it will strike gold with this based-on-a-true-story anthology series about immigrants, from a team that consists of Emmy-winner Alan Yang (Master of None) and Oscar-nominated husband-wife duo Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick). In a departure from other Apple TV+ originals, all eight episodes drop at once.

Sex Education

When: January 17, 2020
Where: Netflix

Having finally gotten over his own sexual performance problem, awkward teen Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield) — whose mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) is a sex therapist — returns for a sophomore year to dispel more sex advice to his schoolmates. Season 2 will also continue his will-they-won’t-they dynamic with outcast Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey), while fans hope for some positive news for the fledgling romance between Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) and Adam (Connor Swindells).

Avenue 5

When: January 20, 2020
Where: Hotstar

After making a couple of movies, Veep creator Armando Iannucci returns to HBO for his next satire, which is set in the 2050s aboard a luxury tourist spaceship that experiences technical difficulties. Hugh Laurie is the captain, Josh Gad (Frozen) is the billionaire owner, Zach Woods (Silicon Valley) is head of customer relations, and Himesh Patel (Yesterday) plays a stand-up comedian.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

When: January 20, 2020
Where: Hotstar

Having made a lot of money as Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David has always operated on his own timeline with this series that stars his own fictionalised self. Season 10 arrives after a two-year break, but hey, there’s no beating the six-year hiatus prior to that. Expect the same old, with Larry’s quirks getting him into troubles. Jon Hamm, Laverne Cox, Jane Krakowski, and Fred Armisen are among the guests.

The Forgotten Army

When: January 24, 2020
Where: Amazon Prime Video

A World War II era-set drama about Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army finds creator and director Kabir Khan not returning to his documentary roots — he made his directorial debut with a docu feature of the same name in 1999 — but rather revisiting them through the lens of fiction. Sunny Kaushal (Gold) and newcomer Sharvari are in the lead, while Pritam is the music composer.

Watch the First Teaser Trailer for The Forgotten Army

Star Trek: Picard

When: January 24, 2020
Where: Amazon Prime Video

Two decades after the events of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, retired Starfleet admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) returns on screen, deeply affected by the destruction of the planet Romulus in 2009’s Star Trek. Some of his The Next Generation and Voyager colleagues — Data (Brent Spiner), Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), Hugh (Jonathan Del Arco), William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) — will make appearances.

Watch the Comic-Con Trailer for Star Trek: Picard

BoJack Horseman

When: January 31, 2020
Where: Netflix

It’s time for the end. Well not if creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg would have had his way, but he doesn’t run Netflix. After the first half of the final season some three months ago, the last batch of episodes will force the titular self-loathing, recovering alcoholic, former washed-up sitcom star horse (Will Arnett) to face the full brunt of his reprehensible actions. Expect a carnage, hopefully not followed by more denial.

Beyond January

We’ll have a detailed round-up of upcoming TV shows each month, but we do know a fair bit about the future already.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 7 / February 10, Comedy Central
Locke & Key / February 7, Netflix
High Maintenance: Season 4 / February 8, Hotstar
Narcos: Mexico: Season 2 / February 13, Netflix
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Season 7 / February 18, Hotstar

Close Menu
filmywap