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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Top 15 Most Anticipated TV Shows of 2014

Our Most Anticipated Releases of 2014 feature series begins with a countdown of next year's hottest telly.
With Sherlock's New Year's Day return on the horizon, 2014's television offerings already feel as if within reaching distance for the viewer. As such, now is as fine a time as ever to explore exactly what the next year of small-screen entertainment holds for license fee payers.

2014 should be a particularly compelling period for TV fans, to the extent that our typical Top 10 shortlist of Most Anticipated TV Shows has been expanded to a Top 15. Without further ado, it's time to step forward into the future, and to reveal the shows which will define the next twelve months right now:

15. ELEMENTARY- Natalie Dormer is back as the first female Moriarty in CBS' US take on Sherlock next month, pitting Jonny Lee Miller's Holmes and Lucy Liu's Watson against their ultimate adversary. Should the show's writers elect to pursue this devious villainess in the overarching narrative of Season Two's second half, then the results could be nothing less than astounding...(Spring, Autumn, Winter- Sky Living)
14. GLEE- Fox's musical drama is accomplishing two milestones in the coming year, bringing its fifth season to a climax at first and then later commencing its sixth and final season's broadcasting on Sky1. The team's dealing with the demise of star Cory Monteith further will be of primary interest to fans, as will the direction of the series' various developing character arcs and any hints towards their oncoming resolutions. (Spring, Autumn, Winter- Sky1)
13. IN THE FLESH- This ambitious supernatural drama got off to an uneasy start last Spring, but its three-episode run progressed to far superior heights in its second and final instalments, showcasing heaps of promise for its second season. If In The Flesh continues to innovate as it did in 2013, then BBC Three may have a Being Human-sized hit on their hands! (Spring- BBC Three)
12. MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD- It's time for a secret to be revealed. Agent Coulson's mysterious revival will form the heart of Agents of SHIELD's mid-season début, after Centipede captured the Son of Coul in The Bridge. With its competitors on such strong form at present, though, Marvel's first live-action TV drama needs to raise the ante considerably this time around. (Spring, Autumn, Winter- Channel 4)
11. THE FLASH- Grant Gustin's Barry Allen was recently introduced in Arrow's two-part mid-season finale The Scientist and Three Ghosts, yet the character will be afforded far more representational substance with his own spin-off show set in Central City. The Flash will no doubt incorporate plentiful fantastical elements in comparison to its mother show, although they'll still probably be integrated in the grounded, logical fashion through which the Green Arrow's adventures have thrived...(Autumn, Winter- Sky1)
10. GOTHAM- Yet another DC series coming from The CW and set within Arrow's cinematic universe, Gotham depicts the first cases of Detective James Gordon in, you guessed it, the backstreets of Gotham City. A younger Bruce Wayne will be involved with these darker escapades too, and if we're lucky, perhaps a few teasers for Batman Vs. Superman will lie in store! (Autumn, Winter- Sky1)
9. STAR WARS: REBELS- Before 2015's maelstrom lands with the release of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII, Disney are testing the waters on their own kids' channels with the broadcast of a series set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Titled Rebels, the animated saga explores the rise of the Rebel Alliance and its key players, and if handled correctly, should serve as an empowering affirmation of the studio's dedication to doing the franchise justice on the big screen. (Autumn- Disney XD)
8. OUR GIRL- This is an unexpected but entirely welcome late addition to the list, with BBC One only having announced the return of Lacey Turner's stirring military drama in the late stages of 2013. Our Girl had a stunning one-off première instalment earlier this year, and its second full run will consist of five episodes, affording viewers extra time aplenty in the company of Turner's layered young protagonist. (Spring- BBC One)
7. BIG SCHOOL- David Walliams' comedy track record had been hit and miss of late, until Big School came around in the Summer and managed to impress more than usual. A second season was inevitable, then, and it's with open arms that this writer will receive another run of elementary comedic situations starring Walliams, Catherine Tate and Life on Mars' shockingly hilarious Philip Glenister in the months ahead! (Summer- BBC One)
6. THE NEWSROOM- In contrast to its first season ranking amongst 2012's best TV offerings, The Newsroom Season Two wasn't such a consistent marvel. All the same, the latter run's final instalments in particular recaptured the promise and vigour of the previous season, a fact which ensures that hope remains for Aaron Sorkin, Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn and the News Night team to thrill the viewer as they once did again on a more permanent level. (Summer, Autumn- Sky Atlantic)
5. GAME OF THRONES- As anyone who has had the privilege (and time) to experience the second half of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords will know, HBO's fourth season of fantasy action has some major content to deal with. Deaths, resurrection and so much more await the uninitiated viewer, and once Game of Thrones returns, nothing in Westeros can ever be the same again...(Spring, Summer- Sky Atlantic)
4. DEREK- There was a time where the latest season of a comedy show from Ricky Gervais wouldn't have met any level of genuine expectation or anticipation from the mainstream audience. That was before Derek landed, however, and began to redefine our concept of both the comic and dramatic genres. Gervais' writing and direction of the original run were each exemplary, and our suitably lofty standards for the follow-up should be matched to much the same hilarious effect if all goes to plan! (Spring- Channel 4)
3. SHERLOCK- As we mentioned earlier, Sherlock's return to TV has been a long time coming, as has a certain reunion between two actors who are currently storming the box office in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have climbed the ranks of British actorial thespians with ease, and as well as Mark Gatiss' presenting the long-awaited resolution to The Reichenbach Fall, their reunion should confirm the series' enduring brilliance right from the off. (Spring- BBC One)
2. ARROW- Brother Blood, Deathstroke and the League of Assassins, oh my! Arrow's narrative mythology has expanded exponentially in the course of its first and second seasons, and as Season Two strides towards its climax, the adapted series' universe will only continue to become more dense and captivating. And who knows, perhaps more than one new superhero will join the Arrow's side in his quest to save Starling City yet...(Spring, Autumn, Winter- Sky1)
1. DOCTOR WHO- Coming off the back of its 50th Anniversary, any self-respecting fan could forgive Doctor Who for losing its momentum somewhat in the opening of its second half-century on air. Quite the opposite is the case for the show, however, with Peter Capaldi's arrival aboard the TARDIS certain to shake up the series' status quo greatly. Better yet than the concept of an unrelenting, occasionally ruthless twelfth incarnation for the Time Lord, Steven Moffat's Series Eight arc should finally be let loose of previous plot threads, opening up the BBC's finest televisual output to all new possibilities and directions. In the words of a 2010 teaser trailer for Series Five, "the end is just the beginning"! (Summer, Autumn, Winter- BBC One)

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