First of all Happy New Year. Thanks for making 2012 such a good one and here's to 2013! Expect many more blogs, reviews and watch as I step up to the mark and interview some well known telly faces along the way - exciting stuff.
So now the time has to forget about the Olympics and indeed the Queen's jubilee it's time to focus on the telly programmes that we'll be watching in 2013. My top telly tips for the year ahead include a mixture of comedy, drama and a bit of reality TV thrown in to keep it err... real.
Right then, let's go. First up let's start with Comedy...
The new series of Miranda is already underway and with 10 million people tuning in for its opening Boxing Day episode it's safe to say the 'three series curse' does not apply here. Will Miranda finally get her claws into Gary? I guess only time will tell, and with guest cameos from none other than Raymond Blanc and Gary Barlow, this series is shaping up to be a good one. Last year I was lucky enough to be invited to watch an episode of the new series being filmed live, with said celebrity cameos. But more on that when the episode airs (episode 5.... I think). Such fun!
For all you Gavin & Stacey fans out there who appear to have somewhat of a Nessa shaped hole in your telly then I cannot recommend Ruth Jones' latest adventure Stella enough. Stella is set in the fictional town of Pontyberry in South Wales and Jones plays the title role, a 40-something single mum a far cry from Nessa but none-the-less a 'cracking' performance. Stella returns to Sky 1 on Friday 11 January. For those of you who've missed the first series or want to know why to watch the second, here's why.
From the über talented creators of The League of Gentlemen and Psychoville, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton comes brand new BBC Two comedy, Inside No. 9 billed as an "anthology of comedies stuffed with dark humour and unexpected twists' as a series of six separate 30-minute stories. Sound brilliant. With great writing comes an all star cast including Adam Deacon, Gemma Arterton, Tamsin Greig, Sophie Thompson and Katherine Parkinson, to name but a few. As a huge fan of both their previous shows I cannot wait to see what the pair have in store for their latest offering due to air late 2013 on BBC Two.
Before I take a look at the upcoming Drama in 2013, time for a bit of comedy-drama courtesy of Ricky Gervais. You may recall a piece I wrote last year based on his pilot for Derek, set in a retirement home, and asked whether or not it was considered to be insulting. If you missed it when I first posted it you can read it here. Well on the back of that pilot a full series was made and with Karl Pilkington a regular character what's not to love? Derek is due to air on Channel 4 sometime in 2013.
Who's ready for a bit of drama?...
With a strong first episode already in the bag, the big BBC One drama for 2013 is Ripper Street. The eight-parter is not directly about Jack the Ripper and instead is set in 1889, six months after his reign. The series follows Whitechapel police as they fight to bring law to the lawless. Not my usual cup of tea but due to the great writing, setting and performance I did find myself hooked to the first episode and can't wait for the next one.
This Is England '90
Regular readers of my blog will know that I am a huge fan of Shane Meadows and in particular his This Is England franchise which moves on in 2013 with the latest instalment This Is England '90. Which, yep, you guessed it... is set in 1990 and is due to make its way to Channel 4 later on in the year.
After 10 series and 125 episodes, Shameless finally comes to an end in 2013. Whilst it may be time to draw the series to a close the show still proves to be somewhat of a ratings hit and I'm always entertained when I tune in. No doubt Shameless will go down in Channel 4 history as one of its most memorable programmes featuring extensive scenes of sex, drugs and violence. As will the character of Frank Gallagher, an unemployed drug-taking alcoholic played brilliantly for eight years by David Threlfall. I for one am looking forward to seeing what's in store for the characters when it returns with its final 14 episodes later on in 2013.
Prisoners Wives was one of the standout dramas on BBC One last year and with clips of the new series already appearing in the channel's 2013 trailer it seems the second series is on its way sooner than we may think. If you missed the first series or want to get to know a bit more about the series then have a read of this which I wrote during series one.
Reportedly picked up by Steven Spielberg for an American remake, Kay Mellor's The Syndicate makes its way back onto BBC One early 2013 for a second series. Pleasantly surprised by the first series I am looking forward to seeing how the story can be repeated with a new cast including the brilliant Alison Steadman. All will be revealed early 2013 no doubt.
Now for a bit of reality TV...
Celebrity Big Brother
OK... I have to admit... I am a bit of a Big Brother fan (of the celebrity version mind). The first of two celebrity editions starts 3 January and is set to feature X Factor's Rylan, Toadie from Neighbours, Jim Davidson and Claire from Steps. And with serial reality TV'er Katie Price turned away for this series my money's on her making an appearance in the summer edition of Celebrity Big Brother. Love it or loathe it, Channel 5 have done a great job with the Channel 4 series.
The Voice UK
Last year The Voice UK debuted in the UK (just in case you didn't get the from the show's title). The show's judges, sorry coaches, included that guy from The Script (Danny O'Donoghue), Elvis' friend from the sixties (Tom Jones), pop newcomer Jessie J and super-duper dope and fresh, Will.i.am who quickly became the reason many kept tuning in. Originally commissioned for two series this series may well be the last as all four coaches return with only a few of the much needed changes have been made to the format. Either way people will probably still watch, if only to moan. But don't be fooled into thinking a successful recording contract awaits, as last year's winner is nowhere to be seen and runner-up Tyler James isn't faring much better. The Voice UK is set to return to BBC One mid-March.
The Big Reunion
And finally who doesn't want to see their favourite pop acts from the 90's; Liberty X, Honeyz, 911, 5ive, B*Witched and Atomic Kitten with Kerry Katona get back together for one night only in a special ITV2 show called The Big Reunion? No... well in a similar vein to Celebrity Big Brother it'll be one of those shows you know you shouldn't watch but ultimately will. The Big Reunion will broadcast on ITV2 at some point in 2013.
And if that wasn't a long enough list then let's not forget the array of comedy shows that will be be returning to our screens in 2013; Adil Ray's Citizen Khan returns for a second series, as does Bad Education, The Matt Lucas Awards, Pramface and Black Mirror. There's also a third offering from Mrs Brown's Boys, Fresh Meat, Episodes, Phone Shop and a triumphant SIXTH series of Not Going Out minus Tim Vine. There's also one final episode of Life's Too Short to enjoy in 2013 as well as one of my favourite all time sitcoms The IT Crowd which comes to an end with a one off special at some point this year.
All that AND a new sitcom from David Walliams, 2013 seems set to be a great year for television. And hopefully leaving the troubles of 2012 behind it looks set to be a big year for the BBC as they celebrate 10 years of BBC Three, 50 years of Doctor Who, 55 years of Blue Peter (a good time to bow out maybe?) and 60 years of Panorama.
And in a year that should see much more comedy on ITV under the watchful eye of former Little Britain producer Myfanwy Moore, it's time to see whether the channel can still produce great comedy and not have to rely on Benidorm all the time, which subsequently starts filming for its sixth series in March.
So there we have it. Those were my picks based on what I already know is coming out this year and of course throughout the course of the year very many commissions will come and go. As always I'll be having a look through the schedules, catching up on stuff I've missed and write it all here on my blog. To keep up to date you can follow me on Twitter @elliot_gonzalez. Feel free to tweet me the show you're most looking forward to in 2013 or simply add a comment below, no need to sign up, simples.