Hap and Leonard – Season 1

This new "noir" pairing from America, based on Joe R. Lansdale’s novels, is reminiscent of Butch and Sundance. James Purefoy and The Wire’s Michael Kenneth Williams play the eponymous duo, carousing their way around 1980s Texas. And they are men with a past: Hap ended up in jail for dodging the Vietnam draft, while Leonard is an angry gay black man who did go to war. Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks co-stars as Hap’s ex-wife, who comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme and is a fine successor to Butch Cassidy’s girlfriend, Etta.

Grey’s Anatomy – Season 6

Grey's Anatomy

It’s bad enough losing a patient, but when it’s one of their own, the staff at Seattle Grace Hospital are sent into meltdown in this season’s opening two-parter. There’s relief all round as Izzie opens her eyes after flatlining during surgery, but much-loved character George is pronounced brain dead after being involved in a bus accident. Someone has to break the news to Izzie, who was dreaming of herself and George on the operating table. The rest of the season proves as exciting as ever, as more life and death dramas, another staff tumour and a major disaster stalk the wards.

Manhattan – Season 1

Manhattan

The race against the Nazis to build the world’s first atomic bomb in 1940s America proves both riveting and unnerving in this award-winning drama. Actor John Benjamin Hickey (The Bone Collector; Flags of Our Fathers) leads a team of scientists living in the desert in New Mexico and working on the Manhattan Project, which is top secret, but still haunts the lives of all involved as paranoia rules. Directed by The West Wing’s Thomas Schlamme, it also features House of Cards’ Rachel Brosnahan and Michael Chernus from Orange is the New Black.

Weeds – Season 6

Weeds

Dope-dealing momma Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) and her motley family hit the road again in a bid to live off-grid. They try to settle in Seattle, but, as ever, there’s always someone ready to bust them. Thinking life on the road in an RV might be the best way to avoid the police, rival dealers and nosy journalists, they return to California before giving Colorado and Michigan a go. All this, and someone showing us why trying to undo a wheel clamp using a blowtorch will never work... Richard Dreyfuss co-stars.

The Shield – Season 4

The Shield

Just when you thought “Lemonhead” Vic Mackey and his team of morally questionable cops had been disbanded for good, they’re reunited back at The Farm, under new boss Glenn Close, to take on drug lord Antwon Mitchell (Law & Order’s Anthony Anderson). A new partner (American Hustle’s Michael Peña) is on hand to help with the captain’s controversial policy of seizing all ill-gotten gains, while the team’s old governor-turned-councillor is still dealing with the fallout from his sexual assault in Season 3.