The BT TV hot list: From Fleabag to Flack, what to watch in 2019

Our pick of the best shows to watch on Freeview and BT TV’s extra entertainment channels in January and the rest of 2019.

Ahh, January… the time when Christmas is nothing but a distant memory, and even New Year’s Eve feels like a lifetime ago.

Coupled with spending all our pennies on last-minute presents for friends and family, and feeling overstuffed with turkey and Buck’s Fizz, sitting on the sofa watching our fave TV show sounds oddly appealing come January.

And from the return of hit dramas including Line of Duty and Fleabag to brand new shows including Flack and Gentleman Jack, there’s plenty to get excited about in 2019.

And don’t forget, with BT TV, you can access catch-up services for Freeview channels, watch Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, and buy or rent box sets from the BT TV Store - depending on your subscription.

Keep reading for our must-watch guide for the month ahead.

Available in January 2019

Valley of the Boom

Valley of the Boom

When is it on?

Docudrama series Valley of the Boom starts Sunday, January 13 at 10pm on National Geographic (BT channel number 317/373 HD). 

What’s it about?

This limited series takes us from the explosive, game-changing birth of Silicon Valley through the 2001 dot-com bust.

Carried by characters who experienced the rise, fall and revival of tech as we’ve come to know it today, the new hybrid docudrama format delivers never-before-told access to their true stories of the technology revolution.

Why watch it?

Like its predecessor Mars, the docudrama is like nothing else on TV right now, with the scripted drama elements of the show helping to tell the true story of the dramatic early days of Silicon Valley.

National Television Awards 2019

NTAs

When is it on?

The National Television Awards 2019 will air live from London’s 02 Arena on Tuesday, January 22 on ITV. A time hasn’t been confirmed but the show usually starts at 7.30pm for at least two hours. Don’t miss it with The ITV Hub app, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

What’s it about?

The National Television Awards (often shortened to NTAs) is a British TV awards ceremony which has been broadcast on ITV for over 20 years.

Why watch it?

It’s UK television’s biggest night of the year, and unlike awards like the TV Baftas and Golden Globes, the results are decided by the general public. So get voting!

[Read more: What to watch on Netflix in 2019]

Vicky Pattison: The Break Up

Vicky Pattison

When is it on?

Vicky Pattison: The Break Up airs Wednesday, Jan 30 at 9pm on TLC (BT channel number 323/377 HD).

What’s it about?

One-off reality show following former Geordie Shore star Vicky Pattison after splitting from fiancé John Noble.

With intimate access to her close circle of family and friends, the show follows Vicky in the aftermath of the split as, under the glare of the media spotlight, she tries to understand and come to terms with what’s happened, and attempts to move on.

Why watch it?

The couple had already signed up to film their fairytale wedding in Vicky and John Said Yes for the channel before the sudden split - at which point Vicky decided to keep the cameras rolling.

Confirmed for 2019

Surviving R. Kelly

Surviving R. Kelly

When is it on?

Surviving R. Kelly is a six-part documentary series that premieres on Tuesday, February 5 at 10pm on Crime+Investigation (BT channel number 328/380 HD).

What’s it about?

In the ground-breaking documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, survivors and people from R. Kelly’s inner circle, share their stores with new allegations about his sexual, mental, and physical abuse.

Celebrated as one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, R. Kelly’s genre-defining career and playboy lifestyle has been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia.

Beginning in 1970 through to the present day, the new UK premiere series sheds light on the R&B star whose history of alleged abuse of underage girls has, until recently, been largely ignored by mainstream media.

Why watch it?

Surviving R. Kelly features over 50 exclusive interviews, including civil rights activist Tarana Burke, musicians John Legend and Sparkle, talk-show host and former DJ Wendy Williams, Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones, and his brothers Carey and Bruce Kelly.

Siren season 2

Siren

When is it on?

Siren season 2 starts Thursday, February 14 at 9pm on Syfy (BT channel number 319/375 HD).

What’s it about?

Siren is a US drama series based in Bristol Cove, a fictional coastal town known for its legend of being home to mermaids.

The the small fishing town was turned upside down when a mysterious girl appeared and began wreaking havoc upon it.

That girl was Ryn, a mermaid, who with her new friends must help protect Bristol Cove and her fellow mermaids who arrive following an escalation of the environmental crisis off the coast.

Why watch it?

The show received positive reviews after its first season, earning a nomination for Choice Breakout TV Show at the 2018 Teen Choice Awards.

Flack

Flack

When is it on?

New drama series Flack premieres on Thursday, Feb 21 at 10pm on W (BT channel number 311/383 HD).

What’s it about?

Set in the world of high-stakes celebrity PR, Flack stars Oscar-winner Anna Paquin (The Piano, True Blood).

She’s the sharp and witty publicity maven Robyn, getting her her job done within the glamorous yet often sordid world of showbiz - putting out fires to achieve the aims of her rich, powerful and outrageous celebrity clients.

Why watch it?

Flack - which was co-produced by Anna Paquin’s production company - follows the successful W drama Women On The Verge, which aired on the channel to critical acclaim last year.

Killing Eve series 2

Killing Eve

When is it on?

The second series of the spy drama started filming at the end of 2018, and it’s airing in the US in April 2019, so hopefully we haven’t got to wait too long after that.

What’s it about?

Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh, best known for Grey’s Anatomy) is a desk-bound MI5 security officer who’s bored in her job and yearns for a more exciting life.

When a Russian politician is murdered, she is given the task of protecting the only witness and soon finds herself on a collision course with a psychopathic assassin known as Villanelle (Jodie Comer, Doctor Foster).

Why watch it?

Killing Eve was one of the most talked-about shows of 2018 thanks to its impeccable casting, defiance of espionage cliches and Villanelle’s stunning wardrobe. It even earned Oh a Golden Globe.

[Killing Eve season 2: Everything we know so far]

Line of Duty series 5

Line of Duty

When is it on?

British drama series Line of Duty returns to BBC One in 2019, although an air date has not been confirmed. Don’t miss it with the BBC iPlayer app, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

What’s it about?

Line of Duty originally aired on BBC Two, where it was the channel’s most-watched drama series in 14 years. It follows the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anti-corruption unit, where DS Steve Arnott was transferred after he refused to be part of a police cover-up.

Why watch it?

Its main stars Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar give phenomenal performances season after season, but series 5 also sees the arrival of This Is England actor Stephen Graham.

[Line of Duty series 5: All you need to know about the return of AC-12]

Peaky Blinders series 5

Peaky Blinders

When is it on?

Series 5 of British drama Peaky Blinders will air on its new home of BBC One - moving from BBC Two - in 2019, although a specific release date has not been confirmed. Don’t miss it with the BBC iPlayer app, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

What’s it about?

Set in the aftermath of World War I in Birmingham, Peaky Blinders is an British crime drama following the exploits of the Shelby crime family.

The notorious gang are led by the fierce Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy), a crime boss set on moving up in the world no matter the cost. It also stars Helen McCrory, Tom Hardy, Adrien Brody and Charlotte Riley.

Why watch it?

Peaky Blinders was hailed a critical success and a cult hit, especially for its original script and compelling performances.

Celebrities including Julia Roberts have also praised the show, confessing she was “blown away” by the British drama.

Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg, David Bowie, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are also said to be fans.

Gentleman Jack

Gentleman Jack

When is it on?

Brand new British-American historical drama Gentleman Jack is due to air on BBC One in early 2019. A specific release date has not been confirmed. Don’t miss it with the BBC iPlayer app, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

What’s it about?

Gentleman Jack is set in the complex, changing world of Halifax - the cradle of the industrial revolution - just as it’s all kicking off in the 1830s.

The drama will explore remarkable landowner Anne Lister’s relationships at home with her family, her servants, her tenants and her industrial rivals, who will use any dirty tricks they can to bring her down.

At its heart is her relationship with her would-be wife, the wealthy heiress Ann Walker.

Why watch it?

The new drama stars Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones, Happy Valley’s Katherine Kelly and The Killing’s Sofie Gråbøl, and is directed by Sally Wainwright (Last Tango In Halifax, Happy Valley).

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

When is it on?

The BBC’s brand-new adaptation of HG Wells' famous sci-fi novel doesn’t have a confirmed release date, but it features in this thrilling trailer teasing what’s coming up on the channel in 2019:

What’s it about?

Set in Edwardian England, this new adaptation of The War of the Worlds tells their story of George (played by Rafe Spall) and his partner Amy (Eleanor Tomlinson) as they face the escalating terror of an alien invasion, fighting for their lives against an enemy beyond their comprehension.

Why watch it?

Wells’ 1989 novel of the same name is the original and arguably the best alien invasion story, with producers saying audiences will be “terrified” by this TV adaptation.

[War of the Worlds: Everything we know about the BBC's forthcoming adaptation]

The Terror season 2

The Terror

When is it on?

The second season of anthology series The Terror is expected to air in 2019 on AMC, exclusive to BT customers (channel number 332/381HD).

What’s it about?

The Terror season 2 is set during the Japanese American internment during World War II.

The 10 episodes follow the story of “an uncanny spectre that menaces a Japanese American community from its home in Southern California to the internment camps to the war in the Pacific”.

Why watch it?

The renowned Star Trek actor, author and activist George Takei will star in the new series and also work as a consultant on the show.

[Read more: The Terror season 2 cast and characters]

MotherFatherSon

MotherFatherSon

When is it on?

Drama series MotherFatherSon will air on BBC Two in 2019, according to Variety.

What’s it about?

Richard Gere - returning to TV for the first time in almost three decades - will play Max, a charismatic self-made American businessman with media outlets in London and around the world.

Helen McCrory will play Kathryn, a British heiress who has been estranged from Max following the breakdown of their marriage some years before.

Their 30 year-old son, Caden (Billy Howle), runs Max’s UK newspaper and is primed to follow in his father’s footsteps as one of the most powerful men in the world.

But when Caden’s self-destructive lifestyle spirals out of control, the devastating consequences threaten the future of the family, its empire, and a country on the brink of change.

Why watch it?

MotherFatherSon was created and written by Tom Rob Smith, Emmy-winner for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Love Island

Love Island

When is it on?

Dating show Love Island will return to ITV2 in summer 2019. A release date has not been confirmed but it’s usually around June. Don’t miss it with The ITV Hub app, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

What’s it about?

Glamorous singles live in a beautiful villa in Majorca under the watchful gaze of the audience at home, who have the power to decide who stays and who goes home.

Why watch it?

In recent years Love Island has become a British cultural phenomenon, with as much gossip around what goes on after the show than what happens on it.

The Great British Bake Off

Bake Off

When is it on?

The Great British Bake Off will return to Channel 4 in 2019, host Sandi Toksvig confirmed last year. A specific date has not been confirmed, but it usually starts in August. Don’t miss it with the All 4 app, under the Players & Apps tab on BT TV.

What’s it about?

Consider Bake Off the ultimate baking battle, where passionate amateur baking fans compete to be crowned the UK’s Best Amateur Baker.

Why watch it?

The bakers try their hand at one of their signature bakes and a technical challenge each episodes, but it’s the showstoppers at the end that are really, well, showstopping!

Rumoured for 2019

The Handmaid’s Tale season 3

Handmaids Tale

When is it on?

The third season of dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t have a confirmed release date, but as the first two seasons were released in April of 2017 and 2018, BT TV assumes an April 2019 release. We’ll update this article when we have it.

What’s it about?

Based on the novel of the same name written by Margaret Atwood, this controversial drama series is set in a dystopian future where fertility rates have dropped and the few fertile women remaining, called Handmaids, have been forced into servitude.

Why watch it?

Since launching in April 2017, The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the most talked-about shows of recent years and has swept the board at the Emmys and Golden Globes.

Fear The Walking Dead season 5

FTWD

When is it on?

Fear The Walking Dead was renewed for a fifth series last year, with DigitalSpy.com predicting that it would air between April and June 2019. It will be shown exclusively on AMC in the UK (BT channel number 332/381HD).

What’s it about?

The hit companion series to The Walking Dead takes viewers to Los Angeles, telling the story of a group of people surviving after the apocalypse.

In the second half of season 4, the group will explore who they are now - as individuals and as part of the greater group - and how they will forge ahead.

Why watch it?

The first four seasons of FTWD are available to stream now on the BT TV Player - so there’s no excuse not to catch up.

[Read more: Fear the Walking Dead season 5 confirmed]

Victoria series 3

Victoria

When is it on?

The third series of historical drama Victoria is airing in January 2019 in the US, but a UK air date has not yet been confirmed.

What’s it about?

Starting in 1848, the third instalment of the lavish drama will depict a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy.

With revolutions on the continent, and the Chartist working class movement reaching its peak in London, Queen Victoria is under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety.

Why watch it?

Jenna Coleman is absolutely superb as the Queen Empress, and stars alongside real-life boyfriend Tom Hughes, who plays her consort Prince Albert.

Fleabag series 2

Fleabag

When is it on?

A second series of cult Brit comedy Fleabag was confirmed in 2017. A release date has not been confirmed, although sometime in 2019 is heavily rumoured.

What’s it about?

The plot for season 2 is being kept under wraps, but the BBC have released a first-look image of its creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge below:

In season 1, Waller-Bridge’s character Fleabag is trying to cope with life in London whilst coming to terms with a recent tragedy.

Why watch it?

There are so many reasons to watch Fleabag, but if you haven’t seen season 1 yet, let’s just say Ben Aldridge’s character is an absolute scene-stealer.

[Fleabag series 2: Phoebe Waller-Bridge and BBC confirm air date]

Looking further ahead

Dracula

Dracula

When is it on?

Filming for Dracula, a BBC and Netflix co-production, will begin in 2019. A release date has not been confirmed, but the series will consist of three feature-length episodes of 90 minutes each.

What’s it about?

According to the BBC, this re-imagining of the famous tale will reintroduce the world to Dracula (Danish actor Claes Bang, pictured above), the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.

Why watch it?

It’s been written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, known for their work on Doctor Who and Sherlock.

Bodyguard season 2

Bodyguard

When is it on?

Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio has confirmed he’s “got some ideas” for a second series of the hit BBC One drama, but its leading man Richard Madden confirmed that a second series wouldn’t air before 2020 as the crew “need a break”, according to the Daily Mail.

What’s it about?

As a second series hasn’t been confirmed, we don’t have a plot yet, but in season 1 of the political drama, Richard Madden’s character David Budd is assigned to protect Keeley Hawes’ character, Julia Montague.

Why watch it?

If you haven’t watched season 1 yet, have you been living under a rock? No but seriously, catch up on BBC iPlayer now - it’s the biggest new drama on British TV in more than a decade.

[Read more: What to watch after you’ve finished Bodyguard]

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