Ode to Autumn TV Schedules

Had Keats been alive today I suspect he would have downplayed the whole “mists and mellow fruitfulness” thing and gone large on what we all know are the really important associations with Autumn:  the start of the netball season and the launch of the Autumn TV schedules. This is the time of year when the wing defence bibs are pulled on and the schedules are overflowing with the glorious bounty of a long hot summer of production.  Every week that passes brings the return of a well-loved staple or the arrival of some new delicious TV treat to graze or gorge on.  Hot foot from the Edinburgh TV Festival I thought I’d share with you a few of the things I am particularly looking forward to in what Kevin Spacey in his MacTaggart lecture referred to as the 3rd Golden Age of TV.

In drama we’re completely spoiled for choice.  Obviously, Downton is returning and, having embarrassingly had to pretend to have got something in my eye when I saw the 2 minute preview of Maggie Smith comforting Lady Mary, I am clearly going to need to steel myself for the first episode. I can’t wait for Homeland to return and have been re-enjoying the Youtube clip of Anne Hathaway’s skit about it on SNL. Cold dark Sunday evenings fly by when there are so many goodies to tuck into. We’re a big Doctor Who household so I’m eagerly anticipating the 50th celebrations in November where Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt will all appear together in one episode.  I’m also really looking forward to Masters of Sex (easy, tiger, it’s actually a very classy period drama starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as sex researchers, Masters & Johnson). The Thinkbox resident geeks tell me that Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is going to be brilliant too. Then of course, there’s the much anticipated Season 4 of Boardwalk Empire, the return of the Cumberbatch in Sherlock and the return of Whitechapel which has hardly got going and is already bleedin’ scary.

There’s loads of new and returning comedy to enjoy:  the last ever IT Crowd (sob sob) as a special, Chickens (set in a sleepy English village during the First World War), and the brilliant Chris O’Dowd in the equally brilliant Moone Boy.  London Irish looks like it will be very funny and if I don’t mention Tess’s favourite, This is Jinsy, I’ll never hear the end of it.  Then some entertainment for all in an even bigger and better series of A League of their Own, the fantastic Gogglebox (a must for anyone working in advertising), Dynamo being even more mystifying, Keith Lemon taking over Through the Keyhole and, by the look of previews, the head teacher featured in Educating Yorkshire who deserves his own one-man show. I reckon my kids are going to love Yonderland, a fantasy comedy drama from the Horrible Histories crew and the new Meaty Mondays season on The Cartoon Network.

And then of course there’s more sport than you can shake a stick at.  And although netball is the biggie, according to m’colleagues there’s something called the Premiership on Sky & BT, the Champions League on ITV, NFL on Channel 4 and though it barely seems credible to me, even more Ashes coming at Christmas.

So, the only problem left for me now is, aside from netball which, clearly, I intend to watch live, is how to decide which to watch live, which to series link on my planner and which to catch up with on-demand. But, as my old boss used to say, that’s a high class problem.