What to watch in May 2023: best new TV shows on BBC One, ITV, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Sky and more

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All the best new shows on every channel and streaming service in May 2023, with some specially selected top picks to help you choose what to watch

New month, new television: with the start of May comes a whole host of new offerings to look out for, from brand new comedies to returning drama favourites. 

Here’s your guide to what’s on TV across May 2023, with a look at all the highlights across both terrestrial channels and the major streaming networks. 

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We’ve selected our top picks – and the best of the rest – to give you an idea of what to watch this month.

BBC 

Top Pick

Faye Marsay as Annie, Hattie Hook as Pattie, Warren Brown as Terry, and Finn Treacy as Peter in Ten Pound Poms (Credit: BBC/Eleven/John Platt)Faye Marsay as Annie, Hattie Hook as Pattie, Warren Brown as Terry, and Finn Treacy as Peter in Ten Pound Poms (Credit: BBC/Eleven/John Platt)
Faye Marsay as Annie, Hattie Hook as Pattie, Warren Brown as Terry, and Finn Treacy as Peter in Ten Pound Poms (Credit: BBC/Eleven/John Platt) | BBC/Eleven/John Platt

Leaving post-war Britain in search of better opportunities, a family migrate to Australia – but quickly find that their new home is neither what they hoped for nor what they were promised. Michelle Keegan (Our Girl), Faye Marsay (Andor), and Warren Brown (Luther) star in this Australian co-production from writer Danny Brocklehurst (Stay Close, Brassic). 

Best of the Rest

The BAFTA TV Awards | Sunday 14 May

Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan host. This Is Going to Hurt and The Responder lead the nominations, with Bad Sisters, Slow Horses, and The English following swiftly behind them. But who will take home the golden mask at the end of the night? 

Waterloo Road S12 | Tuesday 16 May

A new term at Waterloo Road sees the return of an old face: one-time deputy and Head of English Andrew Treneman (Jamie Glover), a former flame of current headteacher Kim Campbell (Angela Griffin). Is Mr Treneman there to help Ms Campbell regain control of Waterloo Road's most unruly students – or does he have something else entirely on his mind? 

ITV & ITVX

Vicky Mcclure as Stella Tomlinson with Johnny Harris as Charles Stone in Without Sin (Credit: ITVX)Vicky Mcclure as Stella Tomlinson with Johnny Harris as Charles Stone in Without Sin (Credit: ITVX)
Vicky Mcclure as Stella Tomlinson with Johnny Harris as Charles Stone in Without Sin (Credit: ITVX) | ITVX

Top Pick

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Three years ago, Stella's daughter was murdered. Now, Charles - the man who killed her - reaches out and asks to apologise. Despite her misgivings, Stella agrees to sit down with Charles and a restorative justice mediator - but she never expected what he'd say next. Vicky McClure and Johnny Harris star in a This Is England reunion.

Maryland | Thursday 25 May

Estranged sisters Becca and Rosaline are reunited after the sudden death of their mother – who they gradually realise had been keeping more secrets than they ever understood. Suranne Jones (Gentleman Jack), Eve Best (House of the Dragon), and Stockard Channing (The West Wing) star. 

Best of the Rest

Tom Jones | Thursday 4 May

A four-part adaptation Henry Fielding's 1749 novel ‘The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling’ from writer Gwyneth Hughes (Vanity Fair). Solly McLeod (The Rising) plays Tom Jones, across from Sophie Wilde (You Don't Know Me) as Sophia Western and Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) as Lady Bellaston.

Crime S2 | Thursday 11 May

Dougray Scott (Batwoman) returns as DI Ray Lennox in the second series of Crime, continuing to grapple with his own deep-seated trauma as he investigates brutal crime in and around Edinburgh. Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting). 

Channel 5

John Cleese and Prunella Scales as Basil and Sybil in Fawlty TowersJohn Cleese and Prunella Scales as Basil and Sybil in Fawlty Towers
John Cleese and Prunella Scales as Basil and Sybil in Fawlty Towers | YouTube

Top Pick

Fawlty Towers: 50 Years of Laughs | Saturday 6 May

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As part of their alternate programming for the Coronation, Channel 5 are airing a new documentary to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Cleese and Connie Booth’s classic sitcom Fawlty Towers. Fans, experts, and cast members offering their memories and insights into what made the series work as well as it did. 

Sky & NOW TV

Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face (Credit: Peacock)Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face (Credit: Peacock)
Natasha Lyonne as Charlie Cale in Poker Face (Credit: Peacock) | Peacock

Top Pick

Poker Face | Friday 26 May

Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll) stars as Charlie Cale in this Columbo-style murder mystery from Knives Out director Rian Johnson. Each week, Charlie solves a new case, investigating guest stars like Adrien Brody, Stephanie Hsu, John Darnielle, and more.

Best of the Rest

White House Plumbers | Tuesday 30 May

David Mandel (Seinfeld, Veep) offers his take on the Watergate scandal in this political satire starring Woody Harrelson (True Detective, The Hunger Games) as E. Howard Hunt and Justin Theroux (The Leftovers, Mosquito Coast) as G. Gordon Liddy. Trying to protect Nixon’s presidency, two top Republican political fixers manage to bring it to a catastrophic end instead. 

Netflix

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will air on Netflix on May 4Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will air on Netflix on May 4
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will air on Netflix on May 4 | NICK WALL/NETFLIX

Top Pick

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story | Thursday 4 May

A Bridgerton prequel charting the seismic social changes that followed Queen Charlotte’s marriage to King George - the love story that created the Ton. India Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest star in the latest series from Shonda Rhimes.

Best of the Rest

XO, Kitty | Thursday 18 May

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Kitty Song Covey plays matchmaker for all her friends, and she’s convinced she knows everything there is to know about love - but when she moves halfway around the world to reunite with her long-distance boyfriend, she realises how little she really understands, and how much more complicated relationships are when they’re your own. Anna Cathcart stars in this television spinoff of To All The Boys I Loved Before from creator Jenny Han. 

I Think You Should Leave S3 | Tuesday 30 May

A third series of the surreal sketch show from Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin, using their idiosyncratic wit to find the bizarre side of life’s most mundane moments. 

Amazon Prime Video & Amazon Freevee

Top Pick

Primo | Friday 19 May

A San Antonio teenager balances aspirations to go to college with the pressures of his chaotic home life, all while surrounded by his single mom and five uncles. Mike Schur (The Office, The Good Place) produces this autobiographical family sitcom based on the life of journalist and writer Shea Serrano. 

Disney+

Jimmy Liu as Wei-Chen and Michelle Yeoh as Guanyin in American Born Chinese (Credit: Disney+/Carlos Lopez-Calleja)Jimmy Liu as Wei-Chen and Michelle Yeoh as Guanyin in American Born Chinese (Credit: Disney+/Carlos Lopez-Calleja)
Jimmy Liu as Wei-Chen and Michelle Yeoh as Guanyin in American Born Chinese (Credit: Disney+/Carlos Lopez-Calleja) | Disney+/Carlos Lopez-Calleja

Top Pick

A Small Light | Tuesday 2 May 

Miep Gies was young and carefree when Otto Frank asked her to help hide his family from the Nazis during WWII. Despite the risks, Miep agreed without hesitation. Bel Powley and Liev Schreiber star in this historical drama from National Geographic, telling the true story of the woman who helped Anne Frank and her family hide from the Nazis for two years. 

American Born Chinese | Wednesday 24 May

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Jin Wang (Ben Wang) is a teenage student struggling at school and at home. On meeting a mysterious new exchange student, he’s drawn into a cosmic battle between the ancient gods of Chinese mythology - and his life changes forever. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu star in this adaptation of Gene Luen Yang’s 2006 graphic novel from directors Destin Daniel Cretton and Lucy Liu.

Best of the Rest

The Muppets’ house band Electric Mayhem - Animal, Dr Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Lips, and Janice - have never recorded an album. Now, as they prepare to enter the studio for the first time ever, young music executive Nora (Lilly Singh) helps the Muppets get to grips with the modern music scene. Musical comedy. 

Not Dead Yet | Wednesday 10 May

Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Hannah Simone (New Girl), and Lauren Ash (Superstore) star in this romantic comedy about an obituary writer who can see dead people.

Apple TV+

Rebecca Ferguson as Juliette and David Oyelowo as Holston in Silo (Credit: Apple TV+)Rebecca Ferguson as Juliette and David Oyelowo as Holston in Silo (Credit: Apple TV+)
Rebecca Ferguson as Juliette and David Oyelowo as Holston in Silo (Credit: Apple TV+) | Apple TV+

Top Pick

Silo | Friday 5 May

In a dystopian future, humans live in huge silos deep underground, bound by restrictive rules and regulations they believe will protect them from what’s outside – but when a rule is broken and people start mysteriously dying, a secret at the heart of this society emerges. Rebecca Ferguson (Dune) and David Oyelowo (The Girl Before) star in this adaptation of Hugh Howey’s Wool novels. 

Best of the Rest

Prehistoric Planet S2 | Monday 22 May

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David Attenborough and Jon Favreau’s natural history series returns for its second season, featuring more photorealistic recreations of species that once walked the Earth. Some of the new dinosaurs featured in S2 include Indian sauropod Isisaurus, North American feathered dinosaur Pectinodon, and the large pterosaurs Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx.

Platonic | Wednesday 24 May

Two former best friends reconnect in middle age, but it's not long before their newly revived friendship consumes every aspect of their life. Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) star. 

Paramount+

Abigail Lawrie as Lana and Rhianne Barreto as Kitty in No Escape (Credit: New Pictures Ltd/Nut Jirathit)Abigail Lawrie as Lana and Rhianne Barreto as Kitty in No Escape (Credit: New Pictures Ltd/Nut Jirathit)
Abigail Lawrie as Lana and Rhianne Barreto as Kitty in No Escape (Credit: New Pictures Ltd/Nut Jirathit) | New Pictures Ltd/Nut Jirathit

Top Pick

A new thriller starring Rhianne Barreto (The Outlaws) and Abigail Lawrie (Tin Star), filmed on location in Thailand and adapted from Lucy Clarke’s novel The Blue. Two best friends, Lana and Kitty, on the run from the law in Britain seek refuge on a boat in Thailand – but soon discover that paradise has a dark side, and their hiding spot might be more dangerous than what they’re hiding from back home. 

Best of the Rest

The Stallone Family | Thursday 18 May

A Keeping Up with the Kardashians style structured reality show following the actor Sylvester Stallone and his family – his wife Jennifer Flavin, and his three daughters Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet – as they go about their lives and their businesses in LA. It’s Stallone’s second Paramount+ show after gangster drama King of Tulsa.

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And keep an eye out for…

The Other Two returns for its third series on HBO Max on Thursday 4 May, but doesn’t yet have a UK airdate. There’s also Pete Davison’s autobiographical comedy Bupkis, which debuts on Thursday 4 May on Peacock, but again doesn’t yet have a UK release date.

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