The Drowning series on Channel 5, Jodie and Mark

After the finale of The Drowning on C5, what are the next top TV dramas coming up in 2021?

James Nesbitt stars in Bloodlands, and DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan return in Unforgotten

The Drowning came to a dramatic conclusion on Channel 5 tonight (Thursday February 4), so what are the top TV dramas coming up in 2021 to replace it?

There’s James Nesbitt’s gritty new drama Bloodlands on BBC One, and true crime thriller Four Lives – as well as many others.

Here’s our rundown of all the ones to watch out for!

Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar in Unforgotten on ITV1
Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar in Unforgotten, one of the top TV dramas coming up in 2021 (Credit: ITV)

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Top TV dramas 2021: Line of Duty, BBC One

Season six of Line of Duty has to be one of the most anticipated TV series of all time!

It’s due to air in March/April.

This time around, we’ll be getting an extra episode – seven instead of six – and AC-12 will be joined by newcomer Shalom Brune-Franklin, who plays DC Chloe Bishop.

Kelly Macdonald also joins the cast – but is she a bent copper?

Unforgotten on ITV1

BAFTA-nominated actors Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar reprise their roles as DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan in the fourth series of Unforgotten.

The new six-part series charts a fresh investigation into another emotionally-charged cold case murder.

The fourth series opens with the discovery of a dismembered body in a scrap metal yard, which the team believes has been stored in a domestic freezer for 30 years.

A unique Millwall Football Club tattoo leads to the victim being identified as Matthew Walsh, a young man in his mid-twenties who went missing in March 1990.

The team quickly tracks the purchase of the freezer to Robert Fogerty, but they are disappointed to learn he recently died a lonely, broken man.

On looking further into his past, they discover a drink driving conviction on the same night their victim, Matthew Walsh, went missing.

Intriguingly, there were four passengers in the car with him at the time.

The main cast is joined by TV veteran Sheila Hancock of New Tricks fame, and Killing Eve star Susan Lynch.

It returns in February.

James Nesbitt in Bloodlands
James Nesbitt stars in gritty drama Bloodlands (Credit: BBC One)

Read more: Actor Daniel Ryan – DI Tony Manning in The Bay – plays the victim of a serial killer in new drama Four Lives

Top TV dramas 2021: Bloodlands, BBC One

James Nesbitt plays a Northern-Irish detective on the hunt for an assassin in Bloodlands on BBC One – due to air in late February/early March.

Advanced hype about the series says it could be the next Bodyguard.

Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio executive produces, so it promises to be decent.

The official trailer dropped just this week (see below).

McDonald & Dodds, ITV1

The unlikely duo return for a second series of the crime drama set in Bath.

Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins reprise their roles as the smart and ambitious DCI McDonald and the humble, and quietly brilliant DS Dodds in three new murder mysteries.

They are joined by guest cast members Saira Choudhry, Rosie Day, Nitin Ganatra and Sarah Parish.

The series is due to air in late February or early March.

McDonald & Dodds on ITV
McDonald & Dodds returns to ITV very soon (Credit: ITV)

Your Honor, Sky Atlantic

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston stars in this series, based on an Israeli series called Kvodo.

It follows the story of Judge Michael Desiato after his son kills another young man in a hit-and-run.

The trouble is, the deceased man is the son of New Orleans crime boss Jimmy Baxter.

This incident “leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices” as Desiato tries to protect his son.

Your Honor is due to air in Spring 2021.

Top TV dramas 2021: Innocent, ITV1

ITV drama Innocent returns for a second series, telling a brand new crime story revolving around the murder of a teenage boy.

Katherine Kelly takes the lead role as schoolteacher Sally Wright, who becomes embroiled in a scandal.

It’s alleged that she has been having an affair with her 16-year-old pupil, Matty Taylor.

When he is found dead, brutally stabbed with a broken cider bottle, suspicion falls upon Sally who had admitted to taking special interest in the boy.

Professor T, ITV1

Ben Miller stars as “eccentric but brilliant” criminology professor Professor Jasper Tempest who helps the police.

The six-part series was filmed on location in Belgium and Cambridge.

Professor T is a tortured academic, suffering with OCD, who finds himself reluctantly acting as an advisor to the police when a woman is violently attacked on campus.

Based on the Belgian series of the same name.

Professor T on ITV, Ben Miller
Professor T stars Ben Miller as an eccentric academic (Credit: ITV)

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker, ITV1

Martin Clunes will return as DCI Colin Sutton for new series of ITV drama Manhunt.

The new series will be called Manhunt II: The Night Stalker.

It’s a follow-up to the 2019 drama, which saw DCI Sutton pursuing serial killer Levi Bellfield.

Manhunt II: The Night Stalker is a four part dramatisation of the police pursuit of a notorious serial rapist.

His 17-year reign of terror left thousands of elderly people in south east London living in fear.

The programme is based on Colin Sutton’s diaries.

Four Lives, BBC One

Sheridan Smith and Stephen Merchant take on the grim tale of The Barking Murders.

Stephen Merchant transforms into real-life serial killer Stephen Port in BBC One’s upcoming factual drama Four Lives.

The series tells the horrifying case from the perspective of the families of Stephen Port’s four victims and their fight for justice.

The police investigation was widely criticised at the time.

Sheridan Smith plays Sarah Sak, the mother of 23-year-old victim Anthony Walgate.

Jaime Winstone and Daniel Ryan also star.

Stephen Port is a former chef born in Southend, who raped and killed four men between 2014 and 2015.

He met his victims via dating and hook-up apps and used drugs such as GHB to sedate them.

We recently reported that Four Lives may be delayed.

COVID has postponed an inquest into the four men’s death.

The series can only be shown after the court case has been completed.

Stephen Merchant in Four Lives on BBC one
Stephen Merchant in Four Lives, a dramatisation of the The Barking Murders (Credit: BBC One)

The Yorkshire Ripper on ITV1

An ITV Yorkshire Ripper drama from the makers of Des and White House Farm is in the works.

ITV has confirmed a six-part drama with the working title of The Yorkshire Ripper.

The programme will depict one of the world’s most notorious and shocking serial killer cases.

In total, Peter Sutcliffe killed 13 and attempted to kill seven others.

Police hunted for Peter Sutcliffe from October 1975 until his capture in January 1981.

It became the biggest manhunt in British criminal history.

The series will focus on the desperate cat-and-mouse hunt for Sutcliffe, as well as the lives of his victims.

No cast members for The Yorkshire Ripper have been announced yet.

ITV drama boss Polly Hill said ITV will “sensitively” dramatise the case.

Mansfield Murderers, Sky Atlantic and NOW TV

Olivia Colman portrays killer Susan Edwards, who murdered her own parents in 1998.

Susan is currently serving 25 years behind bars for killing her reclusive mum and dad and burying them in their Blenheim Close garden.

This four-part crime drama follows the shocking actions of double murderer Susan and her husband Christopher.

Susan and Christopher Edwards shot Patricia and William Wycherley, planning to claim their money.

The couple were eventually found guilty in 2014.

John Sims stars in Grace
John Simm plays Detective Superintendent Roy Grace opposite Richie Campbell’s DS Glenn Branson (Credit: ITV1)

Grace, ITV

Life on Mars actor John Simm stars as the titular Detective Superintendent, a troubled man who is obsessed with the disappearance of his much-loved wife.

His personal problems at home begin to impact his already unorthodox approach to police work.

Liar and Top Boy star Richie Campbell plays sidekick DS Glenn Branson in the drama, based in Brighton.

Shetland’s Rakie Ayola also stars as ACC Vosper.

Adapted from the bestselling Roy Grace novels by Peter James.

Top TV dramas 2021: Too Close, ITV

Too Close stars Chernobyl’s Emily Watson as forensic psychiatrist Emma Robinson.

She is tasked with assessing a criminal suspect, Connie, who claims she can’t remember a thing.

But Emma soon falls prey to Connie’s manipulative nature.

Olivier Award winner Denise Gough co-stars as Connie.

The three-parter is based on the novel by Clara Salaman, written under under the pseudonym Natalie Daniels.

The drama is due to air in early 2021.

Baptiste, Shetland, Vera, All Creatures Great and Small, Gentleman Jack, Call the Midwife, Doc Martin, The Syndicate, Silent Witness and Grantchester are also all returning in 2021 – but many have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Which of these top TV dramas are you most looking forward to watching in 2021? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.