Showers, shmowers. May flowers can wait, because eighteen new and returning programs arrive nationally on US telly in April. A few more will screen locally.
For updates about shows from the UK, Canada, and Ireland added to US channels and streaming services throughout the month, see the British TV Viewing Guide.
The Child In Time (UK)
Adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Ian McEwan, this made-for-TV movie follows Stephen Lewis (Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock), a children’s author whose young daughter Kate disappears while the two are out shopping. Both he and his wife Julie (Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire) struggle to cope, but Kate’s continued absence from their lives, combined with guilt and blame, devastates their marriage. Costarring Stephen Campbell Moore (The Last Post) and Saskia Reeves (Shetland), The Child In Time premieres in the US on Sunday, April 1, at 9 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings)
Easter from Kings (UK)
Following on from Christmas at Kings, this annual traditional Easter Sunday service, direct from the Chapel of King’s College at Cambridge University, features a selection of readings from the Gospels and music accompanied by the beautiful voices of the all-boys choir. Easter from Kings 2018 premieres in the US on Easter Sunday, April 1, exclusively on BritBox. (Video is from 2014 service)
The Good Karma Hospital: Series 2 (UK)
One of my favorite new series of 2017 returns us to South India, where a year after the events in Series 1, the eccentric Dr. Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman, New Tricks) feels it’s time for young Dr. Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia, Game of Thrones) to take on more responsibility. Meanwhile, Ruby’s relationship with Dr. Gabriel Varma (James Floyd, Dream Team) deepens while Lydia’s with bar owner Greg Mcconnell (Neil Morrissey, Striking Out) hits the rocks. The Good Karma Hospital: Series 2 premieres in the US on Monday, April 2, exclusively on Acorn TV.
National Treasure: Kiri (Series 2) (UK)
Written by Jack Thorne (National Treasure), this four-part drama centers on the aftermath of the abduction and murder of Kiri, a young black girl who was to be adopted by her white, middle-class foster parents. Thrust into the national spotlight are Kiri’s birth and adoptive families, as well as Miriam (Sarah Lancashire, Happy Valley), Kiri’s social worker. National Treasure: Kiri premieres in the US on Wednesday, April 4, exclusively on Hulu.
Troy: Fall of a City (UK)
In March the 1997 miniseries The Odyssey, about Odysseus’ ten-year journey home from the Trojan War, arrived on Amazon Prime. In April comes this new one about the Trojan War itself and the love affair between Paris (Louis Hunter, The Fosters), a herdsman, and Helen (Bella Dayne, Humans), queen of Sparta. The cast features Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood), David Gyasi (Man in an Orange Shirt), Johnny Harris (Fortitude), Chloe Pirrie (Brief Encounters), Tom Weston-Jones (Dickensian), Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Peaky Blinders), Frances O’Connor (Mr. Selfridge), and David Threlfall (Shameless). Troy: Fall of a City, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, April 6, exclusively on Netflix. You can add it to your queue now.
Howards End (UK)
Based on E. M. Forster‘s masterpiece novel of the same name, this four-part drama follows Margaret Schlegel (Hayley Atwell, Agent Carter) and her sister Helen (Philippa Coulthard, Secrets & Lies), two independent and unconventional young women seeking love and meaning as they navigate the changing world in Edwardian England. Costarring Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street) as Henry Wilcox and Joseph Quinn (Dickensian) as Leonard Bast, Howards End, a Starz Original Limited Series, premieres in the US on Sunday, April 8, at 8 PM ET, on Starz.
Killing Eve (UK/Italy)
Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) and based on the novellas by Luke Jennings, this thriller follows two women as they obsess about each other and engage in an epic game of cat and mouse. One is MI5 security officer Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy); the other is assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer, The White Princess). Killing Eve premieres in the US on Sunday, April 8, at 8 PM ET, on BBC America.
Unforgotten: Seasons 1 & 2 (UK)
Nicola Walker (River) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Indian Doctor) star in this mystery-crime drama series as cold case detectives DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunny Khan. The first season centers on their investigation into the disappearance and death of a student in 1976, and the second revolves around the unsolved murder case of a political consultant who went missing in 1990. Unforgotten: Season 1 premieres in the US on Sunday, April 8, at 9 PM ET, on PBS. Season 2 debuts Sunday, April 29, also at 9 PM. (Check your local listings)
Greg Davies: You Magnificent Beast (UK)
You might know Greg Davies (pictured) as Ken in Cuckoo, Mr. Gilbert in The Inbetweeners, or King Hydroflax in Doctor Who. Soon you can see him as his comedian self in this recording from his 2017 live stand-up tour. Featuring jokes about his widowed mum and a musical tribute to his late father, Greg Davies: You Magnificent Beast, a Netflix Original Comedy special, premieres in the US on Tuesday, April 10, exclusively on Netflix. (Photo © Mark Johnson, courtesy of Netflix)
Featuring a groundbreaking blend of traditional puppeteering and state-of-the-art animation, plus snappy writing and pinpoint-accurate impressions, this series uses a cast of off-the wall characters to put a satirical and surreal spin on the world’s headline stories. From “Forrest Trump” to “Despicable May,” everything is fair game. Newzoids premieres in the US on Wednesday, April 11, exclusively on BritBox.
Question Time (UK)
As a companion piece to BritBox’s popular Prime Minister’s Questions, Question Time offers topical debate in which guests from the worlds of politics and media answer questions posed by members of the public. The show is filmed in front of live audience and moderated by David Dimbleby, whom you might recognize as the anchor for the BBC’s coverage of UK general elections as well as US elections. Question Time premieres in the US on Thursday, April 12, exclusively on BritBox.
This crime drama follows DCI Gabriel Markham (Richard Dormer, Game of Thrones, Fortitude) on an obsessive hunt for the serial murderer who left him disfigured. But the story is told in reverse — starting with the perpetrator being caught, then moving backward in time to the killer’s commission of the crime. Created by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, Liar) and costarring Jodi Balfour (Bomb Girls), Rellik premieres in the US on Friday, April 13, at 9 PM ET, on Cinemax.
Shetland: Series 4 (UK)
Based on award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves’ bestselling detective series, this Scottish noir crime drama, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Shetland Isles, returns with a new story that finds DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall, Primeval, Collision) and his team reopening a twenty-three year old cold case after convicted murder Thomas Malone (Stephen Walters, Outlander) is released from prison. Shetland: Series 4 premieres in the US on Saturday, April 14, exclusively on BritBox.
No Offence: Series 1 (UK)
Joanna Scanlan (Getting On, Requiem) leads the cast of this police procedural dramedy that follows the quirky team of cops at the Friday Street station in Manchester. In the first season, the squad is trying to catch a serial killer before there’s another victim, while also investigating crimes that range from drugs to slavery. For more details, read this article. No Offence: Series 1 premieres in the US on Monday, April 16, exclusively on Acorn TV.
Co-produced by PBS and the BBC, this series tells the story of art from the dawn of human history to the present day on a global scale. Inspired by Civilisation, Kenneth Clark’s landmark 1969 series about Western art, this new series broadens the canvas to reveal the role art and the creative imagination have played across multiple cultures and civilizations. With principal contributors Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga, Civilizations premieres in the US on Tuesday, April 17, at 8 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings)
Love Island: Series 1 & 2 (UK)
In this dating reality show, the contestants (called Islanders) live in a villa in Mallorca and must couple-up to survive the weekly elimination and make it to the next round. In the final week the public votes for the winning couple, who receive £50,000. Love Island: Series 1 & 2 premieres in the US on Thursday, April 19, exclusively on Hulu.
The Only Way Is Essex: Series 21 (UK)
This scripted reality show, now in its 22nd season, returns to the US with its 21st, whose 17 episodes find the cast in Marbella, Spain. New cast members join the show while Lauren Pope and Mario Falcone are bumped up to series regulars. The Only Way Is Essex: Series 21 premieres in the US on Thursday, April 19, exclusively on Hulu.
Red Rock: Season 3 (Ireland)
The final season of this addictive Irish soap opera arrived on Amazon in February with a handful of episodes, prompting a backlash by the show’s fans. These episodes were subsequently pulled, but now the series is set for its official US debut, when (presumably) the entire season will be available. Red Rock: Season 3 premieres in the US on Monday, April 23, exclusively on Prime Video. (Video is from Season 1)
The Coroner: Series 2 (UK)
Set in the (fictional) South Devon coastal town of Lighthaven, this mystery-crime drama returns to the US with its second and final season of ten episodes. Former solicitor-turned-coroner Jane Kennedy (Claire Goose, Waking the Dead) and old flame-turned-copper DS Davey Higgins (Matt Bardock, Casualty) investigate the deaths of a diving school instructor, a newborn baby, and a lifeboat crew member, amongst others. The Coroner: Series 2 premieres in the US on Saturday, April 28, exclusively on BritBox. (Video is from Series 1)
The series below will air in the US on public TV stations starting in April. Broadcast dates and times vary by market, so check your local listings or contact the station that serves your area for details. If you’d like to see any of the first four shows but your station isn’t listed, contact its Viewer Services department or American Public Television.
Hitler’s England (UK)
In this hour-long documentary, actor and historian John Nettles (Midsomer Murders, pictured) recounts little-known stories about the five-year Nazi occupation of the British Channel Islands during World War II. Sharing his years of research and conducting interviews with locals, he unearths tales of bravery and resistance, oppression and violence, and the everyday lives that were transformed by invasion. Hitler’s England is confirmed for airing on the public TV stations and regional networks listed below. (Photo courtesy of American Public Television)
Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure (UK)
Writer and explorer Alice Morrison journeys along Africa’s famed Salt Roads from Morocco, via the Sahara Desert, to the legendary city of gold, Timbuktu, in this two-part travel series that highlights North Africa’s ancient cultural heritage while providing perspective on how modern political realities have affected the trade routes. (She also wrote the show’s companion book). Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure is confirmed for airing on the following public TV stations and regional networks:
Myths & Monsters (UK)
Nicholas Day (New Tricks) presents this series about some of the most famous tales in history. Joined by historians and literary experts, he explores the origins of well known-stories, from the Brothers Grimm and King Arthur, to The Iliad and Tristan and Isolde. Episodes reveal the historical contexts that produced the tales of love, war, death, and betrayal that became a part of the public imagination and have stayed there ever since. Myths & Monsters is confirmed for airing on the following public TV stations and regional networks:
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Spying on the Royals (UK)
This two-part documentary shows a rarely explored side to the infamous romance between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson: the spying that British intelligence agencies conducted on the unsuspecting couple, including tracking their phone calls and recording their conversations. It features the secret files of those who did the spying in their own words from the time, as well as accounts of eyewitnesses still living today. Spying on the Royals is confirmed for airing on the following public TV stations and regional networks:
Decline & Fall (UK)
The first TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel stars Jack Whitehall (Fresh Meat) as Paul Pennyfeather, a divinity student who gets expelled from Oxford and gets hired by Dr. Fagan (David Suchet, Agatha Christie’s Poirot) at the obscure Llanabba public school in Wales, where Pennyfeather falls in love with a student’s mother (Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives). Decline and Fall also begins airing on select public TV stations in April; contact the one that serves your area for more information.
Based on the short stories by G.K. Chesterton, this hit Brit mystery series returns to the US with ten new episodes that feature guest appearances by Nancy Carroll as Lady Felicia, Alex Price as Sid, and John Light as Flambeau. For further details, read this article. (Photo: Mark Williams as Father Brown — © UFA Fiction, courtesy of BBC Worldwide)
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS ADDED TO PROGRAMMING SCHEDULES
Reilly: Ace of Spies (UK)
Against a backdrop of international politics and intrigue, this classic, Emmy®-nominated biopic limited series stars Emmy and Golden Globes® nominee Sam Neill (Merlin, pictured) as Sidney Reilly, a Russian Jew who became one of the greatest spies ever to work for the British. The twelve-part drama is based on the book of the same name by Robin Bruce Lockhart, whose father, R. H. Bruce Lockhart, was one of Reilly’s fellow spies. Featuring Agatha Christie’s Poirot‘s David Suchet and Hugh Fraser, Bill Nighy (Ordeal by Innocence), and Lindsay Duncan (The Honourable Woman), Reilly, Ace of Spies begins streaming Monday, April 2.
In this classic BBC sitcom, Nicholas Lyndhurst (New Tricks, pictured, right) plays Gary Sparrow, an accidental time traveler who leads a double life after discovering a time portal that allows him to travel between his 1990s London and the British capital during World War II. Goodnight Sweetheart: Series 5 begins streaming Monday, April 2.
Interview with a Murderer (UK)
This riveting exchange was one of the most compelling programs seen on British TV in 2016. In it criminologist Professor David Wilson interviews Bert Spencer, a convicted murderer widely suspected but never convicted of killing paperboy Carl Bridgewater in 1978 — one of Britain’s most infamous unsolved murder cases. Airing days after the publication of Scapegoat for Murder by Simon Golding, which details the links between Spencer and the boy’s murder, Interview with a Murderer begins streaming Monday, April 9.
Killer Net (UK)
An Acorn TV streaming exclusive, this miniseries created and written by Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect) centers on three students in Brighton, a violent, internet-based video game, and game-playing that mirrors a series of murders which the police investigate as a serial killer case. Featuring Paul Bettany (“Avengers” films) and Lee Ingleby (George Gently), Killer Net begins streaming Monday, April 16.
After Henry: Series 1-4 (Complete) (UK)
A popular late ’80s-early’90s ITV Britcom, this series follows the relationships between three women — recent widow Sarah (Prunella Scales, Fawlty Towers), her demanding and cunning mother Eleanor (Joan Sanderson, Me and My Girl), and Sara’s 18-year-old, independence-minded daughter Clare (Janine Wood, Doctors) (all, pictured left to right) — as they share the same house but little else. After Henry begins streaming Monday, April 23, with Series 1. Each subsequent season follows on successive Mondays.
Station X (UK)
This two-part World War II documentary from 1999 tells the story of Station X, Britain’s code-breaking headquarters at Bletchley Park, and how the Brits broke Germany’s supposedly unbreakable Enigma code. Featuring recollections from actual Station X code-breakers and meticulous reconstructions filmed on site at Bletchley, Station X begins streaming Monday, April 30.
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on Prime Video.
Hitler’s Bodyguard (UK)
This documentary series reveals how Hitler managed to survive more than 40 assassination attempts — some by his own generals. Through reenactments, first-person eyewitness accounts, and SS documents, it details the secrets of the elite bodyguards who swore loyalty oaths to the Führer, how Hitler’s cultivation of rivalries among his security services helped to ensure his safety, and how his purposefully unpredictable behavior saved his life several times. Hitler’s Bodyguard begins streaming as an Amazon Prime Video offering on Sunday, April 1.
Merlin: Seasons 1-5 (Complete) (UK)
This fantasy-adventure drama stars Colin Morgan (Humans) as the young sorcerer when he was a servant to Prince Arthur (Bradley James, Medici: Masters of Florence). The series features Anthony Head (Girlfriends) as Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, whose banning of magic in Camelot forces Merlin to keep his magical powers a secret, and the late, great John Hurt (Doctor Who) as the voice of the Dragon. Merlin: Seasons 1-5 begins streaming as an Amazon Prime Video offering on Sunday, April 1.
The Missing: Season 2 (UK)
Tchéky Karyo (La Femme Nikita) reprises his role as retired French detective Julien Baptiste in this mystery thriller, which finds Alice (Abigail Hardingham, Will), the daughter of Sam (David Morrissey, Britannia) and Gemma Webster (Keeley Hawes, The Durrells in Corfu), reappearing more than a decade after her disappearance. Claiming she was held captive with a missing French girl whom Julien couldn’t find years ago, he unofficially reopens the case. The Missing: Season 2 begins streaming as an Amazon Prime Video offering on Monday, April 2.
Vikings: Season 5, Part 1 (Ireland/Canada)
Given what transpired in Season 4, storylines starting with the fifth season follow Ragnar’s surviving sons: Bjorn Ironside (Alexander Ludwig, The Hunger Games), Ubbe (Jordan Patrick Smith, Neighbours), Hvitserk (Marco Ilsø, Department Q: The Absent One), and Ivar the Boneless (Alex Høgh Andersen, A War). Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) returns as warrior bishop Heahmund, and joining the cast are Darren Cahill (Red Rock) as Aethelred and Kieran O’Reilly (Love/Hate) as White Hair. Vikings: Season 5, Part 1 begins streaming as an Amazon Prime Video offering on Tuesday, April 24.
Poirot: Series 13 (UK)
The final season of this hit mystery series, which covered the entire “Poirot” canon and starred David Suchet as Agatha Christie‘s Belgian investigator, Hercule Poirot, over the course of 25 years, includes the feature-length episodes “Elephants Can Remember,” “The Big Four,” “Dead Man’s Folly,” “The Labours of Hercules,” and “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case.” Poirot: Series 13 begins streaming Wednesday, April 4.
Spitting Image (UK)
This Emmy® and BAFTA Awards-winning satirical puppet show entertained and informed a generation of Britons back in the ’80s and ’90s — with its grotesque latex caricatures lampooning and ridiculing everyone from pop stars to politicians to the British Royal Family. Spitting Image begins streaming Tuesday, April 10.
QI: Series 12 & 13 (UK)
The “L” and “M” series were the final two seasons of this panel quiz show with Stephen Fry hosting, back when Sandi Toksvig was an occasional guest before she transitioned into the host’s seat. Along with permanent panelist Alan Davies were guests that included the ever-popular Bill Bailey (Black Books), Aisling Bea (Hard Sun), and the late, great Carrie Fisher (Star Wars). QI: Series 12 & 13 begins streaming Wednesday, April 18.
Our Friends in the North (UK)
Spanning the years 1964 to 1995 — including the local authority and police corruption in the ’60s, the radical far-left militancy of the early ’70s, Thatcher’s election, the 1984 Miners’ Strike, and the subsequent “murder” of Northern communities — this epic saga follows the lives of four young people in North-East England who become intertwined with the political struggles of their home town of Newcastle as well as London. Starring Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Mark Strong (Low Winter Sun), Gina McKee (The Borgias), and Daniel Craig (“James Bond” films), Our Friends in the North begins streaming Saturday, April 21.
BritBox’s “Marvel-ous” Celebration (UK)
Before they showcased their skills in Marvel signature blockbusters, several members of the “Avengers” universe — including Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, and Idris Elba — showed off their super talents on the small screen. So before Avengers: Infinity War debuts on the big screen on April 27, check out the BritBox “Actors to Marvel At” playlist (titles TBA) starting Tuesday, April 24.
Vikings: Season 5, Part 1 (Ireland/Canada)
Nope, you’re not seeing double. The fifth season of this hit series will be available on Hulu, too. It opens soon after the Season 4 finale, with Ivar the Boneless asserting his leadership over the Great Heathen Army, Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick, Bones) reigning as Queen of Kattegat, and Ragnar’s other sons plotting their next moves after avenging their father’s death. Vikings: Season 5, Part 1 begins streaming Tuesday, April 24, on Hulu.
Call the Midwife: Series 6: “Christmas Special 2017” (UK)
The winter of 1963 sees temperatures plunging to a record low, bringing the whole of England to a standstill due to the severe weather. Poplar is under a thick blanket of snow, forcing the midwives to battle the elements, power cuts, and frozen pipes as they strive to provide the best possible care for their patients. Valerie (Jennifer Kirby, Holby City) helps a young couple who experience a traumatic birth, and Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter, MI-5) tries to reunite a family torn apart by a tormenting father. Anita Dobson (EastEnders) guest stars as Mabel. Call the Midwife: Series 6: “Christmas Special 2017” begins streaming Tuesday, April 24, on Netflix.
The Wine Show: Season 1 (UK)
Based in a beautiful villa in the Italian countryside, actors Matthew Goode (The Crown) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans) venture deep into the world of wine in this lifestyle/documentary series. It features wine experts Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer, who guide viewers along the way and travel to eleven countries on five continents to bring back some exceptional bottles and the stories behind them. The Wine Show: Season 1 has its broadcast debut on Wednesday, April 18, at 10 PM ET, on Ovation TV.
Did you miss any of the new shows from previous months? Check the British TV Viewing Guide 2018 Archives to find out.
For details about the April premieres of shows from Australia and New Zealand, visit The Down Under TV Place. For those about the debuts of original-language, English-subtitled programs from Europe, visit The Euro TV Place.
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