May offers up the US premieres of 23 new series, seasons, specials, documentaries, and films from the UK, Canada, and Ireland.
For updates about shows from the UK, Canada, and Ireland added to US linear TV and streaming channels throughout the month, see the British TV Viewing Guide.
Programs and dates are subject to change without prior notice.
Videos below may contain content that is not suitable for everyone.
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Ridley Road (UK)
Based on Jo Bloom’s novel Ridley Road and inspired by true events, this 1962-set drama tells the story of Vivien Epstein (Aggi O’Casey), a young Jewish woman who joins the fight against fascism in London by infiltrating the British neo-Nazi hierarchy — risking everything for her beliefs and for Jack (Tom Varey, No Offence), the man she loves. Costarring Rory Kinnear (Years and Years) and Eddie Marsan (Deceit), Ridley Road premieres in the US on Sunday, May 1, at 9 PM ET, on PBS (check your local listings). It will also be available for streaming via the PBS video app and on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel.
Harry and William: What Went Wrong? (UK)
This documentary attempts to get to the bottom of the brothers’ royal rift, while also looking at issues that go to the heart of the debate about the future of the monarchy. Harry and William: What Went Wrong? premieres in the US on Monday, May 2, on True Royalty.
Paxman on the Queen’s Children (UK)
Presented by political journalist Jeremy Paxman, this two-part documentary examines the lives and roles of the Queen’s children, looking at their changing relationship with the British public over the past 60 years. Paxman on the Queen’s Children premieres in the US on Monday, May 2, on True Royalty. (Photo courtesy of True Royalty)
Secrets of the Royal Babies (UK)
This documentary features interviews with historians, royal experts and insiders, and explores unusual royal birthing traditions, how young royals cope with domestic politics of life with a royal nanny, and how new royal mums juggle mothering with royal duties. Secrets of the Royal Babies premieres in the US on Monday, May 2, on True Royalty.
Signora Volpe (UK)
Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) stars in this new series as Sylvia Fox, a top British spy who travels to Italy for her niece’s wedding and ends up solving a murder mystery. Disillusioned with her job and longing to reconnect with her family, Sylvia decides to stay and start a new life in the town of Panicale, where she finds herself tackling more mysteries. (For further details, read this article.) Signora Volpe, an Acorn TV Original, premieres in the US on Monday, May 2, exclusively on Acorn TV.
Walking Tudor England (UK)
Presented by historian Professor Suzannah Lipscomb (The King Is Dead, Hidden Killers of the English Home), this six-part docuseries takes viewers on a fascinating journey through the Tudor dynasty — from the hastily-built Southsea Castle, to the remains of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s favorite warship, and beyond. Walking Tudor England premieres in the US on Monday, May 2, on True Royalty.
Death in Paradise: Season 11 (UK)
This sun-soaked hit whodunit returns with DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little, The Cafe) having more crimes to solve on the blissful island of Saint Marie, while also dealing with the emotional complications of working at close quarters with DS Florence Cassell (Josephine Jobert). Death in Paradise: Season 11 premieres in North America on Tuesday, May 3, exclusively on BritBox. Two episodes will drop each week.
Breeders: Season 3 (UK)
Opening days after the Season 2 finale, the new season of this comedy-drama about the struggles of modern parenthood finds Paul (Martin Freeman, A Confession) has moved to his mother-in-law’s house, while his wife, Ally (Daisy Haggard, Back to Life), has problems ranging from work to early menopause. Breeders: Season 3 premieres in the US on Monday, May 9, on FX, with streaming on Hulu starting May 10. (Video is from Season 1)
Kate & Koji: Season 2 (UK)
This comedy’s new season finds Kate’s (Brenda Blethyn, Vera) Seagate café in serious money trouble, but she still gives free food and drink to the asylum-seeking doctor, Koji (Okorie Chukwu, War of the Worlds), in return for Koji giving free medical advice, if requested, to her customers. Their friendship has blossomed, and Koji now regards Kate’s café as a safe space where he can try to forget his troubles. Kate & Koji: Season 2 premieres in North America on Tuesday, May 10, exclusively on BritBox.
Workin’ Moms: Season 6 (CA)
In the new season of this comedy, work-life balance is nonexistent as Kate (Catherine Reitman, Black-ish), Anne (Dani Kind, Wynonna Earp), Jenny (Jessalyn Wanlim, Orphan Black), Sloane (Enuka Okuma, Rookie Blue), and Val (Sarah McVie, The Handmaid’s Tale) clock in overtime to handle big problems at the office and at home. Workin’ Moms: Season 6, a Netflix Series, premieres in the US on Tuesday, May 10, exclusively on Netflix.
Operation Mincemeat (US-UK)
Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book Operation Mincemeat, this wartime drama follows two intelligence officers who plot to break Hitler’s deadly grip on Europe by recruiting the most unlikely of secret agents: a dead man. Starring Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), and Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), Operation Mincemeat, a Netflix Film, premieres globally on Wednesday, May 11. (You can set a reminder for it now.)
The Essex Serpent (UK)
Based on Sarah Perry’s best-selling novel The Essex Serpent, this six-episode period drama follows Cora Seaborne (Claire Danes, Homeland), a widow who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent. Here she forms a surprising bond of science and skepticism with Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston, Loki), the local pastor, but when tragedy strikes, community members accuse her of attracting the creature. The Essex Serpent, an Apple TV+ Original, premieres Friday, May 13, exclusively on Apple TV+.
The Kids in the Hall (CA)
This revival of the iconic, groundbreaking Canadian sketch comedy series brings the original “kids” — Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson — back for a brand-new eight-episode season. The Kids in the Hall, an Amazon Original, premieres globally on Friday, May 13, exclusively on Prime Video. (You can add it to your watchlist now.)
Conversations with Friends (UK-US-IE)
Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Conversations with Friends, this drama follows college student Frances (Alison Oliver, Best Interests) as she navigates a series of relationships that force her to confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time. Costarring Joe Alwyn (The Favourite), Sasha Lane (Utopia), and Jemime Kirke (Sex Education), Conversations with Friends, a Hulu Original, premieres in the US on Sunday, May 15, exclusively on Hulu.
Lucy Worsley Investigates, Part 1 (UK)
This new docuseries sees Lucy Worsley (12 Days of Tudor Christmas), Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces in the UK, delving into questions that continue to baffle academics and fascinate history buffs. (For further details, read this article.) Lucy Worsley Investigates, Part 1 (consists of two episodes) premieres in the US on Sunday, May 15, at 8 PM, on PBS (check your local listings). It will also be available for streaming via the PBS video app and on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel. (Photo courtesy of Mike Robinson © BBC Studios 2021)
The Time Traveler’s Wife (US-UK)
Based on Audrey Niffenegger‘s best-selling novel, this drama is an intricate and magical love story about Clare Abshire (Rose Leslie, Game of Thrones) and Henry DeTamble (Theo James, Sanditon) and a marriage with a problem: time travel. (For further details, read this article.) The Time Traveler’s Wife, an HBO Original, premieres in the US on Sunday, May 15, on HBO. It will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
The Ipcress File (UK)
Based on Len Deighton‘s best-selling novel, this Cold War spy thriller stars Joe Cole (Gangs of London, Peaky Blinders) as Harry Palmer, a British ex-soldier and black marketeer who joins an unorthodox British Intelligence spy unit to avoid prison. His assignment: to retrieve a kidnapped British nuclear scientist. (For further details, read this article.) The Ipcress File, an AMC+ Original, premieres in the US and Canada on Thursday, May 19, on AMC+ and Sundance Now. New episodes will debut weekly through June 23.
The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (CA)
This two-part documentary delves into the post-punk origins of the cult-famous Canadian comedy troupe, and provides inside access to their tumultuous 40-year journey across their renowned five-season TV series, controversial film, multiple sold-out tours, and reboot series (see above). Featuring never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with celebrities, industry insiders, and the “Kids” themselves, The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks premieres in the US on Friday, May 20, exclusively on Prime Video.
Planet Earth: Dynasties II (UK)
Narrated by Emmy®-winning naturalist Sir David Attenborough (Seven Worlds, One Planet), this landmark natural history series, a sequel to the award-winning Dynasties, provides fresh insight into the secret lives of some of the most charismatic animals on the planet — puma, elephant, cheetah, hyena, meerkat, and macaque — and features surprising, dramatic, and heartwarming stories from the animal kingdom. Planet Earth: Dynasties II premieres in the US on Saturday, May 21, at 8 PM ET, on BBC America and AMC+.
Prehistoric Planet (US-UK)
Also narrated by Sir David Attenboroug is this epic five-part docuseries from Jon Favreau and the producers of Planet Earth. It will transport viewers 66 million years into the past, when majestic dinosaurs and extraordinary creatures roamed the lands, seas, and skies. Prehistoric Planet, an Apple TV+ Original, premieres in the US on Monday, May 23, exclusively on Apple TV+.
The Responder: Season 1 (UK)
Inspired by the real-life experiences of former police officer Tony Schumacher, this drama follows Chris Carson (Martin Freeman, A Confession), a cop who faces crime, violence, and addiction on the streets of Liverpool while driving his frontline response vehicle on the night shift. All the while, he is battling personal demons that threaten to destabilize his work, his marriage, and his mental health. (For further details, read this article.) The Responder: Season 1, a BritBox Original, premieres in the US on Tuesday, May 24, exclusively on BritBox.
Iain Stirling: Failing Upward (UK-US)
In his first comedy special for Amazon Prime Video, recorded at the Alexandra Palace Theatre in London, BAFTA-winning Scottish comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and author Iain Stirling (Love Island, Buffering, Not Ready to Adult Yet) explores his inability to function in the most basic of public settings and the pressures of being in the public eye, amongst other topics. Iain Stirling: Failing Upward, an Amazon Original, premieres globally on Friday, May 27, exclusively on Prime Video.
This Letterkenny spinoff stars Jared Keeso (19-2) as Shoresy, the hitherto facially-obscured foul-mouthed, chirp-serving, mother-loving, fan-favorite character from the original series. Here Shoresy moves to Sudbury to join the Sudbury Bulldogs, a struggling senior AAA hockey team, on a quest to never lose again. Shoresy, a Hulu Original, premieres in the US on Friday, May 27, exclusively on Hulu.
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM PREMIERES TO CONSIDER
The Pentaverate (US)
Created by and starring Mike Myers (Austin Powers), this comedy series centers on an unlikely Canadian journalist, who finds himself embroiled in a mission to uncover the truth about a secret society and just possibly save the world himself. Featuring Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous), Jeremy Irons (The Borgias), and Lydia West (It’s a Sin), amongst others, The Pentaverate, a Netflix Series, premieres globally on Thursday, May 5, exclusively on Netflix. (You can set a reminder for it now.)
This drama limited series is about a rock-and-roll revolution, centering on the hilarious and at times heartbreaking journey of Steve Jones, founding member and guitarist of the English punk band the Sex Pistols. Based on Jones’s memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, it stars Toby Wallace (Romper Stomper) as Jones. Directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting), Pistol, an FX Original, premieres in the US on Tuesday, May 31, exclusively on Hulu.
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS BEING ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on Acorn TV and its digital channels, including Acorn TV on Amazon.
Grand Tours of Scotland: Season 1 (UK/Scotland)
With a copy of Black’s Picturesque Guide to Scotland in his hands, historian Paul Murton travels the country and traces the changes that have taken place since the birth of Scottish tourism 200 years ago. To find out what happened to transform Scotland from a place to avoid to an internationally-celebrated tourist destination, Paul recreates six journeys suggested by the Victorian guidebook and follows in the footsteps of the first tourists to Scotland. Grand Tours of Scotland: Season 1 begins streaming Monday, May 2.
A Woman of Substance Saga (UK)
Based on the novel by Barbara Taylor Bradford, this Emmy®-nominated miniseries charts the rise of Emma Harte, from poor Yorkshire servant girl to one of the world’s richest tycoons. Starring Deborah Kerr (An Affair to Remember) and Jenny Seagrove (Judge John Deed), A Woman of Substance Saga begins streaming Monday, May 2.
The Shell Seekers (UK)
This two-part 2006 adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher‘s novel stars Vanessa Redgrave (Call the Midwife) as Penelope Keeling, who reflects on her three very different children after she suffers a mild stroke. When she learns that one of her father’s paintings is worth a great deal of money and is urged to sell it, Penelope has to decide what kind of future she wants for her family. The Shell Seekers begins streaming Monday, May 9.
Resort to Murder (UK)
Set in Brighton, this mystery miniseries sees Joshua Penny (Ben Chaplin, The Nevers) setting out to find who really murdered his mother, after the police, convinced Joshua’s father did it, stop investigating. Resort to Murder begins streaming Monday, May 23.
Rosamunde Pilcher’s Four Seasons (UK-DE)
Also based on the work of Rosamunde Pilcher is this four-part saga. At the center are three women of the aristocratic Combe family: Julia (Senta Berger, Under Suspicion), whose return to Endellion, the family’s country estate, triggers turbulent events; Abby (Paula Kalenberg, The Mopes), Julia’s granddaughter, who wants to know the secrets of her past so she can face the future; and Charlotte (Natalia Wörner, The Pillars of the Earth), Julia’s daughter and Abby’s mother, who allegedly killed herself but is still very much alive in the hearts of the Combe family — and perhaps somewhere near Endellion, as well… Rosamunde Pilcher’s Four Seasons begins streaming Monday, May 30.
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on BritBox and its digital channels, including BritBox on Amazon.
Still Open All Hours: Seasons 1-6 (UK)
In this update to Roy Clarke’s classic Britcom Open All Hours, David Jason reprises his role as Granville, who has inherited the small corner shop from his Uncle Arkwright. Now running the business with his son, Leroy (James Baxter, Waterloo Road), Granville continues to serve the local community in his own inimitable way — with hair-brained schemes that rarely turn out as expected, and always with an eye on making a profit. Still Open All Hours: Seasons 1-6 begins streaming Friday, May 27.
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on IFC Films Unlimited and its digital channels, including IFC Films Unlimited on Amazon, as well as on the AMC+ streaming bundle.
Made in Italy (UK)
Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List) stars in this heart-warming romantic comedy-drama about a father returning to glorious Tuscany with his estranged son to repair their old family villa, as well as their relationship. Made in Italy begins streaming on SVOD on Wednesday, May 4, exclusively on IFC Films Unlimited and AMC+.
Set during World War II, this moving journey of womanhood, love, and friendship stars Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man) as Alice, an Englishwoman who opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him. Summerland begins streaming Wednesday, May 4.
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on Netflix.
Outlander: Season 5 (UK)
Based on The Fiery Cross, Book 5 in Diana Gabaldon‘s best-selling “Outlander” novels, this season of the hit fantasy-romance drama finds the Frasers fighting for their family and home. Jamie (Sam Heughan) must defend all that he’s created in America, and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) must use her modern medical knowledge and foresight to prevent her family from being ripped apart again. Outlander: Season 5 begins streaming Tuesday, May 10.
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on Shudder and its digital channels, including Shudder on Amazon, as well as on the AMC+ streaming bundle.
A Banquet (UK)
Sienna Guillory (Lucky Man) stars in this horror film as Holly, a widowed mother who is tested when her teenage daughter, Betsey (Jessica Alexander, Get Even) experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own but in service to a higher power. Bound to her newfound faith, Betsey refuses to eat but loses no weight, forcing Holly to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs. A Banquet begins streaming on SVOD on Thursday, May 26, exclusively on Shudder and AMC+.
Titles in this section begin streaming on the dates shown below on Sundance Now and its digital channels, including Sundance Now on Amazon, as well as on the AMC+ streaming bundle.
Dark River (UK)
Loosely based on Rose Tremain’s novel Trespass, this drama stars Ruth Wilson (His Dark Materials) as Alice, who, after the death of her father, returns home to Yorkshire for the first time in 15 years to claim the tenancy of the family farm she believes is rightfully hers. Once there, she encounters Joe (Mark Stanley, Sanditon), her older brother whom she barely recognizes. Joe is thrown by Alice’s sudden arrival, angered by her claim, and finds her presence increasingly impossible to deal with. Battling to regain control in a fragile situation, Alice must confront traumatic memories to find a way to restore the farm. Dark River begins streaming Monday, May 30.
Did you miss any of the new shows from previous days, weeks, or months? Check out the British TV Viewing Guide and Archives to find out.
For details about the May 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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