The best returning TV series for 2016
Guide to the best shows including Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, House of Cards, Outlander and Top Gear
Over the last few years writers, directors and actors have proved TV can be as good as if not better than any movie. And 2016 looks like another quality year of television with the return of some of the best shows on the box.
Ripper Street Series 4 — Amazon Prime Instant Video, 15 January
After facing cancellation on the Beeb, Ripper Street found a new life as a co-production between the BBC and Amazon. Matthew Macfadyen and Jerome Flynn return for more bloody Victorian sleuthing.
Agent Carter Season 2 — FOX, 24 January
After the excellent Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix, Marvel continues to create a huge interconnected world on the big and small screens. Snappy spy caper Agent Carter stars Hayley Atwell in the title role as the action moves form New York to Los Angeles for season 2.
Better Call Saul Season 2 — Netflix, 15 February
Spin-offs are usually rubbish but Better Call Saul is the exception that proves the rule. Bob Odenkirk reprises his role as lawyer Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad for a second season.
House of Cards Season 4 — Netflix, 4 March
Netflix showed they meant business when they launched House of Cards in back in 2013. A gripping drama that proved the VOD service could compete with the big boys of network TV. Kevin Spacey will be back as Frank Underwood for more backhanded political shenanigans at the White House.
Game of Thrones Season 6 — Sky Atlantic, 25 April
George RR Martin's fantasy juggernaut is back for another round of swords and sorcery. In particular, the pressing matter of what exactly happened to Jon Snow and can anyone stop the march of the White Walkers?
Outlander Season 2 — Amazon Instant Video, Spring
Uber popular time travelling adventure set in the Scottish Highlands. Season 2 begins in Paris as Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) attempt to stop the Jacobite rebellion.
Top Gear — BBC Two, May
Whether this should be on a 'best' returning TV series list is a matter of opinion but it's certainly interesting. After that famous fracas, Chris Evans steps into Jeremy Clarkson's bother boots for more car-centric tests, races and chat. Expect a rebooted remixed of the old format.
The Walking Dead Season 7 — FOX, October
Season 6 hasn't even finished yet (returning to our screens in Feb) but ratings monster The Walking Dead will definitely be back for more zombie action. And will probably feature Rick (Andrew Lincoln) going head-to-head with vicious gang leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Homeland Season 6 — Channel 4, October
After a couple of dodgy series, Homeland seems to be back on track with the writers wisely focusing on Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in the current Berlin based espionage snafu. Season 6 hasn't been confirmed yet but with season 5 picking up great reviews we expect it'll be back.