They're back: six great TV shows returning in 2014

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Bauer, Miller, Lannister, Draper and Underwood are all set for sensational returns to the small screen this year

LAST UPDATED AT 13:50 ON Fri 17 Jan 2014

NO SOONER had TV critics composed themselves following a 'perfect' Sherlock finale on Sunday, than the first trailer for season four of Game of Thrones emerged a day later, courtesy of HBO. 

And if that wasn't enough exciting news to start the week, on Tuesday Kiefer Sutherland confirmed he will return as fugitive Jack Bauer in a brand new series of 24, airing in May - reasons to be cheerful.

Here's our pick of other great TV shows returning to screens this year.

House of Cards

The Netflix political thriller broke records last year as the first online-only series to compete in major categories at the Emmy Awards, receiving nine nominations and reflecting a significant shift in TV viewing habits. Series two returns in February and a sharp new trailer released earlier this month shows that Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is as cold and calculating as ever. Expect murky storylines, punchy one-liners and plenty more award nominations.

House of Cards will be available - in its entirety - on 14 February on Netflix

Game of Thrones

On Tuesday, Game of Thrones fans were treated to the first full-trailer for season four of the Emmy Award-winning show. They were given glimpses of new storylines and characters, as well as bloody battlefields and a washed and shorn Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who tells a naive King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), “The war is not won.” Let the games begin.

Game of Thrones will premiere on 7 April on Sky Atlantic

The Returned

A surprise hit in the UK last year and the winner of an International Emmy for best drama series, the creepy French thriller is expected to return later in 2014. Based on the French film They Came Back, released in 2004, series one centres on a group of characters who wander back into a small mountain community, unaware that they have actually been dead for some years. Pierre Perrier, who plays Simon in the show, told the Hollywood Reporter last year that he had no idea The Returned would become such an international hit. "We weren't sure of anything at the beginning. It was a great surprise," he said.

The Returned is expected to return towards the end of 2014

Broadchurch

After receiving an award for best television programme of 2013, voted for by Radio Times readers, it's no surprise that Broadchurch is back. But can it repeat the trick? The new series will see Olivia Coleman return as Ellie Miller although other casting details - including whether David Tennant will return as Alec Hardy - have yet to be confirmed. The Scottish actor has, however, signed up to star in the US remake of the show, airing sometime in 2014 on Fox.

Season 2 of Broadchurch is expected to air later this year on ITV

24

2014 also sees the return of Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) agent Jack Bauer in a brand-new series of real-time drama, 24. This time Bauer - still a fugitive - is in London trying to thwart an impending terrorist attack while simultaneously evading capture by the CIA. In a change to the ususal format, Fox has revealed that the eighth series will feature 12 episodes instead of 24 - but the producers insist that it will "retain the real-time, pulse-pounding, fast-paced format” fans have come to expect.

24: Live Another Day will premier in May on Sky One

Doctor Who

And then, of course, there's Doctor Who. Peter Capaldi, who took over from Matt Smith on Christmas Day, began filming the new series on 6 January and writer Stephen Moffat has hinted that fans should expect something different from the 55-year-old actor best know for The Thick of It. "We've got used to two brilliant iterations of the younger, more puppy-dog Doctor and both have been superlative," he told Digital Spy in November. "Now it's time for the old beast to snarl at you for a bit.”

The new series of Doctor Who will air later this year · 

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