You can tell that autumn is nearing because, for the first time since June, I'm able to recommend my usual 7 TV shows.
If you're a fan of fantastic female-led drama, then this week's best telly will leave you spoilt for choice, as Lesley Manville, Nicola Walker, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Oh each lead four fantastic new dramas.
Here are 7 TV shows you can't miss this week...
1. Richard Osman's House of Games
Monday 16th - Friday 20th August at 6pm on BBC Two
One thing I'm grateful to the pandemic for is introducing me to Richard Osman's House of Games. A charming, entertaining early evening quiz format hosted by Richard Osman in which each week, a group of four famous faces go toe to toe in testing their general knowledge skills in a variety of games.
Putting their general knowledge skills to the test this week, and kicking off series five, are Reeta Chakrabarti, Olga Koch, Andrew Maxwell and Gareth Thomas.
Every day this week, they'll take on a series of quiz rounds selected by the host, quiz legend Richard Osman, including fan favourite and final round, Answer Smash, where the players must answer a question correctly and smash it together with the picture on screen to make one answer.
Each day there's a winner who gets to choose from an array of unique House of Games prizes, such as the much-coveted House of Games decanter, dartboard or luggage. Or will they be tempted with the House of Games kitchen composter, brand new for this series?
With the points tallied across the week, whoever tops the leaderboard at the end of Friday's show is crowned overall champion and gets to take home the special House of Games trophy.
1/6 Continues weekly
Tuesday 17th August at 9pm on Alibi
Nicola Walker shone in ITV's Unforgotten earlier this year and now she's back in Annika, a new drama for Alibi which follows the life of DI Annika Strandhed, who has returned to Glasgow to head up the Marine Homicide Unit, where she is tasked with solving the puzzling crimes and unexplained murders that wash up in Scotland’s waters.
Annika allows viewers to be her confidante by speaking directly, sharing her wry observations on the case and her life, as she balances solving cases, managing a new team, and raising a brilliant yet complex teenage daughter.
Intuitive and instinctive, Annika has a weakness for using literary and historical references to help solve her crimes, an enthusiasm that her team definitely doesn't share, but which is often the thing that unlocks the case.
The team’s cases take them from the depths of Glasgow’s Clyde River to the Isle of Bute and picturesque Loch Katrine as they solve a new crime in each episode, juxtaposing Scotland’s stunning landscapes and urban beauty against the horrific realities of the murders her team must solve.
In the first episode, Annika and her team are assigned their first case when a man’s body is dredged from the Clyde, a harpoon piercing through his head. Their investigation leads to the victim’s struggling boat business and his unscrupulous dealings.
1/6 Continues weekly
3. Changing Rooms
Wednesday 18th August at 8pm on Channel 4
No that's not a typo, you read that right, Changing Rooms, the nineties/noughties hit is back after 17 years away from our screens as Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen returns to present alongside new presenter Anna Richardson on new channel, Channel 4.
The format is simple. Two sets of homeowners from the same neighbourhood swap houses and work against the clock to renovate a room in each other’s houses.
They’ll work with either Laurence or new designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead, to bring the new looks to life in the chosen rooms, and with the designers’ each having bold and opposing styles, each transformation promises to be spectacular, innovative and unexpected.
Also joining the new series is carpenter and joiner, Tibby Singh.
1/6 Continues weekly
4. Joe Lycett's Got Your Back
Thursday 19th August at 8pm on Channel 4
Comedian Joe Lycett is back with the third series of Joe Lycett's Got Your Back in which he fights for the consumer rights of the British public, taking on big brands, dodgy scammers and rogue traders.
With the help of his assistant Mark Silcox, a weekly studio guest and celebrity cameos, Joe campaigns on behalf of viewers who come up against red tape, get caught out by small print and are bullied by big businesses.
Scoring victories for consumers everywhere, Joe goes up against major international companies to make their packaging environmentally friendly, launches a massive campaign to back British wool, takes on dodgy puppy dealers and hits back against the nation's worst bosses, taking up the fight against corporate giants.
On top of all that, each week Joe gets behind the Customer Service desk as he tackles viewers' consumer problems, no matter how big or small.
This week, celebrity guest AJ Odudu shares her tips for how to be a good complainer, helping Joe as he takes on the massive issue of plastic waste, as he cancels himself on live TV, all in the name of better recycling, and scores a massive consumer victory. Mark Silcox pits Coke against Pepsi in the ultimate scientific test and comedian Sophie Duker investigates rat-run traffic fines.
1/8 Continues weekly
5. I Am Maria
Thursday 19th August at 9pm on Channel 4
The third film in series three of Dominic Savage's female-led, improvised anthology drama I Am is I Am Maria and stars Lesley Manville as Maria, who is at a crossroads in life.
Feigning happiness in her marriage to John has become too suffocating and her 60th birthday sparks clarity, the suppressed feelings of discontent as she longs for another journey to find liberation and happiness again.
I Am Maria explores thought-provoking, universal issues of identity, doubt and the painful cracks that can slowly form in lifelong relationships. The one-off drama also stars Michael Gould, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Daryl McCormack, Ziggy Heath and Ellie James.
3/3 All episodes available now
6. The Chair
Friday 20th August on Netflix
As we await the final series of Killing Eve in 2022, Sandra Oh takes charge this week in new Netflix drama The Chair, playing Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the Chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University.
Faced with a unique set of challenges, Ji-Yoon is the first woman to chair the department, and as one of the few staff members of colour at the university, she wants to shake things up and prove herself. But as she clashes with close co-workers who were confidants before she became the boss, the older staff fear change.
Juggling her new administrative responsibilities with being a single mother to her adorable, but trouble-making, daughter Ju Ju, and trying to figure out her romantic feelings for her colleague Bill, Ji-Yoon is also a daughter taking care of her elderly father, Habi.
When Bill is captured on video making a controversial gesture, the student body erupts into a call for accountability and Ji-Yoon’s ride gets even wilder as work, romance, drama and comedy collide in this new drama from Amanda Peet.
1-6/6 All episodes available at launch
7. Nine Perfect Strangers
Friday 20th August on Amazon Prime Video
If you enjoyed Big Little Lies the chances are you'll enjoy Nine Perfect Strangers, a new eight-part series based on another of Liane Moriarty's novels and produced by the teams behind Big Little Lies and The Undoing.
Filmed on location in Australia, the drama is set at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation. We follow nine stressed city dwellers each trying to get on a path to a better way of living.
Watching over them during this ten-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha, played by Nicole Kidman, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.
The ensemble cast also includes Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Boone, Bobby Cannavale, Luke Evans, Michael Shannon, Regina Hall, Manny Jacinto, Melvin Gregg, Samara Weaving and Asher Keddie.
1-3/8 Continues weekly. 3 episodes available at launch