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TV Tonight: our highlights for Friday, May 13

TV tonight – Claire Danes stars in a new period drama.
Claire Danes stars in a new period drama. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

On TV tonight, Claire Danes stars in new drama The Essex Serpent on Apple TV Plus, new legal drama The Lincoln Lawyer arrives on Netflix and Channel 5 looks back at Eurovision: Secrets and Scandals. As comedian Ellie Taylor hosts steamy new reality show, Let's Make a Love Scene on C4, comedy The Other One continues on BBC One. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include five TV shows, a film, live sport and the latest trending need-to-binge-on-now box set 
  • Keep up to date with the latest soap spoiler storylines on TV tonight with our daily soap synopsis 
  • For more information about what’s on TV tonight see our TV Guide

What's on TV tonight

Our expert TV journalists have picked the best things on TV tonight... 

Best TV shows on TV tonight

The Essex Serpent, Apple TV Plus

TV tonight Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston star.

Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston star. (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Sarah Perry’s novel about the battle between science and superstition in the 1890s was a sensation upon its release in 2016, and now this gripping adaptation brings the powerful story to life. Claire Danes plays widowed Cora Seaborne, whose interest in palaeontology takes her to an Essex village, where sightings of a curious sea creature have apparently been made. But Cora and under-pressure local vicar Will Ransome (Tom Hiddleston) soon face challenges as fear of the serpent-like beast grips the community. Apple TV Plus has asked us not to add a star rating to this preview within a certain period of its release. 

★★★★ CC

The Lincoln Lawyer, season 1, Netflix

TV tonight Mickey (with Jazz Raycole as Izzy) outside his ‘office’

Mickey (with Jazz Raycole as Izzy) outside his ‘office.’ (Image credit: Netflix)

The Undoing and Big Little Lies’ creator David E Kelley is behind this drama series starring Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as attorney Mickey Haller, who runs his Los Angeles law practice out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. It’s based on the novel The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (slightly confusingly, the 2011 movie The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller was adapted from Connelly’s novel of the same name). The series also stars Scream’s Neve Campbell as Mickey’s first ex-wife, Maggie, who’s the Deputy District Attorney, and Ugly Betty’s Becki Newton as Lorna, Mickey’s second ex-wife, who works as his office manager. 

★★★★ RMC

Eurovision: Secrets and Scandals, 8pm, Channel 5

The Eurovision Song Contest has provided plenty of memorable moments over the years – but not necessarily for the right reasons! This delightfully muck-raking one-off chats with experts as well as former contestants, hosts and backstage crew to reveal the infamous incidents that viewers at home may not have noticed – such as Agnetha and Björn showing secret support for a UK musical act (of sorts) during ABBA’s 1974 performance of Waterloo. Cheryl Baker also reveals how Bucks Fizz perfected their skirt-removing stunt, and former producer Roger Ordish talks about the uninvited Albanian delegation in 1968. 

★★★★ SP

Let's Make a Love Scene, 10pm, C4

TV tonight Comedian Ellie Taylor hosts

Comedian Ellie Taylor hosts. (Image credit: C4)

Actors who do love scenes together often find real life following suit. But would the same thing work for the rest of us? In Blind Date-style, comedian Ellie Taylor invites singletons to shoot (often steamy) scenes from movies such as The Notebook, Ghost and Fifty Shades of Grey with three different ‘co-stars’ they’ve just met. Will there be screen chemistry? And will it translate? A two-part series with plenty of feel-good potential. 

★★★★ SM

The Other One, season 2, 9.30pm, BBC One

TV tonight Marilyn and Angela don’t see eye to eye

Marilyn and Angela don’t see eye to eye. (Image credit: BBC)

As the second series of Holly Walsh’s brilliant comedy continues, we’re seeing the fallout from revelations made last week. Marilyn (Siobhan Finneran) isn’t happy that Angela (Michele Austin) – who, after all, ‘stole another woman’s woman’s man’ – is staying in her house, while Cathy is exasperated that her ex and her mum are still in contact. If the number of laugh-out-loud moments is any indicator of the quality of a sitcom, then this is first-rate. 

★★★★★ JP

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

The Pentaverate, season 1, Netflix

TV tonight Mike Myers takes on eight characters.

Mike Myers takes on eight characters. (Image credit: netflix)

Austin Powers’ Mike Myers is rarely content with playing just one character, and in this quirky comedy, the chameleon-like star has a whale of a time tackling no less than eight different roles! Among them is veteran Canadian reporter Ken Scarborough, who is investigating a secret society known as The Pentaverate, which has been saving the world from disaster since the Middle Ages, but is suddenly under threat… He also portrays their oldest member, Lord Lordington. Look out, too, for Jennifer Saunders. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Senior Year, Netflix

TV tonight Rebel Wilson’s cheerleader gets woke

Rebel Wilson’s cheerleader gets woke. (Image credit: Netflix)

In this comedy, Rebel Wilson stars as Ruby, the most popular girl in her high school until she goes into a coma after falling from the top of a cheerleading pyramid. Fast-forward 20 years, and Ruby finally wakes up as a 37-year-old woman who is unsure how she fits in to the modern world. Determined to get back what was rightfully hers, Ruby decides to head back to class in a bid to finish her final year, reclaim her popularity and make sure she is crowned prom queen. Alicia Silverstone and Justin Hartley also star. 

Live Sport

  • EFL, Luton Town vs Huddersfield Town, 7pm (k-o 7.45pm) Sky Sports Main Event/NOW

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss The Essex Serpent on TV tonight — a thrilling new series with a brilliant cast.

Not found anything you want to watch on TV tonight? Check out our TV Guide

Happy viewing!

Joanne Lowles
Joanne Lowles

Joanne Lowles has been writing about TV since 2002. After graduating from Cardiff University with a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism, she worked for All About Soap magazine covering the ups and downs of life on the cobbles, the square and the Dales. 

Next came nearly 10 years at TV Times magazine as a writer and then deputy features editor. Here she spent many happy days interviewing the biggest names in entertainment and visiting the sets of some of our most popular shows including Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Strictly Come Dancing

With a love of nature and wildlife she’s also interviewed the leading experts in this area including David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Steve Backshall. She’s also travelled the world visiting Mongolia, Canada and South Africa to see how the best in the business make the most brilliant natural history documentaries. 

Freelance since 2013, she is now is a digital writer and editor for What to Watch, previews the best on the box for TV Times mag each week and loves being constantly surprised, entertained and informed by the amazing TV that she is lucky enough to watch.