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TV Tonight: our highlights for Friday, May 20

TV tonight – Franklin enters another world.
Franklin enters another world. (Image credit: Prime Video)

On TV tonight, new sci-fi series Night Sky arrives on Prime Video with Oscar-winners J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek leading the cast. If you need a little bit of peace and quiet on a Friday night then World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys is for you on Channel 5, or for a blast of fresh sea air try Cornwall's Wildest Wave on BBC One and it's the final of racy reality series Let's Make a Love Scene on C4. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss on TV tonight. 

  • Our hand selected recommendations for what's on TV tonight include four 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

Night Sky, Prime Video

TV tonight JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek star.

J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek star. (Image credit: Prime Video)

Of all the things you might expect to discover in your own backyard, a portal to another world is not one of them. However, that’s the intriguing premise for this eight-part sci-fi series. Oscar-winners Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons star as Irene and Franklin York, who discover a chamber buried in their garden, which transports them to a deserted planet. They’ve never divulged their other-wordly secret to anyone, although a nosy neighbour suspects they are hiding something. When they tell their granddaughter about it, she advises them to move out of their house, but Irene is determined to find out where this adventure will lead them. 

★★★★ IM

World's Most Scenic Railway Journeys, 8pm, Channel 5

TV tonight The view from the train on a ride through Scotland

The view from the train on a ride through Scotland. (Image credit: Channel 5)

One of the most effective ways of unwinding after a long, hard week involves little more than switching on the TV, putting your feet up and letting the soothing tones of Bill Nighy wash over you as he provides the voiceover to another railway journey with stunning views. The first of this new series takes us from the north-west coast of Scotland to the east coast, beginning in Kyle of Lochalsh in the county of Ross-shire. The journey also takes in Aberdeen as well as the ‘whisky region’ of Speyside (which has the most distilleries in Scotland), and if you think a wee dram will enhance the experience, who are we to stop you? 

★★★★ JP

Cornwall's Wildest Wave, 7.30pm, BBC One

TV tonight Tom’s ready for the big one

Tom’s ready for the big one. (Image credit: BBC)

The Our Lives strand’s survey of life in the British Isles continues with the fascinating story of Tom Butler, one of the great big-wave surfers, and his attempt to track down Cornwall’s legendary ‘monster wave’. To do so he needs the wind and the weather to be perfectly in sync. As he waits all winter for a moment of surfing glory, he’s wondering if the wave is going to elude him. 

★★★★ SM

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

TV tonight Anyone for a love scene with Lailand?

Anyone for a love scene with Lailand? (Image credit: C4)

The ‘Blind Date goes to the movies’ show concludes with rugby player Lailand as the romantic lead in three scenes from famous films. After watching replays of re-enactments from Mr and Mrs Smith, 91/2 Weeks and Out of Sight, which singleton will Lailand choose to go on a date with? Trish, Maisie and Marta are ready for their close-ups, but will any of them generate enough screen chemistry with Lailand to become his leading lady? An enthusiastic Ellie Taylor presents. 

★★★★ SM

Best box set to watch on TV tonight

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. 

Best film to watch on TV tonight

Sneakerella, Disney Plus

TV tonight The great lace: El and Kira

The great lace: El and Kira. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

Putting a modern twist on the classic Cinderella tale, this musical comedy tells the story of El from Queens (Hawaii Five-0’s Chosen Jacobs), who works in a shoe store. He secretly aspires to be a sneaker designer, but his lack of confidence means he hides his artistic talent. Then El meets Kira (Lexi Underwood), the daughter of former basketball star and trainer tycoon Darius King, and romantic sparks fly. With the support of his best friend Sami and his own fairy godmother, can El find the courage to lace up and dream big? 

Live Sport

  • Premiership Rugby Union, Wasps vs Sale Sharks, 7pm (k-o 7.45pm), BT Sport 1

Soaps on TV tonight

If you watch just one thing on TV tonight…

Don't miss Night Sky on TV tonight – an intriguing new series with an out of this world 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.