Best Shows & Dramas on Streaming TV in the UK December 2019

His Dark Materials on BBC

It might seem odd to think about it now, but there was once a time when television was thought of as the poor cousin of cinema (ask your parents). These days, television is highly sought after by the best actors, directors and writers – not to mention millions of viewers all across the globe. And while streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have driven this demand by streaming syndicated content, they have also started producing their own original programming – forcing other more traditional providers to catch up.

What are the best shows to stream on UK TV?

Our relationship with television these days has totally changed. Gone are the days where we’d plonk ourselves in front of the screen to watch whatever was picked out for us. Instead, we’re now able to choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it. In fact, the hardest thing these days can be narrowing down what to watch off the long list we’ve made after recommendations from friends and family. Finding out which network screens which program can also be a little difficult – which is why our list comes in handy!

The Facts

  • Netflix and Amazon Prime’s foray into original content production yields some of the most popular shows on UK TV
  • Established providers like Sky, BBC and ITV hit back with award-winning content of their own, including the critically acclaimed Chernobyl and Line of Duty
  • Watch or re-watch classic shows when you want with streaming services
  • Stream for free with a subscription, or pay a rental fee to watch a massive library of content on demand

Streaming on UK TV

Generally speaking, many of the best and most well-known programs will be produced by a domestic free to air producer like the BBC or ITV, before being later syndicated by streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. In the vast majority of cases, the newer seasons will be screened exclusively – with the later seasons made available via a stream.

Similarly, pay TV providers like Sky will produce original content which will also find its way to streaming providers. To their credit, streaming providers have however stepped up their game in recent years, producing a range of original content which has won critical and popular acclaim.

Both Netflix and Amazon Prime have been responsible for some of the best and most critically-acclaimed programmes out there recently, rivalling traditional networks in every sense. The following list showcases some of the top programming being produced out there now – and more importantly where to watch it.

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What are the top 10 dramas streamed on UK TV?

Catherine the Great

Available: Sky

The Crown

Available: Netflix

His Dark Materials

Available: BBC One

The End of the F***ing World

Available: Netflix

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

Available: Amazon Prime

The X-Factor: Celebrity

Available: ITV

Peaky Blinders

Available: BBC One


Available: Sky

The Irishman

Available: Netflix

The Man in the High Castle

Available: Amazon Prime

What are the top 10 classic TV shows streamed on UK TV?

One of the biggest changes to take place as a result of streaming has been access. Accessing quality programming when you want it rather than when the networks want you to watch. Another benefit of this is that all-time classic programs are available around the clock to watch or re-watch. Most of these have been made available through syndication to free-to-air channels or to streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime – with some available at both. The following are a list of the most popular TV shows in UK history. All but one of them – The Simpsons – has already screened its final episode (although we all know the best episodes of The Simpsons are already in the rear-view mirror).

Where Netflix is listed the cost will be included in your subscription- whereas many of the Amazon Prime shows are only available on-demand (i.e. pursuant to the payment of an additional fee). The list also shows which ones are available to stream and which are available via traditional syndication, i.e. at a certain time decided upon by the network.

Breaking Bad

Available: BT TV (AMC), Amazon Prime and Netflix

Game of Thrones

Available: Sky and NOW TV, Amazon Prime, TalkTalk TV

The Sopranos

Available: Sky and NOW TV, Amazon Prime

The Wire

Available: Sky and NOW TV, Amazon Prime

The Simpsons

Available: Channel 4 (syndicated), Sky (selected episodes)


Available: Channel 5 (syndicated), Netflix and Amazon Prime


Available: Amazon Prime

The Office (UK)

Available: Amazon Prime and Netflix

Mad Men

Available: BT TV (AMC), Amazon Prime and Netflix

Twin Peaks

Available: Sky and NOW TV, Amazon Prime

Ready, set, stream on UK TV

Whether you’re streaming your TV from a new(er) provider like Netflix or Amazon Prime or watching your faves on Freeview, there are so many new options and excellent shows that it’s impossible to be bored. In addition to the breadth of new options, we now have the possibility to watch not only when we want but also where we want. From catching up on a hot new series while commuting, to work to squeeze in an episode of your favourite 90s comedy over lunch, there’s simply never been a better time to watch!