The Walking Dead, FX – Friday 10pm

Series 2 of The Walking Dead ended with a bloodbath at Herschel’s farm, and the survivors fleeing for their lives.  Series 3 will mostly take place at a converted prison, with comic book favourite The Governor (played by David Morrissey) taking charge.  The last series was a turbulent one behind the scenes, as Frank Darabont was replaced as show runner, but the show gained momentum in the series finale and this series could be the best yet.

The Vampire Diaries, ITV2 – Monday 9pm

Yet another improbably successful vampire franchise, The Vampire Diaries returns to ITV2 with a brand new series, just days after airing in America.  The further adventures of Elena, Stefan and Damon will mean no more Gary Neville on Monday Night Football for a while if you happen to live with your girlfriend.

Hebburn, BBC2 – Thursday 9pm

Vic Reeves returns to BBC2 in a new comedy from Steve Coogan and Henry Normal’s Baby Cow Productions, who have just enjoyed great success on Sky with Moone Boy.  Reeves and Gina McKee play the parents of a young man who returns home to Hebburn (in Tyne and Wear) freshly married.  Hilarity should ensue.

The Thick Of It, BBC2 – Saturday 9:45pm

A spanner was thrown in the works of Malcolm’s grand plan to rescue his party in episode 5 of The Thick Of It, and an hour long special episode covers an inquiry into a series of leaks from both sides following the death of the often discussed, but never seen, Mr Tickle.  There will naturally be riffs on the Levinson inquiry, but who will come out of it smelling slightly less shitty than everyone else?

Freeview Film Of The Week:

Midnight Run (1988), ITV4 – Sunday 10pm

Before the horrors of the ‘Meet The Parents’ franchise, Robert De Niro proved he could do comedy in one his most under-rated films.  Playing grumpy bounty hunter Jack Walsh, De Niro is charged with bringing in a man known as The Duke (Charles Grodin) who stole $15million from the Chicago mob.  Well worth checking out.