Friday Night Lights, Sky Atlantic – Tuesday 8pm

Friday Night Lights was critically acclaimed when throughout its five season run in America, but wasn’t much of a success when it first aired in the UK in 2007.  But Sky Atlantic have been running it from the start, and now bring season 3 to British television for the first time.  If you’ve seen John Carter, Savages or Battleship, the presence of Taylor Kitsch might put you off the show, but it’s worth checking out.

Shameless, More4 – Sunday 11:05pm

The American version of Channel 4’s long running drama series has become a bit hit for Showtime (the US channel also responsible for Homeland) and the Gallaghers return to do more things they probably shouldn’t.  William H. Macy is always watchable, and Emmy Rossum is lovely, so this should be another entertaining, chaotic run.

Imagine, BBC1 – Tuesday 10:35pm

Alan Yentob’s documentary series returns with a profile of Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin.  Rankin put his most acclaimed creation, DI John Rebus in retirement in 2007, and the show follows Rankin as he works on a new novel.  Starting in December 2011, we’ll find out the process Rankin goes through as he creates a new story, and how the process affects his daily life.

Dara O Briain’s Science Club, BBC2 – Tuesday 9pm

Dara O Briain is a regular guest on The Infinite Monkey Cage, the Radio 4 science show hosted by Professor Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince.  Now he’s got his own science show on the BBC, tackling various subjects in what should be entertaining and informative ways.  While he’s known for his comedy, O Briain has a genuine interest in science, so this should be a good watch.

Secret State, Channel 4 – Wednesday 10pm

Since HBO’s In Treatment finished in 2010, Gabriel Byrne doesn’t appear to have done very much, but he returns to British TV as the deputy prime minister in Channel 4’s new drama series.   It’s a four part series about a conspiracy in British government, and also includes Gina McKee, Charles Dance and Rupert Friend in an all-star cast.  Byrne is a terrific actor, and this should be a ratings winner for Channel 4.

Freeview Film Of The Week

Attack The Block (2011), Film4 – Friday 9pm.

Arguably the best British film of 2011, Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block is a smartly made, well written sci-fi that reminds you of John Carpenter’s best films from the 70s and 80s, but with a modern twist.  Toothy aliens are landing in a tough London neighbourhood, and the local youths are forced to take a break from stealing and vandalism to save their block.  Hugely entertaining.