Ten New Shows To Watch This Fall (+5 That Have Already Premiered)
My favorite season of the year is always Fall. It’s not just because of the beautiful foliage or pumpkin spice latte. No, I do not care for those things. Well, maybe the foliage. Fall is my favorite season because with it comes a slew of new TV shows for me to devour. Fall is when networks unveil their exciting, new shows for the year in the hopes that they turn out to be hits that can last for many seasons. Of course lately this has not been the case. The new shows that the networks premiere in the Fall are becoming increasingly less interesting, and a lot of them do not survive their freshman season. Every year, I would greet Fall TV season expecting to fall in love with greatness, and every year I would get disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, Fall TV still produced quite a few gems in the recent years (I’m looking at you, Jane The Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), but they tend to get drowned out by the flops. So this year, I wasn’t too excited about Fall TV and after looking at what the networks are offering (too many reboots, too little time), I was even less excited. But this past week or so there are a few Fall shows that have premiered (on cable, natch) and they were pretty good that I am almost a little hopeful for the upcoming TV season. Hey, if cable continues to get better and better, why can’t the broadcast networks, right? So I took to Youtube and decided to check out all the trailers for the upcoming Fall offerings in the hopes that I can predict which of those shows will turn out to be kinda great. Of course, I can be dead wrong — this happens too occasionally, sometimes great shows have really awful trailers and awful shows have really exciting trailers — but I want to try anyway. And besides, maybe this will help you decide what to watch this Fall, after all we live in the age of Peak TV. A little help goes a long way.
So, without further ado… here are my picks for the 10 New Shows To Watch This Fall. And if you keep reading until the end, I’ll also give you the 5 new shows that have already premiered that are pretty great. So keep reading!
- The Good Place.
Where to watch: NBC
When to watch: It premieres on Monday, Sept 19 but it moves to Thursday nights starting Sept 22, 8.30 PM (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: Kristen Bell plays Eleanor, a selfish woman who dies in a car accident and ends up in “The Good Place” thanks to a clerical error. Stuck in a place where everyone is nice and no one curses, Eleanor must decide if she wants to stay in “The Good Place” or somehow find her way back to her old life on earth.
Why this may be worth your while: It’s created and executive-produced by Mike Schuur, a.k.a. the guy behind Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn 99, and it stars both Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. I’m sold already. But if you need more convincing, from the trailer it seems like it’s a fun, hilarious show that has a lot of heart. If you still have a giant Parks and Rec-sized hole in your heart, this could be just the show to fill it.
Where to watch: Fox.
When to watch: It premieres on Thursday, Sept 22 at 9 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: According to Fox: “PITCH is the dramatic and inspirational story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball.”
Why this may be worth your while: I’m not a big sports fan, or a baseball fan, but I am a fan of good writing and solid acting, and from the trailer alone, I think this show has both. Plus, it’s one of the best reviewed new Fall shows, its focus is on a young, female, African-American pitcher (which is all kinds of awesome, if you ask me), and it sees the return of Mark-Paul Gosselaar to television. What more do you need?
3. This Is Us.
Where to watch: NBC
When to watch: It premieres on Tuesday, Sept 20 at 10 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: The premise is a bit glib, to be honest. It basically follows the lives of people who are born on the same day, but it promises to be the “smart, modern dramedy that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know.” Interpret that however you like.
Why it may be worth your while: Just like Fox’s Pitch, this show is also the brainchild of Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love) and from the trailer it looks like it has the potential to be the new Parenthood (a.k.a. that particular show that always gives you the feels). Look, I could be wrong and it could turn out to be a huge let down, but it’s worth checking out anyhow.
Where to watch: ABC
When to watch: It premieres on Sept 21, at 8.30 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific), but you can watch the pilot now on ABC.com
What it’s about: The show follows the DiMeo family who has a teenager with cerebral palsy and has to constantly move around to accommodate his needs. Led by a passionate, activist mom, the DiMeo finally settles in an upscale neighborhood in an effort to find a “voice” for their teenage son, with complications along the way.
Why it may be worth your while: I’ve actually seen the pilot episode and though it’s not perfect, it has its moments and it’s not too condescending in its portrayal of a teenager with cerebral palsy. I think if it keeps improving, it will can be just as enjoyable as the other shows on ABC’s Wednesday family comedy block like The Goldbergs or Blackish. Fingers crossed.
5. The Crown.
Where to watch: Netflix
When to watch: The entire season 1 premieres on November 4.
What it’s about: It’s a biographical series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, created and written by Peter Morgan, who penned the Oscar-winning 2006 film “The Queen”. It stars Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II and Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and it is the most expensive drama Netflix to date.
Why it may be worth your while: I really liked the movie “The Queen”, and I also really like both Claire Foy and Matt Smith. Foy in particular is a genius at playing royalty, as she has proven when she played Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall. The Royal Family definitely has their share of drama, so I’m guessing this show will be like Downton Abbey on steroids, and who doesn’t love that?
6. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
Where to watch: BBC America
When to watch: It premieres on October 22, unsure as to what time yet.
What it’s about: Based on Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently series, this show is the latest adaptation that follows the eccentric time-traveling “holistic detective” Dirk Gently, and his reluctant sidekick Todd Brotzman.
Why this may be worth your while: Let us remember that there’s no Doctor Who this year, that means we Whovians need something else to obsess about. Of course there is that Who spin-off Class that will also premiere in October, but we can obsess with more than one “Who-esque” show, can’t we? Between this and Class, I think my October is more than set.
Where to watch: HBO
When to watch: It premieres on Oct 9, at 10 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO post-SATC in this new comedy about a very long divorce. The show is created by none other than Sharon Horgan (of Pulling and Catastrophe fame — if you have yet to check out Catastrophe on Amazon, where have you been hiding? Go crawl from under that rock and get to watching. It’s excellent), and also stars Thomas Haden Church.
Why this may be worth your while: Well first, it’s good to see SJP back on TV, sorry, HBO, and second, it’s created by Sharon Horgan, who is known for creating and writing and acting in really great, really funny shows about adults (see: Catastrophe). I think this can be another hit for HBO and SJP, and I for one am looking forward to this.
Where to watch: Hulu.
When to watch: It premieres on October 19.
What it’s about: This show is based on the novel by Kem Nunn and focuses on a San Fransisco-based neuropsychiatrist played by Hugh Laurie. So it’s basically Hugh Laurie playing a doctor, yet again.
Why this may be worth your while: Let’s face it, Laurie is great at anything but we’ve all loved him for too long as Dr. Gregory House that it feels natural for us to see him as a doctor yet again. Plus, this is a grittier, bleaker show — a noir-ish psychological thriller according to USA Today. Hugh Laurie in a noir-ish show? Yes, please.
Where to watch: HBO
When to watch: It premieres on Oct 9, at 10.30 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s all about: According to HBO: “Issa Rae’s new half hour comedy series about two friends navigating the tricky professional and personal terrain of L.A.” It is partially based on Rae’s web series Awkward Black Girl and created by Rae herself and Larry Wilmore.
Why this may be worth your while: I personally like Awkward Black Girl and Issa Rae, so I think this could be a really good show, and very on brand with HBO. Plus it promises to explore the female black experience in an uncliched and authentic way, so if this is done right, this could be the show everyone’s talking about this Fall.
10. High Maintenance.
Where to watch: HBO
When to watch: It premieres on Sept 16, at 11 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific), but if you want to check it out, this show is originally a web series on Vimeo, so you should still be able to find all the episodes there.
What it’s about: The show follows a nameless marijuana delivery guy called “The Guy” as he delivers his products in New York City. Each episode focuses on a new set of characters as they procure weed from The Guy.
Why this may be worth your while: High Maintenance — the web series is really good storytelling so I don’t see why it can’t work as a TV show. If you already like the web series, you won’t want to miss this show.
Now that I’ve given you a guide to what’s coming up on your TV, let me just remind you of the 5 pretty great shows that premiered this past week or so, in case the 10 I’ve picked above turn out to be duds:
- One Mississippi
Where to watch: Amazon
When to watch: Now. (As in, every episode of the first season is now streaming)
What it’s about: The show follows a fictionalized version of comedienne Tig Notaro, as she returns home to her Mississippi hometown to deal with her mother’s death.
Why this is worth your while: It’s created by Tig Notaro and executive-produced by Louis C.K., which are both good signs, and I’ve seen the first episode. It’s quiet, contemplative, beautiful, and it has its funny moments. If you love Amazon’s Transparent, this will be just right up your alley.
2. Queen Sugar.
Where to watch: OWN
When to watch: Wednesdays, 10 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: The show is based on a book of the same name by Natalie Bazsile and follows the lives of the three Bordelon siblings who, following a tragedy in the family, must put their complicated lives aside to run their family’s struggling sugar cane farm. It’s created and executive-produced by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey.
Why this is worth your while: Queen Sugar is not the first scripted series on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, but it’s definitely the best so far. I’ve seen the first episode, and I immediately fell in love with it. It’s just good storytelling. DuVernay’s direction helps make the story even more compelling, and I love how she takes her time with the characters and the story. If you want a show that moves you — look no further than this.
Where to watch: FX
When to watch: Tuesdays, 10 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: Two cousins navigating their way in the Atlanta rap scene in an effort to improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Why this is worth your while: I only had time to check out the first of the two episodes that premiered on FX last week, but I have already fallen in love with it. Atlanta is a thoughtful show with a lot of charm and a lot of heart, and a love letter to the city itself. Donald Glover is a very good writer and it shows in the first episode, so beautifully written and nicely paced that I actually felt a little sad when the episode ended because I wanted more (but I had to work).
4. Better Things.
Where to watch: FX
When to watch: Thursdays, 10 P.M. (Eastern/Pacific)
What it’s about: Pamela Adlon created and starred in this show with Louis C.K. about struggling actress and single mother Sam, who tries to juggle single motherhood, an acting career and a love life with varying degrees of success.
Why this is worth your while: First of all, it’s really funny. Pamela Adlon is really good at making the mundane funny, and in her hands, single motherhood is funny AF, and never too depressing, even though Sam’s kids are a handful and her love life is kind of a mess. If you want a great, funny show to chill with a bottle of wine with for those days when you just literally can’t even, this is the show for you.
5. Son of Zorn.
Where to watch: Fox.
When to watch: Sundays, 8.30 P.M. starting Sept 25. But the show has already premiered its pilot last Sunday (Sept 11).
What it’s about: Son of Zorn is a weird comedy, and I mean that in a good way. It’s about a He-Man-like superhero Zorn, an animated warrior from the island of Zephiria, who returns to non-animated Orange County, California, to repair his relationships with his ex-wife and his teenage son. Zorn, voiced by Jason Sudeikis, is animated while the rest of the characters are live-action.
Why this is worth your while: Despite being super weird, this show is actually funny and seriously fun to watch. You’ll get used to the whole animated/live-action thing after a while. And if you love The Last Man on Earth, you will definitely love this show, it comes from the same creators and boasts a similar sense of humor.
And there you have it, folks. My pick for this year’s new Fall shows. Only time will tell whether any of them survive their freshman season (or even the first half of their freshman season, for some of the network shows). I truly hope my gut instinct is finally right and these ten shows turn out to be really awesome. Only time will tell.
Will be back with more TV for you. Soon.