The US Fall television season, typically beginning in late September and early October each year, is like an early Christmas for TV junkies. Or a slightly early Thanksgiving. With an estimated 90 or so new and returning shows hitting small screens this season, it’s hard to keep track of what you should invest your valuable time in.
Coupled with the huge number of highly anticipated films coming between now and the end of the year, and a fairly full Australian Release Date calendar, we may never see the light of day again. Yet with these hot new and returning shows, can you really blame us?
Being the interwebs and all, the standard disclaimer is that these are based on personal opinion. Having said that, everything you like is wrong, and your childhood dreams are now crushed forever. So feel free to sound off in the comments below with your own lists and opinions and such.
One of the most highly anticipated around these parts, thanks to the massive buzz that both Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones has given us over the last two years. Mike Colter, last seen in Jessica Jones, leads the cast that also includes Simone Missick as Misty Knight, Frank Whaley as Rafael Scarfe, Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth, Theo Rossi as Shades, Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard, and of course, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple. Expect to be binging the entire thing before September is over.
Release dates: 30 September (Global) via Netflix
Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, already has a cult audience from his music career and his time on Community. The FX series created by and starring Glover follows two cousins in the Atlanta rap scene trying to navigate the business. The first season will be a tight 10 episodes. The comedy-drama also stars Brian Tyree Henry, Keith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz.
Release dates: 6 September (US) via FX
Undoubtedly the biggest debut of 2016, this is the HBO show that promises to take Game of Throne‘s crown and run with it. Based on the 1973 film of the same name, the all-star cast of Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright is just the beginning. Set in the titular futuristic theme park, the little information we have so far only makes us all the more excited. The teaser lines place it at the “dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin,” and they had us at sin. With executive producers J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk, and Jerry Weintraub attached, it is the must-see debut of the season.
Release dates: 2 October(US) via HBO/3 October(AUS) via Showcase
NBC definitely win points for originality in this prime-time science fiction series starring Goran Visnjic as a master criminal who steals a time machine and sets about trying to change American history. A history professor (Abigail Spencer), a soldier (Matt Lanter) and a scientist (Malcolm Barrett) team up to try and stop him. It may sound a little too close to Legends of Tomorrow (by way of Sliders) for comfort, but the emphasis here is on history rather than comic book lore. After all, Sean Maguire has already been cast as Ian Fleming.
Release dates: 3 October(US) via NBC
THE GOOD PLACE
This is one of those shows where the pedigree of everyone involved accounts for our keen interest. Creator Mike Schur is responsible for writing a chunk of the US version of The Office, along with co-creating Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In the series, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) is killed by a tractor carrying erectile dysfunction products, only to find that a case of mistaken identity has placed her in “the good place” in the afterlife. She must choose to play along or try to get back to her life on Earth. Starring Ted Danson as her mentor Michael and Jameela Jamil, this NBC sitcom sounds like it has some serious legs if it is played right.
Release dates: 19 September (US) via NBC
While pitch may not be the first TV show to tackle sport, or even to centre on baseball, this is the first scripted drama series to be officially associated with Major League Baseball. The terrific premise follows Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), the first female pitcher to play for the MLB when she is called up to the San Diego Padres. Co-created by Dan Fogelman (who scripted films like Tangled, Cars, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Zootopia) and Rick Singer, the show will co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mo McRae, Meagan Holder, Tim Jo, and Ali Larter. We hope it’s a (wait for it) home run.
Release dates: 22 September (US) via Fox
DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY
Based on the novel by none other than Douglas Adams, the trailer for this series first appeared at San Diego Comic-Con in July 2016. Samuel Barnett stars as the eponymous time-travelling detective with Elijah Wood as his reluctant sidekick Todd. Created by Max Landis, Adams’ works give the series plenty of scope for imagination, and it’s entirely comforting that this is in the hands of BBC America.
Release dates: 22 October (US) via BBC Amerca
David. E. Kelly is practically television royalty, with a string of hits like Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, and Boston Legal behind him. So it’s no wonder that he and co-creator Jonathan Shapiro have attracted the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, William Hurt, Maria Bello, and Olivia Thirlby to the small screen with the power of Amazon Studios behind him. IMDB describes this as being about “A disgraced lawyer, now an ambulance chaser, gets a case that could bring him redemption or at least revenge on the firm which expelled him.” All we know is that it is essential viewing this season.
Release dates: 14 October (US) via Amazon
CRISIS IN SIX SCENES
Woody Allen’s deal with Amazon was undoubtedly designed to give Netflix a run for their money, and coupled with David E. Kelley’s efforts above, they might just do that. A comedy set in the 1960s where an unexpected house guest turns lives upside-down, the series stars Allen himself, Miley Cyrus, Elaine May, John Magaro, Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Rapaport, and Becky Ann Baker. While Allen has been fairly negative on the experience of creating the series (“My guess is that Roy Price [the head of Amazon Studios] will regret this”), Allen devotees will be fascinated to see what he has in store of the six episodes of the series. It’s also Allen’s first on-screen role since 2013’s Fading Gigolo.
Release dates: 30 September (US) via Amazon
You know the name. With the head-spinning and the pea soup and the power of Christ compelling and such. The long mooted television series based on the Peter Blatty book and the 1973 film of the same name is coming this season, with Alfonso Herrera as Father Tomas. Now, the presence of creator Jeremy Slater may not inspire confidence in those that have short memories of last year’s Fantastic Four, but take some comfort in knowing that Slater has long protested that his original script bore little resemblance to the mess we saw on screen. Either way, this is another big 1970s franchise making its way to the small screen, and your mother folds socks in Hell if you aren’t excited.
Release dates: 23 September (US) via Fox
All this new content is squeezed in between our favourite new shows landing during this period at all. Will we ever see sunlight again? It seems unlikely. Chef’s Table: Season 3 (Netflix) returns 2 September, this time focusing exclusively on French chefs like Alain Passard and Michel Troisgros for some reason. Either way, it’ll look gorgeous.
The Walking Dead: Season 7 (AMC (US)/FX (AUS)) will finally let us off the hook after that nail-biting cliffhanger at the end of the last season, but we’re not expecting easy answers on 23 October.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 4 (ABC) is still a thing, despite all outward signs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the promise of Ghost Rider this year finally brings one of the bigger characters from the Marvel Comics to a show that has shied away from them for a while. It’s returning 20 September in the US, and whenever the hell Australian TV gets around to it.
On the flip side The Flash: Season 3 (CW) is going deep into comic book territory, immediately starting with the Flashpoint storyline and introducing Kid Flash into the series. It returns on 4 October in the US (and on Fox8 in Australia on 5 October), and it also marks the start of a superhero season on the CW that will include Supergirl: Season 2. The show moves from CBS to CW on 10 October, joining Arrow: Season 5 (5 October in the US/6 October on Fox8 in Australia) and Legends of Tomorrow: Season 2 (13 October) for an eventual crossover in December. That alone makes all of these shows worth watching from the get-go.