Now that summer is officially over (unless you’re HBO, in which case we’re all still in the middle of winter), TV audiences can finally look forward to having viewing options at night. Because as much as we might indulge in a little trashy reality TV every now and then, one can only survive so long on competition series and obviously staged beachside hookups.
And while we can expect a pretty extensive lineup of new stuff from every network, the quality of that lineup is up in the air. FOX is looking to put itself ahead of the curve in terms of originality and promise, but if we’ve learned anything from that network’s past performance, it’s to not get too attached to good shows, considering its executives seem to have no idea what streaming is and rely solely on in-the-now Nielsen ratings to make their renewal decisions. ABC has some great looking stuff this year as well, but this is a network that tends to turn every series on its docket into a soap opera by the beginning of season 2.
CBS… man, it just feels like the network is trying too damn hard this year to tick off every box on every show. No one asked for political intrigue, romance, social commentary, and a buddy comedy in every episode.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the most promising series from the big networks this fall. Because if there’s one thing we don’t need this season, it’s another procedural cop drama with a heavy emphasis on stylized investigation techniques.
Premieres: Sunday, Sep. 10 at 8:00 PM
Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, J Lee, Halston Sage
Premise: Set 300 years in the future, the live-action dramedy follows the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet. Facing cosmic challenges from without and within, this motley crew of space explorers will boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before.
Premieres: Sunday, Sep. 10 at 9:00 PM
Stars: James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gary Carr, Margarita Levieva
Premise: Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce explores 1970s New York at the pioneering moments of what would become the billion-dollar American sex industry.
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY
Premieres: Sunday, Sep. 24 at 8:30 PM
Stars: Sonequa Martin-Green, Jason Isaacs, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Michelle Yeoh
Premise: Ten years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.
THE GOOD DOCTOR
Premieres: Monday, Sep. 25 at 10:00 PM
Cast: Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chuku Modu, Richard Schiff, Beau Garrett
Premise: A young surgeon with Savant syndrome is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. The question will arise: Can a person who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people actually save their lives?
LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS
Premieres: Tuesday, Sep. 26 at 10:00 PM
Stars: Edie Falco
Premise: This eight-episode installment of Dick Wolf’s popular franchise delivers a gripping in-depth dramatization of the notorious murder case that changed America forever. When the Menendez brothers were tried on national TV for brutally killing their parents in Beverly Hills, their story became a national obsession. Now, the first edition of this anthology series delves into the players, the crime and the media circus, detailing the day-to-day battles of the trial and unveiling the shocking truth of what really went down when the cameras stopped rolling.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sep. 27 at 10:00 PM
Stars: Joanne Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd, Zoë Tapper
Premise: LIAR is a 21st-century take on modern-day gender politics, family life and the insidious corrosiveness of deceit – wrapped up in the taut narrative structure of a compelling emotional thriller.
WILL & GRACE
Premieres: Thursday, Sep. 28 at 9:00 PM
Stars: Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally
Premise: Eleven years after going off the air, the former Must-See TV staple will return for 12 new episodes.
Premieres: Friday, Sep. 29 at 9:00 PM
Stars: Anson Mount, Iwan Rheon, Serinda Swan, Ken Leung, Ellen Woglom, Eme Ikwuakor, Isabelle Cornish, Mike Moh, Sonya Balmores
Premise: The eight-episode series will explore the never-before-told adventure of Black Bolt and the royal family.
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 1 at 8:30 PM
Stars: Adam Scott, Craig Robinson, Edi Patterson, Ally Walker, Adeel Akhtar
Premise: A cynical skeptic (Robinson) and a genius “true believer” (Scott) in the paranormal are recruited by The Bureau Underground to look into the rampant “unexplained” activity in Los Angeles – all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race.
WISDOM OF THE CROWD
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 1 at 8:30 PM
Stars: Jeremy Piven, Monica Potter, Richard T. Jones, Jake Matthews, Blake Lee, Natalie Tena
Premise: A tech wiz who attempts to revolutionize crime solving – specifically the unsolved case of his daughter’s murder – with a crowd-sourcing app that utilizes the public for information.
Premieres: Monday, Oct. 2 at 9:00 PM
Stars: Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Blair Redford, Sean Teale, Natalie Alyn Lind, Emma Dumont, Percy Hynes White
Premise: The series follows two ordinary parents who discover their children possess mutant powers. Forced to go on the run from a hostile government, the family joins up with an underground network of mutants and must fight to survive.
ME, MYSELF & I
Premieres: Monday, Oct. 2 at 9:30 PM
Stars: Bobby Moynihan, John Larroquette, Brian Unger, Kelen Coleman, Mandell Maughan, Jaleel White
Premise: Examines one man’s life over a 50-year span, focusing on three distinct periods: as a 14-year-old in 1991, a 40-year-old in present day and a 65-year-old in 2042.
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 9:00 PM
Stars: Brandon Micheal Hall, Lea Michele, Yvette Nicole Brown
Premise: When an outspoken, idealistic rapper runs for office as a publicity stunt and actually gets elected, he surprises everyone (including himself) when he has a natural knack for the job and slowly transforms City Hall.
KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 10:00 PM
Stars: Jason Ritter, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, J. August Richards, India de Beaufort, Dustin Ybarra, Chloe East
Premise: The one-hour dramedy revolves around Kevin, a down-on-his-luck man who is tasked by God with a mission to save the world.
Premieres: Friday, Oct. 13
Stars: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv
Premise: How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks? Two FBI agents (Jonathan Groff & Holt McCallany) set out on a sinister investigative odyssey to discover the brutal answers.
THE LAST O.G.
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 10:00 PM
Stars: Tracy Morgan, Joel Marsh Garland
Premise: An ex-felon adjusts to life outside of prison.
Premieres: October 2017
Stars: Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Mary Sohn, Lyric Lewis, Aparna Brielle, Nick Peine, Jacob McCarthy
Premise: A hilariously cynical Ivy League professor loses out on his dream job and goes to work as a high school biology teacher where he imposes his unorthodox teaching style and uses the kids to plot out revenge on those who wronged him.
Premieres: October 2017
Cast: Steve Zahn, Sandrine Holt, Rob Campbell, Jay Karnes, Simone Kessell, Grant Harvey, Tommy Bastow, John D’Leo, Kelley Missal, Marcuis W. Harris
Premise: Refugees from a war-torn country start showing up to seek asylum in an American town. Only the country these people are from is America and the war they are fleeing is 250 years in the future. The local sheriff with a past, a federal agent and a mother in search of her missing refugee daughter drive this allegory with a surprising conspiracy at the center.
Cast: Manish Dayal, Matt Czuchry, Emily VanCamp, Bruce Greenwood, Valerie Cruz
Premise: An idealistic young doctor begins his first day under the supervision of a tough, brilliant senior resident who pulls the curtain back on all of the good and evil in modern-day medicine. Lives might be saved or lost, but expectations will always be shattered.
Network: The CW
Stars: Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, Christine Adams
Premise: Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) made his choice: He hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with one daughter hell-bent on justice and the other a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning.
LA > VEGAS
Stars: Ed Weeks, Dylan McDermott, Kim Matula, Olivia Macklin
Premise: Set on the Friday night flight from LAX to Vegas and the returning flight on Sunday, it follows a group of underdogs trying to find their place in the world who all share the same goal: to come back a winner in the casino of life.
Stars: Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, Lecy Goranson, Sarah Chalke
Premise: The ’90s hit will return for eight new episodes and will basically ignore the series finale, which revealed Dan (Goodman) died of a heart attack. Chalke, who played Becky after Goranson left the original series, will play a different character.