Forget Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s all thanks to Fall TV. Sure, Summer and midseason premieres have their value, but nothing beats the glut of shows audiences get in the Fall season. There is so much to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Thankfully, I have plenty of time on my hands and the desire to sort out what’s the best of the best. I’ve culled seven of the most promising shows of the upcoming schedule. I hope you enjoy them as much as I think you will.
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With funny men Adam Scott and Craig Robinson helming this project, it’s bound to give you some comedy gold. Scott plays a nerdy true-believer who is paired, unwillingly, with Robinson’s skeptical ex-cop. They are recruited by a secret agency to investigate paranormal happenings, but accidentally uncover a larger plot that threatens humanity as a whole.
Although the premise sounds a little far-fetched, the comedic chemistry between the two actors is undeniable. They both act as foils for the other, and if this show can find its rhythm, it has the potential to be a sleeper hit for FOX. Frankly, I would watch Adam Scott read the phone book, so this looks like a downright delight.
Ghosted premieres Sunday, October 1 at 8:30/7:30c on FOX.
6. The Gifted
As one of the many contributions to superheroes on TV, this FOX gem is among the best. Yes, it is technically about mutants and hints at the X-Men Universe. These particular mutants are cast as young teenagers and aren’t saving the world. Rather, they’re running for their lives in a country and time that won’t accept their differences. Stephen Moyer and Amy Acker play the parents to the X-Men-in-training, and the premise (at least in the first few episodes) centers on the instability of the family’s safety.
The children, played by newcomers Natalie Alyn and Percy Hynes, have believable sibling chemistry, and the family makes for a pretty good lead. Of course, they’re fighting an evil government faction, so it makes it pretty easy to take their side. The premise is set up as a rather heavy-handed metaphor about tolerance and acceptance, but the first episode makes up for it by its exciting end.
The Gifted premieres Monday, October 2 at 9/8c on FOX.
The CW’s remake of the ’80s classic is everything you expect it to be, but you should definitely watch it anyway. It’s campy and soapy, and it looks like it might be able to replace that Gossip Girl-sized hole in our hearts.
Most of the network’s key demographic is far too young to remember the original Dynasty, but the gender-bending and race-reversing of the reboot make it interesting and new enough to be relevant for this set of viewers.
There are a lot of recognizable faces reprising the familiar Carrington names, but Grant Show as Blake is really the best of the casting news. Elizabeth Gilles plays Blake’s daughter Fallon, and Nathalie Kelley plays his similarly aged fiance and suspected gold-digger, Cristal. It’s sexy, salacious and will remind you why you love a good nighttime soap.
Dynasty premieres Wednesday, October 11 at 9/8c on The CW.
4. The Mayor
This might just be the most lively and winning of all the new pilots this season. Micheal Hall plays an aspiring rapper who is accidentally elected mayor and enlists help from an unlikely ally, played by Lea Michelle.
The show aspires to be Parks and Recreation meets Black-ish, but it’s really the standout performances of the actors that make this show as watchable as it is. Yvette Nicole Brown plays the main character’s mother and she steals whatever scene she’s in. Overall, this show has the potential to be the funny, interesting jewel in ABC’s comedic crown, and I’m here for it all.
The Mayor premieres Tuesday, October 3 at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.
3. The Deuce
This is the only non-network show on the list, but it deserves a mention. Starring a dazzling Maggie Gyllenhall and a sleazy James Franco, this HBO series captures the gritty grind of 1970s Times Square. Although technically it’s about the sex trade, it’s really the story of complicated humans and their desire to connect, succeed and just feel content.
It’s graphic enough to feel at home in the HBO universe, but the nudity is more democratic than other shows on the channel, probably breaking some record for frontal male nudity. The humor is tongue-in-cheek, and the show treats the sex workers like middle-class workers in line to punch a clock. It’s contemplative and canny, but it’s easy to watch and love.
The Deuce premieres Sunday, September 10 at 9/8c on HBO.
2. Young Sheldon
Aside from the sheer curiosity that will drive traffic to this CBS spin-off, Young Sheldon delivers a handful of solid performances from its players. The actress who plays Sheldon’s mother Zoe Perry is doing excellent work inhabiting the role Laurie Metcalf made famous, and it’s hard to take your eyes off the screen when she’s there. Sheldon’s sister provides a lot of textual interest to a story we thought we already knew, and I predict CBS will get a lot of mileage out of this dynamic.
Because we’re checking into a story with which we are already familiar, it might take a fair amount of patience to judge this show on its own merit and not consistently hold it against its predecessor, Big Bang Theory. I’m willing to put in the work to see it reach its potential, and I think you should too.
Young Sheldon premieres Monday, September 25 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.
1. Will and Grace
If you haven’t at least heard about the return of this popular sitcom, you might need to check your wifi signal. NBC has been pimping the comeback of this series for months, and it’s finally here. All four actors will return to the series, and it picks up in present day, disregarding the series finale that aired in 2006.
You can expect the same snarky humor and quick pacing, but you can also expect a healthy dose of current events and references to popular culture. You can’t forget how NBC first teased us with the return, a short video campaigning for Hillary during the election.
Even if you’ve never seen one episode of the orginal (but, seriously, watch the original) you’ll be able to enjoy the new episodes. Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes are reliably the funniest foursome on television, maybe, ever.
Will and Grace premieres Thursday, September 28 at 9/8c on NBC.
What new shows are you most looking forward to? Did I leave some off any good ones? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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(Image and videos courtesy of FOX, The CW, ABC, HBO, CBS and NBC)