Welcome, my lovelies, to the semi-annual fest of inanity and repetition that is the new television schedule. Most of the shows premiering this season you’ve seen before in some boring iteration or another – loose cannon cop/doctor/lawyer/federal agent butts heads with a rules-driven superior and maybe gets it on with some hot chicks; period piece where gruff bearded men fight other gruff bearded men and maybe get it on with gruff but hot warrior maidens; zombies; movie translated to the small screen and even smaller budget, thus losing what little was actually interesting to begin with; superheroes; etc. – but there are some bits of gold dust scattered in the mud pile.
Who here isn’t filled with rapturous glee at the prospect of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Jessica Jones, Supergirl, The Man in the High Castle, and The Wiz Live!? (OK, so no one actually believes that last one will be quality television, but I loved that movie as a kid so shut up, don’t judge me.)
As seems to be the trend now, the most intriguing, challenging, and risky premises are on streaming services, with cable coloring outside the lines but still largely within the box, and network tv drawing on the walls convinced it’s making quality art when it’s really just annoying everyone. Or, in the case of NBC, just copy-pasting someone else’s premise and running the key terms through a thesaurus after CANCELLING THE BEST SHOW ON THE WHOLE STUPID NETWORK.
Anyway, let’s take a gander at what new shows are going to bludgeon you to death with ads until they get canceled mid-fall.
Shows with an “*” are new.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
Drunk History (Comedy Central 10:30p): As a historian, this gets my seal of approval. Heck, put it in classrooms. It can’t be any less accurate than most public school textbooks.
Sunday, Sept. 6
*Arthur & George (PBS 8p): Oof. And you thought Moffat’s Sherlock was bad.
Tuesday, Sept. 8
*Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS 11:35p):
Friday, Sept. 11
Z Nation (Syfy 10p)
Continuum (Syfy 11p): Canadian sci-fi at its best. (That’s supposed to be a compliment…)
Tuesday, Sept. 15
*The Bastard Executioner (FX 10p): A bit of a missed opportunity going with Edward I instead of Edward II. Good ol’ Longshanks is most well-known for being a dick to the Scots, establishing a permanent Parliament, tons of legal reform, and being a dick to Jews. But come on, Edward II (reputedly) had one of the best/worst deaths in the British monarchy.
*Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris (NBC 10p)
Wednesday, Sept. 16
*Moonbeam City (Comedy Central 10:30p)
Saturday, Sept. 19
Doctor Who (BBC America 9p): Time for my yearly “working myself up to watching something I used to love and now kinda hate” method of DW consumption.
Monday, Sept. 21
The Big Bang Theory (CBS 8p)
Gotham (Fox 8p)
*Minority Report (Fox 9p)
*Blindspot (NBC 10p): Hi, NBC? Feminism calling. How about next time you want to make a promo about a woman with a lot of tattoos you don’t pose her lounging naked and pouting sexily at the camera, m’kay? Thanks.
Castle (ABC 10p)
Tuesday, Sept. 22
*The Muppets (ABC 8p):
*Scream Queens (Fox 8p): Hopefully by now somebody has told Ryan Murphy to stop claiming he invented the horror-comedy subgenre.
*Limitless (CBS 10p): Wasn’t this that Bradley Cooper movie no one saw?
Wednesday, Sept. 23
The Middle (ABC 8p)
black-ish (ABC 9:30p)
Thursday, Sept. 24
*Heroes Reborn (NBC 8p): Brought to you by NBC, the channel that would rather waste its money on shows no one wants than renewing Hannibal.
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC 10p): YASSS QUEEN
*The Player (NBC 10p): Because NBC would rather make this than Hannibal. And no, I’m never going to let that go.
Saturday, Sept. 26
*Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney XD 9:30p)
Sunday, Sept. 27
Bob’s Burgers (Fox 7:30p): BUTTS.
Once Upon a Time (ABC 8p)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox 8:30p)
*Indian Summers (PBS 9p)
The Last Man on Earth (Fox 9:30p)
*Quantico (ABC 10p): Is it just me or are there an inordinate amount of cop and medical dramas premiering this season?
Monday, Sept. 28
*The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central 11p): I’m still not convinced Noah is worthy of the throne. Nothing about anything I’ve seen thus far puts him even the same solar system as Stewart and John Oliver.
Tuesday, Sept. 29
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC 9p)
Thursday, Oct. 1
Sleepy Hollow (Fox 9p): Last season, the systemic issues nearly sank the show. Let’s see if the writers have patched the holes or if they’re still drowning.
Sunday, Oct. 4
The Good Wife (CBS 9p): If Hillary Clinton can make time out out of her busy schedule to watch this, so can you.
The Leftovers (HBO 9p): Carrie Coon, ya’ll. Carrie freaking Coon.
Tuesday, Oct. 6
The Flash (CW 8p): Unexpected televisual delight.
iZombie (CW 9p): I know you’ve been on the fence about this show, but trust me, give it a try. You’ll fall hard and fast.
Wednesday, Oct. 7
Arrow (CW 8p): Fingers crossed for a scene where Oliver and Felicity get all hot and bothered when Constantine hits on them both simultaneously. What do we call that? Coliversity? Onstanty? Folistantine? No worries, we’ve got time to sort out the particulars. Cast your votes now, fandom.
Supernatural (CW 9p): Come on, SPN. You’re better than this. Why do you hate your fans so much? We only want to love you.
*American Horror Story: Hotel (FX 10p)
Thursday, Oct. 8
The Vampire Diaries (CW 8p)
The Originals (CW 9p): There’s just something about sexy vampires battling sexy witches and sexy werewolves in New Orleans that sets me all a’flutter.
Haven (Syfy 10p)
Friday, Oct. 9
Reign (CW 8p)
Saturday, Oct. 10
*The Last Kingdom (BBC America 10p)
Sunday, Oct. 11
The Walking Dead (AMC 9p): Once again I’ll be reviewing the premieres and finales, or as my most ardent detractors would have it, feminist whingeing and over-intellectually nitpicking under the guise of professional criticism. In the meantime, pop over to my coverage of Fear the Walking Dead and sate your zombie needs.
Talking Dead (AMC 10p)
Monday, Oct. 12
Jane the Virgin (CW 9p)
Fargo (FX 10p)
Wednesday, Oct. 14
Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD 9:30p)
Friday, Oct. 16
The Knick (Cinemax TBA)
Friday, Oct. 23
Hemlock Grove (Netflix)
Saturday, Oct. 24
Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz 8p)
Sunday, Oct. 25
Robot Chicken (Adult Swim TBA)
Monday, Oct. 26
*Supergirl (CBS 8:30p): Super jazzed about this. Not only does it look great, but it’s an inter-network crossover series with CW’s DC superheroes. The possibilities are endless.
Tuesday, Oct. 27
*Wicked City (ABC 10p): Sounds like True Detective season 2 but on network television.
Friday, Oct. 30
Grimm (NBC 9p): Has this show gotten good yet? Anyone know? Anyone?
Saturday, Oct. 31
*Ash vs. Evil Dead (Starz 9p): CAN. NOT. WAIT.
Sunday, Nov. 1
The Librarians (TNT 8p): AKA: the show everyone asks me if it’s my favorite. Because I’m a librarian. And the show is about librarians. Ha. So funny. Good one.
Monday, Nov. 2
Legends (TNT 10p)
Thursday, Nov. 5
*Angel from Hell (CBS 9:30p): This sounds like something that was originally scheduled to air on T.G.I.F. after Aliens in the Family.
Elementary (CBS 10p)
Friday, Nov. 6
*Master of None (Netflix)
Sunday, Nov. 15
*Into the Badlands (AMC 10p)
Friday, Nov. 20
*The Man in the High Castle (Amazon): The pilot absolutely blew me away. Very much looking forward to exploring the world they’ve created with this Philip K. Dick remake.
*Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Saturday, Nov. 21
Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow (Lifetime 8p)
Thursday, Dec. 3
*The Wiz Live! (NBC 8p)
Friday, Dec. 4
Monday, Dec. 14
*Childhood’s End (Syfy 8p)
*The Expanse (Syfy 10p)
*Emerald City (NBC)
The Returned (SundanceTV)
*A Very Murray Christmas
*Uncle Buck (ABC): Still time to change that title, ABC.
*You, Me and the End of the World (NBC): Still time to add in that Oxford comma, NBC.
Alex Brown is an archivist, research librarian, writer, geeknerdloserweirdo, and all-around pop culture obsessive who watches entirely too much TV. Keep up with her every move on Twitter and Instagram, or get lost in the rabbit warren of ships and fandoms on her Tumblr.