And we’re back with my semi-annual television schedule of what’s new, what’s old, and what’s best forgotten. The 2015-2016 season had quite a few new and returning geek and geek-adjacent shows on the docket, and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) a lot of them didn’t make it through the summer. With Castle, Galavant, and Person of Interest KIA and The Muppets, Containment, Minority Report, and Limitless DOA, there’s plenty of room for the 2016-2017 freshman group.
So what looks good to you?
Compared to previous seasons, the geek slate isn’t as strong as it could be, but there’s a host of shows with SFF casts, themes, and appeal to whet your nerdy appetite. The through line this season is silver screen remakes, with Lethal Weapon, Frequency, Wolf Creek, and The Exorcist headed to the small screen this fall and Training Day at midseason. Black-led shows are also experiencing a boom, what with The Get Down, Pitch, Luke Cage, Loosely Exactly Nicole, Atlanta, and Queen Sugar all debuting this fall. In other words, this season is a mix of outdated, overplayed rehashes of properties no one cares about and unique, underrepresented voices telling their own stories outside the filter of the mainstream (read: white) perspective. Despite the SFF bubble finally bursting and all the blergh reboots, Peak TV is still in its Golden Age.
Shows with an “*” are new.
Wednesday, Aug. 3
- Paranormal Witness (Syfy 10p)
Friday, Aug. 12
- * The Get Down (Netflix)
A Baz Luhrmann hip-hop musical set in the Bronx in the 1970s. What more needs to be said?
Sunday, Aug. 21
- Fear The Walking Dead (AMC 9p)
If you haven’t noticed, I am no longer covering this for Tor.com. My soul couldn’t take it anymore. It’s just so bad.
Tuesday, Aug. 23
- Halt and Catch Fire (AMC 9p-10p usual time)
- * Better Late Than Never (NBC 10p)
Normally I prefer my reality TV in British Bake Off or Gordon Ramsay form, and there’s a real chance this show could end up playing the Eat, Pray, Love card. But Kirk, the Fonz, and the dude who named all his sons “George” are in it, so…
Sunday, Aug. 28
- The Strain (FX 10p)
Wednesday, Aug. 31
- You’re The Worst (FX 10p)
WHY AREN’T YOU WATCHING THIS AMAZING, HEARTBREAKING SHOW?!?!?!
Friday, Sept. 2
- Narcos (Netflix)
Monday, Sept. 5
- * Loosely Exactly Nicole (MTV 10:30p)
The Nicole Byer/MTV version of Master of None.
Tuesday, Sept. 6
- * StartUp (Crackle)
How badly do Adam Brody and Martin Freeman need a paycheck? Let’s find out on CSI: Cyber meets The Net.
- From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series (El Rey Network 9p)
Yep, this is still a thing.
Wednesday, Sept. 7
- * Atlanta (FX 10p)
The Donald Glover version of Master of None. I’m sensing a theme here, but ain’t complaining.
- * Queen Sugar (OWN 10p)
Hollywood may not be interested in giving Ava DuVernay much to do, but she isn’t resting on her underappreciated laurels.
Thursday, Sept. 8
- * Better Things (FX 10p): Louis but starring Pamela Adlon.
Friday, Sept. 9
- * One Mississippi (Amazon): Next to What Happened, Miss Simone?, Tig was one of the best documentaries released last year. I have very high hopes for her new show.
Wednesday, Sept. 14
- American Horror Story (FX 10p)
- Blindspot (NBC 10p)
- Documentary Now! (IFC 10p)
And of course I just spent half an hour going down a Documentary Now! rabbit hole on YouTube.
Friday, Sept. 16
- Z Nation (Syfy 8p)
Monday, Sept. 19
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS 8p)
- Gotham (FOX 8p)
Ben Mckenzie deserves better than this.
- Lucifer (FOX 9p)
- * The Good Place (NBC 10p)
The next Michael Shur hit? Fingers crossed. I’m in desperate need for a replacement Parks and Rec.
Tuesday, Sept. 20
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX 8p)
- New Girl (FOX 8:30p)
- Scream Queens (FOX 9p)
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC 10p)
TBH, the only reason I plan to watch this season is Ghost Rider.
Wednesday, Sept. 21
- * Lethal Weapon (FOX 8p)
If Clayne Crawford wasn’t in this, I wouldn’t even waste my time, yet I fear not even poor Teddy Talbot can salvage this. That ref was for the one person reading this who’s also a fan of Rectify.
- Empire (FOX 9p)
Thursday, Sept. 22
- Superstore (NBC 8p)
- * Pitch (FOX 9p)
A show about a Black girl dominating sports? After the Rio Olympics, I am so here for this.
- How To Get Away With Murder (ABC 10p)
Friday, Sept. 23
- Transparent (Amazon)
- * MacGyver (CBS 8p)
This year’s winner of the season’s worst promo pic. Yikes.
- * The Exorcist (FOX 9p)
Out of all the movies to reboot for television, this was not on my list. Then again, neither was Lethal Weapon and here we are.
- Van Helsing (Syfy 10p)
Saturday, Sept. 24
- Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD 8:30p)
Sunday, Sept. 25
- Bob’s Burgers (FOX 7:30p)
- Once Upon A Time (ABC 8p)
- The Simpsons (FOX 8p)
- * Son of Zorn (FOX 8:30p)
Fox hasn’t had much luck with launching new animated shows as of late, and the He-Man/family sitcom mashup premise could wear thin very quickly. But the trailer looks entertainingly quirky.
- The Last Man On Earth (FOX 9:30p)
A surprisingly deep and darkly funny comedy about what happens after the apocalypse.
Tuesday, Sept 27
- * Channel Zero (Syfy 9p)
This could be either cheesy and fun or insipid and grotesque, given it’s creepypasta inspiration. Either way, that tooth monster in the trailer has me nope-ing all over this.
- * Aftermath (Syfy 10p)
Anne Heche gets her apocalypse on.
- Drunk History (Comedy Central 10:30p)
Friday, Sept. 30
- * Luke Cage (Netflix):
Sunday, Oct. 2
- Ash Vs. Evil Dead (Starz 8p)
- * Westworld (HBO 9p)
The last time HBO ventured into Westerns, we were blessed with Deadwood, one of the best shows of the Aughts. No other show this season has higher expectations, other than perhaps American Gods.
- Elementary (CBS 10p)
- * Conviction (ABC 10p)
Hayley Atwell. That is all.
- * Timeless (NBC 10p)
Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan! Yay! Producers of The Blacklist! Oh, uh, no thank you.
Tuesday, Oct. 4
- The Flash (CW 8p)
Flashpoint might help fix some of the wonkier issues from last season, but given how badly the writers struggle to give emotional weight to dramatic moments, it could dig them even deeper.
Wednesday, Oct. 5
- Arrow (CW 8p)
Another great CW show that fumbled their whole last season. I dig Olicity as much as the next fan, but the writers played the breakup for shock value and turned Felicity from a BAMF coder genius into a harpy.
- * Frequency (CW 9p)
I know ya’ll were just dying for a television reboot of a mediocre Jim Caviezel movie from 2000.
Monday, Oct. 10
- Supergirl (CW 8p)
The best thing to come out of the switch from CBS to the CW—besides a better understanding of how to make the best out of a minuscule budget—is the upcoming musical crossover with The Flash.
Thursday, Oct. 13
- DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW 8p)
Season one was a struggle on all fronts. Hopefully season two will tighten up and be the thrilling show it thinks it is.
- Supernatural (CW 9p)
No matter how annoyed or bored I get with this damn show, I’ll stop watching when they stop shooting.
- * Falling Water (USA 10p)
People with intersecting dreams hold the fate of the world in their, um, dreams. Yeah, I don’t know either.
Friday, Oct. 14
- * Wolf Creek (Pop—time TBA)
An Aussie import based on the 2005 outback horror movie of the same name. If nothing else, I now know that Pop is an actual television channel.
Monday, Oct. 17
- * Hamilton’s America (PBS 8p)
*breaks into an off key rendition of “Non-Stop”*
- Jane the Virgin (CW 9p)
Wednesday, Oct. 19
- * Chance (Hulu)
*slams fist on table* Give me all the Hugh Laurie you have!
Thursday, Oct. 20
- * The Rocky Horror Picture Show (FOX 8p):
Friday, Oct. 21
- Black Mirror (Netflix)
- The Vampire Diaries (CW 8p)
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW 9p)
I cannot sing this show’s praises enough. It’s at once a rom-com, a satire of rom-coms, and an intersectional feminist critique of pop culture. Don’t believe me? Watch the “Sexy Getting Ready Song” then set your DVR.
Saturday, Oct. 22
- * Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America—time TBA)
Didn’t we already try this with Stephen Mangan?
Sunday, Oct. 23
- The Walking Dead (AMC 9p)
Alright, TWD. You get one last chance with Negan, otherwise I’m out.
- Talking Dead (AMC 10p)
Wednesday, Oct. 26
- Rectify (Sundance)
The best television drama you’re not watching, second only to The Leftovers. This is the final season, and the rest are on Netflix so get cracking.
Monday, Oct. 31
- * People Of Earth (TBS 9p)
Wyatt Cenac in a single camera sitcom about alien abductees sounds pleasantly random.
Wednesday, Nov. 2
- * Stan Against Evil (IFC 10p)
Stephen King by way of The Frighteners and Slither.
Sunday, Nov. 20
- The Librarians (TNT 8p)
Friday, Nov. 25
- * Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life (Netflix)
I guess I should finally watch Gilmore Girls, huh?
Wednesday, Nov. 30
- * Incorporated (Syfy—time TBA)
A dude decides to take down a corporation to protect a woman he loves. Meh, I’ve seen that story at least a thousand times.
Wednesday, Dec. 7
- * Shut Eye (Hulu)
Hulu’s been giving Netflix a run for its money recently (hello, Casual), so this oughta be good.
- * Hairspray Live! (NBC 8p)
Sunday, Dec. 11
- * The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses (PBS 9p)
Sophie Okonedo! *swoons*
Friday, Dec. 16
- The Man In The High Castle (Amazon)
Loved the first season, missteps and all. Can’t wait to see where they go next.
- Teen Wolf (MTV—sometime in November)
Oh Teen Wolf. Silly, frenetic, messy Teen Wolf.
- Vikings (History)
Do they have any Black vikings on this show yet?
Alex Brown is a teen 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.