Fall 2017 TV: What’s New, What’s Old, And What’s Best Forgotten

And we’re back with Tor.com’s annual television schedule! covering premieres of science fiction/fantasy and adjacent shows. The 2017-2018 television season is short on SFF that doesn’t have ghosts in it or isn’t related to a comic book. Given the current state of American society right now, it’s no wonder the fall television season is loaded up with (caped) crusaders, procedurals, and thrillers. If you don’t have cable and several streaming services, you’re out of luck for most of these shows. Network TV seems to have lost interest in SFF, but it’s still going strong on the premium channels/sites.

New shows are in bold.

 

Tuesday, Aug. 1

  • OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes (Cartoon Network 6:30p)
  • The Lowe Files (A&E 10p)
    Reality show starring Rob Lowe and his two sons checking out unsolved mysteries. Not exactly Must See TV.

Friday, Aug. 4

  • Comrade Detective (Amazon)
  • Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Netflix)

Saturday, Aug. 12

  • Ducktales (Disney XD)
    My six-year-old self is freaking out right now.

Friday, Aug. 18

  • The Defenders (Netflix)
    I am reminded of this great Rolling Stone review: “But if anything unites this fight club, it’s that the other three can agree that the Iron Fist is a royal douche. Cage, Jones and Murdock all seem like haunted adults who’ve endured some serious shit; they have apparently let their barista tag along as part of his gap-year Outward Bound course for aspiring alienated kung-fu masters.”

Saturday, Aug. 19

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Disney XD 7a)
  • Halt and Catch Fire (AMC 9p—S4)
    If Lee Pace alone isn’t enough to get you to watch this amazing show, I don’t know what to do with you.

Friday, Aug. 25

  • The Tick (Amazon)
    Aw yiss.

 


Friday, Sept. 1

  • The Governor (Acorn TV)
    This UK import isn’t exactly new—it ran from 1995-1996—but as Idris Elba’s breakout role it’s pretty much required viewing. Acorn TV is releasing the entire series.
  • Marvel’s Inhumans (IMAX release—TV premiere 9/28 ABC 8p)
    Everything about this show looks cheap and trashy. Subpar acting, subpar costumes, subpar story. I mean, if you’re going to tell an Inhumans story, the obvious choice is Ms. Marvel.

Tuesday, Sept. 5

  • American Horror Story: Cult (FX 10p)
    Another one? Really?

Wednesday, Sept. 6

  • You’re the Worst (FXX 10p—S4)

Friday, Sept. 8

  • One Mississippi (Amazon—S2)
  • BoJack Horseman (Netflix 10p—S4)
    Who would’ve thought a show about a cartoon horse with a human body would leave me emotionally devastated? Plus, Todd is openly asexual, making him one of (I think) only two ace characters on a currently airing television show—the other is Raphael from Shadowhunters.

Saturday, Sept. 9

  • Con Man (Syfy 10p)
    The nerdy hit webseries created by Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion.

Sunday, Sept. 10

  • Outlander (Starz 8p—S3)
    This season is based off the third book, Voyager. [Insert George R.R. Martin/Game of Thrones joke here]
  • The Orville (Fox 8p, moves to 9/21 9p)
    It’s Seth Macfarlane. If you dig him, you’ll probably dig this. If you (like me) can’t stand his “humor” then run very far away.
  • The Deuce (HBO 9p)
    Drama set in 1970s and 1980s NYC created in part by David Simon.
  • Fear the Walking Dead (AMC 9p—S3)
    And here I thought AMC had the good sense to put this dumpster fire of a show out of its misery.
  • Top of the Lake: China Girl (SundanceTV 9p)
    I once made the terrible mistake of bingeing Top of the Lake and The Fall in one weekend. Took me a week to recover.

Monday, Sept. 11

  • Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories (Adult Swim 12a—S2)

Tuesday, Sept. 12

  • The Mindy Project (Hulu—S6)

Wednesday, Sept. 13

  • Broad City (Comedy Central 10:30p—S4)

Sunday, Sept. 17

  • The Vietnam War (PBS 8p—miniseries with nightly episodes thru 9/28)
    Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s latest documentary miniseries. As a side note, if you haven’t yet seen their doc on jazz, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, Sept. 19

  • Tosh.0 (Comedy Central 10p—S9)
    I’m genuinely shocked that this mess is still on TV. I could’ve sworn it was cancelled. Who is watching this? And why? Whyyyyyyyy?

Wednesday, Sept. 20

  • The Good Place (NBC 10p, moves to Thurs. 8:30p on 9/28—S2)
    The S1 finale twist is still one of the best things to happen to television this year. This show is so good, y’all. This and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Just go get Hulu and binge the series. You’ll thank me later.

Thursday, Sept. 21

  • Gotham (Fox 8p—S4)

Sunday, Sept. 24

  • Star Trek: Discovery (CBS 8:30p, then only on CBS All Access)
    To be clear, only the first ep of Discovery will air on CBS. ALL subsequent eps will air ONLY on CBS All Access. As of now, there are no official plans to air it on television. Which leaves you with four choices: break out your wallet, find someone with an account and share their password, skip it completely, or pirate. I’m not buying yet another streaming service (3 is more than enough for my bank account), so…
  • Talking Trek (CBS All Access 9:30p)
    What it says on the tin.

Monday, Sept. 25

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS 8p—S11)
    Pass.
  • Young Sheldon (CBS 8:30p, preview—premieres 11/2 8:30p)
    Hard pass.

Tuesday, Sept. 26

  • Speechless (ABC 8:30p—S2)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox 9:30p—S5)
    I finally caught up with this gem of a show over the summer and my friends it’s so amazingly good. Funny, clever, honest, nice, feminist, diverse, and inclusive. Get into it.

Thursday, Sept. 28

  • Superstore (NBC 8p—S3)
  • Will & Grace (NBC 9p—S9)
    I’m 90% convinced Megan Mullally is only doing this because Nick Offerman dared her to.
  • How To Get Away With Murder (ABC 10p—S4)
    Look, as long as ABC keeps airing this glorious nighttime soap with Viola Davis as the star, Imma keep watching. I don’t care how bad it gets. Viola Davis, y’all. Enough said.

Friday, Sept. 29

  • Big Mouth (Netflix)
    Given the cast (Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein) this animated sitcom should be hilarious.
  • Magic School Bus Rides Again (Netflix)
    KATE MCKINNON AS MISS FRIZZLE.
  • The Exorcist (Fox 9p—S2)
  • Hawaii Five-0 (CBS 9p—S8)
    As a long-time fan of this dumb little procedural, it breaks my heart to have to give it up. But I can’t in good conscience support a show where the two white leads won’t back their co-stars of color.
  • Z Nation (Syfy 9p—S4)

Saturday, Sept. 30

  • Versailles (Ovation 10p—S2)

 

Sunday, Oct. 1

  • Bob’s Burgers (Fox 7:30p—S8)
    The Belchers are everything every other Fox animated family isn’t. This show makes me happy just thinking about it.
  • The Simpsons (Fox 8p—S29)
  • Ghosted (Fox 8:30p)
    You had me at “Adam Scott.”
  • Poldark (PBS 9p—S3)
    18th century British period drama set in Cornwall and full of swoony moments.
  • The Last Man on Earth (Fox 9:30p—S4)
    What a weird, fun ride this show has been. Definitely give it a go if you haven’t yet.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO 10p—S9)

Monday, Oct. 2

  • Lucifer (Fox 8p—S3)
  • The Gifted (Fox 9p)
    Fox finally doing something on network television with their mutant rights. At least it doesn’t look as low-rent as Inhumans.
  • The Halcyon (Ovation 10p)
    Basically the 20th century London hotel version of Downton Abbey.

Tuesday, Oct. 3

  • Fresh Off The Boat (ABC 8:30p—S4)
  • Black-ish (ABC 9p—S4)
  • Kevin (Probably) Saves the World (ABC 10p)
    God tells Jason Ritter to go save the world.

Wednesday, Oct. 4

  • Nature (PBS 8p—S36)
  • NOVA (PBS 9p—S44)

Thursday, Oct. 5

  • Van Helsing (Syfy 9p—S2)
  • Ghost Wars (Syfy 10p)
    A medium battles ghostly evil in his small Alaskan town. Cool premise, but it’s coming from Syfy so…

Friday, Oct. 6

  • Once Upon a Time (ABC 8p—S7)
  • Superstition (Syfy 10p)
    Mario Van Peebles writing, directing, and starring in a show about a supernatural funeral home? Even with the Syfy caveat, sign me up.

Monday, Oct. 9

  • Supergirl (CW 8p—S3)
    Can we please stop with the Mon-El romance? He’s the character equivalent of a mayonnaise and white bread sandwich.

Tuesday, Oct. 10

  • The Flash (CW 8p—S4)
    Finally Barry gets his comeuppance for being such a dick the last three seasons.
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW 9p—S3)
    It’s just not the same without Captain Cold.

Wednesday, Oct. 11

  • Riverdale (CW 8p—S2)
    Snark all you want, but Riverdale is hella addictive. I sat down to watch the premiere and finally surfaced 6 episodes later.
  • Mr. Robot (USA 10p—S3)
  • The Shannara Chronicles (Spike 10p—S2)

Thursday, Oct. 12

  • Supernatural (CW 8p—S13)
  • Arrow (CW 9p—S6)
    Still reeling from the season 5 cliffhanger. Like, I know they didn’t really kill off everyone but Ollie. BUT THEY KILLED OFF EVERYONE BUT OLLIE.

Friday, Oct. 13

  • Lore (Amazon)
    A horror anthology based off of a podcast by the same name.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW 8p—S3)
  • Jane the Virgin (CW 9p—S4)

Saturday, Oct. 14

  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America 9p—S2)
    Gimmegimmegimme! This is what a great adaptation looks like. Someone make the guys from Preacher watch this and take notes.

Sunday, Oct. 15

  • The Durrells in Corfu (PBS 8p—S2)

Wednesday, Oct. 18

  • Freakish (Hulu—S2)

Sunday, Oct. 22

  • The Walking Dead (AMC 9p—S8)
    My total lack of interest in ever returning to TWD continues unabated.

Tuesday, Oct. 24

  • At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV 10:30p)

Friday, Oct. 27

  • Stranger Things (Netflix—S2)
    The second season twist? The women get to be more than “hysterical crazy lady” and “girlfriend material.”
  • Blindspot (NBC 8p—S3)

 

Wednesday, Nov. 1

  • Stan Against Evil (IFC 10p—S2)

Friday, Nov. 3

  • Alias Grace (Netflix miniseries)

Tuesday, Nov. 14

  • Future Man (Hulu)
    “A janitor by day/world-ranked gamer by night is tasked with preventing the extinction of humanity after mysterious visitors from the future proclaim him the key to defeating the imminent super-race invasion.” That’s the official synopsis and I still don’t have any frakking clue what it’s about.

Wednesday, Nov. 15

  • Mythbusters (Science Channel)
    New stars and a new channel.

Tuesday, Nov. 21

  • Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu)
    There’s a case to be made for Marvel oversaturation, but if we have to suffer through Iron Fist and Inhumans to get Runaways then so be it.

Wednesday, Nov. 22

  • Godless (Netflix)
    Steven Soderbergh does a western.

Wednesday, Nov. 29

  • Vikings (History 9p—S5)
  • Happy! (Syfy 10p)
    Christopher Meloni is back to oddball dark humor and I couldn’t be, well, happier.

 

Friday, Dec. 8

  • The Crown (Netflix—S2)
    Is it just me or does Matt Smith always look like he’s leering? I can never tell if he’s being earnest or sarcastic.

Monday, Dec. 25

  • Call the Midwife: Holiday Special (PBS 9p)
  • Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (BBC America 9p)

 

TBA

  • Big Hero 6 (Disney XD)
  • Marvel’s The Punisher (Netflix)
    Again, out of all the possible Marvel comic book characters a studio could adapt, yet another white dude is the least interesting choice.

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.

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