Fall 2018 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. This season spells bad news for science fiction and fantasy fans. If the fall schedule is any indication, our nationwide SFF fever has broken, and the comedown is apparently a rash of procedurals and family dramas or sitcoms.

With the obvious exception of the CW, broadcast networks seem to have tired of fantastical settings and technobabble, with most of the new projects launching on streaming sites or cable, many as children’s animated shows. A few geeky or geeky-adjacent shows—like iZombie, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Roswell New Mexico—won’t appear until 2019. Otherwise, it’s a pretty dreary slate.

So here’s a list that’s not as long as it could be of all the new and returning science fiction, fantasy, horror, and speculative-adjacent shows for the Fall 2018 television season. New shows are in bold.

 

Wednesday, Aug. 1

  • Switched (Netflix)
    Two teenagers swap bodies, and major high school drama goes down.

Thursday, Aug. 2

  • Runaways (Freeform 9p—S1; linear TV premiere)

Friday, Aug. 3

  • Dinotrux Supercharged (Netflix—S3)
  • Animals (HBO 11:30p—S3)

Saturday, Aug. 4

  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Discovery Family 11:30a—S8)

Sunday, Aug. 5

  • Mega Man: Fully Charged (Cartoon Network 6:30a)

Sunday, Aug. 5

  • The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim 12a—S7)

Friday, Aug. 10

  • Voltron: Legendary Defender (Netflix—S7)
    Could’ve done without the “bury your gays” trope.

Sunday, Aug. 12

  • Fear the Walking Dead (AMC 9p—S4; midseason premiere)
    How is this show still on? Why is this show still on?

Friday, Aug. 17

  • Disenchantment (Netflix)
    Thankfully, this is better than I expected.

Friday, Aug. 24

  • The Innocents (Netflix)
    Netflix ventures into the CW’s territory with this show about a teen girl who discovers she can shapeshift.
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On! (Netflix—S3)
  • Ghoul (Netflix; miniseries)
    Dystopian future, Indian cast, horror based on Arabian folklore, and political themes. Sign me up!

 

Tuesday, Sept. 4

  • The Purge—miniseries (USA 10p)
    Are four Purge movies not enough? How about 10 more mini Purge movies? Will that satisfy you? WILL IT?

Wednesday, Sept. 5

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX 10p—S13)

Friday, Sept. 7

  • Iron Fist (Netflix—S2)
  • Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters (Netflix—S2)

Sunday, Sept. 9

  • The Last Ship (TNT 9p—S5)
  • Kidding (Showtime 10p)
    Jim Carrey finally returns to television.

Monday, Sept. 10

  • I Am Frankie (Nickelodeon 8p—S2)

Wednesday, Sept. 12

  • American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX 10p—S8)

Thursday, Sept. 13

  • Snatch (Crackle—S2)

Friday, Sept. 14

  • BoJack Horseman (Netflix—S5)
    *waves at Todd Chavez, the only openly asexual character currently on television*
  • The Dragon Prince (Netflix)
  • The First (Hulu)
    The last time a streaming site attempted a family drama about a troubled space project we all got saddled with Netflix’s mediocre Lost in Space. Here’s hoping Hulu has better cards up its sleeve.

Monday, Sept. 17

  • Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Nickelodeon 8p)

Friday, Sept. 21

  • Hilda (Netflix)
  • Maniac (Netflix)
    The description is so vague I have no idea what this show is actually about, but Cary Joji Fukunaga is directing so I’m down.

Monday, Sept. 24

  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS 8p; regular time Thurs 8p—S12)
  • Magnum P.I. (CBS 9p)
    If Thomas Magnum doesn’t have a mustache or wear short shorts, is it really Magnum?
  • Manifest (NBC 10p)
    A mysterious flight, time travel, Lost-like twists, etc. Despite this being a brand new show this season, I feel like I’ve seen this show half a dozen times already.

Tuesday, Sept. 25

  • The Gifted (Fox 8p—S2)

Thursday, Sept. 27

  • The Good Place (NBC 8p—S3; regularly time 8:30p)
    How can you not love a show with forking glorious restaurant names like Knish From a Rose, Sushi And The Banshees, Biscotti Pippen, You Do the Hokey Gnocchi and You Get Yourself Some Food?
  • Murphy Brown (CBS 9:30p)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (ABC 10p—S5)

Sunday, Sept. 30

  • The Simpsons (Fox 8p—S30)
  • Bob’s Burgers (Fox 8:30p—S9)
  • God Friended Me (CBS 8:30p)
    Dude gets a friend request from God and does good deeds for random strangers is the 2018 version of Early Edition.

 

Thursday, Oct. 4

  • Superstore (NBC 8p—S4)
    For a sitcom, Superstore is pretty good. And yeah, that’s actually a compliment.

Friday, Oct. 5

  • Into the Dark (Hulu)
    Nice to have a horror anthology option that isn’t American Horror Story.
  • The Man in the High Castle (Amazon—S3)
  • Van Helsing (Syfy 9p—S3)
  • Z Nation (Syfy 10p—S5)

Saturday, Oct. 6

  • Versailles (Ovation 10p—S3)

Sunday, Oct. 7

  • Doctor Who (BBC America time TBA—S11)
    I am soooooo ready for Jodie Whittaker!
  • The Walking Dead (AMC 9p—S9)
    The show that, against all odds, continues to shamble its way onto television screens.

Tuesday, Oct. 9

  • The Flash (CW 8p—S5)
  • Black Lightning (CW 9p—S2)
    If you’re not watching this awesome-ass show, WHY AREN’T YOU WATCHING THIS AWESOME-ASS SHOW?!

Wednesday, Oct. 10

  • Riverdale (CW 8p—S3)
    You need some highkey extra camp in your life.

Thursday, Oct. 11

  • Supernatural (CW 8p—S14)
    Despite Jensen Ackles talent for playing intense psychopaths, it’s taken 14 seasons for them to let him stretch those muscles. But I’m still shrugging because if tradition holds, he’ll only be evil for a few eps before being restored.

Friday, Oct. 12

  • The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)
  • The Romanoffs (Amazon)
  • Titans (DC Universe)
  • Blindspot (NBC 8p—S4)
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW 9p—S4)
    The final season of one of the quirkiest and most quotable dramedies of the decade. It’s nerdy, musical, and frank in the best possible way.

Sunday, Oct. 14

  • Supergirl (CW 8p—S4)
    This and Black Lightning have taken superheroics and diversity to a whole new level. The Netflix MCU ain’t even come close.
  • Charmed (CW 9p)
    Am I tired of reboots? Very. Do we really need another Charmed? Eh. Will I tune in to watch this premiere live? Obvi.
  • Camping (HBO 10:30p)
    You had me at David Tennant. The high likelihood of him doing his unintentionally amusing and breathtakingly atrocious American accent is but icing on the cake.

Monday, Oct. 15

  • Arrow (CW 8p—S7)
  • The Rookie (ABC 10p)
    As charming as Nathan Fillion is, I’m struggling to come up with even the tiniest amount of interest in his new drama.

Friday, Oct. 19

  • Lore (Amazon—S2)

Sunday, Oct. 21

  • Wolf Creek (Pop 10p—S2)

Monday, Oct. 22

  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW 9p—S4)

Thursday, Oct. 25

  • Legacies (CW 9p)
    From The Vampire Diaries came The Originals. From The Originals comes Legacies. After that only the gods know.

Friday, Oct. 26

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)
    The comic the show is based on is so good y’all. Kiernan Shipka is pitch perfect casting.
  • Castlevania (Netflix—S2)
  • Midnight, Texas (NBC 9p—S2)
    The first season stuck fairly close to the book, both to its benefit and detriment. I didn’t think the second book was as exciting as the first, so I’m curious to see how the show will adapt.

Wednesday, Oct. 31

  • Tell Me a Story (CBS All Access)
  • Stan Against Evil (IFC 10p—S3)

 

Sunday, Nov. 4

  • Outlander (Starz 8p—S4)
    Scotland heads to North Carolina.

Monday, Nov. 12

  • Mars (Nat Geo 9p—S2)

Friday, Nov. 16

  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
    GIMMEGIMMEGIMMEGIMMEGIMMIEGIMME!!!

Wednesday, Nov. 28

  • Vikings (History 9p—S5)

Sunday, Dec. 30

  • The Orville (Fox 8p—S2)

Alex Brown is a YA librarian by day, local historian by night, pop culture critic/reviewer by passion, and an ace/aro Black woman all the time. Keep up with her every move on Twitter, check out her endless barrage of cute rat pics on Instagram, or follow along with her reading adventures on her blog.

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