Now that the annual fall television upfronts have – mercifully, finally – come to an end, small screen fans can sit back and actually consider the many new series coming for their eyeballs in the colder months. As has become more common with each passing year, the big four networks are slowly becoming eclipsed (certainly in the creative realm) by other outlets, like The CW, AMC, and HBO. Suddenly, everyone has a lot to offer, and some of it even looks good.
Gone are the days of a fat fall preview issue of TV Guide filled with half-hour comedies and hour-long procedurals from the usual suspects to page through (this was the fall TV preview guide experience of my youth, and I still have fond memories of turning down corners to mark off shows I wanted to watch), and while that might not mean we’re exactly in a New Golden Age of Television (still up for debate), there’s lots of stuff to anticipate in the coming months. Here are the nine new television series we’re most looking forward to this fall.
Uh, finally? Television has been lacking a superheroine-centric new series for years now, and as The CW pioneers a whole new frontier of small screen comic book offerings, that void has grown ever more obvious. Eager to get in on that action, CBS is bringing us a brand new Supergirl this fall, starring Whiplash co-star Melissa Benoist as Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, as she lands on Earth and adopts the same doofy human/cool superhero dichotomy that appears to run through the entire family lineage. It looks kind of adorable.
AMC goes sci-fi with a new spin on a popular Swedish series. The A.I.-centric series proposes an alternate present (not future), where robots are commonplace and normal and are being used for all kinds of tasks (mostly professional), and what happens when human start bonding with them in new ways. Will things get dangerous? We think so.
Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)
The CW has quite handily proven its ability to translate DC’s comic book characters to the small screen, thanks to Smallville, The Flash, and Arrow, and now they’re adding to their stable with Legends of Tomorrow. The new spin-off looks to be their most ambitious yet, combining the powers of The Flash and Arrow with a brand-new team of B and C level superheroes. It also looks like it’s holding fast to the network’s successful combo of humor and heart (and special effects that make the TV screen pop).
Samantha Bee’s New Late-Night Series (TBS)
The show doesn’t have a title, we’re not sure of the format, and we don’t even know how long this thing will be, but Samantha Bee is there, and she is female as fuck, so we’re sold.
The Catch (ABC)
You know not to bet against Shonda Rhimes by now, right? That’s just a common fact, right? Although we’re a little skeptical of how The Catch, which centers on a fraud investigator who gets duped by her own fiancee and sets out to find him, will stretch out over more than one season, but Rhimes did something similar with last year’s How To Get Away With Murder (well, she will when the show enters its second season), so we have hope.
True Detective (HBO)
Yes, yes, technically this is the second season of True Detective, but considering the “hey, let’s just re-cast the whole thing and do an entirely new story and whatever” nature of the HBO series, it seems fair enough to count it as a totally new entity (a similar treatment will also be given to American Horror Story, which has also embraced the anthology style with big success). Despite months of speculation, it seems we don’t really know exactly what this second season is about – at least, we might not be getting that weirdo cult-y, supernatural stuff that was long-rumored – but at least the series has a talented cast to recommend it.
Scream Queens (Fox)
Wait, evil sorority sisters? Suddenly, we’re very interested in Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology series, which pulls from classic horror tropes to deliver big scares with major lady talent behind it.
American Horror Story: Hotel (FX)
Every year, I vow to start watching the new season of American Horror Story — they always sound so good and weird and creepy! – and then instantly balk at actually watching the damn things, thanks to scheduling or just plain fear. This year, the anthology series is going for a hotel theme which, at first blush, sounds a lot less interesting than effed up freak shows and witch covens, but will probably provide its own horrors. Have you ever shown a black light on a hotel bedspread? Nightmares for years.
The Muppets (ABC)
It’s the Muppets meets The Office, which could really go either way. Yet, if there’s any series to get nostalgic and hopeful about, it’s anything that involves the Muppets. The beloved puppets are in the middle of a maybe-renaissance, and if that spawns a weekly TV show – the Muppets! weekly again! – that’s something to get pretty jazzed about.