The Fall TV season is upon us. Are you ready for this jelly?
Let’s bitch it out…
Top Pick: New
The only logical choice for Top New Pick is David Simon (The Wire, Treme)’s new series, The Deuce. Not because its topic is salacious (though it is: the show examines the porn industry in NY in the 70s), but because it looks like HBO has thrown a ton of money and talent at the project in the hopes of making it their next big, prestigious series. According to critics, the move has paid off: the series has rapturous reviews and awards chatter. Now all that remains to see is whether audiences embrace James Franco in a dual role.
- Honorary Mentions: There’s a new Star Trek on the horizon as Discovery (Sept 24) sets sail on CBS All Access (Netflix in Canada). I’m also curious about British thriller import Liar (Sept 27) with Ioan Gruffudd and Joanne Froggatt, which strangely seems to have no advance buzz.
Top Pick: Returning
Selecting a single returning series to highlight proved quite difficult because there are a lot of great shows returning in September. Ultimately I used my own ranking system to identify Better Things S2 (Sept 14) as my top choice; after all the series about a single mother of three girls trying to eek out a living in Hollywood was my #5 Best New TV series of 2016. The new season looks even better than the first and I’m extra excited because creator/star Pamela Adlon directed all of the episodes herself. Bring on the dry wit, the expletives and the incredibly relatable humour!
- Honorary Mentions:
- Jaaaaaymiiiiiie and Claaaaaaire are back for another season of star (and time and space) crossed love as Outlander S3 finally debuts (Sept 10).
- The most depressed people on TV both return for S4: anti-rom com You’re The Worst (Sept 6), hopefully rebounding after an iffy S3, while BoJack Horseman finally returns Sept 8 after more than a year off the air.
- The most low-key series to return is Tig Notaro’s breast cancer, fish-out-of-water series One Mississippi S2 (Sept 8) while the most hi-octane is S4 of Broad City, which will spend the season bleeping out Trump’s name (Sept 13).
- There’s also a bunch of network TV’s best comedies – The Good Place (Sept 20), Superstore (Sept 28), Great News (Sept 28) and Speechless (Sept 27) – returning.
- Finally, I would be remiss not to mention a new round of misadventures with the narcissistic Pfefferman clan: Transparent S4 debuts on Sept 22.
Top Pick: Wildcard
After a surprise S2 renewal, The Exorcist returns to FOX in a near anthology-style format on Sept 29. Gone is the Rance family, including matriarch Geena Davis (revelatory in her S1 role as an adult Reagan from the original film franchise). The only two characters left standing are S1 regulars Father Thomas (Sense8‘s Alfonso Herrera) and rebel Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels) who are tasked with investigating another possession, this time involving new series regular, John Cho <swoon>. The first season was a pleasant surprise: a visually exciting, high octane horror series with meaty performances. Can lightning strike twice or will the loss of Davis sink S2?
- Honorary Mentions:
- Every year American Horror Story (Sept 5) earns a spot on the wildcard list thanks to its heady mix of clickbait casting, (lack of) narrative and gore. Will Cult, dealing with the election and historical cult leaders, prove any different?
- Can S2 Top of the Lake (Sept 10) recapture the feminist crime procedural magic nearly 5 years after the first season debuted to much critical acclaim?
- Who drew the dicks is the pressing question in American Vandal (Sept 15), Netflix’s mockumentary take on their own successful docuseries like Making a Murderer and The Keepers.
- Finally, Julia Stiles makes her TV series debut in Riveria (Sept 14), a glossy soap thriller with an intriguing premise and atrocious advance reviews.
Full September 2017 Schedule
Friday, Sept 1
- Narcos S3* (Netflix – 3am EST): The third season will bring a major shift in the series, with Wagner Moura and Boyd Holbrook departing the show as it focuses on the continued rise of Colombia’s Cali cartel. All episodes available today.
Tuesday, Sept 5
- American Horror Story: Cult (FX – 10pm EST): A political-themed seventh season adds Lena Dunham, Billy Eichner, Billie Lourd, and Colton Haynes to returning players such as Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Frances Conroy, and Mare Winningham.
Wednesday, Sept 6
- You’re The Worst S4* (FXX – 10pm EST): Picks up in the aftermath of Jimmy’s disappearance after proposing to Gretchen at the end of S3. 1 hour premiere
Friday, Sept 8
- One Mississippi S2* (Amazon – 12pm EST): Tig Notaro’s semi-autobiographical series about life in small town Mississippi. All episodes available today.
- BojackHorseman S4* (Netflix – 3am EST): Where’s BoJack? Will he find what he’s looking for? Will he ever return to Hollywoo? All episodes available today.
Sunday, Sept 10
- Outlander S3* (STARZ – 8pm EST): Season 3 of Outlander picks up with Jamie and Claire, separated by continents and centuries, as they attempt to make a life apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love.
- The Orville S1 (FOX – 8pm EST): The Orville is a one-hour science fiction series set 400 years in the future that follows the adventures of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel. Its crew, both human and alien, faces the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of regular people in a workplace…even though some of those people are from other planets, and the workplace is a faster-than-light spaceship. Moves to regular Thursday 9pm timeslot Sept 21.
- The Deuce S1* (HBO – 9pm EST): The Deuce explores 1970s New York at the pioneering moments of what would become the billion-dollar American sex industry.
- Top of the Lake: China Girl S2* (Sundance – 9pm EST): A crime mystery story that begins four years on from the explosive ending of Season 1. When the unidentified body of an Asian girl washes up on to Sydney’s Bondi Beach, the case seems hopeless, until detective Robin Griffin discovers that China Girl didn’t die alone.
- Fear The Walking Dead S3B (AMC – 9pm EST)
Tuesday, Sept 12
- The Mindy Project S6 (Hulu): This final season will see Chris Messina return for multiple episodes.
Wednesday, Sept 13
- South Park S21 (Comedy Central – 10pm EST): A less politically minded season of the long running animated series begins.
- Broad City S4* (Comedy Central – 10:30pm EST): Delayed from its original August premiere, Abbi, Ilana and the rest of the crew are back with some of their biggest adventures yet.
Thursday, Sept 14
- Riviera S1 (Sundance): After newlywed Georgina’s billionaire husband Constantine is killed in a yacht explosion, she is shocked to discover the fortune and lifestyle he maintained was surrounded by violence, lies, secrets and murder. She soon must step out of her comfort zone to protect the family and herself.
- Better Things S2* (FX – 10pm EST): Pamela Adlon’s acclaimed series about a single, working actor with no filter trying to raise her three daughters in Los Angeles returns for S2.
Friday, Sept 15
- American Vandal S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): American Vandal is a half-hour true-crime satire that explores the aftermath of a costly high school prank that left twenty-seven faculty cars vandalized with phallic images. Over the course of the eight-episode season, an aspiring sophomore documentarian investigates the controversial and potentially unjust expulsion of troubled senior (and known dick-drawer) Dylan Maxwell. Not unlike its now iconic true-crime predecessors, the addictive American Vandal will leave one question on everyone’s minds until the very end: Who drew the dicks?
Sunday, Sept 17
- Vice Principals S2 (HBO – 10:30pm EST): Get ready for the final semester. Danny McBride and Walton Goggins star in Vice Principals Season Two.
Monday, Sept 18
- The State (National Geographic – 9pm EST): The State takes a bold, unflinching approach to telling the fact-inspired stories of young ISIS recruits and offers an authentic and nuanced look inside one of the most serious global threats we face today. After a year of extensive research and interviews, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards-winning writer and director Peter Kosminsky sheds light on an unknown and unimaginable world. Concludes Tuesday.
Wednesday, Sept 20
- The Good Place S2* (NBC – 10pm EST): Special one-hour season premiere. Moves to regular Thursday 8:30pm timeslot Sept 28.
- Channel Zero: No-End House S2* (Syfy – 10pm EST): The new season of the creepy pasta anthology series.
Thursday, Sept 21
- Gotham S4 (FOX – 8pm EST): A new hero is being born in the city of Gotham!
Friday, Sept 22
- Transparent S4* (Amazon – 12am EST): The Pfeffermans take off on a spiritual and political journey as they dig deep into their family’s history. Maura heads to Israel to speak at a conference and makes a startling discovery. Before long the rest of the family joins her for an explosive adventure. Adrift in the desert, each member of the family ultimately set off on their own paths to find acceptance, love, and truth. All episodes available today.
- Fuller House S3 (Netflix – 3am EST): Supersized S3. All episodes available today.
- Mike Judge Presents: Tales From The Tour Bus (Cinemax): Cinemax’s first-ever original comedy series follows a group of eccentric country music performers.
Sunday, Sept 24
- Star Trek: Discovery S1* (ABC All-Access/Netflix): Ten years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.
Monday, Sept 25
- The Big Bang Theory S11 (CBS – 8pm EST)
- Young Sheldon S1 (CBS – 8:30pm EST): A spinoff from The Big Bang Theory centering on that show’s Sheldon Cooper back when he was a 9-year-old child attending high school in East Texas.
- Kevin Can Wait S2 (CBS – 9pm EST): Leah Remini joins the cast in an awkward recast.
- Me, Myself & I S1 (CBS – 9:30pm EST): This uniquely structured single-camera comedy focuses on one man’s life in three different time periods. John Larroquette plays him as a 65-year-old (25 years in the future), Bobby Moynihan stars as the 40-year-old, present-day version, and youngster Jack Dylan Grazer will play him as a 14-year-old in scenes set in 1991.
- The Brave S1 (NBC – 10pm EST): This fresh, heart-pounding journey into the complex world of America’s elite undercover military heroes follows D.I.A. Deputy Director Patricia Campbell (Anne Heche) and her team of analysts as they wield the world’s most advanced surveillance technology from headquarters in D.C. All the while, Adam Dalton and his heroic Special Ops squad of highly trained undercover specialists use their unbreakable bond and commitment to freedom to save lives of innocent people and execute missions in some of the most dangerous places in the world.
- The Good Doctor S1 (ABC – 10pm EST): A young surgeon with autism and Savant syndrome is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. The question will arise: can a person who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people actually save their lives?
Tuesday, Sept 26
- Lethal Weapon S2 (FOX – 8pm EST): Michelle Hurd joins the show in a recurring capacity.
- NCIS S15 (CBS – 8pm EST)
- Bull S2 (CBS – 9pm EST)
- This Is Us S2 (NBC – 9pm EST)
- The Mick S2 (FOX – 9pm EST)
- Brooklyn 99 S5* (FOX – 9:30pm EST)
- NCIS: New Orleans S4 (CBS – 10pm EST)
Wednesday, Sept 27
- Empire S4 (FOX – 8pm EST)
- The Blacklist S5 (NBC – 8pm EST)
- The Goldbergs S5 (ABC – 8pm EST):
- Speechless S2* (ABC – 8:30pm EST):
- Star S2 (FOX – 9pm EST): The girls – with Carlotta as their manager – continue to face roadblocks, despite their victory at Atlanta NextFest.
- SEAL Team S1 (NBC – 9pm EST): SEAL Team stars David Boreanaz in a military drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan, and execute the most dangerous, high stakes missions. Deployed on clandestine missions worldwide at a moment’s notice, and knowing the toll it takes on them and their families, this tight-knit SEAL team displays unwavering patriotism and fearless dedication, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
- Modern Family S9 (ABC – 9pm EST)
- American Housewife S2 (ABC – 9:30pm EST)
- Criminal Minds S14 (CBS – 10pm EST)
- Designated Survivor S2 (ABC – 10pm EST)
- Chicago PD S5 (NBC – 10pm EST)
- Liar S1* (Sundance TV – 10pm EST): The six-part psychological thriller tells the story of Laura Newell (Joanne Froggatt), a school teacher fresh out of a relationship who reenters the dating scene with Andrew Earlham (Ioan Gruffudd), a surgeon who is the father to one of her students. They get together for a night that sets in motion a series of accusations and lies that take over their lives.
Thursday, Sept 28
- Grey’s Anatomy S14 (ABC – 8pm EST)
- Superstore S3 (NBC – 8pm EST): Last season, a storm took down Cloud 9. And now they’re back -maybe.
- Great News S2 (NBC – 9:30pm EST): Tina Fey joins the cast as the team’s boss.
- Will & Grace S11 (NBC – 9pm EST): The show returns for 16 new episodes.
- Chicago Fire S6 (NBC – 10pm EST): Who made it out of the fire alive?
- Nathan For You S4 (Comedy Central – 10pm EST): The series returns after a lengthy absence.
- How To Get Away With Murder S4 (ABC – 10pm EST)
- StartUp S2 (Crackle): Season two picks up on the streets of Miami following the takeover of GenCoin, an unregulated digital and global currency for those without access to independent capital. Now in the hands of new ownership, led by Alex Bell and the Russian mob, our unlikely trio and GenCoin founders, Izzy Morales, Ronald Darcy and Nick Talman, reinvest in their partnership and launch a new endeavor, a darknet prototype called Araknet—it’s a hidden network that’s far more dangerous, challenges their moral code and puts them squarely at the center of a digital black market. Presented with obstacles that will threaten everyone’s personal safety and the safety of the ones they love, the sophomore season of StartUp poses the all-important question, what is the cost of ambition, and reveals the frightening lengths one might go to achieve ultimate success.
Friday, Sept 29
- Marvel’s The Inhumans S1 (ABC – 8pm EST): After a military coup, the Inhuman Royal Family escape to Hawaii where they must save themselves and the world.
- MacGyver S2 (CBS – 8pm EST)
- Hawaii 5-0 S8 (CBS – 9pm EST): The series tries to recover after the pay scandal that prompted Daniel Dae-Kim and Grace Park to leave the show.
- The Exorcist S2* (FOX – 9pm EST)
- Blue Bloods S8 (CBS – 10pm EST)
Saturday, Sept 30
- Versailles S2 (Ovation – 10pm EST)
That’s enough for one month (I’m exhausted and I’m not even watching half of these shows!). Next month: a bunch of other network series, a few prestige/buzzy cable dramas (S3 of Mr Robot, S2 of Good Behavior), plus the return of all of The CW fall series. We’re not out of the woods yet!