Just as it does with film, Entertainment Weekly has unveiled its annual Fall TV preview, which hits newsstands Friday less than two weeks before the Primetime Emmys on September 22. Fall television is a whack-a-mole of pilots and new seasons, and according to this issue, there are 119 of those coming at you down the pike. A roundup of trailers after the jump.
It’s a solid lineup, and there will still be plenty of those middlebrow series to offer numbing comforts while you put the kids to bed.
Perhaps most anticipated on Sunday nights is the third season of “Homeland” (September 29, Showtime) starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, who are both up for Emmys this year and have already won every award on this green Earth for their performances as a CIA operative and a double agent, respectively.
This season picks up two months after the events of the second, and in the midst of the CIA bombing fallout. According to exec producer Alex Gansa, “There is a massive operation — not only the CIA, probably every intelligence agency in the world — trying to find the people responsible for committing the attack… first and foremost on the list is Brody himself.” Honestly last season was kind of a hot mess in terms of narrative but this show is always great fun.
Ryan Murphy has a deliciously witchy brew in store for the upcoming season of “American Horror Story: Coven” (October 9, FX) starring Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates. With an arc centered on a coven of witches in New Orleans, this anthology brings cast members Frances Conroy, Evan Peters, Taissa Farmiga and the fabulous Sarah Paulson back on board. Paulson, among others, is Emmy-nominated this year for her performance last season.
According to executive producer Tim Minear, this season is “not as grim” (too bad). “It’s definitely horror and it’s definitely intense. But there’s more of a wink.” However “Coven” unfolds, it certainly won’t be as bat-shit as last season which was one of the best things on TV, not to mention the most disturbing and emotionally scarring. Who else but Murphy can pack in alien abduction, rape, incest, demonic possession and serial killer Santa Clauses into a single episode? Surely he will circle back to some of these themes this season.
CBS joins in on the Emmy-snatching political conspiracy fun with their new series “Hostages” (September 23) starring Toni Collette as a surgeon coerced by a rogue FBI agent (Dylan McDermott) into killing POTUS while he’s under the knife. The script “was an absolute page-turner… I’ve never been involved in a story with this genre before, and it’s the type of thing that I like to watch just as an audience member,” says Collette, who shined as a mom with multiple personalities in Showtime’s cancelled “The United States of Tara.” “Hostages” will be a kind of telenovela with a 15-episode arc.
Michael J. Fox has a new vehicle, “The Michael J. Fox Show” (September 26, NBC). Costarring Betsy Brandt of “Breaking Bad,“ this is Fox’s first regular series role since “Spin City” and here he seems to be mocking himself. Or something like that. Because of his Parkinson’s, “it could take potentially three minutes to get eggs from here to there,” Fox, 52, tells EW. In this show, “nothing is sacred.”
Another sparkling new show vying for horror lovers will be “Dracula” (October 25, NBC) and on Fridays evenings, a tough time to get committed eyeballs but also a good way for networks to test the waters of a series. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, rising like a phoenix from the ashes of rehab, stars as the titular vampire. “I play bad guys because I look like one,” Meyers tells EW. “There’s something in my physicality that lends me to being feral. I mean, I’d love to be this lovely, relaxed guy doing rom-coms, but I just don’t get those type of offers.” Set in Victorian-era London, this series draws (blood) from the Bram Stoker source material but with fresh twists.
Also of note are premieres of new seasons of “The Walking Dead,” “New Girl,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Nashville,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Scandal” and much more. Look for the fall TV preview on September 13 for a full roster of upcoming shows.