Not that we in any way want to suggest that summer might be coming to an end, nor that the slight chill in the gentle breeze is anything more than an anomaly, but even for us bookish, indoorsy types a change of season is in the air. Not only does the Fall Film Festival brouhaha kick off this week in Venice, but last week saw the premiere of “Narcos,” a TV show we’ve been greatly anticipating all year, and after which practically every week we will see one, sometimes two or three, mouthwatering new series debut on the small screen.
So yes, the Fall TV season is upon us, so we thought we’d take a look ahead at the very crowded slate of shows kicking off between now and Christmas. If there’s a major trend to spot it’s the rising influence of new kids on the block Amazon, Hulu and Netflix (though the latter are practically the old guard now) who are continuing to make serious inroads into the quality TV arena previously dominated by HBO, Showtime and AMC, and to quietly revolutionize the way we consume small-screen storytelling. Days maybe shortening, but that means nights are getting longer, so here are the 25 programs, many new but a good sprinkling of returning favorites, that we think may provide the best way to fill the evening hours of autumn and winter, 2015.
The story of billionaire drug dealer Pablo Escobar, the richest criminal in the history of the world is one that filmmakers of various stripes have been trying, and mostly failing, to capture for decades, but as a sprawling, decades-long tale, it seems perfectly suited to television. But this Netflix show, co-created and written by “Hannibal” veteran Chris Brancato, with the first two episodes directed by “Elite Squad” and “Robocop” remake helmer José Padilha, has even bigger aims, being billed as “the history of cocaine,” eventually coming to the present day and the strength of the Mexican cartels. The cast (with “Elite Squad”’s Wagner Moura as Escobar, and “Gone Girl”’s Boyd Holbrook and “Game Of Thrones”’ Pedro Pascal as the DEA agents after him) is strong, early reviews are good, and the footage is terrific. Your next TV obsession?
When: The ten-episode first season hit Netflix at midnight PST on August 28th, in its entirety.
“Hand Of God”
Having been a key part of the just-wrapped up “Sons Of Anarchy,” Ron Perlman gets to headline his own premium drama series with Amazon’s first offering from their third batch of new series, “Hand Of God.” Created by former “Burn Notice” writer Ben Watkins, with a pilot directed by “World War Z”’s Marc Forster, it sees Perlman as a wealthy, corrupt judge who believes that God is telling him to be a vigilante after his son attempts suicide. We found the pilot to be creeping towards self-parody in its utter bleakness and adherence to white-male-antihero cable drama tropes, but there’s enough promise here, not least in the strong supporting cast — Dana Delaney, Garret Dillahunt, “The Wire”’s Andre Royo, “Middle Of Nowhere” breakout Emayatzy Corinealdi — that we’ll keep an eye on where it develops once the series arrives in a week.
When: The entire first season of 10 episodes arrives on Amazon on Friday, September 4th.
“You’re The Worst” Season 2
One of our favorite comedies of 2014 was Stephen Falk’s “You’re The Worst,” a breathlessly funny, deeply sexy, disarmingly moving anti-rom-com about the accidental love affair between two of the most awful people in Los Angeles (the great Aya Cash and Chris Geere). Renewed for an extended second season despite middling ratings thanks to critical love, the show’s now moved to FXX, but expect this to otherwise pick up where it left off Cash’s Gretchen and Geere’s Jimmy, have, against the odds, moved in together, while her best friend Lindsay is attempting to bounce back from the end of her marriage, and his best friend, PTSD-suffering vet Edgar, is attempting to woo her. The cast (bolstered by new appearances by Justin Kirk, Collette Wolfe and more) are all back, the creative team are intact, and there’s every sign that this could be even better than the first run.
When: Season two gets underway at 10.30 on FXX on September 9th, after the new and final season of “The League.”
“The Bastard Executioner”
We could never quite get on board with “Sons Of Anarchy” — the FX drama, which ended earlier this year, had a huge following, but we always found it more interested in shock value than in having anything to say. Despite that, we’re interested in checking out creator Kurt Sutter’s new show “The Bastard Executioner.” In part, it’s because our friend Flora Spencer-Longhurst plays the female lead (go Flora!), but beyond that, the setting of the series — it’s in medieval England, following a Welsh knight who becomes the executioner for the local baron in an attempt to seek revenge — seems a good fit for Sutter’s gruesome sensibilities. Australian newcomer Lee Jones leads, with “True Blood”’s Stephen Moyer, the great Brian F. O’Byrne, omnipresent Brit actor Sam Spruell (“Starred Up”) and SOA veteran Katey Sagal in back-up, and Matthew Rhys and, uh, Ed Sheeran guest-starring. Expect heads to quite literally roll.
When: The ten episode first-season begins with a two-hour premiere on FX at 10pm on Tuesday September 15th.
Not since “The Simpsons” hit its stride has it felt like we’ve been in such a golden-age of animated comedy — “Rick & Morty,” “Gravity Falls,” “Adventure Time,” “BoJack Horseman” and “Archer” are all very different, but all hugely rewarding in their own ways. The latest hoping to join them is “Moonbeam City,” a new Comedy Central show from “Conan” veteran Scott Gairdner. The idea of an animated cop show parody is hardly fresh, but ‘Moonbeam’ has a spectacular visual style, something like “Archer” by way of “Akira,” “Miami Vice,” the “Drive” soundtrack and Daft Punk’s “Interstella 5555,” and an A-list cast to match, with Rob Lowe, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara, Powers Boothe, Kate McKinnon, Susan Sarandon and Will Forte playing characters called things like Dazzle Novak, Pizzaz Miller and Chrysalis Tate. Gairdner’s something of an unknown quantity, but what we’ve seen from the trailer looks like it could well bring the funny as well as the spectacle.
When: The premiere airs after “South Park” on Comedy Central at 10.30 on Wednesday, September 16th.
With Steven Spielberg‘s film version of Philip K Dick‘s story gaining in retrospective reputation (and it was hardly a flop at the time), it feels timely that a new spin on the “Minority Report” universe is being tried on for size. And as a sci-fi premise, as well as a riff on the original film, Fox‘s TV show has a good angle: set 11 years after the events of the film, it follows Dash (Stark Sands), one the precogs (three gifted young people who can see crimes before they are committed) as he tries to find his way back to the others after the Pre-Crime program is cancelled. Starring Meaghan Good as a police detective who Dash starts working with off the books, and featuring Wilmer Valderrama (!), showrunner Max Borenstein has a hard act to follow. But despite the rather plasticky network-TV look of the trailer below the storyline alone has us curious to check this out.
When: Premieres Monday September 21st on Fox.
It’s time to start the music, it’s time to light the lights: Jim Henson’s fuzzy creations the Muppets are back on TV for the first time in almost two decades. The recent movies having helped bring Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy and co back into the consciousness, the new ABC primetime show, hailing from “Big Bang Theory” co-creator Bill Prady and former “Simpsons” writer Bob Kushell, hopes to return them to the form in which they first became popular. This time, there’s a twist, with the show being a “Larry Sanders”-style look (told in “The Office”-aping faux-documentary format) behind the scenes of “Up Late With Miss Piggy,” a fictional late-night talk show. Controversially, a Comic-Con presentation revealed that Kermit and Miss Piggy have split up, but not everything has changed — there’ll still be a host of celebrity guests, with Reese Witherspoon and Imagine Dragons confirmed for the first episode.
When: Episode one arrives on ABC on Tuesday September 22nd at 8pm.
“Empire” Season 2
The biggest story in television in the last twelve months has undoubtedly been “Empire” — at a time when network TV ratings are plummeting, the Lee Daniels-created soap, set in the hip-hop world, had one of the biggest debuts in years, and then proceeded to get bigger every week culminating in nearly eighteen million viewers watching the finale. Unsurprisingly, hopes are high for the next season, which will pick up with Lucious (Terrence Howard) in better health but facing prison, Cookie (Taraji P. Henson)’s takeover bid underway and the aftermath of the death of Uncle Vernon sending shockwaves through the family. As befitting the show’s success, there’s some big-name new additions, with Andre Royo, Marisa Tomei, Alicia Keys, Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey all expected to pop up at one point or another.
When: It returns to Fox at 9pm on Wednesday, September 23rd, with the season now extended to 18 episodes.
“The Good Wife” Season 7/“Homeland” Season 5
Two veteran and much-acclaimed dramas continue on this year, after some rockier moments in their recent pasts, hoping to hit new heights. CBS’ “The Good Wife” has long been a contender for one of the best shows on network TV, and seemed to be rising higher and higher with Season 5, only for the 6th run to disappoint —too many narrative dead ends, and it was often overshadowed by the exit of Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi. This year hopes to go back to basics, but there’s an injection of new blood, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cush Jumbo, Margo Martindale, Amy Irving and Peter Gallagher all joining. “Homeland,” meanwhile, improved in Season 3 thanks to the absence of Damian Lewis’ character, and hopes to continue in that direction: the show’s moved to Berlin, with Sebastian Koch (“The Lives Of Others”) and Miranda Otto (“Lord Of The Rings”) joining, and a plot said to reference ISIS, Putin, Edward Snowden and Charlie Hebdo.
When: Both shows return October 4th at 9pm — “The Good Wife” on CBS, “Homeland” on Showtime.
“The Leftovers” Season 2
Occasionally frustrating and just a tiny bit up itself, season 1 of Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta‘s “The Leftovers” was nonetheless never less than intriguing. So it’s promising news that a substantially retooled season 2 apparently retains and emphasizes a lot that we really liked about the show (Carrie Coon seems more central here, for example) while also providing a needed narrative boost by having the family unit of Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), daughter Jill (Margaret Qualley) and new girlfriend Nora (Coon) move to a new town in search of a post-“Rapture” new start. The dramatic trailer makes it look like perhaps more will actually happen this season, as opposed to overrelying on atmospherics. And while Regina King, Kevin Carroll and Jovan Adepo are welcome new additions to the cast, most of the season 1 regulars will be back in some way too, so it’s not a total reset.
When: Its 10-episode 2nd seasons starts airing October 4th on HBO.
“American Horror Story: Hotel”
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s “American Horror Story” has been one of the runaway successes of the last few years, now entering its fifth season on FX, and inspiring not just network spiritual cousin spin-off “Scream Queens,” but also 2016’s “American Crime Story.” But with the creators now spread quite thin, and toplining star Jessica Lange departing for pastures new, can “Hotel” live up to its predecessors? The big draw this time is Lady Gaga, graduating to a lead role as the owner of the devilish Hotel Cortez, while the rest of the cast includes both AHS vets (Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Chloe Sevigny) and relative newcomers (Max Greenfield, Naomi Campbell, Wes Bentley, Matt Bomer). It looks campy even by the standards of the show, but that’ll only delight fans further, presumably.
When: It returns to FX at 10pm on October 7th.
This half-hour comedy, created and written by Zander Lehmann, has a premise that either sounds like a classic, throwback sitcom, or wildly old-hat, depending on your point of view: a newly divorced therapist (“Trophy Wife“‘s Michaela Watkins) and her bachelor brother, suddenly living together again try to coach each other through the perils of dating while raising a teenager. But if the writing is as strong as has been touted (and Hulu went straight to a full series order back in October) then there’s no reason why the tried-and-true family sitcom should not work out again given a fresh coat of paint — it’s done fine for the likes of “Modern Family.” And it has attracted the services of Jason Reitman as one of the series directors, who will be doing the pilot and could do with being associated with a small-screen hit after his poorly received features “Labor Day” and “Men Women and Children.”
When: Weekly from October 7th on Hulu. No trailer yet.
The second of the three big shows Amazon are debuting this fall comes from some hefty behind-the-scenes talent: it’s executive-produced by Steven Soderbergh (his second venture into TV after “The Knick”), was co-created by “Magic Mike XXL” director Gregory Jacobs, and featured a pilot directed by David Gordon Green. An 80s-set coming-of-age tale starring “Submarine”’s Craig Roberts, it follows a young tennis prodigy who takes a job at a country club after his sophomore year of college, and features Richard Kind, Jennifer Grey, standout Ennis Emer, “Project X”’s Oliver Cooper and Paul Reiser among the cast. The pilot was probably the best of its batch of Amazon pilots, neatly channeling 80s teen movies from “Caddyshack” to “The Breakfast Club” while feeling fresh, and if nothing else it should be a great showcase for the very talented Roberts.
When: The whole first season hits Amazon on Friday, October 9th.
“The Walking Dead” Season 6
With spin-off “Fear The Walking Dead” arriving last weekend with the biggest-ever cable drama premiere, it’s clear that the appetite for small-screen zombies isn’t going anywhere, and its parent “The Walking Dead” is, just in time, entering its sixth run later in the fall. Cable TV’s biggest drama actually had something of a critical renaissance in its fifth season, occasionally coming close to living up to its promise, and with the sixth season thought to revolve around a sheltered community and a square-off between Rick and old acquaintance Morgan (the great Lennie James, returning from the pilot), we hope that might continue. We’re promised more zombies than ever (over 600 in the premiere alone), an episode entirely in flashback, and new additions to the cast include “Straight Outta Compton”’s Corey Hawkins, “Empire Records” actor Ethan Embry and “Nurse Jackie” Emmy-winner Merrit Wever.
When: A 90-minute premiere airs on AMC at 9 on Sunday, October 11th.
“Fargo” Season 2
We’re not super precious about many things round here, but jealously guarding the legacy of certain Coen Brothers movies might be one of them. So to say that “Fargo,” based on their brilliant black comedy masterpiece movie, actually managed to win us over at all, let alone become one of our favorite shows of last year, is no faint praise. And yet, having done all that great work and established Alison Tolman as its breakout star, creator Noah Hawley has gone the “True Detective” route (though hopefully better) and tried for nearly a full reset in season 2. This time out, we got back to 1979 to follow Lou Solverson (Keith Carradine in s1, Patrick Wilson here) as he gets mixed up with Kirsten Dunst, Kieran Culkin, Jean Smart, Ted Danson, and Jesse Plemons among others in a gallows-humor murder mystery. Based on the evidence from the [terrific] trailer, we’re tipping Jean Smart for an Emmy nod at least.
When: Starts Monday October 12th on FX. Bring it on.
“Manhattan” Season 2
The most pleasant surprise of 2014’s TV was Sam Shaw’s “Manhattan.” Arriving with a fraction of the hype of “True Detective” or “Better Call Saul” on the obscure WGN America network, the series was a beautifully made, hugely compelling look at the creation of the atomic bomb in New Mexico in the 1940s, with a superb cast including John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Rachel Brosnahan, Harry Lloyd, Christopher Denham and Michael Chernus. Despite low ratings, a second season was ordered and it looks to raise the stakes as the enacting of the Manhattan Project gets ever closer. William Petersen, in his first TV gig since “CSI,” joins the cast as the new military head of the base, while Mamie Gummer, Griffin Dunne and Neve Campbell have also joined the cast. The potential’s definitely here for this to be one of the best shows on TV —let’s hope enough people catch up with it on Hulu in advance of its return.
When: WGN America at 9pm on October 13th.
“The Knick” Season 2
Our second-favorite TV show of the 2014/2015 season, and certainly the very best to look at and listen to thanks to the exquisite photography, the period detail of the imagery and the brilliantly anachronistic Cliff Martinez score, we could not be anticipating the second season of the bloody, queasy, beautiful “The Knick” if Steven Soderbergh himself were directing it. Oh wait…! Starring a career-best Clive Owen as the brilliant, cocaine-addicted head doctor at New York City’s Knickerbocker Hospital in the early 1900s, as well as giving star-making turns to Eve Hewson, Cara Seymour and Andre Holland, there’s no higher compliment we can pay and no greater wish we could have than that season 2 just keeps on doing exactly what season 1 did. If nothing else, it will be the best-made television show on the air, and (with all due props to writer/creators Jack Amiel and Michael Begler) also maybe even Soderbergh’s crowning achievement to date.
When: Starts Friday October 16th on Cinemax; cannot come quickly enough.
Just as in movie theaters, superheroes are big business on TV right now —Marvel will have four shows on the air by the end of this year with more to come, Batman prequel “Gotham” is a hit on Fox, and DC has been building a mini-universe on the CW. Now, CBS are getting in on the action with “Supergirl,” focusing on Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El. Previously brought to the big screen via an ill-fated Helen Slater-starring movie, and co-created by “Arrow” and “The Flash” mastermind Greg Berlanti (though confusingly, this show exists in a different universe from the latter shows, and from “Gotham,” and from the new DC movies), the new incarnation looks to be on the lighter-side of the superhero equation, as much girl-trying-to-make-it-in-the-big-city-show as superhero action. The casting seems strong, if a little in-jokey —“Whiplash” breakout Melissa Benoist is in the title role, Calista Flockhart also stars and Slater and TV Superman Dean Cain play Kara’s foster parents —but whether the execution matches it is a bigger question.
When: Monday October 26th at 8:30 on CBS, moving to 8pm the next week.
“Ash vs Evil Dead”
So ‘Evil Dead‘ fans haven’t yet received the fourth movie they crave, but there are 10 half-hour episodes of TV horror-comedy on their way to plug the gap. Starring Bruce Campbell as his iconic ‘Evil Dead’ character Ash, albeit an older yet apparently none-the-wiser version who we last saw 23 years ago, the show co-stars Jill Marie Jones, Ray Santiago, Dana Delorenzo and Lucy Lawless, and will be executive produced by Campbell, ‘Evil Dead’ director/creator Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, who originally produced the first film. So despite the all-out goofy vibe of the trailer (we hope the show doesn’t indulge in too much “getting too old for dis shit” slapstick), we have to assume the beloved series’ legacy is in good hands especially as Raimi is directing and wrote the pilot episode.
When: The series premieres, for some reason we can’t imagine, on October 31st on Starz.
“Master of None”
“Parks and Recreation” star Aziz Ansari‘s new show is a personal affair, based loosely on his standup and in which he stars as a thinly veiled version of himself: Dev, a New York-based actor struggling with committing to… well, anything really. Also featuring the fine comedic chops of “Tim and Eric“‘s Eric Wareheim and “Bob’s Burgers” H. Jon Benjamin, the show finds Ansari even casts his own mother and father in the roles of his character’s onscreen mom and dad. Co-created by ‘Parks’ writer Alan Yang, the show will be less a traditional sitcom and more a framework through which Ansari can work through various concerns and topical issues that he addresses in his stand-up, which is an approach that could either be frustratingly diffuse or refreshingly liberating. We’re willing to take a punt on the latter.
When: The 10-episode single-camera half-hour Netflix show debuts on November 6th. No trailer yet.
“Flesh And Bone”
In a tale of a troubled out-of-town girl trying to make it in the dysfunctional and cutthroat world of a Manhattan ballet academy, this show may feel a little familiar, like “Flashdance” meets “Black Swan” (in which the show’s newcomer star, Sarah Hay, played a small role). But with a pilot incongruously directed by David Michod, known more for steely masculine dramas, we can at least be sure it won’t end up pretty-pretty, and more importantly, this is the first showrunner/creator credit for Moira Walley-Beckett, producer of the final seasons of “Breaking Bad,” as well as the Emmy-winning writer of “Ozymandias,” widely regarded as that show’s best episode (and our favorite TV episode of 2013). So hearing that Starz now considers this a self-contained miniseries, rather than a season 1, doesn’t give us too much pause.
When: November 8th, when all 8 of its 45-minute episodes will be available VOD via Starz.
“The Man in the High Castle”
Based on Philip K. Dick’s brilliant alternate history novel, set in an world in which the Axis powers won World War II and divided America between them, this Ridley Scott-produced adaptation has been in development for a few years now, first for the BBC, then for SyFy before finally finding a home at Amazon. The pilot aired back in January to near-unanimous critical acclaim, causing Amazon to order a whole series, comprised of 10 hour-long episodes, of what certainly looks to be an expensively mounted, period-set show. Starring Alexa Davolos, Rufus Sewell, Rupert Evans, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and DJ Qualls as citizens and government officials caught between the Japanese-controlled West Coast and the Nazi Midwest and East, the show so far has certainly done a good job of capturing the claustrophobia and oppression of Dick’s novel, and writer Frank Spotnitz‘s “X-Files” credentials are pretty impeccable.
When: Amazon Instant will release all 10 episodes on Friday November 10th (write off the weekend?)
“Into the Badlands”
If it seems strange that, despite increase awareness of the genre, there hasn’t been a small-screen martial arts show of note in quite a while, that’s something “Into the Badlands” and star/exec producer Daniel Wu (whose face and fists will be familiar to millions of Hong Kong action cinema aficionados, as well as the 20 or so fans of “The Man with the Iron Fists“) hope to address. The fantasy/martial arts/swordplay/dystopia/road movie mashup, loosely based on the same 16th century Chinese tale that gave us “Monkey,” stars Wu as a warrior who takes an apprentice on a journey across a devastated America now controlled by seven power-hungry barons. Creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are behind Jackie Chan’s “Shanghai Noon” films, whose director, David Dobkin, will also helm here —but the trailer below suggests that a small-screen forum might suit them better, especially given the superior-looking fight choreography.
When: The 6-episode, hour-long show airs Sundays on AMC from November 15th.
“Transparent” Season 2
Simply one of the most perfect first seasons of television ever made, Jill Soloway‘s gorgeous “Transparent” was our favorite television show of the 2014/2015 season, starring an impeccable cast of Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass and Gaby Hoffmann as the LA-based Pfefferman family. Unfolding in the weeks and months following the revelation of the father (Tambor) coming out as a transgender woman, there could have been the danger that the show would lose steam or somehow not justify a second run. But the writing is so superb throughout, the characters so real and differentiated, and the performances so wholly embodied that Mort/Maura’s transition is only a tiny part now of what makes the show so totally compelling —so it’s doubly gratifying to know that even before season 2 has aired, season 3 has been greenlit.
When: All 10 episodes will be available via Amazon Instant on December 4th (so we’ll see you sometime Dec 5th, bloodshot and lachrymose). No trailer yet, but here’s season 1’s:
“Marvel’s Jessica Jones”
The second of four shows leading to a “Defenders” miniseries (which will play out like a small-screen version of The Avengers’ big-screen model), there are reasons other than Marvel mania to be into “Jessica Jones.” Not only was its precursor “Daredevil” surprisingly good, but this show will star the ever-appealing Krysten Ritter as Jones, who is also distinguished by being an ex-superhero whose career in superheroics came to a traumatic end and who is now a private investigator. David Tennant, Rachael Taylor, Mike Colter and Carrie-Anne Moss provide support and Emmy-winning showrunner Melissa Rosenberg plays puppetmaster (her track record on the small screen, with “Dexter,” is more heartening than her big-screen “Twilight” adaptations). “Agent Carter,” the other female-fronted Marvel show is decent too, so there are lots of ways to be optimistic about this particular tentacle of the Marvel monster that will soon devour us all.
When: December TBD via Netflix. No trailer yet.
Honorable Mentions: So what else have we got coming up this fall? The first big TV event of the fall will be the debut of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (CBS, Sept 8th), while your Granddad’s favorite neo-Western series “Longmire” moves to a streaming platform for its fourth season (Netflix, Sept 10th), as does “The Mindy Project” (Hulu, Sept 15th). Ben Affleck and Matt Damon bring back their moviemaking reality series “Project Greenlight” (HBO, Sept 13th), and Peter Capaldi hopes to follow-up his excellent first outing with the ninth post-reboot season of “Doctor Who” (BBC America, Sept 19th), with Maisie Williams the biggest-name guest star.
“Thor” star Jaimie Alexander and “Animal Kingdom”’ Sullivan Stapleton team for the enjoyably-silly looking “Blindspot” (NBC, Sept 21st), which is basically “Prison Break” meets “The Blacklist,” while Bradley Cooper’s star-making role in “Limitless” (CBS, Sept 22nd) gets a small-screen spin-off, with occasional appearances from the Oscar-nominee himself. The “American Horror Story” creators try for a network version of their hit with the sorority-set slasher series “Scream Queens” (Fox, Sept 22nd), with Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Abigail Breslin and Ariana Grande, while Wesley Snipes tries to mount a comeback with the Vegas-set actioner “The Player” (NBC, Sept 24th).
NBC will also chase past glories with “Heroes Reborn” (NBC, Sept 24th), a reboot of the fleetingly popular superhero show, while Fox’s increasingly strong Sunday night comedy line-up of “Bob’s Burgers,” “Brooklyn Nine Nine” and “The Last Man On Earth” returns too (Fox, Sept 27th). New FBI-school drama “Quantico” (ABC, Sept 27th) looks fun in a sort of sub-Shondha way, while Trevor Noah makes his “Daily Show” debut (Comedy Central, Sept 28th). Rob Lowe/Fred Savage comedy “The Grinder” (Fox, Sept 29th) was one of the more promising comedies of the season, until we heard that it had lost its showrunner —here’s hoping it’s still worth a look.
“The Affair” (Showtime, Oct 4th) returns alongside “Homeland,” with its multi-perspective conceit now widened to include Joshua Jackson and Maura Tierney’s characters, while Bryan Cranston voices new stop-motion superhero parody “Supermansion” (Crackle, Oct 8th). Vikings continue to be big on TV with “The Last Kingdom” (BBC America, Oct 10th), starring Matthew MacFayden and Rutger Hauer, while CW enters the musical game with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW, Oct 12th), paired with the second season of their critically beloved “Jane The Virgin.”
’80s-set murder soap “Wicked City” (ABC, Oct 27th) looks like it could be fun in a trashy way, and Arthur C. Clarke’s classic “Childhood’s End” (Syfy, December) gets the miniseries treatment starring Charles Dance and Colm Meaney. And finally, “This Is England ’90,” the last in Shane Meadows’ beloved cycle, “River,” from “Shame” writer Abi Morgan starring Stellan Skarsgard as a cop tracking down killer Eddie Marsan, and Jack Thorne’s “The Last Panthers,” starring Samantha Morton, John Hurt and Tarar Rahim, are among the shows hitting in the UK in the next few months, though it’ll likely be 2016 until they reach the U.S.