Summer TV might not be the endless field of tumbleweeds the landscape used to be a few years ago. But there’s still something about fall approaching that signals a revitalized TV world, filled with plenty of new shows and returning favorites.
We’ll have more soon on the best of what’s to come among the fall’s returning shows, but here’s a helpful overview of the new series that might be worth adding to the queue.
“American Horror Story: Cult” (September 5, FX)
This newest installment of the long-running FX anthology series may not be a new show, but it’s dealing with some new subject matter. In an election-inspired season of new horrors, standbys Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters, alongside newcomers Alison Pill and Billy Eichner, tackle the dangers of a hivemind. (Did we mention there are clowns? There are also a lot of clowns.)
“Con Man” (September 9, SYFY)
After beginning its life online, the short-form series starring Alan Tudyk is getting a cable premiere in marathon form. All 13 episodes, which focus on the life of a former sci-fi star and his ups and downs on the fan convention circuit, will air back-to-back.
“The Deuce” (September 10, HBO)
David Simon’s latest city-wide chronicle examines 1970s New York from within and outside the emerging underground porn world. Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco lead a top-flight cast that also includes David Krumholtz, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Method Man, and Ralph Macchio.
“Top of the Lake: China Girl” (September 10, Sundance)
Jane Campion’s otherworldly TV series returns for a second installment, this time turning its attention to Robin Griffin’s (Elisabeth Moss) investigation in Sydney. The first season was unlike any murder mystery TV had seen before, and, if David Ehrlich’s review is any indication, the quality of this newest set of stories picks up right where it left off.
“The Vietnam War” (September 17, PBS)
Emmys evening is a tricky time for a series to make a debut, but Ken Burns’ latest gargantuan documentary effort is far more than awards night counterprogramming. An ambitious examination of the origins, duration, and aftermath of a decade-long conflict, it’s a thorough and necessary look at a contentious period of 20th century American life.
“Tales from the Tour Bus” (September 22, Cinemax)
Mike Judge makes a return to animation with this country music history of sorts, telling an illustrated history of some of the genre’s biggest icons. From Waylon Jennings to George Jones and Tammy Wynette, it incorporates interview footage and choice recreations of the stories that shaped their careers and their vaunted place in the industry.
Up next: The latest Star Trek series, Comedy Central’s latest late night hopes, and a series starring a nine-year-old