2020 Network Fall TV Premiere Dates

Eager to find out when your favorite network TV show is returning this fall? IndieWire reveals when you can expect to see it on your screen.
Thomas Middleditch, Annaleigh Ashford
Annaleigh Ashford and Thomas Middleditch in "B Positive."

The fall calendar this year looks a bit different than in years past thanks to COVID-19. Because of the global pandemic and the slow return to filming, networks are scrambling to fill the gaps, and some are holding their biggest shows for mid-season or sometime next year in order to avoid abrupt endings where production was stopped. Other networks have taken to purchasing foreign imports or utilizing canceled streaming shows and repackaging them into new premieres for an audience that passed them by the first time. Either way, television audiences will be taking a new approach to must-see TV this fall and we’re detailing when your favorite series is set to return. We will update this post as season premiere dates are announced:

“The Good Doctor” (ABC)

Premiere Date: November 2

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Hill Harper, Richard Schiff

Plot: The fourth season of ABC’s popular medical series sees Freddie Highmore return as Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young doctor dealing with autism. This season has already started by taking stock of 2020, and the premiere was one of the first medical shows to tackle the coronavirus and show how it affected hospitals in real-time.

“B Positive” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 5

Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Annaleigh Ashford, Kether Donahue

Plot: The latest series from creators Chuck Lorre, of “Two and a Half Men” fame, and Marco Pennette follows a man faced with finding a kidney donor. Enter the wacky Gina (Ashford), a woman from the past willing to volunteer her own kidney.

“Mom” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 5

Cast: Allison Janney, Jaime Pressley, William Fichtner

Plot: This Norman Lear-produced series is set to enter its eighth season, but long-time “Mom” fans should prepare for a shakeup. Earlier this year long-time star of the show, Anna Faris, decided to leave. With Janney still leading things, however, there’s no doubt the laughs will continue.

Iain Armitage
“Young Sheldon”CBS

“Young Sheldon” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 5

Cast: Iain Armitage, Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Montana Jordan, Raegan Revord

Plot: After the cancellation of “The Big Bang Theory” audiences were skeptical that a series centered around a nine-year-old version of Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon Cooper, would work. But the Iain Armitage-starring sitcom has found an audience, becoming the most-watched comedy on television. This season will see Sheldon graduate from high school and start to prepare to enter college. If you need to catch up on Season 1 you can do so via HBO Max.

“NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 8

Cast: Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J

Plot: The series — now on Season 12 — follows the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in the City of Angels and stars LL Cool J. It is one of several “NCIS” series returning to CBS this fall.

“NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 8

Cast: Scott Bakula, Rob Kerkovich, CCH Pounder

Plot: The youngest of the NCIS franchises, Scott Bakula leads this city’s take on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The series premiere saw Bakula’s team investigate a death onboard a ship in which crew have been infected with coronavirus.

“Chicago Fire” (NBC)

Premiere Date: November 11

Cast: Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Eammon Walker

Plot: NBC has cornered Wednesday as the night for their string of Chicago-based dramas with “Chicago Fire” being the first in a trio of shows set in the city. Despite garnering mixed reviews, NBC has renewed the show for its ninth, 10th, and 11th seasons.

“Chicago Med” (NBC)

Premiere Date: November 11

Cast: Nick Gehlfuss, Yaya DaCosta, Torrey DeVitto, Brian Tee

Plot: The tribute to the Windy City continues with “Chicago Med,” a “Grey’s Anatomy”-esque look at the lives of ER doctors and nurses at a fictional hospital in the city. Not much is known about the season premiere but based on photos, it looks like the coronavirus might make an appearance.

“Chicago P.D.” (NBC)

Premiere Date: November 11

Cast: Jason Beghe, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick John Flueger, Marina Squerciati

Plot: “Chicago P.D.,” like other Dick Wolf-produced series, looks at the lives and professional struggles of a group of Chicago police officers. The series has teamed up several times with the police characters of Wolf’s other popular series “Law and Order: SVU.” The season premiere will look at police reform in the wake of current Black Lives Matter protests.

“S.W.A.T.” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 11

Cast: Shemar Moore, Alex Russell, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, Jay Harrington

Plot: “S.W.A.T.” is a remake of the 1975 series of the same name that was later adapted to film in 2003. The new series, borrowing the same characters from the original series, stars Shemar Moore as the leader of the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit. The arrival of the fourth season will see a two-hour premiere wherein the team look at the history of racial strife in the city of Los Angeles.

GREY'S ANATOMY - ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey. (ABC/Mike Rosenthal)
ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey. (ABC/Mike Rosenthal)ABC

“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC)

Premiere Date: November 12

Cast: Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens, Jr.

Plot: It’s shocking to think that “Grey’s Anatomy” is entering its 17th season. The long-running show follows Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey as she navigates being a doctor at Seattle Grace hospital. The long-running soap has come to be the gold standard for ABC dramas, inspiring several other shows on the network and a spin-off, starting with “Station 19.” Creator Shonda Rhimes is also expanding to other areas, with Shondaland’s upcoming series “Bridgerton” coming to Netflix in December.

“Law and Order: Special Victims’ Unit” (NBC)

Premiere Date: November 12

Cast: Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T

Plot: “Law and Order: SVU” has gone on to be the longest-running U.S. live-action series on television. The show has seen some cast changes, but long-time castmember Mariska Hargitay continues to lead the series. It’s unknown how the series will deal with current events, though it has been known to focus on events “ripped from the headlines.”

“Station 19” (ABC)

Premiere Date: November 12

Cast: Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon, Barrett Doss, Jay Hayden

Plot: This “Grey’s Anatomy” spin-off is now entering its fourth season, focused on the lives of the men and women at the Seattle firehouse of the title. Like several other ABC shows this new season, it will attempt to touch on actual events, with their premiere examining the effects of the coronavirus on Station 19.

“The Unicorn” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 12

Cast: Walton Goggins, Rob Corddry, Omar Benson Miller, Maya Lynne Robinson, Ruby Jay

Plot: This Walton Goggins-led series follows his character, Wade, as he attempts to navigate the dating world while raising two children. The first season received additional episodes due to its success and is getting a prime slot for its Season 2 premiere. In his review of the series, IndieWire’s Ben Travers praised “The Unicorn” for its supporting cast, “ready to inject every single scene with an extra dose of laughs.”

“The Blacklist” (NBC)

Premiere Date: November 13

Cast: James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix

Plot: James Spader stars as a high-profile criminal who turns himself in to the FBI and works with a profiler to solve crimes. The impact of the coronavirus saw the show’s season finale turn to animation to complete their last season.

All Rise CBS Season 1
“All Rise”Michael Yarish/2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

“All Rise” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 16

Cast: Simone Missick, Wilson Bethel, Jessica Camacho, J. Alex Brinson

Plot: After being the first to do an all Zoom-based episode in the wake of current events, it’s no surprise that “All Rise” will return with a prime slot for its Season 2 premiere. Things will kick off with Missick’s Lola having to repair a friendship after being detained during a protest. In his review of the series, IndieWire’s Tambay Obenson called “All Rise” “a better-than-average, nimble, if safe drama, with substantial potential for exploring themes of substance.”

“Bob Hearts Abishola” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 16

Cast: Billy Gardell, Folake Olowofoyeku, Matt Jones, Gina Yashere

Plot: “Bob Hearts Abishola” is CBS’ romantic sitcom following a compression socks salesman, played by Billy Gardell, who falls for Nigerian nurse Abishola (Folake Olowofoyeku.) IndieWire’s Tambay Obenson called the series a “fresher and more genuine ‘Coming to America’ narrative that should inform and entertain.” The season premiere will deal with Bob’s attempts to propose to Abishola and a discussion on marriage values.

“Bull” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 16

Cast: Michael Weatherly, Freddy Rodriguez, Geneva Carr, Jaime Lee Kirchner

Plot: Weatherly plays jury consultant Jason Bull with the Season 5 premiere focused on how Bull and his team will do their job when New York is shut down due to the global pandemic. The series courted controversy last year when actress Eliza Dushku charged Weatherly with sexually harassing her. CBS President Kelly Kahl said, in response to the allegations: “Michael made a mistake in his comments. He owned that mistake. He was apologetic at the time, and he was remorseful.”

“The Neighborhood” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 16

Cast: Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield

Plot: The sitcom stars Cedric the Entertainer and Max Greenfield as neighbors navigating everything from race to personal values. IndieWire’s Ben Travers wasn’t too keen on the series, saying “Creator Jim Reynolds — whose real-life move loosely inspired the series — forces too many one-sided resolutions to look fair for both parties, and shows no indication of knowing how to best utilize his stars.” The Season 3 premiere, like most of CBS’ returning series, will look at what’s happening in the world with the neighborhood dealing with racial injustice.

“Big Sky”ABC

“Big Sky” (ABC)

Premiere Date: November 17

Cast: Kylie Bunbury, Ryan Philippe, John Carroll Lynch, Katheryn Winnick, Brian Geraghty

Plot: Based on the novels by C.J. Box, “Big Sky” sees the return of television impresario David E. Kelly to network television. Kylie Bunbury, Ryan Philippe, and Katheryn Winnic, play differing investigators trying to track down a kidnapper in the wilds of Montana. The series is still a mystery to many, despite a heavy rotation of ads starting around Emmy time. “Big Sky” only recently concluded filming, due to issues around production in our current times, with many critics only having those early trailers to go off of as they look for plot points. Regardless, Kelly has been a solid investment over on HBO with “Big Little Lies” and there’s no doubt ABC hopes for gold to strike here.


Premiere Date: November 17

Cast: Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Pauley Perrette

Plot: It’s mindboggling to realize that “NCIS,” following the investigations from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, has been around for over 15 years. The Mark Harmon-starring series has become the most-watched drama on television and has spawned two spin-off series; “NCIS: Los Angeles” is also one of the most watched programs in the country. Based on the plot synopsis the premiere will not be focusing on current events.


Premiere Date: November 17

Cast: Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Ebonee Noel

Plot: Started in 2018, “FBI” is a Dick Wolf venture — the creator of “Law and Order” — focused on the lives and cases of the members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The series’ second season saw their final three episodes chopped because of the global crisis and it’s unclear whether they will make an appearance in Season 3.

“FBI: Most Wanted” (CBS)

Premiere Date: November 17

Cast: Julian McMahon, Kellan Lutz, Roxy Sternberg, Keisha Castle-Hughes

Plot: The latest series from “Law and Order” creator Dick Wolf looks at the Fugitive Task Force and how it tracks down some of the most notorious criminals. The Season 2 premiere will see the Fugitive Task Force deal with COVID.

“For Life” (ABC)

Premiere Date: November 18

Cast: Nicholas Pinnock, Indira Varma, Joy Bryant, Dorian Missick, Tyla Harris

Plot: Pinnock plays Aaron Wallace, a prisoner turned lawyer attempting to overturn his life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. The series, now in its second season, is executive produced by 50 Cent and is based on true events. It was assumed after the conclusion of its first season that it would be canceled, but the series has garnered a devout following and is prepared to be one of the few new series returning to ABC this fall.

“A Million Little Things” (ABC)

Premiere Date: November 19

Cast: David Giuntoli, Romany Malco, Allison Miller, Christina Moses, Grace Park

Plot: Coming back for a third season is the drama series “A Million Little Things.” The follows a group of friends determined to live life to the fullest after one of their own kills themselves. The series has been compared to “This is Us” with its heavy use of melodrama.

“Seal Team” (CBS)

Premiere Date: December 2

Cast: David Boreanaz, Max Thieriot, Jessica Pare, Neil Brown, Jr.

Plot: “Seal Team” stars David Boreanaz as the leader of the aforementioned military service, going on international missions to take down baddies.

“Blue Bloods” (CBS)

Premiere Date: December 4

Cast: Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Len Cariou, Tom Selleck

Plot: The Reagan family will return for their eleventh season premiere, focused on Tom Selleck’s Frank going head-to-head with the City Council over claims of police brutality.

“MacGyver” (CBS)

Premiere Date: December 4

Cast: Lucas Till, Tristin Mays, Justin Hires

Plot: The fifth season premiere of the 1980s reboot will see Mac (Lucas Till) and the team infiltrate a glamorous hotel used as an international hideout for criminals in order to find a woman with vital information on Codex. However, their target has a new secret identity, including a completely new face.

“Magnum P.I.” (CBS)

Premiere Date: December 4

Cast: Jay Hernandez, Perdita Weeks, Zachary Knighton, Stephen Hill

Plot: This new take on the 1980s Tom Selleck series stars Jay Hernandez as private investigator Thomas Magnum. IndieWire’s Ben Travers took issue with the series’ “corporatized synergistic world — it’s so much more than a reboot, and so much less fun than than the original.”

“The Masked Dancer” (FOX)

Premiere Date: December 27

Plot: A spin-off of the mega-successful “The Masked Singer,” this incarnation will see special celebrity contestants dressed up in costume and showing off their dancing skills. Throughout the series the judges, and the audience at home, will have to figure out who is under the mask.

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