If you listen to us at all, you know that the fall television season that the big networks celebrate hasn't given us much to celebrate in recent years. Midseason is where it's at, people! But are we ready to take back every nasty thing we said about the fall after compiling this list of our Most Anticipated New Fall Series? Kind of!
Thanks to some great cable entries and a few solid-looking network offerings, these next few months look like they won't be another fall full of lamenting another fall season. Space aliens, murderous slashers, and a kick-puncher are among our predictions for the best new shows this fall. So peruse the list and prepare yourself!
10. Red Oaks (Amazon)
WHEN IT'S ON: Friday, October 9. The entire 10-episode first season will be available on Amazon Instant Video.
WHO'S IN IT: Craig Roberts, Jennifer Grey, Paul Reiser, Gage Golightly, and Richard Kind.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: This coming-of-age story about a college-aged tennis player who works at an elite country club in 1980s New Jersey has some firepower behind it, including executive producers David Gordon Green and Steven Soderbergh.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Full of summer job hijinks, '80s hair, and nostalgia for simpler times, Red Oaks revisits an era where everything was funny.
9. The Player (NBC)
WHEN IT'S ON: Thursdays at 10pm starting September 24 on NBC
WHO'S IN IT: Philip Winchester, Wesley Snipes, Wesley Snipes, Wesley Snipes, WESLEY SNIPES, WESLEY SNIPES, WESLEY SNIPES, and WESLEY SNIPES!
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A former military badass is sucked into a game of stopping crime set up by a bunch of rich guys in Las Vegas who bet on whether or not he can succeed and yes, this is what The Player is actually about!
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Explosions! Fighting! Shooting! Gambling! Probably sexy times! This show is ridiculously ridiculous, and as long as the show knows it, we'll play along.
8. The Grinder (Fox)
WHEN IT'S ON: Tuesdays starting September 29 at 8:30pm on Fox, where it will be "Old(er) White Guy Hour" with John Stamos' Grandfathered
WHO'S IN IT: Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and William Devane.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Dean Sanderson (Lowe) played a lawyer on TV for eight seasons, and now he thinks he can be a lawyer in real life, so he returns to his small town to work with his brother (Savage), who is actually a lawyer but not that great at it. Lessons will be learned, we think.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: You didn't know you needed a Savage-Lowe partnership, but you do. Lowe knows how to be the butt of a joke and Savage is great as the straight man, and their partnership makes them an oddball matchup that works great.
7. Flesh and Bone (Starz)
WHEN IT'S ON: Sunday at 9pm, starting November 8 on Starz. It's a limited series, so there won't be a Season 2.
WHO'S IN IT: Sarah Hay, Ben Daniels, Irina Dvorovenko, Sascha Radetsky, Marina Benedict, and a whole bunch of other thin bendy women.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The world of ballet goes from Bunheads' snappy dialogue to gritty and dark drama in this one, as a young upstart gets thrown into the fire of professional tip-toeing.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Whoa, this looks HEAVY, right? And that's because it comes from Moira Walley-Beckett, who not only has one of the best names in television, she was an executive producer on Breaking Bad. In other words, don't expect any powderpuff drama here.
6. Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
WHEN IT'S ON: Weeknights starting Tuesday, September 8 at 11:30pm on CBS
WHO'S IN IT: Stephen Colbert, a whole bunch of rotating celebrities just there to plug their latest endeavor.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Colbert steps into the chair at the Ed Sullivan Theater as the successor to David Letterman.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Everything points to Colbert still being the odd duck he was on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which should be really fun to see on the usually straight-laced CBS.
WHEN IT'S ON: The six-hour series will debut December 14, and air two-hour segments over three consecutive nights.
WHO'S IN IT: Mike Vogel (Under the Dome's Barbie!!!), Ashley Zuckerman, Charles Dance, Daisy Betts, Yael Stone, and Julian McMahon.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel of the same name, Earth is visited by a totally outta-this-world presence who promises to turn our war-ravaged rock into a utopia. And everyone lives happily ever after. Until we get screwed over by the aliens, obviously.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: The cast is solid, and Childhood's End is highly regarded as one of Clarke's best stories. And we're just excited to see Stone, who plays Morello in Orange Is the new Black, without makeup.
WHEN IT'S ON: Sundays starting November 15 at 10pm on AMC. The first season will be a short six episodes.
WHO'S IN IT: Daniel Wu, Emily Beecham, Sarah Bulger, Oliver Stark, Stephen Lang, Orla Brady, and Ally Ioannides.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Set in a world where the Old West meets feudal Japan, a badass tornado of fists and feet named Sunny helps out a kid and beats up bad guys.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Most of the other fall offerings are variations of things we've seen a bazillion times, but Into the Badlands has that rare quality hardly seen on TV these days: a semblance of originality! Plus, Wu punches hella people.
3. Scream Queens (Fox)
WHEN IT'S ON: Tuesdays, starting September 22 at 8pm with a two-hour premiere. The following week, it slinks back to 9pm.
WHO'S IN IT: Who ISN'T in it? Actually that's not much easier, we'll just tell you who is in it: Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Oliver Hudson, Nasim Pedrad, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, and Ariana Grande.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The latest bloody anthology from Ryan Murphy is slightly more purposefully comedic... well, as funny as a show about a serial killer terrorizing a sorority can be.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Murphy is always good for a couple outstanding episodes to start a series before leaving it to fend for itself, but the structure of Scream Queens—a good old fashioned slasher flick featuring top talent who aren't afraid to die—looks like it could be one of Murphy's more entertaining and sustainable series.
WHEN IT'S ON: Saturdays starting October 31 at 9pm on Starz. Each episode is 30 minutes.
WHO'S IN IT: Bruce Campbell, Jill Marie Jones, Ray Santiago, Dana Delarenzo, and Lucy Lawless. But c'mon, it's really Bruce Campbell and whoever else.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A continuation of the Evil Dead franchise, Ash (Campbell) brings his chainsaw and shotgun back for another round of slaughtering hell-spawn and working at the Value Stop 30 years after the events of Army of Darkness.
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: It's Evil Dead. Demons get cut in half with lumberjack equipment and shot in the face. Why wouldn't we be excited about this?
WHEN IT'S ON: The 10 episodes of Season 1 will all plop down on Amazon Instant Video on Friday, November 20.
WHO'S IN IT: Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank, DJ Qualls, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rufus Sewell, and Joel de la Fuente.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Based on the Philip K. Dick novel, this alternative history drama poses the question of what would happen if the Germans and Japanese won dubya-dubya-too. The answer: swastikas everywhere!
WHY WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT: Amazon released the pilot as part of its pilot program in early 2014, and we LOVED it. The idea of a new United States was terrifying and spectacularly recreated in the style of producer Ridley Scott's best films (i.e. Blade Runner). If there's a can't-miss show out this fall, it's this one.
– Quantico (ABC, September 27): A new and very attractive class at FBI school Quantico goes through their first year... and one of them will later be responsible for the most destructive terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
– Life in Pieces (CBS, September 21): A multi-generational comedy with a fantastic cast (Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Colin Hanks, Betsy Brandt, and others) tells stories from each family member's viewpoint.
– Casual (Hulu, October 7): Ivan Reitman's rom-com about a brother and sister who help each other through the dating world, is on this list because it stars Trophy Wife's Michaela Watkins. And also Tommy Dewey. But mostly Watkins.
– The Expanse (Syfy, December 14): This outer-space drama follows a detective (Thomas Jane) as he comes across the greatest conspiracy the universe has ever known while investigating the disappearance of a woman.
Which new fall shows are you most excited about?
(story via tv)