Summer is over, which means fall television season is back in full swing. Since we’re in the golden age of TV (according to many fans and critics) and have so many series to choose from, there has never been a better time to obsess over television. From original programming on streaming platforms like Amazon Video and Netflix to our favorite shows on primetime and cable networks, television only seems to be getting better by the year.
With DVR and On Demand channels, television fanatics can watch whatever they want whenever they want without missing a beat. From the revival of NBC’s classic series, Will & Grace, to the return of Netflix’s smash ’80s-set series, Stranger Things, and some brand-new shows that have already gotten major buzz, here are the new and returning TV shows that are an absolute must-watch this fall.
Narcos, Sept. 1
The outstanding Netflix crime drama returned for Season 3 on Friday, Sept. 1. This season picks up after the death of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and the rise of the Cali Cartel run by Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela (Damian Alcazar).
Narcos has seen a ton of victims over the course of its three seasons, but a casualty of this season just might be the most shocking of all.
All 10 episodes of Season 3 are currently available for streaming on Netflix. If you’re super anxious about what will come next, Netflix has already announced that Season 4 is in the works.
American Horror Story: Cult, Sep. 5
The seventh season of the FX horror anthology series debuted Sept. 5, and this time, AHS: Cult centers on Twisty the Clown and his deranged followers. Opening on a night of terror that began with Trump’s election, Cult focuses on a ritzy Michigan suburb that basically implodes as a result of the election.
There are no supernatural evil forces to take down this season. All of the villainous characters in Cult are human — which makes it all the more terrifying.
Outlander, Sept. 10
The third season of the Starz time-travel drama, Outlander, premieres on Sept. 10. During the second season finale, we watched as Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her teenage daughter Brianna (Sophie Skelton) discover that Jamie (Sam Heughan) never died in the Battle of Culloden. For twenty years, Claire has been in the 20th century living and raising her daughter with her first husband Frank (Tobias Menzies).
Now that she knows the truth, Claire goes back through the stones determined to reunite with her one true love. Outlander has a romance at the center, but the historical arcs and battles make it exceptional.
The Deuce, Sept. 10
David Simon and George Pelecanos — the team that gave us the critically acclaimed drama, The Wire — have returned with a new ’70s-set series, The Deuce. Debuting on HBO on Sept. 10, the drama follows the rise and legalization of the porn industry which was birthed in New York City’s Time Square.
Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce also follows the explosive violence and drugs that also surged during the same time.
Star Trek: Discovery, Sept. 24
Fifty years after the original series debuted, Star Trek is once again returning to our television screens. This time, The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green will stand at the center as First Officer Michael Burnham.
CBS’ Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on Sept. 24. The new series will feature a new ship and new characters, but it will have the same classic ideology that Trekkies know and love.
This Is Us, Sept. 26
This Is Us will return for its second season on Sept. 26, and we’ll see how the Pearsons will move forward both in the present day and in the past. With Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) separation, we’ll see how the Big Three will deal with the new family dynamics in their teen years.
The biggest question mark still surrounds Jack’s death, but hopefully, we’ll get to see how that happened this season. In the present, it appears that Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) are considering adoption. Most importantly, it seems we’ll also get to see William again because Ron Cephas Jones is returning to the NBC show this season.
Empire, Sept. 27
The hit musical drama Empire returns for a fourth season on Sept. 27. Last season, just when it seemed that Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) and Lucious (Terrence Howard) would get their happily ever after, an explosion set in motion by their eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) changed everything. Now suffering from amnesia, Lucious must relearn everything that was once near and dear to him.
Fans of Lee Daniels’ other FOX musical drama, Star, will be pleased to know that both series will open with a crossover premiere.
Designated Survivor, Sept. 27
The ABC political drama with Kiefer Sutherland at the center will return for its sophomore season. Last season we watched Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman, a lower level cabinet member, get thrust into the spotlight as the new leader of the United States after a terrorist attack claimed the lives of the President and every leader above him.
Season 2, which is slated to begin Sept. 27, will focus on the interworkings of the White House. It will be interesting to see how Designated Survivor will continue to tackle politics, especially considering our current political climate.
Grey’s Anatomy, Sept. 28
Series creator Shonda Rhimes is already telling her fans to prepare themselves for Season 14 of Grey’s Anatomy. Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is back in the swing of things at Grey Sloan Memorial. This year, fans can expect a few more lighthearted moments to offset some of the drama that Grey’s is famous for. Also, Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) will return to Grey Salon as a series regular.
It should be another heart-pounding season of the long ABC running medical drama when it returns Sept. 28.
How to Get Away With Murder, Sept. 28
Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her interns are set to return to ABC on Sept. 28, and after everything that has gone down in the first three seasons of How to Get Away With Murder, this time the crew is looking for redemption.
The series is set to jump ahead just slightly to the second semester of the students’ second year of law school. As they deal with the fallout of learning who murdered Wes (Alfred Enoch), HTGAWM will also answer all of the burning questions that the series left unanswered in Season 3.
Will & Grace, Sept. 28
The gang is back together again! After a decade off the air, we can finally see what Will, Grace, Karen, and Jack have been up to during their over decadelong hiatus. Fans of the original show will know that, technically, Will and bestie Grace aren’t on speaking terms in 2017 — at least, according to the original series finale.
Thus far, the series co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan have been super tight-lipped about what we’ll see, but if the series is anything like the original, we’d say we’re in for an amazing ride. (After all, the Gilmore Girls revival was pretty great.) NBC’s Will & Grace will say hello again on Sept. 28.
The Magic School Bus Rides Again, Sept. 29
The beloved ’90s children’s cartoon is getting a 21st century update via Netflix with The Magic School Bus Rides Again. This go-round, Lily Tomlin will reprise her role as Ms. Frizzle (though she’s now called Professor Frizzle) with Kate McKinnon voicing Fiona Frizzle, Ms. Frizzle’s younger sister. Fiona has stepped into her big sis’ shoes, taking over the classroom as well as the adventurous field trips.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has revamped the theme song, so we’ll all be in for a wild ride when the series drops Sept. 29.
Black-ish, Oct. 3
The hilarious sitcom, starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, will kick off Season 4 with a musical episode celebrating Juneteenth, or June 19, 1865 — the last day of slavery. As the Johnsons deal with the realities of a new baby, their eldest Zoey (Yara Shahidi) going off to college, and what it means to be black in Trump’s America, we’re certainly in for a treat.
If you adore ABC ‘s Black-ish, you can also gear up for the 2018 Freeform spin-off, Grown-ish, which focuses on Zoey’s college days.
The Mayor, Oct. 3
Newcomer Brandon Micheal Hall, veteran actress Yvette Nicole Brown, and Glee’s Lea Michele lead ABC’s newest sitcom, The Mayor. The series follows young aspiring rapper Courtney Rose and his small hometown in California. Struggling to get his rap career off the ground. Courtney pulls off the ultimate publicity stunt when he runs for mayor. However, he’s just as shocked as everyone else when he wins.
The Mayor debuts on Oct. 3.
Scandal, Oct. 5
In the final season of Shonda Rhimes’ ABC political drama, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is now the most powerful woman in the world. At President Mellie Grant’s (Bellamy Young) side as her Chief of Staff, Olivia has left Olivia Pope Associates in Quinn’s (Katie Lowes) capable hands. Now, Olivia must do whatever it takes to keep her position.
Rhimes has always said she knows how Scandal would end, and now we’re all going to find out exactly what she means.
Riverdale, Oct. 11
Things are about to get even more terrifying in the sophomore season of The CW’s Riverdale. Camila Mendes, who plays Veronica on the series, told People that the first season was just a test to see how far they could go. The freshman season ended with a shocking cliffhanger, and now we’re going to discover what happens to Archie’s dad (Luke Perry) in the aftermath of the shooting at Pop’s Chok’lit Shoppe.
You should expect to see new faces in Season 2 as well. Vanessa Morgan has joined the cast as Toni Topaz, a possible archenemy for Betty (Lili Reinhart).
Mindhunter, Oct. 13
Netflix’s upcoming physiological thriller is based on the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. The new series which is set in 1979, follows two FBI agents, portrayed by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany. As a team, the men interview serial killers to try and get a deeper understanding of their mindset with the hopes that it will help them solve ongoing cases.
If you’re intrigued even a little bit, get excited — Mindhunter has already been renewed for Season 2 ahead of its Oct. 13 series debut. Mindhunter is produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron.
Jane the Virgin, Oct. 13
Season 3 of Jane the Virgin ended with a plethora of twists and turns. Anezka turned on Petra (both portrayed by Yael Grobglas) and teamed up with Luisa (Yara Martinez). Rogelio (Jaime Camil) got married to Xo (Andrea Navedo), but has a baby on the way with Darci (Justina Machado). Meanwhile Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) first love, Adam, re-entered her life.
That leaves a lot in store for Season 4 of Jane the Virgin. With only 17 episodes slated for this season, the showrunners and producers will have a ton of ground to cover without a lot of time. Nonetheless, it should be a ton of fun when Jane and the gang return to The CW on Oct. 13.
White Famous, Oct. 15
Comedian Jay Pharoah, in his first post-Saturday Night Live role, will heat up the small-screen in the new Showtime series, White Famous. Premiering Oct. 15, Pharoah will star as Floyd Mooney — a young Black comedian on the cusp of crossing over.
Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx created the series along with Californication creator, Tom Kapinos. White Famous is based on Foxx’s experiences as an up-and-coming comedian in the ’90s.
The Walking Dead, Oct. 22
Season 8 of The Walking Dead will focus more on the living than the dead. Instead of simply surviving, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew will try to actually live and thrive. This doesn’t mean that surviving will be easy. Confronting Neegan will most certainly be a fight to the death. After all, The Saviors are bettered armed and organized. However, we wouldn’t count Rick out just yet.
We’ll have to wait to see how it all goes down on Oct. 22 on AMC.
The Last O.G., Oct. 24
Tracy Morgan returns to television in a new TBS comedy, The Last O.G., along with Cedric the Entertainer and Girls Trip breakout star, Tiffany Haddish. In the series, Morgan stars as Tray, an ex-con who is released from prison after a 15-year bid. When Tray returns home to his beloved Brooklyn, he finds his ex-girlfriend, Shay (Haddish), married to and raising their twin sons with a successful white man (Ryan Gaul) in the newly gentrified neighborhood he once called home.
The series drops Oct. 24.
Stranger Things, Oct. 27
The sophomore season of Netflix’s breakout hit Stranger Things will debut just in time for Halloween. According to star Millie Bobby Brown, who portrays Eleven, things are going to get super unpredictable. The sci-fi horror, ’80s-set series has a ton of questions to answer in the new season. Now that Will (Noah Schnapp) is home, what’s with those disgusting slugs he’s been barfing up? Also, can someone please let us know what the Upside Down is? We’re still a bit perplexed.
We’ll be flipping on our television screens when Stranger Things returns to Netflix Oct. 27.
Alias Grace, Nov. 3
If you loved Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll be super geeked for Margaret Atwood’s latest television adaptation, Alias Grace.
Set to hit Netflix on Nov. 3, the six-hour miniseries, which is based on a real story, follows Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a poor Irish immigrant living in Canda in the 1840’s. Grace was convicted along with a stablehand of brutally murdering her employer Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).
The Girlfriend Experience, Nov. 5
Steven Soderbergh’s anthology series The Girlfriend Experience, which focuses on high-end sex work, will return to Starz on Nov. 5.
Season 2 will follow two storylines: one set in Washington D.C., starring Anna Friel and Louisa Krause, and another set in New Mexico, with Carmen Ejogo at the center. Riley Keogh, who starred in Season 1, will not return.
Marvel’s Runaways, Nov. 21
Hulu is not about to let Netflix have the Marvel game on lock. The streaming platform is bringing the Marvel comic series, Runaways, to the small-screen, and from where we’re sitting, it looks amazing. The live-action drama will mix all of the drama of teen series like The O.C. and One Tree Hill with the action and power of superheroes. With a diverse and spot-on cast, the series is being described as pretty faithful to the comics.
We’ll get to see for ourselves when Runaways drops Nov. 21. If anything else, it’s certainly getting better reviews than Marvel’s Inhumans, which is headed to ABC.
She’s Gotta Have It, Nov. 23
Spike Lee has revived his classic 1986 film, She’s Gotta Have It, for a 21st century audience over at Netflix. The television series will follow millennial Brooklynite Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) who is trying to juggle her friends, job and three lovers, Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony), Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), and Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos).
The 10-episode first season is set to debut on Nov. 23.
The Crown, Dec. 8
Season 2 of the Golden Globe-winning royal drama will return to Netflix on Dec. 8. The Crown will pick up in 1956, right where the freshman season left off.
In Season 2, a young Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) will move through the mid-sixties in the midst of a rapidly changing world. We will also see a how the young Queen deals with the Suez Crisis of 1956, her sister Margaret’s (Vanessa Kirby) tabloid worthy behavior and her marriage to Prince Phillip (Matt Smith).
Follow Aramide Tinubu on Twitter @midnightrami.
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