2016 Fall TV Preview: 30 Premieres You Can’t Miss
These days, it’d take at least two years to watch only one season’s worth of #PeakTV, a quarter of which won’t even be around a second year. You’d need some sort of absurd television guidance periodical to navigate it all, but because we love you we’ve put together an in-depth look at 30 major must-see premieres kicking off as early as August 31.
Winnowing this list down to just 30 picks wasn’t easy. At one point, the contenders for this preview were almost double that. That’s Peak TV for you. But again, we love you, and we pared all those options down to just the best of the best. This is what we do for you here at ScreenCrush.
Come, wrap some barbed wire around your bats and grab a coffee in Stars Hollow, as we descend into the madness that is Fall TV 2016!
You’re The Worst, Season 3
Wednesday, August 31 on FXX
The final Sunday-Funday may be upon us, but don’t fret for the third season of FXX’s You’re The Worst just yet. The new season will pick up with Jimmy and Gretchen post “I love you,” as the latter enters therapy with Orange is the New Black alum Samira Wiley. Lindsay’s still preggers, and bound to stab someone sooner or later, while Edgar and Dorothy are soldiering on through their new living arrangement.
Ben Folds will also put in an appearance this year, which ... y’know, sure?
Tuesday, September 6 on FX
Few series have us as curious as Community vet Donald Glover’s Atlanta, a hip-hop tinged dramedy commonly described as “Twin Peaks with rappers.” Early buzz has been particularly strong, bolstered by a cast that includes Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz. The series follows two cousins rising through the Atlanta music scene in order to better their lives and the lives of their families, with Glover as “Earn Marks,” a young manager trying to get his cousin’s career off the ground.
Friday, September 9 on Cinemax
Cinemax fans are in need of a little pulp to fill the void left by Banshee, and Logan Marshall-Green’s take on Max Collins’ Quarry might just do the trick. The series follows Mac Conway, a returning Vietnam Marine who finds himself demonized by the public, and drawn into a network of killing and corruption that spans the length of the Mississippi River. Also among the cast are Jodi Balfour as Joni, Peter Mullan as the Broker, Nikki Amuka-Bird as Ruth, Justified alum Damon Herriman as Buddy, along with The Wire vet Jamie Hector as Arthur.
Masters of Sex, Season 4
Sunday, September 11 on Showtime
Where once Masters of Sex heated up summer alongside Ray Donovan, Season 4 of the historically sexy drama will arrive in September, and without a Homeland lead-in. This time around kicks off a bit of the swingin’ ’60s for Bill, Virginia, Libby and the others, adding new guest stars like Niecy Nash, David Walton, The Wire vet Andre Royo, Orange Is the New Black boss Alysia Reiner, and more to returning talent like Beau Bridges and Sarah Silverman.
South Park, Season 20
Wednesday, September 14 on Comedy Central
As hard as it is to believe South Park has been on the air for 20 years. But don’t expect the landmark animated comedy to start churning out Simpsons-style guest stars and gimmick episodes. Trey Parker and Matt Stone still famously keep to their 6-day production schedule, leaving any-and-all plot details up in the air. You should expect a continuation of the serialized approach they’ve been gravitating toward in recent years. Not only that, if we don’t get that second movie, who’s to say South Park won’t end up switching to video games full-time? We have to cherish these seasons, people.
American Horror Story, Season 6
Wednesday, September 14 on FX
No, no, no! No subtitle for you yet! Yes, the sixth (and certainly not final) rendition of FX’s American Horror Story insists on riding this mystery train all the way through the September premiere, dropping teaser after teaser of everything from cornfield classrooms to toothy wind chimes and aliens to throw us off the scent. So, what do we know for sure? Well, Sarah Paulson’s back. Oh, and Cheyenne Jackson, Lady Gaga and Leslie Jordan. Also, maybe Puritans? This year’s gonna be rough, guys.
The Big Bang Theory, Season 10
Monday, September 19 on CBS
Yes, The Big Bang Theory is still on! At least it will be so long as the stars renew their current contracts beyond a tenth season. In either case, Season 10 will pick up with Leonard and Sheldon discovering an unfortunate connection between their parents (Judd Hirsch and Laurie Metcalf), while guest stars include a returning Keith Carradine as Penny’s father, as well Kaley Cuoco’s 8 Simple Rules co-star Katey Sagal and 30 Rock alum Jack McBrayer as her father and brother. Breaking Bad alum Dean Norris will also appear as an Air Force rep interested in the boys’ inventions.
Gotham, Season 3
Monday, September 19 on FOX
Has Batman not begun thoroughly enough? Let’s go for three! The upcoming year of FOX’s Gotham will see the li’l Dark Knight starting to develop his playboy persona, while Jim Gordon starts Season 3 as a bounty hunter for all the monstrous escapees of Indian Hill. Along the way, we’ll meet up Benedict Samuel’s Mad Hatter, the Tweedle brothers, the Court of Owls, Maggie Geha’s aged-up Poison Ivy, Jamie Chung’s Valerie Vale, a returning Fish Mooney, other monsters and potentially even Solomon Grundy. Plus, did someone say “Joker Cult”?
The Good Place
Monday, September 19 on NBC
New sitcoms are always a dicey prospect, but it’s hard to ignore the appeal of NBC’s The Good Place, with a cast like Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, and the mind of Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur. The new series sees the ex-Veronica Mars star as a ne’er-do-well accidentally sent to the titular “Good Place,” and forced to make the best of it. Also features among the cast are Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto, and D’Arcy Carden.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 4
Tuesday, September 20 on FOX
Picking up from Jake (Andy Samberg) and Holt (Andre Braugher)’s time in Witness Protection, Season 4 of FOX’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine will introduce yet another parade of guest stars, from SNL alum Maya Rudolph as the duo’s handler, to Lonely Island member Jorma Taccone as their boss, Rhea Perlman as a neighbor crushing on Holt, and Ken Marino as the new interim Captain back home. That’s all par for the course, but perhaps most intriguing of all is an announced crossover with New Girl, airing Tuesday, October 11, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine at 8:00 P.M. and continuing through New Girl at 8:30.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 4
Tuesday, September 20 on ABC
Newly devoid of Agent Carter midseasons and a 9:00 timeslot, the fourth season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will skew just a wee bit darker in its new 10PM time slot, even getting a bit naughtier.with its content. That extra darkness will come in handy with the addition of Gabriel Luna as the Robbie Reyes iteration of Ghost Rider, not to mention Jason O’Mara’s mystery S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Mallory Jansen as the robotic Aida, and Parminder Nagra as an anti-Inhumans politician.
Transparent, Season 3
Friday, September 23 on Amazon Video
Transparent fans are in for a treat this year, with Season 3 debuting months ahead of where Season 2 dropped last year, and Season 4 already in the cards. This time around, Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) will finally wrestle with whether or not to go under the knife, with guest stars to include Anjelica Huston and Caitlyn Jenner herself. Elsewhere, Shelly (Judith Light) seeks to tell her side of the story, while Sarah and Ali connect to their spirituality in different ways, and Josh suffers a notable loss. Plus, did someone say family cruise to Mexico?
Star Wars Rebels, Season 3
Saturday, September 24 on Disney XD
Following last season’s barn-burner of a finale, Star Wars Rebels will take a little trip through time in Season 3, aging up Ezra into a young Jedi teetering on the edge of light and dark. And while Darth Vader may not be so visible this time out (ditto for Ahsoka), Season 3 will more than make up for it with the introduction of Lars Mikkelsen (Rogue One star Mads’ brother) as Grand Admiral Thrawn, who returns to Star Wars canon after Disney’s acquisition of the franchise. Season 3 will also play around with different sides of the Force by introducing Doctor Who star Tom Baker as the mysterious Bendu, and keeping Sam Witwer’s Darth Maul in the mix. We’ll also meet a young Wedge Antilles, and flirt with plenty of other classic Star Wars lore, but what famous faces might crop up? Tune in September to find out.
The Simpsons, Season 28
Sunday, September 25 on FOX
As if 28 seasons weren’t enough of a milestone, this fall will see The Simpsons reaching 600 episodes with its latest Treehouse of Horror, set to feature Sarah Silverman, Drew Carey and Kelsey Grammer. Other landmark events will see the series airing its first hour-long episode, an Empire spoof with guest stars like Taraji P. Henson and Keegan-Michael Key in a hip-hop take on The Great Gatsby. Also on deck to lend their voices this season are Patton Oswalt, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Allison Janney, Matt Leinart, and world-chess champion Magnus Carlsen, along with Suze Orman, Neil deGrasse Tyson and screenwriter Robert McKee in a Trump-skewering episode.
Son of Zorn
Sunday, September 25 on FOX
We’ll be the first to admit that the combination of live-action suburbia with Jason Sudeikis’ animated He-Man type looks a bit off, but with the pedigree of Lord and Miller, we’re hard-pressed not to give it a try. The latest series from the Last Man on Earth duo seems like a clever send-up of macho-heroism, with a support cast that includes Johnny Pemberton, Cheryl Hines, Tim Meadows, and Artemis Pebdani. You can even catch a preview on Sunday, September 11, following the season’s first NFL doubleheader on FOX.
Friday, September 30 on Netflix
The third (and most anticipated) of Marvel’s Netflix Defenders series will hit the streets of Harlem at September’s end, catching us up with Mike Colter’s bulletproof hero-for-hire after the events of Jessica Jones. The series might also introduce us to the fourth, Iron Fist-ed hero in the cycle, all in service of next year’s Defenders team-up. Meanwhile, Cage itself will feature among its supporting cast Sons of Anarchy vet Theo Rossi as “Shades” Alvarez, alongside Mahershala Ali’s Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, Alfre Woodard’s Mariah Dillard, Erik LaRay Harvey’s Diamondback, Frank Whaley’s Detective Rafael Scarfe, and Simone Missick’s Misty Knight. Additionally, Rosario Dawson is confirmed to her reprise her role as Claire Temple for a more significant arc. While we wait, check out our trailer breakdown and the latest photos.
Crisis in Six Scenes
Friday, September 30 on Amazon Video
Woody Allen himself could barely muster enthusiasm at the outset of his first TV series, but we’ll see if the controversial director actually found some inspiration for his latest project. Casting Miley Cyrus of all people, Crisis in Six Scenes takes place in the 1960s during a turbulent period in U.S. history, when a middle-class suburban family is visited by a guest who turns their household completely upside down. In addition to Cyrus and Allen himself, the six-episode series features Elaine May, John Magaro, Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Rapaport, Becky Ann Baker, Lewis Black, Margaret Ladd, Joy Behar, Rebecca Schull, David Harbour, and Christine Ebersole.
Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Season 2
Sunday, October 2 on Starz
Rev up your chainsaws and head on down to Jacksonville, because the Evil Dead are nowhere near through with Ash just yet. This time around, our favorite Deadite-slaying quipster will have help from an unlikely source, as Lucy Lawless’ Ruby joins the team on a venture back through Ash’s own upbringing. Season 2 guest stars will include Sam Raimi’s brother Ted as Ash’s childhood best friend Chet Kaminski, along with Lee Majors as Brock Williams, Ash’s father. So, who’s the new big bad?
Sunday, October 2 on HBO
After a series of stops and starts, HBO’s take on the 1973 cyber-Western will finally come to life with an expansive cast covering everyone from Anthony Hopkins to Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, and many more. Early buzz is good, as are the most recent trailers, but will the revamped android Western manage to build the same buzz as Game of Thrones at a time when HBO so desperately needs a quantifiable hit? Let’s see what J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan have rustled up this time.
Monday, October 3 on ABC
She’s back! Well, sort of. Agent Carter may be down and out for now, but we can always get our Hayley Atwell fix from ABC’s Conviction, the sexy new legal drama that Peggy would have ... probably rolled her eyes at. Still, with Atwell as a drug-addicted lawyer and former First Daughter, not to mention X-Men and The Walking Dead stars Shawn Ashmore and Emily Kinney, what do we have to lose? You know, beside Agent Carter Season 3.
The Flash, Season 3
Tuesday, October 4 on The CW
Your growing headache surely has something to do with making sense of The Flash Season 3, which touches on the “Flashpoint” timeline created by Barry going back in time to rescue his mother. Said alternate reality will likely resolve before the end of 2016 (did someone say four-way
Crisis ... er, crossover? Elsewhere of The Flash Season 3, we know Harry Potter star Tom Felton has signed on as a series regular, while John Wesley Shipp will also return as the Earth-3 Jay Garrick, joining new additions Todd Lasance as The Rival, Grey Damon as Mirror Master, Ashley Rickards as The Top, Joey King as Magenta and Saw big bad Tobin Bell voicing Dr. Alchemy, to say nothing of “Speed God” Savitar. Keiynan Lonsdale also has his own Kid Flash costume in the new timeline, while Kevin Smith has been confirmed to direct the seventh hour, and two episodes will take us to Gorilla City.
Arrow, Season 5
Wednesday, October 5 on The CW
While Arrow has had some missteps over the last two seasons, things seem a bit back in order by the coming fifth season, with the show doing away with all that magical frick-a-frack, and returning to its crime drama roots. And boy, do we have a cast to populate that rebirth, including The Wire star Chad Coleman as new baddie Tobias Church, flashback villain Dolph Lundgren, Madison McLaughlin as Artemis, Wil Traval’s Human Target, Rick Gonzalez’s Wild Dog, and Josh Segarra’s “Vigilante.” Carly Pope has also joined in a recurring role as a Coast City reporter, with a comic attachment to Green Lantern, while former WWE wrestler Stardust will also put in an appearance.
Supergirl, Season 2
Monday, October 10 on The CW
CBS may not have been the right home for Supergirl, but there’s still a multiverse or two between the Maiden of Might finally joining her DC friends on The CW. That said, Kara Danvers has some super friends of her own in Season 2, including Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman, Lynda Carter’s POTUS, Floriana Lima as Maggie Sawyer, Sharon Leal as Miss Martian, and Chris Wood as pod occupant Mon-El. Season 2 will also feature Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor, Cat Grant’s pseudo-replacement Snapper Carr, and others. Plus, did someone say musical?
Legends of Tomorrow, Season 2
Thursday, October 13 on The CW
Now joining its superhero siblings in the fall, the second season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will go for broke with a bevy of new heroes making up the Justice Society of American and Legion of Doom alike. As the team is firmly devoid of Hawks (not to mention scattered across time), Season 2 will add Matthew MacCaull as the original Commander Steel, grandfather to Nick Zano’s Dr. Nate Heywood, along with Power Rangers star Sarah Grey as Stargirl, Lance Henrik as Obsidian, and Maisie Richardson-Sellers as a new Vixen.
This year will also see the Legends team going up against a Legion of Doom of sorts, comprised of Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Captain Cold (Leonard Snart), Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher).
Thursday, October 13 on USA
Once the buzz on Mr. Robot Season 2 dies down, USA will continue its venture into more cinematic programming with the Inception-esque Falling Water, brought to life by Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd. The series follows three unrelated characters who slowly realize themselves to be dreaming separate parts of a single common dream with vast implications for the fate of the world. Included among the cast are American Horror Story and The Strain alum Lizzie Brocheré, The Wolverine baddie Will Yun Lee, Wet Hot American Summer star Zak Orth, and David Ajala.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 2
Friday, October 21 on The CW
The move to Fridays in Season 2 may not do this beloved cult show many favors, but this year we’ll have guest turns from the likes of Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow and Jane the Virgin star Yael Grobglas. Not to mention, what should be a pretty awkward resolution to that finale cliffhanger of Rebecca finally confessing her feelings to Josh.
The Walking Dead, Season 7
Sunday, October 23 on AMC
The jury’s out as to whether The Walking Dead can still manage to keep Negan’s victim widely secret for another two months, let alone undo the ire of stiffing fans in the first place, but Season 7 has plenty to look forward to. In addition to Khary Payton joining in the role of Kingdom leader Ezekiel (don’t forget Shiva!), new series regulars include Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Tom Payne (Jesus) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory). Beyond that, Season 7 has done its best to keep everything under wraps, but a first clip certainly doesn’t have Daryl’s fate looking too optimistic. Sleep in fear, rioters!
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Friday, November 25 on Netflix
Netflix isn’t necessarily in the business of revivals anymore, but Gilmore Girls fans will at last have their wishes granted to return to Stars Hollow for A Year in the Life this November. The four-part revival will consist of 90-minute episodes released simultaneously, covering each season for Rory and Lorelai. And yes, before you ask, the series will bring back Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, Jared Padalecki, Milo Ventimiglia, Matt Czuchry, Liza Weil, Yanic Truesdale, Scott Patterson, Kelly Bishop, Sean Gunn, and Keiko Agena, among many others. Original producers Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino will once again be at the helm, having left before the show’s final season in a dispute with Warner Bros.
Saturday Night Live, Season 42
Fall 2016, on NBC
NBC may not have issued a formal premiere date for Season 42 of SNL, but that hasn’t stopped a flurry of news in recent weeks. Among the biggest changes will see the departures of Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah, and Jon Rudnitsky, while Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider take over as co-head writers from Rob Klein and Bryan Tucker. Thankfully, returning cast will include Vanessa Bayer, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Sasheer Zamata, Michael Che, Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones. No word yet on additions to the cast, though we might see an increased presence in sponsored sketches to balance out a reduction in commercials.
Vikings, Season 4B
Fall 2016 on History
Already renewed for Season 5, History’s ever-expansive Vikings still has the second half of Season 4 to get through, with a premiere currently expected sometime this fall. The next run will pick up where the recent finale left off, as Ragnar Lodbrok (Travis Fimmel) returns from isolation to aide his now grown-up sons, and further expand their reach. Not only that, but Floki (Gustaf Skarsgård) and Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) have a host of new allies by their side, which will eventually grow to include ex-Tudors star Jonathan Rhys Meyers, setting up a major Season 5 role. And say, what’s this about a Bjorn-Rollo alliance?
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