NY Times list of new and returning shows to watch

Fall TV 2018: New and Returning Shows to Watch

Clockwise from top left: Toni Collette in “Wanderlust”; Anthony Hopkins in “King Lear”; Bruce Springsteen whose sold-out Broadway show will be available on Netflix; Florence Pugh and Alexander Skarsgard in “The Little Drummer Girl.”CreditCreditMatt Squire/Netflix; Ed Miller; Sara Krulwich/The New York Times; Jonathan Olley/AMC & Ink Factory

By Mike Hale

Television has been drawing A-listers routinely for a while now. But with streaming services, cable channels and broadcast networks locked in an evermore vicious battle for eyeballs, the fall season offers more intriguing veteran names than ever:

Julia Roberts, directed by Sam Esmail of “Mr. Robot,” in Amazon’s “Homecoming.” Anthony Hopkins as Lear, also on Amazon. The Korean auteur Park Chan-wook directing “The Little Drummer Girl” for AMC. Jessica Lange returning to FX’s “American Horror Story.” Sean Penn in “The First” on Hulu. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin in Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method.” Toni Collette in “Wanderlust” for Netflix. Benicio Del Toro in “Escape at Dannemora” and Jim Carrey, directed by Michel Gondry, in “Kidding” for Showtime.

Also on tap are new shows from some of the defining creators of the current TV era: Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs” for Amazon, his first series since “Mad Men,” and Lena Dunham and Jennifer Konner’s “Camping” for HBO, their follow-up to “Girls.”

Here is a roundup of new shows coming to TV and streaming through the end of the year, as well a few significant returning series. All dates are subject to change.

Read more listings for artclassical musicdancefilmpop music and theater. Add events directly to your calendar.


Jim Carrey in “Kidding” on Showtime.CreditErica Parise/SHOWTIME

THE DEUCE (HBO, Sept. 9) David Simon and George Pelecanos’s Times Square time capsule jumps ahead to the disco era — more hair, worse clothes, better music and references to Al Goldstein, Spencer Haywood and Tony Manero in the first five minutes. James Franco still plays two parts and Maggie Gyllenhaal still steals the show.

KIDDING (Showtime, Sept. 9) Mr. Carrey plays his latest man on the moon: Jeff, a bereaved dad and children’s TV star known as Mr. Pickles (no relation to the Adult Swim cartoon about a Satanic dog), who’s sitting on vast reserves of anger. It’s Mr. Carrey’s first regular TV gig since “In Living Color” 24 years ago and it reunites him with Mr. Gondry, his director in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” who gets to exercise his talent for off-kilter whimsy in the children’s-show-within-the-show. (That show’s costumer and producer, also Jeff’s sister and father, are played by Catherine Keener and the incomparable Frank Langella.)

REL (Fox, Sept. 9) Having established himself in adventurous productions like “The Carmichael Show,” “Insecure” and the film “Get Out,” Lil Rel Howery goes the traditional, multicamera sitcom route for his first headlining role. He’s a Chicago man facing life alone after his wife dumps him for his barber; that humiliation is the subject of most of the pilot’s jokes, the best of which are delivered by Sinbad as Rel’s father.

YOU (Lifetime, Sept. 9) Penn Badgley, starring in a series for the first time since “Gossip Girl,” plays a super cute bookstore clerk who’s also a super creepy stalker in a satirical thriller that critiques social media exhibitionism and hookup culture. Created by the high-powered pair of Sera Gamble (“Magicians”) and the omnipresent Greg Berlanti, the show faces the “Bates Motel” and “Dexter” challenge of humanizing the psychopathic hero, but it has some leeway — it’s already been approved for a second season.


JACK IRISH (Acorn TV, Sept. 10) Through three movies and now two six-episode seasons, Guy Pearce has made the Melbourne lawyer and amateur private eye Jack Irish — awkward, depressed, resigned to the fact that life conspires to irritate him — one of the most endearing hard-boiled heroes in TV mystery. This time Irish’s noble instincts are aroused by Big Pharma; as always, Mr. Pearce is part of an Australian all-star cast that includes Marta Dusseldorp, Roy Billing and Aaron Pedersen as the girlfriend, bookie and enforcer, respectively, who have weak spots for Irish even though they know better.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY (FX, Sept. 12) Ms. Lange returns, playing Constance Langdon, the monster mom from the anthology series’s first season, and she’s joined by “Horror Story” alumnas Lily Rabe, Sarah Paulson, Gabourey Sidibe, Taissa Farmiga, Frances Conroy, Kathy Bates and the White Witch herself, Stevie Nicks.

BOJACK HORSEMAN (Netflix, Sept. 14) In Season 5, Bojack (Will Arnett) is starring in a series about a Bojack-like private eye. You know the show within the show is prestige TV because it’s 10 episodes and the mumbly writer-director (voiced by Rami Malek) forces Bojack to do his first nude scene.

THE FIRST (Hulu, Sept. 14) Mr. Penn plays it lowkey as a grizzled and grieving astronaut leading a mission to Mars in this series from Beau Willimon (“House of Cards”), an earnest mix of politics, science and family drama.

FOREVER (Amazon, Sept. 14) After affectionately sending up multiple incarnations of Pacific Northwest self-importance in “Portlandia,” Fred Armisen shifts his sights to Southern California complacency in this new seriescreated by the alt-comedy stars Alan Yang (“Master of None”) and Matt Hubbard (“30 Rock”). Mr. Armisen and Maya Rudolph play a Riverside couple whose routines have gotten too comfortable.

LA PIOVRA (MHz Choice, Sept. 18) An Italian TV landmark, this Mafia drama (which translates as “The Octopus”) ran for 10 seasons beginning in 1984. The Italian broadcaster RAI has restored the episodes and provided new English subtitles.


THE HUNT FOR THE TRUMP TAPES WITH TOM ARNOLD (Viceland, Sept. 18) Perhaps the most self-explanatory show title of the season. (Unless it’s “Will Smith: The Jump.”)

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS (Facebook Watch, Sept. 18) Elizabeth Olsen plays a woman who is very, very sad following the death of her husband, in a half-hour series that stretches the definition of dark comedy. Kit Steinkellner (“Z: The Beginning of Everything”) is the creator, Lizzy Weiss (“Switched at Birth”) is the showrunner and Janet McTeer and Kelly Marie Tran play the protagonist’s mother and sister.

DEAD LUCKY (Sundance Now, Sept. 20) Since her long run on American TV in “Six Feet Under” and “Brothers & Sisters,” Rachel Griffiths has been working mostly in her native Australia, where she’s filmed at least six series or miniseries since “Brothers & Sisters” ended. The latest is this four-parter in which she stars as a Sydney police detective who’s under a cloud after the death of an officer she was training.

THE GOOD COP (Netflix, Sept. 21) The writer-producer Andy Breckman’s first show since “Monk” ended nine years ago is another amiable dramedy about an uptight detective and his spirited sidekick. Josh Groban takes on the Monk-like role, as a New York police detective who’s suffocatingly ethical (he’s literally a Boy Scout). In the Sharona-Natalie life-force role is Tony Danza as the hero’s father, a cop’s cop who’s on parole after a corruption scandal.

MANIAC (Netflix, Sept. 21) Written by the novelist Patrick Somerville, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (the more watchable season of “True Detective”) and billed as a dark comedy, this miniseries stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone as participants in a psychopharmaceutical drug trial. Sally Field and Justin Theroux (having a very bad hair series) also appear.

JANE FONDA IN FIVE ACTS (HBO, Sept. 24) Susan Lacy, the longtime “American Masters” producer now making biographical documentaries for HBO, follows up “Spielberg” with another Hollywood story. The five acts aren’t based on chapters of Ms. Fonda’s life like activism or aerobics; they’re pegged to men, or her freedom from them: Henry (Fonda), Roger (Vadim), Tom (Hayden), Ted (Turner) and finally Jane.


MAGNUM P.I. (CBS, Sept. 24) and MURPHY BROWN(CBS, Sept. 27) Two more reboots join “Hawaii Five-0,” “MacGyver” and “S.W.A.T.” in CBS’s attempt to recreate its prime-time schedule circa 1985.

MANIFEST (NBC, Sept. 24) The latest something-weird-happened-while-we-were-in-the-air premise (“Lost,” “Fringe,” “The Strain”): A routine flight lands and the passengers and crew discover that five years have passed. Robert Zemeckis, whose last TV credit came in 1993, is an executive producer.

FBI (CBS, Sept. 25) What’s there to say about a new Dick Wolf series? This one stands out for not being on NBC and not being called “Law & Order: FBI.” Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Ebonee Noel and Jeremy Sisto play agents in the New York office of the F.B.I. The pilot has “L&O” trademarks like the tap dance between scare mongering and sentimentality, a simplified-from-the-headlines story and lots of staccato cop-speak. (“Is that a cellphone?” “Looks like it. It’s melted to his leg.”)

MR. INBETWEEN (FX, Sept. 25) The Australian actor Scott Ryan wrote this six-part series and stars in it as a thug with soul, whose life is depicted in disarmingly ordinary terms — a meet-cute while walking his dog, an embarrassing favor for a friend. The set-up recalls HBO’s “Barry” (as does the half-hour format) and the character reads like a younger version of Mike Ehrmantraut from “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” but the show is based on a film, “The Magician,” that Mr. Ryan made 13 years ago.

NEW AMSTERDAM (NBC, Sept. 25) The success of “The Good Doctor” meant that other inspirational hospital dramas wouldn’t be far behind. This one, with Ryan Eggold as the new top doc at a New York hospital based on Bellevue, stuffs ebola, carbon monoxide poisoning, cancer (twice), placenta previa, childhood neglect and the perils of interracial dating into its first episode.

THE GOOD PLACE (NBC, Sept. 27) The most critically beloved, heavily analyzed comedy on broadcast TV returns for its third season. Spoiler alert if you’re not caught up: This time they’re not in the good place or the bad place. Well, depending on your point of view.


WILL SMITH: THE JUMP (YouTube, Sept. 25) Mr. Smith bungee jumps from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon on his birthday. The live broadcast, which one hopes doesn’t become a series, will be carried on his YouTube channel.

A MILLION LITTLE THINGS (ABC, Sept. 26) Kind of like “This Is Us” if it were set in Boston, focused on four male friends (played by Ron Livingston, David Giuntoli, Romany Malco and James Roday) rather than a family and had a greater appetite for punch lines.

EXETER (Sundance Now, Sept. 27) Evoking the days of radio drama — largely dormant in the United States since the mid-1980s — this six-episode scripted podcast stars Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ray McKinnon as detectives in a South Carolina town. For streaming video, the podcast will be accompanied by what’s known as dynamic captioning, a process in which traditional closed captions can be typographically tweaked and moved around the screen.

THE COOL KIDS (Fox, Sept. 28) Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Martin Mull and Leslie Jordan try to recapture some of that “Golden Girls” magic as the four feistiest residents of the Shady Meadows retirement home, in a throwback sitcom created by the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” actor and writer Charlie Day and Paul Fruchbom.

KING LEAR (Amazon, Sept. 28) It used to be that seeing a great actor’s Lear meant a trip to London or one of the Stratfords. Now it means an Amazon Prime subscription. Richard Eyre’s new BBC adaptation, cut to two hours and set in the present, stars Mr. Hopkins and surrounds him with a high-powered cast including Emma Thompson, Emily Watson, Jim Broadbent and Andrew Scott. (And, for the “Outlander” fans, Tobias Menzies as Cornwall.)

LAST MAN STANDING (Fox, Sept. 28) Still standing, in its seventh season, on a new network.

GOD FRIENDED ME (CBS, Sept. 30) From Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt’s shared resume as writer-producers — “Gotham,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “CSI: NY” — you wouldn’t expect them to create a feel-good fantasy-mystery about an atheist podcaster who starts getting friend requests from God. (Does God check in from heaven? So many questions.) But here it is, starring Brandon Micheal Hall of “The Mayor” and blessed with Joe Morton as the unbeliever’s pastor father.



David Tennant and Jennifer Garner in “Camping” on HBO.CreditAnne Marie Fox/HBO

THE NEIGHBORHOOD (CBS, Oct. 1) Max Greenfield of “New Girl” and Beth Behrs of “2 Broke Girls” play a white couple moving into an African-American neighborhood in Los Angeles, to the consternation and amusement of their new neighbors. Cedric the Entertainer and Tichina Arnold play the couple next door.

I FEEL BAD (NBC, Oct. 4) Aseem Batra (“Scrubs,” “The Cleveland Show”) created this series about (apparently) the guilt of the seemingly perfect modern wife and mom, starring Sarayu Blue (the mean officemate in “No Tomorrow”). One of the many executive producers is Amy Poehler.

WILL & GRACE (NBC, Oct. 4) Debra Messing’s Grace Adler, one of American situation comedy’s biggest relationship nightmares, gets yet another boyfriend in the second season of the “Will & Grace” reboot — played by David Schwimmer, who knows from star crossed after his years as Ross Geller on “Friends.”

INTO THE DARK (Hulu, Oct. 5) Twelve free-standing episodes, each a horror story pegged to a holiday, released once a month for a year.

THE WALKING DEAD (AMC, Oct. 7) The zombie drama’s ninth season jumps ahead 18 months in time, giving it some space from the convoluted and not very exciting “war” of Season 8. A new showrunner, Angela Kang, will oversee both the buildup to the survivors’ next crisis and the departure of Andrew Lincoln, the show’s star since its first episode.


ALL-AMERICAN (CW, Oct. 10) The British actor Daniel Ezra (“Prime Suspect 1973”) plays an American high school football star and Taye Diggs plays the coach who recruits him away from his south Los Angeles school to play for Beverly Hills High.

LIGHT AS A FEATHER (Hulu, Oct. 12) Five teenage girls in peril because of the children’s game light as a feather, stiff as a board, in a series from the young-adult content factory AwesomenessTV.

THE ROMANOFFS (Amazon, Oct. 12) Mr. Weiner’s return to television, three years after “Mad Men,” is the oddity of the season: eight free-standing episodes, shot in seven countries, about people who believe they’re descended from the last Russian royal family. The overflowing cast includes Christina Hendricks and John Slattery of “Mad Men,” Isabelle Huppert, Corey Stoll, Diane Lane and Kerry Bishé.

CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (CW, Oct. 12) The story of the excitable, melodic Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), who was facing attempted-murder charges as Season 3 ended, begins its final, 18-episode season.

CAMPING (HBO, Oct. 14) The “Girls” team of Ms. Dunham and Ms. Konner, along with John Riggi (“American Woman”), are the writers of this series that uses a traditional slasher-film setting for a comedy about tensions among a group of Los Angeles friends. Jennifer Garner and David Tennant play the central couple, in a cast that includes Juliette Lewis and Bridget Everett.

CHARMED (CW, Oct. 14) This new version of the 1998-2006 series about three sister witches should have a strong “Jane the Virgin” influence: It was developed by that series’s showrunner (Jennie Snyder Urman) and two of its writer-producers (Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin).


THE CONNERS (ABC, Oct. 16) The Show Formerly Known as “Roseanne” makes its debut, without Roseanne Barr and, most likely, a chunk of its audience.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT (ABC, Oct. 16) “The Goldbergs,” if the childhood of the show’s creator had been California Irish-Catholic 1970s rather than Pennsylvania secular-Jewish 1980s. Unlike “The Goldbergs” or “The Wonder Years,” where Patton Oswalt and Daniel Stern, respectively, were the adult voices of the main character, “The Kids Are Alright” creator Tim Doyle does his own narration.

THE ROOKIE (ABC, Oct. 16) After a series of supporting roles in comedies both light and dark (“Modern Family,” “Con Man,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events”), Nathan Fillion gets back to what he did so well in “Castle”: playing the unlikely hero of a major-network crime procedural. (It was created by the “Castle” writer and producer Alexi Hawley.) Mr. Filion plays a 40-year-old whose midlife crisis leads him to become the oldest rookie officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s initially met with hostility and scorn, but we can guess how that will turn out.

WANDERLUST (Netflix, Oct. 19) Ms. Collette is reason enough to check out anything; here, for added interest, she’s starring in a six-episode story by the highly talented playwright Nick Payne (“Constellations”). She plays a British therapist who’s reassessing everything — life, love, husband (Steven Mackintosh), monogamy — in the wake of a serious bicycle accident.

THE WOMAN IN WHITE (PBS, Oct. 21) Wilkie Collins’s 1859 novel gets yet another screen adaptation, this one starring Jessie Buckley as the mysterious, possibly mad woman dressed in white and Ben Hardy as the young man who keeps encountering her.


NATIVE AMERICA (PBS, Oct. 23) A four-part series combines archaeology, folklore and modern testimony to create a picture of powerful native civilizations that, centuries ago, were tied together across the length of the Americas by trade, science and a shared system of beliefs.

LEGACIES (CW, Oct. 25) A spin-off of “The Originals,” which was a spin-off of “The Vampire Diaries,” it’s set at the Salvatore School for vampires, werewolves etc. and created by the franchise’s overseer, Julie Plec.

DEUTSCHLAND 86 (SundanceTV, Oct. 25) The three year wait for a second season of this German Cold War spy thriller is equal to the time jump from the first season, which was titled “Deutschland 83.” Jonas Nay and Maria Schrader return as an undercover agent of the Stasi, the East German intelligence service, and his handler, who’s also his aunt. (Maybe they can find out why Sundance is scheduling their show at midnight.)

THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA (Netflix, Oct. 26) Kiernan Shipka, who has experience playing a young person in a creepy situation from her years on “Mad Men,” stars in this updating of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” It’s the second Archie Comics adaptation, after “Riverdale,” from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the company’s chief creative officer.

PATRIOT ACT WITH HASAN MINHAJ (Netflix, Oct. 28) Mr. Minhaj, the latest “Daily Show” alumnus to get a topical weekly series, has a 32-episode order, the longest Netflix has given.

TELL ME A STORY (CBS, All Access, Oct. 31) Based on a Spanish series, this is another show that feeds traditional fairy tales into the modern content machine — the first season is billed as the “Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel” combined in a “dark and twisted psychological thriller.” The premise recalls NBC’s “Grimm” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” but in the hands of the writer-producer Kevin Williamson (“The Following,” “Vampire Diaries”) it’s likely to be a bit bloodier.



Julia Roberts in “Homecoming” on Amazon.CreditAmazon Prime Video

HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix, Nov. 2) Robin Wright finally gets her turn headlining the political thriller that put Netflix on the path to content domination. Unfortunately, in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations that led to Kevin Spacey’s firing, her term will be short; this sixth season is the show’s last.

HOMECOMING (Amazon, Nov. 2) Based on a trailer, Sam Esmail’s new psychological thriller will share an unsettling mood and a strong sense of design with his other series, “Mr. Robot.” He also appears to like stars with dramatic visages: Rami Malek in “Mr. Robot” and now Ms. Roberts, playing a waitress who starts getting questioned about her former job as a counselor for returning soldiers. The cast includes Bobby Cannavale and Sissy Spacek.

CLIQUE (Pop, Nov. 7) When the British hit “Skins” premiered, Jess Brittain was the teenage younger sister of one of the show’s creators; before it was over, she’d written four episodes. Her next project was a show of her own, this thriller set at an Edinburgh university, which she created and largely wrote when she was 27.

THE KOMINSKY METHOD (Netflix, Nov. 16) A lot of new shows this fall carry high curiosity value, but perhaps none higher than this: Mr. Douglas as an aging acting coach and Mr. Arkin as his aging agent in a Hollywood comedy created by Chuck Lorre. (Mr. Douglas hasn’t starred in a TV show since “The Streets of San Francisco” more than 40 years ago.) Mr. Lorre, current king of the traditional sitcom with “The Big Bang Theory,” goes for some single-camera credibility in this melancholy eight-episode series.


SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER (Netflix, Nov. 16) Originally spun off from “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” in 1985, She-Ra returns on her own power in this DreamWorks Animation reboot. The new series was developed by the 26-year-old comics artist Noelle Stevenson (“Nimona,” “Lumberjanes”).

ENEMIES: THE PRESIDENT, JUSTICE AND THE F.B.I.(Showtime, Nov. 18) The former New York Times reporter Tim Weiner’s book “Enemies: A History of the F.B.I.” is the basis of a four-part documentary series focusing on confrontations between presidents and the bureau, directed by Jed Rothstein and Alex Gibney.

ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA (Showtime, Nov. 18) Mr. Del Toro plays Richard Matt, one of the inmates who broke out of a New York state prison in 2015, which should make one of the filmmakers’ jobs — explaining why a female prison employee helped the convicted murderers escape — a little easier. Patricia Arquette plays the accomplice and Paul Dano the other escapee in this eight-hour miniseries.

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL (AMC. Nov. 19) The producers of “The Night Manager” return with another six-episode John le Carré adaptation, this time directed by Mr. Park, the Korean master of violent revenge melodramas (doing his first work for TV). Florence Pugh plays the British actress who becomes a spy for Israel in the 1970s; Michael Shannon and Alexander Skarsgard also star.


Mimosa Willamo, left, and Li Krock in “Lola Upside Down.”CreditLångfilm Productions

LOLA UPSIDE DOWN (MHz Choice, Dec. 4) Written and directed by Ulrika Bengts, based on a novel by Monika Fagerholm, this Finnish miniseries about young women in a small town has drawn comparisons to “Twin Peaks.”


MODUS (Walter Presents, Dec. 6) Season 2 of this Swedish series focused on a criminal profiler, Inger Johanne (Melinda Kinnaman), and her autistic daughter, Stina (Esmerelda Struwe), hurtles past improbabilities in the name of suspense: The president of the United States disappears during a state visit to Sweden; the president’s top adviser happens to be the man Johanne had an affair with years before; and most fantastical, for now, the president is a woman (played by Kim Cattrall) who sees Sweden as a model for American reform.

SPRINGSTEEN ON BROADWAY (Netflix, Dec. 15) Bruce Springsteen’s sold-out theater show, filmed over two performances before private audiences, will be available for the price of a Netflix subscription once its Broadway run ends.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.