The 33 Shows You Need To Watch This Fall

Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
We've binge-watched Breaking Bad (multiple times) and spent way too much time speculating about the cast of True Detective season 2. We breezed through the new episodes of Orange Is the New Black the weekend it came out. And, it was with some relief that we watched the Emmys last week, and officially closed the book on the past year of television. Now we’re waiting with open hearts and empty DVRs for what’s next: the new fall TV season. While we can’t actually program your DVR or manage your queue for you, we can save you loads of time by pinpointing the new fall offerings that will fill the void in this, our post-BB and True Detective-less world.
Yes, there are a lot of new shows heading your way this season — more than ever thanks to original programming from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. We’ve sorted through the good, the bad, and the ridiculous to create this handy guide to the new shows you’ll be live-tweeting, recording for a rainy day, discussing at dinner parties, and yes, even hate-watching. Now, peep this: It’s the only fall TV guide you need.
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Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS.
Madam Secretary
Airs: 8 p.m. Sundays on CBS
Premieres: September 21

Téa Leoni stars as Elizabeth McCord, the headstrong Secretary of State who only took the job as a favor to the President. She’s a college professor and former CIA analyst who left the bureau for ethical reasons. As Secretary of State, her apolitical stance and deep knowledge of the Middle East are only part of the equation: She also needs to figure out the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of her predecessor.

For you if: You dream of seeing Hillary Clinton on Homeland.

Forecast: Clogging your DVR
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Photo: Ray Mickshaw/FOX.
Airs: 9:30 p.m. Sundays on FOX
Premieres: October 5

Former SNL scribe, Stefon co-creator, and every-man proxy John Mulaney stars as (what else) a rising stand-up trying to break out. He’s stymied by his friends (among them Nasim Pedrad), neighbor (Elliott Gould in an over-the-top campy performance), and crazy boss, game-show host Lou Cannon (Martin Short).

For you if: You love observational stand-up comedy and still DVR Seinfeld re-runs.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watch
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Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/SHOWTIME.
The Affair
Airs: 10 p.m. Sundays on Showtime
Premieres: October 12

What happens when a frustrated novelist and devoted father of four encounters the ultimate temptation, meeting an attractive young waitress when his defenses are down? The Affair examines the slow burn and implications of adultery as it weaves its toxic web through multiple relationships.

For you if: You love bleak-but-compelling depictions of modern life.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Jessica Miglio/FOX.
Airs: 8 p.m. Mondays on FOX
Premieres: September 22

When the Batman movies begin, Commissioner Gordon is the head of the Gotham P.D., and The Riddler, The Joker, Poison Ivy, et al are already supervillains. Gotham takes viewers back to the time when Gordon was just a rookie detective tasked with finding the killers of young Bruce Wayne’s parents, and the city was still teetering on the edge of complete corruption.

For you if: You love a good origin story and miss The O.C.’s Ben McKenzie (he plays Gordon).

Forecast: Date-night viewing
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Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS.
Airs: 9 p.m. Mondays on CBS
Premieres: September 22

Who do you call when the crime being committed doesn’t take place in the physical world? An elite group of geniuses known as the Scorpion team. They can solve any high-tech threat, but invite them to a dinner party, and they’re back at square one. Even nerdy masterminds have their foibles. Based on a true story.

For you if: Your favorite part of CSI is the rapid-fire database searching.

Forecast: Hate-watching
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Photo: Greg Gayne/The CW.
Jane the Virgin
Airs: 9 p.m. Mondays on The CW
Premieres: October 13

Twenty-three-year-old Jane has a meticulous life plan, and saving herself for marriage is part of it. When she visits her gynecologist for a routine check-up, she’s artificially inseminated with a specimen meant for the patient in the next room. Complicating things even further, the aforementioned specimen belongs to Rafael, "a reformed playboy and cancer survivor, who is not only the new owner of the hotel where Jane works, but also her former summer crush."

For you if: You can’t believe a show with the above description is actually going to air.

Forecast: Hate-watching
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Photo: Michael Parmelee/NBC.
State of Affairs
Airs: 10 p.m. Mondays on NBC
Premieres: November 17

Top CIA analyst Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) is responsible for compiling the President’s Daily Briefing List, an ongoing docket of the greatest threats to our nation. She also has a closer relationship to President Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard) than most: Tucker was engaged to her son before a terrorist attack took his life. She’s a slave to her job in order to avoid facing her grief, but she'll eventually need to get to the bottom of her fiancé’s murder.

For you if: You just can’t get enough shows about high-powered women in Washington tasked with solving high-powered mysteries.

Forecast: Hate-watching
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Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
Airs: 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 p.m. Fridays on FOX
Premieres: Special three-night premiere starts on Sunday, September 7

Fifteen intrepid Americans who’ve had it with our Hobbesian social contract will form their own society under the prying eyes of reality-TV cameras. “They’ve got limited supplies, wildly diverse backgrounds, and zero bathrooms,” the show’s site explains. Who knew having places to pee played such a pivotal role in the decision to go communist, socialist, or anarchist?

For you if: You wish Under the Dome was a reality show.

Forecast: Live-tweeting
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Photo: Eric McCandless/ABC.
Airs: 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC
Premieres: September 30

Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has tons of followers on every social network of note. Her self-esteem is directly correlated to the number of Likes, faves, and RTs she gets. One day, however, she has an epiphany and realizes that being friended isn’t the same as having friends IRL. Enter marketing guru Henry (John Cho), who’s going to rebuild her personal brand and teach her what it means to connect offline.

For you if: You thought Pygmalion needed a 2014 spin.

Forecast: Live-tweeting and hate-watching
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Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC.
Manhattan Love Story
Airs: 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC
Premieres: September 30

She walks down the street thinking about purses. He walks down the street thinking about sex. Could these two be any more stereotypical representations of their genders? No, they could not. Luckily, we get to be privy to their thoughts as they have a meet-cute in the street and then go on a disastrous blind date. Can they ever make it work given that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus?!

For you if: You own How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (the director’s cut).

Forecast: Clogging your DVR
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Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW.
The Flash
Airs: 8 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW
Premieres: October 7

The CW has done an admirable job of translating some of the most iconic comic-book heroes into weekly series (Smallville and Arrow), so they’ll hopefully continue that trend with the fastest man alive, a.k.a. The Flash.

For you if: You love Arrow and want some marathon-training inspiration.

Forecast: Date-night viewing
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Photo: Greg Gaynes/NBC.
Marry Me
Airs: 9 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC
Premieres: October 14

From the creator of Happy Endings comes...another show about a delayed wedding. Annie (Casey Wilson) and Jake (Ken Marino) have been dating for six years, and they know they’re going to be together for life. Jake is all set to pop the question on a romantic vacation when Annie lays into him for his inability to commit. They agree to hold off on their engagement until they get it right.

For you if: You miss Happy Endings and The State.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watching
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Photo: Patrick Harbron/ABC.
Airs: 10 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC
Premieres: September 23

Elementary has the “sexy, perceptive eccentric who solves crime” angle covered. But — stay with ABC here — what if the sexy, perceptive eccentric was over 200 years old and kept dying and being reincarnated? And, each time he came back to life, he was naked. We bet you’re into it now, right?

For you if: You love Criminal Minds and Sherlock, but wish they had more immortal characters.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Alex Martinez/FOX.
Red Band Society
Airs: 9 p.m. Wednesdays on FOX
Premieres: September 17

The teens in the pediatric ward at Ocean Park Hospital are coming of age in a different way than your typical high schoolers, but that’s why they band together to ride out the ups and downs of adolescence. Octavia Spencer stars as Nurse Jackson, the no-nonsense head of the ward, who just wants her patients to get the most out of their lives.

For you if: You love a weekly tearjerker.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Barbara Nitke/NBC.
The Mysteries of Laura
Airs: 8 p.m. Wednesdays on NBC
Premieres: September 24

Women trying to have it all is a recurring theme in many of fall’s new TV offerings, but no show is quite as blatant about it as The Mysteries of Laura. Per the official site, “Debra Messing stars as Detective Laura Diamond, whose skill at cleaning up after her twin boys comes in handy when she's cleaning up the streets of NYC.” Did you just throw up in your mouth a little, too?

For you if: You support NBC’s endless quest to cast Debra Messing in a successful show post-Will & Grace.

Forecast: Hate-watching
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Photo: Richard Cartwright/CBS.
Airs: 10 p.m. Wednesdays on CBS
Premieres: October 1

In case you don’t have enough trouble sleeping, CBS is here with a new psychological thriller about stalkers and the various ways in which they circle their prey, from voyeurism to cyber harassment.

For you if: You wish Catfish had more life-threatening stalking cases. You love insomnia.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Darren Michaels/IFC.
Garfunkel and Oates
Airs: 10 p.m. Thursdays on IFC
Premieres: August 4

Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Kate Micucci (Oates) bring their satirical comedic song stylings to TV in a sitcom à clef about life, love, and auditioning in L.A.

For you if: You love Flight of the Conchords.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watching
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Airs: 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC
Premieres: September 24

Andre 'Dre' Johnson (Anthony Anderson) is living the American dream. He’s got a colonial house in the suburbs, a lovely wife, a great job, and four kids. After his son starts playing field hockey and asks to have a bar mitzvah, though, Johnson worries his family has completely lost touch with its cultural heritage.

For you if: You’ve wondered if it’s possible to be too assimilated.

Forecast: Dinner-party discussion
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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios.
The Cosmopolitans
Streaming: Thursday, August 28 on Amazon Instant Video

Whit Stillman takes his talents to the small screen in this pilot he directed for Amazon. Adam Brody, Chloë Sevigny, and Dree Hemingway round out the cast of young Americans searching for meaningful relationships in contemporary Paris. Amazon decides which pilots go into production based on viewer feedback, so watch and comment, ASAP.

For you if: You love Whit Stillman’s other works like The Last Days of Disco.

Forecast: Dinner-party discussion
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Photo: John Fleenor/NBC.
Bad Judge
Airs: Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC
Premieres: October 2

Rebecca Wright (Kate Walsh) is a wild child who knows how to have a good time. She’s also one of L.A.’s toughest and most well-respected criminal court judges. She’s unorthodox in the courtroom — and in her private life. Is the one person who can tame her an eight-year-old whose parents she put behind bars?

For you if: You want to see About a Boy with the genders reversed and produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watching
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Photo: Trae Patton/NBC.
A to Z
Airs: 9:30 p.m. Thursdays on NBC
Premieres: October 2

Andrew (Ben Feldman from Mad Men) is a secret romantic, while Zelda (Cristin Milioti, a.k.a. The Mother from How I Met Your Mother) is a no-nonsense realist when it comes to love. Sparks fly when they meet-cute at the online dating site where Andrew works, but the show has an interesting twist. Similar to HIMYM, their relationship is on a specific timeline (eight months, three weeks, five days and one hour), narrated by an omniscient voiceover (Katey Sagal), and the show will present viewers with every detail, from A to Z.

For you if: You own When Harry Met Sally.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watching
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Fox: Ed Araquel/FOX.
Airs: 9 p.m. Thursdays on FOX
Premieres: October 2

Gracepoint is the American adaptation of the UK’s compelling and addictive Broadchurch. After a boy is found dead on an beach, two detectives (David Tennant and Anna Gunn) unearth a web of lies, deceit, and corruption running through what appears to be an idyllic California town.

For you if: You love a well-crafted and beautifully shot mystery.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS.
The McCarthys
Airs: 9:30 p.m. Thursdays on CBS
Premieres: October 30

Ronny (Tyler Ritter) feels like the odd-man-out in his close-knit, sports-obsessed Boston family. Much to his — and his siblings’ — dismay, his father chooses him to be his assistant high school basketball coach. He’s touched by his father’s offer and the chance to educate his politically incorrect dad about his desire to move away from Boston and find a life partner.

For you if: You can handle stale gay jokes on the path to familial love and understanding.

Forecast: Clogging your DVR
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Photo: Nicole Rivelli/ABC.
How to Get Away With Murder
Airs: 10 p.m. Thursdays on ABC
Premieres: September 25

Law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) teaches a class called “How to Get Away With Murder,” which takes on a whole new meaning when she becomes embroiled with four of her students who need to do just that. Created by Shonda Rhimes.

For you if: You love Scandal.

Forecast: Live-tweeting
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Photo: Mary Cybulski/Cinemax.
The Knick
Airs: 10 p.m. Fridays on Cinemax
Premieres: August 8

Clive Owen stars as Dr. John Thackery, a brilliant surgeon pioneering new advances in early 20th-century medical practices at New York City’s Knickerbocker Hospital, a.k.a. “The Knick.” He’s also got a raging cocaine problem, which he struggles to keep secret. Steven Soderbergh artfully directed all 10 episodes in the show’s first season.

For you if: You visit every Ripley’s Believe It or Not you encounter.

Forecast: Date-night viewing
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
BoJack Horseman
Streaming: Friday, August 22 on Netflix

Twenty years ago, BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) was the star of the beloved ‘90s TV show Horsin’ Around. Today, he’s living in a swanky Hollywood bachelor pad with hanger-on Todd (Aaron Paul), washed-up and without prospects after peaking way too young.

For you if: You’re looking for a surrealist version of G.O.B. Bluth.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watching
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Photo: Bob D'Amico/ABC.
Airs: 8:30 p.m. Fridays on ABC
Premieres: October 10

Cristela is in her sixth year of law school (she's been going part-time) and finally about to land a prestigious internship. Can she convince her traditional family that having ambitions beyond being a wife and mother doesn’t make her different or less-respectable?

For you if: You miss Ugly Betty.

Forecast: Clogging your DVR
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Airs: 9 p.m. Saturdays on Starz
Premieres: August 9

During her second honeymoon in the Scottish highlands, Claire Randall is transported back 200 years in time to 1743. She has to keep her wits about her just to survive and make the ultimate decision: Does she want to go back to her husband in 1945?

For you if: You’re looking for a feminist show with some Scottie hotties.

Forecast: Date-night viewing
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Photo: Quantrell Colbert/NBC.
Airs: 10 p.m. Fridays on NBC
Premieres: October 24

Demon hunter and occult master Constantine, from the DC comic Hellblazer, is here to skirt the divide between good and evil on the small screen.

For you if: You’re a fan of the comics and handsome anti-heroes.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC America.
Airs: 10 p.m. Saturdays on BBC America
Premieres: August 23

A secret society tries to achieve immortality by inhabiting the bodies of others. This BBC America original is reminiscent of The Returned, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and The 5th Wave.

For you if: You love being terrified.

Forecast: Saving for a rainy day
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
The Chair
Airs: 11 p.m. Saturday on Starz
Premieres: September 6

The executive producer of Project Greenlight brings an innovative new experiment to Starz. What happens when two very different directors create films from the same screenplay?

For you if: You’ve any directorial aspirations.

Forecast: Dinner-party discussion
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Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Survivor’s Remorse
Airs: 9 p.m. Saturdays on Starz
Premieres: October 4

This comedy series follows Cam Calloway, a basketball phenom who moves to Atlanta with his cousin after he signs a multimillion-dollar contract. Now, he has to fend off family members emerging from the woodwork and resist the temptations that come with fame and fortune.

For you if: You miss Entourage.

Forecast: Sunday Funday binge-watching
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Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW.
Airs: No premiere date yet, but it’s on The CW.

Liv (oh, the puns intended) is an ambitious medical student. One night, she goes to a party that ends up becoming a zombie feeding frenzy. Although she’s now a member of the undead, Liv decides to keep going on her chosen career path. She pretends she’s now Goth and gets a job in the Seattle coroner’s office so she can snack on brains when she needs to feed. Things get a little more complicated when she starts retaining the memories of the people’s brains on which she’s munching.

For you if: You loved Warm Bodies.

Forecast: Date-night viewing