12 Not-To-Miss Fall TV Shows

It's that time again: Fall TV is officially back!
But, don't panic, rush to your DVR, and make decisions you'll regret. Pause, take a breath, and have a little faith in our committed TV-watching abilities. We're here to help you prioritize your high-def responsibilities, and tackle one drama and/or situational comedy at a time.
We've watched, assessed, debated, and, in the end, managed to agree on the 12 shows you must tune-in for this season. From programs starring the one-and-only Olivia Pope to new master criminal Raymond "Red" Reddington, you'll find friends old and new. So, get your TiVo series manager ready, a remote in hand, and sit back and enjoy!
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.

If a good show is measured in the number of character's lives it ruins, then Homeland is arguably the best on television. Its writers continue to kick the series' leading ladies and gents about the ear, nose, and throat, and yet we can't look away. Judging from the teaser trailers alone, this season is bound to be the darkest yet, with the CIA in turmoil, Carrie falling apart yet again, and Brody going completely off the rails. Yet, somehow, we find ourselves rooting for each and every one of them — even that poor sassafras Dana. And, as always, Mandy Patinkin...holla.

Premieres September 29 on Showtime.
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Photo: Courtesy of AMC.
The Walking Dead

Sometimes we just need a little escape, and zombie apocalypse material gets it done for us every time. Naturally, we'll be tuning into season four of this show for a little gore, a little fright, and a whole lot of Daryl and his crossbow. Sure, it's totally over the top, but we need something to fill the void when True Blood is on hiatus. And, you never know, a world full of the undead may not be that far off, after all.

Premieres October 13 on AMC.
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Photo: Courtesy of CBS.
How I Met Your Mother

Okay, we know what you're thinking. You gave up on HIMYM years ago, tiring of the constant bait-and-switch and neverending ups and downs of Ted's relationships. But, it's time to come back to the show because we've finally seen The Mother. The final season promises to finally deliver on all its promises, and we get to see whether Barney and Robin actually tie the knot. Expect all the usual laughs, plus lots of feel-good moments with our favorite castmembers.

Premieres September 23 on CBS.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
The Mindy Project

When will the female comedian debate finally be over? Let's face it, Hollywood: Women are just as funny as men, and that's never been a question. For proof, see Mindy Kaling. Her self-titled sitcom constantly nails that perfect amount of self-deprecating humor that we can all admit beats slapstick any day. She manages to package together all of our neurotic fears so deftly, in a way that actually makes us feel (gasp!) normal. And, with The Office gone kaput, what better way to assuage your Dunder Mifflin cravings.

Premieres September 17 on Fox.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.

That darn Jason Katims (ye of Friday Night Lights writing fame)...he sure knows how to tug on our heart strings like no man has before. In fact, we're not sure if a single episode has ever left us dry-eyed. Tune into the fifth season of this family melodrama for a good therapeutic cry (or 12), and to feel a little bit better about your own familial issues. And, because the venerable Craig T. Nelson might be the most heart-wrenchingly realistic TV dad yet (sorry, Coach Taylor!).

Premieres September 26 on NBC.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.

All hail Kerry Washington, queen of the femme fatales. We're pretty sure there's no leading lady more badass than Olivia Pope — and watching her in action is almost as good as living out our secret dreams of running Washington. Season three is set to kick off with a bang, settling scores between Olivia and her mysterious father, and picking up where the most dramatic love triangle of all time left off. And, here's to hoping our favorite black ops killer, Huck, gets even more screen time than last season.

Premieres October 3 on ABC.
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Photo: Courtesy of The CW.

What do you get when you combine a dash of The Other Boleyn Girl historical scandal with a dose of Gossip Girl elitist seduction? Enter Reign, The CW's latest highly addictive drama featuring a cast of ridiculously good-looking people making unchaste decisions.

Premieres October 17 on the The CW.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Hello Ladies

If you think of a British accent as synonymous with Robert Pattinson, consider Stuart the ultimate exception. Created by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (former writer-producers of The Office), Stephen Merchant's new HBO comedy tells the story of an awkward Brit who moves to glitzy L.A., where he appears all the more awkward than in his native country. Basically, this is Californication, if Mr. Bean replaced Duchovny.

Premieres September 29 on HBO.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fox.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine

What is it about Andy Samberg that makes him so crush-able? From his "Digital Shorts" to his musical genius (The Lonely Island will forever remain on our Top 25 Most Played), comedy's golden boy is a real charmer. And, now he's back with his own show, in which he plays the lovably immature Detective Jake Peralta. Sure, the rest of the cast is pretty hilarious as well, but, if we're being totally honest, this really is Samberg's show. And, what's to complain about there?

Premieres September 17 on Fox.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Of all the shows premiering this fall, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the cake for boasting the highest expectations. Not only is it a spinoff of The Avengers, but did we mention it's a Joss Whedon creation — a.k.a. the genius behind shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel? Well, if that doesn't get you running to your DVR, we're not sure what will.

Premieres September 24 on ABC.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
The Blacklist

Oh, James Spader, how we love thee! Whether playing W.N. Bilbo or Robert California, Spader never disappoints. And, to no surprise, his latest role as Raymond "Red" Reddington is no exception. Put it this way: If Carrie Mathison keeps you on the edge of your couch, then this fugitive-turned-FBI-aid will have you lunging at your TV.

Premieres September 23 on NBC.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Trophy Wife

If you've ever watched The Comeback, you know how funny Malin Ackerman can be. On ABC's new comedy, the beautiful blonde gets back to doing what we think she does best: Being extremely, unexpectedly, bizarrely, and awesomely, laugh-out-loud funny. Sidenote: SNL's Michaela Watkins also kills it.

Premieres September 24 on ABC.