Fall TV Preview: Your Ultimate Guide To The Season's New & Returning Dramas

We’re living in a golden age of television and sometimes that can be a bad thing. With only so much available space on your DVR and a limited amount of time and brainpower to devote to watching the latest prestige television, you have to be selective about your shows. Of course, the arrival of fall means there are new offerings coming your way, in addition to returning favorites.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help you navigate through the deluge of fall dramas to minimize the actual drama in your life. In this handy guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about all the new shows — and whether or not you should bother tuning in. We've also got the low-down on when your favorite returning shows are coming back, plus some juicy tidbits about where the stories are going this season.

Go ahead and click through. When it comes to fall dramas, you’re golden.

Photo: Courtesy Virginia Sherwood/ NBC.
Blindspot (September 21, NBC)
New series
Starring: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton

A Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) whose memory has been wiped clean turns up in a duffle bag in Times Square. The only clues to her identity and how she got there are the tattoos covering her entire body, one of which identifies FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) by name.

The premise is far-fetched, but things get more interesting when the show removes the damsel-in-distress angle. You learn in the first episode that Jane is a highly trained covert operative who may have volunteered for this mission.

Watch Trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Bruce Macaulay/ Fox.

Minority Report (September 21, Fox)
New Series
Starring Wilmer Valderrama and Meagan Good

Limitless (September 22, CBS)
New Series
Starring Bradley Cooper and Jake McDorman

We will say, it's nice to see a vision of the future on TV that doesn't involve us all being eaten by zombies. Remakes, reboots, and offshoots can get a bad rap, but when the source material is good, there's reason to be optimistic. Fox's take on the 2001 Steven Spielberg film is worth checking out for a new spin on an old storyline: A man (Wilmer Valderrama) with the gift to see crimes before they happen (i.e. a precog) is for once not burdened by the responsibility of his powers, but actually desperate to make use of them to help the world.

CBS’ take on the 2011 flick starring Bradley Cooper is exec-produced by Cooper, who will make guest appearances. It seems like pretty basic cop show mixed with a dash of Sherlock, which is just what a cop show needs. Plus, it's fun to imagine you actually are a genius, you just need the right clear tic-tac to jump start your super-brain.

Watch the Minority Report trailer here and the Limitless trailer here.
Photo: Courtesy of Chuck Hodes/ FOX.
Empire (September 23, FOX)
Returning Series, season two
Starring: Jussie Smollett, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard, Trai Byers, Bryshere Gray

Two words: Mariah Carey. Although, she’s just one in a pack of bold-name guest stars joining season two. We’re talking Ludacris, Marisa Tomei, Chris Rock, Kelly Rowland, and Alicia Keys. The new season promises more addictive music and plenty of drama. But let's be honest, Cookie is reason enough to tune in every week.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Christos Kalohoridis/NBC.
Heroes Reborn (September 24, NBC)
New Miniseries
Starring: Masi Oka, Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Francesca Eastwood

Rejoice, Heroes fans! They've lost Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere, but the 2006 – 10 sci-fi drama is getting a 13-episode reboot. Lest your memory needs some refreshing, the show's about ordinary people who discover they have superhuman abilities. This time around, there's no cheerleader in need of saving — just the world and some other folks.

The story picks up one year after a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, and the "heroes" are forced underground as government scapegoats and pursued by vigilantes. New heroes will be introduced to the mix, along with returning fan favorites like Masi Oka (Hiro!) and Greg Grunberg. Please, NBC, make it better than the end of the first series!
Photo: Courtesy of Craig Sjodin/ ABC.

How to Get Away With Murder (September 24, ABC)
Season 2
Starring: Viola Davis, Alfred Enoch, Liza Weil

Grey’s Anatomy (September 24, ABC)
Season 12
Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Sara Ramirez, Chandra Wilson

Scandal (September 24, ABC)
Season 5
Starring: Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young

TGIT! Grey’s Anatomy begins three months after the season finale, with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Jackson (Jesse Williams), Callie (Sara Ramirez), and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) all surprised to be living the single life again. Scandal picks up right where season 4 ended, and pretty much everyone’s life is in tatters besides Olivia's (Kerry Washington) and Fitz’s (Tony Goldwyn) — they’re still making out on the Truman balcony.

How to Get Away With Murder faces a tough challenge: replicating the intrigue of its breakout first season now that the central mystery of who killed Lila (Megan West) and Sam (Tom Verica) was revealed. That actually won’t be a problem, though. The title of the show is How to Get Away With Murder (not “How to Figure Out Who Committed Murder;” for that, see NCIS or any other crime procedural), so viewers should be more concerned with how Annalise (Viola Davis) and the Keating Five are going to walk away from their rapidly rising body count — remember that Rebecca (Katie Findlay) also turned up dead in the season 1 finale — without anyone finding out.
Photo: Courtesy of FOX.

Once Upon a Time
(September 27, ABC)
Season 5
Starring Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison

Sleepy Hollow
(October 1, Fox)
Season 3
Starring Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie

By now fantasy fans know the writers of their favorite shows never truly want them to be happy, just lulled into a false sense of security before their favorite characters are ripped to shreds. So Once Upon a Time devotees should have known that as Swan (Jennifer Morrison) finally settled in with her family, it was only a matter of time before she'd be swallowed by darkness (not even remotely metaphorically).

Things aren't going much better for the crime- (and demon-) fighting clique over in Sleepy Hollow, where loyalties have been revealed that will probably lead to some super awkward conversations in between supernatural battles. Also, there's going to be a Bones crossover, because the Bones writers must be so incredibly bored by now that they're willing to work with time travelers.
Photo: Courtesy of Eric Leibowitz/ ABC.
Quantico (September 27, ABC)
New series
Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Johanna Braddy, Yasmine Al Massri

The FBI training academy is notoriously rigorous, accepting only the best and brightest recruits — and, if ABC’s newest spy drama Quantico is to be believed, the sexiest and most mysterious as well. Everyone’s got a past and a secret in the newest class of attractive aspiring agents, and of course one of them is the prime suspect in a horrific domestic terrorist attack. Newcomer Priyanka Chopra is magnetic as falsely accused agent trainee Alex Parrish.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Craig Sjodin/ ABC.
Blood & Oil (September 27, ABC)
New series
Starring: Don Johnson, Chace Crawford, Rebecca Rittenhouse

Ambitious newlyweds Billy (Chace Crawford) and Cody (Rebecca Rittenhouse) head to North Dakota to open a laundromat in a modern-day booming oil town, where the influx of money has created an atmosphere of lawlessness akin to that of the Wild West. Blood & Oil tries to hit all the elements of soapiness found in Dallas (1978-1991), complete with an oil baron named Hap (Don Johnson) and his black sheep, ne’er-do-well son Wick (Scott Michael Foster). Is The Bakken, North Dakota, the new Dallas, Texas? ABC hopes so.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Diyah Pera/ The CW.

Agents of Shield (September 29, ABC)
Season 3
Starring Ming-Na Wen and Clark Gregg

(October 14, The CW)
Season 4
Starring Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy

The Flash
(October 6, The CW)
Season 2
Starring Danielle Panabaker and Grant Gustin

For those going through Avengers withdrawal after the second movie, now is the perfect time to check out Agents of Shield. It's got what you love about The Avengers (action plus snarky banter) but with 100 percent more superhuman things. Both of The CW superhero shows are hitting their stride. The Flash is coming into its sophomore season with a ton of questions. Will Barry regret his choice? Are they really down a villain? Meanwhile, on Arrow, the hero of the sadly yanked Constantine will have something of a second life as a guest star.
Photo: Courtesy of Neil Jacobs/ CBS.
Code Black (September 30, CBS)
New Series
Starring: Marcia Gay Harden, Luis Guzman, Bonnie Somerville

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a hospital drama, set in an emergency room, focusing on a bunch of wide-eyed newbies. Code Black is going to give the formula perfected by ER and Grey’s Anatomy another go on CBS. The premise may feel old hat, but the cast on this one is reason enough to give the show a chance. Marcia Gay Harden’s last TV series was the overlooked Trophy Wife, and we’re rooting for her with this one. She stars as the HBIC opposite Luis Guzman, the nurse showing the residents the ropes.
Photo: Courtesy of Justin Stephens/CBS.

Madam Secretary (October 4, CBS)
Season 2
Starring: Téa Leoni (and other people, but mostly Téa Leoni)

The Good Wife
(October 4, CBS)
Season 7
Starring: Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Alan Cumming

For those of us who like to curl up on Sunday night and watch grown-ass women get shit done, then CBS is your happy place. Madam Secretary returns with more plots and plans for CIA analyst-turned-professor-turned-Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni). In the first episode of the new season (directed and produced by God/former POTUS Morgan Freeman!), the president’s plane is declared missing. What will Lizzie do?!

Has it really been seven seasons since we first met Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies)? And how will we ever get used to The Good Wife without Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) or Will (Josh Charles)?! We know that the kickoff will feature Alicia trying to jumpstart her own law firm and finding a new investigator (Kalinda, come back!). We’re looking forward moving past the awkward CGI’ed scene from the season 6 finale, which featured Alicia and Kalinda supposedly a goodbye drink without the actresses ever appearing in the same room together. Do better, Good Wife!
Photo: Courtesy of Stephan Rabold/SHOWTIME.
Homeland (October 4, Showtime)
Season 5
Starring: Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Mandy Patinkin, Miranda Otto

The good news: Quinn (Rupert Friend) did not die after writing Carrie (Claire Danes) that letter and taking off on a dangerous mission — usually a sure sign that someone is toast. Two years after the events of Season 4, he’s still doing black-ops work, while Saul (Mandy Patinkin) has scored the CIA Director gig and Carrie has taken on a private-security job in Berlin. Baby Brody, of course, is MIA.

This year's action will hone in on the conflicts in Russia and Syria, while staying true to the Homeland touchstones: extreme violence, murky motives, and angry, moralistic duelings between Carrie and Saul. Jury’s out on the cry face, though.
Photo: Courtesy of Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME.
The Affair (October 4, Showtime)
Season 2
Starring: Ruth Wilson, Dominic West, Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson

Sarah Treem’s series about infidelity won the Golden Globe for its debut season. The new one will unfold with a somewhat altered format, from four different perspectives: Noah’s (Dominic West) and Alison’s (Ruth Wilson), plus their jilted spouses, Helen (Maura Tierney) and Cole (Joshua Jackson). The new episodes also promise to get down to solving the murder at the center of the first season.
Photo: Courtesy of Kharen Hill/ The CW.
iZombie (October 6, The CW)
Returning Series
Starring: Rose McIver, Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin

One of the greatest pleasures of the 2014 – 15 season was iZombie, which comes from the masterminds behind Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero. Rose McIver’s Liv, a zombie who works in the city morgue and solves crimes by consuming brains, is one of our favorite heroines of late, and her world got a whole lot more complicated by the end of the first season. Binge, and then get on board.
Photo: Courtesy of FX.
American Horror Story: Hotel (October 7, FX)
Season 5
Starring: Sarah Paulson, Lady Gaga, Michelle Pfeiffer

American Horror Story has taken viewers to a murder house, an asylum, a coven, and a freak show. Now, it’s leading lady (Jessica Lange) has checked out, but AHS is hoping fans will still check in to season 5, which is set in a hotel. Many AHS regulars are back — playing different characters, of course — and they’re joined by newcomers including Lady Gaga, Max Greenfield, and Naomi Campbell. Plus, if you’ve seen The Shining, you know just how terrifying strange hotels can be.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Katie Yu/ The CW.

(October 7, The CW)
Season 11
Starring Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles

The Vampire Diaries
(October 8, The CW)
Season 7
Starring Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder

The Originals
(October 8, The CW)
Season 3
Starring Joseph Morgan and Daniel Gillies

The CW's monster-y fare (because calling it "supernatural" just gets confusing) is all about to start new chapters. Supernatural ended last season with the boys running from "darkness," which is super troubling, but maybe death's death means that any season 11 favorites will get to stay longer than two episodes? TVD's first go-around without any Gilberts promises despair, new couples, and plenty of GIFable moments for team Bamon. And nothing matters on The Originals front beyond the addition of Veronica Mar's Jason Dohring. Now if only the good people at the CW could get him back into some dress whites.
Photo: Courtesy of Gene Page/ AMC.
The Walking Dead (October 11, AMC)
Season 6
Starring: Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride

The new season looks straight-up terrifying. If you need convincing, producer David Alpert told us at this year’s Comic-Con that the first episode will have “more zombies than in any other episode.” If you’re into the relationships aspect of the show, you can look forward to more will-they-won’t-they between Rick and Michonne. Oh! And Maggie and Glenn being relationship goals all the time.
Photo: Courtesy of FX.
Fargo (October 12, FX)
Season 2
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Jean Smart, Patrick Wilson

After a dark and funny first season that brought us Billy Bob Thornton’s exquisite villain Lorne Malvo, Fargo is back. Ya, you betcha. Jumping back in time 30 years to the 1970s, the story this time centers on Lou Solverson, played by Keith Carradine in season 1 and here by Patrick Wilson. There are more (seemingly) noble cops (Wilson and Ted Danson), more crime lords (Jean Smart), and more feckless Midwesterners who get caught up in wrongdoing (Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons).
Photo: Courtesy of Darren Michaels/ CBS.
Supergirl (October 26, CBS)
New Series
Starring: Melissa Benoist, David Harewood, Calista Flockhart

Who is the mystery flying woman who saved the plane? It’s freaking Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). She’s kept her powers a secret for years. But, when shit gets real and a plane’s about to crash, she knows it’s her call to action. And, we’ve got high hopes for her — despite criticism that the show looks like deleted scenes from The Devil Wears Prada and that it’s all a bit reminiscent of a Saturday Night Live sketch that reimagines a female-fronted superhero flick as a lightweight rom-com.

We’re keeping an open mind, even after the bit in the trailer that seemed to function as a defensive move regarding the word “girl.” (When Benoist questions why people are calling her “girl” rather than “woman,” Callista Flockhart’s all, “I’m a girl and I’m powerful and rich and strong, so maybe you’re the problem.” *hairflip*) We get it, CBS. You didn’t choose the name.

We’re anticipating our girl will dole out moral rectitude and ass-beatings in equal measure. Fans of the DC Universe can also expect to see Red Tornado, Non, and General Sam Lane, who all appear in the first nine episodes. As for Superman, he’ll certainly be acknowledged. He is, after all, Supergirl’s cousin. But, he won’t be dropping by this series. It’s not about him, you guys!

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Eric McCandless.
Wicked City (October 27 at 10 p.m. ET, ABC)
New series
Starring: Ed Westwick, Erika Christensen, Taissa Farmiga

On the one hand, we’ll give it up to ABC for taking the cable-miniseries route with a show that plans to follow a different crime in a different era each season. But on the other, Wicked City has already coming under fire for gratuitous violence against women — like the scene in the first five minutes of the pilot in which a female character is murdered while performing oral sex in a car. (Like, what?) The series, set in LA in 1982, follows a serial killer (Westwick) who finds his equal in a sociopathic nurse (Christensen). But despite executive producers defending their arc by revealing that the majority of the show’s writers are women, it’s hard to ignore the bad buzz.
Photo Courtesy of Patrick Harbron/ Starz Entertainment, LLC.
Flesh and Bone (Nov. 8, Starz)
New series
Starring: Sarah Hay, Ben Daniels, Irina Dvorovenko

Flesh and Bone does not hold back when it comes to depicting the lives of the ballerinas, artistic directors, and administrators in a New York City dance company. The hot new ingenue Claire (Sarah Hay) quickly learns that being a rising star comes with all sorts of strings attached. She also has to deal with the company's current prima ballerina, controlling board members, and her mysterious past. If you loved Center Stage, but thought it was entirely too PG and optimistic, this is the show for you.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of James Dimmock/ AMC.
Into The Badlands (November 15, AMC)
New Series
Starring: Daniel Wu, Emily Beecham, Sarah Bolger, Stephen Lang

"There is no god in the badlands," says the tagline for this martial-arts series, which will be presented in just six hour-long episodes. What there is, however, are a tattooed warrior named Sunny (Daniel Wu), an Abraham Lincoln lookalike (Marton Csokas) recruiting an army of young boys to take him out, a flame-haired femme fatale by the name of The Widow (Emily Beecham), and anachronistic details like motorcycles and cars in an otherwise seemingly antebellum backdrop.

The creators boast credits like Smallville, Pulp Fiction, and Django Unchained, so look for intense fight scenes, sharp dialogue, eccentricity, and fantastical details like a shimmering field of flowers. We’re intrigued.
Photo: Courtesy of Eric Leibowitz/ ABC.
The Catch (Midseason, ABC)
New series
Starring: Mireille Enos, Peter Krause, Sonya Walger

On the newest show from Shondaland, Alice Vaughan (Mireille Enos) is a professional fraud investigator who can spot a con artist and liar from a mile away. Unfortunately, she doesn’t notice the one right in her very own home — her fiancé, Kieran (Peter Krause) — until he empties her bank account and vanishes into the night. Now, her professional reputation is at stake, but so is her ability to trust. She has to decide whether to let Kieran disappear with her integrity and her money, or go after him — while remaining impeccably dressed at all times, naturally.

Watch the trailer.
The Family (Premiere TBD, ABC)
New series
Starring: Joan Allen, Alison Pill

Here’s what you need to know about this one: A politician’s long-lost son who disappeared more than a decade ago returns to the fold — but is he really their son? The trailer goes heavy on the melodrama — even by ShondaLand standards. (Jenna Bans, who previously wrote for Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, is the series’ creator and executive producer.) The presence of Joan Allen (who stars as the politico/matriarch) and Alison Pill (as her daughter) are good signs, but the fact that ABC hasn’t scheduled a premiere date for The Family bodes less well.

Watch the trailer.
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