Fall TV Preview: 21 Comedies You Need To Know About Now

Is there anything better than unwinding at night in front of your favorite funny show? This fall's comedy lineup is more varied than your typical sitcom fare, so there are plenty of reasons to be excited.

Jill Soloway's trailblazing Amazon series Transparent returns for a second season. Scream Queens wants to be prime time’s first campy horror-comedy. Jane the Virgin will be back with its winsome mix of telenovela and dramedy. The Muppets make their mockumentary debut after the recent announcement of Kermit and Miss Piggy’s split — which wasn’t really a laughing matter, but let’s see if they can make it one.

There might just be a comedy for everyone, on either broadcast TV or a streaming platform (The Mindy Project makes its Hulu debut on September 15!). This is your complete guide to the season's best funny programing. Click through, tune in, and laugh it up.

Photo: Courtesy of Comedy Central.
Drunk History (September 1, Comedy Central)
Season 3
Starring: Derek Waters

Now that Drunk History’s inebriated storytellers have regaled viewers with hiccup-infused accounts of most well-known historical events, season 3 is venturing into more unknown and mysterious tales, like the rise and fall of the Cocaine Godmother, and what really happened in Roswell in 1947. Pour yourself a drink and get ready for some continuing education.
Photo: Courtesy of Autumn De Wilde/ FX.
You’re The Worst (September 9, FXX)
Season 2
Starring: Aya Cash, Chris Geere, Kether Donohue

Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) have moved in together, and all hell is breaking loose. Stephen Falk’s series won fans over with the two blissful assholes who make up the show’s central romance, and their equally jerky (or at least messed up) friends. Jimmy and Gretchen are now attempting a more serious form of commitment, but for the sake of our amusement, let’s assume they haven’t completely given up on their more reckless behavior.
Photo: Courtesy of K.C. Bailey/ HBO.
Doll & Em (September 13, HBO)
Season 2
Starring: Emily Mortimer, Dolly Wells

Real-life best friends Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells spent years trying to collaborate on a project, and the resulting sweet tribute to female friendship is like a mumblecore Broad City (in which Mortimer and Wells play fictionalized versions of themselves). In season 1, Doll relocated to Los Angeles to be her best friend Em’s personal assistant, and the reality of having one friend work for another was about as awkward as it sounds. In season 2, Doll and Em are on more equal footing as they try to write an Off-Broadway show about their lives and friendship, in which Olivia Wilde will play Em, and Evan Rachel Wood will play Doll.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of NBC Universal.
The Mindy Project (September 15, Hulu)
Season 4
Starring: Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina

Kaling has said that the show’s move to Hulu will include risqué things she couldn’t do when it was on network TV. Fans have also been promised a renewed focus on female friendship, and a Sliding Doors-inspired premiere, in which Kaling's character marries a Bravo reality show producer played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Cheers to all of that.
Photo: Courtesy of CBS.
Life in Pieces (September 21, CBS)
New series
Starring: James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, Colin Hanks

This new family comedy from CBS features a bunch of people you probably enjoyed on other series. Breaking Bad's Betsy Brandt gets another chance post-The Michael J. Fox Show. Dan Bakkedahl comes over to network TV after spewing insults on Veep. Colin Hanks opts for warmer climates after a stint on Fargo. And is that Key & Peele's Jordan Peele in the trailer? James Brolin and Dianne Wiest play the family's patriarch and matriarch. What a blessing it will be to have Wiest on TV every week, even if the familial conflicts in Life in Pieces do look fairly familiar.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Bob D’Amico/ ABC.
Fresh Off the Boat (September 22, ABC)
Season 2
Starring: Randall Park and Constance Wu

There's a reason all your friends were talking about this mid-season show last year. Besides making the TV landscape a little less white, the series about an Asian-American family is hysterical — especially Constance Wu. Her character’s concise breakdown for her son of what constitutes consent would be a great addition to any sex-ed class. Plus, there's plenty of pop culture references for '90s nostalgia junkies.
Photo: Courtesy of Andrea McCallin/ ABC.
The Muppets (September 22, ABC)
New series
Starring: Kermit, Miss Piggy, the Whole Gang

It’s time to meet the Muppets...like you've never seen them before. ABC’s half-hour sitcom promises to show a more “adult” side of Jim Henson’s beloved felt creations. No, not in that way, but it’s definitely going to explore their love lives, especially in the wake of the biggest celebrity split of the summer. We’re talking about Kermit and Miss Piggy, of course. Can they remain professionals and work together now that they’re no longer a couple? And will Miss Piggy tackle more feminist issues? We can’t wait.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
Scream Queens (September 22, Fox)
New Series
Starring: Ariana Grande, Lea Michele, Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Jonas, Keke Palmer, Abigail Breslin, Nasim Pedrad

There are a bunch of murders involving the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority. So, it’s a horror series...but also a comedy. It’s a fine line, folks. Jamie Lee Curtis told Variety that the show will be full of female empowerment. “I was raised in feminism, and Wendy Wasserstein would love this show, because it’s saying like it is,” she said. Basically, the series will feature social commentary on feminism, murder, and Greek life — brought to you by the creator of Glee and American Horror Story. Just go with it.

The cast is full of famous people, who are all famous for really different things. Most exciting, perhaps, is Curtis, an original Scream Queen herself. We’re excited to see how she’ll put a spin on her traditional horror persona with a hint of humor.

If you’re sitting there thinking, I’m too old for college-campus shows. What is this, ABC Family? — slow your roll. Just remember that Murphy is the very man who got you to watch several seasons of a show about a high school glee club.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: ABC/Kelsey McNeal.
Black-ish (September 23, ABC)
Season 2
Starring: Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Laurence Fishburne

Anderson's recent Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series will no doubt result in extra eyeballs for this family-friendly, genuinely funny sitcom. The family has a biracial mother (Tracee Ellis Ross), takes an annual ski trip to celebrate MLK Day, and harbors concerns about their own "blackness." While we don't expect all of this summer's race-related news to work itself into prime-time TV, it'll be interesting to see if showrunner Kenya Barris addresses the Confederate flag controversy, Trump's vitriolic statements, or recent #BlackLivesMatter turmoil.
Photo: Courtesy of Jordin Althaus/ FOX.
The Last Man on Earth (September 27, Fox)
Season 2
Starring: Will Forte, Kristen Schaal

At this point, the title is more than a misnomer. Not only is Phil Miller not the last man on Earth, he’s also got a man looking out for him in space: his brother (Jason Sudeikis), who was revealed to be orbiting the planet, desperately trying to phone home at the end of season 1.

The show’s premise still works, though, since it focuses on a post-apocalyptic world with only a few survivors, whose strong egos threaten to reduce the population to one again. Those egos caused a major rift in the Tucson-based group in the finale, and Phil and Carol are now fending for themselves in the desert. Good luck, you two.
Photo: Courtesy of FOX.
The Simpsons (September 27, Fox)
Season 27
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith

Even if you checked out years ago, proclaiming that The Simpsons had totally burnt through all their good material, it might be time to come back this fall. After all, you'll want to see how the Simpson kids deal if Marge and Homer actually do spilt. And, as always, there are plenty of fun guest stars lending their voices to new characters this season, including Lena Dunham and Sofia Vergara.
Photo: Courtesy of FOX.

Grandfathered (September 29, Fox)
New series
Starring: John Stamos, Josh Peck

The Grinder (September 29, Fox)
New series
Starring: Rob Lowe, Fred Savage

Remember when Fox’s Tuesday-night lineup was stacked with shows that had female leads (New Girl and The Mindy Project)? Consider those days over. This fall, Tuesday is man-show night on Fox. Both new sitcoms use the similar formula of pairing a handsome older actor (John Stamos on Grandfathered, Rob Lowe on The Grinder) with a younger actor best known for one role that has a heavy nostalgia factor (Josh Peck from Drake & Josh on Grandfathered, Fred Savage from The Wonder Years on The Grinder).

On Grandfathered, Stamos is a carefree, lifelong bachelor and successful restaurateur who gets the surprise of his life when he learns that not only does he have a son, he’s also a grandfather. On The Grinder, Rob Lowe stars as Dean Sanderson, a television lawyer who moves in with his brother (Fred Savage) — an actual lawyer — after his show goes off the air. If you like watching attractive white men having midlife crises, tune into Fox on Tuesdays this fall.

Watch the Grandfathered trailer.

Watch The Grinder trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of Hulu.
Casual (October 7, Hulu)
New Series
Starring: Tara Lynne Barr, Tommy Dewey, Michaela Watkins

This 10-episode dysfunctional-family comedy from Jason Reitman (director of Juno and Up in the Air) follows the trials and tribulations of a bachelor (Tommy Dewey) who finds himself living with his newly divorced sister (Michaela Watkins) and her teenage daughter (Tara Lynn Barr). Together, they learn what it’s like raising a teen, navigating the dating scene, and doing it all while living under one roof. The show will also feature appearances from TV vets like Frances Conroy (Six Feet Under) and Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings).
Photo: Courtesy of Darren Michaels/ Warner Bros/ NBC.
Undateable (October 9, NBC)
Season 3
Starring: Chris D'Elia, Brent Morin, David Fynn, Ron Funches

How's this for a plot twist? For the singles-centric sitcom's third season, every single episode will be performed live. The cast managed a live one-hour show back in May, but an entire season without a net seems either groundbreaking or potentially disastrous. We're choosing to believe that the cast of seasoned stand-up comics — led by fan favorite Chris D'Elia — will pull it off without too many hiccups. What's more, it's an opportunity to catch some improv in action without having to stay up for SNL.
Photo: Courtesy of Patrick Wymore/The CW.
Jane the Virgin (October 12, The CW)
Season 2
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Jaime Camil

We won’t spoil the (INSANE) cliffhanger that ended Jane the Virgin’s much-applauded first season. We’ll just say that it’s a doozy, and we are dying to know what happens to Jane Gloriana Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) in the second season. We can only hope that despite that dramatic turn of events, the show maintains its ingenious sense of humor that made the first season such a delight. We're guessing that won't be problem with Rogelio (Jaime Camil) around.

Watch the trailer.
Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (October 12, The CW)
New Series
Starring: Rachel Bloom, Santino Fontana

This new CW series from writer-star Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna (who wrote the screenplay for The Devil Wears Prada) follows a character named Rebecca. She’s a woman in the midst of a nervous breakdown who leaves her lawyer job in New York to follow a guy she once dated in camp — to a nothing of a Los Angeles suburb called West Covina. There’s a darkness to the show: Rebecca isn’t just superficially “crazy,” but seriously unhinged. Oh, yeah, and it’s also a musical.
Photo: Courtesy of Colleen Hayes/ NBC.
Truth Be Told (October 16, NBC)
New Series
Starring: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Vanessa Lachey, Tone Bell, Bresha Webb

Two sets of couples, who also happen to be neighbors and best friends (Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Vanessa Lachey, Tone Bell and Bresha Webb) experience the kooky ups and downs of life, love, and all things laugh track-worthy. Now, truth be told (heh), Truth Be Told used to be called People Are Talking and it has experienced some casting shake-ups (Lachey replaced Meaghan Rath after, as Variety reported, she went over to Fox’s The Guide to Surviving Life). In addition to some wannabe edgy humor that seems to want to function as social commentary (on race, primarily), there was also a promo ad that relied heavily on a joke about a babysitter who was actually a porn star. Yeesh.
Photo: Courtesy of Darren Michaels/ CBS.
Angel From Hell (November 5, CBS)
New Series
Starring: Jane Lynch, Maggie Lawson, Kevin Pollak, Kyle Bornheimer

A single-camera fantasy sitcom about an uptight dermatologist confronted by a bizarre, messy-haired woman claiming to be a guardian angel? Um...okay, we'll take a small bite — if only because Jane Lynch plays said angel. Maggie Lawson's track record with new sitcoms (see: Back in the Game and Save the Date) isn't great, but her work on Psych makes up for a multitude of past sins. The show will live or die on her chemistry with Lynch, whose comedic stylings here involve fart jokes, frequent references to orgasms, and inappropriate flirting.
Photo: Nicholas Hunt/ Patrickmcmullan.com/ AP Photo.
Master of None (November 6, Netflix)
New Series
Starring: Aziz Ansari, H. Jon Benjamin, Noël Wells, Eric Wareheim

Everything’s coming up Aziz. After wrapping up seven awesome seasons on Parks and Recreation, Ansari released a book that became a best-seller and earned strong reviews (Modern Romance), headlined the Oddball Comedy Festival with special guest Amy Schumer, and found a home for his new series on Netflix. According to Netflix, the semi-autobiographical comedy — which will reunite the star and co-creator with Parks and Rec showrunner Michael Schur — stars Ansari as Dev, “a 30-year-old actor in New York who has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less the pathway for the rest of his life.”
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon.
Transparent (December 4, Amazon)
Season 2
Starring: Jeffrey Tambor, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker

The first season of this groundbreaking series managed to be both edgy and sensitive, specific and universal. Quick recap: Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) has come out to her family as transgender, and her three children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker, and Jay Duplass) are going through their own crises, of sexuality and otherwise. Of the second season, creator Jill Soloway told reporters at TCA, “We’re taking the gloves off, taking the bubble wrap off.” Soloway added that the second season will feature more flashbacks. There have also been important changes behind the scenes, including the addition of a trans writer and director to the series' roster.
Load more...