The fall television season is upon us, which means TV studios are about to unleash a whole slew of new shows, hoping a few of them will stick. This fall sees the arrival of new streaming sites Disney+ and Apple+, which means there'll be more shows to feast your eyeballs on than ever before. Here's our picks for the most promising new series of the season (and be sure to check out our guide to fall TV premiere dates).
Mixed-ish (Sept 24, ABC)
From the creator of Blackish comes this origin story of Bow, Tracee Ellis Ross’ character. Set in the 80s, it follows Bow in her teen years, when the commune she’d been raised in gets shut down by federal authorities and she must adjust to mainstream life, including a public school in which she’s one of the only biracial students.
Stumptown (Sept 25, ABC)
How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders returns to TV as an ex-military intelligence operative who is now trying to make a living as a private investigator in Portland. New Girl’s Jake Johnson costars as her best friend/potential love interest in this series, which is inspired by Greg Ruckta’s graphic novels.
Perfect Harmony (Sept 26, NBC)
In this new sitcom, The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford plays a former Ivy League music professor who moves to a small town and becomes the impatient leader of the church choir. Pitch Perfect’s Anna Camp costars.
The Politician (Sept 26, Netflix)
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange and Ben Platt lead Ryan Murphy’s latest TV show, which follows a student who dreams of becoming the President of the United States – but he’ll start with becoming the president of his high school class. Think Election meets a music-free Glee.
Batwoman (Oct 6, The CW)
The CW needs a darky and twisty superhero show to fill a void now that Arrow is hanging up his mask. Enter Batwoman. The character, play by Orange Is the New Black’s Ruby Rose, was introduced to the universe during last year’s crossover. The show is set in Gotham City three years after her cousin Bruce Wayne mysteriously disappears and Kate Kane decides to take up his mantel – and his cape.
Back to Life (Oct 6, Showtime/CraveTV)
When the ‘best TV of 2019’ lists hit at the end of the year, Fleabag is pretty much a lock as the No. 1 pick for most (if not all) critics. This new 6-episode dramedy, from the producers of Fleabag, is looking to build on that buzz. The series revolves around a 36-year-old woman who returns home to live with her elderly parents after spending 18 years in jail.
Nancy Drew (Oct 9, The CW)
Having successfully sexed up Archie comics with its hit show Riverdale, the CW has set its sights on another beloved childhood classic. Unlike in the books, this Nancy Drew has already graduated high school and has a job – and a sex life! She’s spiraling following the death of her mother, but that doesn’t stop her from solving mysteries on a weekly basis.
Modern Love (Oct 18, Amazon Prime)
John Carney, the man behind films Once and Sing Street, sets his sights on television with this limited anthology series inspired by the New York Times’s weekly column about love and relationships. The impressive cast includes Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel and John Slattery.
The Watchman (Oct 20, HBO)
Lost and The Leftovers co-creator Damon Lindelof takes on the beloved graphic novel for HBO. Set in an alternate 2019 after a (faked) post-apocalyptic event, white supremacists begin targeting police, forcing cops to wear masks to protect their identities and their families. Adaptations of the comic have failed in the past, but it’s promising that Lindelof’s approach appears to use the original story as source material but not remain dogmatically faithful to its plot.
The Mandalorian (Nov 12, Disney+)
Disney launches its brand-new streaming service with its first live-action Star Wars series. This highly anticipated show stars Pedro Pascal as the title character and is directed by Jon Favreau (who directed and starred in Iron Man).