New Fall Shows: What Are You Watching?

It’s officially September and that means new network TV and lots of it. Below are the new shows with air dates, trailers and descriptions (along with links to the pilots on Hulu if applicable). If you already know what you want to see, skip to after the list for my take on this year’s new shows and head to the comments to share what new shows you’ll be trying out!

September 17th

Red Band Society (FOX) Trailer/Description

September 21st

Madam Secretary (CBS) Trailer/Description

September 22nd

Gotham (FOX) Trailer/Description

Scorpion (CBS) Trailer/Description

September 23rd

Forever (ABC) Trailer/Description/Pilot

NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) Trailer/Description

September 24th

The Mysteries of Laura (NBC) Trailer/Description

Black-ish (ABC) Trailer/Description

September 25th

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC) Trailer/Description

September 30th

Selfie (ABC) Trailer/Description/Pilot

Manhattan Love Story (ABC) Trailer/Description

October 1st

Stalker (CBS) Trailer/Description

October 2nd

Bad Judge (NBC) Trailer/Description

A to Z (NBC) Trailer/Description/Pilot

Gracepoint (FOX) Trailer/Description

October 5th

Mulaney (FOX) Trailer/Description

October 7th

The Flash (CW) Trailer/Description

October 10th

Cristela (ABC) Trailer/Description

October 13th

Jane the Virgin (CW) Trailer/Description

October 14th

Marry Me (NBC) Trailer/Description

October 24th

Constantine (NBC) Trailer/Description

October 30th

The McCarthys (CBS) Trailer/Description

November 17th

State of Affairs (NBC) Trailer/Description

 Honestly, this is the weakest line-up of new shows I’ve seen in a couple years. Unlike previous years, none of the trailers or descriptions made me feel like I was really excited for the show. That said, I haven’t been great in the past at correctly identifying what shows I will like based on the trailer and even my previous strategy of watching at least the pilots for all the new shows hasn’t worked out very well. Sometimes shows will take me by surprise and I end up watching the whole series after expecting to hate it and other times I get things very wrong and I end up watching the entire first season of The Following and hoping it was going to improve. 

I have currently seen three of these new shows thanks to early releases online – Red Band Society, Selfie, and A to Z. I liked each of them enough to watch the second episode when it comes out but I’m not at all certain I will continue watching any of them yet. 

I wanted to like Red Band Society more than I did. Unfortunately in leaned pretty heavily into one of my least favorite tropes (the bitchy cheerleader) for the first part of the episode. I was a cheerleader in high school and loved the dancing/stunting/performing aspects of it very much so while I’m very used to the portrayal of them as terrible, mean people who never take off their uniform (which are super uncomfortable, btw) that doesn’t make me like it any better. You also lose points if you aren’t properly cheering, though I’m less cranky about that. The combination of mean cheerleaders and bad cheering, however, just annoys me to what is admittedly an irrational level and Red Band Society did both. Fortunately, it’s not something that looks like it’ll play a huge role going forward and there were parts of the episode that I did really enjoy. I liked the ending with Jordi running through the halls and encountering the other patients, it was a little cheesy but I’m not at all averse to that sort of thing so it really worked for me.


I also want to like Selfie more than I do. I loved Emily Kapnek’s last show and I love John Cho but both of the leads are almost startlingly unlikable for a comedy pilot. The entire point of the show is that people change and that neither of these extremes that these two people occupy is good for them but I don’t know that I want to wait for that process to take place. That said, it’s a comedy pilot and they are hard to do well. I’m ok with giving it a little bit more time in the hopes that it’ll settle into itself quickly. 

In my first surprise of the year, I was much more taken by A to Z than I expected to be. This almost entirely comes down to the talents of Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti and the fact that they are just incredibly charming to watch. I actually like the idea of going into a show knowing that the relationship that I will be getting invested in is going to fail. I want to see that progression from beginning to end because if it’s done well, I think it could be interesting.

Of the other news shows that aren’t available early, I currently have Madam Secretary, The Flash, Cristela and State of Affairs listed as shows that I think I’ll probably end up watching. This is all subject to change after first viewing, but from the trailers and early reviews, that’s what I foresee happening. I’ll also try out Mulaney, Gotham, Marry Me, Black-ish, How to Get Away with Murder, The McCarthys, and Constantine. 

I am torn on Gracepoint. It’s been a few months now and I still don’t understand why it exists or how I feel about watching it. I like David Tennant and Anna Gunn but I don’t necessarily want to watch the story over again even if it does have a different ending. The trailer is just so identical to the original and that doesn’t give me high hopes.

So what are your thoughts on this year’s group of shows? What will you be watching? What are you sure you’ll avoid? If you’ve seen any of the pilots, what did you think of them? And if you’re so inclined, what are your predictions for the success of these shows?


9 thoughts on “New Fall Shows: What Are You Watching?

  1. First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to put all of these trailers and descriptions in one place—and for organizing them so well by premiere date. I can’t imagine how time-consuming this was, and I hope you know how much we readers appreciate it!

    I don’t have a lot of new shows I’ll be checking out this season because—like you—I don’t find this to be a particularly strong class of pilots. (Heck, the show I’m most excited for doesn’t start until January—Agent Carter.) I’ll be checking out the Red Band Society pilot soon, and I’ll be eager to talk to you after I do. I agree that the bitchy cheerleader trope is tired and cliche. And who really walks around in their uniform all day? No cheerleader I knew. And your thoughts about improper cheer technique echo mine every time I see a “dancer” on a TV show/in a movie who clearly has never taken a real dance class before.

    In addition to Red Band Society, I’ll be checking out Selfie because, while I hated Pygmalion when I read it, I have loved every interpretation of it I’ve ever seen (starting with the brilliance of My Fair Lady). The English major and theater nerd in me had a major freakout when the concept behind that show was announced. I’m also going to give the pilot of Forever a chance because of my love for Ioan Gruffudd, I’m checking out Black-ish because the commercials look funny, and I’m really excited for How to Get Away with Murder because Shonda+Viola seems to be a surefire recipe for success.

    1. I’m glad it was helpful to you!

      I’m glad you’re planning to try out Forever because that’s one that I’m gonna need the opinion of someone I trust before I start it. I can’t wait to talk about all the shows we both plan on trying!

  2. I wrote a post on what shows I’m watching this fall as well! I haven’t watched any early (except The Flash, which I enjoyed. Everyone is saying good things about Red Band Society, so even with apparent pilot struggles, it might go on to do well. I’m going to watch a bunch on Saturday at the Paley Center in NY, so I’ll see if the ones I get to watch match up with my current schedule or if I’ll add or ditch some before they premiere for real.

    You’re right about it being kind of a lackluster year for shows, but I’m hoping that that will prove us wrong in terms of their quality. Some years when I’ve been really excited, I’ve been disappointed by the shows themselves. So, I suppose I’m hoping for a reversal. I think the lack of an NBC comedy block is really damaging this year and is sort of making this year seem lacking as well? though last year’s block didn’t really interest me at all.

    1. I’m happy to hear The Flash is good. The trailer was one of my favorites. I’m kind of ambivalent about superhero stories but I’ll watch anything with good characters and an interesting enough plot.

      I’m jealous that you get to watch some of these at the Paley Center! I’ve always wanted to be there for an event like that. Maybe someday 😉

  3. Thank you for this list. It has been a very busy August and I love the one stop shopping this provides. That said, my fall viewing usually falls into two categories: 1) Plots I am intrigued by and 2) Actors I’d follow no matter where they land (Tim Daly I am looking at you).

    It’s met with mixed results. Like you I stayed WAY too long at The Following solely for Kevin Bacon and didn’t pull out of Private Practice when common sense dictated I should have. However, the benefit of my favorite shows coming back late provides the three episode test to happen for a good number of shows on this slate. Because truth be told, I don’t remember a season since in and around the writers strike that I was excited about a slate of shows.

    Shows for Who is starring in it:
    Madame Secretary – Did I mention Tim Daly? And that’s just the start of a cast that is the gift that keeps on giving. This is an automatic 3 for me.

    Gotham – Donal Logue – I never got over Terriers being cancelled so if he’s involved, I am in even though I am not a DC Comics fan per se.

    How to Get Away With Murder – Viola Davis. Period. Shondra has a lot to make up for me because none of her efforts have come close to the quality of Grey’s in my opinion.

    A to Z – Ben Feldman. I never got over his departure from Drop Dead Diva (my secret TV) and I find him utterly charming the way I adored Johnny Lee Miller in Eli Stone and Tom Cavanaugh in Ed.

    Intrigued By Plot
    Forever – Yes it feels like a mash up of Elementary and Quantum Leap, but I am willing to go down the road if it has half the charm of the latter.

    Black-ish – This could go in both categories given Lawrence Fishbourne is involved. But the truth is I have laughed at every trailer and I am extremely hopeful that this will be good. It is the one show that I will be sad about if it isn’t good.

    Manhattan Love Story — I am hoping for When Harry Met Sally charm, but I am not betting on it. Of course if it manages to achieve that I predict cancellation the moment I get attached.


    Ethnic pride will bring Cristela and Jane the Virgin into my viewing list. While the former feels heavy handed and the latter is a converted telenovela I love the idea of multigeneration Latina led shows making it to TV. So I am in for at least 3 episodes.

    I am also just going to co-sign on absolutely everything you said about Gracepoint. I felt uneasy about the idea that they were going to bring back Broadchurch for a second season. This reboot just feels wrong.

    Regardless it’s going to be fun breaking it down and seeing where everyone of these land. Because frankly if someone told me the two new shows I would have liked most coming out of last season would have been Brooklyn Nine Nine and Sleepy Hollow I would have thought they were nuts. Yet that is exactly what happened.

    1. I’m glad you plan to check out some of the shows that aren’t on my list at the moment. I’ll be very interested to hear your thoughts on Forever, Manhattan Love Story and Jane the Virgin. I think between the two of us we have most of the new shows covered!

  4. Thank you so much for this list, this is super handy, especially since I hadn’t gotten around to looking at what all the new shows are yet.

    I definitely agree with you in that in general most of the new shows don’t look particularly interesting to me, it seems like a fairly weak batch of shows. There are a few that I’ll give a chance, though, if I have the time.

    I’ll probably try out Red Band Society, as it looks like it could either be really good and heartfelt or really cliche. I definitely agree with you about the bitchy cheerleader trope, I think it’s way overused and I would much rather see a different type of cheerleader appear on screen – give me a cheerleader who is super nice & geeky, or a cheerleader who has a “punk” side to her, or something else new that we haven’t seen a million times before. That trope will probably be a negative point for the show for me, so we’ll see. I’m glad to hear there are some good points though, so I’ll likely give the pilot a try.

    Madam Secretary intrigues me even though I’m not usually a political show type of person, the trailer definitely sucked me in so I think I’m gonna give it a shot – though I may be watching this one online since between my mom taping The Good Wife, me taping OUAT, and Sunday Night Football going on, Sundays are already pretty busy & my DVR won’t record more than 2 things at once.

    Other shows I’ll probably give a try are Gotham, How To Get Away With Murder, A to Z, and maybe State of Affairs and Forever. I don’t tend to pick up new shows often from the fall tv premieres so I’m guessing I’ll only pick up one or maybe two out of the whole bunch unless a lot of them surprise me with how much I like them.

    I’m hesitant to try Gracepoint when I haven’t seen Broadchurch yet, but Gracepoint is also in the TV genre that most often hooks me (procedurals), so I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do there. Also if I was caught up with Arrow I’d probably give The Flash a try, but I generally like to do things in order in terms of TV series & spin-offs, so I’m going to skip it for now & come back to it once he’s been introduced in Arrow.

    Before trying any of the other shows I’ll probably see what other people think, especially what you, Katie, and Nikki have to say since you guys have provided me with some flawless recommendations over the years 😉

    1. I think you may have convinced me to catch up with Arrow before starting The Flash because I also prefer to do things in order. I know both you and Nikki like Arrow so that’s enough of a recommendation for me to try it again.

      I’ll definitely let you know if something is unexpectedly good this year!

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