There are more good TV shows than ever before – so much so that TV overload has become an issue for even the biggest TV geeks – but they premiere throughout the calendar year now. As such, Fall TV ain’t what it used to be. Still, there’s something traditional and nostalgic about getting that Entertainment Weekly Fall TV Preview in the mail. Not willing to wait any longer for mine to arrive so I can research the offerings, here are my picks for one new show and five returning shows to watch (all times Eastern):
BEST-LOOKING NEW SHOW
“The Gifted” (9 p.m. Mondays, starts Oct. 2, Fox) – If “Legion” is too dense and cerebral for you, like it is for me, “The Gifted” offers something more mainstream, but hopefully not dumbed down: A live-action series about potential X-Men. I’ve been waiting for this show since 2000, when the first movie came out and I thought “This would be great as a TV series.”
While we won’t get too many characters from the movies, we will get at least one, as Blink (“Gotham’s” Jamie Chung) from “Days of Future’s Past” is among the cast. Also doing the “Gotham”-“Gifted” twofer is Silver St. Cloud actress Natalie Alyn Lind as Lauren Strucker, the main young mutant featured in the previews. Of additional note in the cast are former “Bunhead” Emma Dumont as Polaris, “Angel’s” Amy Acker and “True Blood’s” Stephen Moyer.
BEST RETURNING SHOWS
“Gotham” Season 4 (8 p.m. Thursdays, started Sept. 21, Fox) – Some people think this “Batman” origin story is garbage; I’m in the camp that thinks it’s pretty great. Judging by Thursday’s season premiere, we can expect Bruce to complete his journey to the Batman identity and Selina to do the same with Catwoman this season. Also in the premiere, the Scarecrow emerges as a full-fledged villain, and the show makes a humorous (if unsubtle) commentary about oligarchy as Gotham “lowers its crime rate” by legalizing every crime short of murder via licensing.
“This Is Us” Season 2 (9 p.m. Tuesdays, starts Sept. 26, NBC) – I’ll have the Kleenex on hand as TV’s biggest tearjerker peels back more of the story about the Pearson family in both the present and past. It’s not obvious what will happen this season – perhaps Jack’s journey back to Rebecca? – but that’s part of the joy of the show.
“The Exorcist” Season 2 (9 p.m. Fridays, starts Sept. 29, Fox) – TV’s most underrated series returns for a surprise second season after most pundits assumed it would be canceled. While Season 1’s saga about the next generation of Regan’s family was scary and twisty (pun intended), it looks like Season 2 will delve into more cases investigated by the exorcists.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 9 (10 p.m. Sundays, starts Oct. 1, HBO) – One of the best things about the new age of TV is that some shows aren’t locked into producing new material every year lest they be canceled. Such is the case with Larry David’s brainchild, which returns for a ninth season six years after Season 8.
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” Season 3 (8 p.m. Fridays, starts Oct. 13, The CW) – I’m still stunned that a show as ambitious and good as “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” made it through one full season, let alone two, but also delighted. While there was some creative lag in the back half of last season, I’m confident Rachel Bloom will be back with a fun batch of songs and premises. (The writers need to use Maya from the office more, though.)
What new and returning shows are you looking forward to this season? Share your lists below.