Those who subscribe to the theory that there is Too Much TV™ will find some powerful evidence in the upcoming fall tv season. In fact, call this Fall 2019 TV Preview “exhibit A” in The People v. Content.
Even with beginning after Labor Day this upcoming TV season is absolutley massive. From Kurt Sutter’s SAMCRO prequel Mayans MC season 2 all the way through to a paradigm-shifting new season of Marvel’s Runaways, there are more than 40 new and returning shows of note to keep track of in the coming months.
But honestly, that’s just the way we like it. What else are you going to do in the autumn? Go outside? Let’s just dismiss that ridiculous notion out of hand and get right to the Fall 2019 offerings.
Release Date: September 3
Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter frequently talked of wanting to do a Sons prequel following SAMCRO’s rivals-turned-allies Mayans Motorcycle Club. Still, it never seemed that Mayans would actually see the light of day as Kurt Sutter talks about a lot of things, you see, very few of which eventually become realities. That’s why it’s still kind of shocking that Mayans MC is not only here, but already on its second season.
The story of Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes improbably continues in season 2, with EZ on the hunt for the man who killed his mom…who just so happens to also be an old Sons favorite. Mayans MC season 2 will reportedly be the last season with Sutter’s involvement as he plans to cede control over to co-creator Elgin James for any future installments. Does that mean this is the last chance we’ll have to see old faces like Jax pop up? Probably not. Dead is dead, but perhaps no show on TV is less afraid of its own history than Mayans MC.
Release Date: September 6
The first season of Titans made its presence known with Robin’s unforgettable two word statement about his feelings on Batman. While that may have made for an awkward start, Titans quickly distinguished itself as perhaps the most unapologetically nerdy of all live action superhero shows. Throughout the first season, Titans not only had Robin, Beast Boy, Wonder Girl, and Starfire join up with Dick Grayson’s journey to put his past with Bruce Wayne behind him, it quietly built up a fully functioning DC Universe behind it, one where the Justice League currently exists (albeit offscreen…for now) and Batman’s career is long and storied enough to have already brought in a replacement Robin with Jason Todd.
So what does season two do for an encore? Well, for starters, we’re going to meet Conner Kent (Joshua Orpin), the young Superman clone who eventually adopts the Superboy moniker. More importantly, Krypto, the goodest doggo in the entire universe will be a recurring character on the show. We’ll also meet classic DC heroes and villains like Aqualad (Drew Van Acker) and Deathstroke (Esai Morales).
Release Date: September 13
Undone, Amazon’s groundbreaking rotoscoped animation from Kate Purdy and Raphael Bob-Waksberg of BoJack Horseman, wowed audiences who screened the first two episodes at the ATX TV Festival and at San Diego Comic-Con. The series explores the elastic nature of reality through its central character, Alma, played by Rosa Salazar of Alita: Battle Angel, who discovers she has a new relationship with time after getting into a near fatal car accident, and she uses this ability to find out the truth about her father’s death.
Alma suffers from visions of her late-father, Jacob (Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul), in which he urges her to tap into this new mysterious ability that allows her to travel through space and time with the hopes of preventing his untimely death. This central quest in Undone challenges Alma’s relationships and understandably brings into question her mental wellbeing with those closest to her.
Release Date: September 13
“Unbelievable” is a sadly appropriate title for Netflix’s next big ticket limited series. It tells an unbelievable story about a story that was deemmed unbelievable…when it shouldn’t have been. Kaitlyn Dever stars as Marie Adler, a teenager who is charged with lying about being raped. Then a pair of detectives (Toni Collette and Merrit Weaver) uncover a series of similar cases to Marie’s that suggest she may not have been lying after all.
Unbelievable is based on a true story and is produced by an impressive creative team featuring Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, and Katie Couric.
American Horror Story: 1984
Release Date: September 18
Through eight seasons, FX’s horror anthology American Horror Story has covered some of the most notable concepts in the horror canon. These have included: haunted houses, asylums, witches, and even no less than the end of the world. Still, one avenue that the show surprisingly hasn’t gone down yet is the good old-fashioned slasher movie.
American Horror Story: 1984 will seek to rectify that. Little-to-nothing is known about the plot thus far, which certainly isn’t unusual for an AHS production. But we do know that Emma Roberts will reclaim her Scream Queens title by portraying one of the preyed upon leads in this Friday the 13th style slasher.
Release Date: September 20
Disenchantment season 2 provides one of the rarest opportunities in television: getting in on the ground floor of a Matt Groening animated series. The Simpsons began over 30 years ago and is still running to this day with nearly 700 episodes to its name. Futurama’s output is a more modest 140 episodes but its fan community is impassioned, beyond knowledgeable and intimidating. Disenchantment and its 10 episode first season? That’s something a nascent Groening fan can wrap his or her head around.
Disenchantment is uncommonly serialized for a Groening joint. It tells the story of Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson), the heir apparent to medieval fantasy kingdom Dreamland. Problem is, Bean wants nothing to do with that chivalric and diplomatic nonsense. She’s much more likely to take off on adventures with personal demon Luci (Eric Andre) and elf friend Elfo (Nat Faxon). Disenchantment season 2 has some work to do with the season 1 finale seeing all of Dreamland turned to stone and Bean running off with her sorceress mother.
Release Date: September 23
In the now grand tradition of serial killer anti-hero shows like Dexter and Hannibal, Prodigal Son will take on the psychopath consultant idea and give it a familial twist. In Fox’s crime drama, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne of The Walking Dead) plays a criminal psychologist who can see inside the mind of a murderer because his father (Michael Sheen of Good Omens) is Martin Whitly, the notorious serial killer known as “The Surgeon.”
Executive producers Sam Sklaver,Chris Fedak andSarah Schechter (Legends of Tomorrow) characterize Prodigal Son as a family drama with a serial killer twist as Bright must deal with the fact that his father still wants a relationship with his son, his sister (Halston Sage of The Orville) is annoyingly normal, and his mother (Bellamy Young of Scandal) is extremely manipulative. Lou Diamond Phillips, Aurora Perrineau, Frank Harts, and Keiko Agena also star.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Release Date: September 25
One day you’re shooting a TV pilot on a camcorder with a couple of actor friends. Suddenly you blink and 14 seasons later you’ve about to tie The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet for the longest-running live-action sitcom in TV history. It’s been an improbable run for the owners of Paddy’s Pub, one all the more impressive considering the core group of characters sometimes change (See: Mac coming out in the season 13 finale), but never, ever grow. It shouldn’t work, but It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia endures. Why is that so? Hear it from Charlie Day, who tried to explain the show’s longevity on a recent set visit.
“One of the reasons we’ve survived this long is there’s thought behind the edge of the show,” Day said. “When we do something that’s really pushing the button or going to the edge, it’s because we’re trying to say a little something about humanity, and about how people are self-absorbed. I don’t think we’re dirty. We’re edgy, but I think we’re outlasting them because we’re smart.”
Season 14 should have more edge now that the Gang returns to full strength. Glenn Howerton will appear in every episode this season after Dennis was reduced to a recurring role in season 13 due to Howerton’s commitments to A.P. Bio (which was canceled then revived for a third season). We learned a few other secrets about season 14 on our set visit. There’s a laser tag wedding, episodes about AirBnB and climate change, and a film noir homage. But the Gang was most excited about Dolph Lungren guest starring as “Johnny Thundergun,” a callback to the season 11 episode “Thunder Gun Express.” Maybe they’ll actually see the movie this time!
Release Date: September 25
South Park is set to hit a major milestone this season: its 300th episode. So what if The Simpsons did it already (Homer and Co. sit at 660 episodes and counting)? Cartman and the boys return with their brand of topical shock humor that still generates buzz in a comedy world that’s vastly different from the show’s early days.
Though relying on headlines to formulate episodes is far too often a crutch, South Park turned in worthwhile entries on vapes, Amazon, and America’s mass shooting epidemic last season. The previous five seasons have incorporated at least some level of episodic serialization, which has been hit or miss. We’ll have to see if that trend continues and what topics have been on the minds of creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker when South Park kicks off its Jordan Year on September 25th.
Release Date: September 26
There really is nothing like the 1982 horror film Creepshow, directed by the legendary George Romero and written by famed novelist Stephen King. But as unique as the five short stories in a single movie formula was, it seems tailor made for a TV anthology series, especially with Romero’s protege and The Walking Dead producer Greg Nicotero as well as original Creepshow star Adrienne Barbeau attached.
Nicotero spoke during a recent set visit about his reverance for both the film and comic that sprung from Romero’s work. “I always felt that Creepshow was way ahead of its time in terms of what George was doing and the visuals,” he said. “I’m not rebooting anything; it’s not like we’re gonna upgrade it and retell it. It’s really like you’re picking up another issue of Creepshow and these are the stories.” The TV series will appear on Shudder and will consist of six episodes with recognizable genre actors like Tricia Helfer, DJ Qualls, and Giancarlo Esposito appearing.
The Good Place
Release Date: September 26
The Good Place season 4 will be the metaphysical comedy’s final outing, but it’s been a wild ride. According to showrunner Michael Schur, “Given the ideas we wanted to explore, and the pace at which we wanted to present those ideas, I began to feel like four seasons — just over 50 episodes — was the right lifespan.” But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the series isn’t over yet!
The series left off, as it always does, with a paradigm-shifting twist, and it looks like season 4 will start with Kristen Bell’s Eleanor in charge of the fake Good Place. The new test seems to involve seeing if our core four souls; Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason; can find the good inside people who tortured them while they were alive. Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani also assured journalists at Comic-Con that the guest stars in the final season of The Good Place will be amazing, including one season-ending “ultimate mic-drop” cameo.
Release Date: September 26
Van Helsing has been anything but your typical post-apocalypse or vampire show, and heading into season 4, the show will be going deep into its mythology by introducing Dracula herself (hey, if Vanessa can gender flip the Van Helsing legend, why not the quintessential vampire, too?)! Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Galactica and Lucifer fame is perfectly suited for the role, and fans are anxious to see how the vampire culture becomes even richer.
Van Helsing season 4 will also have some new younger characters introduced to the cast, courtesy of new showrunner, Jonathan Lloyd Walker, who wanted to explore the idea of gaining the perspective of those who had grown up in the world since the Yellowstone eruption that brought the vampires out of hiding in the first place. Richard Harmon (The 100), Nicole Munoz (Defiance), and Keeya King (Jigsaw) are among the new cast members.
Release Date: September 27
You wanted big impressive casts on your TV shows? Say no more, fam. When Netflix shelled out a rumored $300 million to bring American (Fill in the Blank Here) Story maestro Ryan Murphy into the fold, projects like The Politician are likely exactly what they had in mind. This first show from the Netflix/Murphy partnership feels appropriately huge.
The Politician stars Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Zoey Deutch, Lucy Boynton, Dylan McDermott, and more. The first season will revolve around Platt’s character Payton Hobart, a wealthy Santa Barbarian high school student with political aspirations. Every season is set to center on a different political race that Hobart is involved in. So it sounds like Netflix just wanted a do-over on House of Cards with a less….awful lead. In true Election fashion, Hobart’s first task will be to be elected Student Body President.
Godfather of Harlem
Release Date: September 29
The story of gangsters, mobsters, mafiosos, and organized crime has been told time and time again. So what makes EPIX’s Godfather of Harlem different? Godfather of Harlem has Forest Whitaker as Bumpy Freaking Johnson.
Bumpy Johnson was a notorious mob boss from Harlem. He was a known associate of Lucky Luciano and the Genovese crime family. As a “character” he’s popped up in films like Hoodlum and American Gangster but he’s never had prime billing until now. And what better time than now to examine the complex racial politics of America through an organized crime lens?
“I grew up with an Italian American background in Brooklyn, New York and there was tons of (racism) everywhere,” Vincent D’Onofrio (who plays Vincent Gigante said. “I was lucky to grow up in a very liberal family. My parents were both kind of very Bohemian. They didn’t stand for it, so I was lucky it but it was very present as it is now.”
Giancarlo Esposito plays another real life figure, politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr., who will also get swept up in Bumpy and Vincent’s criminal enterprises.
“Gangsters, you know, their family just trying to survive and take care of each other in many ways within a community that’s either for them or against them,” Esposito said.
Ilfensen Hadera, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Paul Sorvino, and Nigél Thatch round out the cast of real and fictional characters with Thatch playing Malcolm X for the second time in his career.
Sorry For Your Loss
Release Date: October 1
If you’ve been sleeping on this Elizabeth Olsen-led drama because it “airs” on Facebook Watch, time to wake up. Olsen stars as Leigh Shaw, a young widow struggling to move on with her life following the death of her husband.
With an ensemble cast that includes Trần Loan (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as Leigh’s sister Jules; Mamoudou Athie as Leigh’s late husband, Matt; Jovan Adepo as Matt’s brother; and Janet McTeer as Leigh and Jules’ mom, Sorry For Your Loss is family drama at its best: intense, honest, and so very complicated.
Release Date: October 4
Gods know the current pop culture landscape isn’t hurting for superhero stories. That’s why Netflix’s upcoming Raising Dion will attempt something a little different: a superhero parenting story.
Based on the comic book of the same name by Dennis Liu, Raising Dion will follow single mother Nicole Reese (Alisha Wainwright) and she tries to raise her son Dion after the death of her husband Mark (Michael B. Jordan). Being a single parent is hard enough as is, but Nicole’s task becomes even harder when Dion starts to display some superhero-like abilities.
Raising Dion is being executive produced by Michael B. Jordan and will also star Ja’Siah Young as the titular Dion Reese and Jason Ritter as Pat, a scientist and Dion’s dad’s best friend.
Release Date: October 6
When Mr. Robot first premiered on USA Network in the summer of 2015, it really felt like it could go on forever. The series, created by Sam Esmail and starring eventual Emmy (and Oscar!) winner Rami Malek, was USA Network’s first real adult “prestige TV” hit. The twisty and stylish show about a hacker who wanted to fix the world by toppling a corporate giant felt both intensely timely and timeless.
Now, with the real world of hacks, corruption, and unprecedented income inequality matching the world of Mr. Robot more closely than ever, Mr. Robot is pulling off its biggest twist yet: it’s calling it quits. Why end now? It certainly can’t hurt that both the show’s creator and star are highly in demand now with Esmail bringing Briarpatch to USA and Malek headed off to James Bond-land. Still, it’s often better to leave early than to stick around to long. And as Elliot Alderson found out with his hack that was supposed to change the world: no good deed goes unpunished.
The Walking Dead
Release Date: October 6
Everything happening behind the scenes at The Walking Dead suggests that the show is in a creative tailspin…something that wouldn’t be too uncommon for a show entering its 10th season. Series lead Andrew Lincoln asked out of playing Rick Grimes in season 9 and was granted his wish. Michonne actress Danai Gurira will be the next to go following season 10. The show’s once unshakeable high ratings are finally started to diminish. For the first time in a long time, AMC’s zombie flagship seems to be teetering on the edge of disaster.
All of that, however, ignores one important factor: The Walking Dead season 9 was actually pretty good! Under the leadership of new showrunner Angela Kang, The Walking Dead got something of a second wind in its ninth season. Now going into season 10, it has a rare opportunity to keep the good times rolling. The villains will be the same, highlighted by Alpha (Samantha Morton), Beta (Ryan Hurst), and their band of Whisperers. The battle lines have been drawn and all there’s really left to do is for someone to cross them.
Release Date: October 6
Supergirl Season 4 ended with a series-changing twist: Lex Luthor told sister Lena Supergirl’s true identity. Melissa Benoist teased that there would be “rough times ahead” for Kara and Lena relationship, while executive producer Jessica Queller gave deeper insight into how the way in which Lena found out Kara’s secret will affect how she processes it.
“Lena’s Achilles’ heel is betrayal,” said Queller, “and she has made that clear to her friends from the beginning and the way she found out about this betrayal—Lex twisting the knife and sort of pouring salt on the wound—affects how she feels about it. So that will be a huge, central story.”
Queller described Season 5 as Supergirl’s “Black Mirror season,” teasing that the dark side of technology would be a major theme explored. Presumably, this will tie into Season 5’s Big Bad, teased in the final moments of Supergirl Season 4: Leviathan.
“It’s our own incarnation of Leviathan, based on what’s come before [in the comic books],” executive producer Robert Rovner told us at SDCC. “It’s going to be a full, season-long arc and, like we did with Red Daughter, we’re going to dole it out and have little clues along the way until it evolves into something much bigger.”
Release Date: October 6
Batman is no stranger to the recent TV landscape, having just made his splendid, cowled debut in the final episode of Fox’s Gotham. The Caped Crusader has, however, been MIA in CW’s DC-centric Arrowverse. And he’s going to stay that way…at least for a little while. Because this fall the Arrowverse is set to add an even more novel and interesting member of the Bat family.
Batwoman stars Ruby Rose as Kate Kane a.k.a. Batwoman. With a kickass red mohawk and thirst for vengeance, Batwoman will help keep Gotham safe now that Batman has been gone for three years. Batwoman will take place in “Earth 1” in the Arrowverse multiverse and is set to be a far more grounded show than its counterparts.
“I wanted to really keep the tone of our show in Gotham and very grounded,” showrunner Caroline Dries said. “We are just starting out. It’s not normal for (our characters) to interact with aliens and travel to different universes and stuff like that.”
Batwoman will mark some important firsts in other ways, however. Kate Kane will be the first openly lesbian superhero headlining a show in the Arrowverse (though Black Lightning’s Thunder is technically the first overall). Producers also intend for Kate to be Jewish like her comic counterpart…though they added that they haven’t found a way to bring it up in the show yet. Still, Batwoman will still introduce a hero that fits in well tonally with both her Arrowverse and Batman counterparts.
“I brood a little. Let’s be honest,” Rose said.
Release Date: October 7
“The Markovian War is coming and Freeland is ground zero.” This is the epic cliffhanger Black Lightning ended season 2 on, implying that nothing will ever be the same for the Pierce family and their community. If that weren’t already enough to tune in for, we’re also eager to find out what will happen to Tobias now that he is in The Pit, what Agent Odell plans to do with the Khalil he has on ice, and how powerful Jennifer will grow in Season 3.
With some of Black Lightning’s characters poised to show up for The CW’s big Crisis on Infinite Earths superhero crossover event, now is the perfect time for those who have yet to tune into the story of Jefferson Pierce and his family of superheroes to do so. Part family drama and part superhero story, Black Lightning centers black characters and community like few other shows on television, and it easily has the best soundtrack of any superhero show on television.
Release Date: October 8
When The Flash returns, it will have to pick up the pieces of a divisive fifth season. But the new season brings a new showrunner, new big bads (plural), and a central role for Barry Allen in the big Arrowverse crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths. So what’s different about The Flash Season 6?
The structure, for starters. New showrunner Eric Wallace describes the season as two distinct “graphic novels” broken up in the middle by Crisis on Infinite Earths. The first half of the season will introduce Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes) as Dr. Ramsey Rosso, the villain known as Bloodwork. Crisis on Infinite Earths will close out the first arc of the season in December and, when the show returns in January, it will reveal a brand new big bad, whose identity remains a mystery as of this writing.
Combine that with whatever major changes may or may not be in store for Barry Allen and Team Flash after the events of Crisis, and this should make for a very different season of TV than what we’ve seen from this show, or even the Arrowverse as a whole, so far.
Release Date: October 9
When CW teen drama Riverdale returns for its senior year on October 9th, the sudsy cliffhangers left unresolved by the season finale will take a back seat to a tragic reality — the untimely passing of Luke Perry due to complications of a stroke back in March. Perry portrayed Fred Andrews, Archie’s father and the series’ moral center. This year’s premiere will provide an on-screen sendoff to his character that will include a special appearance by Perry’s Beverly Hills 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty as a figure from Fred’s past in what could be a possible recurring role. Fred was Archie’s rock in a show packed with ridiculous sounding drugs and random bear attacks, and it’s certain that his loss will reverberate throughout this season…as well as the remainder of the series’ run.
Elsewhere, expect Betty to team up with her newly found long-lost brother Charles (Wyatt Nash), an FBI agent tasked with bringing the shady Farm cult to justice. While coping with the death of his father and the usual mustache-twirling machinations of Mr. Lodge, Archie must also contend with problems caused by Dodger (Juan Riedinger), a local thug poised to become this season’s primary antagonist. There’s certain to be the usual mayhem involving the Serpents, the Blossom family, another musical at Riverdale High, and the events glimpsed via flash-forward last season that portend the death of Jughead. You know, the usual teenage stuff. Say what you will about Riverdale, but it’s never dull.
Release Date: October 9
Fans of both the original book series and The CW’s adaptation of Riverdale are sure to fall for Nancy Drew, one of the most promising premieres of the fall season. We had a chance to catch the Nancy Drew pilot at SDCC this summer and it is very charming. One part ghost story, one part detective story, and one part character-driven small town soap, Nancy Drew has a lot going for it, not the least of which is a charismatic cast that, like Riverdale before it, includes mostly new faces who make their respective parts completely their own.
When we meet Nancy Drew (Kennedy McCann) in her pilot, she is not in a good place. The death of her mother the previous year sent her life into a tailspin. She fumbled her transition to college and has stopped solving mysteries altogether… That is until a mystery finds her. When a socialite is killed outside of the diner she works at, Nancy can’t help but take on the case—with a little help from her friends, including Ned “Nick” Nickerson (Tunji Kasim), Bess (Maddison Jaizani), and George (Leah Lewis).
Release Date: October 10
How do you end a beloved show with 15 seasons, over 300 episodes, and one incredibly passionate fanbase? Very carefully as it turns out.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to please everyone,” Supernatural executive producer Robert Singer said. “But the fans are very energizing for us. I hope they like the ending. I’m not expecting a 96% thumbs up but if we got that, that’d be great.”
In pursuit of that 96% or up approval rating, Supernatural’s 15th and final season is pulling out all the stops. The show catches up with brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) as they, along with angel Castiel (Misha Collins) grapple with an end times scenario brought forth by a bored Chuck a.k.a. God.
“I mean he’s written a lot of stories but he finds that Sam and Dean’s stories are the most interesting for whatever reason,” Singer said of the show’s God.
So based on the divine command of the Almighty, himself, Supernatural season 15 should be an interesting, entertaining goodbye for all the characters beloved by Supernaturalfandom.
Release Date: October 11
Charmed seems to be leading a charmed existence given its surprise renewal despite season 1’s lukewarm reception. However, there’s plenty more story to tell when the magically-gifted sisters charged with protecting the world from supernatural dangers return. Madeleine Mantock will continue as Macy Vaughn, the eldest, with Melonie Diaz playing Melanie “Mel” Vera, the middle half-sister, and Sarah Jeffery returning as Margarita Emilia “Maggie” Vera, the youngest.
At the end of season 1, the Source has been split up and taken to the corners of the Earth and the Elders are all gone, so what does that mean for Charmed season 2? Although Alastair may be out of the picture, we hear that another of his evil offspring is set to return for revenge, and she’s finished with being underestimated as a woman. Season 2 will also feature new showrunners Craig Shapiro and Liz Kruger as well as two new characters: Jordan the sexy boxing instructor and Kat, a sexually fluid witch.
Release Date: October 14
“Pitter patter, let’s get at’er.”
“Pump the breaks, Squirrelly Dan.”
“To be faiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrr.”
If you’ve noticed your friends injecting any of the preceding phrases into their lexicon, there’s no need to be concerned. They’re not part of a cult…well, not part of a scary cult, at least. The cult fandom of charming Canadian comedy Letterkenny has steadily increased state-side in recent years, thanks to the show’s inclusion on Hulu.
Now, Hulu is set to keep the good times rolling with Letterkenny season 7, the first to premiere simultaneously in Canada and the U.S. As the helpful opening titles always declare, Letterkenny is simply the story of the town of Letterkenny and the citizens’ various “problems.” Season 7 will find Wayne (Jared Keeso), Daryl (Nathan Dale), Katy (Michelle Mylett), and the rest of Letterkenny continuing on their respective journeys of doing little-to-nothing while coining a phrase or two in the process.
Release Date: October 15
Sometimes when long running shows end, the people involved are concerned with their work’s legacy. How will this be remembered? Will there be spinoffs? Will I still be invited to cons? The folks behind Arrow’s eighth and final season don’t have to worry about any of that.
Arrow’s legacy is not only evident, part of it is airing concurrently with the final season and even as a part of it. The so-called Arrowverse’s next big crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will air over episodes of Supergirl, Batwoman, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and episode 8 of Arrow’s final season. Once Arrow is gone, many DC CW shows will carry on in its stead with many crossover events sure to come.
Still, that doesn’t make the ending any less bittersweet, says John Diggle actor David Ramsey.
“It’s kind of surreal,” he said. Some of this experience is kind of like you’re sitting out of your body watching it a little bit. And then the other parts you are trying to make sure you grasp it, because you know it won’t happen again, right? This never happens. Ever. Eight seasons with how many spin-offs? It just doesn’t happen.”
Release Date: October 16
Hit podcasts had a rough time making the transition to television for awhile there. Lore was fine and Pod Save America came and went. But the success of Amazon Prime’s Homecoming has really opened things up. Now Facebook’s Limetown is set to step into this bold new podcast-on-TV world.
Limetown is based on a podcast of the same name and stars Jessica Biel as public radio journalist Lia Haddock. Looking for the next big podcasting story, Lia decides to investigate the mysterious disappearance of 300 people at a Tennessee neuroscience research community. Suffice it to say, her findings are…complicated.
Looking For Alaska
Release Date: October 18
Based on John Green’s first novel and adapted by Gossip Girl’s Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, Looking For Alaska has writerly pedigree you will probably recognize if you are at all interested in young adult media in either the book or TV sphere. Loosely inspired by Green’s own experiences as a teenager, Looking For Alaska the novel won the Printz Award, one of fiction’s most prestigious young adult awards, when it was published in 2005, and was listed as one of the American Library Association’s most challenged books of 2015 for profanity and sexually-explicit scenes. In other words: book made some waves.
The eight-episode limited series seems poised to follow the plot of its source material: Miles “Pudge” Halter (Charlie Plummer) enrolls at boarding school and falls in love with Alaska Young, played by The Society standout Kristen Froseth. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Miles and his friends try to make sense of what they’ve been through. It’s a traditional coming-of-age plot—one that will hopefully be elevated to something special by the experienced minds behind the project, not to mention the promise of a limited series event with a definitive beginning, middle, and end.
Release Date: October 18
Anthology series are all the rage right now, and as long as they’re here to stay, they might as well be good. Thankfully, all indications are that Amazon Prime’s Modern Love will be a worthwhile entry into the format.
Modern Love is based on a recurring New York Times column of the same name in which readers submit their own tales of finding, keeping, and/or losing love in the modern world. This first season will contain eight unrelated episodes and will feature a murderer’s row of onscreen talent that includes Anne Hathaway, Andy Garcia, Catherine Keener, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Andrew Scott, Christin Milioti, Gary Carr, John Slattery, and more.
Love’s not dead quite yet. At least not on Amazon Prime.
Release Date: October 23
After a bit of a slow start, the first season of Hulu’s Castle Rock became every bit the joyous Stephen King Easter egg hunt that King fans hoped it would be. Now for Castle Rock season 2, the show is set to double down on bringing in important pieces of the Stephen King extended universe.
That’s right, dirty birds, Annie Wilkes is coming to Castle Rock. The legendary Misery baddie immortalized by Kathy Bates will be a main character in Castle Rock season 2 and will be played by Lizzy Caplan. In addition to Annie Wilkes, Castle Rock season 2 will introduce an entirely new set of characters for the anthology series to tell the story of two warring clans in upper New England. All in all, this sounds like Fargo season 2 by way of Stephen King and there is nothing wrong with that.
Release Date: October
There are many fans of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ all-time comic book classic Watchmen who fear the idea of a continuation of the Watchmen universe. Chief among those voices is Mr. Moore, himself, who is famously against any and all adaptations of his work. The fact that he won’t have the tacit support of the story’s original creator is something that HBO’s Watchmen creator and showrunner Damon Lindelof still wants to come to terms with.
“I don’t think that I’ve made peace with it,” Lindelof told the gathered journalists at the Summer 2019 TCA press tour. “And that’s the way that he would want it, too. Alan Moore is a genius in my opinion; the greatest writer in the comic medium and maybe one of the greatest writers of all time. He’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want to have any association or affiliation with Watchmen ongoing. And that we not use his name to get people to watch it, which I want to respect.
With or without Moore’s endorsement (and again: it’s VERY much without), HBO’s Watchmen will pay homage to the original in many ways. This spiritual sequel takes place in the Watchmen universe’s version of 2019. Robert Redford has been president for decades, local police departments wear masks and in many cases adopt the appearance of masked vigilantes, and a group of white nationalist terrorists have taken up the mantle and identify of long-dead antihero Rorschach.
“I think that when it comes to Rorschach, there is a meta idea that is embedded in the show that we’re writing about appropriation,” Lindelof said. “We understand that we’re appropriating the original Watchmen and that characters in the show are appropriating iconic ideas like the Rorschach mask from the original Watchmen.”
Regina King, Don Johnson, Time Blake Nelson, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, and more all play new and old faces within the Watchmen universe as Lindelof’s show tries to answer that old question in the context of a new world: “who watches the Watchmen?”
Release Date: November 12
Even with the Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm libraries alone, Disney+ was bound to be a good deal at $6.99 a month. Still, the pop culture machine craves new content and when Disney’s monolithic new streaming service was happy to provide. When Disney+ premieres on November 12, it’s going to premiere an intriguing new Star Wars original series along with it.
Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian takes Boba Fett’s Mandalorian-style armor that everyone loves and puts it on a mysterious new character, an unnamed Mandalorian bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) working on the outskirts of the galaxy following the fall of the First Galactic Empire. With Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Bill Burr, Omid Abtahi, and Werner Herzog all along for the ride, The Mandalorian looks to be a stylish Western in a galaxy far, far away.
Release Date: November 17
The Crown’s concept has always been tremendously ambitious. It seeks to tell the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s life…and that is a long, long, long long life. Show creator Peter Morgan has made the plan very clear in a refreshingly candid way. The Crown will last 60 episodes spread out over six seasons, with actors being recast every two seasons.
It’s a fascinating approach to telling an important public figure’s entire life story but that approach will face its toughest challenge yet in The Crown season 3. Season 3 represents the first of the two planned grand casting realignments. Olivia Colman will take over the title role from Claire Foy while Tobias Menzes takes Prince Philip from Matt Smith and Helena Bonham Carter steps in for Princess Margaret from Vanessa Kirby.
Will The Crown still feel like The Crown with almost an entirely new cast? Tune in and find out.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Release Date: December 6
“Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And nothing will ever be the same.”
That was the tagline of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the comic book event series that redefined what fans thought was possible for superhero storytelling and set the tone for all big comic book crossovers to follow.
It’s hard to bring everything that’s on the page and adapt it to the screen, but they’re doing a really good job of that,” LaMonica Garrett, who plays the Monitor, tells us. “Without going too far into details, they’re trying to stick as close to the comic book as possible. And that’s hard to do.”
The comic book story brought together DC heroes from different realities to combat a threat to the multiverse. The conflict would reshape reality. The TV version will take a similar approach, uniting not only the current shows of the Arrowverse, but other beloved elements of DC media in an approach tested out during last year’s Elseworlds crossover when John Wesley Shipp reprised his role as Barry Allen from the 1990 The Flash TV series. In this year’s crossover, Brandon Routh will return to the role of the Man of Steel for the first time since 2006’s Superman Returns and Kevin Conroy, the beloved voice of the Dark Knight on Batman: The Animated Series, will appear in live action as a future version of Bruce Wayne.
While there are probably more surprises in store, one thing is certain: “nothing will ever be the same.”
Release Date: December 13
There was a dark time when it looked like we wouldn’t get a fourth season of The Expanse, one of the most vital shows on TV, then Amazon swooped in to save it, following Syfy’s cancellation and a massive fan-run campaign. Now, we’re looking at
“One of the things that seems pretty clear: it’s going to be another blood-soaked gold rush that’s about to happen,” showrunner Naren Shankar told EWfollowing the show’s renewal, “because you’ve got an entire species and several societies that have defined themselves on the fact that the solar system is all they’ve got, that those resources are what they have.”
Based off the events of the fourth installment in James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse book series (Cibola Burn), Season 4 will take the crew of the Roci into humanity’s new frontier: Naomi, Holden, Amos, and Alex will be setting off on a U.N. mission to explore the new worlds beyond the Ring Gates, the first step of a new world for humanity, which is now faced with the opportunity to explore thousands of Earth-like planets.
“I’m really excited that we are now with somebody who has the kind of weight that Amazon does because I think the show is worthy of that in what it represents across the board,” Dominique Tipper (Naomi) told us at SDCC. “I just want it to go further. I wonder if the little kids that grew up how a lot of us on the show grew up have seen it yet. I don’t know if they have and I didn’t know what it would do for them.”
We’re about to find out.
Release Date: December 13
Have you heard the news? Cloak and Dagger are showing up on Runaways Season 3, which makes this the perfect time to catch up on the Marvel TV show about a group of teenage friends who discover their parents are secretly villain-ing together and try to save the world from them before its too late.
“It’s so fun being able to do something that revels in the Mighty Marvel Manner!” said Jeph Loeb, Executive Producer and Head of Marvel Television, of the big crossover event. “Having these young heroes crossover allows fans of both shows to see the adventure everyone has been waiting for and we’ve only hinted at.”
By Season 2, which ended in December, the Runways have officially, um, run away. The end of the season sees the teen found family split up, and the 10-episode third season will see them searching for their captured friends Chase, Gert, and Karolina, as well as facing off against an enemy who is after Leslie and her unborn baby. When Nico brings them into the dark realm, the group faces off against Morgan le Fay, played by new cast member Elizabeth Hurley.
Release Date: Fall 2019
We’ve seen the first episode of DC Universe’s Harley Quinn animated series and let us assure you, it is way filthier, bloodier, and more genuinely hilarious than anything you’ve ever seen associated with a superhero. The show’s animation style wouldn’t be out of place in a “traditional” animated adventure set in Gotham City, but it’s anything but. Instead, think of Harley Quinn like an old Hollywood screwball comedy, add a healthy dose of Looney Tunes freneticism, and stir in more f-bombs per minute than the first RoboCop movie and about the same amount of blood.
The show boasts a spectacular voice cast that includes Kaley Cuoco as Harley Quinn, Christopher Meloni as an over-caffeinated and incredibly nervous Commissioner Gordon, Lake Bell as Poison Ivy, Alan Tudyk as the Joker, Giancarlo Esposito as Lex Luthor, not to mention Jason Alexander, Tony Hale, JB Smoove, and more.
So if you’ve been waiting your entire life to hear Harley Quinn dismissively refer to the Dark Knight as “a guy who fucks bats,” then your prayers have been answered.