Though we’ve had some delectable TV fare this summer (Doctor Who, The Knick, The Leftovers, Outlander), we’ve also had some serious duds (I’m looking at you, True Blood finale). Thankfully, the small screen drought is almost over, and fall is upon us! Folks are heading back to school, donning boots and maroon cardigans (what, just me?), and gulping down pumpkin spice lattes way too early (it’s 90+ degrees at Nerdist HQ right now, guys. The struggle is real). It’s no coincidence that my favorite season is also the beginning of the year’s TV season. Some of our most beloved shows are finally returning, y’all, and we’ve got the lowdown on what is coming your way. Settle in with some baked apple goods and a hot mulled drink: it may be sweltering outside, but in my book, autumn is officially here.
Sunday, September 7
Boardwalk Empire, 9 p.m., HBO
Oh, hey! This just happened! Boardwalk Empire kicked off its final, eight-episode season Sunday night. The show skipped forward seven years, putting the Atlantic City gangsters in different circumstances… but hey, the more things change, the more they stay the same, right? Read my full review of the season opener right here.
Tuesday, September 9
Sons of Anarchy, 10 p.m., FX
Vrooooom vroom. Here’s another final season you won’t want to miss. Sons of Anarchy has never shied away from killing off its main characters, but this year, all bets are off. Before you tune into Jax’s last wild ride of revenge, take a peek at the season seven trailer and our interviews with the cast at this year’s Comic-Con.
Tuesday, September 16
New Girl, 9 p.m., Fox
After a somewhat lackluster third season (minus everything Winston, of course), New Girl returns with a freshly broken up Nick and Jess. Hopefully this year the show gets back to basics and gives the plucky gang more of that earned character development. Plus: Winston as a cop. Comedy goldmine, folks.
The Mindy Project, 9:30 p.m., Fox
Remember The Mindy Project? That hit-or-miss-but-usually-hit show from Mindy Kaling that you definitely should be watching? It returns for a third season right after New Girl so you can get a double dose of goofy, lady-led comedies. Come for Mindy’s self-aware, pop culture lovin’ sense of humor, stay for the killer ensemble (Chris Messina, Adam Pally, Ike Barinholtz) and guest starring (Anders Holm, Glen Howerton) cast.
Monday, September 22
The Blacklist, 10 p.m., NBC
The Blacklist is a show starring James Spader that a ton of people are watching (but unfortunately, I am not one of them). Nerdist writer Merrill Barr said it best: “One of the most fascinating things to ponder is how the show managed to stay exciting despite its hefty episode order..” Before you watch the season premiere, go read his full editorial on how the NBC sophomore series became the biggest hit of last year.
NEW: Gotham, 8 p.m., Fox
Batman! As a baby! Well, a teenager. (Pre-teen?) Gotham is one of the many comic book adaptations coming to your screens this fall, and it follows a young, not-yet-mustachioed Commissioner Gordon — only, you know, he’s just regular ol’ James Gordon still. With famous DC baddies like the Penguin, the Riddler, the Joker, Doctor Hugo Strange, and a pickpocketing young Catwoman, Gotham is a fresh look at how little Bruce Wayne became (the) Batman.
Sleepy Hollow, 9 p.m., Fox
Easily last year’s best new series, Sleepy Hollow is finally back for a second, extended season! Despite its somewhat dubious, ludicrous-sounding plot (a buddy cop supernatural adventure involving Ichabod Crane in the 21st century and the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse), Sleepy Hollow is a cleverly crafted, self-aware mystery that keeps you guessing every step of the way. Catch up or rewatch season one with the brand new Nerdist podcast, SleepyCast: the Official Sleepy Hollow podcast hosted by Clarke Wolfe. Then follow along with recaps, analysis, and interviews with special guests from the show every Tuesday right here on Nerdist.
NEW: Scorpion, 9 p.m., CBS
Scorpion, new from CBS, is not just based on the true story of real-life genius Walter O’Brien. It’s also a science-inspired thriller that takes a ragtag group of brilliant minds and puts them together to, you know, save the world. Starring Elyes Gabel (as O’Brien), Katharine McPhee, Robert Patrick, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jadyn Wong, and Ari Stidham, Scorpion promises to feature technically accurate hacking tools and techniques. Just remember, aspiring hackers: use your powers for good, not for leaking pictures that don’t belong to you.
Tuesday, September 23
Person of Interest, 10 p.m., CBS
After season three’s cliffhanger finale, the Person of Interest gang has all but disbanded and the Samaritan has taken over. Adapting new identities to fly under the radar, Reese, Finch, Shaw and Root will have to find a way to keep fighting in season four. After that chilling five-minute trailer released at this year’s Comic-Con (sadly, now taken down), we can’t wait to see what’s in store for Person of Interest in this new dystopian future.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 9 p.m., ABC
Hail Hydra! No? Are we done with that already? Ok, fine. Season two of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sees the team struggling to rebuild, and after Marvel’s recently announced synopsis for the first episode, these next two weeks are going to feel even longer. The episode’s guest stars include Lucy Lawless (finally!), Patton Oswalt, and Hayley Atwell. As in Agent Carter. Looks like we’re going to get a sneak peek of Agent Carter before her eponymous show debuts mid-season. Check out our theories on season two and let us know if you agree on Twitter @NerdistDotCom.
Wednesday, September 24
Key & Peele, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central
Oh, Key & Peele, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: there’s this new musical promo video for their Comedy Central show’s new season, the 5-episode web series starring Key and Peele as Key & Peele uber-fans Van and Mike, their numerous side projects and guest-starring roles (Fargo, Bob’s Burgers, The Police Academy reboot), podcast appearances, and, oh right, their diverse, hysterical slate of sketches. What we’re saying is, we need more Key & Peele yesterday.
Thursday, September 25
NEW: How to Get Away With Murder, 10 p.m., ABC
As Alicia Lutes so eloquently put it, “I don’t care if you don’t watch Scandal or if this is not the audience for it. The Shonda Rhimes takeover of Thursdays (might as well just rename them Shondays) is HERE so make sure your calendars come correct.” Her new show How to Get Away with Murder stars Viola Davis, and premieres right after Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively. Grab a giant glass of red wine and settle in for some not-so-guilty guilty pleasure TV.
Sunday, September 28
The Simpsons, 8 p.m., Fox
Phew. Have you recovered from #EverySimpsonsEver yet? Still want more of that ageless cartoon family? Well, you’re in luck. Season 26 premieres at the end of September, and features the Futurama/Simpsons crossover you’ve always dreamed of. Get a sneak peek of the cult animated comedies’ crossover right here.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 8:30 p.m., Fox
Although it had both the star (Andy Samberg) and creative (Parks and Recreation‘s Mike Schur) power behind it, Brooklyn Nine-Nine had no right to be as good as it was right off the bat. No right! Sure, it had its clunky moments in the beginning, but the bumbling, strange, off-kilter, barely-cops police force of Brooklyn Nine-Nine very quickly became one of the best new shows of the year (and picked up two Golden Globes, to boot!). Tune in for a second season of Jake, Holt, Amy, Rosa, Boyle, and the rest of the gang’s blunders so we don’t lose this piece of comedy goodness, ok? Ok.
Once Upon a Time, 8 p.m., ABC
Well it’s about damn…. time. It sure does feel like we’ve been getting OUAT tidbits all summer. First off, everything’s all topsy-turvy in Storybrooke: Regina’s all angry, heartbroken and “evil” again, Snow and Charming have a new baby to raise, Belle and a totally-reformed Rumple just got hitched, and Emma and Hook are actually doing this relationship thing. Oh, and two little ladies from Arendelle make an appearance. Yep, mark your calendars, folks: Anna and Elsa from Frozen (along with some other familiar faces) are making their debut in the very first episode of the season.
Tuesday, September 30
NEW: Selfie, 8 p.m., ABC
Despite its rather unfortunate name, Selfie is a new fall series we’re absolutely looking forward to. The My Fair Lady/Pygmalion adaptation boasts Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) and John Cho (Star Trek, Sleepy Hollow) as its social media savvy leads. The comedic retelling of the classic story tackles society’s obsession with social media and comes from Suburgatory creator Emily Kapnek. Look, we’re just excited to see more of Gillan and Cho on our screens, ok?
Thursday, October 2
NEW: Gracepoint, 9 p.m., Fox
This one’s a bit controversial. Gracepoint is the American remake of the British TV crime drama Broadchurch, starring the Tenth Doctor and all-around wonderful actor David Tennant and the wickedly talented Olivia Colman. The American remake tells a very similar story, so similar that Tennant is actually reprising his role… with an American accent. Breaking Bad‘s equally talented Anna Gunn joins him in the US version instead of Colman, and many fans of the original have cried shenanigans over this remake. We’re reserving judgment ’til we see the show, but really, isn’t more David Tennant always a good thing?
The Vampire Diaries, 8 p.m., The CW
Laugh all you want: The Vampire Diaries is a pretty decent show. Sure, it’s got all the usual CW trappings, but uh… so does Arrow. Here’s a show that generally has fun with its characters, develops intriguing mythologies, and still finds ways to keep itself fresh and interesting. This new season sees Damon and Bonnie as ghosties on the other side, Elena being dramatic (a/k/a Elena), and hopefully the culmination of my OTP, Caroline and Stefan. (Don’t hate me, Stelena fans. Let’s talk this out.)
Sunday, October 5
Bob’s Burgers, 7:30 p.m., Fox
If you’re not watching Bob’s Burgers yet, you are seriously missing out. It’s not just one of the funniest animated shows on television, it’s one of the funniest shows on television, period. Starring the vocal stylings of H. Jon Benjamin (Archer, Home Movies), Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, and Eugene Mirman, Bob’s Burgers is a silly, sex-positive, genre-jumping grab bag of sheer delight. It’s also on Netflix, so you really have no excuse.
NEW: Mulaney, 9:30 p.m., Fox
We’re big fans of comedian John Mulaney around these parts, so it should come as no surprise that we’re champing at the bit for his new comedy series, the aptly named Mulaney. Mulaney plays a fictionalized version of himself (a standup comedian and former SNL writer, for those not in the know) alongside costars Nasim Pedrad (another SNL vet), Zack Pearlman, Elliott Gould, and Martin Short. Yes, that Martin Short. Program your DVRs accordingly.
Tuesday, October 7
NEW: The Flash, 8 p.m., The CW
Boy, oh boy, oh boy. We simply cannot wait for this one. The Arrow spinoff starring the Scarlet Speedster himself, the Flash, is finally coming to our screens. A few of us at Nerdist HQ have been lucky enough to catch the pilot and, unlike Arrow, which took a little while to get its sea legs, The Flash is pretty much fully realized. Grant Gustin makes a superb Barry Allen, and showrunner Marc Guggenheim has the tone down pat. If you’re a fan of Arrow, The Flash, any of the comics, or just plain ol’ exciting superhero adventures, make sure you run, don’t walk, to see this one.
Supernatural, 9 p.m., The CW
It’s hard to believe that Supernatural‘s going into its tenth season and still going strong. The beloved Winchester legend continues with Dean resurrected as a demon, and a singing one at that. Though the series is going full-on musical mode for its 200th episode this season, Supernatural‘s season premiere also sees Dean taking his demon self out for a walk. To… a karaoke bar. Think of the Tumblr GIFs!
Wednesday, October 8
Arrow, 8 p.m., The CW
After an explosive second season that saw Oliver Queen’s former friend Slade Wilson turn into Deathstroke, the return of Malcolm Merlyn, Sara Lance as the Canary, more will-they-won’t-they from Felicity and Oliver, and the League of Assassins, it looks like Arrow has even more up its emerald sleeve this year. Not only will we finally be meeting this series’ version of Ra’s al Ghul (the recently cast Matt Nable) as well as a few other notable Green Arrow baddies, Oliver has to learn how to juggle his vigilante life and new-ish protege with some semblance of a personal life. Plus: #Olicity, guys. We can’t wait.
Sunday, October 12
The Walking Dead, 9 p.m., AMC
Cannibals, you guys. Cannibals. Rick and the gang have finally made it to Terminus, but will the series follow in the comics’ footsteps? Either way, Rick sure looks like he could use a hand. There’s danger (and probably a walker) lurking ’round every corner, and if the slew of images, trailers, and spinoff news are any indication, this season of The Walking Dead is going to be an even wilder ride.
Tuesday, October 14
NEW: Marry Me, 9 p.m., NBC
What do you get when you mix Happy Endings‘ creator David Caspe, his real-life wife and real-life funny person Casey Wilson, and the most wonderful shmoozer alive, Ken Marino? Why, you get Marry Me, the marriage proposal NBC comedy loosely based on Caspe and Wilson’s relationship. If you too lament the unwarranted cancellation of Caspe and Wilson’s former glorious show, Happy Endings, then you should definitely give this one a shot.
Friday, October 24
NEW: Constantine, 10 p.m., NBC
Yet another comics-to-TV adaptation is coming your way this fall, this time in the form of DC’s sleazy master of mysticism John Constantine. No, it’s not Keanu Reeves, it’s Matt Ryan (Layer Cake) as the titular con man slash supernatural detective based on the Vertigo comic. Fans of the story are already miffed that Constantine’s been stripped of some of the qualities that made him interesting, but we’ll have to wait and see if this one’s a dull dud or TV magic. Hopefully not though, because it also stars Harold “Waaaa-aa-aalt!” Perrineau, and I miss him.
OH MY GOSH, did you actually read all of that? Someone should bake you a cake. Well done, you. Now that you’ve accomplished that feat, tell us: what are you most looking forward to this fall? Sound off in the comments below or chat with me about it on Twitter (@RachelHeine). I’ll be the crazy lady making an imaginary cake.