What To Watch This Fall

It’s Here! 20 New Shows You’ll Definitely Maybe Love (or Hate)

20 new television shows this fall, and which of them you should watch (Atlanta) and skip (most of the rest)

It’s September, the leaves have begun to turn, and football has taken over our lives once again. And that can only mean one thing: FALL TV PILOT SEASON IN AMERICA IS HERE WOOOOOOO!!

The pitch: Ok so it’s not actually that exciting, regular TV isn’t good anymore, and 90% of these shows will get cancelled. But who cares!! The world is our oyster so let’s look around and see what to watch on television this fall.

Read if you like: TV… Humor… Nihilism… Learning new things… Being too cheap to pay for your own Netflix account after your girlfriend broke up with you… Saving countless hours wasted on terrible shows that were doomed to start with… Finding one great new show that you fall in love with

Shows are rated from 1 to 5 stars (★). All times Eastern.


★★ Kevin Can Wait

8:30–9pm, CBS, September 19

The pitch: Paul Blart mall cop, but retired!!

Watch if you like: Kevin James… King of Queens… People that are funny because they are fat… Basically just Kevin James

★★ Man with a Plan

8:30–9pm CBS October 24

The pitch: Joey from Friends is a stay-at-home dad that does dad things!!

Watch if you like: Neutered appearances by old TV stars desperate for a paycheck… Any Matthew Perry show since Friends… Being shocked that dads actually know how to do dad stuff successfully

★★ People of Earth

9–9:30pm TBS October 31

The pitch: A support group for people that think they were abducted by aliens!!

Watch if you like: Wyatt Cenac from The Daily Show… Alien abduction mysteries… Honestly this sounds terrible but so did The Detour and Wrecked on TBS and they were two of the best new shows of 2016 so give it a shot

★★★ Timeless

10–11pm FOX October 3

The pitch: A bad guy steals the Tardis and goes back in time to destroy history!! (but only American history) (and only stuff that makes good TV)

Watch if you like: Lost season 5… Flash ForwardRevolutionAlcatrazTerra Nova… Time travel shows that have an intriguing premise but have no idea where they’re going and get cancelled before they get there

★★ Conviction

10–11pm ABC October 3

The pitch: Hey people care about Chelsea Clinton now right, what if we made a show with Agent Carter as the First Daughter!!

Watch if you like: Serialized law shows… Chelsea Clinton… Jenna Bush… the Kennedys… Sasha and Malia, but in 12 years… Where Are They Now bits


★★★★★ Brooklyn Nine Nine (s4) & New Girl (s6)

8–8:30pm & 8:30–9pm FOX September 20

The pitch: The funniest hour on television, no seriously.

Watch if you like: Best comedy block on TV in 2016, consistently great

★★★ American Housewife

8:30–9pm ABC October 11

The pitch: Kenny Powers’ girlfriend has three kids and is the perfect soccer mom in Westport!!

Watch if you like: The MiddleThe Goldbergs… ABC’s formula that keeps spitting out solid family comedies with strong women leads

★★★ This is Us

9–10pm NBC September 20

The pitch: Mandy Moore, Heroes’ Peter Petrelli, and American Crime Story’s Christopher Darden, in an ensemble cast live their very real lives and find out shockingly enough that they sometimes overlap!!

Watch if you like: Crazy, Stupid Love… Those Valentines Day type movies… B-list actors all thrown together… NBC’s attempt to find a new show that will tug at heartstrings instead of just giving us more Parenthood

★★ No Tomorrow

9–10pm CW October 4

The pitch: Your new boyfriend is convinced the world is ending and wants to accomplish everything on his Apocalyst before the meteor hits!!

Watch if you like: Quirky CW romcoms… Cutesy shows like Jane the Virgin and Galavant… Portmanteaus like Apocalyst

★ Bull

9–10pm CBS October 11

The pitch: Always feel like Dr. Phil is too believable? Well what if we make up a fictionalized version instead!!

Watch if you like: Dr. Phil… Everything that is wrong and awful about CBS

★★★★ Fresh Off the Boat (s3) & The Real O’Neals (s2)

9–9:30pm & 9:30–10pm ABC October 11

The pitch: Funny shows about an Asian-American family and an Irish-Catholic family!!

Watch if you like: The newest version of ABC’s Modern Family (huge family), The Middle (Midwestern family), Goldbergs (Jewish family), Black-ish (duh), etc — both are delightful and funny and well done

★★★★★ Atlanta

10–10:30pm FX (already started)

The pitch: This is the one show you absolutely have to watch on television this fall. Community-turned-Childish Gambino Donald Glover takes us into the real world of hip hop and Atlanta and life as a young black man.

Watch if you like: Shows that matter… TV that is dramatic but funny but real but surreal but heavy but light but important… Caring about more than just the white American world… Watching television that many other people already agree genuinely matters


★★ Lethal Weapon

8–9pm FOX September 21

The pitch: Hey, remember Lethal Weapon?!!

Watch if you like: The ‘80s… Pointless reboots… The Wayans bros dad

★★★★ Speechless

8:30–9pm ABC September 21

The pitch: Minnie Driver is the mother of a special-needs son in a heartfelt ABC family comedy!!

Watch if you like: ABC family comedies The Goldbergs and Modern Family, which bookend this… I mean honestly, Minnie Driver will be great

★★★★★ Black-ish (s3)

9:30–10pm ABC September 21

The pitch: The best and most important comedy on network TV. Very funny, but more importantly, showed last season that it genuinely matters.

Watch if you like: Season 2’s “Hope” episode about the indictment of a police officer was poignant and had something to say. This show is always well acted (including the kids) and funny but often has something real to say too.

★★ Frequency

9–10pm CW October 5

The pitch: Hey, remember Frequency?!!

Watch if you like: Oh you don’t remember Frequency? It was a ‘90s movie about a cop having conversations over ham radio with his father who died 30 years earlier. Anyways, it’s that only with a female lead and totally different.

★★★★ Designated Survivor

10–11pm ABC September 21

The pitch: What if nerdy Jack Bauer accidentally became President and had to save us all from terrorists!!

Watch if you like: 24… America… Jack Bauer… Defeating terrorism… Bald eagles… Apple pie… Football… Ron Swanson… Cheeseburgers… Winning


★★★★ Superstore (s2)

8–8:30pm NBC September 22

The pitch: Ugly Betty and Ginsburg work at Walmart and hijinks ensue!!

Watch if you like: Cute clever comedies with likeable characters, ready to break out in season 2

★★★ The Great Indoors

8:30–9pm CBS October 27

The pitch: Outdoorsy Jeff Winger from Community gets a boring desk job with McLovin and Stephen Fry!!

Watch if you like: Believing that really funny people can be worth watching even in a terrible premise on a network that ruins comedies

★★★★ The Good Place

8:30–9pm NBC September 22

The pitch: Parks and Rec creator Michael Schur returns with postmortem Kristen Bell’s afterlife guide Ted Danson showing her how religion works and how to be a good person!!

Watch if you like: Parks and RecreationVeronica MarsCheers… church… Somehow combining those four things but knowing the individual parts are talented enough that it might actually work

★★ Notorious

9–10pm ABC September 22

The pitch: Coyote Ugly and Rescue Me stars in yet another inside media look, this time at real-life defense attorney Mark Geragos

Watch if you like: Larry King Live… Media shows about media… The 8th different thing named Notorious

★★★★ Pitch

9–10pm FOX September 22

The pitch: The inspirational story of a young female pitcher becoming the first woman ever to play Major League Baseball!!

Watch if you like: Zach Morris and Niki Sanders… Baseball… Feminism… Getting beat over the head with commercials from a new show while you watch the MLB playoffs on FOX for a month… But seriously, MLB is actually associating itself with this show so maybe there’s something there

★★★★ Better Things

10–10:30pm FX (already started)

The pitch: Pamela from Louie produces and stars in a comedy about a single actress in LA with three daughters and no filter!!

Watch if you like: Louie CK and Pamela Adler… FX comedies… A slightly warmer but similarly-built version of Louie


★ MacGyver

8–9pm CBS September 23

The pitch: Dude, remember MacGyver? He was awesome!!

Watch if you like: Old MacGyver reruns but are too lazy to fire up Netflix and don’t mind a crappy knockoff version


★ Son of Zorn

8–8:30pm FOX September 25

The pitch: Yet another attempt to find another animated comedy to fill the hole between Simpsons and Family Guy on FOX

Watch if you like: FOX animation domination… Recognizing voices of actors you like in other things

-★ Secrets and Lies (s2) & Quantico (s2)

9–10pm & 10–11pm ABC September 25

The pitch: Interesting drama concepts that seem to work for like ten episodes but accidentally get picked up for a back half of a season that wasn’t supposed to exist, completely crash and burn with no real plot, and then both get inexplicably renewed for season two!!

Watch if you like: Don’t.

★★★★ Last Man on Earth (s3)

9:30–10pm FOX September 25

The pitch: MacGruber is the last man on earth until he isn’t because there’s also Betty Draper and a fat guy and that weird Flight of the Conchords girl and maybe his brother and it’s weird and quirky and funny!!

Watch if you like: Super quirky comedies with great actors

★★★ Eyewitness

10–11pm USA October 16

The pitch: Two teenage boys witness a murder at a cabin but can’t tell anyone!!

Watch if you like: Crime thrillers… Remakes of international hits… USA dramas Suits and Mr. Robot, but worse and different…

If you enjoyed this, please recommend it by clicking the so others can enjoy it too. Follow Brandon on Medium or @wheatonbrando for more sports, humor, pop culture, and life musings. Visit the rest of Brandon’s writing archives here.

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