Don’t call it a comeback; it’s that time of year again!
For the 10th GODDAMN YEAR, the CDP is back with the rundown on nearly 60 new, returning and midseason TV shows. These are the shows I will be watching (or at least giving a chance to) throughout the season. All times Central, and the premiere and time slot information is as accurate as I could get. I also stuck mostly with national networks and basic cable, because the CDP is welcoming of those in all tax brackets and considers piracy a crime literally worse than murder (even worse than watching shows on your dumb phone).
And hey, if this preview isn’t enough for you, feel free to take a trip in the Wayback Machine to see my 9 other Fall TV Previews:
2005-2006 Preview. (Lost! Malcolm in the Middle! Arrested Development!)
2006-2007 Preview. (King of the Hill! House MD! The Office!)
2007-2008 Preview. (Friday Night Lights! 30 Rock! Heroes!)
2008-2009 Preview. (24! My Name is Earl! Dollhouse!)
2009-2010 Preview. (Parks and Recreation! Modern Family! The Middle!)
2010-2011 Preview. (Community! Bob’s Burgers! Louie!)
2011-2012 Preview. (Breaking Bad! The Walking Dead! Adventure Time!)
2013-2014 Preview. (The Goldbergs! Agents of SHIELD! Brooklyn Nine-Nine!)
2014-2015 Preview. (Gotham! Once Upon a Time! The Flash!)
…Yeah, I’ve reviewed a lot of television over the years. No sense in stopping now; let’s do this.
6-7pm America’s Funniest Videos – ABC (10/11)
6:30-7pm Bob’s Burgers – FOX (9/27)
7-7:30pm The Simpsons – FOX (9/27)
7-8pm Once Upon a Time – ABC (9/27)
7:30-8pm Brooklyn Nine-Nine – FOX (9/27)
7:30-10:30pm Sunday Night Football – NBC (9/13)
8-9pm Fear the Walking Dead – AMC (8/23)
8-9pm The Walking Dead – AMC (10/11)
8:30-9pm The Last Man on Earth – FOX (9/27)
9-10pm Talking Dead – AMC (10/11)
THE SKINNY! – Comedy on Sunday night belongs to FOX, with the exceptional Bob’s Burgers heading into their 6th season, which leads in to The Simpsons 27th. From there, the very underrated Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy, but wasn’t even nominated for an Emmy) sets the table for The Last Man on Earth, the Will Forte-helmed, post-apocalyptic comedy that pretty much needs to be seen to be understood, and I mean that in a good way.
And hey, speaking of post-apocalyptic, Fear The Walking Dead is currently off and running, boasting the largest cable premiere audience in Television history. Following a 6-episode Season 1, we lead into the highly-anticipated premiere of The Walking Dead, with Talking Dead bringing the night to a close with the soothing, dulcet tones of Mr. Chris Hardwick.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – If comedy is your thing, Bob’s Burgers is about as good as it gets. Otherwise, The Walking Dead is Appointment TV to end all other Appointment TV. And hey, there’s always football. Football’s fun.
7-8pm Supergirl – CBS (10/26)
7-8pm Gotham – FOX (9/21)
7-10pm Monday Night Raw – USA (Ongoing)
7:30-10:30pm Monday Night Football – ESPN (9/14)
9-10pm Fargo – FX (10/12)
THE SKINNY! – Fargo is one of my favorite movies of all-time, so like most, I was apprehensive when the miniseries version hit FX last year. However, it was spectacular, winning 3 Emmys and being nominated for over a dozen more. Over on CBS, they step into the Superhero market with Supergirl, a visually stunning (yet maybe a bit campy) effort (with Calista Flockhart!). And sticking with the DC Universe, the gritty Gotham returns for Season 2 over on FOX.
If sports (and Sports Entertainment) is more your thing, we have the longtime flagships Monday Night Raw and Monday Night Football on USA and ESPN respectively. WWE programming is more in line with superhero dramas than you may think, and the fact that ESPN’s Chris Berman hasn’t had a myocardial infarction yet should be a motivational tribute to us all.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – Season 1 of Fargo was spectacular, but there are no guarantees the second time around. No chance I’m missing it, though. Gotham lost my attention a bit toward the end of S1, and Supergirl has the opportunity to wow, but I’m not holding my breath.
7-7:30pm The Muppets – ABC (9/22)
7-8pm The Flash – CW (10/6)
7:30-8pm The Grinder – FOX (9/29)
8-9pm Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – ABC (9/29)
8-9pm Scream Queens – FOX (9/29)
THE SKINNY! – I went into Season 1 of The Flash with mediocre hopes, and they ended up surpassing anything I thought was possible for a CW show. When my enthusiasm for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. began to wane somewhat (but not enough to cease watching altogether), The Flash became same-night Appointment TV for yours truly. An action-packed, bright series with incredibly lofty storytelling and a cast that has become better with each episode. I’m a sucker for Time Travel.
Two new shows arrive on FOX with The Grinder (a courtroom comedy starring Fred Savage and Rob Lowe) and Scream Queens (a Glee-meets-American Horror Story satirical horror-comedy I have high hopes for), but come on, what we’re really looking forward to is the primetime return of The Muppets. A mockumentary-style sitcom detailing the Muppets’ behind-the-scenes efforts to create a late night talk show starring Miss Piggy. I can’t wait.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – The Flash turned out to be so much better than I ever thought it would be; it’s sincerely one of my favorite returning shows of the year. Also, Scream Queens has a ton of potential. But are you really going to skip out on a new Muppets show?
7-7:30pm The Middle – ABC (9/23)
7-8pm Arrow – CW (10/7)
7:30-8pm The Goldbergs – ABC (9/23)
8-8:30pm Modern Family – ABC (9/23)
9-10pm Nashville – ABC (9/23)
9-10pm American Horror Story – FX (10/7)
9-10pm The Ultimate Fighter – SPIKE (9/9)
THE SKINNY! – Wednesday nights on ABC remain comedy strong, with reliable favorites The Middle and Modern Family. Wedged between the two, is the secret weapon known as The Goldbergs, an absolute must-watch for any fan of the 80’s and the abundance of Pop Culture nestled within. Funny, well-written, handled with care, nostalgic and Wonder Years-esque, Season 3 of The Goldbergs is an extremely welcome sight.
Arrow should return with a record audience following Stephen Amell’s outstanding appearance at this year’s Summerslam, and the soapy goodness of Nashville brings Season 4 (and their highest ratings yet) to the 9am slot. American Horror Story: Hotel (and Lady Gaga!) push the envelope in the 5th Season of FX’s anthology series, and coaches Conor McGregor and Uriah Faber helm opposing teams of up-and-coming Mixed Martial Artists on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter. Wednesday is packed.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – You watch The Goldbergs. Then you go back and watch every episode of The Goldbergs that you missed. Then you come back and tell me how awesome you think The Goldbergs is. The Goldbergs.
7-8pm Heroes Reborn – NBC (9/24)
7-9pm Thursday Night Smackdown – SYFY (Ongoing)
7:30-10:30pm Thursday Night Football – CBS (9/17)
9-10pm The Player – NBC (9/24)
THE SKINNY! – Listen, Heroes. We have to talk. I’m convinced that the first season of this show had limitless possibility, and became one of the biggest examples of missed opportunity in the history of television. I have no idea how such a perfect idea could have been bungled so poorly. Nonetheless, we’re getting another reboot, and here’s hoping they can right past wrongs this time around.
Elsewhere, the NFL and WWE compete in similar timeslots, while the Wesley Snipes-helmed The Player takes on the world of gambling and…wait…Wesley Snipes?
Blade? From Blade?
Okay, I’m in.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – Both Heroes Reborn and The Player have the potential to be goofy caricatures of what we expect them to be (or maybe that’s what we want them to be). We already gave Heroes a chance though, so I’m checking out The Player and remembering not to take it too seriously.
Last Man Standing – ABC (9/25)
Dr. Ken – ABC (10/2)
The Amazing Race – CBS (9/25)
Hawaii Five 0 – CBS (9/25)
Blue Bloods – CBS (9/25)
Reign – CW (10/9)
MasterChef Junior – FOX (11/6)
Undateable – NBC (10/9)
Truth Be Told – NBC (10/16)
Grimm – NBC (10/30)
THE SKINNY! – Maybe you’re interested in one or more of the shows listed above. I, however, will be watching none of them. Friday is Sushi and Snuggles Night with The Missus.
You got your priorities, I’ve got mine.
BUT I HAVE TO WATCH ONE SHOW! – I suppose I’d watch Truth Be Told, if only because it’s new and stars Zach Morris. NBC’s placing of it on Friday isn’t a great sign of their faith in its success, though.
8-9pm Ash vs. Evil Dead – STARZ (10/31)
8-9pm Doctor Who – BBCA (9/19)
8:30-9pm Guardians of the Galaxy – DISXD (9/26)
10:30pm-12am Saturday Night Live – NBC (10/3)
11pm-2:30am Toonami* – SWIM (Ongoing)
(*Toonami’s current lineup consists of Dragon Ball Z Kai, Akame Ga Kill, Mitchiko and Hatchin, Sword Art Online II, Naruto Shippuden, One Piece and Attack on Titan.)
THE SKINNY! – Saturday, formerly a barren wasteland and guaranteed death blow for any series unfortunate enough to be planted within, is now maybe the most fun night on Television. Late Night brings us 3.5 straight hours of Anime courtesy of Toonami, currently the only Anime block on American Television. Also, we get Season 41 of Saturday Night Live, with Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer and Tracy Morgan (in an emotional return) handling hosting duties for the first three weeks.
Who knows what direction Disney XD’s Guardians of the Galaxy will take, but there’s no way I’m missing it. Maybe my favorite superhero movie of all-time (The Dark Knight is close), I don’t plan on neglecting myself the chance to see Star Lord, Rocket, Groot, Drax and Gamora on my TV again, even in animated form.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – Saturday is all about what your obsession happens to be. Horror? Sci-Fi? Marvel Universe? Sketch Comedy? Anime? Pick your favorite and run with it. It should be fun no matter what…
…watch the trailer for Ash vs. Evil Dead, though. This is gonna be awesome.
8-9pm Better Call Saul – AMC (2016)
7-8pm The X-Files – FOX (1/24)
8-9pm Lucifer – FOX (2016)
THE SKINNY! – Having watched the trailer for Lucifer, I see a lot of Constantine parallels in the storytelling and main character. Not to mention that it looks visually beautiful and will be sure to piss off more than a few Parents Television Council types with too much time on their hands. For that alone, I’m in.
Better Call Saul is as good as TV gets, no question about it. I’m hoping for an Emmy sweep this year, similar to Breaking Bad, and the 13-episode Season 2 arrives in early 2016. Season 1 was a masterfully-crafted origin story of sorts, and I expect S2 to get slightly darker and more murky as Saul slowly continues his transformation from small-time con man to Black Belt slimeball.
Finally, we have the highly-anticipated, highly-hyped, I-cannot-believe-this-is-actually-happening, 6-episode return of The X-Files. One of the greatest shows of the 1990’s, and one of the most influential Sci-Fi shows of all-time (particularly regarding bringing Sci-Fi to a mainstream audience), Mulder and Scully return for equal parts overarching mythology and monster-of-the-week adventures. Awesome.
10:30-11:30pm The Late Show w/Stephen Colbert – CBS (9/8)
10-10:30pm The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – COM (9/28)
THE SKINNY! – I didn’t know who Trevor Noah was before I heard he was taking over for Jon Stewart at The Daily Show. Then I watched his episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, and I was absolutely floored with his story, humor and work ethic. The dude is special, and he’s going to be a perfect successor to a throne that requires a ton of responsibility and a passion for politcal satire.
…Speaking of taking over the throne of an extremely-respected host, Stephen Colbert will be stepping behind the desk that David Letterman called his home for decades. I’m very much looking forward to seeing an out-of-character Colbert, still willing to be as weird as he wants to be, in the spirit of Letterman and Conan O’Brien before him. I can’t say I make it a point to watch Fallon, Kimmel or Seth Meyers on a weekly basis, but I’ll definitely be DVR’ing Colbert for at least the first month or so.
10. Glee (FOX)
9. Utopia (FOX)
8. Two and a Half Men (CBS)
7. Resurrection (ABC)
6. The Following (FOX)
5. The Mentalist (CBS)
4. Revenge (ABC)
3. Constantine (NBC)
2. Hannibal (NBC)
1. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
THE SKINNY! – Leading into the 2015-2016 Fall TV season, we said goodbye to a few notable shows, either due to cancellation or mutual Series Finale. Shows like Glee, Two-and-a-Half Men, The Following, The Mentalist and Revenge waned a bit as the seasons piled up, while Utopia, Resurrection, Constantine and Hannibal weren’t able to secure a large enough audience early on.
However, Parks and Recreation was able to end on their terms, and rode off into the sunset the same way they arrived: Perfectly. With some of the best comedy writing (and maybe the greatest ensemble cast) in Sitcom History, Parks and Recreation survived a touch-and-go first season to become as good as The Office and 30 Rock before it.
Bye bye, L’il Sebastian.
THE CDP’S WEEKLY DVR SCHEDULE:
Are you like me? Do you want to watch the same exact programs that I do, in the perfect order, every week? Well then, this is for you. What follows is my personal weekly Live and DVR TV schedule, featuring all Prime Time shows included* in my Preview, 4 hours a night, 7 nights a week. I am not responsible for any divorces or losses of friends as a result of following this schedule:
(*Midseason/Nightly/Late Night shows and football not included. Get in where you fit in, yo.)
6-7pm – America’s Funniest Videos (LIVE)
7-7:30pm – Bob’s Burgers (DVR)
7:30-8pm – The Simpsons (DVR)
8-9pm – Fear the Walking Dead/The Walking Dead (LIVE)
9-10pm – Talking Dead (LIVE)
6-6:30pm – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (DVR)
6:30-7pm – The Last Man on Earth (DVR)
7-10pm – Monday Night Raw (LIVE)
6-7pm – Once Upon a Time (DVR)
7-7:30pm – The Muppets (LIVE)
7:30-8pm – The Grinder (LIVE)
8-9pm – The Flash (DVR)
9-10pm – Fargo (DVR)
6-7pm – Supergirl (DVR)
7-8pm – Gotham (DVR)
8-9pm – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (DVR)
9-10pm – The Ultimate Fighter (LIVE)
6-6:30pm – The Middle (DVR)
6:30-7pm – The Goldbergs (DVR)
7-8pm – Scream Queens (DVR)
8-10pm – Thursday Night Smackdown (DVR)
6-7pm – Arrow (DVR)
7-8pm – Heroes Reborn (DVR)
8-9pm – Nashville (DVR)
9-10pm – American Horror Story (DVR)
7-7:30pm – Modern Family (DVR)
7:30-8:30pm – The Player (DVR)
8:30-9:30pm – Doctor Who (DVR)
9:30-10pm – Guardians of the Galaxy (DVR)
10-11pm – Ash vs. Evil Dead (DVR)
Pow. 30 shows, 28 hours of TV, 7 nights a week, 4 perfect hours a night. It’s…gorgeous.
THIS CONCLUDES OUR BROADCASTING DAY
Well, there you have it. The scoop on my personal Fall TV schedule, for the 10th year running. Set your DVRs, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week. I was gone for a while; it’s good to be back.