It’s about that time, homies.
For the 11TH GODDAMN YEAR, the CDP is back with the rundown on nearly 60 new, returning, mid-season and recently-canceled 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 (or at least worse than watching shows on your tiny dumb phone).
However, for the first time in Fall TV Preview history, I will be covering notable Netflix series as well. Black Mirror? Stranger Things? MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000??? How could I not? I’ll talk about all of those (and a lot more) in a bit.
Each year, I try to cut back on my TV watching habits a bit more, and while it looks like I’ve been abysmal in this crusade, I really (really!) haven’t picked up many new series this season. This has been made easier by the fact that most new programs (network ones, at least) look like garbage juice in the noonday sun. So yeah, the preview feels slightly lean, with more of an emphasis on already-established programs, but you work with what you have, right? It’s my list.
My my me mine.
And hey, if this preview isn’t enough for you, feel free to take a trip in the Wayback Machine to see my 10 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!)
2015-2016 Preview. (Better Call Saul! The Muppets! Fear The Walking Dead!)
…Yeah, I’ve reviewed a lot of television over the years. It looks great on a resume. No sense in stopping now; let’s do this.
6:00-7:00 – America’s Funniest Videos (ABC – 10/2)
6:30-7:00 – Bob’s Burgers (FOX – 9/25)
7:00-7:30 – The Simpsons (FOX – 9/25)
7:00-8:00 – Once Upon A Time (ABC – 9/25)
7:30-8:00 – Making History (FOX – Midseason)
7:30-10:30 – Sunday Night Football (NBC)
8:00-9:00 – Fear The Walking Dead (AMC – 8/21)
8:00-9:00 – The Walking Dead (AMC – 10/23)
8:30-9:00 – The Last Man On Earth (FOX – 9/25)
9:00-10:00 – Talking Dead (AMC)
9:00-10:00 – Better Call Saul (AMC – Early 2017)
THE SKINNY! – FOX once again stacks the deck for Comedy on Sunday nights, with Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons and The Last Man On Earth all returning. New arrival Making History looks to be a Time Travel-based comedy from the creators of The Last Man On Earth, which is more than enough to earn a spot in my DVR queue. Meanwhile, NBC’s got you covered for football, and AMC takes care of the rest.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – The Simpsons is the greatest show in TV history, but Bob’s Burgers is the best animated series currently on TV. However, you’re probably better suited to go with whatever drama happens to be on AMC. Fear is attempting to overcome some character issues in Season 2, while Better Call Saul begins Season 3 with tremendous momentum. That all being said, you watch The Walking Dead. I’m convinced the show has done nothing but improve, and we’re poised for a cliffhanger resolution the likes of which haven’t been seen since we pulled Desmond out of the Hatch on Lost.
My money is on Maggie or Glenn.
7:00-8:00 – Supergirl (CW – 10/10 – Moved From CBS)
7:00-8:00 – Gotham (FOX – 9/19)
7:00-10:00 – Monday Night Raw (USA)
7:30-10:30 – Monday Night Football (ESPN)
9:00-10:00 – Fargo (FX – Early 2017)
THE SKINNY! – Supergirl moves to (better fit) The CW, allowing for unlimited crossover potential with The Flash and Arrow, as if we haven’t seen enough already. Also in the DC-verse, Gotham continues to improve on FOX, and Season 3 of Fargo (with Ewan McGregor!) arrives some time next year on FX. Elsewhere, Monday Night Raw has a new (good) look and new (great) talent on USA, while Monday Night Football caps the evening on ESPN.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – What’s your nerd pleasure? Wrestling? Superheroes? Football? Noir? Pick one; they’re all dope in their own way. Who am I to tell you how to live your life? Stop listening to me. Close your browser. Call your mom.*
(*Don’t do any of these things.)
7:00-7:30 – The Middle (ABC – 10/11)
7:00-7:30 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX – 9/20)
7:00-8:00 – The Flash (CW – 10/4)
7:00-9:00 – Tuesday Night SmackDown (USA)
8:00-9:00 – Scream Queens (FOX – 9/20)
9:00-10:00 – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC – 9/20)
THE SKINNY! – Family Comedy. Grown-Up Comedy. DC. Marvel. WWE. Campy Horror. Tuesday is eclectic, fun and not-too-serious. Save that shit for Sunday.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – Brooklyn Nine-Nine is super funny and sharply written, but The Flash is on another level going into Season 3. It’s been punching above its weight class since the premiere, and done nothing but improve.
7:00-7:30 – The Goldbergs (ABC – 9/21)
8:00-8:30 – Modern Family (ABC – 9/21)
9:00-10:00 – The Ultimate Fighter (FS1 – 8/31)
THE SKINNY! – The UFC continues to look for their next big MMA star on The Ultimate Fighter, while one of the most popular (and critically acclaimed) comedies in Modern Family holds fast at 8am.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – You watch The Goldbergs.
If you are anywhere near my age and aren’t watching The Goldbergs, I don’t know what to tell you. They quite simply get it right every single week. They’ve already devoted entire episodes to countless aspects of 80’s Pop Culture, such as…
Weird Al, Double Dare, The Beastie Boys, Hands Across America, Scrambled Porn, Say Anything, Life Alert Bracelets, Gimbels Department Store, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Slap Shot, Star Wars, The Goonies, the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, Laser Tag, Punch-Out, WWF, Mixtapes, Trivial Pursuit, Back to the Future, Mall Modeling Scams, New Kids on the Block, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Cabbage Patch Kids, a $900 Compact Disc Player, The Noid, Just Say No, America’s Funniest Home Videos, American Gladiators, The Princess Bride, Dance Party USA, Milli Vanilli, Jazzercise, Strawberry Shortcake, Short Circuit, We Are The World, Troop Beverly Hills, New Coke, Lionel Richie’s ‘Hello’ Video, Dirty Dancing, Columbia House, David Copperfield, Rush, Space Camp and Dungeons and Dragons.
These aren’t just passing, winking references, either. Everything I mentioned was either the subject of an entire episode or a major character arc. It also boasts the greatest soundtrack since The Adventures of Pete and Pete (or The Wonder Years), and the whole thing is narrated by Patton Oswalt. Oh, and since the show is based loosely on the real-life family and experiences of Adam Goldberg, we often get home movie footage at the end of the episode, sometimes replicated shot-for-shot earlier in the episode. It’s absolutely fantastic.
You watch The Goldbergs.
7:00-7:30 – Superstore (NBC – 9/22)
7:30-10:30 – Thursday Night Football (CBS/NBC)
THE SKINNY! – Thursday’s already skinny enough for my tastes. You have underdog Superstore returning for a (somewhat unlikely) Season 2, and you have football.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – If you have ever worked a day in your life within a retail setting, Superstore is pitch-perfect. Furthermore, it’s essentially the only decent comedy NBC has after cleaning house last year.
8:00-9:00 – The Exorcist (FOX – 9/23)
THE SKINNY! – I’m literally only DVR’ing one show on Friday night, and it’s the FOX Exorcist remake. Pickings; they are slim.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – …eh. I mean, who knows if The Exorcist is going to be good. Record it and check it out later. Go out for sushi or something.
10:30-12:00 – Saturday Night Live (NBC – Late 2016)
10:30-2:00 – Toonami (SWIM)
(The current Toonami lineup consists of Dragon Ball Z Kai, One Punch Man, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Hunter x Hunter, Naruto: Shippuden, One Piece and Parasyte)
THE SKINNY! – Slumber Party Saturday! Buy some snacks, build a fort and invite your friends over for a late night of Comedy and Anime, courtesy of SNL and Toonami. Or, you can do what I do, and drink whiskey alone with the cats until the sun comes up. What’s important is that you build a fort.
BUT I CAN ONLY WATCH ONE SHOW! – SNL is still culturally important from a water cooler standpoint, but you watch One Punch Man because that shit is awesome.
15. Iron Fist (Premieres 2017)
14. Bloodline (Renewed)
13. Orange Is The New Black (Renewed)
12. Making A Murderer (Renewed)
11. Jessica Jones (Renewed)
10. House Of Cards (Renewed)
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Renewed)
8. Luke Cage (Premieres 9/30)
7. Daredevil (Renewed)
6. BoJack Horseman (Renewed)
5. Degrassi: Next Class (Renewed)
4. Fuller House (Renewed)
THE SKINNY! – All projections state that Fuller House is one of the most popular things Netflix has ever done, so it comes as no surprise that we’re getting a Season 2. And hey, if you’re looking for an excellent Season 1 recap, I’ve got you covered.
3. Stranger Things (Renewed)
THE SKINNY! – It is so difficult to do what Stranger Things did. Come out of nowhere and surprise everyone in this day and age. To take such memorable tropes and come up with something new and exciting. To take a children’s adventure, teenage emotional journey and an adult’s redemption, and mash it all up with equal amounts respect and supernatural goodness. Throw in a killer soundtrack, and you have one of the great sleeper hits in the last 15 years. All eyes will be on the Duffer Brothers as they try to replicate the magic in Season 2.
2. Black Mirror (Season 3 Premieres 10/21)
THE SKINNY! – I’m unabashedly flipping my shit in anticipation for Black Mirror‘s return. We’ve only gotten 7 episodes in the last 5 years (insanity), and are now set to get 6 all at once on 10/21. The remaining 6 episodes that close out Season 3 will show up some time next year. That’s an embarrassment of riches for a show that is parallel to nothing but The Twilight Zone, which is seriously the highest compliment I can pay to a TV show. You have time; go watch the first 7 episodes and lose your freaking mind.
1. Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Premieres Late 2016)
THE SKINNY! -I seriously cannot believe that this is happening.
When MST3K aired their final episode in 1996, there was a sliver of hope that it would return. And it did, on the (then) SciFi Channel. But when they aired their second final episode in 1999, most people understood that it was over for good.
Then 16 years pass, production rights exchange hands, over SIX MILLION DOLLARS is raised on Kickstarter, an absurdly talented cast is hired and Netflix jumps on board. Suddenly, we’re only a few months away from an 11th Season of MST3K, and I have no idea what to expect. Most people know that MST3K is extremely near and dear to my heart, and I’m staying as optimistic and grateful as possible for as long as I can. I just feel really, really fortunate that we’re getting another season, and that first night we get new episodes on Netflix, I’ll try not cry like a little weiner.
10. America’s Next Top Model (Moved To VH1)
9. The Good Wife
8. Nashville (Moved To CMT)
5. Agent Carter
4. American Idol
3. The Muppets
1. The Grinder
THE SKINNY! – Everyone happy? You got The Muppets canceled. Ya’ bastards.
I knew The Grinder wouldn’t last; it had ‘one and done’ written all over it. Too specific. Not enough people watched it. Too meta. But man, it was a sitcom for people who obsess way too much over sitcoms. So yeah, I loved it. Just like BrainDead over on CBS, The Grinder feels like one of those shows that people will discover a few years from now and lament about not watching when it was new.
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 (5 on Saturday), 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 sports not included. Get in where you fit in, yo.)
6:00-7:00 – America’s Funniest Videos
7:00-7:25 – Bob’s Burgers
7:25-7:50 – The Simpsons
7:50-8:40 – Once Upon A Time
8:40-9:30 – Fear The Walking Dead/The Walking Dead
9:30-10:00 – Talking Dead
6:30-7:00 – The Last Man On Earth
7:00-8:00 – Gotham
8:00-8:50 – Supergirl
8:50-10:30 – Monday Night Raw
6:00-7:00 – NETFLIX
(Degrassi: Next Class and Fuller House)
7:00-7:30 – The Middle
7:30-8:20 – The Flash
8:20-8:45 – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8:45-10:00 – Tuesday Night SmackDown
6:00-6:50 – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
6:50-7:40 – Scream Queens
7:40-8:05 – The Goldbergs
8:05-8:30 – Modern Family
8:30-9:00 – NETFLIX
9:00-10:00 – The Ultimate Fighter
7:00-7:30 – Superstore
7:30-11:00 – NETFLIX
(Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange Is The New Black, House Of Cards and Iron Fist)
6:00-9:00 – NETFLIX
(Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage)
9:00-10:00 – The Exorcist (FOX – 9/23)
7:00-12:00 – NETFLIX
(Black Mirror, Stranger Things, Bloodline and Mystery Science Theater 3000)
Note that I didn’t include Making A Murderer, because…well, I didn’t want to include it at all, because any discussion on whether or not this show is ‘good’ felt sorta crass to me. It’s a stylized documentary; watch it if you want to watch it.
Pow. Over 35 shows and nearly 30 hours of TV perfectly curated throughout the week. It’s…gorgeous.
THIS CONCLUDES OUR BROADCASTING DAY
Well, there you have it. The scoop on my personal Fall TV schedule, for the 11th year running. Set your DVR’s, sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week. Don’t forget to tell me the shows you plan on watching on My Twitter and over on My Facebook. And hey, go buy one of my books while you’re at it. Thanks much; have a good one.