Even though the summer television season has been fairly busy the last few years, with both cable and streaming platforms amping up the number of scripted originals they air, the beginning of fall TV can be a lot to deal with, at least in terms of volume. All five broadcast networks are at full strength and it’s not as if cable or streaming go dormant once the Big Five come back into play, so September and October rival only January as far as a clog of premieres that one has to parse through. Despite longer leashes being put on shows and factors outside of L+SD ratings going into renewal decisions more frequently, deciding which of the umpteen new shows whose promotion is shoved in your face to sample can be difficult, which makes any shortcut you can get worthwhile.
Which is what KSiteTV is giving you, as we’ve come up with five shows that’ll be airing this fall that you should be excited about. Whether it be for unusual airing patterns, distinct visuals, or guaranteed great acting, whether it be for a welcome return to TV or some needed representation, these are five of the shows that we think should be at the top of your list of fall TV to sample. In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need about each show – where it airs, premiere date, who you’ll be seeing in it, where it came from, and why you should be excited, as well as a look at a trailer so you can see what the show looks like.
Channel Zero: No-End House (Syfy)
Premiere Date: Wednesday, September 20th – 10:00
Cast: Amy Forsyth (The Path); Aisha Dee (The Bold Type); John Carroll Lynch (American Horror Story); Kyla Kane (Motive); and Jeff Ward (Manson’s Lost Girls)
Creator(s): Nick Antosca (Hannibal)
Why You Should Be Excited: The second season of Syfy’s unsettling anthology Channel Zero looks to continue the creative momentum last fall’s Candle Cove, a master class in psychological horror, built up. What Candle Cove lacked in flash and gore it made up for in an almost suffocating atmosphere and a loving embrace of macabre imagery, something that No-End House will look to both emulate and build upon this fall. Working in No-End House‘s favor is that it has an inherently claustrophobic premise, as it tells the story of a young woman who visits a house of horrors that features a series of increasingly disturbing rooms; not only does the sense of dread that Channel Zero does so well thrive in an environment like this, the different rooms allow the show to creatively play within a tighter environment. Along with an examination of the concept of memory, No-End House promises to, similar to Candle Cove, externalize the internal fears that we cling to and find the horror lurking where we least expect it.
Premiere Date: Wednesday, September 27th – 10:00
Cast: Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey); Ioan Gruffudd (Forever); Zoe Tapper (Stage Beauty); Warren Brown (Luther); and Richie Campbell (Waterloo Road)
Creator(s): Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing)
Why You Should Be Excited: The latest piece of SundanceTV’s growing scripted brand is Liar, a six-episode co-production with ITV that stars Joanne Froggatt and Ioan Gruffudd as a dedicated teacher and single parent physician, respectively, who hit it off enough that they agree to go on a date. However, an innocent night together quickly turns sinister, as accusations start flying and secrets on both sides find themselves coming to light.
Grounded by two very solid actors, with Gruffudd getting something meaty to sink his teeth into for the first time in a while, Liar most puts me in mind of The Affair, in that it plays around with the nature of truth and malleability of memory. It might not explicitly divide its storytelling like the Showtime drama does, but it finds comfort in the gray areas of truth and in wiping the sheen off of the seemingly content to find that everyone, no matter their situation, has skeletons in their closet. As much as the actual concept, which is not subtly hinted around in promos but never directly stated, could make for something tawdry and exploitative, if handled correctly, it could make for a powerful look at how trauma can impact perception and how one decision can change your life forever.
Queers (BBC America)
Premiere Date: Saturday, October 14th – 10:00
Cast: Alan Cumming (The Good Wife); Russell Tovey (Looking); Rebecca Front (War & Peace); Kadiff Kirwan (Chewing Gum); and Ben Whishaw (London Spy)
Creator(s): Mark Gatiss (Sherlock)
Why You Should Be Excited: A co-production between BBC and BBC America, Queers is a much needed bit of LGBT representation in a television environment seemingly terrified of the LGBT lead. The series, a collection of short films responding to the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act which partially decriminalized homosexual acts between men in the UK, will be one of only a handful of shows this fall with LGBT lead characters telling LGBT-centric stories, making its presence in the American television market all the more impactful. Running the gamut from coming out in the entertainment industry to quietly suffering in a marriage you never wanted and returning from war, Queers looks to succeed where the likes of The Real O’Neals and Looking didn’t, in appealing to a broad enough audience to sustain itself without having to file the edge off its narrative specificity. Although Queers might end up a one-time event by design, putting something like this into the universe and it succeeding would only do good things for the issue of LGBT representation, which is why its breakthrough is so important.
At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV)
Premiere Date: Tuesday, October 24th – 10:30
Cast: Amy Sedaris and guest stars including Jane Krakowski (30 Rock), Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), and Scott Adsit (Veep)
Creator(s): Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello (Strangers with Candy)
Why You Should Be Excited: One of the joys of Peak TV is that it offers fringe networks the opportunity to do creatively interesting projects that wouldn’t have found a home otherwise. This fall, that’s exemplified no better than At Home with Amy Sedaris, a sorta sketch, sorta talk/variety, sorta scripted comedy on truTV (also the home of the underrated I’m Sorry) that finds Sedaris showing off her homemaking skills. It gives the actress, most known for her dynamic and fearless portrayal of 46-year-old high school freshman Jerri Blank on Comedy Central cult hit Strangers with Candy, the opportunity to show off what’s helped her become a bestselling author while playing off the show’s litany of guest stars. At Home looks like a show that will luxuriate in its unpredictability and act as both a parody of and homage to daytime talkers, a delightfully strange way for Sedaris to get the spotlight she should’ve been basking in since the end of Strangers with Candy.
The Girlfriend Experience (Starz)
Premiere Date: Sunday, November 5th – 9:00
Cast: Carmen Ejogo (Selma); Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies); Louisa Krause (Young Adult); and Narges Rashidi (Under the Shadow)
Creator(s): Lodge Kerrigan (Claire Dolan) and Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color)
Why You Should Be Excited: There might not be a more stylish show on television right now than The Girlfriend Experience, Starz’s half-hour anthology set in and around the sex industry. The first season of the show was a very internal, very cold look at law student Christine as she found her sense of purpose in providing a girlfriend experience for her clients; it was built around blue and gray tones, very little dialogue, and directing whose breathless tension and love of tight spaces produced a gorgeous collection of episodes. Season two finds a change in the show’s format, as there are two narratives that won’t cross over yet will air side by side in separate weekly episodes. It’s an intriguing way to alter the show’s consumption, something that should keep viewers on their toes and a way of further differentiating the seasons that goes beyond cast changes and an embrace of saturated color. And it falls right in line with how challenging (yet unbelievably rewarding) The Girlfriend Experience was in its first season, so if the show is able to take what it did there and build from it, it could become the best show in the fall and, quite possibly, the best show of the year.