Welcome, fellow TV fans, to NGN’s longest-running feature! This is my seventh fall TV season here at NGN, and I’m ready to once again share my viewing schedule with all of you.
Today is the first day of fall, which puts me in the mood for pumpkin spice everything, long sweaters, and new television shows. Luckily, this week kicks off the official start of fall TV season, and while my schedule is a bit lighter than it used to be (due in part to both life changes and a bit of a down year for pilots and premieres), I’m still excited for so many of my favorite shows to be back.
I hope this list inspires you to share your own fall TV schedule in the comments! I know that I’ve often used the recommendations shared in this post to try new shows that ended up becoming favorites of mine. And if you want to use my list to find new shows to try, I’ve listed the dates, times, and networks the premieres are airing on, and any new pilots I’m checking out are highlighted in pink.
(Just as a reminder: I don’t include reality shows on this list because I watch way too many of them but don’t watch them in any regular kind of viewing schedule.)
I know this post isn’t quite the behemoth it once was, but I also have plenty of returning favorites coming back in early 2019, which means it might finally be time for me to do a midseason one of these in a few months! Until then, I hope this post reminds you of your favorite shows, introduces you to something new you might love, and inspires you to share a show you love that you can’t believe I’m not watching yet.
Manifest (9/24, 10 p.m. on NBC)
If you’ve spent any time around these parts, you probably know of my deep love for Josh Dallas. He was the reason I became hooked on Once Upon a Time as instantaneously as I did, and as such, I will pretty much follow him anywhere. I’m not usually one to sign up for shows that seem inspired by Lost (because I will always compare them—and they will almost always come up short), but I will buy anything Dallas is selling at this point. The trailer also made me feel as if this might be more of a sincere, relationship-driven story than one propelled only by its central mystery, and that’s always a kind of show that speaks to me. Although I might not watch it until I get back from my own flights to Disney World next month (What can I say, I’ll always be a nervous flier!), it’s still on my list of pilots to try.
Series Premiere September 24
This Is Us (9 p.m. on NBC)
I love This Is Us. I love the performances. I love the characters and their relationships with each other (Randall and Beth 4EVER). I even love how shamelessly it makes me cry every week. After what I felt was a very strong second season that pushed new characters into the spotlight (especially Rebecca, whose arc was so good that I will never forgive Emmy voters for ignoring Mandy Moore’s excellent work), I’m looking forward to Season Three and all the emotional devastation it will surely bring. Revealing the details of Jack’s death ironically gave the show new life; now that it no longer has to keep us guessing about that mystery, I’m excited to see what’s next. With the promise of more time in Jack and Rebecca’s past and a look into the future we briefly glimpsed last season, I’m ready for another year of sobbing on my couch with the Pearsons.
Season Premiere September 25
New Amsterdam (10 p.m. on NBC)
I’m not usually one to watch medical dramas. I have a tendency to diagnose myself with every weird ailment these kinds of shows feature, which is no good for me or for anyone who has to regularly interact with me. However, the feeling I got while watching this show’s trailer was the same feeling I got watching early episodes of Grey’s Anatomy all those years ago—this is going to be so much more than just a typical medical drama. I’m a sucker for shows about people who truly believe in fighting to make the world a better place, and that seems to be the core of New Amsterdam. Sincerity will get you everywhere with me (see my aforementioned love for Josh Dallas), so I’m eager for this to add to my Tuesday night ritual of being emotionally wrecked by NBC shows.
Series Premiere September 25
Superstore (8 p.m. on NBC)
It took me almost a whole year to do it, but I’m finally all caught up on Superstore, and this show is a gem. It makes me laugh harder than any other show currently on television while tackling important issues like immigration, natural disasters, and the reality of working at a minimum-wage job. And don’t even get me started on Amy and Jonah—a “will they or won’t they?” for the ages. After last season went out with a (literal) bang, I can’t wait to see the aftermath for one of my favorite couples on television and their coworkers—most of whom “ship” them just as much as I do.
Season Premiere October 4
The Good Place (8:30 p.m. on NBC)
This is the show I’m most excited to have back this fall. Part philosophy lesson, part laugh-out-loud comedy, part beautiful meditation on the positive influence people can have on each other, and part soul mate AU fan fiction, The Good Place is nothing less than genius. It’s also show that has reinvented itself more times than I can count in just two seasons, so I can’t wait to see what it does next. It’s one of the few shows that can still surprise me, and at this point, I’m just eager to go along for the ride because if this show has reminded me of anything, it’s that in Mike Schur I trust.
Season Premiere September 27 at 8 p.m.
Murphy Brown (9:30 p.m. on CBS)
I was a little too young to watch Murphy Brown when it was first airing, but I remember my parents talking about it—and the scandals that surrounded it. And it seems from the promotional spots that I’ve seen so far that it shows no signs of letting go of its reputation as the comedy that scandalized conservatives. That alone would be enough to intrigue me, but what I’m truly tuning in to see is Candace Bergen in the spotlight. I think she continues to be one of the funniest women with some of the best line deliveries in Hollywood, and I’m glad my generation now gets to experience her as Murphy Brown.
Season Premiere September 27
Speechless (8:30 p.m. on ABC)
I really like that ABC is trying to bring a TGIF feeling back to Friday nights with its family-focused comedies. And while I’ll probably tune in for Fresh Off the Boat more often than not, the show I really don’t want to miss is Speechless. It continues to blend humor and heart in such a genuine way, and it’s telling stories that are both specific to families that have a child with a disability and also universal stories of families that don’t fit the “perfect” ideal. (And what family really does?) Each member of the cast is incredible, and I will sing Minnie Driver’s praises on this show forever.
Season Premiere October 5
Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m. on NBC)
SNL has become must-see TV again in the last few years, and I’m always excited to see what new characters are introduced early in the season, what satirical takes on our current national nightmares the staff has been working on all summer, and what guests are going to be standouts. Starting the season with Adam Driver hosting is a great choice; his hosting turn a few years ago actually opened my eyes to how talented he really is, so I’m excited to watch now as a full-fledged fan. (If he doesn’t bring back Matt the Radar Technician, I’ll be so sad.) I’m also eagerly anticipating the announcements of who’s going to host in the coming weeks. (Is anybody else hoping for a Lady Gaga appearance to promote A Star Is Born?)
Season Premiere September 29
Camping (10 p.m. on HBO)
If you think Jennifer Garner is going to do a TV show more than a decade after Alias and I’m not going to watch, you don’t know me at all. While the premise of the show wouldn’t have hooked me without her presence (and David Tennant’s!), I’m willing to give it a chance because I want to support literally every project Garner does in this new career renaissance she’s going through. (Seriously—I saw Peppermint opening weekend; that’s how dedicated a fan I am.) I also think Garner is incredibly underrated as a comedic actress, so I’m excited for her to show off those skills again.
Series Premiere October 14
One of my favorite Sunday morning rituals is curling up with a coffee and Outlander steaming on my laptop. As someone who’s never read the book series, I look forward to all the twists and turns each season brings, and I’m very excited about what this time in colonial America will look like for Jamie and Claire. No matter what this season brings in terms of time travel and plot twists, the one thing I know for certain is that it will always keep delivering in the romance department. There’s no chemistry on TV like Sam Hueghan and Catriona Balfe’s chemistry, and it’s been far too long since they’ve graced our screens.
Season Premiere November 4
I’m so happy fall TV is coming back. It sounds like you’ve got a fun schedule lined up! My schedule currently looks like this:
Monday – Manifest (10pm). Like you, I’m also excited that this show looks like the central part of it is going to be the relationship complications that are created by the mystery, and Josh Dallas is always a plus.
Tuesday – NCIS (8pm), then new show FBI (9pm) because I can’t resist trying anything with Missy Peregrym in it.
Wednesday – A Million Little Things (10pm). This is the show I’m most iffy about, mostly because it looks a lot like This Is Us and I’m not sure I can handle that level of emotional rollercoaster every week, but I wanted to give it a try.
Thursday – The Good Place (8:30pm), which I’m the most excited for out of all my fall shows this year. They’ve surpassed my expectations every season, so I can’t wait to see what they do next!
Sunday – NCIS:LA & Charmed, both 9pm. I never got the chance to watch the original Charmed so I’m excited to see what this show looks like, especially with Jennie Urman from Jane the Virgin involved.
I’m also hoping that starting some new TV shows will get me back into the mood to do some catchup, and I’ll probably add Brooklyn Nine Nine into my schedule somewhere so I can be up to date by the time their new season airs in 2019.
I have fewer things this fall than usual but still more than most people. Oops.
Monday: Manifest, which I’m not sure I’ll like but I figured I’ll give it a shot at least.
Tuesday: I struggled with the last few episodes of Black-ish last season but I’m at least trying it out again to see how I’m feeling about whatever direction they decide to take. I may also try out FBI but it may be one of those that I mean to try and never get around to.
Wednesday: I’ve got Chicago Med and Chicago Fire returning, which I’m excited for despite being slightly grumpy about some of the season finale choices they made. I’m also trying out All-American on the CW and Single Parents on ABC, which both look promising.
Thursday: My busy night with the bulk of my returning shows! Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19, The Big Bang Theory, Mom, Superstore, and The Good Place.
Friday: Weirdly busy for me with Fresh Off the Boat, Speechless, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, all of which I’m happy to have back.
Sunday: My strangely beloved Bob’s Burgers is back, probably once again with the most erratic airing schedule in the world. And I can’t resist a Jennie Urman show so I’ll be trying Charmed even though I’ve only seen one episode of the original.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Murphy Brown and Outlander s4. I’m currently on the fence with both of them and you know I’ll always trust your opinions.
Love seeing your list of what you plan to watch!!
I have to say I am feeling very uninspired this fall season. I will be tuning into the Good Place and Crazy Ex-GF, but I dont know about any of the others…although i am JUST old enough to remember Murphy Brown when it was on back in day, so I am slightly intrigued to check that one out, but it might not happen.
I might actually check out Charmed as well. I never watched the original, but if my recent obsessions with Dr Strange, Zatanna, and ‘The Magicians’ have taught me anything, I just really like magic.
I am just really happy to have Jeopardy back. And a new season of ‘Atypical’ on Netflix. Sean had seen the 1st season and liked it so I caught up and just started season 2.
So I am with Leah and Heather and will be joining the Charmed brigade – because I LOVED the original and because in Jennie Urman I trust. I have a sneak advantage of having watched the first week of shows. So here’s where I land so far:
Sunday — I can’t believe Insecure has it’s season finale tonight, but it has had a stellar 3rd season and I will be picking back up Walking Dead against my better judgement come next week because I need to see Rick Grimes final season. I am also going to check out God Friended Me, mainly because I am hoping for an Eli Stone type show which I need in my life right now. I will also dip into Camping because the Garner/Tenant combo is irresistible to me.
Monday — So I keep waffling about catching up on the Resident. But I remain nonplussed. I love the actors on the show, but I am not keen on subject matter. I too went down the Manifest rabbit hole. It will get the 3 episode litmus test for sure, but currently after premiere, I am not sold. I may pick up the Neighborhood as well. But still on the fence. I think that may be my mid-season back up if other shows go sideways.
Tuesday — I am going with the one-two punch of This is Us and New Amsterdam. The latter because I am a fan of the lead and could not stand the Blacklist after its 1st season. Having watched the 1st episode, I am intrigued and hoping it lands more Chicago Hope and less ER. Time will tell. I am with Heather about my uncertainty around Blackish. With Kenya headed to Netflix and the unevenness of the last few episodes, I am concerned about their ability to maintain the height of their show (it’s the same problem The Cosby Show had when the kids grew up). However, I am all in for the return of Splitting Up Together and think you all need to get in on this delightful show. Oliver Hudson is so endearing — in the way you loved the male leads in The Mindy Project and Girl Next Door. And finally, because I watched the Paleyfest panel, I am going to check in on The Rookie. My trauma of Castle’s ending notwithstanding, my curiosity is piqued. I will report back.
Wednesday — I went for A Million Little Things. Again, a fan of the actors, but it’s going to get the obligatory 3 episodes from me. I am not a fan of the trope it threw out at the end of the first episode. It actually really annoyed me. So we shall see if I go back even for the other 2. Other than that, Wednesday is a night off for me.
Thursday — The Good Place and Mom are my anchors here. I am going to get Arianna to check into Superstore next as a binge after we get through This Is Us. I did watch Murphy Brown and I was mildly amused. I don’t know that I will stay though simply because I was there for the first round and it was brilliant. If it develops into something more with her and Avery, that I am interested in. I don’t want to watch a re-tread of the show I grew up watching. I also wasn’t a fan of the Clinton stunt casting. That is a running joke of the show and I think there were funnier places to go with it. So jury is out for me on Murphy.
Friday — I am on the Crazy Ex Girlfriend train along with Speechless. And Saturday is my day of rest.
And YAY for a January edition!