The 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of Fall 2018

on September 04, 2018, 5:45pm
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We don’t have to tell you that TV’s coming back. At this point, you already know, especially given that TV is selling itself to you in more places than it ever has before. From the highest echelons of streaming to the most obscure cable networks, television as a medium is as expansive as it’s ever been. If you’re overwhelmed, don’t fret; we do this for a living, and even we have a hard time keeping up with the changes.

It’s impossible to watch all the great TV happening right now, let alone all the good TV, or the bad TV you’d really like to make time to watch. When we started setting up this feature alone, we had a shortlist of about 90 series that had our attention for one reason or another, a list we had to cull down to its most essential items. Below you’ll find a few returns, a couple network shows, several new endeavors by A-list filmmakers and showrunners, a couple outstanding documentaries, and a few things we know just enough about to be excited.

It’s gonna be freezing soon, so let’s figure out what you’ll be ripping through when the outdoors are entirely uninhabitable. Without further preamble, here are the 25 series we’re most excited to see before the end of 2018.

–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Film Editor

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America to Me

Premiere: Currently Airing on Starz

For years, Steve James has been a Chicago staple. The storied filmmaker made one of the all-time great American documentaries in Hoop Dreams and one of the most powerful modern statements about the South Side of Chicago with The Interrupters. Now, with his Starz series America to Me, James uses a diverse public high school in nearby suburban Oak Park, Illinois, to examine the issues of race, class, and social inequality that have fueled his work for years. This is one of the only entries on this list that’s already gotten started (as of this writing), so we can verify firsthand that this is not something you’re going to want to miss. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Ozark

Premiere: Currently Streaming on Netflix

Ozark, it appears, is following Stranger Things‘ lead when it comes to discussing the traditional season structure. Star and executive producer Jason Bateman says that the second season is not a season, but rather a sequel. That distinction seems to be in response to Netflix’s binge-friendly, roll-out format, which is to drop every episode at once. Judging by its first outing, Ozark isn’t quite as binge-worthy as Stranger Things, but it’s compelling enough in its story of a crooked financier who moves his family to the titular sticks while trying to appease both a Mexican drug cartel and a Missouri crime family. The bones of a good show are there; the first season has a strong sense of place, even if it struggled to get audiences emotionally invested in the central family. Frankly, we’re more excited to check in with Julia Garner’s Ruth Langmore, who seems more capable than any of her myriad cohorts. –Randall Colburn

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The Purge

Premiere: September 4th on USA

What’s always been enviable about The Purge franchise is its own transmutability. Seeing how the core premise — a 12-hour period in which all crime, including murder, is legal — takes place over an entire dystopian nation, the opportunities are endless. So far, writer James DeMonaco hasn’t missed a beat, and his stories have only gotten better with each entry, from 2014’s expansive Anarchy to 2016’s all-too-prescient Election Year to this summer’s topical prequel, The First Purge. Now, he’s primed the series for television and it looks like little has been lost in translation. –-Michael Roffman

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Premiere: September 5th on FX

Don’t worry, Dennis Reynolds is still a part of the gang. No, Paddy’s Pub will not be sans the D.E.N.N.I.S. System and there will be more than enough implications to leave us shaking our heads in disbelief. For this season — the show’s 13th, if you can believe that — the Gang will once again be up to no good and get involved in all sorts of hi-jinx we’ll DVR and re-watch again and again and again. Without spoiling too much, expect to see sex dolls, muscle-y Macs, and one hilarious commentary on female-led reboots. Oh yeah, the magic’s back again. –Michael Roffman

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The Deuce

Premiere: September 9th on HBO

Grab your smokes and flask of whiskey: David Simon and George Pelecanos’ ’70s-set Times Square drama returns this Fall. For this go-around, they’re shooting five years ahead to 1977, a time when New York City is still a total shithole and danger is on every street corner. That’s good news, though, because part of that first season’s charm was the grit and grime. You’ll get plenty of that once again, in addition to some good ol’ vintage pornography — the kind your fathers likely grew up with! If that makes you cringe, well, good luck with the episodes. –Michael Roffman

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Kidding

Premiere: September 9th on Showtime

Michel Gondry and Jim Carrey’s previous collaboration, 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, cemented the actor as a performer with depths beyond the slapstick comedy that made him a superstar and the filmmaker as one of the rare directorial voices working today who still believes in the wistful old magic of the past while understanding its more painful underpinnings. Now, the two return with Kidding, a series about a Mr. Rogers-esque daytime host called Mr. Pickles, who struggles to reconcile the benign innocence and sweetness of his series with the real-life death of his son, an ensuing divorce, and a Los Angeles that seems crueler than ever. Carrey isn’t the star he was twenty years ago, but if the episodes of Kidding we’ve seen are any indication, that’s going to be a good thing, and make for some compelling TV. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Premiere: September 12th on FX

Apocalypses are endings, yeah? And, Jesus Christ almighty, do we hope this is the end of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, a series that has cemented itself across eight seasons as a vessel for compelling ideas that can’t help but (usually about mid-season) slaughter each of them in a vat of bubbling, acidic excess. This season will bring together characters from the series’ watchable first season, Murder House, and its irredeemable third, Coven, all while introducing a whole new set of characters who we’re sure won’t clog up the narrative at all. Sure, it’s cool that Stevie Nicks is reprising her role, but we’re pretty positive her scene will blip by as quickly as the rest of the season’s stories, giving way to new, unnecessary diversions that give that old adage of “throwing it all against the wall to see what sticks” a bad name. –Randall Colburn

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Bojack Horseman

Premiere: September 14th on Netflix

As BoJack returns for a fifth season, the trajectory of its title character seems to have changed. What was once a show about BoJack’s steady bottoming out as a person has turned into the character slowly rebuilding himself, through better understanding his family history, the friends who’ve tolerated him for so long, and his sister, Hollyhock, who still wants to be a part of his life. Alongside Princess Carolyn’s next adventure, Todd’s always-amusing antics, and the steady dissolution of Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter’s relationship, we’re excited to see whether BoJack and BoJack can keep getting better in season 5. –Andrew Bloom

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Maniac

Premiere: September 21st on Netflix

Quite a bit of speculation surrounds Maniac, the new series from True Detective season one showrunner Cary Fukunaga. A dark comedy starring Emma Stone and Jonah Hill (for the first time since Superbad!), Maniac follows them as participants in a pharmaceutical trial which promises a miracle cure. Drawn by their own demons, and by a course of pills which promise to fix any and every abnormality in the human mind, the duo are roped into worlds beyond their wildest imaginations. Everything about this has “endless op-eds speculating about What’s Actually Going On” written all over it. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Jane Fonda in Five Acts

Premiere: September 24th on HBO

There are icons out there, but sometimes an icon’s an icon several times over. That’s the argument behind Jane Fonda in Five Acts, documentarian Susan Lacy’s intimate look at a woman who’s been a fitness guru, activist, two-time Oscar winner, author, TV star, and wife and divorcée three times over. But while Fonda has worn many hats, Lacy’s portrait is equally as interested, if not more so, in the woman behind these iconic moments — Fonda’s decades-long struggle with an eating disorder, her relationship with father Henry Fonda, her mother’s suicide, and the fallout from her antiwar protests all get a look. “This is the beginning of my last act,” Fonda says in the film’s arresting trailer. “In order to know how to go forward, I’m gonna have to know where I’ve been.” She’s willing to look back in front of a camera, and odds are, we’ll all be richer for it. –Allison Shoemaker

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The Good Place

The Good Place - Season 2

The Good Place – Season 2

Premiere: September 27th on NBC

After two seasons, if The Good Place hasn’t convinced you that it’s one of the best and most ambitious shows anywhere on TV, and easily the most so among the major broadcast networks, we frankly don’t know what the fork is wrong with you. Anchored by one of TV’s best ensembles, including a Ted Danson that hasn’t been this next-level great since Cheers, the bizarre high-concept series about life and death and the meticulously planned communities in between is destination viewing in an era when that no longer really exists. Years from now, we’re all going to be talking about this as one of the great TV comedies, so why not just jump on board now? Still not watching? You’re giving us a stomachache. –-Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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The Cool Kids

Premiere: September 28th on Fox 

It’s been a long time since Golden Girls mania swept the nation, but color us intrigued by Fox’s new show, The Cool Kids, which promises to once again find the humor in senior citizens acting outside of the usual expectations. The comedy stars Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier, Martin Mull, and Leslie Jordan as a quartet of troublemakers in a nursing home. Early indicators suggest that the show’s humor runs broad, and its style is old-school, but with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day closely involved behind the scenes, we’re hoping for something that breaks the mold. –Andrew Bloom

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The CW

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The CW

Premiere: October 12th on The CW

Praise be to Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna — their cult hit CW show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is getting a fourth and final season. We at Consequence of Sound are long-standing stans for Bloom’s infectious, hilarious musical rom-com, and season 4 puts our heroes in some really interesting positions. Rebecca goes to jail! Josh is still finding himself! Heather’s trying to figure out what she wants out of life!

Not only that, but season four promises a few new shakeups that should please Bunch-heads of all stripes. For one thing, we’re getting eighteen episodes this season, five more than we’re used to; that oughta give Bloom et al. more than enough room to finish her story. Plus, Patton Oswalt’s coming back, singing this time! And while Santino Fontana isn’t coming back as Greg, he’ll at least be played by Skylar Astin (aka Mr. Anna Camp), so it’s not a total bust. –Clint Worthington

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The Romanoffs

Premiere: October 12th on Amazon Prime

When Matthew Weiner first teased his hotly anticipated followup to Mad Men, he essentially listed out the entire A-list cast. Have you seen this call sheet, though? Jesus Christ, it’s the kind of talent pool that could produce an entire stable of programming let alone a single series. Though, seeing how this is something of an anthology series “set around the globe, centering on separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family,” the reasoning is sound. Looking at the breakdown of episodes, we’re particularly psyched to see Isabelle Huppert and Paul Reiser together. Yum. –Michael Roffman

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The Haunting of Hill House

screen shot 2018 09 04 at 4 31 30 pm The 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of Fall 2018

The Haunting of Hill House, Netflix

Premiere: October 12th on Netflix

You can add Shirley Jackson to the running list of horror authors that Mike Flanagan enjoys adapting. Hot off last year’s Stephen King thriller Gerald’s Game, the filmmaker has now set his sights on Jackson’s legendary 1959 novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Curiously enough, it’s going to be a multi-season series with the first spanning 10 episodes. Perhaps we’ll see a new family or group enter the titular mansion every season? Could be great. Given Flanagan’s penchant for Things That Go Bump at Night (see: OculusOuija: Origin of Evil), we’re expecting all 10 chapters to be downright chilling. If anything, we can all stare at Timothy Hutton. –Michael Roffman

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Camping

Premiere: October 14th on HBO

The final collaboration between Girls co-creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, Camping promises a similarly bitter look at the lives of the privileged and rapidly deteriorating. Jennifer Garner and David Tennant star as Kathryn and Walt, a long-married couple whose planned weekend of friend “glamping” is interrupted by everything from wild animals to conflicting personalities to Kathryn’s overwhelming and constant neuroses. In premise, it’s lighter-hearted than much of Dunham’s caustic work, but we’re sure a story about struggling with getting older and finding your place in the world will land in some familiar territory before long. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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The Conners

Premiere: October 15th on ABC

So, uh, you might’ve heard that some stuff happened with the cast of The Conners and this one hack comedian they used to co-star with in a TV series. After that series was cancelled despite consistently high ratings, due to the titular ’90s icon being unable to simply take millions of dollars a year and not call black politicians monkeys on Twitter, The Conners has cropped up in an attempt to keep the rest of the show’s talented cast employed while exploring some of the same middle-American sitcom territory that the original series used to before its star became a craven parody of herself. We hope John Goodman and Sara Gilbert and the rest will be able to pick up the pieces. We’re pretty sure they can. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Netflix

Premiere: October 26th on Netflix

First things first: there’s no talking cat. Created by Riverdale boss Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina bypasses the sunny pastels and silliness of the Teenage Witch’s first trip to the small screen in favor of something considerably darker, twistier, and far more wicked. Netflix promises a coming-of-age story, albeit one with ghouls and vagabonds, and as if that, the presence of Aguirre-Sacasa, and the just-before-Halloween release date wouldn’t be enough to get us excited, get a load of this cast. Lucy Davis and Miranda Otto step into the witchy shoes of of Aunts Hilda and Zelda, Bronson Pinchot and Doctor Who villainess Michelle Gomez are both slated to appear, and then there’s the titular half-witch, half-mortal herself. Sabrina marks the return of Mad Men’s Kiernan Shipka to the small screen, and that alone is reason enough to grab the popcorn and your letterman jacket and tune in. –Allison Shoemaker

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Homecoming 

Premiere: November 2nd on Amazon Prime

Sure, Mr. Robot might only be getting one more season BECAUSE ALL OF YOU HEATHENS ABANDONED ONE OF TV’S MOST CONSISTENTLY GREAT SHOWS, but Sam Esmail is hardly done making television weird. His new series Homecoming will see Julia Roberts take her first major TV role as a therapist inside the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a government facility that helps veterans ease back into civilian life. It soon begins to seem like something is deeply amiss at homecoming, and we don’t doubt that the A-list movie star in the cast will be the one tasked with figuring out what’s up. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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House of Cards

Premiere: November 2nd on Netflix

Ironically, given future events, Season 5 found Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) unwittingly writing himself out of the show. His poll numbers were down, way down, but, his wife’s remained high. So naturally, the pair schemed that she would be president, and he would control the levers (and of course, because the patriarchy, her) from the public sector. One problem: Claire (Robin Wright) was suddenly not so keen on answering the phone. There has seldom been a scene as delicious as the Season 5 finale, when for the first time, it’s Claire breaking the fourth wall on her own, staring directly at the camera and declaring “My turn.” Girl, yes. Yes, it is. And we’ll be watching. –Susan Kemp

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Escape at Dannemora

Premiere: November 18th on Showtime

I guess we should have known the 2015 prisoner escape from upstate New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility was made for the screen when the mastermind of the operation, David Sweat, bragged, “Shawshawk ain’t got shit on me.” Throw in an all-star cast (Paul Dano, Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette), a sex scandal with a prison guard, an elaborate escape route through the prison’s tunnels, and an inevitable three-week manhunt, and we’ll say we’re intrigued. Ben Stiller will direct the eight episodes coming to Showtime in November. —Susan Kemp

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The Little Drummer Girl

The Little Drummer Girl, AMC

The Little Drummer Girl, AMC

Premiere: November 19th on AMC

AMC has been waiting a while for another calling-card hit. Since Mad Men and Breaking Bad ended, the network has had its share of exciting newcomers (Dietland), unheralded gems (Halt and Catch Fire), and shameless cash cows (The Walking Dead), but it hasn’t truly found that next buzz-worthy hit. The Little Drummer Girl might finally break that streak, however. With Park Chan-Wook (The HandmaidenOldboy) behind the camera, Alexander Skarsgard in front of it, and one of John LeCarre’s most compelling spy potboilers as their source material, this could be one of the standout TV events of 2018 as a whole. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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My Brilliant Friend

Premiere: Fall 2018 on HBO

The first two episodes of My Brilliant Friend premiered this weekend at the Venice Film Festival, which is fitting — this, HBO’s first series produced in a language other than English, is all Italian. An adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s (a pseudonym) acclaimed novel of the same name, the story follows Elena and Raffaella, two women who meet as girls in a Naples school in the ‘50s. The book is the first of the Neapolitan Novels, a four-part series that follows the pair through long, complicated lives in a vivid and sometimes violent place. In this first season, the series tracks their childhood and adolescence (the girls played by two sets of actors), but later seasons will see them through adulthood and onward. Ferrante’s novels grab you by the hand and tug you into a specific time and place, with a decidedly feminine point of view and a rich emotional world. Expect the same from this series: authenticity, honesty, and an unshakable pull toward the characters who live at its center. — Allison Shoemaker

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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Premiere: Fall 2018 on Amazon Prime

Amy Sherman-Palladino’s breakout Amazon comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was a breath of fresh air into a hot comedy club microphone, full of that acerbic Gilmore Girls cadence and two fantastic lead performances from Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein. That formula certainly worked its magic for Emmy voters; the show racked up 14 nominations, including Best Comedy and a Best Actress nod for Brosnahan.

For season 2, the travails of post-Depression New York’s favorite stand-up show no signs of moderation; after her killer set in the closing minutes of season one, Midge feels like she’s finally arrived. Plus, she and Joel are in a fascinating place now that he’s seen her in her element, which should complicate their recent reconciliation. Plus, come on, it’s got Tony Shalhoub and Kevin Pollak, what moredo you want?  —Clint Worthington

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Westside

netflix The 25 Most Anticipated TV Shows of Fall 2018

Premiere: Fall 2018 on Netflix

Hey, you like music? Yeah, you like music. One of the most promising additions to Netflix’s roster of docuseries, Westside centers on a group of genre-spanning musicians putting together an original performance series in a nightclub in L.A. Blending gritty, day-in, day-out footage of the lives of these artists with music videos of the original songs they create, the series promises to be a sort of docu-musical, bringing viewers into the process of creating performances that live only for a moment and art that endures for long after the applause fades. We don’t know much beyond that, but we’re excited—and we suggest you get excited, too. —Allison Shoemaker

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