THE ORVILLE (Fox, Sept. 10) Seth MacFarlane’s Trekkier-than-thou “Star Trek” homage is slightly comic and surprisingly, um, sincere. Apparently he’s spent the last two decades wishing he’d made “Galaxy Quest.” Mr. MacFarlane plays the new commander of the Orville, a midsize starship, and Adrianne Palicki plays his first officer, who’s also his ex-wife.
TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL (SundanceTV, Sept. 10) Having fought the gender wars in the dystopian science fiction of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” where she played a sex slave, Elisabeth Moss is back at it in the noirish mystery of “Top of the Lake,” where she plays a cop in Sydney, Australia. In the second season of Jane Campion’s often visually arresting series, Ms. Moss’s Detective Robin Griffin investigates the death of an Asian prostitute with the help of a very tall policewoman played by Gwendoline Christie, better known as Brienne of Tarth from “Game of Thrones”.
NEWTON’S LAW (Acorn, Sept. 11) Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger, creators of the cult hit “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries,” set in 1920s Melbourne, try their hands at a contemporary legal dramedy set in the same city.
1864 (MHz Choice, Sept. 12) A lavish 19th-century historical drama from the Danish Broadcasting Service, home of thrillers like “Borgen” and “The Bridge,” follows young Danes caught up in the disastrous Second Schleswig War against Prussia.
THE MINDY PROJECT (Hulu, Sept. 12) Mindy Kaling’s ever hopeful, mostly rueful romantic comedy returns for its sixth and final season. The Season 5 cliffhanger (spoiler alert!) left Ms. Kaling’s character, Mindy Lahiri, engaged but not yet married. Asked recently if the show would give Mindy a happily-ever-after ending, Ms. Kaling said, “I think that we do.”
BETTER THINGS (FX, Sept. 14) Pamela Adlon’s hilarious, joyously bleak celebration of single motherhood and middle-age prickliness enters its second season. This time, all 10 episodes were directed by Ms. Adlon and written by her, Louis C.K. or both.
RIVIERA (SundanceNow, Sept. 14) Julia Stiles plays the American wife of a European billionaire. After he dies on his yacht, she discovers — surprise! — that things are not what they seem. This 10-episode thriller is the second TV series from the filmmaker Neil Jordan, after “The Borgias.”
AMERICAN VANDAL (Netflix, Sept. 15) A half-hour satire of the Very Serious genre of true-crime documentary series — like Netflix’s own “Making a Murderer” and “The Keepers” — about a high school student expelled for tagging teachers’ cars.
El CHAPO (Univison, Sept. 17) The second season of Univision’s answer to Netflix’s “Narcos” — a fictionalized account of the career of the drug lord Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo — includes a first for the Spanish-language network: English subtitles. (Season 1 is available with subtitles on Netflix, which, playing all the angles, is a co-producer of the series.)
THE VIETNAM WAR (PBS, Sept. 17) Ken Burns goes all in: 18 hours (his longest documentary since “Jazz” in 2000) in 10 episodes packed into two weeks. The Vietnam War has inspired countless books and films over the last six decades, but this series from Mr. Burns, his co-director Lynn Novick and the writer Geoffrey C. Ward will probably become a definitive history of the conflict for generations to come.
THE STATE (National Geographic Channel, Sept. 18) Peter Kosminsky (“Wolf Hall,” “White Oleander”) wrote and directed this fact-based mini-series about four Britons who go to Syria to join the Islamic State.
MIKE JUDGE PRESENTS: TALES FROM THE TOUR BUS (Cinemax, Sept. 22) Mike Judge’s first animated series since “King of the Hill” is a curious one: a documentary series about the high jinks of hard-living country music stars, with episodes devoted to carousers like Jerry Lee Lewis, Waylon Jennings and George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Animated interviews and recreations are mixed with live-action performances footage.
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY (CBS All Access, Sept. 24) The newest official “Trek” series (the first since “Enterprise” ended in 2005) is online-only at CBS’s digital service. A prequel to the original “Star Trek,” it stars Sonequa Martin-Green (“The Walking Dead”) and Michelle Yeoh as a Starfleet first officer and captain caught up in a cold war with the Klingons.
THE BRAVE (NBC, Sept. 25) Current cultural cycles, perhaps involving national insecurity, a hunger for official competence and the ubiquity of video games, deliver three shows this fall about special-forces teams that depict modern warfare in the glossy, fantastical terms of the broadcast-network drama. This is the first, and glossiest, with Anne Heche pushing the buttons in the Washington control room and Mike Vogel (“Under the Dome”) leading the team in the field.
THE GOOD DOCTOR (ABC, Sept. 25) David Shore, creator of “House M.D.,” returns with another hospital drama centered on a brilliant doctor who doesn’t play well with others. Freddie Highmore, star of the recently concluded “Bates Motel,” graduates from playing a young psychopath to playing a young surgeon with autism. (Mr. Shore developed the series with the actor Daniel Dae Kim, formerly of “Hawaii Five-0.”)
ME, MYSELF & I (CBS, Sept. 25) It probably didn’t hurt this comedy’s chances of being picked up that its time-jumping structure is slightly reminiscent of “This Is Us.” The central character is seen as a 14-year-old Michael Jordan worshiper (Jack Dylan Grazer), a 40-year-old struggling inventor (Bobby Moynihan) and a 65-year-old businessman (John Larroquette).
YOUNG SHELDON (CBS, Sept. 25) In “The Big Bang Theory,” Jim Parsons became a star playing a precocious child in the adult body of the physicist Sheldon Cooper. In this sentimental spinoff, Mr. Parsons provides “Wonder Years”-style narration while Iain Armitage (“Big Little Lies”) plays Sheldon as just a precocious child.
LAW & ORDER TRUE CRIME: THE MENENDEZ MURDERS (NBC, Sept. 26) A venerable franchise cozies up to a hot genre, perhaps with the success of FX’s “American Crime Story” in mind. The young actors Gus Halper and Miles Gaston Villanueva play Erik and Lyle Menendez, convicted in 1996 of killing their parents, and the interesting supporting cast includes Edie Falco, Anthony Edwards, Julianne Nicholson, Heather Graham and Josh Charles.
THIS IS US (NBC, Sept. 26) The multi-stranded family melodrama that was last season’s breakaway hit on the broadcast networks returns for its second season, with a third already booked.
LIAR (SundanceTV, Sept. 27) A she said-he said story about an accusation of rape, with the carefully orchestrated frustrations and outrages and overall sense of drowning that that entails. Joanne Froggatt of “Downton Abbey” plays the accuser, and Ioan Gruffudd of “UnReal” the accused, in a six-episode mini-series created by Harry and Jack Williams (“The Missing”).
ROSEHAVEN (SundanceTV, Sept. 27) The Australian stand-ups Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola play a man who returns to his hometown in rural Tasmania and his best friend, who tags along after her husband dumps her on their honeymoon. Oblique Australian humor with shades of British favorites like “Doc Martin” and “Gavin and Stacey.”
SEAL TEAM (CBS, Sept. 27) The second of the season’s new special-forces shows stars David Boreanaz as the leader of SEAL Team Six, the “all-star team” of the SEALs. Sports clichés, family melodrama and video-game visuals will be thick on the ground.
MISSIONS (Shudder, Sept. 28) In 10 half-hour episodes — an unusual format for a science-fiction thriller — this French drama follows a European mission to Mars that receives an ominous warning from an American team that has already landed.
WILL AND GRACE (NBC, Sept. 28) Good idea or bad? Television comedy, at its best, is a much different place — darker, more complicated, more naturalistic — than it was when this conventional sitcom with then-unconventional characters was last produced in 2006. The original gang — Sean Hayes, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally — returns for this long-delayed ninth season.
BIG MOUTH (Netflix, Sept. 29) Thanks to the magic of animation, the comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney get to play sex-crazed, pubescent teenagers in this 10-episode comedy. Thanks to the freedom of Netflix, they get to use language and jokes you won’t hear on non-premium television. Mr. Kroll created the show with Andrew Goldberg, who was a producer on “Family Guy” and Seth MacFarlane’s assistant on “American Dad,” and the MacFarlane influence is obvious.
MARVEL’S INHUMANS (ABC, Sept. 29) Of the four Marvel shows expected to debut this fall, this — about a genetically altered race of superhumans whose royal family is forced to flee to Hawaii — is the one that kind of looks like “Game of Thrones.”
TIN STAR (Amazon, Sept. 29) Tim Roth plays a London cop named Jim with a violent alter ego named Jack. (Yes, you read that right.) Jim-Jack takes a job in the Canadian Rockies but can’t escape his demons, which are forced to the surface when he clashes with an oil company whose local liaison is played by Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”).
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO, Oct. 1) Larry David’s painfully funny show, the true starting point for the comedians-playing-themselves genre, returns for its ninth season after a six-year hiatus. Most of the core cast returns, including Mr. David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, JB Smoove, Richard Lewis, Bob Einstein, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.
GHOSTED (Fox, Oct. 1) Craig Robinson (“The Office”) plays the skeptic, a disgraced cop turned security guard, and Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) plays the believer, a disgraced professor turned bookstore clerk, who are recruited by a government agency to chase aliens in this “X-Files”-meets-”Ghostbusters” parody.
TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY (ABC, Oct. 1) A potentially satisfying 10-episode psychological crime thriller in which work-life balance is one of the primary suspects. Kyra Sedgwick plays a TV producer on the single-mom roller coaster — unhelpful ex, brutal schedule, red wine, Adderall, cocaine — whose daughter goes missing. Tassie Cameron (“Rookie Blue”) wrote and Carl Franklin directed the stylish pilot.
WISDOM OF THE CROWD (CBS, Oct. 1) Jeremy Piven plays a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who, in the wake of his daughter’s murder, develops a way to crowdsource crime-solving — turning detection into a cross among an elaborate Google search, a plea for Facebook recommendations and a mass game of Pokemon Go. The pilot notes the possibilities for vigilantism and mob justice without really addressing them.
9JKL (CBS, Oct. 2) The head-scratching title is the number of the apartment into which an actor (Mark Feuerstein, playing a character based on himself) moves after his TV show fails. On one side live his parents (Linda Lavin and Elliott Gould!) and on the other his brother and sister-in-law (David Walton and Liza Lapira). High jinks ensue in a radically retrograde laugh-track sitcom.
THE GIFTED (Fox, Oct. 2) it’s a Marvel show, part of the X-Men storyverse, but this new series may most strongly remind you of a non-Marvel property, “Heroes.” Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”) and the very gifted Amy Acker (“Person of Interest”) star as parents who go on the run with their mutant children.
THE HALCYON (Ovation, Oct. 2) If you have a taste for sprawling British soap operas based on work — “Mr. Selfridge,” “Downton Abbey,” “Call the Midwife,” “The Crown” — you may want to check out this new series from the British network ITV set in a London Hotel in 1940.
KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD (ABC, Oct. 3) Originally called “The Gospel of Kevin” and delayed by recasting and other issues, this sitcom stars Jason Ritter as a loser recruited by a celestial being (Kimberly Hebert Gregory of “Vice Principals”) to save the world.
THE MAYOR (ABC, Oct. 3) A candidate with no political experience, who’s just trying to promote his business ventures, captures the voters’ imaginations and wins. The Trump parallels are obvious in this new comedy, but the charming pilot is so determined not to offend that it’s practically nonpolitical. Brandon Micheal Hall of “Search Party” plays the young rapper who finds himself governing a Northern California town.
GHOST WARS (Syfy, Oct. 5) Simon Barry, creator of “Continuum” — one of the better examples of the low-budget Canadian science-fiction series that Syfy lives on — is behind this show about a town in Alaska that’s a paranormal hot spot. Avan Jogia (“Twisted”) and Vincent D’Onofrio star.
RILLINGTON PLACE (SundanceNow, Oct. 5) This BBC mini-series based on the life of the serial killer John Christie stars Tim Roth, Samantha Morton and Nico Mirallegro in the roles played by Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson and John Hurt in the 1971 film “10 Rillington Place.”
VALOR (CW, Oct. 9) Another special-forces show, this time a conspiracy thriller about members of an elite helicopter crew who confront a cover-up after a mission goes bad. The show’s creator, Kyle Jarrow, has an unusual pedigree for action TV: He won an Obie award in 2004 for “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant.”
DYNASTY (CW, Oct. 11) Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.,” “Gossip Girl”) is among the producers of this reboot of the seminal 1980s prime-time soap, which relocates the filthy-rich Carringtons from Denver to Atlanta. The pilot includes hair pulling, but no one falls into a pool.
MR. ROBOT (USA, Oct. 11) Bobby Cannavale joins the cast for the third season of Sam Esmail’s cult-favorite paranoid thriller, playing a character described as a used-car salesman.
I LOVE YOU, AMERICA (Hulu, Oct. 12) It’s like a late-night show, but not really, because it’s on Hulu. The often scabrous Sarah Silverman becomes the latest comedian to take on a weekly topical series, promising monologues, interviews and field segments focusing on what she calls “un-like-minded” people.
MINDHUNTER (Netflix, Oct. 13) David Fincher started the streaming-drama boom, and gave Netflix immediate credibility in original content, with “House of Cards.” His second Netflix series (he’s an executive producer and directed multiple episodes) is in the vein of films like “Zodiac” and “Se7en”: Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany play F.B.I. agents who try to get inside the heads of serial killers.
QUEERS (BBC America, Oct. 14) Ben Whishaw, Russell Tovey, Rebecca Front and Alan Cumming are among the stars of this series of short films directed by Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”) to mark the 50th anniversary of the legislation that began to decriminalize homosexual acts in Britain.
WHITE FAMOUS (Showtime, Oct. 15) Jay Pharaoh (“Saturday Night Live”) plays a Jamie Foxx-like character in this comedy based on Mr. Foxx’s experiences as a rising young comedian and actor.
HIT THE ROAD (Audience Network, Oct. 17) The “Partridge Family” for the 21st century, with weed and penis jokes. Jason Alexander plays the father (and drummer) of the touring family band, who lays down rules like “No No. 2 on the bus.”
LOUDERMILK (Audience Network, Oct. 17) Peter Farrelly and the “Colbert Report” writer Bobby Mort created this therapy comedy (remember “Help Me Help You”?). Ron Livingston of “Sex and the City” — admit it, it’s still what you think of when you hear his name — plays the bitter recovering alcoholic who seems like an unlikely choice to lead an addiction rehab group.
THE WALKING DEAD (AMC, Oct. 22) The zombie-apocalypse survivors walk into their eighth season, though in Season 7 the average number of viewers following them was down about 3 million from the show’s peak. If you’re looking for a clue to what’s coming, the series is now at the point in the “Walking Dead” comic books called “All Out War.”
AT HOME WITH AMY SEDARIS (TruTV, Oct. 24) Ms. Sedaris’s latest venture in not-quite-lighthearted surreality is a mock homemaking show in which she instructs guests (including Rachel Dratch and Jane Krakowski) in skills like gutting trout and crocheting miniature sweaters.
RYAN HANSEN SOLVES CRIMES ON TELEVISION (YouTube Red, Oct. 25) Best known for playing the frat-boy Lothario Dick Casablancas on “Veronica Mars,” Mr. Hansen re-emerges playing himself in this cop-show parody. He’s an actor who, as part of a new Los Angeles Police Department program, is partnered with a detective (Samira Wiley of “The Handmaid’s Tale”).
STRANGER THINGS (Netflix, Oct. 27) The sleeper hit of 2016 returns for a second season of small-town nostalgia wrapped in science-fiction action, or vice versa. Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings”) and Paul Reiser (“Aliens”), who both have experience with nonhuman monsters, join the cast.
BACK (SundanceNow, Nov. 2) The comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb (“Peep Show,” “That Mitchell and Webb Look”) play foster brothers fighting over a family business in this series created by Simon Blackwell (“In the Thick of It,” “Veep”).
S.W.A.T. (CBS, Nov. 2) This remake of the notorious, short-lived 1975 series tries, in its pilot, to combine gun-heavy cop fantasy and socially aware community-policing boosterism. You’ll have to sit (or fast-forward) to the end to hear the iconic theme music.
ALIAS GRACE (Netflix, Nov. 3) No one’s having a better year on television than Margaret Atwood. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” based on Ms. Atwood’s 1985 novel, is nominated for 13 Emmy Awards, and this six-episode Canadian series, based on another of her novels, is one of the most anticipated projects of the fall. The book, which fictionalizes a sensational 1843 murder case, has been adapted by Sarah Polley (a fine filmmaker herself) and directed by Mary Harron.
SMILF (Showtime, Nov. 5) The “S” in the title stands for Southie, the Boston neighborhood the show’s 20-something single-mother heroine, Bridgette, calls home. Frankie Shaw (Elliot’s girlfriend, Shayla, in “Mr. Robot”) is the writer, director and star of the semi-autobiographical comedy, and Rosie O’Donnell plays Bridgette’s mother.
THE LONG ROAD HOME (National Geographic, Nov. 7) An eight-episode mini-series, set in the Sadr City section of Baghdad and at Fort Hood, Tex., and based on the television reporter Martha Raddatz’s book about a devastating ambush of a First Cavalry Division patrol in 2004.
FUTURE MAN (Hulu, Nov. 14) The busy Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, executive producers of the distinctive comic drama “Preacher” on AMC, are also involved with this new time-travel comedy. Josh Hutcherson of the “Hunger Games” movies plays a janitor put in charge of saving the human race. (The first five episodes will include the actress Glenne Headley, who died on June 8 while the series was being filmed.)
STEP UP: HIGH WATER (YouTube Red, Nov. 15) The “Step Up” dance-film franchise goes episodic with this digital series set in an Atlanta performing-arts school and starring Naya Rivera and Faizon Love. Channing Tatum, the star of the original film, is an executive producer.
SEARCH PARTY (TBS, Nov. 19) TBS isn’t where you’d expect to find a millennial comedy of existential dread posing as a missing-person mystery, but here it is, entering its second season.
MARVEL’S RUNAWAYS (Hulu, Nov. 21) What if those boring cheese-and-crackers parties your parents hold with their friends were actually meetings of a secret criminal society? During which they go to the basement, put on red robes and conduct what looks a lot like human sacrifice? “Runaways” takes Marvel’s stock theme of teenage rebellion to its logical conclusion as six teenagers unite to battle their own parents.
GODLESS (Netflix, Nov. 22) Steven Soderbergh is an executive producer of this period-western mini-series written and directed by Scott Frank, who wrote the film “Out of Sight” for Mr. Soderbergh. (More recently he wrote “The Wolverine” and “Logan.”) It’s a grim-sounding revenge tale, with Jeff Daniels as the leader of an outlaw gang and Michelle Dockery as a rancher who hides one of his enemies.
SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT (Netflix, Nov. 23) Spike Lee remakes his 1986 debut film as a 10-episode Netflix series. DeWanda Wise (“Shots Fired”) plays the Brooklyn artist Nola Darling, object of multiple men’s affections, and Anthony Ramos of “Hamilton” plays Mars Blackmon, the role that made Mr. Lee an instant star.
HAPPY! (Syfy, Nov. 29) Christopher Meloni, who played a burned-out cop in “Law & Order: SVU,” here plays a burned-out cop turned hitman. Any resemblance between the shows ends quickly, however, when the hitman’s life is changed by the appearance of a small, blue, winged horse named Happy (voiced by Patton Oswalt).
WORMWOOD: AN AMERICAN CONSPIRACY (Netflix, Dec. 15) Errol Morris tackles the true-crime series in his own idiosyncratic fashion: This six-episode documentary about the 1953 death of the bioweapons scientist and C.I.A. employee Frank Olson will include scenes with the actor Peter Sarsgaard playing Olson.
THE CROWN (Netflix, Dec. 8) The highly praised dramatization of the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II enters the second of a planned six seasons.
More listings for the new season: Art | Classical | Dance | Film | Pop | Theater
Continue reading the main story