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The 10 TV shows you need to watch this fall

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo TV

Remember the old days when there were just three major TV networks and all the new shows premiered in the fall? Well, cable and streaming have transformed the TV landscape into a year-round buffet of entertainment consumables, but that doesn’t mean the old habits have disappeared: There are tons of new fall shows coming up. Here’s a list of 10 fall TV shows or events that I’m looking forward to. They range from the brand-new to the latest versions of the well-known.

10. The Emmy Awards (NBC, Sept. 17)

Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che are the hosts for the 70th Emmy Awards, so expect lots of ripped-from-the-headlines humor. The nominees suggest some interesting battles: Will The Handmaid’s Tale be victorious over Game of Thrones, which is back in contention this year? Will Atlanta be able to fight off comedy rookies like Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and HBO’s Barry?

9. Last Man Standing (Fox, Sept. 28)

Speaking of President Trump, he’s one major reason Tim Allen’s ABC sitcom had been revived on the Fox network: Pro-Trump conspiracy theorists accused ABC of canceling the show because Allen’s character is a conservative blowhard. Fox looked at the surprise success of the Roseanne reboot and decided it could capitalize on the current zeitgeist by reviving Last Man. I’ll be watching to see whether the show gets even more political in its revival.

8. You (Lifetime, Sept. 9)

Caroline Kepnes’s bestselling novel about a charming killer has been adapted for TV by megaproducer Greg Berlanti and will star Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell, and John Stamos. If Badgley can make Joe as convincing a sweet-tempered, romance-obsessed murderer as the character was in the book, this will be good, squeamish fun.

7. The Hunt for the Trump Tapes With Tom Arnold (Viceland, Sept. 18)

The title tells you everything: Washed-up comic Tom Arnold goes after the president and tries to dig up incriminating evidence against Trump. Trashy? Sure. Likely to damage Trump? Less than a remote chance. But if you don’t think Trump haters and Trump lovers won’t watch this, you’re crazy.

6. House of Cards (Netflix, Nov. 2)

Like Roseanne/The Conners, this is a reworking of a familiar show minus its original star. With the disgraced Kevin Spacey banished from pop culture, House of Cards faces the considerable task of removing Frank Underwood from political life (RIP) and installing Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood as the lead character. In a fortuitous coincidence, the series was already moving in that direction when the fifth season ended with Claire ascending in power. Now we’ll see the payoff in this final season.


5. Parts Unknown (CNN, November)

The tragic suicide of Anthony Bourdain signals the end of Parts Unknown, but Bourdain completed one more episode in which he appears on air — in a trip to Kenya — and four more new episodes will be shown, using footage Bourdain and his directors shot, but without his trademark narration.

4. Murphy Brown (CBS, Sept. 27)

Not a reboot so much as a continuation of the hit 1988-98 sitcom about a tough feminist TV reporter. The entire core cast headed up by Candice Bergen is back, and given Murphy’s liberal bias, you might guess it will have a lot of anti-Trump humor, but here’s the thing: Murphy is on CBS, a broadcast network that has to appeal to a wide range of Americans: Is CBS going to let the character dump on Trump endlessly? I doubt it, but I’ll be watching to see for myself.


3. The Romanoffs (Amazon, Oct. 12)

This is the new show from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. It’s an anthology series — with a different cast and plot in each of its eight episodes — whose common theme is that the main characters believe they are descended from Russia’s Romanoff dynasty. Sounds like it could be a snooze, but Weiner’s a good writer, and with a cast that includes Isabelle Huppert, Amanda Peet, Paul Reiser, Corey Stoll, and Man Men alums John Slattery and Christina Hendricks, it’s more than worth a look.

2. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix, Oct. 26)

Archie Comics writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa did a clever job of adapting Archie for the 21st century in Riverdale. Now he tackles one of the other characters in the Archie universe, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This has nothing to do with the ’90s sitcom; instead, it’s based on the Chilling Adventures comic book and stars Don Draper’s Mad Men daughter, Kiernan Shipka, as Sabrina. I’m always interested to see how pop culture adaptations work out — or not.

1. The Conners (ABC, Oct. 16)

Is there any way on earth that an American with access to network television is not going to tune in to see how ABC will reboot Roseanne without Roseanne? If you hate her, you’ll be getting more John Goodman, right? And if you love her, you’ll want to be able to tell your friends how the original concept has been ruined, right?

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