The 20 shows our TV experts are most excited to watch this fall

Art with two men flanking a woman and the words "Television: Fall Preview Picks"
(Alfonso Bresciani / AMC; Jeff Neumann / Fox; Erin Simkin / Hulu; typography by Angela Southern / For The Times)

It’s often said that there are just two certainties in life: death and taxes. But TV journalists can add a third: the fall preview. Though the medium has been an abundant, year-round source of stories for some time now, there’s still no more stalwart sign of the days growing shorter (and screen time growing longer) than our annual look ahead to the autumn release calendar.

Here are 20 new and returning shows to keep an eye out for in the coming months, as selected by The Times television team.

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‘Real Girlfriends in Paris’ (Bravo, Sept. 5)

A group of women sitting around a cafe table.
Emily Gorelik, from left, Margaux Lignel, Adja Toure, Kacey Margo, Anya Firestone and Victoria Zito in “Real Girlfriends of Paris.”
(Chris Haston / Fred Jagueneau / Bravo)

Remember when we thought “Emily in Paris” was going to kill us with its American fantasy of life in the City of Light? (And then some of us inhaled it anyway?) There’s now a reality version to curl up to. “Real Girlfriends in Paris” follows a friend group of six twentysomething American expats — Anya Firestone, Emily Gorelik, Margaux Lignel, Kacey Margo, Adja Toure and Victoria Zito — who have relocated to Paris to experience, as the show’s description puts it, “their wildest adventure yet in the most beautiful city in the world.” —Yvonne Villarreal


‘Bee and PuppyCat’ (Netflix, Sept. 6)

A cartoon Sugar Cube, pet and woman in a pink bubblegum land.
Sugar Cube and Bee in “Bee and PuppyCat.”

It’s been nearly a decade since the web pilot of Natasha Allegri’s goofy, lovely, unpredictable cartoon about an aimless young woman and the strange, angry animal that literally falls into her life through a crack in reality, leading her to find work as an interdimensional temp worker. Millions of views led to a Kickstarter-funded full season; since then, there have been an intermittently, unofficially available second, “Bee and PuppyCat: Lazy in Space”; a comic book series; and at least one plush toy (which I own). And now it makes its big-time streaming debut on Netflix. Allegri is an “Adventure Time” veteran who created Fionna and Cake, the gender-swapped versions of Finn and Jake, and one will detect certain stylistic echoes with that series. But “Bee and PuppyCat” also interweaves domestic and romantic storylines with the surreal ones, and Allegri’s humor, hand and pastel palette are her own. —Robert Lloyd


‘The Good Fight’ (Paramount+, Sept. 8)

Two women toast each other in a fancy office.
Audra McDonald, left, and Christine Baranski in “The Good Fight.”
(Elizabeth Fisher / Paramount+)


The idea of living in a world without Diane Lockhart, the high-powered attorney with socially progressive views who has captivated us since 2009, is enough to make us want to microdose. The character, expertly and elegantly played by Christine Baranski, was introduced in CBS’ “The Good Wife” and came into focus in its spinoff, “The Good Fight,” an addictive legal drama that boldly explores timely and provocative social issues. The sixth and final season of the series, which hails from Robert and Michelle King, promises to be just as topical, with Diane feeling a sense of deja vu as she grapples with issues such as the status of Roe vs. Wade, threats to voting rights and displays of violence — prompting a feeling among Diane and her associates that America’s on the brink of a second civil war. —Yvonne Villarreal


‘American Gigolo’ (Showtime, Sept. 11)

A well-dressed man standing in an open door illuminated by neon light.
Jon Bernthal as Julian Kaye in “American Gigolo.”
(Warrick Page / Showtime)

When the trailer for this remake dropped last month, Twitter came to a standstill. And how could it fail to? Heartthrob Jon Bernthal’s sculpted physique, his tailored suits and sleek convertible, the callback to Blondie’s “Call Me” — all conjured up fond memories of Paul Schrader’s erotic noir, which launched Richard Gere to stardom when it premiered in 1980. This time around, Julian Kaye (Bernthal), released from a 15-year stint in prison after it’s discovered that he was framed for murder, returns to sex work, and he adds a side gig in uncovering the truth about who put him away. All that said, if “Gigolo’s” more hedonistic trappings aren’t enough to get you in the door, there’s Rosie O’Donnell as a grizzled detective named Sunday. — Matt Brennan


‘The Cleaning Lady’ (Fox, Sept. 19)

A woman lying in bed with her young son.
Elodie Yung with Valentino/Sebastien LaSalle in “The Cleaning Lady.”
(Jeff Neumann / Fox )

This drama has a premise so out-of-the-box that I thought it would topple over after a few episodes: A brilliant Cambodian doctor who comes to the United States with her son, who has a rare disease, winds up cleaning up crime scenes for the mob. But the Fox series, which premiered in January, quickly became one of the most compelling series of last season, accompanied by a relentless torrent of twists and anchored by the committed performance of star Elodie Yung. In addition to being an effective thriller with lots of action and violence, “The Cleaning Lady” also shines a light on the plight of immigrants who come to the U.S. seeking a better life and are victimized by rampant insensitivity and brutal hypocrisy. —Greg Braxton


‘Reboot’ (Hulu, Sept. 20)

A man and a woman walking between trailers on a film set.
Paul Reiser and Rachel Bloom play co-showrunners of a rebooted sitcom in “Reboot.”
(Hulu )


Poking plenty of fun at the recent trend of rebooting once-beloved shows, this meta-comedy from “Modern Family” co-creator Steven Levitan goes behind the scenes of a sitcom’s second take. Its original cast — played by Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville and Judy Greer — have reunited for the project, spearheaded by both its original showrunner (Paul Reiser, who wants to recycle old material) and its new one (Rachel Bloom, who encourages experimentation). Each episode is packed with well-known sitcom tropes, industry satire and lighthearted jabs at Hulu itself. Plus, there are a few surprise twists, just like every other long-running comedy. —Ashley Lee


‘Andor’ (Disney+, Sept. 21)

A older woman sitting before a porthole window next to a lamp.
Fiona Shaw in “Andor.”

Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor delivers one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite “Star Wars” movies. The prequel series “Andor” picks up five years before the events of 2016’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (about a rogue team of rebels who steal the Death Star plans that are key to the original 1977 film) to show the character’s journey to becoming a rebellion spy willing to die for the cause. “Rogue One” offered a glimpse into the darker, messier side of a familiar conflict, and I would watch any series expanding on the backstories of the movie’s main team. That the “Star Wars” franchise has made an art out of mining the years between its core series of films — the trilogy of trilogies known as the Skywalker Saga — for some of its strongest storytelling is just a bonus. —Tracy Brown


‘Entergalactic’ (Netflix, Sept. 30)

An animated man with dreadlocks in a leather jacket and wool cap.
Ty Dolla Sign as Ky in “Entergalactic.”

The collaboration between Scott Mescudi, a.k.a. Kid Cudi, and Kenya Barris (“black-ish”) is an animated musical series about a young artist navigating new love while on the cusp of success. The story will follow Jabari (Mescudi), who moves into a new apartment and meets his neighbor Meadow (Jessica Williams); Cudi’s album of the same name will serve as the series’ soundtrack. “Entergalactic’s” art is stylish and vibrant, the music promises to be trippy and profound, and the announced cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Ty Dolla Sign, Laura Harrier, Vanessa Hudgens, Christopher Abbott, 070 Shake, Jaden Smith, Keith David, Teyana Taylor, Arturo Castro and Macaulay Culkin. Sign me up! —Tracy Brown


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‘Interview With the Vampire’ (AMC, Oct. 2)

A man in a dapper suit holds back the curtains while looking through the window.
Jacob Anderson in “Interview With the Vampire.”
(Alfonso Bresciani / AMC)

A little thrill will pass through readers when they see the signature early in Episode 1: “Louis de Pointe du Lac.” The story of companion vampires has gotten a glow-up from Anne Rice’s seminal 1976 novel and the 1994 movie adaptation starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and a preteen Kirsten Dunst. Jacob Anderson (“Game of Thrones”) puts his imprint on Louis, who sits at the intersection of Black, gay, rich and vampire in early 20th century New Orleans, deepening what series creator Rolin Jones has called an “excitable, progressive, toxic love story.” And the interview is during the COVID-19 pandemic in a penthouse in Dubai, literally elevating the material. The sets are beautiful, and so are the people, as they are wont to be in any vampire story. But it’s the meditative quality of the language that is set to beguile. So too is Lestat (Sam Reid), whose portrayal may have fans pondering who wore it better. —Dawn M. Burkes


‘Alaska Daily’ (ABC, Oct. 6)

A smiling woman with brown hair and wearing a black shirt.
Hilary Swank in “Alaska Daily.”
(Darko Sikman / ABC)

Tom McCarthy, the Oscar-nominated director and Oscar-winning writer of “Spotlight,” fields another newspaper drama, starring Hilary Swank, an Oscar winner twice over, as a “disgraced” New York investigative journalist remaking her life and career in Alaska. (“Outsiders come to Alaska to disappear or to reinvent themselves — so which is it?” someone asks Swank’s character in a teaser for the show.) As a state you have to cross another country to get to — a country that “Alaska Daily” is actually filmed in — Alaska provides a sort of American exoticism familiar from “Northern Exposure” and “Men in Trees” (RIP, Anne Heche), two other series featuring transplanted New Yorkers. (And more reality shows than you can shake a fist at.) And like those fine earlier series, “Alaska Daily” promises something both old-fashioned and forward-looking: broadcast network prestige television. —Robert Lloyd



‘Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman’s Butler’ (HBO Max, Oct. 6)

A man in a long coat standing at the site of a motorbike accident
Jack Bannon as Alfred Pennyworth.
(Colin Hutton/HBO Max)

The show formerly known as just “Pennyworth” returns for its third season with a subtitle so explicative that it practically dares you not to watch, after it dares you not to laugh: “The Origin of Batman’s Butler.” There’s one person who has been there for Batman since the moment Bruce Wayne’s mother’s pearls hit the pavement in that alley, and it’s Alfred. But it’s Bruce’s father, Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who shows up early in “Pennyworth,” which flew under the radar on Epix during its first two seasons. It couldn’t have been because of Jack Bannon, who puts it all on the screen as a quietly confused, playfully smoldering Alfred capable of loud and violent things after serving in the British SAS. He’s starting a security firm in 1960s Britain and gets pulled into intrigue after getting hired by the elder Wayne. Yes, Martha Wayne (Emma Paetz) comes through too. Since the series’ move to HBO Max with “Doom Patrol” and “Titans,” one can only guess that the name change was a clarion call to fans of those DC Comics live-action properties. —Dawn M. Burkes


‘Shantaram’ (Apple TV+, Oct. 14)

A man riding a motorbike through a slum.
Charlie Hunnam in “Shantaram.”
(Roland Neveu / Apple TV+)

Hollywood has been trying to adapt “Shantaram,” Gregory David Roberts’ sprawling, quasi-autobiographical novel about a fugitive Australian bank robber on the lam in the underworld of 1980s Mumbai, for nearly two decades. First there were film adaptations starting Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton that were ultimately scrapped, then Apple revived the ambitious project for television. Now, after pandemic-related delays, a showrunner change and a production relocation to Thailand from India, a 12-episode series with “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam in the lead will finally arrive in October. If the finished product is even half as dramatic as the show’s backstory, viewers should be riveted. —Meredith Blake


‘Annika’ (PBS, Oct. 16)

A woman in a jacket and scarf, surrounded by men in blue bike helmets, looks up into the sky.
Silvie Furneaux in “Annika.”
(Graeme Hunter / Graeme Hunter Pictures)


“Annika,” coming to Masterpiece Mystery in October (and available now on PBS Passport), may seem like just one more British murder mystery about a single-parent female detective transferred to a beautiful remote location, where as an outsider she leads a team of locals in solving homicides (which has almost become a subgenre all its own). But this one, unlike all but “River” and “Unforgotten,” has Nicola Walker (“Last Tango in Halifax”). Walker’s DI Annika Strandhed is witty, charming and very good at the job of solving killings (so she says). But she struggles with parenting her teenage daughter (Silvie Furneaux) and working with Glasgow’s Marine Homicide Unit team members, especially DS Michael McAndrews (Jamie Sives), who wants her job. In fourth-wall-breaking soliloquies, Strandhed relates whatever mystery she’s solving to works of classic literature, stories from mythology or historical events. She also defends herself to the viewer, proving herself to be a very unreliable narrator. —Ed Stockly


‘The White Lotus’ (HBO, October TBA)

A woman in a pink pantsuit, flanked by a man in a blue suit and a row of men in ochre suits, waving from a dock.
Sabrina Impacciatore in a scene from Season 2 of “The White Lotus.”
(Fabio Lovino / HBO)

So many of us were unable to travel or go on vacation last summer due to the pandemic. But we could find solace, refreshment — and more than a little crazy dysfunction — in watching a bunch of entitled rich tourists trying to make the best of being in paradise (and mostly screwing it up). Set at the lavish Four Seasons Hotel in Hawaii, HBO’s “The White Lotus” was a perfect summer tonic served up by its inventive “bartender,” creator Mike White. The limited series was perfectly cast across the board, with special attention due to Murray Bartlett for his performance as the spiraling, drugged-out hotel manager Armond and Jennifer Coolidge as an heiress grieving the death of her mother. The series was darkly comic, touching and even a bit tragic, but never less than irresistible. Coolidge will be joined by a whole new cast when the new season, set in Italy, arrives in a few months. We can’t wait. —Greg Braxton


‘Blockbuster’ (Netflix, Nov. 3)

Two Blockbuster employees posing with DVDs behind the counter.
Melissa Fumero and Randall Park in “Blockbuster.”
(Ricardo Hubbs / Netflix)

Sure, Netflix making a show about the rental chain it helped put out of business is a little like Amazon making a show about Waldenbooks. But “Blockbuster” has plenty to recommend it, starting with Randall Park, who plays Timmy, a movie lover who runs the last Blockbuster Video store in America, and Melissa Fumero, who co-stars as his No. 2. The single-camera comedy from “Superstore” alum Vanessa Ramos promises to look at “what it takes for a (now) small business to succeed against all odds.” Irony noted. —Meredith Blake



‘Lopez vs. Lopez’ (NBC, Nov. 4)

A father and daughter toast each other with coffee mugs in a kitchen under renovation.
George Lopez and Mayan Lopez in “Lopez vs. Lopez.”
(Casey Durkin / NBC)

I still hear War’s “Low Rider” in my head whenever I see a photograph of George Lopez — 120 episodes as the main theme of his 2000s sitcom made sure of that. I was an adolescent allowed to watch way too much TV in the George W. Bush years, and Lopez is among the comedians who lodged in my cerebral cortex early, and one for whom I’ve been rooting ever since. (See also: Bonnie Hunt.) So of course, I’m excited to see him return to the broadcast format that made him a household name, this time opposite his real-life daughter, Mayan, in a comedy about once-estranged family members repairing their relationship. Along with returning titles “Abbott Elementary” and “Ghosts,” it’s been since I had a VHS player in my bedroom that I’ve had so many network sitcoms to be excited about at once. And that’s a kind of nostalgia I can get behind. —Matt Brennan


‘Welcome to Chippendales’ (Hulu, Nov. 22)

A man in a brown suit and glasses smiles as people toast him.
Kumail Nanjiani as Somen “Steve” Banerjee in “Welcome to Chippendales.”
(Erin Simkin / Hulu)

Hulu’s true-crime drama tells the story of Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani), an Indian immigrant who worked his way up from gas station attendant to founder of the first and more successful male exotic-dance empire. Along the way, Somen mixes with a colorful assortment of Playmates, players and skeezeballs inhabiting 1980s Hollywood. They include Playboy pinup Dorothy Stratten (played by Nicola Peltz Beckham), who was killed by her estranged husband, small-time manager and promoter Paul Snider (Dan Stevens), while she was dating celebrated filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (Philip Shahbaz). Other smart casting choices include Annaleigh Ashford as Somen’s wife and Juliette Lewis as a club regular. The series is co-executive produced by Nanjiani, with Robert Siegel (“Pam & Tommy”) and Jenni Konner (“Girls”) serving as showrunners and Matt Shakman (“WandaVision”) directing. There’s so much potential for this combination of immigrant tale and Hollywood tragedy: Sabotage, greed and murder were as integral to the rise of Chippendales as gyrating hardbodies in thongs. —Lorraine Ali


‘The Best Man: The Final Chapters’ (Peacock, Dec. 22)

A woman in a black and gold dress holds her arms open while at an event.
Melissa De Sousa in “The Best Man: The Final Chapters.”
(Jocelyn Prescod / Peacock)


Malcolm D. Lee’s hit movie “The Best Man” introduced audiences to its complex group of friends from college in 1999, and they reunited for a Christmas-themed sequel in 2013. Plans for a third film fell apart years ago due to scheduling conflicts among the star-studded cast, but thankfully, Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Terrence Howard, Melissa De Sousa, Regina Hall and Harold Perrineau are all back for the franchise’s long-promised swan song: a 10-episode limited series, in which the group addresses old issues, new dynamics and, yes, burgeoning midlife crises. —Ashley Lee


‘Dead to Me’ (Netflix, fall TBA)

Two women standing outside a car by the side of the road.
Linda Cardellini, left, and Christina Applegate in “Dead to Me.”
(Saeed Adyani / Netflix)

It’s the third and final season of Liz Feldman’s deliciously dark comedy, and the stakes are high for dysfunctional duo Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini). We’ve watched these polar-opposite personalities navigate grief, anger and loss together while littering their path to redemption with a litany of secrets, lies and dead bodies. Now, it’s time to see if they make it out of the mess alive, without killing each other and free of lengthy prison sentences. Sardonic, hard-nosed Jen and flighty, bleeding heart Judy are returning after more than two years, so fans may need a binge-watch refresher on their high jinks. Things to look forward to: James Marsden, who portrayed Judy’s late fiancé, Steve, a cut-throat attorney with ties to the Greek mafia, continuing to play Steve’s identical twin brother, Ben. The gentle chiropractor is Jen’s new love interest (poor fellow). “Dead to Me” is one of Netflix‘s most popular series, and it’s no wonder why: It’s a wonderful tangle of unlikely friendship, situational deception and sorta, kinda accidental murder, wrapped in layers of whip-smart humor. —Lorraine Ali


‘Kindred’ (FX, fall TBA)

A woman in the distance standing in a grove of trees
Mallori Johnson in a scene from “Kindred.”
(Tina Thorpe/FX)

Of all the recent films and TV series to mash up America’s history of racism and genre fiction (“Watchmen,” “The Terror: Infamy,” “Antebellum,” “The Underground Railroad,” “Them: Covenant,” “Lovecraft Country,” “Night Raiders,” “Prey”), it’s this adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s speculative classic — the forerunner of them all — that I have been anticipating the longest. When Dana, a young Black woman in contemporary Los Angeles, finds herself transported to the antebellum South, Butler crafts a remarkably clear-eyed picture of the “peculiar institution” as a site of unsurpassed physical pain, psychological horror and moral hazard, particularly through her portrait of Dana’s fraught relationships with Rufus, the fearsome, pitiable son of a slave owner, and Kevin, her husband. Showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist with credits on “Watchmen” and “Outer Range,” has a high bar to cross if he’s to do Butler’s vision justice. But if he manages to capture even a fraction of her inimitable mixture of imagination and social realism, he’ll have put an exclamation point on one of the defining aesthetic movements of our time. —Matt Brennan