The 17 TV shows we’re most excited about this fall

Photo illustration with actors Omar Sy, Jennifer Aniston, Juno Temple and Alaqua Cox.
Clockwise from left: Omar Sy as Assane Diop in Netflix’s “Lupin”; Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William in Netflix’s “The Crown”; Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy in Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show”; and Juno Temple as Dorothy “Dot” Lyon in FX’s “Fargo.”
(Photo illustration by Jess Hutchison / Los Angeles Times; photos by Netflix; Apple TV+; Michelle Faye / FX)
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This fall, the lineup of TV show premieres is lighter than usual because of the dual strikes, which have halted productions and resulted in networks and streaming services shifting some shows to later release dates. While you’ll have to wait longer to watch new seasons of shows like “Abbott Elementary” and “Stranger Things,” several returning series remain on the calendar. Unscripted programming and docuseries are also filling the gaps, particularly on network television.

That’s all to say there’s still plenty of new TV coming. Here’s a list of shows that our writers are looking forward to this season.

‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,’ Season 4 (Bravo, Sept. 5)

Two women seated at a dining table look at each other.
Mary Cosby, right, in a scene from Season 4 of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
(Presley Ann / Bravo)

When it debuted in late 2020, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” came at a time when trash TV lovers were desperately in need of a new guilty pleasure. “RHOSLC” delivered all the usual absurdity — think fights over whether someone smelled “like hospital” — but with a surprisingly profound twist thanks to the complicated spiritual lives of the cast members. Season 2 brought one of the most riveting episodes in the history of “The Real Housewives” — if not all of TV — when Jen Shah was arrested for wire fraud. Last season followed the lengthy run-up to her trial, as she repeatedly proclaimed her innocence — only to plead guilty at the last minute. The question heading into Season 4, which begins Sept. 5 on Bravo, is whether “RHOSLC” can still keep the drama flowing without the flamboyant Shah, who reported to prison in February and is currently expected to remain there until 2028. Early signs are promising: A recently released trailer teases not only the return of formerly exiled cast member Mary Cosby and the arrival of newbie Monica Garcia, who was also excommunicated from the LDS Church, but also tensions over Lisa Barlow’s son’s mission, marital troubles for the show’s most PDA-prone couple and allegations of money laundering. Bring it on! — Meredith Blake


‘Virgin River,’ Season 5 (Netflix, Sept. 7)

Mel Monroe stands on a suspension bridge in a white sweatshirt and black ballcap.
Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe in Season 5 of Netflix’s “Virgin River.”

There comes a moment during a viewer’s scroll-a-thon of Netflix‘s home screen when the gravitational pull of “Virgin River” wins out. That’s how I hitched myself to the bandwagon last year, becoming completely invested in the journey of Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge), a widowed nurse practitioner who moves from Los Angeles to the remote, picturesque town of Virgin River, located in the mountains of Northern California, to start a new job and restart her life. As she settles into small-town life, and acquaints herself with her neighbors, she falls in love with Jack (Martin Henderson), a military veteran and owner of the local watering hole. I’m not sure I would call it the greatest TV show ever, but that’s OK — it doesn’t need to be. I would still happily inhale season after season of it. In short, it’s like a 54-hour Hallmark movie. There’s a dreamy cabin makeover, meddling neighbors, a long lost grandson with a fatal health condition, evil pot farmers and a character who has been pregnant for what feels like years. Heavier fare, like PTSD and infertility, are also in the narrative mix. The fifth season is likely to add to the intrigue. When we left off in Season 4, Jack found out that he wasn’t the biological father to the twins that his ex is pregnant with, but he is the father of the child Mel is carrying. The upcoming season is being split into two parts: 10 episodes will debut Sept. 7, and two holiday-themed episodes will arrive on Nov. 30. Yvonne Villarreal

‘The Changeling’ (Apple TV+, Sept. 8)

A librarian sits behind a counter holding an apple while a man stands on the other side speaking to her.
Clark Backo and LaKeith Stanfield star in Apple TV+’s “The Changeling.”
(Andre D. Wagner / Apple TV+)

In “The Changeling,” we meet Apollo (played by Academy Award nominee LaKeith Stanfield), a rare book dealer, at a library in Queens, N.Y., who becomes smitten with the librarian Emma (Clark Backo). We get a peek at their whirlwind romance, that is, until she moves to Brazil. But Emma returns unexpectedly and reveals to Apollo that she was granted three wishes by a mysterious woman at a lagoon. In short order, we see two of her wishes come true: She marries Apollo and they have a child. But not all is as happy as it seems. After the baby is born, Emma appears to be struggling with postpartum depression and isn’t sleeping. And Apollo has a recurring nightmare about his father, who left when he was a child. Then Emma disappears. The eight-episode series is a thrilling adaptation of Victor LaValle’s fantasy horror novel. It premieres with three episodes on Sept. 8 and then drops weekly. — Maira Garcia

‘The Morning Show,’ Season 3 (Apple TV+, Sept. 13)

Alex Levy stands behind a clear lectern in a black strapless dress.
Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy in Season 3 of Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show.”
(Erin Simkin / Apple TV+)

It’s been two years since “The Morning Show” delivered a season so chaotic and messy and deliciously soapy that it was impossible not to be captivated. The time that’s lapsed may have provided a necessary recovery period from all the narrative whiplash, but it didn’t diminish the memory of the wild ride. UBA network’s finest — Alex Levy (Jennifer Aniston), Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) and Cory “Chaos Is the New Cocaine” Ellison (Billy Crudup) — are finally back for a third season, propelling the fictional behind-the-scenes media drama to new heights. Literally. And actor Jon Hamm joins the fray as the cunning corporate titan Paul Marks, who sets his sights on UBA, playing a game of media cat-and-mouse with the equally slick Cory. The series, which launched as a rumination on the #MeToo movement and sexual misconduct in the workplace, is no stranger to incorporating real-world events into its narrative. Last season included COVID as a plot point, so expect some familiar newsmaking moments in this turn. Charlotte Stoudt (“Homeland,” “Fosse/Verdon”) took over as showrunner this season, replacing Kerry Ehrin, who developed the series and helmed its first two seasons. — Yvonne Villarreal


‘The Continental: From the World of John Wick’ (Peacock, Sept. 22)

A man in a dark suit stands behind a golden gate in front of a doorway.
Ayomide Adegun as Charon in Peacock’s “The Continental: From the World of John Wick.”
(Katalin Vermes / Starz Entertainment)

As a fan of the four “John Wick” movies — and how the film’s universe has been expanded with each subsequent installment — I’m optimistic about this prequel project, airing weekly in three parts. Set in the 1970s, the “gun fu” action drama explores the origin of the franchise’s New York City hotel, which specifically serves (and operates as neutral territory for) a network of assassins. The ensemble of characters includes younger versions of the hotel’s owner Winston (Ian McShane in the films; Colin Woodell in the series) and its concierge Charon (the late Lance Reddick in the films; Ayomide Adegun in “Continental”), as well as a whole new crew of lively murderers and ass-kicking criminals. Also, Mel Gibson is part of the cast … oh, well. — Ashley Lee

‘Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test,’ Season 2 (Fox, Sept. 25)

Tara Reid in a black beanie and gray parka stands before snow-covered mountains.
Actor Tara Reid is a contestant in Season 2 of Fox’s “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.”
(Pete Dadds / Fox)

Watching the first season of this reality competition — which put athletes, actors and other famous folks through formidable military training exercises like jumping out of helicopters, swimming out of a submerged vehicle and fetching supplies amid toxic tear gas — elicits feelings of both schadenfreude and satisfaction. Did a quarter of the recruits seriously withdraw during the first episode? Did that skier really just talk back to that special forces agent? Will a “Bachelorette” actually outlast an Olympian? This season moves from the heat of the Jordanian desert to the harsh cold of New Zealand‘s mountains — a perfect setting for crossing treacherous ravines and navigating frozen lakes. I’m excited to see which of the participants — which include former NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant, actress Tara Reid, NBA champ Robert Horry and “Vanderpump Rules” star Tom Sandoval — will quit because they couldn’t handle a challenge or get loudly put in their place by seasoned special forces operatives. — Ashley Lee

‘Gen V’ (Prime Video, Sept. 29)

Three girls in T-shirts and jackets stand next to each other.
Lizze Broadway, left, Jaz Sinclair and Maddie Phillips in Prime Video’s “Gen V.”
(Brooke Palmer / Prime Video)

The folks behind “The Boys” are careful to disassociate their “what if superheroes were horrible” dark satire on late-stage capitalism from a direct parody of DC’s Justice League, but come on, it’s the Justice League on bath salts. In Season 3, they also desecrated the honor of Marvel’s Captain America with Soldier Boy, but now, in the spinoff “Gen V,” it looks like it’s finally really Marvel’s turn to go through the meat grinder. The series springs from “The Boys” comic-book arc “We Gotta Go Now,” which concerns young heroes in training at the Godolkin University School of Crimefighting, which sounds suspiciously like an X-Men Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters setup. If that causes a mild headache, it’s not Prof. X hurting you — it’s the countless YA stories using the same gag. But in the hands of the jolly degenerates behind “The Boys” (honcho Eric Kripke co-creates), I eagerly await the defilement of more beloved tropes. — Michael Ordoña


‘Lupin,’ Part 3 (Netflix, Oct. 5)

Assane Diop stands with his hands on the fencing of the ledge of a building.
Omar Sy as Assane Diop in a scene from Netflix’s “Lupin,” Part 3.
(Emmanuel Guimier / Netflix)

“Succession” may be gone, but “Lupin” is back to prove that exposing the blackened souls of the rich and powerful never goes out of fashion. Part 3 of Netflix‘s French thriller returns with more clever schemes and disguises from the suave and resourceful gentleman thief, Assane Diop (played by the magnetic Omar Sy). The son of a Senegalese immigrant, Diop initially set out to avenge the wrongful imprisonment and death of his father, a chauffeur/butler who was framed by his duplicitous, aristocratic employer. But the show is so much more than just a vengeance drama. It’s a clever twist on familiar spy narratives, where Diop’s hard-knock resourcefulness and charisma are as potent as a high-caliber weapon. Inspired by the novels and novellas written by Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s, “Lupin” explores race and class divisions in France while bringing viewers on wild heists through the Louvre, the countryside and Théâtre du Châtelet. It’s been three years since we last saw “Lupin,” so start catching up on the last two installments now. Dépêchez-vous! — Lorraine Ali

‘Loki,’ Season 2 (Disney+, Oct. 6)

A gray-haired man in a brown suit speaks to Loki in an empty green and white diner.
Owen Wilson, left, as Mobius and Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Season 2 of Marvel Studios’ “Loki” on Disney+.
(Gareth Gatrell)

Has the Marvel Cinematic Universe overstayed its welcome? Even better recent entries like “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and “She-Hulk” feel insufficient somehow, likely due to the depth of the hole dug by bad-to-terrible specimens such as “Quantumania” and “Secret Invasion.” On TV, MCU series often start well and collapse (“Ms. Marvel” is the prime example, but “Moon Knight” and others are also guilty). So why am I excited about “Loki” Season 2? Season 1 was fun and the trailer for Season 2 looks pretty good. More importantly, it’s apparently built directly into the current movies’ larger saga — the Kang Dynasty. Given the dip in quality in post-“Endgame,” post-“No Way Home” product, “Loki” feels like it could go either way. But I’m willing to bet on Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, Ke Huy Quan, Wunmi Mosaku and company delivering something at least watchable and certainly more focused and less formulaic than the endless origin stories of Marvel’s Phase 4. — Michael Ordoña

‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ (Netflix, Oct. 13)

Two men in white lab coats stand on the left and right side of a man in a gray sweater.
Dev Patel, left, as Dr. Chatterjee, Ben Kingsley as Imdad Khan and Richard Ayoade as Dr. Marshall in Netflix’s “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.”

Anthological in the spirit of his “The French Dispatch,” “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” is a 37-minute short film — we might even call it a TV special — by Wes Anderson, adapting four short stories by beloved problematic author Roald Dahl (whose “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Anderson previously adapted). Alongside the children’s books for which he is best known, Dahl wrote for adults, stories of a usually uncanny, often disturbing nature — such works were the foundation of the ’80s BBC series “Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected” — which is to say, if you thought “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was dark, grab a flashlight. Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade and Ben Kingsley appear in each of the stories, in different roles. — Robert Lloyd


‘Neon’ (Netflix, Oct. 19)

A man and a woman with wide smiles ride in the front seat of a car while another man holds a video camera in the backset.
Tyler Dean Flores, left, as Santi, Jordan Mendoza as Felix and Emma Ferreira as Ness in Netflix’s “Neon.”

There’s nothing quite like moving out of your small town to live big city dreams. That’s the premise of “Neon,” where we meet wide-eyed Santi (Tyler Dean Flores), an aspiring reggaeton artist, who tries to parlay his viral song and video into a record deal. He moves to Miami with his two best friends, Ness (Emma Ferreira) and Felix (Jordan Mendoza), who are also his manager and creative director, in an attempt to land a deal. He meets with an A&R rep named Mia (Courtney Taylor), but she’s not as experienced as she lets on. The struggles keep coming, but Santi takes it all in stride and gets pep talks along the way (reggaeton superstars like Daddy Yankee and Jowell are among the cameos). The series was created by Shea Serrano, debuting his second show this year (Freevee’s “Primo” arrived in May), and Max Searle (“Dave,” “Lady Dynamite”), who is also the showrunner. — Maira Garcia

‘Fellow Travelers’ (Showtime, Oct. 27)

Two bare-chested men in swimming trunks run through the waves on the beach.
Jonathan Bailey, left, and Matt Bomer in Showtime’s “Fellow Travelers.”
(Ben Mark Holzberg / Showtime)

If you’ve been craving a stylish period piece that combines romance and political intrigue with queer history, then get ready for “Fellow Travelers,” premiering on Showtime on Oct. 27. Created by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”) and based on the novel by Thomas Mallon, the eight-part series stars “Bridgerton’s” Jonathan Bailey as a devout young Catholic eager to make a mark in Washington, D.C., and Matt Bomer as a State Department employee. The two men embark on an affair just as Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn trigger the Lavender Scare by attempting to purge gays and lesbians — dubbed “communist sympathizers” — from the government. Spanning four decades, from the conservative 1950s through the disco decadence of the ’70s and the AIDS crisis of the ’80s, “Fellow Travelers” promises to tell a complicated love story against a backdrop of social upheaval. It all sounds a bit like “Mad Men” meets “Angels in America.” And, well, how could that be a bad thing? — Meredith Blake

‘All the Light We Cannot See’ (Netflix, Nov. 2)

A girl in blue dress grips a microphone with both hands.
Aria Mia Loberti as Marie-Laure in Netflix’s “All the Light We Cannot See.”
(Katalin Vermes / Netflix)

Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is transformed into a four-part limited series and arrives on Netflix just in time for the family to fight about its merits over Thanksgiving dinner. Does it do the book justice, or is it the literary equivalent to a war crime? It’s no easy task adapting a beloved tale for the screen, but if the series trailers are any indication, it promises to be an immersive journey into the moving stories of two young souls divided by conflict. Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind French girl. Werner Pfennig is an orphaned German boy. As the two mature, they’re drawn together by an illegal radio broadcast during the bleakest days of World War II. The pair is played by newcomers Aria Mia Loberti and Louis Hofmann, respectively, and they join a cast that includes Mark Ruffalo as Marie-Laure’s father Daniel and Hugh Laurie is Uncle Etienne. “Stranger Things” and “Shadow and Bone” executive producer and filmmaker Shawn Levy directs the series, which is written by Stephen Knight. There’s high hopes for this tale of hope. — Lorraine Ali


‘Akuma Kun’ (Netflix, Nov. 9)

A animated still of a boy with his hands shaped in a triangle near his forehead.
A scene from Netflix’s “Akuma Kun.”

Most of what I know about yokai — the supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore — I probably learned from the great Shigeru Mizuki’s “GeGeGe no Kitaro.” That influential series follows Kitaro and his fellow yokai trying to figure out how to coexist with humanity. I’m less familiar with “Akuma Kun,” but knowing it is based on Mizuki’s manga series of the same name is alone enough to pique my interest. “Akuma Kun” similarly involves supernatural creatures, this time from folklore and myths originating from outside of Japan, crossing paths with humans. The anime series will follow Ichiro Umoregi, a.k.a. Akuma-kun, a super genius who along with his partner Mephisto III is investigating demonic involvement in various incidents. I’m generally not the biggest fan of anything horror, but one kind I will generally give an exception to is anime with distinct visuals, and the art teased so far for this series is both familiar and striking. — Tracy Brown

‘Ghosts UK’ (CBS, Nov. 16)

A woman and a man sit against a red wall as several ghosts, partially appearing through the wall, float above them.
Alison (Charlotte Ritchie), bottom left, and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) in the BBC One series “Ghosts,” which will air on CBS this fall.
(HBO Max)

Its supernatural situation comedy “Ghosts,” being a palpable hit, CBS has responded to its strike-delayed return by importing the very funny series upon which it was based, now bearing the title “Ghosts UK.” (It’s a safe assumption most American viewers won’t have seen it, though it streams on Max.) Some fans argue the original is superior; I love them both. The elements are the same here, if the attitude is less sitcom-sunny: A young couple inherits an old mansion whose spectral inhabitants, a panoply of types from across history, become visible to the wife after a fall — not an accidental fall, as in the American version, but a ghostly push out a window, which should give you some sense of the tonal difference between the two series. And yet there, as here, learning to live together is the hard-won point. — Robert Lloyd

‘Fargo,’ Season 5 (FX, Nov. 21)

A man in a Stetson and sherpa jacket leans his arms against railing that has ropes attached to it.
Jon Hamm as Roy Tillman in Season 5 of FX’s “Fargo.”
(Michelle Faye / FX)

Nearly three years have passed since the last season of “Fargo,” FX’s anthology series that takes its name from the 1996 Oscar-winning film by Ethan and Joel Coen. But the announcement of a new installment from creator Noah Hawley is already sparking excitement from fans who cherish the series’ innovative plotlines and colorful characters. As usual, the setting and time is different from previous seasons. The year is 2019 and the locations are Minnesota and North Dakota. The plot revolves around Dorothy “Dot” Lyon (Juno Temple), a Midwestern housewife in hot water with the authorities, particularly no-nonsense North Dakota Sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm). An early image showed a grim-looking Hamm in a cowboy hat that, at first glance, looks like an outtake from “Yellowstone.” Jennifer Jason Leigh will also star. This latest chapter in the “Fargo”-verse will likely continue the tradition of dark humor that has characterized previous installments. And almost certainly, there will be blood. — Greg Braxton


‘The Crown,’ Season 6 (Netflix, fall)

A woman in a gray shirt and jeans walks and holds the hand of a man in a blue sweater and jeans.
Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William in Season 6 of Netflix’s “The Crown.”
(Justin Downing / Netflix)

Season 5 of “The Crown” arrived last year shortly after the death of Queen Elizabeth II and revisited some of the most damaging chapters in recent royal history, including Princess Diana’s (Elizabeth Debicki) tell-all interview with Martin Bashir (Prasanna Puwanarajah) and the infamous “Tampongate” phone call between the people we now call King Charles III (Dominic West) and Queen Camilla (Olivia Williams). Despite feverish pearl clutching in certain corners of British society, the latest incarnation of Peter Morgan’s sprawling drama did not, in fact, bring an end to the monarchy as we know it. The sixth and final season of the series, expected on the streaming service this fall, will depict events both traumatic (Diana’s death and its aftermath) and benign (the college courtship of Will and Kate, a.k.a. the Prince and Princess of Wales, played by newcomers Meg Bellamy and Ed McVey). It will mark the end of an era for one of Netflix’s signature programs, if not the real-life soap opera that is the House of Windsor. — Meredith Blake