‘Luke Cage,’ ‘Pitch,’ ‘Westworld,’ Woody Allen’s latest, and all the other new shows you’ll be watching this fall


The fall TV season is here, and between the many options delivered by premium cable channels, multiple streaming services and a new slate of shows from the major networks, there’s a lot of programming to choose from. If you were hoping that that “Peak TV” bubble was going to burst anytime soon, allowing you a moment to do something other than watch television, you can disabuse yourself of that notion tout de suite. It’s TV all the time now, and like the Hydra of legend, every show that’s canceled seems to sprout three in its place. Worse luck, many are excellent — so you’re sunk. Here, we run down what to watch this season as they debut weekly.

‘Divorce,’ ‘Insecure,’ ‘American Housewife’ debut the week of Oct. 9

TV highlights for 10/9 - 10/15:

“Divorce” (HBO, 10 p.m. Sunday)

Sarah Jessica Parker has had enough of husband Thomas Haden Church (“When you threw my laptop out the window I specifically remember thinking that I wanted to hit you in the face with the Chinese ceramic cat thing with the little wavy arm”) in this wintry Cheever-country comedy created by Sharon Horgan (“Catastrophe”).

“Insecure” (HBO, 10:30 p.m. Sunday)

Issa Rae, whose Web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” was TV in all but venue, goes full premium cable in this sweet, real-flavored sitcom, co-created with Larry Wilmore, about L.A. south of the 10 and a woman stuck in neutral at 29.

“American Housewife” (ABC, 8:30 p.m. Tuesday)

Not an anthology drama but one of those comedies in which an oddball family infests the upscale suburbs, like “The Munsters” without the coffins and such. Mom Katy Mixon delivers too many jokes about her weight but her sass wins out. Diedrich Bader is dad. Three kids.

“Haters Back Off” (Netflix, Friday).

Internet megastar and Friend of Seinfeld Colleen Ballinger gives her bravely untalented Miranda Sings character a sitcom backstory. The adults don’t know but the YouTubers understand.


‘Son of Zorn,’ ‘High Maintenance’ and ‘Fleabag’ debut the week of Sept. 11

TV highlights for 9/11 - 9/17:

“Son of Zorn” (Fox, 8 p.m. Sunday; moves to 8:30 Sunday, Sept. 25)

Fox in an “Adult Swim” mode, with Jason Sudeikis the voice of an animated Conan-like barbarian trying to connect with his teenage son in the live-action world. Cheryl Hines plays his ex.

“High Maintenance” (HBO, 11 p.m. Friday)

Now-subtle, now-broad Web import follows a New York pot dealer (co-creator Ben Sinclair) on his rounds, in and out of short stories that range from the farcical to the meta-farcical to the merely poetic. Like “Route 66” on a bike, with weed.

“Fleabag” (Amazon, Friday)

“I have a horrible feeling that I’m a greedy perverted selfish apathetic cynical depraved morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist,” says creator-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge in this black-sheep comedy-with-asides. With Olivia Coleman, Bill Paterson and Brett Gelman, over from America.


Woody Allen’s ‘Crisis’ and ‘Marvel’s Luke Cage’ debut the week of Sept. 25

TV highlights for 9/25 - 10/1:

“Aftermath” (Syfy, 10 p.m. Tuesday).

Family action-drama in which the world ends not with a bomb or a whimper, but pretty much everything else you can imagine – meteors, supernatural monsters, deadly plagues, collapsing space-time. Anne Heche and James Tupper, former “Men in Trees” co-stars and currently married couple, headline.

“Crisis in Six Scenes” (Amazon, Friday).

Woody Allen’s first TV series -- and as with any Allen project you read the cast list first. This one (set in the late ‘60s) includes Miley Cyrus, Elaine May (!), Lewis Black, Michael Rapaport, Joy Behar, Rachel Brosnahan, Becky Ann Baker and Allen. Did I say, Elaine May? The rest is just details.

“Marvel’s Luke Cage” (Netflix, Friday).

Bulletproof ex-con and reluctant noncaped crusader Mike Colter (as Luke, sort of crossing over from “Jessica Jones”) comes correct in Harlem. There’s a nightclub, naturally. With Alfre Woodard, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick and Frank Whaley classing up the joint.

“Versailles” (Ovation, 10 p.m. Saturday).

The soap opera that was the court of Louis XIV becomes a soap opera set at the court of Louis XIV. Versailles (available for parties, really) plays itself. Lots of sex, some violence, for international appeal.


    ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,’ ‘Search Party’ and ‘Shut Eye’ debut the week of Nov. 20

    TV highlights for 11/20 - 11/26:

    “Search Party”

    (TBS, 11 p.m. Monday).

    Millennial mystery comedy stars Alia Shawkat as a floundering New Yorker (“Dory how is it you are so good at all the stuff no one else wants to do?” says a friend, admiringly) who finds focus when a girl she sort of used to know goes missing.

    “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” (Netflix, Friday)

    Catching up with those Stars Hollow folks. This is already on your calendar.

    “Shut Eye” (Hulu, Friday).

    You may have passed a hundred storefront psychic shops without thinking, “There’s a TV show in there.” Jeffrey Donovan and Isabella Rossellini star in that show.


    ‘People of Earth’ debuts the week of Oct. 30

    Wyatt Cenac in a scene from "People of Earth," premiering on Oct. 31.
    (Jan Thijs / AP)

    TV highlights for Oct. 30-Nov. 5:

    “People of Earth” (TBS, 9 p.m. Monday)

    Dust-dry Wyatt Cenac’s years as a “Daily Show” “correspondent” serve him well in this role of a journalist sent to report on an alien abduction support group.


    ‘The Good Place,’ ‘Speechless,’ ‘Lethal Weapon,’ ‘Pitch’ and more debut the week of Sept. 18

    “The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey” (CBS, 8:30 p.m. Sunday)

    There’s no crime like a true crime, and no true crime like one that hasn’t been settled yet, and no true crime documentary like one that makes you wait weeks for its payoff. The biggest of four 20th-anniversary Ramsey TV projects this fall, naturally including a Lifetime movie.

    “Kevin Can Wait” (CBS, 8:30 p.m. Monday)

    Kevin James stays in his comfort zone, as he takes his 21st century Ralph Kramden out for another multi-camera spin. Here he’s a newly retired policeman who can’t get that party started. Erinn Hayes plays the traditionally better-looking wife.

    “The Good Place” (NBC, 10 p.m. Monday; moves to Thurs., 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22)

    Spiky afterlife comedy from Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation”) finds newly dead Kristen Bell accidentally assigned to a pastels-and-froyo heaven her worldly exploits don’t qualify her for. Ted Danson is the Mr. Jordan in this scenario.

    “Bull” (CBS 9 p.m. Tuesday)

    Dangerously titled legal drama about a brilliant but troubled trial consultant (Michael Weatherly) and his quirky team seems to suggest that the only path to justice is to game the jury. Co-created by and based on the earlier career of TV shrink “Dr. Phil” McGraw, it floats on a sea of broken souls.

    “This Is Us” (NBC 10 p.m. Tuesday)

    Given that the pilot is a kind of O. Henry dodge, untwisted until the end, let’s just call this a we’ve-come-for-your-feelings dramedy – that old word! – in which surprisingly connected characters want to be seen for who they really are. Something like that.

    “Speechless” (ABC, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday)

    ABC continues its drive for diversity in single-camera family comedies – no less admirable for being so evidently intentional – with Minnie Driver as the driven mother of teenager Micah Fowler, who has cerebral palsy. Two other kids make three.

    “Designated Survivor” (ABC, 10 p.m., Wednesday)

    Kiefer Sutherland in what would be a minor role in “24,” as a Cabinet secretary who becomes president after a terrorist attack kills everyone more important. Natascha McElhone is the new first lady; Kal Penn, who worked in the actual White House, is working in this pretend one.

    “Lethal Weapon” (Fox, 8 p.m., Wednesday)

    Televisionification of the brawny detective film franchise in which a lone wolf with a death wish (Clayne Crawford) and a family man with the opposite of that (Damon Wayans Sr.) somehow make it work.

    “Notorious” (ABC, 9 p.m. Thursday)

    Heavy-breathing melodrama in which cable news producer Piper Perabo and celebrity lawyer Daniel Sunjata – standing in for producers Wendy Walker and Mark Geragos -- shape reality to their ends. Will leave you feeling good neither about the news nor the law.

    “Pitch” (Fox, 9 p.m. Thursday)

    Kylie Bunbury plays the first woman in Major League Baseball in this straight-faced grown-up take on “The Bad News Bears”; things go no more smoothly than you would imagine. The San Diego Padres provide the real-world team and park.

    “MacGyver” (CBS, 8 p.m. Friday)

    Comical spy adventure reboot leaves the mullet, or most of it, back in 1992 but keeps the Swiss Army knife. Lucas Till is the new Richard Dean Anderson, saving the world with a paper clip and whatever.

    “The Exorcist” (Fox, 9 p.m. Friday)

    Blockbuster 1970s demonic possession novel/film survives the television transition with its cinematic creepiness intact. Ben Daniels and Alfonso Herrera are the old- and new-school priests called to de-Satanize the offspring of Geena Davis, now with two daughters and a husband (Alan Ruck) losing his wits. The central question – will they play “Tubular Bells”? – is for you to find out.


    ‘Westworld,’ ‘Timeless’ and ‘Frequency’ debut the week of Oct. 2

    TV highlights for 10/2 - 10/8:

    “Westworld” (HBO, 9 p.m. Sunday)

    Cowboy robots with guns. Good idea! Michael Crichton’s pre-”Jurassic” amusement park disaster film gets a serial makeover. Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton star.

    “Conviction” (ABC, 10 p.m. Monday)

    Hot-mess legal eagle, scandal magnet and former First Daughter Hayley Atwell is coerced into running a New York unit dedicated to testing the merit of controversial convictions. Can her cynicism survive intact?

      “Timeless” (NBC, 10 p.m. Monday)

      Sci-fi romp sends scientist Matt Lanter, history professor Abigail Spencer and soldier guy Malcolm Barrett to key points in history to stop bad guy Goran Višnjić from messing with the timeline. Of course, they can’t help messing with the timeline.

      “No Tomorrow” (CW, 9 p.m. Tuesday)

      Tori Anderson is a buttoned-up life drone and Joshua Sasse her attractive opposite, a seize-the-day type waiting on the imminent end of the world. Echo Park, the Brooklyn of the West, is the heaven in which this location-rich rom-com match is made.

      “Frequency” (CW 9 p.m. Wednesday)

      Peyton List is an NYPD cop in touch – by ham radio, why not? – with the past and her since-dead father (Riley Smith), also an NYPD cop, in this two-track murder mystery, partly based on the 2000 Dennis Quaid film. What did I say about messing with the timeline?

      Read more: The CW’s ‘Frequency’ seizes on two top TV trends but ends up generic and hokey


      ‘Berlin Station’ and ‘Chance’ debut the week of Oct. 16

      TV highlights for Oct. 16-22:

      “Berlin Station” (Epix, Sunday)

      Novelist Olen Steinhauer created this contemporary old-school espionage series (more espionage, less pathology), set in the city that once screamed “Cold War.” There’s a mole. With Michelle Forbes, Rhys Ifans, Richard Jenkins, Richard Armitage.

      Wednesday, Oct. 19

      “Chance” (Hulu). Hugh Laurie as a forensic neuropsychiatrist – it’s a thing, you can Google it – in a “Vertigo” and “Maltese Falcon.”-like universe. Kem Nunn co-adapts his own novel, Gretchen Mol co-stars, Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) directs.


      ‘Man With a Plan’ and ‘The Great Indoors’ debut the week of Oct. 23

      TV highlights for 10/23 - 10/29:

      “Man With a Plan” (CBS 8:30 p.m. Monday)

      Matt LeBlanc, your friend from “Friends,” stars in the first comedy ever to consider what happens when a man takes care of the kids. Liza Snyder is the wife going back to work. Children there are three.

      “The Great Indoors” (CBS, 8:30 p.m. Thursday)

      Multicamera generational comedy with Joel McHale, 44, as a globe-trotting journalist put in charge of his magazine’s millennial Web jockeys – welcome to publishing 2016. Sniping, grumbling, mutual respect ensue. With Stephen Fry as the boss. Stick around for the bear cub.

      “Pure Genius” (CBS 10 p.m. Thursday).

      Augustus Prew is the brilliant but troubled tech guru whose quirky team of red-tape-averse doctors and engineers have built the hospital of tomorrow today; Dermot Mulroney is the man he wants to run it. Jason Katims (“Parenthood”) lurks behind this wish fulfillment.