‘Fargo,’ ‘Transparent,’ ‘The Leftovers’ & more: 12 great returning fall shows

Senior Television Writer
09.09.15 23 Comments

CW/FOX/HBO

Yesterday, I gave you a dozen new shows I have some degree of hope for this fall. Given how many of them I haven’t actually seen yet, a lot of that was just guesswork based on premise, pedigree, network, etc.

Today’s half of the fall TV preview is much easier – mostly. It’s where I get to identify the returning shows I’m excited about, and there’s a whole bunch of them I can’t wait to see back on my screen.

At the same time, if you’ll see a common theme in the 12 blurbs below, it’s that a lot of these shows exceeded expectations in their debut seasons, often in ways that may be difficult to duplicate the second time around. I’ve seen the new “Fargo” premiere, so I can feel pretty confident about that, but it’s entirely possible that “The Leftovers” or “Empire” could each fall apart creatively after burning through so much story at the beginning.

(It’s that uncertainty, actually, that led me to pick a lot of young shows for this list. I’m fairly certain that “Bob’s Burgers” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will continue to be reliable comedy machines, and I’ve made note of them and some other returning shows at the end. But as a student of TV as well as a fan, I’m more interested in seeing whether some of the more volatile returning shows can keep it together, even though I’ll be happily watching a bunch of the old reliables as well.)

Still, we’ve got the return of some of last year’s best shows, so it’s hard not to get excited, even as it becomes more and more difficult to make time to watch all of it in Peak TV in America.

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