In the strange new world that is Peak TV in America, the idea of getting excited about the start of the fall TV season feels on one level silly and antiquated. In a year when there will be over 400 original scripted shows in primetime, and so many terrific new shows have already debuted that I cringe just thinking about winnowing them down to a Top 10 list in December, what's the big deal about fall premieres?
Even the broadcast networks, the ones who made Fall TV into a thing to begin with 50 or 60 years ago, aren't as invested in it as they used to be. “Empire,” the biggest broadcast hit in a decade, debuted at mid-season (though it'll be returning in the fall), and of the large swath of new product debuting over the next few months, I have to squint to find more than a few broadcast premieres I'm particularly excited about.
But a benefit of the current programming glut is that we've long since stopped relying on the Big Four (or even them plus the CW) to provide exciting new content. When you factor in cable, and the rise of original streaming options, there's still plenty worth at least sampling coming up between now and December.
I picked a dozen new shows I'm at least intrigued by – some of which I've seen, some of which I'm only guessing on based on some combination of the premise and pedigree – plus a few more that I'll be giving a serious look to. Of course, given how unrepresentative pilots are, it may be that some of the broadcast shows not mentioned here might blossom into something much better in the weeks and months to come, while some of the ones listed here may fall far short of their pilots/promise. But these are the ones I'm looking forward to seeing what they can become.
(Coming up tomorrow morning: the 12 shows I'm most excited to see return this fall.)