Nothing cures those end-of-summer blues like the return of fall television. Starting this month, make sure you have dibs on the remote, because your favorite characters are coming back to your living room.
The fall TV schedule promises daring comedies, heart-wrenching dramas, awe-inspiring talent competitions, and more. So, as you set your DVR and settle in for the season, be sure to catch the best new shows this fall and must-see returning favorites.
Best New Shows of Fall 2018
What does it mean to be a good friend? That’s one of the major questions posed by A Million Little Things, the anticipated dramedy joining the ABC schedule. The other question? Why Jon — a seemingly successful husband, father, and friend (played by Ron Livingston) — commits suicide in the series pilot.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, Jon’s group of close-knit friends are left grieving while simultaneously carrying on with their own personal issues. The result is a poignant reminder to double-check our assumptions about the picture-perfect lives of others.
If you're a fan of This Is Us, leave those tissues out for Wednesday nights this fall — the endearing ensemble cast of A Million Little Things will keep the tears flowing.
Where and when to watch: ABC, Wednesdays at 10pm, starting September 26
In an era when perfection is constantly paraded in an endless stream of social media comparisons, working mom Emet (played by Sarayu Blue) is doing her best. Like many women, she's been told she needs to "have it all" — but instead, she just has more than she can handle.
Between balancing the needs of her kids, husband, and parents — not to mention, an underlying concern that she's turning into her mother — Emet's spare time is, essentially, devoted to feeling guilty. Executive produced by America's favorite funny girl, Amy Poehler, I Feel Bad knows how you feel. At least get a few laughs out of it along the way.
Where and when to watch: NBC, Wednesdays at 10:30pm, starting September 19
Fans of Sons of Anarchy eagerly awaited this spinoff from creator Kurt Sutter, which features the Sons’ one-time rivals, the Mayan Motorcycle Club. This gritty (and violent) drama picks up with our antihero, “EZ,” out of prison and ready to team up with his band of brothers. The biker-club drama offers plot twists, motorcycle chases, and shootouts — a recipe that any SOA fan can appreciate.
Where and when to watch: FX, Tuesdays at 10pm, on now
Sometimes, it’s hard to say whether back-to-school time is more nerve-wracking for the kids or the parents. In the case of single dad Will (Taran Killam), it’s definitely the latter — by the first day of class at his daughter’s new school, he’s already a whistle-wielding, PTA-touting, proud room-parent machine.
When the other single moms and dads see how consumed Will is with parenthood, they team up to bring him out of Disney delusion and back into the dating world. This edgy comedy has a laugh-out-loud cast including Leighton Meester and Brad Garrett, and it’s spearheaded by New Girl alumnae J.J. Philbin and Elizabeth Meriwether. Family comedy gets a makeover with this tongue-in-cheek romp about modern-day child rearing, sure to resonate with all parents (single or not).
Where and when to watch: ABC, Wednesdays at 9:30pm, starting September 26
Jim Carrey may have started out on TV, but it’s thrilling nonetheless to have this motion-picture megastar back on the small screen. Carrey plays Mr. Pickles, a beloved children’s television personality, who is discovering that he must come to grips with the reality of tragedy and disappointment in the form of family drama. His puppets may not be able to help him out of this one. Watch as humor and heartbreak artfully collide in the hands of the best person for the job.
Where and when to watch: Showtime, Sundays at 10pm, on now
Best Returning Shows of Fall 2018
Finally! Our favorite family is back, and ready to add some heart to our Tuesday nights. While season 2 answered many of our long-awaited questions about the extended Pearson clan, the season finale added some unexpected twists. And though we can't predict everything that will happen in season 3, we’re looking forward to getting closure over those heart-tugging cliffhangers.
Fans can expect the modern-day timeline to keep moving forward, focusing on fresh starts and personal growth for Jack, Randall, Kate, and Kevin. Meanwhile, more in-depth flashbacks provide additional backstory into Jack's history and experience in Vietnam.
Where and when to watch: NBC, Tuesdays at 9pm, starting September 25
What's next in post-apocalypse Alexandria? With Negan locked up, is the worst behind us — or will “The Whisperers” bring greater strife? The Walking Dead season premiere skips ahead to 18 months after we left the survivors, and we find them still picking up the pieces after the “All Out War.” The scenery has shifted dramatically, and nature itself is a force to contend with.
As we mourn the loss of major frontrunners and anticipate the demise of others, including the much-publicized departure of Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln), season 9 guarantees the introduction of some riveting new characters.
Where and when to watch: AMC, Sundays at 9pm, starting October 7
After a decade of watching the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker tribe grow, we can't wait to see what's in store for Modern Family season 10. In addition to the familiar antics we've come to expect and love from this contemporary clan, the newest season may bring another element to the series: ABC has hinted at the death of one of the show's major characters. Will this shift the family dynamic? That's TBD. In the meantime, you can re-watch season 9 of Modern Family On Demand to LOL at the family dynamics (and shenanigans) before the September 26 premiere.
Where and when to watch: ABC, Wednesdays at 9pm, starting September 26
It’s hard to decide what’s more fun to watch — the incredible vocal performances or the priceless banter among the coaches. No matter the reason you tune in, this chair-spinning talent show, entering its 15th season, is sure to offer chills, laughs, and everything in between. Superstar coaches Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson join frenemies Blake Shelton and Adam Levine to help singers reach their dreams on stage. Watch as these budding performers compete for the coaches’ tutelage, and the ultimate spotlight.
From nail-biting blind auditions to epic vocal battles and “instant saves,” there are plenty of moments from the past 14 seasons to get you excited before this season starts on September 24.
Where and when to watch: NBC, Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm, starting September 24
Best returning shows to catch up on
From the old days of love triangles with “McSteamy” and “McDreamy,” to last season’s mind-blowing triple-wedding episode, the docs at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle have brought all the feels to this fan-favorite medical drama. They’re heading into a 15th season of medical crises, intriguing romances, tested friendships, and life-and-death decisions.
Title character Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) leads the cast of this Thursday-night staple that has received several Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe win over the years. So, when does Grey’s Anatomy return? It’s only days away, but before you tune-in for the two-hour premiere, catch up on all the ups and downs from previous seasons On Demand.
Where and when to watch: ABC, Thursdays at 8pm, starting September 27
Not sure what The Good Place is about yet? Don't worry: Any spoilers you might hear won't do its premise justice anyway. This NBC comedy presents life after death with a creative scenario, rife with unpredictable, laugh-out-loud funny plot twists. Its star-studded cast (including Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil, and Kristen Bell) navigate multiple elements, armed with humor and smatterings of moral philosophy.
So, if you haven't already streamed seasons 1 and 2, then as Kristen Bell's Eleanor would say, “What the fork are you waiting for?” Season 3 of The Good Place debuts with an hour-long premiere.
Where and when to watch: NBC, Thursdays at 8pm, starting September 27
The series that reshaped sitcom couple dynamics is back with a second season — or a 10th, technically speaking. Though much has changed in the 12-plus years since the original Will & Grace went off the air, the updated version stays true to its comedic roots while also seamlessly steeping itself in modern-day issues. Life gets busy for the gang in the next season, which promises cameos from Chelsea Handler, Alec Baldwin, and David Schwimmer.
If you haven't seen the 2017 season of Will & Grace, now's your chance — and catch up with some of the classic seasons while you're at it. See how Karen, Jack, Will, and Grace navigate their way through life’s situations, in a way that only they can.
Where and when to watch: NBC, Thursdays at 9pm, starting October 4
Whether you love a laugh-out-loud romp or enjoy a good ugly cry from a heart-tugging drama, this TV lineup is packed with stellar series. Binge standby network classics or get hooked on new premium-channel favorites this fall. Whether you stream, DVR, or watch network TV in real time the old-fashioned way, the fall lineup will not disappoint.