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Y: The Last Man
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The 23 TV premieres to catch this fall

The ‘musts’ of must-see television this season

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The fall 2021 TV schedule is packed, with a ton of shows, new and delayed favorites, having finally wrapped production amidst the pandemic. The embarrassment of riches arrives from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and Apple TV Plus alongside traditional cable networks like FX and even some traditional network offerings that sound wild enough to grab attention. From the final season of Lucifer and the long-awaited premiere of FX’s Y: The Last Man, Star Wars: Visions and Doom Patrol season 3, to the Apple TV sci-fi epic Foundation, HBO’s Succession season 3, and Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop series, finding something new and exciting to watch will be the least of your worries this season.

Here are our picks for the top 22 TV premieres this fall you should check out this fall!


Lucifer season 6

JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX

The fantastical police procedural finishes up with a final season on Netflix. The show, which follows the devil himself, who ends up becoming a consultant to the LAPD, originally aired on Fox but got cancelled after three seasons. Netflix picked it up and though the series was supposed to end with season five, a sixth and final season was renewed in June 2020. The final season of Lucifer picks up right after the last season’s cliffhanger — where Lucifer went up to heaven to rescue Chloe… and then became God. —Petrana Radulovic

Premieres Sept. 10 on Netflix

Scenes from a Marriage

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain in Scenes from a Marriage Photo: Jojo Whilden/HBO

From In Treatment creator Hagai Levi, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain star in a remake of Ingmar Bergman’s seminal Scenes from a Marriage. Breaking from the original 1973 mini-series and its subsequent 1974 feature adaptation, Levi’s 5-episode series will instead focus on the dynamics of love, desire, marriage, and divorce as seen through the lives of Jonathan (Isaac) and Mira (Chastain), a married couple in contemporary America who attempt to weather the tribulations of their marriage and eventual estrangement. —Toussaint Egan

Premieres Sept. 12 on HBO Max

Y: The Last Man

Yorrick Brown holds a flashlight in Y: The Last Man Brendon Meadows/FX

The long, long, long awaited TV series based on the blockbuster comic from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra finally hits screens this fall. After every mammal on earth with a Y chromosome drops dead on the same day, the last male human is on a quest to find his girlfriend, and a lot of other strange events are about to get in the way. —Susana Polo

Premieres Sept. 13 on FX on Hulu

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol

Robert Langdon (Ashley Zukerman) in Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol Photo: Rafy Winterfeld/Peacock

Every religious symbologist starts somewhere. The Lost Symbol adapts author Dan Brown’s third Robert Langdon novel with a twist: While the original was set after the events of the 2003 hit The Da Vinci Code, the Peacock series is a prequel, focusing on a young Langdon (with Fear Street’s Ashley Zukerman taking over for Tom Hanks, the cinematic Langdon) and his early days working with the CIA as he’s pulled out of academia into a world of murder and mystery. —Joshua Rivera

Premieres Sept. 16 on Peacock

Star Wars: Visions

A jedi in black and while pulls out his red lightsaber in the rain in Star Wars: Visions Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Star Wars: Visions asks the brave question: What if Star Wars was anime? For this new anthology series, Lucasfilm hired seven Japanese animation studios to produce nine short films set in the Star Wars universe, each with their own visual styles. The three entries from Production IG and Trigger seem like particular standouts. Production IG is making a short called “The Ninth Jedi,” while Trigger (Kill la Kill, Promare), is the only studio to produce two shorts: “The Twins” and “The Elder.” With the more official Star Wars universe storytelling set for this winter with Book of Boba Fett, a few animated shorts should be the perfect way to get back into the Star Wars mood. —Austen Goslin

Premieres Sept. 22 on Disney Plus

The Wonder Years

Laura Kariuki, Elisha “EJ” Williams, Saycon Sengbloh, and Dulé Hill in The Wonder Years Photo: ABC/Lee Daniels

One of the most beloved 20th century sitcoms gets a tender revival and a new focus this fall. Ahead of its time, The Wonder Years was a dramedy before dramedies became popular, a coming-of-age story about a boy growing up in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The remake keeps the basic premise of a boy growing up in the late ‘60s, but changes the lens to feature a black protagonist — 12-year-old Dean Williams (Elisha “EJ” Williams) who lives in Montgomery, Alabama. Like in the original series, Dean’s life will be narrated by his adult self (voiced by Don Cheadle), and behind the camera, some of the original show’s talent will return: the pilot is directed by former star of The Wonder Years Fred Savage. —JR

Premieres Sept. 22 on ABC

Doom Patrol season 3

Cyborg, Robotman, Crazy Jane, Negative Man, Elasti-Woman in episode 209 of Doom Patrol Photo: Bob Mahoney / Warner Bros.

Now that Doom Patrol isn’t hidden away on DC Universe, you too can experience one of the best superhero shows on television. This hidden gem follows a team of misfits, each of whom has suffered a horrific accident that’s given them superheroes and a boatload of trauma. The third season finds the team at a crossroads, right as a new villain appears via time machine. Come for Brendan Fraser, stay for the emotional interrogation of what it means to have superpowers and the found family of misfits. —SP

Premieres Sept. 23 on HBO Max

Foundation

Lou Llobell as Salvor Hardin in Foundation Photo: Apple TV Plus

Apple TV leans in on high concept science fiction with this ambitious adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. The novel Foundation, and its sequels, are as influential as they are experimental, telling a sort of “fall of the Roman Empire in space” story of a millennia of history, but with one ray of hope. The visionary mathematician Hari Seldon has a plan to make sure that the post-Imperial Dark Age lasts only 1,000 years, not 10,000. We can’t say much about the adaptation from David Goyer (The Dark Knight) and Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), but we will say ... it rules. —SP

Premieres Sept. 24 on Apple TV Plus

Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass; RAHUL KOHLI as SHERIFF HASSAN and ROBERT LONGSTREET screaming as JOE COLLIE Photo: Eike Schroter/Netflix

Though Midnight Mass isn’t a part of Mike Flanagan’s acclaimed “Haunting of” series, it’s hard to imagine fans not loving his latest Netflix endeavor. The seven-episode miniseries is centered on an isolated island community (spooky!) that begins experiencing unexplained phenomena (super spooky!) after the arrival of a mysterious priest (peak spooks!). Are these events acts of God, the devil, or something else entirely? While many residents choose to see them as miracles, the recently returned Riley (Zach Gilford) is one of the few people questioning what’s really happening to their community and what Father Thomas’ (Hamish Linklater) true intentions are. In addition to Gilford and Linklater, the supernatural horror series stars several Haunting favorites, such as Kate Siegel, Henry Thomas, Rahul Kohli, Annabeth Gish, and Alex Essoe. So if you’re missing the residents of Hill House or Bly Manor, you know where to find them this fall. —Sadie Gennis

Premieres Sept. 24 on Netflix

La Brea

A young woman in a blue jean jacket and skirt stands with fire fighters and police officers in the background Sarah Enticknap/NBC

This is a show about a sinkhole in Los Angeles that opens up to a strange primeval land teeming with dinosaurs and the like. It’s kind of like the Hollow Earth stuff from Godzilla vs. Kong but on a TV budget. That’s it. It’s gonna be great. —JR

Premieres Sept. 18 on NBC

Succession season 3

Brian Cox as Logan Roy in Succession season 3 Photo: HBO

It’s been a long 22 months since we last saw the finale of Succession season 2, but the wait is finally (almost) over. Season 3 find the powerful and dysfunctional Roy family in the crosshairs of an ongoing criminal investigation that could put all of them in jail and tempers are swelling to pitch as Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), the long-suffering son and slighted heir apparent to WayStar media Logan Roy (Brian Cox), finally grows a backbone and mounts a legal campaign to implicate his father and assume control of the company. Like Saturn and Zeus, it’s an all-out battle for survival between warring generations as the rest of the Roys are caught in the crossfire. —TE

Premieres this October on HBO Max

Chucky

A silhouette of a doll holding a butcher’s knife in the aisle of a toy store. Photo: SyFy

The OG spooky and murderous doll gets his turn to shine in this upcoming horror series. Officially, this upcoming show picks up after Cult of Chucky, the seventh film in the Chucky franchise, when the cursed doll shows up at a yard sale and throws an idyllic American suburb into absolute chaos. It’s all fun and games and murder! Other characters from the franchise, such as Nica Pierce and Andy Barclay, will also make appearances. And what’s Chucky without his bride? You can bet Tiffany Valentine will be there too. —PR

Premieres Oct. 12 on SyFy

Legends of Tomorrow season 7

Matt Ryan as Constantine and Tala Ashe as Zari Tarazi in Legends of Tomorrow Photo: The CW

The CW’s most bonkers — and most popular — Arrowverse series returns, with plenty of cast shakeups. It’s a final season for the pyromaniac Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), and a final season for paranormal investigator John Constantine (Matt Ryan) as well. But, curiously, Ryan will stay on the cast as a new character. That’s superheroes for you! —SP

Premieres Oct. 13 on The CW

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Madison Iseman in I Know What You Did Last Summer Photo: Amazon Prime Video

I Know What You Did Last Summer is a teen slasher arriving just in time for Halloween. The new Amazon Prime show is an adaptation of the 1973 novel of the same name, follows a group of teenagers who cover up a fatal car accident, only to deal with the deadly consequences a year later. The novel was also made into a movie in 1997, but this series version will explore more of the creepy mysteries around the teens’ town and draw out the show’s killer central mystery. —AG

Premieres Oct. 15 on Amazon Prime Video

Invasion

Shamier Anderson as Trevante Ward in Invasion Photo: Apple TV Plus

It’s a pretty familiar premise: Aliens come for a visit to Earth, and they don’t seem very friendly. But Invasion is setting itself apart in its scope, taking a cinematic scale that portrays the crises from various perspectives — soldiers, farmers, local sheriffs and young children are all in the mix. Little else is known about the plot, but like a lot of Apple TV Plus shows, it has the budget and the talent — like Sam Neill, Wynonna Earp’s Shamier Anderson, and creator Simon Kinberg of the X-Men franchise — to potentially impress. —JR

Premieres Oct. 22 on Apple TV Plus

Inside Job

Reagan Ridley (Lizzy Caplan) in episode 1 of Inside Job. Photo: Netflix

From Gravity Falls alumnus Shion Takeuchi, Inside Job is an upcoming adult animated workplace comedy … where the workplace happens to be run by the shadow government which manufactures about every conspiracy theory you could think of. The series follows brilliant, but antisocial scientist Reagan who must work with super bubbly yet super average Brett to lead a team in charge of some of the biggest tabloid conspiracies out there. —PR

Premieres Oct. 22 on Netflix

4400

4400 cast stand in the 1960s Photo: The CW

A reboot of the 2004 science fiction show, 4400 follows a group of 4400 people who disappear without a trace and then suddenly return a century later without a memory of what happened to them. The original show ran from 2004 to 2007, but was canceled before reaching a satisfying conclusion. The new show appears to be a total revamp, with a new cast and showrunners, though the base concept remains the same. The twist: The people who disappeared this time are all people from marginalized groups from across time. —PR

Premieres Oct. 25 on The CW

Dexter: New Blood

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) in Dexter: New Blood Photo: Kurt Iswarienko/SHOWTIME

After an almost 10-year hiatus Dexter Morgan is back on TV. This new season of the Showtime series picks up a decade after the original series finale with Dexter living in Oregon as a neighborly fixture of a small town. But all Dexter’s kindness can’t stop the past from haunting him or his serial killer cravings that he calls his “Dark Passenger’’ from coming to the surface every now and then. The new season reunites many of the people behind the original series and will hopefully be a welcome return for anyone who was frustrated with Dexter’s original ending. — AG

Premieres Nov. 7 on Showtime

Cowboy Bebop

The cast of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop adaptation Photo: Geoffrey Short/Netflix

One of the most beloved anime of all time makes the jump to live action with Netflix’s adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. Few details are known about the new take on the series — expect it to keep the original premise of down-on-their-luck bounty hunters tracking down criminals across a colonized solar system, but fans shouldn’t be surprised if the show ultimately tells its own story. Anime adaptations don’t have the best track record, but Bebop offers high hopes; not only is star John Cho an exciting pick for the lead role of Spike Spiegel, but a priority for the series was bringing back original composer Yoko Kanno, whose signature jazzy big-band soundtrack is a key part of what arguably makes for Cowboy Bebop’s most important element, style. —JR

Premieres Nov. 19 on Netflix

The Great season 2

Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning as Emperor Peter III and Catherine the Great in The Great Photo: Ollie Upton/Hulu

Hulu’s funny and fun series about Russian palace intrigue is back for a second season this year, and it looks to be just as enjoyable as the first. The Great is a fictional retelling of the rule of Catherine The Great (Elle Fanning) empress of All Russia, as she goes about her daily life in the palace and through the trials and tribulations of running a kingdom. This season she’s in the throes of pregnancy and still locking wits and trading barbs with her husband, Peter III of Russia, played by the fabulous Nicholaus Hoult. —AG

Premieres Nov. 19 on Hulu

The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time cast walks down a field Photo: Amazon Prime Video

Those hyped for Amazon’s unfathomably budgeted Lord of the Rings prequel series will not be served this fall — the streamer recently dated the premiere for September 2022. But in the meantime, fantasy fans will have plenty to dig into on Prime with the premiere of another long-gestating adaptation: The Wheel of Time. While the first book in the series, The Eye of the World, is largely told through the perspective of Rand al’Thor (played in the show by Josha Stradowski), showrunner Rafe Judkins (Agents of SHIELD) said at San Diego Comic-Con this year that Rosamund Pike’s magic-wielding Moiraine is the real lead of the series. In the books, Moiraine is searching for a prophesied person dubbed “Dragon Reborn,” who may be able to avert incoming apocalypse. Just another day in a fantasy land! But there are more evils and more weirdness afoot, which Judkins hopes to depict over many seasons. The Wheel of Time season 1 drops this year, but the show is already shooting season 2, a welcome sign of confidence from Amazon. —Matt Patches

Premieres on Nov. 19 on Amazon Prime Video

Hawkeye

Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) and Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) in Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye Photo: Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is back, in a TV adaptation of the character’s iconic comics series from Matt Fraction and David Aja. Joining Renner is Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Clint Barton’s long-time protege in Marvel Comics; Florence Pugh, reprising her role as Black Widow’s Red Room sister, Yelena Belova; Alaqua Cox as the deaf Native American superhero Echo; and Jolt, who will play Lucky the Pizza Dog. —TE

Premieres Nov. 24 on Disney Plus

The Beatles: Get Back

The Beatles’ last concert ever, on the roof of Apple headquarters. Photo: Apple Corps

Peter Jackson’s latest release is a far cry from the operatic fantasy of J.R.R. Tolkien or King Kong. The three-part documentary series is built from 55 hours of footage and 140 hours of audio of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison recording their final album together as the Beatles, and performing their famous rooftop concert. Jackson has said that he hopes to show that the final days of the band were not as contentious as popular myth would have it. —TE

Premieres Nov. 25 on Disney Plus