Some of the many, many, many new and returning shows hitting TV this fall.
Photo: Netflix, The CW, BBC America, AMC, Image: The CW (YouTube)

Right, this is gonna be fun! We’re entering another season of television, and with it comes the excitement of seeing our favorite characters return, while also the strange thrill of experiencing other shows for the first time. There are a lot of shows on the horizon, so to make it easier for you, we’ve compiled all the information you’ll need to help you figure out what to watch, what to skip, and what you can throw on in the background when you’re cleaning the house.

This is the last of our 2018 Fall Previews. In case you missed the others they can be found below!

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Returning Shows

Marvel’s Iron Fist

Premieres: Friday, September 7 on Netflix

The first season of Iron Fist was a massive disappointment to many of us, but things are looking more promising for the sophomore season. Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is hitting the streets to stop crime and evildoers as the Immortal Iron Fist, but a threat that’s all-too-close to home arrives in the form of Davos (Sacha Dhawan), Danny’s old training buddy who’s jealous that he wasn’t picked to be the protector of K’un-Lun. The season won’t be perfect, as the cloud of representation issues continues to loom over the show, but we’re glad to see some effort being made to fix the mistakes of the past.

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American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Premieres: Wednesday, September 12 at 10:00 p.m. on FX

American Horror Story continues to channel today’s news—at least metaphorically—with its latest anthology, Apocalypse. According to creator Ryan Murphy, this season will be a crossover of the first and third storylines, meaning “Murder House” and Coven. After last season’s utter failure, which dealt with the 2016 presidential election, it’ll be nice to see American Horror Story return to its roots. Hopefully. We can’t be too sure anymore.

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A scene from the upcoming season of BoJack Horseman.
Image: Netflix

BoJack Horseman

Premieres: Friday, September 14 on Netflix

The critically acclaimed animated series is back, and things look like they’re finally getting on the right track. Not only is BoJack seemingly turning things around in his personal life—something that’s long overdue, I might add—but even Todd is seeing better days, following him coming out as asexual and launching his own business. Of course, the good times might not last, as this is BoJack Horseman we’re talking about. All the same, we still love this bizarre yet profoundly human experience of a series.

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The Gifted

Premieres: Tuesday, September 25 at 8:00 p.m. on Fox

This show was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. What could have been just another X-Men “mutants on the run” series turned into an intense and realistic exploration of fear and discrimination, as well as the bad decisions people make when they feel their backs are against the wall. The choice to have Polaris (Emma Dumont) and others leave the mutant underground to join the Stepford Cuckoos’ Inner Circle was a stroke of genius, laying the groundwork for an exciting and equally thought-provoking sophomore season.

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The Good Place

Premieres: Thursday, September 27 at 8:00 p.m. on NBC

After leaving the fake Good Place and failing to get into the real one, our deceased heroes have ended up in what might be the worst place of all: back on Earth. That’s right, they’ve all been brought back to life in hopes that they won’t make the same mistakes they did before they first died. At first, Eleanor (Kirsten Bell) couldn’t keep up the schtick, falling back into old habits much to the dismay of Michael (Ted Danson). But now, it looks like she’s turning things around for real, and hopefully we’ll see them end up in a place that’s better than an eternity in Hell...or that Medium Place, where all the movies are boring at best.

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The Man in the High Castle

Premieres: Friday, October 5 on Amazon Prime

The first two seasons of The Man in the High Castle were more alternative history, set in a world where Germany and Japan won World War II. Now, the series is going full science fiction, as the Nazis prepare to invade alternate realities. I’ve been looking forward to watching the series take a full dive into the multiple worlds theory that it’s touched on, but not fully explored. It’s going to take the show into a whole new, and possibly weird, direction—but we’re ready to see where this inter-dimensional door leads.

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Keep those wagons rollin’.
Photo: AMC

The Walking Dead

Premieres: Sunday, October 7 at 9:00 p.m. on AMC

Get ready to say your farewells to a beloved character, as this is the last season of The Walking Dead that will feature Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). This season takes place well after our heroes defeated Negan and the Saviors, focusing on their growing communities, which face threats from within and beyond. The past couple of seasons have been a major disappointment, but there is a bit of hope. At long last, they’re finally bringing in the Whisperers in a major way, one of my favorite groups from the comics. Let’s hope they don’t botch this up too.

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The Flash

Premieres: Tuesday, October 9 at 8:00 p.m. on the CW

The last season of The Flash was, in a word, uneven. The Thinker was awful, just awful—but we did get that cool-but-not-unexpected reveal at the end of the finale: Barry and Iris’ daughter is not only here, she’s stuck! The season will dive into Nora West-Allen’s choice to journey into the past and meddle in the lives of her parents and their friends. We’re also getting a new villain in the form of Cicada, a character from the comics who’s been rewritten as a blue collar worker taking vengeance on metahumans after suffering a tragedy.

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Black Lightning

Premieres: Tuesday, October 9 at 9:00 p.m. on the CW

Black Lightning wowed us with its near-perfect series debut, and things keep getting better for the latest addition to the CW superhero universe—though, in this case, it’s not actually part of the Arrowverse. This season will see the metahuman family continue to grow in their powers—particularly Jennifer (China Anne McClain), the most reluctant of the group, who gets a therapist this season to help her navigate her feelings. Her ex-boyfriend Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway), who now goes by Painkiller, has also been promoted to series regular as he helps with Tobias’ next scheme.

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Riverdale

Premieres: Wednesday, October 10 at 9:00 p.m. on the CW

Goodbye Black Hood, hello weird baby cults. The third season of Riverdale is around the corner, and things are getting weirder...if you can imagine that. The lackluster second season ended with Hal Cooper apprehended (only oh shit, there’s a copycat Black Hood), Cheryl joining the Serpents, and Archie arrested for murder. A normal day in Riverdale! Plus, something Jughead actor Cole Sprouse called a “cult narrative” is on the horizon, as the parents are forced to confront mistakes in their own past.

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Supernatural

Premieres: Thursday, October 11 at 8:00 p.m. on the CW

This show still exists, and it will always exist. It lives in the ether, the space between spaces. You cannot escape it.

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Supergirl teases her new space suit.
Image: The CW (YouTube)

Supergirl

Premieres: Sunday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m. on the CW

Last season ended a bit on a sad note because it’s a major time of change. Reign is gone, her story largely over; Mon-El has left the series for good, and Jeremy Jordan is stepping back from his role as Winn. Supergirl is ready for a fresh start. And that looks to be taking the form of Red Son, based on the famous DC storyline where Superman grew up in Russia instead of the United States. A duplicate Kara, born from the aura that spawned during her fight with Reign, has arrived at a base in Siberia...and it’s unclear what role she’s going to take (friend or foe). We also learned that Nicole Maines is joining the cast as Nia Nal, or Dreamer, making her the first transgender superhero on television.

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Arrow

Premieres: Monday, October 15 at 8:00 p.m. on the CW

Oliver Queen’s in jail serving a life sentence, the others are confused and don’t know what to do without him, and arrows are still being fired somewhere, from someone, at someone else (I presume). Because it wouldn’t be Arrow without arrows. The stunt coordinator promises that this season will be the darkest and grittiest the series has ever done, reportedly putting the network’s censorship limits. That’s all fine and good, but I just want to know how many jail cell pull-ups we’re going to get to see Oliver do. I’m guessing a lot.

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Lore

Premieres: Friday, October 19 on Amazon Prime

Following its terrifying first season, the series based on Aaron Mahnke’s podcast is back with six more too-scary-to-be-true tales. Little information has been revealed about what stories will be explored this season, but you can take a look at this cryptic teaser for some tantalizing clues.

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DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Premieres: Monday, October 22 at 9:00 p.m. on The CW

How can you possibly match a final showdown where a demon fights a giant talking stuffed animal? You can’t, but dammit Legends of Tomorrow is going to try anyway. This season sees the addition of John Constantine (Matt Ryan) as a regular cast member, joining the Waverider as they search for demons, monsters, and other mythological creatures that have been scattered throughout history. This is a show that’s too beautiful for this world, and yet it continues to grace us with its light. All Glory to Beebo.

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The gang’s all here.
Image: Netflix (YouTube)

Castlevania

Premieres: Friday, October 26 on Netflix

We’re stoked to see that the anime adaptation of Konami’s classic video game Castlevania is getting another season, given how strong the first one was. While the first season was only four episodes, this one has been extended to eight, meaning we’ll get twice as much of Trevor, Alucard, and Sypha as they join forces to bring an end to Dracula’s terrible reign.

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Stan Against Evil

Premieres: Wednesday, October 31 on IFC

The second season of Stan Against Evil ended on a pretty major cliffhanger: The portal to hell has opened up, and the forces of evil are rising up to wreak havoc. Luckily, we’ve got the curmudgeonly ex-sheriff Stan (John C. McGinley) to save the day in this latest, and perhaps zaniest, season. Expect lots of creepy puppets, vampires with attitude, and an X-Files parody.

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Doctor Who

Premieres: Sometime in October (maybe?), BBC

It’s time for the arrival of the 13th Doctor. Played by Jodie Whittaker, the first female Doctor in the show’s history promises to be an absolute delight. Not much information is available yet, but we’ve gotten a few snippets of what’s in store—including that she’ll have a new team of companions, played by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill.

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Outlander

Premieres: Sunday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. on Starz

Claire and Jamie are now living in the state of Georgia, having been shipwrecked onto one of America’s 13 original colonies. Will they ever make their way back to Scotland? This latest season is based on Diana Gabaldon’s fourth novel, The Drums of Autumn, and will look at the early days of American settlement as Claire comes to terms with being in the country she grew up in...only hundreds of years in the past.

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Marvel’s Runaways

Premieres: Friday, December 21 on Hulu

It may have taken a whole season, but the teens have actually managed to run away. The sophomore season of the Marvel Hulu show will pick up hours after the first one, as the team finds its new hiding place (in this case, an abandoned mansion) and figure out how to defeat their parents. Showrunner Stephanie Savage said this season will also feature the show’s first real connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though we don’t know what that will be or whether it will actually matter.

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The Orville

Premieres: Sunday, December 30 on Fox

The sophomore season of Seth MacFarlane’s surprise hit series promises even more space shenanigans than the first one, with the crew of the Orville seeking to make First Contact with an alien civilization. Based on the trailer, it looks like it might not go smoothly.

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New Shows

The Purge

Premieres: Tuesday, September 4 at 10:00 p.m. on USA/Syfy

Blumhouse’s The Purge series moves from the big screen to the small one with a show that will focus on various people as they survive, endure, or relish in one night of the annual Purge. It combines present day with flashbacks, meaning we’ll get to see more of what the world is like on the other 364 days of the year, while also giving plenty of that person-to-person carnage we’ve come to expect from this franchise.

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Forget Mars, I want to know where she got that pantsuit.
Photo: Paul Schrimaldi (Hulu)

The First

Premieres: Friday, September 14 on Hulu

The First, starring Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone, centers around the first mission to colonize Mars. It looks to be less about the actual science fiction-ness of terraforming another planet, and more about how the mission will affect the astronauts’ relationships. That’s not a bad premise, but it’s also one that’s been done before, many times over. That said, it seems interesting enough. We’re on the fence about this one, but are curious to see if it delivers.

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Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Premieres: Monday, September 17 on Nickelodeon

The latest addition to the Turtleverse technically debuted online with its first four episodes in July, but it officially comes to Nickelodeon this September. It’s had a mixed response, mainly because of the animation, but we’ve been enjoying its bright and colorful style. Plus, we’re always happy to see more of the Turtles.

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Maniac

Premieres: Friday, September 21 on Netflix

This might be a miniseries, but it’s still something to keep an eye on. Maniac comes to us from The Leftovers’ Patrick Somerville and director Cary Fukunaga (It, Beasts of No Nation). It stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as participants in a pharmaceutical experiment that taps into the hidden strengths of the mind for things like erasing pain and healing trauma. The result is “some multi-reality brain magic shit” that looks weird but gorgeous, and we have our fingers crossed that the story is as promising as its packaging.

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Hilda

Premieres: Friday, September 21 on Netflix

This animated series, designed for older kids, is based on the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel series by Luke Pearson. It follows a young blue-haired girl named Hilda on her fantastical travels—from her home in a wilderness filled with magical creatures to the impressive, mysterious, and possibly dangerous city of Trolberg. The best part: Hilda is voiced by Bella Ramsey, who you might recognize as Lady Mormont from Game of Thrones.

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Manifest

Premieres: Monday, September 24 at 10:00 p.m. on NBC

NBC is diving back into non-Lost territory with Manifest, a sci-fi series about an airplane full of passengers that finds itself five years in the future after getting caught in a brief (but strange) patch of turbulence. We reviewed the first episode and found it underwhelming, wasting a great premise on melodrama and lackluster character development. Unless things change drastically within the first season, this will probably end up being one to skip.

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Into the Dark

Premieres: Friday, October 5 on Hulu

Blumhouse is entering the world of anthology television with its yearlong horror series, Into the Dark. Every month, it will be releasing a new feature-length episode, and each one’s premise is connected to a holiday within that time period. The first episode, “The Body,” centers around a Halloween party and a hitman who uses social media to draw attention to his latest target. Blumhouse has been hitting it out of the park lately, and this could be another experimental slam dunk for the studio. That said, we haven’t actually seen anything from Into the Dark yet, which raises questions about the what we can really expect.

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The Haunting of Hill House

Premieres: Friday, October 12 on Netflix

Netflix might be haunted, you guys. The Haunting of Hill House is a new horror series based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel, though the network is putting a spin on the original story. This version centers around a group of siblings who grew up in a haunted house. Now, as adults, they must head back to Hill House to confront the ghosts of their past. Literally.

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Trust in the Power of Three.
Photo: Jordon Nuttall (The CW)

Charmed

Premieres: Sunday, October 14 at 9:00 p.m. on the CW

The long-anticipated (and often debated) reboot of Charmed is finally arriving, starring Madeleine Mantock, Melonie Diaz, and Sarah Jeffrey as the new trio of Charmed Ones. The pilot was promising, incorporating enough of the original series’ staples while doing things to make it all its own. Plus, we’ve got Rupert Evans (The Man in the High Castle) as their proto-Giles Whitelighter, and he’s easily going to be one of the standouts for the series. It looks fun, silly, and charming enough. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one.

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Legacies

Premieres: Thursday, October 25 at 9:00 p.m. on The CW

Oh, you thought you were free of The Vampire Diaries? You will never be rid of their clutches, my friend. The latest spinoff of a spinoff, Legacies, comes on the heels of The Originals, which was canceled last year after five seasons. It takes place at the Salvatore School for witches, werewolves, and vampires—centuring around 17-year-old Hope Mikaelson (Danielle Rose Russell), who’s a “tribrid,” a one-of-a-kind blend of all three creatures. If you like The Vampire Diaries, this will probably be your cup of blood tea. Otherwise, I don’t think there’s enough for it to stand apart from all the other new arrivals.

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The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Premieres: Friday, October 26 on Netflix

Hail Satan, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has almost arrived on this mortal plane! Based on the ongoing comic book series (that is a must-read), this version of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch story takes on a much darker tone, replacing pancake addiction and Melissa Joan Hart with upside-down pentagrams and actual Satanic worship. The series features Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) as Sabrina and features an equally impressive cast of co-stars (along with one cute cat). This is one the entire io9 team is thrilled about, and I’m guessing we’ll all end up fighting over who gets to review it.

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Tell Me a Story

Premieres: Wednesday, October 31 on CBS All Access

Tell Me a Story is a serialized drama from Paul Wesley and Kevin Williamson (Vampire Diaries) that puts modern fairy tales into the real world. You might think this is a rehash of Fables or even ABC’s Once Upon a Time, but it’s not technically a magical show. Rather, it’s a gritty, realistic drama that interweaves the stories of The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel to make them all about sex, violence, and...more sex. The trailer was the epitome of “trying too hard,” and this whole show looks like a solid pass.

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An image from the debut season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
Image: Netflix

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Premieres: Friday, November 16 on Netflix

She has the power! She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is the latest ‘80s cartoon reboot to hit the small screen, this time coming from Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjames) and Chuck Austen (Steven Universe). It tells the story of Adora (voiced by Aimee Carrero), an orphan girl who discovers a magic sword and becomes the mythical warrior princess She-Ra, finding new friends in fellow magical princesses as they work to fight against the forces of evil. The redesigned look garnered a mixed response, but we’re all in favor of reboots that don’t try to replicate their original incarnations. She-Ra seems like a fun, contemporary show for fans of the original to enjoy with a new generation. We’re definitely pumped about this one.

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