12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
The 20 Most Anticipated New and Returning TV Shows in September
Breaking through in a Peak TV world of nearly 500 scripted originals is a challenging task. That's why top showrunners and stars continue to be in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look to proven names to reach viewers in a competitive landscape. Spinoffs and reboots are also in high demand, as most come with a preexisting viewership that reduces costs associated with marketing and promotion.
Here, in a bid to navigate the Peak TV waters, THR picks the most anticipated new and returning shows of September. (Bookmark THR's handy guide for key premiere — and series finale — dates.) Here are some of the can't-miss premieres for the month ahead as broadcast staples return to go head to head with cable, streaming and new entries in late-night.
The Deuce (HBO, Sept. 9)
Created by David Simon and George Pelecanos, the porn drama set in 1970s-1980s New York City wraps up its run with its third and final season — just as the former imagined. Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco star in the series, with the final season taking place in the '80s and exploring the turbulence that came along with the rise of HIV, cocaine epidemic and exploding real estate market.
The Kelly Clarkson Show (check local listings, Sept. 9)
The Grammy and former American Idol winner becomes the latest host to join the ultra-competitive daytime syndicated talk show circuit. The Kelly Clarkson Show will air on NBC-owned stations in key markets including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Washington, D.C., among others. Clarkson replaces Steve Harvey's Steve and is described as a "weekday brunch party" with guests who typically would never meet. Each episode will feature celebrity guests, surprises, humor, heart, music and remarkable stories.
A Very Brady Renovation (HGTV, Sept. 9)
Here's the story, of a lovely…home. All six Brady Bunch kids reunite for the unscripted series that follows the renovation of the iconic Studio City, Calif., home that served as the setting for the 1970s sitcom. Producers worked with the original stars — Susan Olsen, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight, Maureen McCormick, Eve Plumb and Mike Lookinland — to "update" the home to match the sets of the family comedy.
Undone (Amazon, Sept. 13)
From BoJack Horseman duo Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, the animated comedy explores the nature of reality through its central character, Alma (voiced by Rosa Salazar). After getting into a near-fatal car crash, Alma discovers she has a new relationship with time and uses the ability to find out the truth about her father's death. The series is the first episodic show to use rotoscope animation similar to 2006's A Scanner Darkly.
Unbelievable (Netflix, Sept. 13)
The eight-episode limited series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Marshall Project and ProPublica story and This American Life episode and follows a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped and the pair of female detectives who worked the case. Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, Kaitlyn Dever and Danielle Macdonald star in the series from Susannah Grant and Michael Chabon.
Dancing With the Stars (ABC, Sept. 16)
We'll say it so you don't have to: The 28th season of ABC's ratings-challenged "celebrity" competition series hasn't been a must-watch in years. Dancing is only on this list because of a curiosity factor: how many viewers will either come to the series or check out entirely because ex-Trump White House press secretary Sean Spicer is among the "stars" competing this season. So in full honesty, watch for the TV ratings coming out the morning of Sept. 17.
A Little Late With Lilly Singh (NBC, Sept. 17)
One of the biggest broadcast bets this fall, NBC is looking to YouTube star Singh to replace Carson Daly in the 1:30 a.m. slot. Singh becomes the first openly bisexual woman of color to host a late-night talk show. And her episodes will be taped in advance.
American Horror Story: 1984 (FX, Sept. 18)
The ninth season of the horror anthology from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk goes back to the '80s with a tribute to the slasher horror films from the decade like Friday the 13th. The season takes place at Camp Redwood and features a cast that includes Emma Roberts, Angelica Ross (Pose), Matthew Morrison (Glee), Billie Lourd, Cody Fern, Leslie Grossman and John Carroll Lynch. (Sorry, no Sarah Paulson this season.)
The Emmys (Fox, Sept. 22)
What happens when a newly independent broadcast network doesn't have a natural in-house talent to host "TV's biggest night"? You go host-less. The slimmed down Fox will follow ABC's Oscar lead and instead look to "honor" the many iconic series that have ended this year. At least that's what Fox CEO Charlie Collier is saying, anyway.
Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS, Sept. 23)
Broadcast's annual Premiere Week kicks off with the newest show from mega-hit maker Chuck Lorre (Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory). Newcomer Folake Olowofoyeku stars opposite Mike and Molly Grad Billy Gardell in the multicamera comedy about a guy who falls for his Nigerian nurse. CBS needs another comedy hit after wrapping Big Bang last season. Can Lorre do it again?
Emergence (ABC, Sept. 24)
Developed and picked up to pilot at NBC but ordered to series at ABC, the character-driven genre thriller revolves around a police chief (Allison Tolman, Fargo, Downward Dog) who takes in a young child she finds near the site of a mysterious accident who has no memory of what has happened. The investigation draws her into a conspiracy larger than she ever imagined, and the child’s identity is at the center of it all. Agent Carter duo Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters serve as showrunners on the drama co-starring Donald Faison. The drama is part of ABC's efforts to become broadcast's top network among women.
This Is Us (NBC, Sept. 24)
Yes, Dan Fogelman's time-twisting family tear-fest has begun to show its age with declining ratings, but the ensemble drama starring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown still ranks as one of the most-watched originals on broadcast. And it's entering what is likely the second half of its run as season four is the first of its likely three final seasons. Just don't ask us to explain the timeline.
Mixed-ish (ABC, Sept. 24)
It's a new world-ish. No longer content to have just one family comedy set in the '80s, this Black-ish prequel tells the story of a young Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross on the flagship) as she recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family. Kenya Barris exec produces the single-camera comedy that marks ABC's latest series with perfectly cast young stars. Tika Sumpter, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Arica Himmel, Mykal-Michelle Harris and Ethan William Childress star.
The Masked Singer (Fox, Sept. 25)
The breakout show of the 2018-19 broadcast season, the singing competition with a twist (and more nightmare-inducing costumes than we can count) returns for its second season with a big question mark. After launching in the less-competitive midseason space last year, can the breakout unscripted show cut through the fall TV clutter?
Stumptown (ABC, Sept. 25)
Based on the Oni Press graphic novel of the same name, the private-eye drama stars Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) as a sharp-witted army veteran with a complicated love life, a gambling debt and a brother (Cole Sibus) to take care of in Portland. Her military intelligence skills make her a great PI, but her unapologetic style puts her in the firing line of hardcore criminals and not quite in alliance with the police. Jason Richman (Detroit 187) adapted Greg Rucka's comics for TV as ABC continues to bet on big and bold female characters.
Evil (CBS, Sept. 26)
The Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King return to the network — and broadcast TV — with their psychological mystery that examines science versus evil and the origins of evil. Westworld grad Katja Herbers stars alongside Luke Cage's Mike Colter and Aasif Mandvi and network favorite Michael Emerson.
The Good Place (NBC, Sept. 26)
Saying farewell to this one will hurt. One of the few broadcast shows to cut through at the Emmys, the Mike Schur-created philosophical comedy will wrap its run with its upcoming fourth season. "I hope the main lesson of the show, in terms of ethics, is that the important thing is that you try and you're aware that ethics matter and are factoring them in to your decision making at all times as best you can," Schur told THR. "We're trying to say at some level that trying is as important as doing because trying means you're thinking about it and you're making the effort."
Grey's Anatomy (ABC, Sept. 26)
After becoming primetime's longest-running scripted medical drama last season, the Shonda Rhimes-created soap returns for its impressive 16th season with a plan to use its characters and storylines to remain topical under showrunner Krista Vernoff. Ending season 15 with a cliff-hanger, the new batch of episodes picks up immediately as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is tasked with playing damage control when her boyfriend is arrested for having taken the fall after she committed insurance fraud. With Meredith, among others, having lost their jobs at the hospital, Vernoff is looking to explore the "broken" medical care system that led to those surprising firings.
The Politician (Netflix, Sept. 27)
Ryan Murphy's first-ever series for a streaming platform, the eight-episode series stars Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, a guy with a big dream of becoming president. The drama follows Payton as he runs in different elections during the course of his life, starting in season one with student government. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange, Lucy Boynton and Dylan McDermott star.
Transparent (Amazon, Sept. 27)
The series that helped cement Amazon as a home for scripted originals signs off with a…musical. Yes, really. Leave it to creator Jill Soloway to get creative for how to provide a proper ending for the groundbreaking series after firing star Jeffrey Tambor.