Tim Goodman's Most Wanted Fall TV List
THR's chief TV critic endured and outlasted the TCA panels and came away with five cable and streaming picks (from returners like 'Fargo' to martial-arts newcomer 'Into the Badlands') that he can't wait to watch this season.
This story first appeared in the Aug. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
You're overwhelmed. You can't decide what to pick from this non-stop flood of TV shows. I get you. If you're willing to add one or two new offerings (or better yet, drop some faded old favorite and then add five or more quality newcomers), then here's a quick and easy short-list for you. It's not definitive -- there are too many excellent offerings. But these will work:
1. Fargo (FX, Oct. 12)
This is the one to watch. I’ve seen the first episode of the sophomore season (which features Kirsten Dunst and Ted Danson), and my reaction was: "Gimme all the rest, right now." Not a bad way for this funny, bloody, weird and smart show to return.
2. Ash vs. Evil Dead (Starz, Oct. 31)
It will be interesting to see if Sam Raimi’s cult Evil Dead franchise can become a viable TV series, but the sitcom created by Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless looks, from initial materials, to be a wildly fun mix of horror and humor.
3. Into the Badlands (AMC, Nov. 15)
This martial-arts-meets-knives-meets-weird-clans-in-desolate-lands story is a genre-bender that could make for a much-needed new hit for the channel. At the very least, it looks action-packed and addictive.
4. The Bastard Executioner (FX, Sept. 15)
An ambitious, 14th century-set costume drama from Kurt Sutter, full of swords, castles and dialects, this one couldn’t be farther from Sons of Anarchy — but has the potential to pull in an entirely different audience. It features Stephen Moyer and Anarchy’s Katey Sagal.
5. The Man in the High Castle (Amazon, Nov. 20)
The well-received pilot of this alternative-history series based on the Philip K. Dick novel (which imagines what would have happened if the Nazis had won World War II) already is up on Amazon but generated even more buzz with its TCA panel. Bonus: The sets are amazing.