I scoured the Internet in my research of the returning shows on cable and premium channels, and I found many, many horrible entertainment websites littered with endless ads that pop out of every space on the page, that offer nothing the hundred other horribly designed entertainment websites don't. I offer bitter gratitude to the couple of websites which nearly crashed my browser for minimal insight about the small shows Michael Ausiello doesn't bother with, but I owe Ausiello belated thanks for the work he does at TVLine that came in handy for me. Entertainment Weekly may annoy me with its "We need to talk about THAT big moment" posts, but they're the best at covering the TV landscape and the work they do greatly helped me put together this post (as they always do). Deadline, too, is a great resource. I also nod, like the four friends in American Pie 2 during the big party at the lake house, to Zap2it.
I tried to cover every show returning from today through the beginning of December.
TRANSPARENT returns Friday, December 4 at 3:01AM
Jeffrey Tambor said Maura’s a gateway character in season two. The focus shifts to every character seeking personal freedom. Creator Jill Soloway hired a trans writer and director for season two. She told critics at press tour that she’s taking the bubble wrap off by allowing Maura to be a fallible human rather than a saint and a near perfect symbol.
THE WALKING DEAD returns Sunday, October 11 at 9PM
The Wolves are the big bads of season six. I theorized those banished from town devolved into the wolves. Scott Gimple confirmed that Rick’s beard is the “barometer of his mental state.” Morgan arrived in time to see Rick brutally murder a man. The trailer released at comic con’s full of zombie kills, Rick and Morgan engaging in moral battle, and a kidnapped Daryl. The Rick/Morgan could be a more unstable philosophical battle reminiscent of Jack and Locke from a show The Walking Dead drew influence. The core group of characters continue to behave villainously. Rick freely threatens everyone. More characters will die. And more zombies will comically fail to bite and, in turn, have their heads blown off.
DOCTOR WHO returns Saturday, September 19 at 9PM
The Judoon and the Hath return for season nine. Missy’s back, but she’ll be the Doctor’s ally. Maisie Williams joins the cast. The first two episodes make up a two parter. I’m sure Doctor Who fans don’t need me to preview the new season. I’m out of my depth with Doctor Who. It has decades and decades of history. I watched the Maisie Williams trailer. She showed at the end. I felt aloof for the entirety, including her arrival. I think she plays a villain.
THE KNICK returns Friday, October 16 at 10PM
The Knick heads west in season two. Cinemax made little info available about the second season besides what the teaser reveals, which involves quarantine because of a plague. I previewed the show last year, never watched it, and I sort of wish I had. But I began reading William Gass last fall. Perhaps I’ll watch The Knick. HBO will air the first season prior to the premiere in mid-October.
DRUNK HISTORY returns Wednesday, September 1 at 10:30PM
Guests for season three include Tony Hale, Christopher Meloni, Jason Alexander, Kat Dennings, Nathan Fillion, Michael Cera, Will Ferrell, Ron Funches, Natasha Leggero, Tom Lennon, Haley Joel Osmont, Jason Mamoa, Parker Posey, Horatio Sanz, Maya Rudolph, and many more. Narrators include Brendan Walsh, Duncan Trussell, Paget Brewster, Matt Gourley, Jen Kirkman, Carmen Esposito, and Dan Harmon, plus others. What history stories will the drunks tell? A rivalry between two fossil hunters, a contributer to America’s first air force founded by Abraham Lincoln (played by Stephen Merchant), and something else told by Jenny Slate.
SOUTH PARK returns Wednesday, September 16 at 10PM
Matt and Trey said South Park ends when Comedy Central cancels the show. That’ll never happen. I don’t know what’s planned for season 19. Neither do Matt and Trey. But they will.
TRIPTANK returns Wednesday, September 23 at 11PM
Triptank is an animated anthology series. Each episode consists of different sketches by different artists and writers. Season two will feature the talents of Dana Snyder, with something titled “Jerk Chicken,” as well as Mark Clattenburg, from Black Jesus, and many more. Different actors voiced different characters for second two, including Brittany Snow, Tom Lennon, Cheryl Hines, Jon Hamm, and Amy Schumer.
NATHAN FOR YOU returns Thursday, October 15 at 10PM
The only news about season three you may read above this sentence. Yes, the premiere date.
KINGDOM returns Wednesday, October 14 at 9PM
DirecTV renewed the series for a third season. For season two, Mark Consuelos joins to disrupt the future of Navy St. gym. Main character Ryan Wheeler will defend his title, and Jay’s battle with his sexuality continues. Also, Lisa will train a new female fighter.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY returns Wednesday, October 7 at 10PM
Ryan Murphy’s slumming it with the vampires for season five. He couldn’t resist, eh? Tim Minear can write the heck out of vampires, though, and if Doug Petrie’s still on staff, vampires could be a wise choice. Lady Gaga plays the head vampire who’s involved in a love triangle. Angela Bassett, the former Mrs. Jackson who did not get pecan ice cream for Joseph, plays Gaga’s vengeful ex-lover. Jessica Lange’s off the show. The season will shoot between present day and past narrative.
FARGO returns Monday, October 12 at 10PM
Season 2 reinvents the show. Like HBO’s True Detective and FX’s American Horror Story, Fargo’s an anthology series. Season two will look different and be different. New cast. New setting. New story. New year and decade—1979. Fans will see a younger Lou, a new case, and, yeah, Fargo doesn’t seem poised for True Detective-like fall from critical acclaim.
THE LEAGUE returns Wednesday, September 9 at 10PM
Marshawn Lynch, the former California Golden Bear, Buffalo Bill, and present day beast in the backfield for the Seattle Seahawks, guest stars in season seven to spoof the final call made in the Super Bowl. The League will mock Deflate Gate and concussions, and it will also end after this season.
YOU’RE THE WORST returns Wednesday, September 9 at 10:30PM
Lindsay’s single and Edgar wants to woo her, per the Wikipedia page. Lindsay’s husband will find new love with the female version of himself.
MANHATTAN returns Tuesday, October 13 at 9PM
PROJECT GREENLIGHT returns Sunday, September 13 at 10PM
Ben Affleck states, “It’s the riskiest season we’ve done yet.” 10 years have passed since the last season of Project Greenlight. Affleck said it’s a risky season because the director’s behaving as directors do in Hollywood. He wants to fire the writer of the comedy. The question may be, “Does the guy complete production of the movie?”
DOLL & EM returns Sunday, September 13 at 10:30PM
Emily Mortimer, Evan Rachel Wood, and Olivia Wilde. Olivia Wilde may be the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. She’s strikingly gorgeous in the trailer. Emily and Dolly try to perform a play they wrote. Wood and Wilde play themselves. I missed season one, but I might catch some of season two
THE LEFTOVERS returns Sunday, October 4 at 9PM
The main characters move to a small town in Texas, the only town where no one disappeared. The trailer depicts a noticeably lighter tone, but the memory of Patty will haunt Kevin in one episode, if not more. The season one episodes focusing on Kevin’s fragile mental state were great. I’d love to watch him continue to unravel. The season two trailer features his father, as well, which is good. One person suddenly disappears after the Garveys arrive. Some season 1 characters will return for an episode. The Reverend and his wife will continue to fit in the “narrative engine” this season. Damon Lindelof said season 2 would be less meditative. I look forward to season 2, and I may review an episode or two or all or none.
FINDING CARTER returns Tuesday, October 6 at 10PM
Season two started awhile ago, and it resumes October 6. The first episode of the second half of season two resolves the question about whether or not Carter will drop out of school after learning about her father’s affair. A new character arrives for a story in which that new character falls for the underage and illegal Carter.
LONGMIRE returns Thursday, September 10 at 3:01AM
Longmire may’ve shot the person that murdered his wife, or the person may’ve shot Longmire. Season three ended prior to narrative clarity. Season four should give clarity about what happened. Walt, meanwhile, will question his path.
HOMELAND returns Sunday, October 4 at 9PM
Alex Gansa said in an interview with Deadline that season five will address the ISIS problem as well as the Putin and Russia problem. Season four either rebounded well or became so terrible it’s now more of a hate-watch. Your oft-bearded blogger doesn’t know. The headlines for season five revolve around couple stuff. Deadline couldn’t resist asking Gansa about his favorite moments. TV’s largely about giving people moments to freak out about and couples to ship and root for. The ISIS problem seems incredibly complex for a Showtime thriller to seriously “get at.” Of course, fiction’s purpose isn’t to accurately depict the ISIS problem. I like the line in Look at the Harlequins—“Invent Reality!” Invent away, writers; however, I suspect the series will try to do both and falter. Same with Putin’s Russia.
THE AFFAIR returns Sunday, October 4 at 10PM
Two new perspectives join Noah’s and Alison’s. Episodes will still maintain the two-perspective structure. A brief glance at the Internet reveals that some critics worry the show will further confuse people. The addition of two new perspectives makes the story more complicated. Confusion and complicated are two words the TV viewer doesn’t like. Lawrence Durrell’s famous quartet had three perspectives. The fourth novel returned to the narrator of the first novel. Durrell’s quarter was a modern exploration of love. The Affair seems an exploration of finding replacement loves. The narrative shifts, changes, moves forward, moves back, like Durrell’s famous quartet. No, I doubt The Affair resembles the quartet.
DA VINCI’S DEMONS returns Saturday, October 24 at 8PM
The series ends after this season. The president of Starz cancelled the series because of low viewership. Other shows with the same demographics performed better. David S. Goyer left the series after season two. Goyer told Entertainment Weekly that the first and last episode have symmetry. As for the last season, Da Vinci sees his city torn asunder by Ottoman invaders. He’ll fight back and align with his enemies.
THE RETURNED returns This Fall
The Returned hasn’t aired an episode in two years. Sundance hasn’t set a date. Their trailers reveal nothing.
Z NATION returns Friday, September 11 at 10PM
Folk love zombies and vampires. No vampires appear in season two of Z Nation. AMC airs two zombie shows. Z Nation’s the zombie show without the record-breaking numbers, but Syfy shows attract a small, fervent, and loyal following. Craig Engler promised something in season two that’s never been done before in zombie stories. The zombies learn to run.
CONTINUUM returns Friday, September 11 at 11PM
Season 4’s the last season of Continuum. It’s a short season (6 episodes). Kiera and Brad continue to fight the future soldiers in the premiere.
HAVEN returns Thursday, October 8 at 10PM
Syfy recently announced the end of Haven after the conclusion of season five. Per TV Line, I learned that Audrey and Nathan will spend quality time together thanks to Duke’s villainy. Is Duke villain? Maybe I’ll watch to find out.
SATISFACTION returns Friday, October 16 at 10PM
Satisfaction’s the second infidelity-centric show returning this fall. Two characters endure the consequences of stepping out on their spouses this season, and another wants to keep them apart. Thanks, TV Line.
CHRISLEY KNOWS BEST returns Tuesday, November 10 at 10PM
MANHATTAN returns Tuesday, October 13 at 9PM
Whenever people hear about a show titled Manhattan airing on WGN, people ask, “What’s WGN?” Manhattan’s a sturdy show. It’s a period drama about nuclear bombs. Neve Campbell joined the season two cast in a recurring role. Critics liked season one. The central tension of season two revolves around the Trinity Test and will span a timeframe of fifteen months.