41 New Fall TV Shows To Fill The Holes Left By Our Cancelled Or Finished Favorites
The television landscape is a pitiless one, as harsh as the deserts of Mad Max, where shows battle it out Thunderdome-style for precious resources, and more will meet an ignoble cancellation than will make it to the Valhalla of a renewal. A full 138 TV shows ended or were cancelled in the 2015-'16 season alone, including one-season wonders, long-running broadcast soaps, and prestige cable dramas. But this isn't the end of the artform as we know it; rather, it's just part of the cyclical nature of the industry… which means there are dozens of new shows on the horizon known as the 2016 Fall TV season, jockeying to fill the holes left behind by those 138 dearly departed series.
But with over 40 new shows premiering between September and December alone (and another few dozen coming at midseason) how on earth are you supposed to know which ones to tune into? In an ideal world, you'd sample all of them and decide for yourself — but the limitations of work, sleep, and the space-time continuum render that practically impossible. So I've matched up each new series debuting this fall with one of the shows we loved and lost during the 2015-'16 season, pairing shows by content, genre, cast, or some other ineffable quality.
Hopefully this list will help you figure out which new shows are worth your time when the fall season officially kicks off this September:
1. If You Loved 11.22.63, Watch Timeless
Hulu's Stephen King adaptation starring James Franco was always meant to be a one-off limited series, but that doesn't mean its departure hasn't left a significant time-travel gap in our weekly TV schedule. Thank god for this NBC drama about a history professor, a scientist, and a soldier who journey to the past in order to prevent a rogue time traveler from rewriting history.
Premieres: Monday, Oct. 3 on NBC
2. If You Loved Angel From Hell, Watch The Good Place
Like your sitcoms with a dash of heavenly fun? The short-lived Jane Lynch series starred the Glee actress as the world's worst guardian angel, and the new NBC series stars Kristen Bell as heaven's worst new resident — as in, she's really not supposed to be there, but was saved from Hell by an administrative snafu. Can she keep her true nature a secret while she tries to figure out a way back to Earth?
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 19 on NBC
3. If You Loved Banshee, Watch Quarry
Fans of Cinemax's ultra-violent action series Banshee will likely find solace in Cinemax's new ultra-violent action series Quarry. Trading in the dark secrets of Amish country for the dark secrets of Memphis, Quarry stars Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) as a Vietnam vet who finds it hard to let go of his blood-soaked past once he's returned home.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 9 on Cinemax
4. If You Loved The Bastard Executioner, Watch Marvel's Luke Cage
An extraordinarily-skilled warrior hides his true nature and lives his life as an ordinary citizen until an act of violence draws him out and makes him realize his true (violent) potential. I could be describing Kurt Sutter's short-lived FX series — or I could be describing Netflix's newest series based on a character from Marvel comics, this time spinning off Mike Colter's invincible character from Jessica Jones.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 30 on Netflix
5. If You Loved Blood & Oil, Watch Goliath
Everyone loves a good David vs. Goliath story, whether it's about young upstarts facing off against an oil tycoon or a washed-up lawyer facing off against a corrupt legal system. Both Blood & Oil and Goliath feature a prominent name in the lead role (Miami Vice actor Don Johnson in the former, Oscar nominee Billy Bob Thornton in the latter), but Amazon's new show flips the script by casting its well-known star as the underdog rather than the villain.
Premieres: Friday, Oct. 14 on Amazon Prime
6. If You Loved Bordertown, Watch High Maintenance
The short-lived FOX animated sitcom Bordertown, which took place in the fictional 'burg of Mexifornia probably appealed to a certain… self-medicating subset of the population. That same audience will probably find plenty to love about HBO's new stoner comedy, spun off of the six-season Vimeo web series of the same name.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 16 on HBO
7. If You Loved Castle, Watch Notorious
Two gorgeous humans, one who works in crime and one who works in entertainment, team up to solve crimes and make sparks fly. In Notorious, the man works in crime (a defense attorney) and the woman works in entertainment (a news producer) rather than the other way around (the female detective and the male novelist we all know and love from Castle). But other than that small change, it seems very clear which cancelled show's audience ABS is trying to attract with this new drama.
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22 on ABC
8. If You Loved Complications, Watch Chance
Wait, Hugh Laurie is playing a doctor on TV? I didn't see that one coming. Eldon Chance may be a neuropsychiatrist (whatever that means), but Hulu's new thriller series should have more in common with USA's combination crime-medical drama than with Laurie's previous stint as a health care professional.
Premieres: Wednesday, Oct. 19 on Hulu
9. If You Loved Cooper Barrett's Guide To Surviving Life, Watch The Great Indoors
Just like Cooper Barrett, the character played by Joel McHale (Community) in this new CBS sitcom also teaches people what he thinks are the proper rules to surviving life — as an "adventure reporter" for an outdoor magazine. And since he's been brought in from the field to supervise the company's new crop of web journalists, you can expect a lot of poking fun at millennials like that one-and-done FOX comedy.
Premieres: Thursday, Oct. 27 on CBS
10. If You Loved Crowded, Watch Speechless
A broadcast sitcom about a wacky family starring an Emmy-nominated actress? If you're still mourning the loss of the comedy starring The Good Wife's Carrie Preston, then trade it in for this comedy starring Good Will Hunting's Minnie Driver. Also, Speechless gets bonus points for actually casting an actor with cerebral palsy to play a character with cerebral palsy — just as Breaking Bad actor R.J. Mitte (who also has cerebral palsy) called for earlier this month.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 on ABC
11. If You Loved CSI: Cyber, Watch Bull
Sometimes what you're looking for in the crowded television landscape is a traditional, reliable legal procedural. Ain't nothing wrong with that. So if you're still cursing the end of the long-running CSI brand, perhaps Bull — which chronicles the early days of Dr. Phil's career as a trial consultant — will help salve the wound.
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20 on CBS
12. If You Loved Da Vinci's Demons, Watch The Collection
Amazon's new original series will do for Paris during World War II what the cancelled Starz drama did for Florence during the Renaissance: namely, tell a period-accurate story about a tortured genius, except this time it's about a fashion designer instead of an inventor. But who's that playing the leading role? Why, it's none other than Starz's Leonardo Da Vinci himself, Tom Riley! He'll be joined by Crossbones' Richard Coyle as his brother, The Good Wife's Mamie Gummer as his sister-in-law, and Harry Potter's Frances de la Tour as his mother.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 2 on Amazon Prime
13. If You Loved Downton Abbey, Watch The Crown
There is a gaping British-period-drama-sized hole in our lives now that PBS's Downton Abbey has aired its last lavish episode. Thankfully, Netflix is stepping up to the plate with its most expensive original series yet, starring Wolf Hall's Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II. The Crown — which also stars Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Jared Harris (Mad Men), John Lithgow (Dexter), Stephen Dillane (Game Of Thrones), and Eileen Atkins (Gosford Park) — is designed to run for 60 episodes over six seasons, telling the story of Elizabeth's reign from her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947 all the way up to the present day.
Premieres: Friday, Nov. 4 on Netflix
14. If You Loved Extant, Watch Frequency
A woman's life is changed forever when she experiences an inexplicable supernatural event possibly involving the ghost of a dead loved one. While Halle Berry got pregnant with her dead lover in outer space, Mad Men's Peyton List is going to learn that she can talk to her dead dad over an antique ham radio. (Naturally, chaos ensues, thanks to that pesky butterfly effect.)
Premieres: Wednesday, Oct. 5 on The CW
15. If You Loved The Family, Watch Eyewitness
Bummed that ABC cancelled its dark crime drama centering around the unreliability of a young witness after only one season? Then check out this new show on USA, a dark crime crime centering around the unreliability of two young witnesses. After two 15-year-old boys stumble across a grisly scene in the woods, a detective played by Masters Of Sex's Julianne Nicholson has to figure out what really happened. (Based on a Norwegian series of the same name.)
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 16 on USA
16. If You Loved Galavant, Watch Son Of Zorn
Are you a fan of quirky, irreverent humor? Or a fan of nerdy fantasy kingdoms? Or both? Then Son Of Zorn is the show for you, melding the traditional family sitcom with an animated fantasy series. Two-dimensional warrior Zorn returns from his kingdom of Zephyria to deal with his flesh and blood, three-dimensional ex-wife and estranged son. Should be right up the alley of anyone who geeked out over Galavant.
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 11 on FOX
17. If You Loved The Good Wife, Watch Good Girls Revolt
And no, not just because the similarities in their titles. Both of these series are about "good" women navigating power structures in the workplace… although the new Amazon drama transplants the action from a modern day law firm to a 1960s newsroom. Good Girls even stars two recurring Good Wife players — Anna Camp (who played associate Caitlin d'Arcy) and Hunter Parrish (who played Will's murderer Jeffrey Grant) — as well as Mr. Robot's Grace Gummer, sister of Good Wife recurring player Mamie (aka conniving lawyer Nancy Crozier).
Premieres: Friday, Oct. 28 on Amazon Prime
18. If You Loved Grandfathered, Watch Better Things
It can be hard raising a family by yourself while simultaneously juggling a demanding career. That's the lesson that John Stamos' restaurateur learned last year in FOX's Grandfathered; and it's the same lesson that the struggling actress played by Pamela Adlon (who earned an Emmy nom for her guest role on Louie) will learn, thanks to her three demanding daughters. (Adlon also co-created the series alongside her former co-star Louis C.K.)
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 8 on FX
19. If You Loved The Grinder, Watch One Mississippi
Rob Lowe's character on The Grinder caused quite a stir when he returned to his hometown after a prolonged absence and clashed with the family members he'd left behind. Similar sparks will fly when the character played by lesbian stand-up comedian Tig Notaro returns to her smalltown Mississippi roots after the death of her mother. This semi-autobiographical series was co-created by Notaro and Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno), is produced by Louis C.K., and co-stars Happy Endings' Casey Wilson.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 9 on Amazon Prime
20. If You Loved Heartbeat, Watch Pitch
NBC's short-lived medical series has a lot of things in common with this new FOX drama: a woman struggles to stake her claim in a male-dominated field while juggling her high-powered career with her equally demanding personal life. But while there are female heart-transplant surgeons in the world, there has never been a female pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 22 on FOX
21. If You Loved House Of Lies, Watch Shut Eye
The slick "management consultants" played by Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell in Showtime's dark comedy were essentially just really good con artists — and that's exactly what this Hulu dark comedy is about. Burn Notice's Jeffrey Donovan stars as a failed magician-turned-fake fortune teller who cons people out of his storefront psychic shop… until he starts believing in his own powers.
Premieres: Wednesday, Dec. 7 on Hulu
22. If You Loved Limitless, Watch Pure Genius
Brian Finch, the protagonist of the one-and-done CBS drama, was always the smartest person in his room; but if he walked into a room with Walter Wallace and James Bell, the protagonists of this new CBS drama, they might've given him a run for his money. Dermot Mulroney and Augustus Prew co-star as a surgeon and a tech billionaire who team up to build the most cutting-edge hospital in the world.
Premieres: Thursday, Oct. 27 on CBS
23. If You Loved Louie, Watch Atlanta
In the genre of "auteur sitcom" — as in, a comedy created and written by and starring one actor (think Curb Your Enthusiasm or Extras) — FX's Louie reigns supreme. And while that show hasn't technically been cancelled, it is on "extended hiatus," which means it's gone for at least the foreseeable future. Find solace in this new "auteur sitcom" by former Community stand-out Donald Glover as he writes and stars in this series about the Atlanta rap scene.
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 6 on FX
24. If You Loved Manhattan, Watch Queen Sugar
Manhattan, WGN America's first original drama series, featured a town with literal explosive secrets, with a heavy emphasis on the women who were dragged along to Los Alamos, New Mexico alongside their scientist husbands. One of the first original drama series on fledgling network OWN (following in the footsteps of this summer's breakout Greenleaf ), features a town with metaphorical explosive secrets, with a heavy emphasis on the two women who move there — in this case, estranged sisters who take charge of their father's sugarcane farm (one of whom is played by True Blood's Rutina Wesley).
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 6 on OWN
25. If You Loved Marvel's Agent Carter, Watch Conviction
This one's a no-brainer. Still smarting from ABC's cancellation of the smart, stylish Hayley Atwell-led Marvel Cinematic Universe spinoff? Good thing the likable actress isn't going very far; in fact, she's staying at ABC, where she'll now lead the legal drama Conviction as the former First Daughter (and a bit of a wild child) who is coerced into leading the Conviction Integrity Unit. It's like Agent Carter meets Serial! What's not to love?
Premieres: Monday, Oct. 3 on ABC
26. If You Loved Mike & Molly, Watch American Housewife
Led by Katy Mixon, who starred in all six seasons of CBS's Mike & Molly as the sister to Melissa McCarthy's Molly, this ABC sitcom originally went by the longer title The Second Fattest Housewife In Westport . The new title may be more digestible, but the concept remains the same: Mixon plays an average American mom who moves with her familiy to a posh Connecticut town so her kids can go to a good school, only to find herself battling the town's Stepford wives.
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 11 on aBC
27. If You Loved Minority Report, Watch Falling Water
In FOX's cancelled-too-soon Minority Report, a person with a seemingly supernatural ability to see things he shouldn't (namely, murders before they happen) uses that ability to stop crime. In USA's new Falling Water, a group of people with a seemingly supernatural ability to see things they shouldn't (namely, into other people's dreams) use that ability to stop the end of the world. Think Inception: The TV Show.
Premieres: Thursday, Oct. 13 on USA
28. If You Loved The Muppets, Watch Haters Back Off
Colleen Ballinger's YouTube persona Miranda Sings is basically a human muppet, so if you find yourself missing your furry friends this TV season, you can tune into her new Netflix series instead. Adapted from the character's popular YouTube channel, Haters Back Off will introduce the incredibly confident but incredibly untalented Miranda Sings to a whole new generation of fans. And there'll be singing and dancing, too!
Premieres: Friday, Oct. 14 on Netflix
29. If You Loved The Mysteries Of Laura, Watch Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
Just because NBC forced Debra Messing to hang up her detective's cap after two seasons doesn't mean there won't be any mystery-solving on TV this fall. This quirky drama, based on a series of novels by The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy author Douglas Adams and created by Chronicle's Max Landis, stars Samuel Barnett (Penny Dreadful) as the titular detective and Elijah Wood as his bemused sidekick. Oh, and also there's time travel involved. The series is a co-production between BBC America and Netflix, which means it will premiere on the former in October and then be available for streaming on the latter in December.
Premieres: Saturday, Oct. 22 on BBC America
30. If You Loved The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, Watch Insecure
If you're still stinging from the sudden axing of Larry Wilmore's acclaimed late-night talk show, then rest easy knowing he already has a new project coming to TV this fall. New comedy Insecure is an adaptation of Issa Rae's YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl, which was co-created for HBO by Rae alongside Wilmore himself.
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 9 on HBO
31. If You Loved Penny Dreadful, Watch The Exorcist
Just because Penny Dreadful surprised us all by ending its run after three seasons earlier this year doesn't mean horror on television is dead. Far from it, in fact. FOX is bringing perhaps the most iconic horror film of all time to the small screen, with Geena Davis in the role of the mother concerned when her young daughter begins acting… strangely. Also starring Ben Daniels (House Of Cards) and Alfonso Herrera (Sense8) as the two priests she calls in for help.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 23 on FOX
32. If You Loved Person Of Interest, Watch Westworld
A sci-fi series created by Christopher Nolan's brother Jonathan and produced by J.J. Abrams about a futuristic A.I. technology? If you squint real hard, you might convince yourself that Person Of Interest was never cancelled at all! Westworld shares all of that in common with the departed CBS series — except with the added advantage of HBO's expansive production budget and high awards profile. Will this be the next Game Of Thrones?
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 2 on HBO
33. If You Loved The Player, Watch MacGyver
Although Alex Kane (the protagonist of NBC's short-lived The Player) and Angus MacGyver share a sole purpose in life — to solve mysteries and stop crime in its tracks — they have wildly divergent ways of going about it. Thanks to his connections to a high-stakes Las Vegas gambling operation, Kane had almost unlimited resources at his disposal. Conversely, MacGyver has to face off against bad guys with nothing but his wits and whatever household objects happen to be handy at the moment.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 23 on CBS
34. If You Loved Rush Hour, Watch Lethal Weapon
Although the last time someone tried to adapt a popular buddy-cop action franchise to the small screen didn't go so well (CBS pulled Rush Hour from its spring schedule after eight episodes), Hollywood has yet to find an idea it won't keep trying until it succeeds. So now FOX is bringing us this updated version of the Lethal Weapon movies with Rectify's Claynce Crawford and In Living Color's Damon Wayans in the Mel Gibson and Danny Glover roles.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 on FOX
35. If You Loved Second Chance, Watch Designated Survivor
A man receives an unexpected — and unexpectedly major — promotion after a deadly event. In the cancelled FOX drama, an aging retired sheriff has his consciousness downloaded into a new, youthful body after he's murdered. In the new ABC drama, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development has his job title changed to President of the United States after POTUS and his entire Cabinet are blown up during a State of the Union address. (Hopefully the latter scenario is just as fantastical as the former.) Jack Bauer as the Commander in Chief? Yes, please!
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 21 on ABC
36. If You Loved Heroes Reborn, Watch This Is Us
Wait, what on earth does a Parenthood-style feel-good family drama have to do with a superhero series? That's a good question, and one we won't fully know the answer to until This Is Us premieres later this month. But creator Dan Fogelman teases that his show is "the dramedy version of Lost " and advance review of the pilot hints at a huge, game-changing twist, which means this innocuous-seeming drama might have more in common with a sci-fi series about a diverse group of interconnected characters than we previously thought.
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 20 on NBC
37. If You Loved Togetherness, Watch Divorce
One HBO comedy was about a married couple trying to come together and failing miserably, and one is about a married couple trying to come apart and failing miserably. Got that? Sarah Jessica Parker's new series proves that sometimes getting a divorce is just as hard as staying together, as her character fights to amicably separate from her distant husband, played by Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church (Sideways).
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 9 on HBO
38/39. If You Loved Undateable, Watch Kevin Can Wait OR Man With A Plan
Pop quiz: "A middle-aged man finds out that raising his kids is actually harder than his former job after he becomes a stay-at-home dad." Quick, which new CBS sitcom did I just describe? Trick question, the answer was "both of them!" And either should do the trick if you find yourself in the market for a traditional sitcom with a laugh track starring a white man after the cancellation of NBC's Undateable. Will you choose the one starring Kevin James as a man spending more time with his children after he retires? Or the one starring Matt LeBlanc as a man spending more time with his children after he quits his job so his wife can go back to work? Decisions, decisions…
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 19 (Kevin Can Wait) & Monday, Oct. 24 (Man With A Plan) on CBS
40. If You Loved Vinyl, Watch Crisis In Six Scenes
If you're still fuming over HBO's switcheroo, first renewing and then cancelling Martin Scorsese's Vinyl after one season, luckily for you there's a new period drama coming to a premium outlet created by an Academy Award-winning filmmaker. Woody Allen's Crisis In Six Scenes swaps out the big city in the 1970s for the middle-class suburbs in the 1960s… and other than that, the series is pretty wrapped in secrecy. (Oh, and it also stars Miley Cyrus.)
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 30 on Amazon Prime
41. If You Loved You, Me And The Apocalypse, Watch No Tomorrow
Reading the news these days can often feel like breaking open the seventh seal of the apocalypse. So what better way to celebrate the end times than by watching an apocalyptic new show? The L.A. Complex's Tori Anderson stars alongside Galavant's Joshua Sasse as a woman who meets the man of her dreams — only to learn that he's convinced the world is about to end and who recruits her in making an "apocalyst" to complete before the planet explodes or whatever. Fun!
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 4 on The CW
Of course, none of these shows will ever be able to "replace" our cancelled favorites, but perhaps they can at least distract us from our pain long enough to to help us find some new favorites to fall in love with.
Image: Justin Lubin/NBC