Fall TV 2016 Premiere Dates: New & Returning Shows to Watch

With fall approaching, we look at the new and returning shows set to premiere, and gauge which ones will be worthy of your time.

Fall TV Premiere Dates

Now that television is a colossal, year-round affair, thanks to all the content just waiting to be delivered from one week to the next, the once exuberant pomp that welcomed the arrival of the fall TV season has been replaced with something more akin to a sense of obligation. It's an obligation to sit on your couch and be entertained for hours on end, but still… so much TV. For those who gladly accept the responsibility to seek out new and potentially interesting series or to welcome returning favorites back to your televisions, DVRs, or streaming service of choice (you don't have to pick just one, you know) 2016 is primed to leave summer in the dust and welcome the shorter days of fall with what may become your new favorite shows.

Whether that show is just new to you or it's hitting TV for the first time is one of the more interesting facets of watching television in 2016. Thanks to the massive influx of content, more and more shows are taking longer and longer to catch on, to gain the kind of sizeable audience that once was the deciding factor of whether or not many young series would live to see the next episode, let alone the next season. But viewing habits have changed; audiences aren't as beholden to the power of the premiere date as they once were and it behooves networks to hold on to strong shows for longer – lest the show in question fail to build an audience who discovered and appreciated it on their own schedule (cough cough The Americans).

But that doesn't mean a dedicated TV viewer shouldn’t be vigilant, shouldn't know what's coming at them and when. That's especially true of several new series premiering this fall. Shows like FX's Atlanta from Donald Glover, or Quarry from Banshee exec producer and director Greg Yaitanes. There's also the return of the wildly funny Documentary Now! on IFC, and, of course, new seasons of The CW's stable of DC Comics series, Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.

So let's get into it. Here are the Fall 2016 TV Premiere Dates you need to remember (or you can just check here if you need to) and what we think are the top shows you should check out.


Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 Key Art

Tuesday, August 23

  • Halt and Catch Fire (AMC, 10 pm)

Sunday, August 28

Wednesday, August 31


Friday, September 2

Monday, September 5

  • Mary + Jane (MTV, 10 pm)
  • Loosely Exactly Nicole (MTV, 10:30 pm)

Tuesday, September 6

  • Top Pick: Atlanta (FX, 10 pm)

Atlanta welcomes Donald Glover (Community, The Martian) back to television in a series created, starring, and largely written by him. Creatively, the series is in the vein of Louie and Master of None, in that primarily one or two people handle the majority of the writing and directing duties. In this case, director Hiro Murai and fellow writer Stephen Glover are also on hand to tell the story of two cousins, Earnest 'Earn' Marks (Glover) and up-and-coming rapper Alfred Miles, aka Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), as they navigate their way through the Atlanta rap scene.

  • From Dusk Till Dawn (El Rey, 9 pm)
  • Queen Sugar (OWN, 10 pm)
  • StartUp (Crackle)

Thursday, September 8

  • Better Things (FX, 10 pm)

Friday, September 9

  • Quarry (Cinemax, 10 pm)
  • One Mississippi (Amazon)

Sunday, September 11

  • Masters of Sex (Showtime, 10 pm)
  • Top Pick: Son of Zorn (FOX – after NFL Doubleheader)

FOX's Son of Zorn is the rare show that looks like it could as easily become a breakout hit as a fall-on-its-face disaster. That's reason enough to tune in and find out whether or not the live action/animation series about a He-Man-esque character named Zorn (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) returns to Earth to help raise the son he never knew and be reunited with Edie, the boy's mother, played by Cheryl Hines. The Last Man on Earth and The LEGO Movie masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller produce the series, which will no doubt offer some indication of the show's intended audience. FOX is obviously betting big by giving it a premiere following the NFL doubleheader that evening. So if you're in the mood for a few animated laughs after watching football all day, Son of Zorn might be just the ticket.

Wednesday, September 14

Friday, September 16

  • Fleabag (Amazon)
  • Z Nation (Syfy, 8 pm)
  • High Maintenance (HBO, 11 pm)
Fred Armisen and Bill Hader in Documentary Now!

Monday, September 19

  • Gotham (FOX, 8 pm)
  • The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8 pm)
  • Kevin Can Wait (CBS, 8:30 pm)
  • Lucifer (FOX, 9 pm)
  • The Good Place (NBC, 10 pm)

Tuesday, September 20

Wednesday, September 21

You have to be curious about this, right? In addition to the usual waves of vocal disapproval that typically accompanies film-to-TV adaptations like Lethal Weapon, there is also a weird inquisitiveness and desire to see whether or not this series in particular will be the one that pulls off the impossible. Last year, FOX had a dud with its Minority Report series, which quickly came and went, so it will be interesting to see whether or not this made-for-primetime version of the violent 80s actioner starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover can be transformed into an engaging and worthwhile series starring Clayne Crawford (Rectify) as loose-cannon cop Riggs and Damon Wayans as his too-old-for-this-s***t partner Sgt. Murtaugh. It's a long shot for sure, but the curiosity (morbid as it may be) is definitely there.

  • The Goldbergs (ABC. 8 pm)
  • Speechless (ABC, 8:30 pm)
  • Empire (FOX, 9 pm)
  • Modern Family (ABC, 9 pm)
  • black-ish (ABC, 9:30 pm)
  • Designated Survivor (ABC, 10 pm)
  • Chicago P.D. (NBC, 10 pm)

Thursday, September 22

  • Easy (Netflix)
  • Superstore (NBC, 8 pm)
  • Rosewood (FOX, 8 pm)
  • Grey's Anatomy (ABC 8 pm)
  • Pitch (FOX, 9 pm)
  • Notorious (ABC, 9 pm)
  • Chicago Med (NBC, 9 pm)
  • The Blacklist (NBC, 10 pm)
  • How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, 10 pm)

Friday, September 23

It probably says something about the state of network TV when two of the biggest premieres elicit a sort of prying nostalgic curiosity than anything else. Like Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist, CBS' MacGyver series starring sometimes-X-Man Lucas Till and former CSI guy George Eads is definitely in that category. That goes double now that the series has been retooled with an entirely new pilot being shot with director James Wan at the helm. Then there's the curious decision to air the show on Friday night – which in network terms is akin to banishing it before it has a chance to prove itself. Still, like the others, there's a chance this will be a fun, entertaining series that finds an audience.

Star Wars Rebels season 3 poster and trailer

Saturday, September 24

Sunday, September 25

  • Bob's Burgers (FOX, 7:30 pm)
  • The Simpsons (FOX, 8 pm)
  • Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8 pm)
  • Son of Zorn (FOX, 8:30 pm)
  • Family Guy (FOX, 9 pm)
  • Secrets and Lies (ABC, 9 pm)
  • The Last Man on Earth (FOX, 9:30 pm)
  • Quantico (ABC, 10 pm)

Tuesday, September 27

  • Channel Zero (Syfy, 9 pm)
  • Aftermath (Syfy, 10 pm)

Wednesday, September 28

  • Criminal Minds (CBS, 9 pm)
  • Code Black (CBS, 10 pm)
  • Younger (TV Land, 10 pm)
  • Impastor (TV Land, 10:30 pm)

Friday, September 30

With its third series Luke Cage, Marvel's gritty, street-level Netflix universe rivals its big screen counterpart in terms of breadth and ambition in terms of the scale of the story it's aiming to tell. As everyone is well aware, Cage is but another addition to the line-up that will later include Iron Fist and The Punisher, as well as the Avengers-like team-up series The Defenders, which will make Netflix home to one of the biggest interconnected franchises on television. This time, though, Marvel plans to tell a much different superhero story set in Harlem and featuring the likes of Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, and Alfre Woodard, and Theo Rossi. To say there's excitement bubbling around this series would be an understatement.

  • Crisis in Six Scenes (Amazon)


Saturday, October 1

  • Versailles (Ovation, 10 pm)

Sunday, October 2

  • Shameless (Showtime, 9 pm)
  • Top Pick: Westworld (HBO, 9pm)

Expensive, ambitious, plagued by production delays and persistent rumors of explicit expectations of its extras, HBO's Westworld has the sort of reputation ahead of its premiere that guarantees people will be talking about it. Throw in the fact that it's co-creator is Jonathan Nolan, it's produced by J.J. Abrams, and it has a massive cast that includes the fantastic Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, and Thandie Newton and you might almost forget this is an adaptation of Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name. This time, instead of being a precursor to Jurassic Park, the titular Westworld park is the breeding ground for questions about ownership, consciousness, and the exploitation of objects/beings for the purpose of entertainment. HBO could certainly use another big hit in the same fashion of Game of Thrones. Will Westworld be that show?

Monday, October 3

  • Scorpion (CBS, 9 pm)
  • Timeless (NBC, 10 pm)
  • Conviction (ABC, 10 pm)

Tuesday, October 4

  • The Mindy Project (Hulu)
  • The Flash (The CW, 8 pm)
  • No Tomorrow (The CW, 9 pm)

Wednesday, October 5

Friday, October 7

  • The Ranch (Netflix)

Sunday, October 9

  • Divorce (HBO, 9 pm)
  • Top Pick: Insecure (HBO, 9:30 pm)

HBO has a string of new half-hour comedies ready to premiere this fall and one of the most promising looking is Insecure, starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, and Lisa Joyce. The series follows the lives of two friends as they navigate life and all its various obstacles. The series has a welcome low-key hangout vibe to it, thanks in large part to Rae's performance. Rae co-created the series along with former The Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore, so expect plenty of biting humor from one of HBO's freshest new comedies.

Monday, October 10

  • Supergirl (The CW, 8 pm)
  • 2 Broke Girls (The CW, 9 pm)

Tuesday, October 11

  • The Middle (ABC, 8 pm)
  • American Housewife (ABC, 9 pm)
  • Fresh Off the Boat (ABC, 9 pm)
  • The Real O'Neals (ABC, 9:30 pm)
  • Chicago Fire (NBC, 10 pm)

Thursday, October 13

Friday, October 14

  • Goliath (Amazon)
  • Haters Back Off (Netflix)
  • Wolf Creek (Pop, 10 pm)

Sunday, October 16

  • Eyewitness (USA, 10 pm)

Monday, October 17

  • Jane the Virgin (The CW, 9 pm)
  • The Odd Couple (CBS, 9:30 pm)

Wednesday, October 19

  • Chance (Hulu)

Thursday, October 20

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (FOX, 8 pm)

Friday, October 21

Charlie Brooker's cautionary, technophobic anthology is set to become a Netflix original this October as the streaming service follows up its acquisition of seasons 1 and 2 with an all new third season of episodic adventures exploring science fiction-y, sometimes frighteningly plausible dystopian futures. This time around, the series continues its trend of finding top-notch talent to star in stories like 'San Junipero' and 'Nosedive,' which features the likes of Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Alice Eve. There's not a lot to go on with regard to plots in the new episodes, but given that Black Mirror operates like The Twlight Zone or Outer Limits, there doesn't need to be much in the way of specific episodic details to get audiences excited.

  • The Vampire Diaries (The CW, 8 pm)
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW, 9 pm)

Saturday, October 22

  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (BBC America)
The Walking Dead season 7 key art

Sunday, October 23

Monday, October 24

  • Man with a Plan (CBS, 8:30 pm)

Wednesday, October 26

  • Rectify (Sundance TV, 10 pm)

Thursday, October 27

  • The Great Indoors (CBS, 8:30 pm)

Friday, October 28

  • Good Girls Revolt (Amazon)

Monday, October 31

  • People of Earth (TBS, 9 pm)


Wednesday, November 2

  • Stan Against Evil (IFC, 10 pm)

Friday, November 4

  • The Crown (Netflix)

Friday, November 11

  • Top Pick: Red Oaks (Amazon)

Last year, Amazon's '80s-set coming-of-age comedy Red Oaks made a small but memorable splash on the online retailer's streaming service. Produced by Steven Soderbergh, the series stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) as a college student enjoying one last blissfully aimless summer before the responsibilities of school and onset adulthood ruin everything. With a solid supporting cast that includes Paul Reiser, Richard Kind, Jennifer Gray, Red Oaks is a humorous trip to the Me decade, while still having a story to tell outside its own nostalgic, borderline ironic beats. Throw in a magical body-swapping episode a la Vice Versa and 18 Again! and you have a charming comedy that has a lot more to offer than it seems.

Tuesday, November 15

  • Good Behavior (TNT, 9 pm)

Thursday, November 17

  • Lovesick (Netflix)
  • Undercover (BBC America)

Friday, November 18

  • Beat Bugs (Netflix)
Gilmore Girls A Year in the Life

Saturday, November 20

  • The Affair (Showtime, 10 pm)
  • The Librarians (TNT, 8 pm)

Monday, November 21

  • Search Party (TBS, 11 pm)

Friday, November 25

Wednesday, November 30

  • Incorporated (Syfy, 10 pm)


Wednesday, December 7

  • Shut Eye (Hulu)
  • Hairspray Live! (NBC, 8 pm)

Friday, December 9

  • Captive (Netflix)
  • Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

Sunday, December 11

  • The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses (PBS, 9 pm)

Friday, December 16


Watch Every Arrowverse Cameo In Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 1