We had our summer fling with many TV shows (in particular The Old Man, Love Island USA, Only Murders in the Building and more), but it's now time to get into the heart of the US TV calendar, the 2022 fall TV season.
In addition to the changing of the season, fall brings a tidal wave of new and returning TV shows — on the four major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC), the cable channels and the streaming services. Basically, there's going to be a lot to watch.
We've compiled a list of the TV shows we're most looking forward to watching this fall that run the gamut from sitcoms to dramas, reality to westerns, sci-fi, fantasy and more... So without further ado, let's get down to it.
90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? season 7 (on air, TLC/Discovery Plus)
With 90 Day Fiancé wrapped for another season, it’s time for 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? season 7. The spinoff series continues to showcase fan-favorite couples from the 90 Day Universe as they attempt to navigate their relationships post-nuptials. This season, viewers get to once again see Angela Deem screech Michael Ilesanm’s name for no rhyme or reason, Andrei Castravet duke it out in another few rounds with Elizabeth Potthast’s sisters and newcomers Bilal Hazziez and Shaeeda Sween figure out if a baby is in their future.
In a rarity for the series, there is one couple this season that isn’t married nor have they gone through the K-1 Visa process. Referring, of course, to Big Ed Brown and Liz Woods. The couple actually met on another spinoff, 90 Day: The Single Life.
On the topic of 90 Day: The Single Life, season 3 of the series premieres on Monday, September 12, and features returning cast members Debbie Johnson and Natalie Mordovtseva. Hopefully, these two ladies will find love this go around. — Terrell Smith
Little Demon (on air, FXX)
There’s something really fun about how adult animation pushes the boundaries of storytelling in ways that wouldn’t work outside a cartoon world. That’s what makes Little Demon so much fun. In one corner you have mom Laura (Aubrey Plaza), who has worked for 13 years to protect her daughter, Chrissy (voice by Lucy DeVito), from the outside world because her father is the actual devil.
When Satan — voiced by Danny DeVito — shows up to claim his offspring when the child comes of age, he’s delighted to discover that he has a daughter and that she’s willing to learn about her new powers despite her mom’s concerns.
We’re excited about Little Demon because it’s well-written and raunchy. It doesn’t hold back on crass humor and it’s full of inside jokes and double entendres to keep you guessing. At the end of the day when you need to relax and unwind, it’s adult animation like this that proves to be the perfect thing to watch. — Sarabeth Pollock
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (September 2, Prime Video)
Fall 2022 may be the best time to be a fantasy fan on TV. Not only are we enjoying a return to Westeros with the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, but for the first time ever J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings work is coming to television.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is based on Tolkien's writings (footnotes, appendices and songs) but covers events in an era of Middle Earth we’ve never seen before — the Second Age and the forging of the titular Rings of Power — that lead to the story we know so well. Even though we’ll have plenty of new characters and worlds to experience for the first time, fan favorites like Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo) are part of the series.
Amazon Studios reportedly spent $1 billion on The Rings of Power. It certainly looks it from the incredible visuals we’ve seen. But will that translate into an enjoyable TV series? We’ll see, but we have our fingers crossed. — Michael Balderston
Queen Sugar season 7 (September 6, OWN)
Ava DuVernay’s hit drama is gearing up for a royal goodbye, as Queen Sugar season 7 will be the series’ last. Knowing DuVernay’s incomparable knack for storytelling when it comes to dramas, it will be interesting to see how it all ends. Will Charlie (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) become a California politician and a star of her political party on the national stage? Will Nova (Rutina Wesley) be able to keep shining a light on police corruption if it continues to put her and her family in harm’s way?
Additionally, what will happen to the Bordelon farm? Given all that’s happening in the lives of the characters and the legacy of what that land means to them, will the family decide their ability to progress forward in their individual endeavors is hampered by their continued fight to keep their land? Or will they realize the land is always worth the fight? — Terrell Smith
The Serpent Queen (September 11, Starz)
From the network that gave us Outlander now comes the story of one of history’s most notorious female rulers. In The Serpent Queen, BAFTA-winner Samantha Morton becomes Catherine de Medici, the Italian wife of France’s King Henry II.
This retelling of Catherine’s story makes the 16th century come to life through a modern lens. This edgy drama is historical fiction (like Reign or The Great), loosely tying historical events together in a package that’s easy for viewers to digest regardless of their knowledge of Catherine’s life or the events that made her a queen.
What’s fun is that the show does not take itself too seriously, giving Morton all the space she needs to be devious and wicked but also strong and fierce, an unusual combination for a woman at that time.
The all-star cast, including Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, The Sandman) and Colm Meaney (Star Trek: The Next Generation), make it must-see TV. — Sarabeth Pollock
Vampire Academy (September 15, Peacock)
The fall TV schedule is full of vampires and we’re here for it. Vampire Academy, based on the bestselling series by Richelle Mead, is coming to life in spectacular fashion under the watchful eye of The Vampire Diaries’ showrunner Julie Plec.
Plec knows a thing or two about vampires, so there’s no doubt this show will have all of the angst and drama we’ve come to love and expect from her productions.
Vampire Academy is the story of a reluctant vampire princess and her bodyguard, who also happens to be her best friend. Together, they struggle to fulfill the duties that are expected of them while carving out identities of their own.
As a Peacock exclusive, Vampire Academy can do things that weren’t possible on The CW, giving the fledgling series the ability to feature more blood, violence and possibly gore (staples of vampire series, of course), as well as exploring the kinds of language and sexuality that wouldn’t pass TV censors.
The Vampire Academy series came out around the same time as Twilight, which means there are lots of vampire fans of all ages out there looking forward to the series coming to life. — Sarabeth Pollock
Quantum Leap (September 19, NBC)
When Quantum Leap first debuted in 1989, it offered TV audiences something different with its ability to jump from place to place, era to era, with an ever-changing cast of characters supporting the show’s stars, Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell.
Modern audiences will get to see the show come to life again as Quantum Leap returns with Raymond Lee, Caitlin Bassett, Mason Alexander Park and Ernie Hudson leading the way. The new series is set 30 years after the original, with Lee’s Dr. Ben Song trying to learn about the Quantum Leap machine.
Like its predecessor, the new Quantum Leap will have a chance to transport its cast to new locations and new eras, giving the show a fresh new feel from week to week. Though risky, when done properly it can yield high rewards for TV audiences looking for something fresh and different in a primetime lineup that’s usually full of medical dramas and crime procedurals. — Sarabeth Pollock
Abbott Elementary season 2 (September 21, ABC)
Abbott Elementary was an instant hit with viewers (and us at What to Watch). The comedic genius that is Quinta Brunson created a fantastic sitcom that managed to differentiate itself from others in the current TV landscape with its unique comedic setups, Philly-based jargon and fresh take on what it's like to educate today’s minds.
When viewers last caught up with the teachers of Abbott Elementary, Janine (Brunson) was preparing to begin her newly single life. Although fans are hoping that means she’ll gravitate to Gregory (Tyler James Williams), given he appears to be dating Barbara’s (Sheryl Lee Ralph) daughter, we aren’t sure Janine and Gregory will become a couple any time soon. We’ll have to wait and see how that potential love triangle develops or fizzles.
Oh, and we can’t forget everyone’s favorite principal Ava (Janelle James). Since she is no longer able to blackmail her supervisor, Abbott Elementary fans should expect her to do something truly unique in the coming episodes — actually do some work. — Terrell Smith
Law & Order: SVU season 24 (September 22, NBC)
Let’s hope this is the season on Law & Order: SVU that creator Dick Wolf finally listens to fans and explores the romantic side of the relationship between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni). Since Elliot has resurfaced in the Law & Order universe, the two have had incomplete conversations about their feelings for each other and after 23 seasons of this will-they-or-won’t-they dynamic, you figure it’s time they’d become a couple hashtag or something.
We’re also hoping for an amazing sendoff for Detective Amanda Rollins. Rollins portrayer, Kelli Giddish, recently announced that season 24 of the series will be her last. So, it will be interesting to see how the character’s storyline wraps.
Briefly pivoting back to Elliot, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that many fans are interested in seeing what his team over on Law & Order: Organized Crime has going on in their third season. Given he’s been undercover now for two seasons, we wonder what new alias he’ll take on. Law & Order: Organized Crime season 3 also premieres on Thursday, September 22, in a three-series Law & Order crossover event. — Terrell Smith
Interview with the Vampire (October 2, AMC)
Anne Rice’s Immortal Universe comes to life on AMC with the highly-anticipated adaptation of Interview with the Vampire starring Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones) as Louis and Sam Reid (The Newsreader) as the vampire Lestat. Bailey Bass and Eric Bogosian round out the cast and put their own spins on Claudia and reporter Daniel Molloy.
Though Interview with the Vampire was adapted into the 1994 film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, the new AMC series is a chance for the story to develop in greater detail, possibly spawning an entire universe based on Rice’s beloved characters.
There are some changes from the books, but in the end these updates for a modern audience will likely strengthen the story as it expands into a full-blown universe.
What we love is that it has all of the trappings of Rice’s world; lavish and decadent New Orleans sets and costumes that befit the Brat Prince and his vampire family.
We’re ready to sink our teeth into this new vampire series! — Sarabeth Pollock
The Walking Dead final episodes (October 2, AMC)
After 12 years and 11 seasons, The Walking Dead is coming to an end. The final season was divided into three eight-episode segments, with the last eight episodes of the season premiering this fall, with fans dying to know who makes it through to the end.
Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) are the only two characters who have survived from the first season, along with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) who joined in season 2. Though all three have been tied to Walking Dead spinoffs after the main show ends, we don’t know where they’ll be when The Walking Dead wraps up.
One cool thing about these final episodes is that they can’t have the ending as written in the original comic books, given that Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) left the show in season 9 and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) was killed off in season 8. That means we’ll be guessing until the very end. That’s something to be excited about from a show that knows how to deliver big twists and unexpected turns. — Sarabeth Pollock
Grey’s Anatomy season 19 (October 6, ABC)
As a longtime Grey’s Anatomy fan, it would seem disloyal not to put this as a must-watch for the fall. Especially, when this could be Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) last season of the series.
With the announcement that Pompeo’s only slated to be featured in eight episodes, we have a lot of questions about the nature of Meredith’s storyline. Is the OG of Grey Sloan readying herself for an exit and going to wind up taking the job in Minnesota? Or does Shonda Rhimes have one of her gut-wrenching deaths planned for a character that has already escaped death so many times before? Or is Meredith just going on a sabbatical to remember how she’s different from her ambitious mother professionally?
Whatever the answer is to the Meredith mystery, this season is worth viewing. By the way, you also want to watch this season to figure out how Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Teddy (Kim Raver) get out of their current legal troubles. — Terrell Smith
The White Lotus: Sicily (October, HBO)
It’s time to head back on vacation to The White Lotus, this time to the gorgeous Italian island of Sicily. However, if you’re familiar with the first iteration of The White Lotus, you'll know that a relaxing vacation is not likely in store for the characters in this new season.
An entirely new cast (save for the first season’s MVP Jennifer Coolidge) makes up The White Lotus: Sicily, including Aubrey Plaza, F. Murray Abraham, Michael Imperioli, Theo James, Haley Lu Richardson and Tom Hollander as some of the guests and Sabrina Impacciatore as the manager forced to deal with them.
We’ve never been rooting for a bad vacation before like we are with The White Lotus: Sicily. Hopefully, we get another darkly enjoyable outing from creator Mike White and company. — Michael Balderston
The English (November 11, Prime Video)
There have been a number of hugely popular TV shows in recent years that got their play first in the UK and we have another contender this fall with The English, a limited series western starring Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer.
The series sees an aristocratic Englishwoman (Blunt) and a Pawnee ex-cavalry scout (Spencer) join together to cross the 1890 mid-America landscape, which is built on dreams and blood. They're heading for Wyoming, where a series of unsolved murders complicates their situation as well as shines a light on key elements of their past.
In addition to Blunt and Spencer, the series stars Stephen Rae, Valerie Pachner, Rafe Spall, Tom Hughes, Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds.
The western has been experiencing a renaissance on US TV, between Yellowstone and other Taylor Sheridan projects, Outer Range and more. The English is the latest example of this trend but has a number of intriguing ingredients that could make it a standalone hit. — Michael Balderston
Yellowstone season 5 (November 13, Paramount Network)
To see how much Yellowstone has grown in popularity you only have to look at the fan reactions to the western drama receiving exactly zero 2022 Emmy nominations for season 4, despite it being one of the most-watched shows of the last year. So it should be no surprise that having the Duttons back on TV is one of the most anticipated events of the fall TV season.
Though the Sheridan-verse is growing with 1883, the upcoming 1923, Tulsa King starring Sylvester Stallone (another Paramount Plus original series also premiering on November 13) and more on the way, Yellowstone season 5 remains the flagship series.
As the Duttons continue their fight to protect their land, John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is going to be kicking his campaign for governor into high gear. The rest of the main cast — Kelly Reilly, Luke Grimes, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser and Kelsey Asbille — are all back for the latest season as well.
Whether it gets the awards or not, Yellowstone has become a phenomenon and season 5 is going to be appointment viewing (though it’s never too late to catch up with Yellowstone seasons 1-4). — Michael Balderston
The Crown season 5 (November, Netflix)
It’s a new season and a new Queen Elizabeth II for The Crown, as Imelda Staunton takes over as the third iteration of Britain’s sovereign ruler since the Netflix original series began. She follows in the footsteps of Claire Foy and Olivia Colman — those are not small shoes to fill, especially since both Foy and Colman received Emmys for their performances.
Staunton is not the only new member of The Crown as the series heads into the 1990s. Jonathan Pryce takes over as Prince Phillip, Dominic West assumes the role of Prince Charles, Olivia Williams moves forward as Camilla Parker Bowles and Elizabeth Debicki is the show’s next Princess Diana, picking up where Emma Corin left off. Johnny Lee Miller is Prime Minister John Major and Khalid Abdalla join the cast as Diana's lover, Dodi Al-Fayed.
As we move closer to current times, many of the events depicted in The Crown are going to be fresher in people’s minds, which should make for some interesting parallels. — Michael Balderston
The Best Man: The Final Chapter (December 22, Peacock)
The forthcoming The Best Man: The Final Chapter should excite all fans of the 1999 original film. The 10-episode series continues to follow the lives of Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs) and his longtime friends as they navigate the twists and turns that come along with getting further along in adulthood.
When fans of The Best Man last caught up with the characters, it was in The Best Man Holiday, where the crew gathered for what would be the ultimate passing of Mia (Monica Calhoun). However, it was in her death that old wounds were healed and new pathways were created.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens next. — Terrell Smith
1923 (December, Paramount Plus)
Yellowstone may have taken some time to build up its current fanbase, but now that they’re there they are ready to watch anything related to the neo-western. Earlier this year that included the prequel series 1883, which followed members of the Dutton family as they made their way west and in 2022 they’re going to be able to watch 1923, the next chapter in the Dutton family saga.
Starring Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren and with the great depression and westward expansion as its backdrop, 1923 looks to be another massive story. But Taylor Sheridan has shown he’s more than capable of portraying a deeply human and affecting story against the western landscape, which should make for some great TV. — Michael Balderston
Love Is Blind season 3 (TBA, Netflix)
Love is Blind has just become one of those reality dating shows that you can’t stop watching once you start. While it naturally draws its comparisons with shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette given it follows people in their quest to find love, it’s completely different in that it forces people to establish a romantic connection with someone without knowing what they may look like.
Following a season in which no couple opted to stay together (even the two married couples recently announced their plans to divorce), there are some high expectations that Love Is Blind season 3 will help right the ship when it comes to building lasting relationships.
Netflix has just announced that season 3 will be out this fall. We suspect Netflix will release more specific information on dates after the debut of Love is Blind: After the Altar season 2. — Terrell Smith
Wednesday (TBA, Netflix)
We’re ready to snap our fingers to the tune of Tim Burton’s Wednesday, The Addams Family spinoff coming to Netflix this fall. If we’re being honest, Wednesday Addams is the most compelling member of her spooky clan. Not only is she brilliant, but she’s got her mother’s grace and her father’s penchant for mischief.
In the new series, Wednesday is kicked out of yet another school when she takes on her brother’s bullies. She’s sent to Nevermore Academy, the school where her parents met and fell in love. After an adjustment period, she finds that she’s going to fit in quite well at her new school.
The Wednesday trailer absolutely sold us on Burton’s vision for the series. It’s dark but playful, sinister but self-deprecating in the best of ways. Star Jenna Ortega is so perfect for the role and Burton has given her the space she needs to put her own twist on the beloved character. And, in a first for the series, there’s also some blood and gore mixed into what’s being described as a murder mystery, giving Wednesday the space she needs to show what she can really do… — Sarabeth Pollock
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.