After months of anticipation, the new fall TV shows will soon premiere, with promises to take us to new worlds and on thrilling adventures with complex mythologies. No pressure, TV people!
The good news is that this season's new sci-fi and fantasy shows are coming from people with deep backgrounds in groundbreaking genre television shows, including J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon and producers behind Fringe, Lost and 24, not to mention hit TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and Merlin.
It's a rich new universe of possibilities, and we've put together a list of five MUST-SEE new series, plus five other shows you might find of interest in the order of which we'd most like to see them.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) - Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.
While it may be a mouthful, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the biggest buzz. Not only is it a spinoff from a hit superhero movie, but it puts an exciting new twist on the material AND brings back Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who died in the movie. Coulson runs a highly select group of not-so-superpowered Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. who are tasked with protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. The series also stars Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge and Chloe Bennet. Along with Whedon, behind-the-scenes talent includes Dollhouse's Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, Smallville's Jeph Loeb and Firefly's Jeff Bell.
Why Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a MUST SEE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is widely considered the best TV pilot of the new crop, and it has kick-ass action, humor, thrills AND Agent Phil Coulson. The new series boasts the return of Joss Whedon to television, along with his team, who know a little something about putting together great TV. Based on the pilot, it looks like Whedon, who once had three TV shows on at the same time, is spinning his old magic. As if that wasn't enough, WE KNEW AGENT COULSON WASN'T DEAD, and we love to be vindicated.
Here's a look:
Dracula (NBC) - Premieres Friday, Oct. 25 at 10 p.m.
The granddaddy of all vampires gets the antihero treatment in this dark new series from the people behind Carnivàle and Downton Abbey. The series takes place in the late 19th century, when Dracula (Rhys Meyers) arrives in London posing as an American entrepreneur who seeks to bring modern science to Victorian England. His real reason for going to London actually involves revenge, though, as he plots to destroy those who cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. But things get complicated when he meets a woman who appears to be the reincarnation of his dead wife. There's a nefarious organization called the Order of the Dragon, and Dracula and Van Helsing are working together to bring them down. That's a nice touch. The series also stars Victoria Smurfit, Thomas Kretschmann, Jessica De Gouw, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Nonso Anozie and Katie McGrath. Dracula comes from Daniel Knauf (Carnivàle), Tony Krantz (24) and Colin Callender and Gareth Neame (Downton Abbey).
Why Dracula is a MUST SEE: NBC's Dracula is a limited British-American production, and it feels more like a cable series than a network series with its rich look and its 10-episode order. And you've got to love any story that can have Dracula viciously attacking innocent people and still turn him into a hero of sorts.
Here's a look:
Sleepy Hollow (Fox) - Premieres Monday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m.
This modern-day reimagining of the Washington Irving classic rips Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) through history to present-day Sleepy Hollow, in which a revived Headless Horseman is on a murderous rampage. Ichabod finds himself working with a young cop, Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who has had her own supernatural experiences. They attempt to unravel a series of mysteries to protect Sleepy Hollow's future from an increasingly vicious cycle of evil involving the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The series also stars Orlando Jones, Katia Winter and guest star Clancy Brown. Sleepy Hollow comes from Fringe's Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Underworld's Len Wiseman, Phillip Iscove and Heather Kadin.
Why Sleepy Hollow is a MUST SEE: The series has a nice mix of mystery, history and one cranky Headless Horseman, not to mention a touch of humor, thanks to Ichabod's fish-out-of-water condition. Add in Kurtzman, Orci and Wiseman behind the scenes, and if anyone can make this material fly, they can.
Here's a look:
Almost Human (Fox) - Premieres Monday, Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.
Let's call this one Blade Runner meets RoboCop. The action-packed police drama is set 35 years in the future, when all police officers are forced to partner with highly evolved human-like androids. The series follows John Kennex (Star Trek's Karl Urban), a cop who returns to work after 17 months in a coma, and after losing his human partner and his leg during one of the most catastrophic attacks ever made against a police department. Kennex, who has a passionate aversion to androids, is none too happy when he's forced to partner with one. He eventually finds himself saddled with an outdated model called Dorian (Michael Ealy), who has the ability to feel. Together they fight crime across a futuristic landscape, while the mythology behind the devastating attack unfolds. Almost Human also stars Lili Taylor, Minka Kelly, Mackenzie Crook and Michael Irby. The series comes from J.J. Abrams, J.H. Wyman and Bryan Burk.
Why Almost Human is a MUST SEE: With awesome behind-the-scenes talent, über-producer Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe, Revolution) and Almost Human creator J.H. Wyman (Fringe), what's not to love? Add in a grizzled hero, an intriguing concept and a cool future world, and there's plenty of viewing-worthy elements to make this a MUST SEE.
Here's a look:
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC) – Premieres Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8 p.m.
Imagine if Alice fell down the rabbit hole, went on an amazing adventure and fell in love with a genie, only to lose him and end up back home in Victorian England. Unfortunately for the beautiful Alice (Sophie Lowe), her father and her doctors think she's crazy. But just as she's about to have a treatment that will make her permanently forget her imagined land and the genie, the sardonic Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the irrepressible White Rabbit (voiced by John Lithgow) arrive to save her and take her back down the rabbit hole to rescue her genie (Peter Gadiot). The series comes from Once Upon a Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, who also executive-produced Lost.
Why Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is a MUST SEE: Promising to take viewers down the rabbit hole as well, creators Horowitz and Kitsis have come up with a brand-new series for their Once Upon a Time universe. And they promise that the first season, which will be 13 to 16 episodes, will be one complete stand-alone story.
Here's a look:
Other new series of interest:
The Originals (The CW) - Premieres Thursday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m., Regular time slot Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m.
One of the most interesting villains on TV gets his own spinoff with The Originals. Last season a key episode of The Vampire Diaries took us to New Orleans to learn more about Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah. The episode, “The Originals,” also served as the pilot for the new series, which follows what happens when Klaus and his siblings try to return to the city they helped build, only to discover that Klaus' protege, Marcel, has taken over New Orleans, forced the witches to stop practicing magic and driven the werewolves out of town. But the witches have a plan, and it involves Klaus' unborn child, as they attempt to force the original vampire-werewolf hybrid to help them in their coming battle. The series stars Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Daniel Gillies, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, Daniella Pineda and Leah Pipes. The Originals comes from Diaries' Julie Plec, who wrote the pilot, Gina Girolamo, Leslie Morgenstein and Caroline Dries.
Here's a look:
The Tomorrow People (The CW) - Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 9 p.m.
The next evolutionary leap of mankind has arrived, a generation of humans who've been born with paranormal abilities, including telekinesis, teleportation and telepathic communication. Unfortunately for these Tomorrow People, an extreme paramilitary group of scientists called Ultra feel this new species is dangerous and must be hunted down. When a troubled teen, Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell), learns he's a member of the Tomorrow People, he finds himself in the midst of a battle that will take him on a journey to uncover family secrets while trying to protect the humans he loves and his new Tomorrow People family. Star Robbie Amell is the brother of Arrow's Stephen Amell. The series also stars Lost's Mark Pellegrino, Madeleine Mantock, Luke Mitchell, Peyton List and Aaron Yoo. The series comes from Arrow's Greg Berlanti, The Vampire Diaries' Julie Plec, Chuck's Phil Klemmer and Nikita's Danny Cannon.
Witches of East End (Lifetime) - Premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 10 p.m.
Based on the hit novel by Melissa de la Cruz, this series follows a family of witches living in a secluded seaside town of East Haven. Free-spirited artist Joanna (Julia Ormond) has hidden the fact that her two adult daughters, wild-child bartender Freya (Jenna Dewan Tatum) and shy librarian Ingrid (Rachel Boston), have a magical birthright. They are immortal witches who possess great untapped powers, which may come in handy when a formidable and ancient enemy is headed their way intent on destroying them. The series also stars Mädchen Amick, Virginia Madsen, Eric Winter, Daniel DiTomasso and Jason George. The series was created by Eastwick's Maggie Friedman, and also comes from Erwin Stoff, Jonathan Kaplan and Josh Reims.
Here's a look:
Atlantis (BBC America) - Premieres Saturday, Nov. 23 at 10 p.m.
This 13-episode fantasy series follows young Jason (Jack Donnelly) as he arrives at the strange, ancient city of Alantis, “a world of bull leaping, of reptile haired goddesses and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants.” The series also stars Mark Addy as Hercules, Jemima Rooper as Medusa, Robert Emms as Pythagoras, Sarah Parish as Pasiphae and Juliet Stevenson as the Oracle. Atlantis comes from Merlin producers Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, and Mitfits' Howard Overman.
There are no previews or images available at this time.
Fangasm (Syfy) - Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 10 p.m.
Seven very different uber-obsessed fans living together and interning for Stan Lee at his Comikaze Expo, LA's largest pop-culture convention? Get ready for this six-part docu-series and the ultimate fan debates from Star Wars vs. Star Trek to favorite superheroes to what they'd do if there was a real zombie apocalypse. From the producers of Jersey Shore.
Here's a look:
What shows are you looking forward to?