FALL SCI-FI TV PREVIEW: Your complete guide to 45 returning shows

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Dec 17, 2012

There are zombies and dragons and world-ruling Observers headed our way, as well as ghosts and vampires and werewolves (and sometimes they're all in the same TV show). This is part two of our three-part Fall 2012 TV Preview, and we've got enough info here to make your head explode.

Fringe heads to the future for its final season, the dead continue to walk and get more gross-looking on The Walking Dead, Diana Rigg becomes a queen on Game of Thrones, Elena becomes a vampire ... or does she on The Vampire Diaries, and Doctor Who gets a new companion.

To get the scoop on all your favorites, we hunted down show creators and producers to see if they had a quote to give us on their upcoming seasons.

Here's our list of 45 shows that are returning or continuing, as well as some series that have fates that are yet to be determined.

Returning and Continuing Shows

Alphas, Syfy

Season two is currently airing on Mondays at 8 p.m.

Alphas is about half way through its season, and ratings are decent. However, if Syfy has made any decisions about a third season of Alphas, they haven't announced it yet.

Here's a look at next week's episode:

American Horror Story: Asylum, FX

Season two premieres Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 10 p.m.

Season two is an entirely new story, with a new setting and some of season one's cast returning in different roles. So whatever you think you know about American Horror Story, forget about it. The only thing to take away from season one is that each season will be a completely new story that's self-contained. For season two, Jessica Lange will take center stage for the story, which is set in the 1960s at a mental institution run by Lange's character. The cast includes returning actors Lange, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and Lily Rabe, and new actors James Cromwell, Joseph Fiennes, Franka Potente, Jenna Dewan, Adam Levine and Clea Duvall.

While there won't be any ghosts this season, the horror will take other forms, said actress Sarah Paulson. "This season is much more of a psychological terror and preying on all of our fears as humans about being left, being unwanted, unloved and disenfranchised. So it's got, I think, a much more ... I don't know. It taps into a kind of universal fear that we all have. I think that makes it all the more terrifying for me. It's not just about things that go bump in the night."

Here's a freaky look:

Archer, FX

Fourth season return date TBD

FX has ordered a 13-episode fourth season and signed a multiyear deal with Adam Reed and Matt Thompson's Floyd County Productions. The only details that have been teased involve an Archer/Bob's Burgers crossover episode where H. Jon Benjamin's Sterling Archer and Bob Belcher from Bob's Burgers meet.

Here's an interview with Adam Reed and Amber Nash about season four:

Bedlam, BBC America

Season two premieres Saturday, Oct. 6, at 9 p.m.

The second season gets a mostly new cast, with Lacey Turner taking the lead as Ellie, a suspended paramedic who begins to see ghosts. She is drawn to Bedlam Heights, the apartment building that was once an asylum, to find Jed Harper. Unfortunately for her, the restless spirits of Bedlam Heights are drawn to her as well. Season two consists of six episodes.

Here's a look:

Being Human, BBC America

Season five premieres in 2013

The six-episode season will see the return of Michael Socha as Tom and Damien Molony as Hal, with Kate Bracken as "our new ghost," according to the BBC. Lenora Crichlow won't be returning to the series because the production team felt her storyline had reached a natural conclusion.

Being Human, Syfy

Season three returns in 2013

The ghost, the vampire and the werewolf return for a new 13-episode season. "As the new season unfolds, Aidan resurfaces from being 'grounded' and finds the vampire community vastly changed; he must find a new approach to feeding that will change his life forever. Sally fights to return from limbo and Josh must deal with an ominous visitor who comes to Boston looking for him and Nora," according to the Syfy press release.

The Big Bang Theory, CBS

Season six premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m.

This hit comedy has already been renewed through season seven, so expect plenty of more fun, especially after last season's big finale. In season six, Penny and Leonard will begin as a couple, but expect them to continue to have challenges. Amy and Sheldon will also have relationship issues, and Howard will find he can't get away from his mother, even in space. Meanwhile, his bride Bernadette will have mother-in-law issues, and Raj will continue to have trouble when engaging the opposite sex.

Here's a look at season six:

Comic Book Men, AMC

Season two premieres Sunday, Oct. 14, at 11:30 p.m.

The continued fanboy adventures of the gang at Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book shop in New Jersey. Comic Book Men has a 16-episode order and will air after The Walking Dead and Talking Dead.

Dark Matters: Twisted But True, Science Channel

Season two premieres Wednesday, Nov. 21

Fringe's John Noble returns for this freakish look at shocking real-life scientific studies. In the series viewers get an "inside a real-life Twilight Zone, where shocking CGI re-creations illustrate unforgettable tales of genius gone horribly awry."

Here's a look at a preview from season one:

The Dead Files, Travel Channel

Season two returns on Friday, Oct. 6 at 10 p.m.

New episodes of The Dead Files return as part of the Travel Channel's "Weekends to Die For" in October. Retired NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi and medium Amy Allan continue to investigate some of the most haunted locations out there by taking different approaches to each case and then coming together for a startling reveal.

Destination Truth, Syfy

On hiatus

There's been no word on if or when Destination Truth will get a sixth season.

Doctor Who, BBC America

Season seven continues on Saturdays at 9 p.m.

There's only a couple episodes left before the Ponds say goodbye to the Doctor. "We've got the five episodes which are Arthur and Karen's sadly last episodes for the autumn, and then from Christmas onwards it's the Jenna and Matt era," said executive producer Caroline Skinner. Matt Smith is the Doctor, of course, and Jenna-Louise Coleman will play his new companion. After the Christmas special, which will likely air in December, Doctor Who will return in spring with eight additional episodes.

Here's a preview of the next episode, "A Town Called Mercy":

Drop Dead Diva, Lifetime

Just completed its fourth season

There's no word yet from Lifetime regarding whether Diva will get a fifth season. However, ratings were good, and unless the show is getting too expensive to produce or star Brooke Elliott's contract is up, it's likely we'll see a fifth season.

Face Off, Syfy

Season three continues on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

So far this season the contestants have made dragons, pirates and zombies in Wonderland. And since the series continues to do well in the ratings, we're expecting a bright future for a season four.

Here's a look at "Alice in Zombieland":

Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, Syfy

On hiatus

Season two ended in June, and there's been no announcement from Syfy regarding a season three.

Fringe, Fox

The fifth and final season premieres on Friday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m.

Yes, Fringe is ending, but thank you, Fox, for giving this stunning series the time to end properly. Season five will take place in the future we saw in last season's curious episode, "Letters From Transit," with Olivia and Peter's daughter Etta all grown up joining Walter and the gang to deal with an Observer-run world. According to showrunner and executive producer J.H. Wyman, he is "going to take these 13 episodes and I'm going to make a saga. I want to give [the viewers] a massive huge feature experience where they can follow Walter's journey from episode one all the way to 13 and are really invested in it by the time it gets there. And Olivia and Peter and Etta and everybody who we've come to love. And then Blair and Lance and everybody who steps into this story and has played a part in it," he said.

Here's a look at season five:

Futurama, Comedy Central

Season 7B will likely return next summer

There's still the second part of season seven to air, which has 13 episodes. "We've actually settled into a kind of a regular groove on Comedy Central, and it's a situation we're not accustomed to where we're actually just going to have four regular seasons in a row with no huge ax hanging over our heads," said executive producer David X. Cohen. If Comedy Central does decide to go for an eighth season, expect an early renewal since the episodes take months to produce.

Game of Thrones, HBO

Season three will premiere on Sunday, March 31, 2013

The thrilling fantasy epic will continue to chronicle the "struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom." This season has been reported to be about the first half of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords. Returning cast members will likely include Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Kit Harington.

Meet some of the new cast members of season three, including The Avengers' Diana Rigg:

Ghost Adventures, Travel Channel

Season seven premieres on Friday, Sept. 14, at 9 p.m.

Zak Bagans, Nick Groff and equipment technician Aaron Goodwin continue their quest to investigate the most haunted locations in America. "This season, the crew travels to fascinating new locations including Sugar Lands, Texas to investigate the Central Unit Prison, and Point Sur, CA's historic Point Sur Lighthouse. The group also explores the 150-year-old Black Moon Manor mansion in Greenfield, IN, along with the haunted happenings at Sauk Centre, MN's Palmer House Hotel. In Chicago, the trio investigates paranormal activity at the Excalibur Nightclub, and Zak Bagans pays a visit to his childhood home just outside of the city," according to a Travel Channel's press release.

Here's a preview:

Ghost Hunters, Syfy

Season eight is currently airing on Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Jason Hawes and his TAPS team continue their journey to investigate noted haunted locations and to help families in need who believe their homes have paranormal activity.

Here's a preview of Wednesday's episode, "Camp Fear":

Ghost Hunters International, Syfy

On hiatus

No word from Syfy regarding a fourth season for Ghost Hunters International so far.

Grimm, NBC

Season two continues on Friday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m.

While Grimm got an early start in August on Mondays, it's moving back to Fridays at 9, its old season-one timeslot. As far as what we have to look forward to, co-creator and executive producer Jim Kouf said, we'll find out more about the mythology and the creatures. "We're going to answer a lot more of that as the year goes on." Also expect the stories to get more "epic," with some international aspects, while still keeping the weekly cases self-contained. One new recurring character will be an enthusiastic, wide-eyed intern with the Portland Police Department played by Michael Grant Terry.

Here's a preview:

Haven, Syfy

Season three premieres Friday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m.

It's shaping up to be a big season for Haven filled with guest stars like Farscape's Claudia Black and Game of Thrones' Iain Glen. "One of the things that happened this year is we were given much freer reign to get into the serialized elements of the show this season," said co-creator and executive producer Sam Ernst. "This season, we really dig in and answer a lot of questions that people, I'm sure, have been wondering from the first two years."

Here's a preview:

Long Island Medium, TLC

Season three continues on Sundays at 9 p.m.

The continued adventures of medium Theresa Caputo and her family. Sixteen episodes have been ordered for the season.

Lost Girl, Syfy

The season-two finale airs this Friday at 10 p.m.

Bo and the gang are in for one big battle against the fiery Garuda on Friday's season-two finale, but that's not the end of their adventures. Season three is in the works and is expected to return in January 2013. It looks like most of the cast will return, and Rachel Skarsten will recur as a thrill-seeking Fae that "ruffles many feathers." Thirteen episodes have been ordered.

Here's a preview of the season-two finale:

Making Monsters, Travel Channel

Season two premieres on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.

Ed and Marsha Edmunds and the staff of the animatronic and prop-making company, Distortions Unlimited, this season create "some of the most unusual and challenging projects to date, including a red-eyed, smoke-breathing tiki for a haunt on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and a creepy, spitting, twisting centipede for Atlanta's premiere haunt, Netherworld. Additionally, the team creates an iconic stage mask for the rock band Megadeth, along with a 25-foot skeleton for an outdoor Baltimore attraction and a larger-than-life custom-made Gatekeeper for Hollywood legend Dick Van Dyke's southern California home haunt," according to the Travel Channel press release. Ten episodes have been ordered.

Here's a look:

Merlin, Syfy

Season five is likely to air early in 2013

Season five will jump three years into the future from the events of last season. "In the three years that have passed a lot has happened to all of our key characters," said executive producer Johnny Capps. Morgana is "even more of a complex villain when we meet her." Arthur and Guenievere have become the king and queen they were meant to be, and Merlin "has become a man." The wizard will have a vision early on which haunts him through the season, said Capps. Thirteen episodes are in production.

Here's BBC's trailer for season five:

Once Upon a Time, ABC

Season two premieres on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.

Magic comes to the real life in the world of Storybrooke, along with the memories returning of all the characters about their previous fairy tale life in season two. But just because the curse is broken, don't think everyone will live happily ever after. "We're continuing a lot of the themes that started last season. So for example last season we talked about how magic has a price. This time we're going to see, is that price different in our world? What does it mean to have magic in our world?" said co-creator and executive producer Adam Horowitz.

Here's a preview:

Paranormal Witness, Syfy

Season two is currently airing on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Paranormal Witness is half way through it's second season and Syfy has already ordered a 20-episode third season. So there's a lot more ghostly "true-terror docudrama" headed our way on the channel.

Here's a preview of the next episode, "The Apartment":

Person of Interest, CBS

Season two premieres Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m.

The series picks up right where it left off, with a pay phone ringing and Reese about to pick it up. We'll find out about that and what happened to Finch. "The ground has shifted. Our characters have always had difficulty trusting each other, and now we're asking them to do just that. At the same time, the threats to our team are becoming increasingly dangerous as our moles in the NYPD step over the boundaries of the law time and again," said creator and executive producer Jonathan Nolan.

Here's a preview:

RL Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series, Hub

On hiatus

Reports from R.L. Stine are that The Haunting Hour has been renewed for a third season, but Hub hasn't made an announcement regarding the anthology series yet.

Saving Hope, NBC

Online at NBC.com

NBC yanked Saving Hope before the last two episodes could air due to low ratings, so viewers will have to watch it online at NBC.com. That doesn't bode well for the network picking up a second season. On the other hand, CTV in Canada has ordered a second season, so it will be produced. So fans in the States should be able to view the new season at some point.

Here's the full episode of the penultimate episode "Ride Hard or Go Home":

Scare Tactics, Syfy

Season five premieres on Monday, Oct. 29

Host Tracy Morgan returns with all new episodes of the hidden camera show with the sci-fi and horror twist. Luckily there's an endless supply of people willing to set up their friends and family. Thirteen episode have been ordered.

Here's 31 screams from Scare Tactics:

Spartacus: War of the Damned, Starz

Season three premires in January 2013

Starz has announced a third season for the bloody Spartacus, however it will be the show's final season. Season three "takes place following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber. Spartacus and his men have amassed major victories against the Romans after the Battle of Vesuvius. These victories have not only forged the legend of Spartacus, but have greatly increased the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000. Rome is indeed beginning to tremble at the threat Spartacus now represents," according to Starz press release.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Cartoon Network

Season five premieres Saturday, Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

The big news about this animated series is that it's moving to Saturday mornings. While that might imply that the series will play more to kids than adults, judging by the info that's being released that may not be the case. "The series moves closer to the grim events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith," according to the press release. "Season Five is filled with explosive action, exotic worlds, intriguing characters and shocking turns as several major players face their destinies as the galaxy plunges into darkness."

Here's a preview:

Supernatural, The CW

Season eight premieres Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 9 p.m.

Dean and Castiel ended up in Purgatory at the end of season seven, so where do the writers go from there? According to executive producer Jeremy Carver, we're going to learn what happened while the brothers were apart. This year's "main quest attaches itself to all kinds of backstory with these boys in terms of, it really goes to the heart of where this show began and sort of fueling their desire to execute this one mission they have this year. So we joke around, but this year we say, 'This time it's personal,'" said Carver. There will be the addition of a recurring character, a vampire named Benny, played by Ty Olsson (Falling Skies).

Here's a preview:

Talking Dead, AMC

Season two premieres on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 11 p.m.

Premiering after the return of The Walking Dead, this live "after-show" hosted by Chris Hardwick will continue to bring us the stars, writers, producers and fans of Dead for a chat about the program that just aired, and to offer sneak-peeks at upcoming episodes. Sixteen episodes have been ordered.

Teen Wolf, MTV

Season three premieres in 2013

MTV likes Teen Wolf enough to not only renew it for a third season, but also to order 24 episodes, doubling the previous seasons' orders. So the future is very bright for this series, which is much better than its title would imply. The season two finale hinted that a pack of Alphas was in Scott and his gang's future, so we're guessing that will be the primary story arc come season three.

Total Blackout, Syfy

Special season two episode premieres Monday, Oct. 29 at 10:30 p.m.

Syfy's highest-rated new program of 2012 returns with a special episode on Oct. 29 and then season two returns on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 9 p.m. Hosted by Jaleel White, this extreme game show will continue to challenge contestants to overcome their fears in complete darkness while they take on never-before-seen challenges.

Touch, Fox

A bonus episode will air on Friday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Season two premieres on Friday, Oct. 26.

This week we'll get a new, stand-alone episode of Touch, and then in October season two will kick off where the season one finale ended. Maria Bello joins the cast as Lucy Robbins, Amelia's mother. Lukas Haas, Saïd Taghmaoui, and newcomer Saxon Sharbino will play new recurring characters. "We are obviously going to continue to tell multiple stories and be a show that weaves in the ideas of interconnectivity," said creator and executive producer Tim Kring. However, there will be new villains as Martin, Lucy and Jake end up on the run.

Here's a sneak peek of season two:

True Blood, HBO

Season six premieres in June 2013

The hit vampire series got another early renewal. That's the good news. The bad news is that creator Alan Ball is leaving the series to work on Cinemax's Banshee. However, since season five ended with a typical cliffhanger, this time with Sookie and Eric on the run from a Lilith-fueled Bill, we're guessing the series won't miss a beat. The other bad news is that season six will have 10 episodes instead of 12.

The Vampire Diaries, The CW

Season four premieres on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m.

The new season will pick up right where season three left off, and Elena is going to have one heck of a decision to make. So what do we have to look forward to when it comes to these fan favorite characters? "Definitely a lot of grief and misery. That's how we roll over there in Mystic Falls," said executive producer Julie Plec. What "we realized when we started breaking story in the writers' room for season four is that we had old stories we could tell again from a new point of view. We had new stories that we had never been able to tell before now. Everything just seems really fresh and really exciting." So will Elena become a vampire? Stay tuned.

Here's a preview:

The Walking Dead, AMC

Season three premieres Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m.

AMC has upped the episode order to 16 this season, with eight episodes airing in the fall and eight in early 2013. The hit zombie series will continue to be inspired by the comic book series and we'll meet two significant characters from the comics, Michonne and the Governor. According to executive producer Robert Kirkman, who created the comic book series, this season offers a dual story "where you've got Rick and the group that he leads surviving in this prison and having a real hard time with it, and then you have the Governor and his town in Woodbury and all of the people there and you have their story and how they're surviving. And really the entire season ends up being this story about these two different groups who are on this collision course, and we get to watch the different events unfold as they grow closer and closer leading to an eventual pretty awesome conflict."

Here's a preview:

Warehouse 13, Syfy

Season four continues on Mondays at 9 p.m.

There's only three more episodes to air for the first half of Warehouse 13's season four. And then next spring we'll get the second half of the season with ten more episodes. According to creator and executive producer Jack Kenny, the first half climaxes "in a major way in episodes nine and ten." No doubt that involves Artie, the Astrolabe, and Brother Adrian. And then "we have to deal with the fall out in the back ten. And it's kind of nice where we get to explore that emotionally with the characters. I mean, there's a lot going on," said Kenny.

Here's a preview of the next episode, "Second Chances":

Wilfred, FX

Season two continues on Thursdays at 10 p.m.

Ryan and Wilfred, that man in a dog suit, are coming to the end of their second season. And considering how bad the ratings have dropped, we're guessing this could be the end of Wilfred. However, FX hasn't made any announcements yet.

Here's a preview of the next episode, "Resentment":

On Monday we ran part one of our Fall Preview, which covered New and Canceled Shows. Tomorrow part three will dig into what's coming for Movies, Specials and Midseason and Beyond.

What returning shows have you been waiting for?