As summer draws to a close and it gets colder, there's no need to feel as guilty about staying inside to watch a little TV instead of enjoying the great outdoors. Good riddance — it was too dang hot anyway, and there is a lot of good TV set to premiere this fall.
Here's your guide to all the best sci-fi and fantasy TV shows that autumn has in store for you, arranged by their premiere date.
Eat it, Elon Musk. Hulu is going to Mars in this slick-looking space exploration show. Sean Penn, who has never starred in a TV show before, plays Tom Hagerty, one of five astronauts who will attempt to colonize the Red Planet.
Though there are plenty of opportunities for the whole mission to go all Apollo 13, the show will also focus on the stresses and interpersonal drama faced by its characters — both the ones en route to Mars and their colleagues and loved ones back on Earth.
The First premieres September 14 on Hulu.
Cary Fukunaga, the director behind the good season of True Detective, is coming to Netflix for what looks like a total mindf*** of a show.
Emma Stone and Jonah Hill star as two disaffected strangers who enter into a pharmaceutical drug trial, hoping that a new “miracle drug” can cure whatever sense of ennui ails them. That drug apparently sends them down some wild mental rabbit holes, as the trailer shows Stone and Hill in all sorts of fantastical settings — wealthy socialites and Lord of the Rings-esque elves abound, and the two find themselves surrounded by talking purple animals. If Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Inception’s trippy vibes did it for you, stream Maniac.
Maniac will hit Netflix on September 21.
An X-Men show without the X-Men? If the initial pitch for the Fox series sounded like a watered-down-for-TV version of everyone’s favorite mutants, the first season proved that assumption wrong.
Without the established super-heroics of the X-Men, The Gifted was free to tell a smaller, ground-level story about persecution with deep emotional stakes, even as the action swelled in scale by the season’s end. Season 2 looks to be even better, as the Hellfire Club and Mutant Underground look to inherit the mantle — and antagonism — of the Brotherhood and X-Men before them.
The Gifted Season 2 will premiere on September 25 at 8PM on Fox.
The Good Place
In 2018, a show about escaping hell is the most charming, affirmative, and enriching series on TV. Season 3 of NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy gives the main cast a second chance at life — literally.
Having escaped the “Bad Place,” Kristen Bell’s Eleanor Shellstrop must go find her friends, even if she has no memory of them, and try to be a better person this time around. It’s an optimistic examination of human morality and the belief that people can improve themselves, but it’s also the funniest forkin’ show on TV.
The Good Place Season 3 will premiere on September 27 at 8PM on NBC.
The Man in the High Castle
Season 3 of Amazon’s Philip K. Dick adaptation will lean harder into the sci-fi aspects of the series, which is good because Nazis taking over the United States is starting to seem a little basic these days.
Not satisfied with winning World War II, the Nazis of Man in the High Castle will set their sights on the newly discovered multiverse. Amazon uploaded a half-hour recap trailer in case you need some reminding of how we got to this crazy point.
The Man in the High Castle Season 3 will hit Amazon on October 5.
Into the Dark
In an era of streaming television, audiences accustomed to the binge can sometimes bristle when they have to wait a whole week for the next episode of their beloved show. Hulu’s Into the Dark is taking that a step further, but the anthology horror series should be worth it. There will be one new episode every month, each tied to the major holiday that month is known for. And since this show is a Blumhouse production — the same studio behind Get Out, The Purge, and Split — happy holidays don’t seem so likely.
Into the Dark’s first episode will premiere on October 5 on Hulu. Episode 2 will debut on November 2.
The Walking Dead
Season 9 of The Walking Dead will be the end of Rick Grimes, as actor Andrew Lincoln is walking off into the sunset — or perhaps into the maw of dozens of flesh-hungry zombies. That’s usually the safer bet on TWD.
Yet, there’s perhaps reason to be optimistic for what’s typically been a pretty bleak, fatalistic show. The series’ logo has been slowly decaying each season, but Season 9’s logo looks like it’s in pretty good shape, which showrunner Angela Kang told Insider means they’re “jumping into a new chapter of the story where our characters are rebuilding and nature is thriving.” However, she did add “for better or worse,” so it’s possible Rick’s tale won’t have a happy ending.
The Walking Dead Season 9 will premiere on October 7 at 9PM on AMC.
No surprise that the Fastest Man Alive would be the first hero in the Arrowverse to make his fall premiere.
The Flash kicks off the CW’s superhero franchises' next chapter with Season 5, which will see Barry Allen and Team Flash face off against a new villain, Cicada. Mercifully, Cicada is not another speedster villain, but given that showrunner Todd Helbing promised "a lot of deaths this season," Barry and Co. will have to act fast to escape danger.
The Flash Season 5 will premiere on October 9 at 8PM on The CW.
Building off of a strong debut season and unburdened by the canon or interconnected baggage of the propper Arrowverse, Black Lightning Season 2 will strike down in October.
When Season 1 ended, Jefferson had fully come out of superhero retirement, and at least one of his two superpowered daughters had joined him on the front lines of crime-fighting. Good thing, since the villainous Tobias Whale seems more powerful and dangerous than ever.
Black Lightning Season 2 will premiere on October 9 at 9PM on The CW.
Listen, you’re either the type of person who thinks that Robin saying “F*** Batman” is an eye-rolling edgelord embarrassment, or you think it could be tight as hell. No shade either way — just please leave Starfire’s actress alone.
The live-action Teen Titans series has been beset by its fair share of controversies prior to its release, but it’s worth checking out if only to see what we can expect from DC’s brand-new streaming service, DC Universe.
Titans’ first episode will premiere on October 12 on the DC Universe streaming service.
Season 4 of Supergirl will be partially inspired by one of the best Superman comics of all time, Superman: Red Son. In that iconic “what if?” tale, baby Kal-El touched down in the Soviet Union, rather than in Kansas. Last season of Supergirl ended with the discovery of a Russian clone of Kara in snowy Siberia. Obviously, it won’t be an exact adaptation, but the comic series grapples with some amazing questions of “nature versus nurture,” and Supergirl, which has always been the most human of the Arrowverse shows, seems well-equipped to play in that space.
Supergirl Season 4 will premiere on October 14 at 8PM on The CW.
As the Arrowverse’s originator and namesake, Arrow has been around for a while now, and it’s launched all sorts of other DC heroes. That trend will continue in Season 7, as Batwoman and Gotham City are set to make their CW debut in a crossover slated to air in December ahead of the Batwoman solo series, starring Ruby Rose.
Oh, and also Oliver’s secret identity has been made public and he’s in prison. So, that’ll be fun to deal with.
Arrow Season 7 will premiere on October 15 at 8PM on The CW.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Legends of Tomorrow is the Arrowverse's best show — or at least, the Arrowverse’s most enjoyable show.
Last season ended with a giant, blue, fury toy named Beebo having an all-out brawl with a primordial time demon, an indulgent, wonderfully dumb and ridiculous spectacle that somehow made perfect narrative sense. Legends Season 4 now needs to one-up that, and this show is just crazy enough to pull it off.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 will premiere on October 22 at 9PM on The CW.
The first season of Adi Shankar’s anime adaptation of the classic gothic horror video game was a violent delight, but at just four episodes long, it felt like things ended just as they were about to get going. That’s okay — think of Season 1 as the prologue. Season 2, which will be eight episodes long, will further Trevor Belmont’s quest to defeat Dracula, aided by the two allies he picked up in the first few episodes, the witch Sypha Belnades and Dracula’s bishōnen son, Alucard.
Castlevania Season 2 will hit Netflix on October 26.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
If you have fond ‘90s kid-memories of Melissa Joan Hart as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Netflix’s upcoming reboot series might not be quite what you’re expecting.
The show, starring one of Mad Men’s secret weapons, Kiernan Shipka, is based on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book from a few years back, which reimagined the Archie Comics character in an actual occult setting, with all the requisite horror that involves. (Don’t expect a Riverdale crossover, though. At least, not yet.)
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hits Netflix on October 26.
Season 4 of the most passionate time-travel show on TV is on its way, and the drama continues to be split between two time periods. The big news for Season 4 is that the father-daughter duo of Jamie and Briana will meet — because you can’t let a little thing like a 300-year time gap get in the way of family.
Outlander Season 4 will premiere on November 4 at 8PM on Starz.
The teenaged children of supervillains on Runaways didn’t actually, you know, “run away” until the very end of the first season, but Season 2 picks up shortly after the first finale, as Alex, Nico, Gert, Chase, Karolina, and Molly have found a new hideout.
Together, they’ll try to find a way to take down their parent’s evil organization, the Pride, and avoid killing one another when close quarters living meets rampant hormones and superpowers. Season 2 will also supposedly mark the series' first real connection to the wider MCU, continuing Marvel TV shows’ inconsistent but tantalizing relationship with the blockbuster movies’ continuity.
Runaways Season 2 will premiere on Hulu on December 21.
Nick Sax’s descent into madness, aided by the flying blue horse that only he can see, continues in Season 2 of Happy!.
Star Christopher Meloni returns, once again playing the antithesis of his upstanding, professional SVU cop, though you have to imagine Detective Stabler would’ve acted out if he’d had Patton Oswalt’s manically happy voice in his ear all the time. Season 2 will move beyond the original graphic novel the madcap first season was based on, so good luck trying to predict whatever Happy! gets up to next.
Happy! Season 2’s premiere date is TBD.
Game of Thrones wishes it was as terrifying as Nightflyers, SYFY's upcoming sci-fi horror series based off of George R. R. Martin’s novella of the same name. In 2093, when the crew of the Nightflyer explores deep space, they find that there is some sort of terror — both physical and psychological — that has already infected their ship. It’s Alien meets Jacob’s Ladder.
Nightflyers’ premiere date is TBD.