At long last, fall premieres are finally upon us!
In recent years, we've seen a push by quite a few networks to fill our summer hours with original programming, and while we certainly appreciate it, fall is still an unequaled feast of new and returning shows, and that finally begins tonight with, among other things, the much-anticipated premiere of Gotham. Plus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Sleepy Hollow, Once Upon a Time and more are back this week, Outlander has its midseason finale, Under the Dome ends its second season, and much more.
Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?
Highlights of the Week
Gotham (FOX) Monday, 8 p.m. - "Pilot"
Series premiere! - At last, we've arrived at that magical moment when we're flooded with new and returning shows, and Gotham is leading the charge. It's the first of three new comic-book-inspired shows coming to us over the next few weeks, and it's riding a wave of critical buzz that could draw more than a few non-superhero fans to its premiere. Of those three comic-book shows (the other two being The Flash and Constantine), Gotham is perhaps the least predictable. We know John Constantine will fight demons, and we know Barry Allen will fight supervillains, but Gotham's premise is a bit trickier, and perhaps a bit harder to sustain. It's billed as the origin story not of Batman, but of the environment that breeds him, giving us not only the rise of Detective Jim Gordon in the Gotham City police force, but also the rise of Batman's eventual adversaries like the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman, Poison Ivy and, eventually, others. If all of that's delivered well, we could be in for a great season of TV. If it's not, we could end up watching something that just feels like the spinning of wheels until the Dark Knight can finally show up. Most everyone seems to love the pilot, though, so if nothing else, Gotham's off to a very good start. In tonight's premiere, Gordon arrives in Gotham as a rookie detective, meets up with Bullock, and prepares to deal with a new wave of crime in the city, including the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Check out a preview below.
Sleepy Hollow (FOX) Monday, 9 p.m. - "This Is War"
Season premiere! - Sleepy Hollow was one of the surprise hits of the 2013-2014 TV season, taking a premise many were skeptical about, running with it and never looking back. The show became a genre TV obsession for its many fans for a number of reasons, not least of which was the diversity of its casting, but I'd wager it won the most people over by simply refusing to slow down or apologize for the kind of show it is. Sleepy Hollow succeeds, both as a story and as a fandom-inspiring phenomenon, by just barrelling forward with an ever-twisting plot, never stopping to excuse itself for being over-the-top or even flat-out ridiculous. It's just pure dark fantasy fun, and if the second season is as enjoyable as the first, more fans are likely to get on board. In tonight's episode, Ichabod is buried alive and Abbie's in danger of living in purgatory forever, and that's just the beginning of everyone's troubles. Check out a preview below.
Forever (ABC) Monday, 10 p.m. - "Pilot"
Series premiere! - The pilot episode of Forever has been floating around on the web for a while now in hopes that it'll garner some early word-of-mouth buzz, but tonight marks its broadcast premiere, and while it might not be the heaviest of genre shows, it does offer something intriguing, particularly if you're the kind of genre fan who also enjoys the occassional procedural drama. The series follows the work of Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd, Fantastic Four), a respected medical examiner in New York City with a secret: He examines bodies not just to determine how they died, but to determine why he can't. Henry's been puzzled by his apparent immortality for two centuries, and though being alive that long has given him powerful observation skills, it hasn't given him the secret to his own apparent inability to leave this world. The show promises to bring a new case for Henry to solve each week, and with it another layer peeled back in his own mystery. Reviews have been mixed, but if this sounds like your cup of tea, give it a shot. In the pilot episode, Henry investigates a fatal subway collision. Check out a preview below.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) Tuesday, 9 p.m. - "Shadows"
Season premiere! - Over the course of its first season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. proved to be a show with which we had a rather complicated relationship. It started as one of the most anticipated new shows of the 2013-2014 season, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first TV series, created by Joss Whedon and featuring fan favorite Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) finally playing leading man. Then, as the weeks went by, ratings started to dip, many viewers started getting bored, and the show became a disappointment for a lot of fans who were hoping to get a bit more superheroics along with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s spy antics. As the season ended, though, business picked up. We got some honest-to-god supervillains thrown into the mix, there was a concrete enemy to fight, a few mysteries were finally solved, and the show set itself up for a solid season-two debut. Now, that debut is here, and we're all waiting to see if the show can avoid the pitfalls of season one and build on the story it's laid out to deliver something bigger and better. This week, Coulson settles in as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new director and his team prepares to take on new threats. Check out a preview below.
Once Upon a Time (ABC) Sunday, 8 p.m. - "A Tale of Two Sisters"
Season premiere! - Though its Live+Same Day viewers slumped a bit in season three, Once Upon a Time remains a flat-out obsession for many fairy tale fans, and so the series got the go-ahead to come back for a fourth year, then ended its season on a perhaps-inevitable but certainly exciting note, teasing the arrival of Anna and Elsa from Disney's animated film Frozen. The show's ability to leap among various fairy tale worlds and engineer relationships between characters who never meet in their own classic stories is one of the things that's kept it going up to this point, and given that Frozen is the biggest Disney animated film of all time (and, if you have kids, quite possibly the bane of your existence by now), it was only natural to insert those characters into the goings-on in Storybrooke. The Frozen crossover kicks off season four this week, but it's only the tip of the iceberg (see what I did there?), and you can expect plenty more fairy tale surprises as the season unfolds. Check out a preview below.
Monday, September 22
Under the Dome (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Go Now"
Season finale! -Season two ends with the discovery of a potential exit from the Dome, just as the citizens trapped in Chester's Mill face imminent danger.
Gravity Falls (Disney XD) 8:30 p.m. - "Soos and the Real Girl"
Soos needs a date for his cousin's engagement party, so he uses a dating simulator game to help him talk to girls.
Scorpion (CBS) 9 p.m. - "Pilot"
Series premiere! - (Note: We're not sure how much genre stuff this show will actually feature, but it is about supergenius hackers, so we thought we'd at least give you a heads-up.)
Computer genius Walter O'Brien and his equally brilliant friends investigate high-tech crimes. In the opener, Walter and his misfit colleagues are hired by the government to solve a crisis at the Los Angeles airport that leaves dozens of planes unable to land.
Tuesday, September 23
Person of Interest (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Panopticon"
Season premiere! - The fourth season opens with Finch, Reese, Shaw and Root adapting to the new identities created to protect them from Samaritan. Meanwhile, the Machine continues to send out numbers, potentially putting the entire group in danger of detection.
Forever (ABC) 10 p.m. - "Look Before You Leap"
(Note: Forever premieres on Monday, but then jumps to Tuesday, where it's scheduled to be from now on.)
Henry and Jo go on a rogue investigation to disprove a police theory.
Face Off (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Scared Silly"
The eight remaining artists are tasked with taking their worst childhood fears and using them as inspiration for evil clown characters that will have to withstand a nightmarish circus performance.
Wizard Wars (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Birds of a Feather"
Teams of comedy magicians try to blow away the judges with doves before entering a battle with Wizards armed with a confetti shooter.
Wednesday, September 24
Surprisingly for the first wave of fall premieres, Wednesday's pretty quiet on the genre front this week, so consider it a chance to catch up on all the stuff on your DVR.
Thursday, September 25
Haven (Syfy) 8 p.m. - "Spotlight"
Nathan makes a desperate play to protect Mara from the angry citizens of Haven, leaving Dwight and Duke on their own to deal with a deadly trouble that threatens to burn the town to the ground.
Teen Titans Go! (TOON) 6 p.m. - "Sandwich Thief"
Robin's perfect sandwich is stolen.
Steven Universe (TOON) 6: 30 p.m. - "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem"
Steven befriends a magic mirror; the ocean disappears on the first day of summer.
Friday, September 26
Z Nation (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Philly Feast"
The survivors make their way through the mean streets of Philadelphia, where they cross paths with a group of psychotic outlaws with ties to one of their own.
Saturday, September 27
Doctor Who (BBC America) 9 p.m. - "The Caretaker"
The terrifying Skovox Blitzer prepares to destroy mankind. Meanwhile, Danny Pink and the Doctor are on a course to meet.
Outlander (Starz) 9 p.m. - "Both Sides Now"
Midseason finale! - Claire attempts to adapt to her new marriage, while Frank undertakes a desperate search for his missing wife. Later, a fate-changing opportunity presents itself to Claire, placing her in an emotional quandary.
Intruders (BBC America) 10 p.m. - "Bound"
Rose confronts Jack about the cause of Amy's recent strange behavior. Meanwhile, Richard discovers a secret that could destroy Rose's ascent into the Nine.
Saturday Night Live (NBC) 11:30 p.m.
Chris Pratt alert! - No, we don't usually cover SNL, but Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt is hosting the season premiere this week, and we thought you'd like to know.
Sunday, September 28
Resurrection (ABC) 9 p.m. - "Revelation"
Season premiere! - Season two begins with Bellamy facing another shocking turn of events when he awakens alone and abandoned at Arcadia's outskirts unable, at first, to account for a week of his life. As his memory returns, the town welcomes back from the dead powerful matriarch Margaret Langston after more than a 30-year absence.
The Strain (FX) 10 p.m. - "Last Rites"
Eichhorst launches an attack against the pawn shop. Later, Palmer receives a special visitor.
Witches of East End (Lifetime) 9 p.m. - "Poe Way Out"
Joanna, Freya and Wendy revisit one of their past lives; Dash's one-night stand turns out to be someone interesting; Ingrid tries to bond with her grandfather.
The Lottery (Lifetime) 10 p.m. - "In Extremis"
Season finale! - The president announces the winners of the Lottery as the mystery behind the infertility crisis comes to a head.
Manhattan (WGN) 10 p.m. - "The Understudy"
An unexpected visitor arrives on the Hill.
(Episode synopses via TVGuide)