TV THIS WEEK: Z Nation premieres, Haven returns, and more!

Contributed by
Sep 8, 2014, 7:58 PM EDT (Updated)

Fall premieres are beginning, and this week Syfy's got two big ones. 

If The Walking Dead isn't enough to feed your zombie TV needs, have no fear. Friday brings the premiere of the new Syfy series Z Nation, in which we'll follow a band of heroes searching for a cure. Plus Haven returns for a fifth season, a creepy Steven Moffat-scripted Doctor WhoTeen Wolf's season finale, and more.

Check out the week in TV below. What's on your watchlist?

Highlights of the Week

Teen Wolf (MTV) Monday, 10 p.m. - "Smoke and Mirrors"

Season finale! - Back in 2011, before Teen Wolf premiered, you might've been forgiven for thinking a new, darker version of the story that first played out as a Michael J. Fox comedy in 1985 was a bad idea. You might even still believe that, but it's hard to argue with results. Teen Wolf took the "teenage boy is bitten by a werewolf" premise and tore off into the night with it in ferocious fashion, delivering a sexy, darkly comic and often brutal take on the story that's long since left the shadow of the Fox film behind. Though it was perhaps not quite as well-watched in Live+Same Day viewers as the second half of season three was earlier this year, Teen Wolf's fourth season still delivered strong numbers for MTV throughout the summer even before you start to count the viewers who're catching up with their DVRs. Midway through season four's run, MTV renewed the series for a double-sized fifth season of 20 episodes, split into two runs just like season three. So if you're still hooked on this monstrous cable hit, rest assured there's more to come. This week, Scott and Stiles must save the pack from Kate. Check out a preview below.

Haven (Syfy) Thursday, 8 p.m. - "See No Evil"

Season premiere! - Over the last two years or so, the landscape of Syfy's original scripted shows has been shifting. It started slowly, with the arrival of Defiance and the impending end of Warehouse 13, then seemed to escalate with the loss of Being Human, the start of Helix, and the impending launches of new series ranging from Z Nation to 12 Monkeys. Sure, imports like Continuum and Lost Girl are still around for the moment, but in many ways Haven is the last of the old guard, the only Syfy original drama from the Eureka era that's still standing, and for a while last year we weren't sure it would make it this far. Season four of the series was the only season so far without a single episode to hit the 2-million-viewer mark (in Live+Same Day), and while that's certainly not a sign that a show is dead, Haven's numbers did seem to be trending down a bit last year. When the season-four finale came and went without renewal news, fans worried, but Syfy eventually delivered, announcing a fifth season in January 2014 that, at 26 episodes, will be the series' biggest to date. This week season five is finally here, and it'll take us all the way into 2015. Whether this will be Haven's curtain call remains to be seen, but for now, let's just enjoy what's next. In the premiere, Nathan and Duke struggle to cope with the loss of Audrey, who's still in Mara's grip. Check out a preview below.

The Quest (ABC) Thursday, 8 p.m. - "Escape from Rana Village" and "One True Hero"

Season finale! - The Quest seemed to have the makings of a hit when it debuted back in July, but hopes for big ratings faded quickly. The show hasn't seen Live + Same Day viewers top 2 million in weeks, and it often loses in its timeslot to reruns. Surprisingly, though, that doesn't mean all hope is lost. Last week's two-hour broadcast saw an uptick in viewers that could spell an even bigger climb for this week's finale, and while The Quest's growth (last week's Live+Same Day hit 1.85 million viewers) looks tiny compared to other series, it's also got another advantage that could save it from cancellation: People seem to be catching on. In the past week alone the show's gotten fresh attention from the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle, among others, and there seems to be mounting evidence that the show is finding new viewers all the time through streaming services, and maintaining a loyal (if small) audience that's been there since the beginning. What seems to be developing is a scenario in which, if ABC feels like hanging on, upping its promotion and giving the show a chance to grow, The Quest could prove a bigger hit with a second season. Letting a buzzy but ratings-poor show develop over time has worked for other networks, notably AMC with its critical-darling-turned-ratings-smash Breaking Bad, but now we have to see if ABC will take that chance and bring The Quest back for another adventure. In the two-hour finale, the final battle is here, and three final Paladins will compete to see who's named the "One True Hero."

Z Nation (Syfy) Friday, 10 p.m. - "Puppies and Kittens"

Series premiere! - We've talked before about Syfy's ambitious plans to bring a whole new slate of scripted series with harder genre edges to our screens, and Z Nation is the latest part of that push. It might seem foolish to roll out another zombie series on television while The Walking Dead is still out there infecting pop culture and devouring its competition with ratings record after ratings record, but Z Nation is poised to set itself apart right out of the gate. While the chief objective for Walking Dead's cast of characters is usually to just keep clinging to survival, Z Nation's central plot could end up saving the human race. Set three years after a zombie outbreak has devastated the world, Z Nation follows a small band of heroes with a very specific mission: Get the one man in the world who survived a zombie bite (Keith Allan) from New York to California -- across a zombie-infested American wasteland -- where the last viral lab still in operation waits to test his blood. If they succeed, a vaccine could be developed to stop the zombies, but the man who could be harboring the cure has a secret that could bring down the entire team. With a cast that includes Harold Perrineau (Lost), Tom Everett Scott (Beauty and the Beast) and DJ Qualls (Legit), Z Nation seems set to deliver an entertaining, different kind of zombie show. Of course, whether it can emerge from The Walking Dead's shadow remains to be seen. In the series premiere, the team comes together and begins its journey. Check out a preview below.

Witches of East End (Lifetime) Sunday, 9 p.m. - "Smells Like King Spirit" 

Witches of East End is now past the midpoint of its second season, so it feels like a good time to check in and see how it's doing with its sophomore effort. The first season of the show was a solid hit for Lifetime, earning nearly 2 million Live+Same Day viewers with its series premiere and bottoming out at 1.40 million Live+Same Day viewers. That was all good enough to earn it a renewal, but this season things have slipped a bit. The season-two premiere of the series hit just 1.12 million viewers, and last month the show dipped below 1 million for the first time. The season high so far is 1.50 million viewers in Live + Same Day, which isn't bad, and none of these numbers mean Witches is going away after season two. The show's first season is now on Netflix Watch Instantly, where it'll likely earn some new fans, and it's also important to note that the numbers cited here don't include DVR viewing. Witches of East End is slipping, no question, but what we don't know is whether it's slipped enough for Lifetime to lose faith in it. With five episodes to go until the season finale, it's still got a chance to impress. This week, Joanna takes action to protect her family.

Here's the rest of the week in TV...

Monday, September 8

Under the Dome (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Black Ice"

Sam and Rebecca try to save the residents of Chester's Mill when the temperatures plummet inside the Dome. Meanwhile, Barbie risks his life to save Julia after an accident.

Gravity Falls (Disney XD) 9 p.m. - "Sock Opera"

Mabel puts on a sock puppet rock opera to impress a local puppeteer, but the show doesn't go quite as planned.

Tuesday, September 9

Face Off (Syfy) 9 p.m. - "Killer Instinct"

Horror villains are created by the artists, who take inspiration from original movie posters and their taglines.

Wizard Wars (Syfy) 10 p.m. - "Blown Away"

Two New Jersey street magicians take on the star of a British magic show and a world-renowned illusionist using a leaf blower as their prop.

Wednesday, September 10

Extant (CBS) 10 p.m. - "Before the Blood" 

Molly comes face to face with her offspring and realizes she may be the only one who can stop the impending danger. Meanwhile, Julie uncovers dark secrets about Odin.

Thursday, September 11

Teen Titans Go! (TOON) 6 p.m. - "Baby Hands"

The gang have their memories zapped.

Steven Universe (TOON) 6:30 p.m. - "Monster Buddies"

Steven releases a monster from a gem bubble and struggles to tame it.

Friday, September 12

Apart from Z Nation, it's a pretty quiet Friday night.

Saturday, September 13

Doctor Who (BBC America) 9 p.m. - "Listen"

Ghosts of the past and future crowd into the lives of the Doctor and Clara, and send them on an adventure that takes them to the end of the universe.

Outlander (Starz) 9 p.m. - "The Garrison Commander"

Claire is thrown for a loop when her surprise meeting with a British general is interrupted by the dangerous Capt. Jack Randall, who suspects she is harboring secrets.

Intruders (BBC America) 10 p.m. - "Ave Verum Corpus"

Gary learns something very strange about Amy, which suggests a larger, more terrifying conspiracy. Meanwhile, Madison arrives in Seattle and threatens an old acquaintance; Rose puts pressure on Richard; and Jack and Gary find a reliable source.

Sunday, September 14

The Strain (FX) 10 p.m. - "Loved Ones"

Eph investigates Kelly's disappearance. Meanwhile, Dutch retaliates against Palmer, and Fitzwilliam makes a surprising choice.

The Lottery (Lifetime) 10 p.m. - "Truth Be Told"

Alison follows up on the evidence James uncovered, but her investigation hits a dead end, and Vanessa uncovers Darius' plan to take control of the Lottery. Meanwhile, Kyle discovers the MayTwos' real agenda, and Perry tries to help Angela as she struggles in the final round of the Lottery competition.

Manhattan (WGN) 10 p.m. - "The Second Coming"

Both Charlie and Frank face serious questions as to the future of their projects.

(Episode synopses via TV Guide)

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker