It’s been a long summer, but September is almost here — and with it, the start of the new fall season of television. New shows! Old favorites! They’re all here, which means that we’re cheating with the regular recommendations of five shows to keep an eye out for this time. Today, we’re giving you five season premieres of returning shows to tune into, and on Saturday, five all-new shows you might want to check out. Let’s revisit some old friends first, shall we?
Like this wasn’t going to be on top of my list. Returning for the first part of its seventh season, Who‘s fall run offers five “blockbuster” episodes featuring dinosaurs, Daleks, gunfights with aliens in the Old West, and the end of the Ponds – although whether or not that means the end of the Ponds or just their time on the show remains to be seen. Geronimo, indeed. (September 1 at 9pm Eastern on BBC America)
All good things must come to an end, and after nine years, that includes the American version of the classic BBC sitcom (which managed less than 10 percent of the American show’s number of episodes). While many familiar faces have already exited the series – In addition to Steve Carrell’s exit a couple of years back, this year also sees a lack of Mindy Kaling, who’s off creating her own sitcom on Fox – the final season promises to introduce the camera crew that have been shooting the documentary about the Scanton office for so long… as well as, we hope, bringing back some of the missing characters for an emotional final episode. (September 20 at 9pm Eastern on NBC)
Parks & Recreation
From one NBC sitcom to another — and if you’re wondering where Community is in all this, it’s not back until October — as Leslie Knope enters government and Ben Wyatt moves to DC for his dream job. Weirdly and wonderfully, expect cameos from real-life politicians like Senators Barbara Boxer and John McCain as the series tries to make a long-distance relationship work, but if that’s not your thing, there’s always Aubrey Plaza, Nick Offerman and Aniz Ansari keeping things anchored back in Pawnee. (September 20 at 9:30pm Eastern on NBC)
How far can you bend a series’ concept before it breaks? Ask Castle, which ended its last season with the eponymous writer finally coming clean about his feelings for Beckett, who equally finally told him that she felt the same — but only after she’d quit the police force and Castle had been forced out due to their insistence on trying to unravel the truth behind the murder of Beckett’s mother. Should we prepare for some Moonlighting-after-Maddie-and-David-got-together style awkwardness, or will this show work out how to keep its spark now that its leads have found theirs? (September 24 at 10pm Eastern on CBS)
Another show heading towards its end this year, Fringe jumps decades into the future and right into Observer-occupied America for its final season, aiming high as it tries to bring everything together before the end. What do the Observers want? Why is Olivia and Peter’s daughter the key to everything? And should we be scared of Walter now that his brain is whole for the first time in the show’s history? Expect answers to all of those questions and more; me, I’m just hoping that we’ll see a return of The Pattern before too long. (September 28 at 9pm Eastern on Fox)