It’s October, which means that the stores are busily preparing for the holidays, the leaves are beginning to turn and television is well and truly in the new fall season with lots of premieres and returns to keep you entertained as the nights draw in. Here are just five that you might want to watch out for.
This new CW action series is Smallville, but grittier and, we can only hope, less annoying. While Smallville featured a take on DC Comics’ Green Arrow that was, essentially, “How close can we make him to a well-adjusted Batman as possible?” this new series revamps the character to bring him closer to Andy Diggle and Jock’s Green Arrow: Year One mini-series, bringing us somewhere closer to reality – albeit a reality that features a guy dressed in green leather fighting crime with a bow and arrow. (October 10, 8pm Eastern on the CW)
With most of the Law & Order franchise now extinct, producer Dick Wolf turns his attention to another emergency service with this new series set in a Chicago Fire Department. The potential for disaster is high here – As if the specter of Third Watch wasn’t enough, it’s a new series from the guy behind Law & Order – but, I’ll admit it: I’m curious to see if Wolf means it when he told reporters at the Television Critics Association that the series was “a character study about people who do things that you can’t pay people to do [and] a canvas for good writing… that you haven’t seen for a while on network television,” citing er and Hill Street Blues as influences. A mainstream, less bitter, Rescue Me? That could be interesting, if it pans out. (October 10, 10pm Eastern on NBC)
The Walking Dead
By now, fans know what to expect from this television adaptation on Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard’s long-running zombie comic series. As the show heads into its third season, we get two important additions to the show’s cast in the forms of Michonne and the Governor (played by Danai Gurira and David Morrissey, respectively), as well as a new status quo for the familiar faces as they relocate after the explosive end of last season. (October 14, 9pm Eastern on AMC)
American Horror Story: Asylum
Meanwhile, fans might not know what to expect from the second season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story. Ditching the characters and setting from the first year, the story shifts to an insane asylum – hence the new subtitle – in 1964, with the new cast including Heroes‘ Zachary Quinto, FlashForward‘s Joseph Fiennes and Six Feet Under‘s James Cromwell alongside returning actors Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson. (October 17, 10pm Eastern on FX)
Another show that may be difficult to predict this year is Community, back for a fourth season that most people didn’t think would happen, but doing it without Dan Harmon, the man who created the series and was considered the voice of the show for its first three years. With longtime staff writers like Megan Ganz still around, will the series still “feel” right under new management, or will we all be left pretending that it ended after three years after all? (October 19, 8:30pm Eastern on NBC)