Fall 2015’s New TV Dramas: 21 Shows Featuring Action, Intrigue and Ideas
The Bastard Executioner
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 10/9c, FX
About the show: Former knight Wilkin Brattle (Lee Jones) tries to lead a (mostly) peaceful life as a farmer in 14th century Wales to escape his violent past, but he’s spurred on to take up the sword again when his new life is brutally interrupted by an English lord. A bloody battle and a case of mistaken identity later, Brattle finds himself as a professional executioner.
They said: “You’ve got this guy who’s sworn off this kind of violence being thrust into this situation where he has to tap into all those dark things he does very well,” said series creator Kurt Sutter. Read more about The Bastard Executioner
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 21, 10/9c, NBC
About the show: Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) wakes up in a duffel bag in Times Square, naked, covered in fresh tattoos and without any memory of how she got there or why she possesses a variety of highly specialized skills. The mysterious body ink leads her to FBI agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton), whose name is also tattooed on her back, and provides clues to crimes that haven’t been committed yet.
They said: “As you uncover the layers of her abilities,” said stunt coordinator Stephen Pope, “[you find that] she’s not a superhero—she’s a highly trained weapon.” Read more about Blindspot
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 21, 9/8c, Fox
About the show: In this sequel series to 2002’s Tom Cruise action flick, crime-predicting precog Dash (Stark Sands) ventures out into the real world and teams up with homicide detective Lara Vega (Meagan Good) to prevent murders .
They said: “Dash has to learn how to interact with people,” Sands revealed. “He’s like a baby chick stepping out into the world for the first time.” Read more about Minority Report
Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 10/9c, CBS
About the show: As soon as burnout musician Brian Finch (Jake McDorman) gets his hands on the intelligence-boosting drug NZT, he quickly comes into contact with both senator Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper), the protagonist of the 2011 movie, and FBI agent Rebecca Harris (Jennifer Carpenter).
They said: “I hope I would do something for the good of other people, like Brian does, but there’s a good chance I’d just end up at a Guitar Center for a day, playing amazing music,” admitted McDorman, on how he would personally use NZT. Read more about Limitless
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 8/7c, FOX
About the show: Dr. Beaumont “Rosie” Rosewood (Morris Chestnut) is a rich, glamorous forensic pathologist. But, due to a heart condition, he could die at any moment—so he lives his life accordingly.
They said: “Rosie lives every day like it’s his last,” Chestnut shared. “He has a lot of fun. But he also has a lot of depth in terms of what he’s going through. It’s not glossed over.” Read more about Rosewood
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 24, 8/7c, NBC
About the show: Five years after the events of Heroes, the world is in a state of mass hysteria, and those with special powers are forced into hiding just as a catastrophe threatens the world.
They said: “People with special powers are being hounded—even killed—and now they’ve gone into hiding,” creator Tim Kring revealed. Read more about Heroes Reborn
Premieres: Thursday, Sept. 24, 10/9c, NBC
About the show: Super rich gamblers bet on whether or not the Player (Philip Winchester) can stop predicted crimes. Along with the Player, the House consists of the overseeing Pit Boss (Wesley Snipes) and the information-gathering Dealer (Charity Wakefield).
They said: “[Viewers] should find themselves vicariously being players in the game,” Snipes suggested, “not only trying to figure out the objective, but also wagering, themselves, on what they think the outcome is going to be.” Read more about The Player
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 27, 10/9c, ABC
About the show: FBI rookie Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) becomes the prime suspect when she’s found among the bombed rubble of a terrorist attack site. Once Alex is taken in, the show flashes back to her training days to show what really happened—and who could have been involved.
They said: “Quantico is a thrill ride—a procedural, a sexy soap and a political thriller combined,” described creator Joshua Safran. Read more about Quantico
Blood & Oil
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 27, 9/8c, ABC
About the show: Billy Lefever (Chace Crawford) and his wife Cody (Rebecca Rittenhouse) move to a booming North Dakota oil town to strike it rich. Once they arrive, they get involved with oil baron Hap Briggs (Don Johnson) and his sleazy son Wick (Scott Michael Foster).
They said: “This is about the oil-field workers and the people living in their trucks, as well as the superrich,” Johnson said. “It’s an enormous opportunity to tell all those stories.” Read more about Blood & Oil
Premieres: Sunday, Sept. 27, 9/8c, PBS (check local listings at pbs.org)
About the show: The 10-episode series is set in the British-colonized mountain town of Simla in India, and will track multiple characters and stories during a time of revolutionary unrest.
They said: “The British would rule all of India from this small town where it was cooler,” said executive producer Charlie Pattinson, “and then go have fun and affairs. But now the gilded age is fading fast.” Read more about Indian Summers
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 10/9c, CBS
About the show: Based on a 2014 documentary about L.A. County Hospital’s emergency room, Code Black follows the doctors of Angels’ Memorial Hospital as they stabilize patients.
They said: “There are no clean shots; there’s blood and paper and sutures and things flying everywhere,” star Marcia Gay Harden warned. Read more about Code Black
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 4, 8/7c, PBS
About the show: This six-part series is based on the true story of the Great Paxford Women’s Institute, which helped to keep things running at home in England during World War II.
Read more about Home Fires
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 4, 10/9c, PBS
About the show: Based on true events, The Widower follows the story of Malcolm Webster (Reece Shearsmith), who marries a succession of women...and tries to kill them off for their life insurance payouts.
Read more about The Widower
The Last Kingdom
Premieres: Saturday, Oct. 10, 10/9c, BBC America
About the show: Vikings do battle with Danish ruler Alfred the Great in this adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s historical novels, The Saxon Stories.
They said: “The Vikings were the rock stars of the time,” star Alexander Dreymon said. “It’s more fun to be pagan, where you satisfy the gods by entertaining them, by being a fearless warrior, a passionate lover and grabbing life by the balls rather than being a pious Christian, where God is kept content through self-flagellation at every carnal thought you might let slip in.” Read more about The Last Kingdom
Premieres: Monday, Oct. 26, 8:30/7:30c, CBS
About the show: Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) has been living on earth without using her powers for years, but at 24, a series of events leads her to don the Supergirl cape.
They said: “When we meet her [in the pilot], she’s been living as an Earthling and hasn’t used a lick of her powers for 12 years,” Benoist says. Read more about Supergirl
Premieres: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 10/9c, ABC
About the show: Serial killer Kent Grainger (Ed Westwick) preys on wannabe Hollywood starlets as detectives Jack Roth (Jeremy Sisto) and Paco Contreras (Gabriel Luna) hunt him down.
They said: “When the Sunset Strip raged, a monster could easily hide in plain sight,” series creator Steven Baigelman shared. Read more about Wicked City
Flesh and Bone
Premieres: Sunday, Nov. 8, 8/7c, Starz
About the show: Claire (Sarah Hay) flees an abusive home life in Pittsburgh to make her way in the unsavory, cutthroat world of professional ballet dancing in New York City.
They said: “It’s a dark psychological journey set against the backdrop of dance’s underbelly. The ballet world is a nutty, nutty place,” creator Moira Walley-Beckett says. Read more about Flesh and Bone
Into the Badlands
Premieres: Sunday, Nov. 15, 10/9c, AMC
About the show: In the distant future, guns have been outlawed and barons employ armies of martial artists called clippers. Sunny (Daniel Wu) is the leader of the clippers for Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas), but he begins to question his role as he travels the badlands with a young boy named M.K (Aramis Knight)
They said: “They’ll have to survive the badlands together and figure out a way to get out,” co-creator Al Gough said. “And this is a world where no one knows what’s beyond the borders.” Read more about Into the Badlands
Premieres: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 9/8c, NBC
About the show: Joining executive producer Dick Wolf’s stable of Chicago series this year is Chicago Med, an ER drama that will cross over with fellow NBC shows Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.
They said: “We hope to bring compelling characters and cutting-edge medicine to that shared universe,” said executive producer Peter Jankowski. Read more about Chicago Med
The Art of More
Premieres: Thursday, Nov. 19, Crackle
About the show: After branching out into the black market antiques trade during a tour in Iraq, former soldier Graham Connor (Christian Cooke) works to break into the decadence and excess of the high end art market. He soon sets his eye on the next target: billionaire Sam Brukner (Dennis Quaid).
They said: “It’s like one of those Chinese finger traps,” Stern says. “The more you try to get out of it, the tighter the trap gets.” Read more about The Art of More
The Man in the High Castle
Premieres: Friday Nov. 20, Amazon
About the show: In this in this alternate reality sci-fi series (based on Philip K. Dick's novel), Germany and Japan won World War II and divided the United States into the German Reich eastern states and the Japanese Pacific states. But a film being smuggled across the country by the resistance could change the very perception of reality.
They said: “While the story is mind-boggling, it’s not a sci-fi extravaganza,” series star Rufus Sewell revealed. “It’s much more thoughtful than most crash-bang-wallop science fiction.” Read more about The Man in the High Castle