First Look at Fall & Midseason TV: Ted Danson, Spinoffs, Reboots and More
We’re still months away from the new TV season, but there’s plenty we’re looking forward to once it does arrive. From new comedies that’ll have you cracking up to dramas sure to make you gasp and small-screen returns from your favorite stars, we’re breaking down some of the must-see shows coming down the pike.
Cool Spinoffs and Reboots
What’s old can be made new again. It just takes a clever twist like changing a gender, focusing on a hero’s lesser-known qualities or giving a fan favorite a new assignment.
In The Equalizer (CBS), arriving this fall and inspired by Edward Woodward’s ’80s series and the more recent Denzel Washington film franchise, Queen Latifah plays an ex–CIA agent who uses her skills to help those in need. Chris Noth costars as her former handler.
Unlike the 1983 movie, also based on Tom Wolfe’s book, The Right Stuff (Disney+) centers on the rivalry between John Glenn (Suits‘ Patrick J. Adams) and Alan Shepard (Limitless‘ Jake McDorman) to become America’s first man in space. “It’s an interesting navigation of ego,” says Adams.
Christopher Meloni reprises his Emmy-nominated Law & Order: SVU role of 12 seasons in the Law & Order: Organized Crime (NBC). Det. Olivia Benson’s (Mariska Hargitay) old partner now heads the NYPD’s organized crime unit. Confirmed for fall 2020, and that’s a good thing — it’s been too long! —Mandi Bierly
A Comedy to Make You Laugh
Producer Chuck Lorre revisits the opposites-attract vibe of his Dharma & Greg for fall’s B Positive (CBS), with Silicon Valley‘s Thomas Middleditch as a straitlaced divorced dad in renal failure. He finds a new lease on life after a party girl from his past (Annaleigh Ashford, Masters of Sex) offers to give him one of her kidneys.
Dramas That’ll Make You’ll Gasp
These dramas promise lots of “Did that just happen?” moments, starting with a pair of well-under-way hourlongs that were supposed to launch earlier this year. Come fall, you should finally see the sci-fi thriller NEXT (Fox) and the Kim Cattrall sudser Filthy Rich (Fox).
In the first title, John Slattery (Mad Men) heads a Homeland Cybersecurity team tracking a rogue artificial intelligence program. And in Filthy Rich, a philandering husband (Gerald McRaney) dies, and his three illegitimate offspring are named in the will! Exec producer Tate Taylor (The Help) says he loved the premise (from a New Zealand series) and thought “what would make it really cool is if the three were vastly different from the wife,” a megachurch megacelebrity from the South (Cattrall).
The Undoing (HBO) is a limited series starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant as a wealthy couple on the fringes of a violent murder. Based on Jean Hanff Korelitz’s novel You Should Have Known, the six-parter is executive produced and directed by Susanne Bier and produced by David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies).
Kelley also has the sure-to-be-sweeping Big Sky (ABC) for fall, about the hunt to find two girls who have gone missing in Montana. The ensemble includes Katheryn Winnick (Vikings), Kylie Bunbury (Pitch) and Ryan Phillippe (Shooter). —DH
The Bright Future Ahead: Midseason TV
True, we’re excited (and incredibly curious) to see what fall may bring, but 2021 holds loads of promise too — like this group for midseason!
Walker (The CW)
If the Stetson fits… After Supernatural, Jared Padalecki stays put at The CW (and his Austin home) to headline and exec produce this reboot of Chuck Norris’ CBS action drama Walker, Texas Ranger (1993–2001).
In 1993, six months after sparring with serial killer Hannibal Lecter, FBI agent Clarice Starling takes her skills to Washington, D.C. Aussie Rebecca Breeds (Pretty Little Liars) tackles the iconic character from The Silence of the Lambs; Kal Penn (House) and Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) costar.
Call Me Kat (Fox)
The always welcome Mayim Bialik (an executive producer with former Big Bang Theory castmate Jim Parsons) plays the title role in this sitcom based on the BBC series Miranda. The 39 and single Kat’s quest for happiness begins with her opening a cat café in Louisville, Kentucky. —Jim Halterman
Mr. Mayor (NBC)
We’re cheering the leading man of NBC’s Mr. Mayor, a new comedy from exec producers and hitmakers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (30 Rock, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). Ted Danson is a genius at playing self-involved dudes who bumble into doing the right thing (see: demon Michael on NBC’s late, lamented The Good Place and bartender Sam Malone on the network’s classic Cheers). He’s set up to do just that here as a rich businessman who runs for office with less than pure motives — and wins. Mr. Mayor is slated for 2020–21 (not necessarily fall), but NBC showed a hilarious trailer to advertisers recently, so it looks to be a priority. With brilliant Holly Hunter as the mayor’s nemesis, a liberal councilwoman who considers him unqualified (and too tall to be trusted), this show gets our vote. —Kate Hahn
Call Your Mother (ABC)
Kyra Sedgwick is set to play an empty nester who moves across the country to annoy her kids in Call Your Mother. It’s on the network’s midseason lineup, but the actress’ delightfully dastardly recurring role on NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine has us looking forward to 2021..
The Kenan Show (NBC)
Also earmarked for midseason is Saturday Night Live veteran Kenan Thompson in The Kenan Show. He’s a working dad dealing with two daughters and an overly helpful father-in-law (Andy Garcia). —Damian Holbrook