Cobie Smulders has played a lot of badasses, from her no-nonsense agent Maria Hill in the Marvel universe to hard-working reporter Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother. So it’s no surprise she’s kicking it up a notch on ABC’s Stumptown. In her network TV return, Smulders stars as Dex Parios, a gambling-addicted Marine vet with PTSD who becomes a PI.
“She’s a complicated lady,” Smulders says. “[But Dex can] take a hit and come right back up swinging.”
Stumptown, Series Premiere, Wednesday, September 25, 10/9c, ABC
ABC’s black-ish sets a high bar for exploring race with laughs. The prequel mixed-ish reveals what 12-year-old Rainbow Johnson (Arica Himmel, channeling Tracee Ellis Ross’ Bow) experienced as part of a mixed-race family in the ’80s. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tika Sumpter (above) play parents Paul and Alicia, who have their own growing pains.
Still, showrunner Karin Gist says, “They’re a strong family.”
mixed-ish, Series Premiere, Tuesday, September 24, 9/8c, ABC
He’s no longer portraying superhero Luke Cage, but Mike Colter is still on the side of good in the mystical CBS drama Evil, from the creators of The Good Wife. As priest-in-training David Dacosta, he spars with skeptical shrink Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) while they determine whether evil acts like murder could be supernaturally inspired.
“What I love,” he says, “is there’s a lot of questions we can’t answer.”
Evil, Series Premiere, Thursday, September 26, 10/9c, CBS
Allison Tolman, who earned an Emmy nomination for playing a cop on FX’s Fargo, is back on the beat. In ABC’s sci-fi thriller Emergence, her warmhearted, coolheaded police chief, Jo Evans, takes in a mysterious little girl (Alexa Swinton) who is the lone survivor of a plane crash — and ends up protecting her while investigating a conspiracy.
“There’s something about [Jo] that I find admirable and kind of sexy. She just has her act together,” Tolman says. “I really like her.”
Emergence, Series Premiere, Tuesday, September 24, 10/9c, ABC
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Lin-Manuel Miranda, who masterminded the Broadway smash Hamilton, stars in another iconic project: the HBO miniseries adaptation of His Dark Materials, based on Philip Pullman’s beloved fantasy trilogy.
He’s Lee Scoresby, a heroic Texas balloon pilot, but the superfan says he “would have played [costar] James [McAvoy’s] snow leopard if they offered it to me!”
His Dark Materials, Series Premiere, Fall 2019, HBO
Walton Goggins is well aware that Wade Felton — an earnest widower and father of two reentering the dating world after a year of mourning in the CBS comedy The Unicorn — is a departure from the edgy, violent roles he’s known for in dramas like The Shield and Justified.
“I think it’s a different thread in the coat I’m trying to assemble over the course of my career,” he says. “This is closer to me than anything I’ve ever played.”
The Unicorn, Series Premiere, Thursday, September 26, 8:30/7:30c, CBS