Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, John Legend and Kelly Clarkson are back in their revolving chairs to coach a new crop of wannabe vocal superstars. “Having all returning coaches creates a very warm, easygoing yet competitive environment,” says executive producer Audrey Morrissey. But the show’s 17th season won’t be without surprises. For the first time, coaches will get to save a contestant in the Battle Rounds. Plus, former coach Usher joins guests Darius Rucker, Normani and will.i.am as an adviser.
On this high school football soap, no troubled teens will be benched from getting drama thrown their way in Season 2. “We’re putting them all through it,” exec producer Nkechi Okoro Carroll says with a laugh. For starters, wide receiver Spencer James (Daniel Ezra), a transfer student who has nearly settled in at Beverly Hills High, clashes on and off the field with a new player from his old school (grown-ish‘s da’Vinchi). Maybe the 17th birthday bash for Baker twins Jordan (Michael Evans Behling) and Olivia (Samantha Logan) will be more tame? Don’t bet on it. “You know those birthday parties,” teases Carroll. “Something always goes down!”
War is brewing in Season 3 of the DC Comics tale as outsiders invade the city of Freeland. March’s finale teased the impending arrival of agents from Markovia, a fictional rogue European country known for metahuman research. Now Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and his superpowered daughters (Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain) have their hands full taking down the baddies, who are looking to weaponize anyone with enhanced abilities. Which in this town is nearly everyone!
Life in Nebraska continues to challenge fish-out-of-water NYC transplants Rio and Mike Levine-Young (Lake Bell, Dax Shepard) in the comedy’s second season. Besides learning how to run their farm in winter, they’ll help reconcile neighbor Beau’s (David Koechner) marriage — “if only to get him out of [their] house,” says executive producer Elizabeth Meriwether.
Six months after Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard) fled the Feds, the fallen record exec remains on the lam. Wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has become a “truth-telling superstar” as a talk show host, says showrunner Brett Mahoney, and eldest son Andre (Trai Byers) runs the label. Even his brother Jamal (scandal-plagued Jussie Smollett, who’s out for the farewell tour) is thriving—abroad.
This winter’s looming Arrowverse crossover, kicking off December 8, will have “a huge influence on” the first half of Flash’s Season 6, says exec producer Eric Wallace, hinting that speedster Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) will “confront some very deep personal issues that he hasn’t had to before.” Among them: grief over the evaporation of daughter Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy).
Season 8 sends vigilante Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) on a trek through the multiverse, with a mission that’ll rock the entire superhero ecosystem. “It’s going to feel different,” says showrunner Beth Schwartz, who promises to “do right” by tying up the team’s stories and revisiting some favorite characters and iconic settings.
This anthology series from prolific producer Ryan Murphy turns back the clock for a nod to mid-’80s slasher flicks like Friday the 13th and Sleepaway Camp. Season 9’s bloody weirdness goes down at Camp Redwood, where a knife-wielding maniac is set to terrorize franchise stars Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Cody Fern and Emma Roberts, along with AHS newbies Matthew Morrison (Glee), Angelica Ross (Pose) and Olympic beefcake Gus Kenworthy. Only slightly less terrifying: the decade’s wardrobe!
Pack up the Family Truckster and join Murray (Jeff Garlin), Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and the Goldberg kids for a trip down the “holiday road.” The Season 7 premiere of this comedy set in the ’80s pays homage to National Lampoon’s Vacation! To re-create some of the 1983 film’s famous Wally World amusement park escapades, “Disneyland allowed us to shoot scenes in their parking lot, at their front gate and on Thunder Mountain,” says executive producer Alex Barnow. And with guest turns by Vacation cast members Christie Brinkley and Anthony Michael Hall, he continues, “It’s going to be epic!”
On Year 2 of the 1990s-set spinoff of The Goldbergs, William Penn Academy music instructor Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka) hits some sour notes. “She’s become a better teacher — she knows this is a career move and not just a placeholder for her — but she’s still a hot mess,” admits Michalka with a laugh. Take her sort-of love triangle with ex Barry Goldberg (Troy Gentile, who’ll return) and coworker C.B. (Jane the Virgin’s Brett Dier). “She’s a little bit stuck between the two of them,” the actress adds. “There’s tension.”
With 200 combined days of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting over seven seasons,”Boston Rob” Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine are Survivor masters. And on Season 39, Island of the Idols, their boot camp — conducted on another Fijian isle — could help one competitor nab $1 million. Analyzing each veteran’s strength, host Jeff Probst says, “Rob’s approach to game play can be fairly aggressive. He knows how to set someone up and when to go in for the kill. [With Sandra], it can appear that she’s flying by the seat of her pants, but every move she makes is calculated.”
Now that we’ve met these eclectic folks raising kids on their own, Season 2 of the comedy takes a deep dive into their adult relationships. “They become as complex as the ones they have with their kids,” says cocreator JJ Philbin. Cynical rich guy Douglas (Brad Garrett) and feminist bookstore owner Poppy (Kimrie Lewis) go on an ill-fated date, lovestruck Will (Taran Killam) is bummed when Angie (Leighton Meester) reconnects with her ex (Adam Brody, Meester’s real-life husband), and we finally get to meet twentysomething dad Miggy’s (Jake Choi) baby mama, Zara!
Rest in peace, Luke Perry. The teen drama’s fourth season opens with an emotional tribute to the late actor, who played Fred, Archie’s (KJ Apa) dad, until he suffered a fatal stroke last winter. The stand-alone episode highlights “what Fred meant to his son, his friends and the [town of] Riverdale,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa recently said. The episode also features an appearance by Perry’s friend Shannen Doherty. After that, senior year begins. Expect college visits, a bloody spring break and graduation.
Season 5 opens hours after May’s cliffhanger, when ICE detained undocumented Cloud 9 employee Mateo (Nico Santos). “Then we jump a week, to the staff trying to go on as usual,” says exec producer Gabe Miller. Plus, the gang wants to unionize, but it won’t be easy now that they’re on corporate’s radar. Good thing they have a mole (America Ferrera’s Amy) on the inside! And One Day at a Time‘s Justina Machado recurs as a district manager.
In Season 6, the student accomplices of ethically challenged law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) close in on graduation — but first they must find missing classmate Laurel (Karla Souza). And look out: In these last 15 episodes, says exec producer Peter Nowalk, “Not everyone will survive.”
Trapped in the monster Malivore’s black pit (she dove in, sacrificing herself, during Season 1’s finale), vampire-werewolf-witch tribrid Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) will eventually escape. Alas, her existence has already been wiped from the memories of family and friends. “It’s heartbreaking for her,” Russell says. But Hope’s evolution will lead her down a new path. “She’s opening herself up to new people in a fresh and interesting way.”
Watch out, Otto family! “It’s time to shake up their world a bit,” executive producer Rick Wiener says of the average clan living among the rich and snooty in Westport, Connecticut. For Season 4, that includes a new career path for party planner mom Katie (Katy Mixon) — but not before we finally meet her demanding, never-before-seen boss, Whitney (Kelly Ripa), in the second episode. Teases Wiener: “We’re going to see Katy and Kelly going head to head.”
They grow up so fast! When the ABC sitcom about a Taiwanese-American family in ’90s Orlando returns for Season 6, oldest son Eddie (Hudson Yang) is visiting UCLA with high-strung mom Jessica (Constance Wu) and easy-going dad Louis (Randall Park). Meanwhile, the rest of the Huang clan uses Y2K paranoia as an excuse to see Hollywood. “[Their] attitude is ‘The world’s going to end, so let’s live it up,'” teases executive producer Keith Heisler.
It’s Season 2, and the Charmed Ones — half-sister witches Macy (Madeleine Mantock), Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) — are poised to rule the Witch World now that its former leaders, the Elders, are deceased. “We all dream of being in charge, but nothing prepares you for the weight of the world,” exec producer Liz Kruger explains. As if that weren’t enough pressure, she adds, “someone — or something — has put a target on the Charmed Ones’ backs.” Power of Three unite!
Forget skeletons in the closet. It’s bodies in the lake that the Carringtons should be worried about! Season 3 begins with Blake (Grant Show) and his brood — including bride-to-be Cristal (now played by Daniella Alonso) — still stunned by the finale’s two watery discoveries. “The reveal of [their identities] causes ongoing problems for everyone,” warns new showrunner Josh Reims. “The repercussions will be felt throughout the entire season, especially for [possible suspect] Fallon [Elizabeth Gillies].”
Sunday, September 29, Fox
Listen up for Jim Parsons and Scott Bakula as guest voices on Season 31 of The Simpsons(8/7c), which also spoofs Stranger Things in its annual “Treehouse of Horror” and adds a “Thanksgiving of Horror.” The 10th round ofBob’s Burgers(9/8c) brings back standout characters Hawk & Chick, the Thundergirls and Nat the limo driver. On Family Guy (9:30/8:30c), Bryan Cranston and Niecy Nash join the 18th season premiere, about a yacht-rock cruise!
Even from prison, gang enforcer turned producer Miles (Chris O’Dowd) managed to put out a hit film. In the dark comedy’s third season, the hardened parolee is ready to move against rival Lawrence Budd (Steven Weber) for removing his credit from the project. “Miles could have hired someone to attack Lawrence,” says exec producer Davey Holmes. “But his goals are more specific, as is his thirst for revenge and justice. He’s playing a longer game.”
Will the titular problem-fixer for the rich and ruthless finally fix himself? Just like fellow antihero Tony Soprano, Ray (Liev Schreiber) turns to therapy. “He’s trying to be a better man for his family,” executive producer David Hollander explains. “He knows they’ll always be in danger if he doesn’t make a change.” But a fresh start could prove impossible: Hollander says plenty of enemies from Ray’s past “arrive and stir up trouble.”
Sunday, September 29, 9/8c, PBS (check local listings at pbs.org)
The period adventure-romance that set hearts on fire with reckless but righteous hero Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) and his soulmate, Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson), burns bright till the end. The farewell season is “a great completion to the story [and their] epic relationship,” Turner says. Now a member of Parliament, Ross braves the political machinations of 1800 London while Demelza, back in Cornwall, steps up at home and in their mining business. How soon will she realize the farmhand she hired (Sofia Oxenham) has designs on Ross?
Dark days are coming for Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). While contending with vengeful DC Comics villain Midnight (Jennifer Cheon Garcia), the heroine will also face the deadly group Leviathan, the looming exit of buddy James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and whatever scorned bestie Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) is planning now that she knows Kara’s secret identity. “Their rift is going to be an essential part of Season 5,” promises exec producer Jessica Queller.
The absurdist tech industry comedy is as topical as ever in its homestretch. Entrepreneur Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and the Pied Piper gang seem to have a clear route to success (500 employees!). Which means disaster is inevitable. Among their obstacles: awkward Richard testifying before Congress, and according to exec producer Lew Morton: “evil billionaires, artificial intelligence, running out of money, too much money, allergies and the international arms trade.”
It's that time of year again when all of your favorite shows return with new episodes for fall. Whether you're into drama or comedy and everything in-between, there's a title for you.
In the gallery above, we're giving you a sneak peek at 26 different returning favorites with teases from producers and writers ahead of their season premieres. Click through the images above for a preview of titles such as Arrow, The Voice, and more.