Worried about what TV and streaming series are available this fall? Rotten Tomatoes reviewed the options and presents this list of 25 fall shows that are sure to scratch your itch for fresh stuck-at-home entertainment.
The titles include a few returning favorites like The Mandalorian, Star Trek: Discovery, and The Crown and brand-new options like Helstrom, The Stand, and WandaVision. It’s true that the release of some highly-anticipated shows like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier were disrupted by the pandemic, but some quality time with Baby Yoda is sure to ease your disappointment.
Sit back, relax, and watch a few trailers — your new favorite binge might be on this list.
About the show: Utopia centers on a group of comic fans who meet online and bond over their obsession of a seemingly fictional comic called, “Utopia.” Together, Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), Ian (Dan Byrd), Samantha (Jessica Rothe), Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges) and Grant (Javon “Wanna” Walton) unearth hidden meanings cloaked within the pages of “Utopia,” predicting threats to humanity. They realize these are not just the makings of a conspiracy; they are very real dangers coming alive right now in their world. The high-stakes adventure brings the group face-to-face with the comic’s famed central character, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane), who joins them on their mission to save the world while harboring secrets of her own.
Why You Should Watch It: A send-up of comic convention culture, the series still takes its vast-conspiracy-theory mystery quite seriously. The ensemble cast of characters commit fully to their part–X-Files, part-Barry, part-I, Robot premise.
Premiere Date: Friday, Sept. 25, 2020
About the show: In 1950 Kansas City, two criminal syndicates jockey to control an alternate economy of exploitation, graft and drugs while fighting for a piece of the American dream. As tensions rise, the crime heads trade their youngest sons in an attempt to strike an uneasy peace.
Why You Should Watch It: Each season of Noah Hawley’s anthology series (based on the 1996 Joel and Ethan Coen film of the same name) boasts a strong cast, and season 4 is no different with Chris Rock leading an excellent ensemble that also includes familiar names like Jason Schwartzman, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, Jeremie Harris, Jack Huston, and guest star Timothy Olyphant, as well as Italian talent like Salvatore Esposito of Gomorrah, Gaetano Bruno of The Double Hour, and Francesco Acquaroli of Suburra. The new season is already well on its way to a Certified Fresh score.
Premiere Date: Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020
About the show: When the head of a criminal organization is assassinated, the resulting power vacuum leads to a struggle that threatens the fragile peace among the intricate web of international gangs operating on the streets of modern-day London.
Why You Should Watch It: Core cast Joe Cole, Sope Dirisu, Lucian Msamati, Michelle Fairley, and Colm Meaney drive a gritty mean streets tale, in which a conglomerate of criminal enterprises begins to shatter when the pater familias (Meaney) is murdered. Come for the excellent fight scenes, stay for a superb modern-set Peaky Blinders–like story from Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery.
Premiere Date: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020
About the show: Emily, an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company — and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily’s new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances.
Why You Should Watch It: The fluffy workplace fantasy from Sex and the City creator Darren Star delivers dreamy French fashion and a Paris setting underpinning a story about romantic and career complications. Eminently likable Lily Collins plays the titular Emily in a story that tellingly name-checks Gossip Girl.
Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 2, 2020
About the show: Live from New York, celebrity hosts join an ensemble cast to perform comedy on Saturday nights. Capturing the pop-culture zeitgeist, sketches and segments include satirical news and digital shorts and often go viral the very next day. From Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, SNL is a lauded American late-night institution.
Why You Should Watch It: This election year should provide ample moments ripe for skewering on the sketch comedy show, which promises Jim Carrey recurring as former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, while Alec Baldwin returns as President Donald Trump. Former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph just scored a Guest Actress in a Comedy Emmy for her portrayal of Kamala Harris on the show, and a lot of fingers are crossed that she’ll return to the role as Biden’s now running-mate this season.
Premiere Date: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020
About the show: Expanding The Walking Dead universe, the new series delves into a new mythology and story that follows the first generation raised in a surviving civilization of the post-apocalyptic world. Two sisters along with two friends leave a place of safety and comfort to brave dangers, known and unknown, living and undead on an important quest. Pursued by those who wish to protect them and those who wish to harm them, a tale of growing up and transformation unfurls across dangerous terrain, challenging everything they know about the world, themselves and each other. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. But all of them will find the truths they seek.
Why You Should Watch It: This is not your momma’s Walking Dead. Expect the folly of youth to land the cast of teenage characters into dire situations with hungry zombies and ill-intentioned humans in a new series for fans of “teens in trouble” horror.
Premiere Date: Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020
About the show: Starring and executive produced by Ethan Hawke, who plays controversial abolitionist John Brown, the seven-episode series is based on the novel The Good Lord Bird by bestselling author James McBride. Told from the point of view of Onion (Joshua Caleb Johnson), a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown’s motley family of abolitionist soldiers during Bleeding Kansas – a time when the state was a battleground between pro- and anti-slavery forces – and eventually finds himself participating in the famous 1859 raid on the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry. Brown’s raid failed to initiate the slave revolt he intended, but was the event that started the Civil War. Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) guest stars as abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Why You Should Watch It: Hawke summons his inner eccentric to portray Brown and tell a tale that resonates with social relevancy today.
Premiere Date: Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020
About the show: The anthology series is set 15 years into the future, when science has made a discovery that changes the lives of everyone on the planet – a test that unequivocally tells you who your soulmate is. Each of the six one-hour episodes features a different cast and explores an entirely new story around discovering (or opting not to discover) the results of this new test and the impact of those results on a myriad of relationships. The ensemble cast includes Bill Skarsgård (Castle Rock), Sarah Snook (Succession), Kingsley Ben-Adir (High Fidelity), Charlie Heaton (Stranger Things), Malin Akerman (Billions), Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad), and more.
Why You Should Watch It: Soulmates raises issues many people probably never consider; for one, if technology was available to ensure your perfect match, would you ditch your current partner even if you felt you were in love. How much love is enough?
Premiere Date: Monday, Oct. 5, 2020
About the show: From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy comes the next highly anticipated chapter of The Haunting anthology series, set in 1980s England. After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Amelia Eve) and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller). But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.
Why You Should Watch It: Flanagan dazzled horror fans with the 2018 Hill House, which scored a Certified Fresh 93% Tomatometer score. Bly Manor reunites some core members of the first season’s cast for another round of beyond-the-grave chills.
Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 9, 2020
About the show: After following Commander Burnham into the wormhole in the second season finale, season 3 finds the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery landing in an unknown future far from the home they once knew. Now living in a time filled with uncertainty, the U.S.S. Discovery crew, along with the help of some new friends, must work together to restore hope to the Federation.
Why You Should Watch It: After two action-packed Certified Fresh seasons the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery again goes where no one has — OK, maybe countless TV and movie characters have — gone before: into the future. The first season of the series makes its network debut on CBS starting Sept. 24 for those who want an ad-supported taste of the show before signing up for another subscription service.
Premiere Date: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020
About the show: As the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, Helstrom follows Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), and their complicated dynamic, as they track down the worst of humanity — each with their own attitude and skills.
Why You Should Watch It: Who doesn’t want to see the harrowing earthly adventures of Satan’s spawn? This comic book–based series promises Supernatural-style thrills with a brother-and-sister duo of bickering collaborators.
Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 16, 2020
About the show: Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, the Netflix limited series drama is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius. Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.
Why You Should Watch It: Taylor-Joy articulates the life journey of chess genius Beth with expert precision — and an ocean of despair and outrage roiling just beneath the surface. The Split, Glass, Emma., Thoroughbreds, and The Witch star has a mixed Tomatometer history, but when her work is Fresh, it’s generally Certified Fresh.
Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 23, 2020
About the show: The limited series follows Grace (Nicole Kidman) and Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant), who are living the only lives they ever wanted for themselves. Overnight, a chasm opens in their lives: a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and her family.
Why You Should Watch It: Grant has been experiencing a Certified Fresh streak between miniseries A Very English Scandal (97%) and films The Gentlemen (75%), Paddington 2 (100%!), and Florence Foster Jenkins (87%). Stir Oscar-winner Kidman, HBO, creator David E. Kelley, and The Night Manager director Susanne Bier into this heady mix, and you have a seemingly risk-free recipe for prestige drama.
Premiere Date: Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020
We just couldn't wait any longer, but we have a feeling you won't mind. 😏 pic.twitter.com/FHEvyeWEUh
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) September 24, 2020
About the show: This Is Us chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) as young parents in the 1980s to their 37-year-old kids, Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day. This grounded, life-affirming dramedy reveals how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death.
Why You Should Watch It: The hugely popular family drama has pushed up its two-hour premiere to October. If you’re sick of the trials and tribulations of your own homebound family unit, get ready to hang with America’s current favorite family, the Pearsons.
Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 27, 2020
About the show: The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire. The series stars Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, and Giancarlo Esposito.
Why You Should Watch It: Baby Yoda. That huggable Muppet is the best thing to happen to serialized TV since ever! Season 1 of the ongoing adventures of The Mandalorian (Pascal) and The Child was Certified Fresh at 93%. Thanks for giving families an excellent stay-at-home treat for Halloween weekend, Lucasfilm and Disney+!
Premiere Date: Friday, Oct. 30, 2020
About the show: Set in the isolated desert of Winslow, Arizona at NASA’s Moon Base Simulator, the comedy follows eager astronauts Skip (Fred Armisen), Rook (Tim Heidecker) and their leader Cap (John C. Reilly) as they attempt to qualify for their first lunar mission. While working vigorously to complete their training, a series of unexpected circumstances forces the astronauts to question their own mental sanity, trust in each other and whether or not they’re cut out for space travel.
Why You Should Watch It: Space: the final comedy frontier – or so it would seem between this title, the currently-airing 65% Fresh animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, and Netflix’s disastrous Space Force from earlier this year. The latter series paired Steve Carell and John Malkovich as two modern space-race players, but landed hard with critics, earning a meager 38% Tomatometer score. (Rotten Tomatoes visitors were more generous, giving it a 76% Audience Score.) Can Armisen, Heidecker, and Reilly make their astronaut comedy fly? With that crew, we’re up for the ride!
Premiere Date: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) August 20, 2020
About the show: As the 1970s are drawing to a close, Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) and her family find themselves preoccupied with safeguarding the line of succession by securing an appropriate bride for Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor), who is still unmarried at 30. As the nation begins to feel the impact of divisive policies introduced by Britain’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson), tensions arise between her and the Queen which only grow worse as Thatcher leads the country into the Falklands War, generating conflict within the Commonwealth. While Charles’ romance with a young Lady Diana Spencer (Emma Corrin) provides a much-needed fairytale to unite the British people, behind closed doors, the Royal family is becoming increasingly divided.
Why You Should Watch It: The Emmy-winning series missed out on major-category awards for season 3, despite being led by Oscar-winner Colman and a Certified Fresh 90% Tomatometer score. (The title did scoop up trophies, however, for Outstanding Period Costumes and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program – One Hour Or More.) With the addition of storylines for Thatcher and Lady Diana, season 4 offers fans even more historical drama to snack on.
Premiere Date: Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020
Big Sky: Season 1 (2020) – ABC
About the show: Private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) join forces with his estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick), to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But when they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken. The thriller comes from creator David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies).
Why You Should Watch It: Given that we’d gladly follow Vikings’ Lagertha into battle, we can certainly follow the actress who portrayed her, Winnick, to her next big series.
Premiere Date: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020
About the show: Based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden, the three-episode limited series is from writer Amanda Coe and directed by Charlotte Bruus Christensen. The series is set in Mopu, Himalayas, 1934, where a remote clifftop palace once known as the “House of Women” holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faith attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy. The series stars Gemma Arterton as ambitious young nun “Sister Clodagh,” Alessandro Nivola as raffish agent “Mr. Dean,” Aisling Franciosi as volatile “Sister Ruth,” the late Diana Rigg as “Mother Dorothea,” and Jim Broadbent as “Father Roberts.”
Why You Should Watch It: An exotic setting, a turbulent time, “forbidden desires,” The Nightingale’s Franciosi playing another “volatile” role, as well as the rest of that rock-solid cast — there’s just no downside here.
Premiere Date: Monday, Nov. 23, 2020
About the show: The second season begins after Lord Asriel has opened a bridge to a new world, and, distraught over the death of her best friend, Lyra (Dafne Keen) follows Asriel into the unknown. In a strange and mysterious abandoned city, she meets Will (Amir Wilson), a boy from our world who is also running from a troubled past. Lyra and Will learn their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father but find their path is constantly thwarted as a war begins to brew around them. Meanwhile, Mrs. Coulter (Ruth Wilson) searches for Lyra, determined to bring her home by any means necessary. Other season 2 series regulars include Ariyon Bakare, Andrew Scott, Will Keen, Ruta Gedmintas, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Why You Should Watch It: Based on Philip Pullman’s trilogy of fantasy novels, the series was a hit with critics and fans in season 1, receiving a Certified Fresh 80% Tomatometer score based on 96 reviews and an 81% Audience Score on over 1,200 user ratings. With armoured bears, daemons, witches, and more, the series is the height of fantasy, and it may also be exactly the level of escapism we need right now.
Premiere Date: November 2020
About the show: Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel of the same name, the series portrays the famed author’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), the Dark Man. The new series will close with a new coda written by the author himself. The ensemble cast also includes James Marsden as Stu Redman, Odessa Young as Frannie Goldsmith, Jovan Adepo as Larry Underwood, Amber Heard as Nadine Cross, Owen Teague as Harold Lauder, Greg Kinnear as Glen Bateman, and more.
Why You Should Watch It: King’s work has been mined of late for some of TV and films top entertainment options: It, 1922, Gerald’s Game, and Castle Rock, for example. With that ensemble and Justified’s Benjamin Cavell at the helm as showrunner, we’re feeling pretty confident about this adaptation.
Premiere Date: Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020
Depending on not-yet-announced release dates of the next few titles, they’re either fall or perhaps winter shows to look forward to.
About the show: The 10-episode legal thriller stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenage son, Adam (Hunter Doohan), is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name) stars as Jimmy Baxter, the much-feared head of a crime family opposite Hope Davis (For the People) as his wife, Gina, who might be even more dangerous than her husband.
Why You Should Watch It: Despite a long career, since Breaking Bad, the four-time Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy winner Cranston has inspired eager anticipation for whatever his next acting project is, be it on stage, in a theatrical release, or in a home entertainment title.
Premiere Date: December 2020
It all comes down to one last Chilling Adventure. Our final chapter is coming later this year. Coven forever. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/T0jkwAc1wJ
— Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (@sabrinanetflix) July 9, 2020
About the show: Over the course of Part 4’s eight episodes, The Eldritch Terrors will descend upon Greendale. The coven must fight each terrifying threat one-by-one (The Weird, The Returned, The Darkness to name a few), all leading up to…The Void, which is the End of All Things. As the witches wage war, with the help of The Fright Club, Nick begins to slowly earn his way back into Sabrina’s heart, but will it be too late? The series stars stars Kiernana Shipka in the title role, as well as Miranda Otto, Lucy Davis, Richard Coyle, Ross Lynch, Chance Perdomo, and Michelle Gomez.
Why You Should Watch It: Season 4 will be CAOS‘s last, and if you’ve been keeping up with this title’s Satan spawn, you’re going to have to see it through. We were hoping for a Halloween binge worth staying in for — where are we gonna go anyway? — but it looks like we’ll be disappointed.
Premiere Date: Late 2020
(Photo by HBO Max)
The Flight Attendant: Season 1 (2020) – Netflix
About the show: A flight attendant (Kaley Cuoco) wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened. The dark comedic thriller is based on the novel of the same name by New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian. The limited series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Kaley Cuoco, Steve Yockey, Marcie Ulin, Meredith Lavender, Sarah Schechter, and Susanna Fogel, and Suzanne McCormack is co-executive producer.
Why You Should Watch It: Following her Big Bang Theory success, Cuoco killed as the voice of Harley Quinn, the titular villain of the former DC Universe/now HBO Max animated series. Early looks at The Flight Attendant promise a funny murder-mystery in which the prime suspect must search for answers before she’s fingered for the crime.
Premiere Date: Late 2020
About the show: Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, WandaVision marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+. The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision — two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives — begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.
Why You Should Watch It: Whether it’s a Wanda fever dream or a Vision Infinity Stone–fueled afterlife, it doesn’t matter. Give us our Avengers — and any guest Avengers you want to throw in as a bonus, Marvel Studios — and we’re there for it.
Premiere Date: Late 2020