Fall’s Most Wanted: 15 TV Options That Will Dominate the 2017 Season

Rotten Tomatoes cuts through the TV clutter with a shortlist of the series, event programming, and genres we're most eager for this fall.

by | August 28, 2017 | Comments

Stranger Things (Courtesy Netflix )

The amount of TV out there these days can be truly terrifying. And, no, you’re not going to get to all of it. But Rotten Tomatoes is here to help you cut through the clutter with our 15 most-anticipated series, genres, and other programming options of fall — from the roughly 1 billion comic book–based shows (give or take) to the return of broadcast titans new (This Is Us) and old (Will & Grace), and everything in between, including football! Read on to find out what programming deserves your attention when you have an embarrassing wealth of choices.

1. Return to the Upside Down

Stranger Things: Season 2 (2017) 94%

“Nothing’s going to go back to the way it was,” warns David Harbour’s Chief Hopper in the trailer for season 2 of Netflix’s retro thriller series Stranger Things, which returns for more supernatural adventures in the Upside Down just in time for Halloween.

2. CBS Doubles Down on Nerds

The Big Bang Theory: Season 11 (2017) 75%

The gang is back for an eleventh season, and there is one major cliffhanger to resolve in the premiere: will Amy (Mayim Bialik) accept Sheldon’s (Jim Parsons) proposal? The episode picks up immediately where the finale left off, so you’ll get the answer ASAP when the series returns on Sept. 25.

Young Sheldon: Season 1 (2017) 76%

If 22 minutes a week isn’t enough Sheldon Cooper for you, get a second dose on Thursday nights beginning in November. CBS’ single-camera BBT prequel series Young Sheldon follows, well, young Sheldon as he grows up a misfit in East Texas. It’s a very different feel from its multi-cam parent series, but Jim Parsons’ narration should help bridge the format gap.  Premieres at 8:30 on Sept. 25, immediately after BBT.

3. The Walking Dead Lives On

The Walking Dead: Season 8 (2017) 65%

There’s no stopping The Walking Dead as it enters its eighth season — even with slightly lower ratings, it’s still the biggest show on television (hence its own place on this list, despite falling under the umbrella of TV with roots in comic books). And if you weren’t a fan of the scattered nature of season 7, the cast and producers have promised the characters will come together again (presumably to fight the evil Negan — and those pesky walkers).

4. Football!

Ah, fall — time for changing leaves, pumpkin spice–flavored everything, and football. Take your pick: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, professional, collegiate — there’s a game for everyone. The NFL’s regular season begins Thursday, Sept. 7 with the Kansas City Chiefs versus the New England Patriots, and will conclude on New Year’s Eve. The post-season will start on Jan. 6, 2018, and Super Bowl LII will air from Minneapolis on Feb. 4.

Keep up with the schedule on

5. Grab Some Tissue — the Pearsons Are Back

This Is Us: Season 2 (2017) 92%

Time to head to your preferred warehouse club to buy some tissues in bulk, because This Is Us is returning to make you cry on a weekly basis. While the present-day storylines will pick up several months after the events of the season 1 finale with the Big Three turning 37, the past storyline with Mandy Moore’s Rebecca and Milo Ventimiglia’s Jack will resume almost immediately where it left off.

6. Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before

Star Trek: Discovery: Season 1 (2017) 82%

The highly anticipated, much-delayed latest Star Trek iteration is finally hitting screens — but not necessarily your TV. While the debut of Star Trek: Discovery, which takes place 10 years before the original series, will air on CBS proper, the subsequent episodes will live on the network’s streaming service, CBS All Access.

7. A Blast from the Past

() %

They’re baaaaack! Roommates Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing) find themselves single and living together once again, a decade after the show’s original series finale (the final scene of which will be ignored — so much for that flash-forward). Expect many hijinks, especially from sidekicks Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally).

8. Join the Cult

American Horror Story: Cult: Cult (2017) 73%

The seventh season of FX’s horror anthology begins on Election Night 2016 and features Evan Peters as a charismatic cult leader and Sarah Paulson as a woman being terrorized by clowns. (It’ll all make sense soon…)

9. True Crime Stays Strong

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murderers: The Menendez Murders () 64%

The latest Law & Order spinoff is no thinly veiled retelling of a ripped-from-the-headlines story — it’s actually following a real case, a la FX’s American Crime Story. The first installment revisits the 1994 Menendez murder trial, in which brothers Lyle and Erik were convicted of killing their parents.

11. Comic Book TV Thrives

There are four new Marvel series headed to the small screen this fall (Marvel’s The Punisher on Netflix, Marvel’s Inhumans on ABC, Marvel’s Runaways on Hulu — we get it, Marvel — and The Gifted on Fox) along with new seasons of your favorite DC dramas (The CW’s Riverdale, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow, plus Fox’s Gotham). Get the full rundown on the page-to-screen series here.

12. Season 3.0

Mr. Robot: Season 3 (2017) 92%

The theme for season 3 of USA’s hacker drama Mr. Robot is democracy — at least that’s what the first, mysterious trailer for the new season implies. The show will pick up after the events of season 2’s cliffhanger finale, and will explore the disintegration between Elliot (Rami Malek) and Mr. Robot.

13. Netflix’s Elite Crime-Solver

Mindhunter: Season 1 (2017) 96%

David Fincher and Charlize Theron are the executive producers behind this period Netflix drama, which follows two FBI agents in 1979 (played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany) as they attempt to solve current cases with insights gleaned from interviews with imprisoned serial killers. The show, which also stars Fringe‘s Anna Torv, is inspired by the book Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.

14. Lords, Ladies & Vikings

If costume dramas tickle your fancy, take your pick from any era. In addition to the three returning series below, there’s also Versailles and The Halcyon on Ovation this fall, while The Crown (Netflix) returns in December and Victoria (PBS) in January 2018 for their second seasons. Serial killer event series The Alienist is also expected soon from TNT.

Outlander: Season 3 (2017) 90%

After an ultra-long Droughtlander, the third season of the Starz time-travel drama, based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s series, is finally coming back. But star-crossed lovers Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) are still living apart in different times. How long will it take for them to find their way back to each other?

Vikings: Season 5 (2017) 91%

The fifth season of History’s scripted drama will return with Ragnar’s sons embroiled in a civil war. Ivar (Alex Hogh Andersen) killing his brother Sigurd (David Lindström) will do that to a family, you know? Jonathan Rhys Meyers, introduced as the naughty Bishop Heahmund in last season’s finale becomes a force to reckon with in season 5.

Poldark: Season 3 (2017) 100%

This crowd-pleasing PBS bodice-ripper has already aired in the U.K. and has generated some positive critical response already — in keeping with previous seasons.

15. ABC’s Latest Genius M.D.

The Good Doctor: Season 1 (2017) 63%

Freddie Highmore stars in House creator David Shore’s newest medical drama, The Good Doctor. Based on a South Korean series of the same name (and co-developed by Hawaii Five-0 star Daniel Dae Kim), the show follows a young pediatric surgeon who has autism and savant syndrome and lands a job in a prestigious pediatric department at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

Disagree with our recommendations? Which series are you most looking forward to? Share your picks in the comments!

Tag Cloud

richard e. Grant rotten movies we love DC Comics MCU biography wonder woman sequel comic biopic indiana jones quibi YA stop motion finale Lifetime Christmas movies Avengers nbcuniversal golden globes Logo Mary Poppins Returns Lionsgate 24 frames OWN scene in color Food Network japan free movies Epix screenings casting TCA Awards facebook feel good hidden camera Biopics Emmy Nominations 2015 TV movies Comics on TV Women's History Month technology Spectrum Originals adventure ABC Family Mary poppins crime drama Fantasy halloween tv new star wars movies cars San Diego Comic-Con aliens A24 new york critic resources Heroines slasher SXSW PBS south america politics Alien Christmas asian-american Rocky rom-coms christmas movies Esquire DirecTV talk show Character Guide criterion Rocketman Paramount Plus zombie BAFTA The Witch basketball Action PlayStation rt archives American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Mindy Kaling what to watch Best and Worst festivals cats Black Mirror Sci-Fi romance historical drama all-time CMT unscripted war Awards concert 71st Emmy Awards action-comedy 2017 fast and furious Nominations TCA cancelled television Photos Reality Competition award winner 20th Century Fox ViacomCBS robots Infographic ABC Signature news comic book movies animated 007 posters ratings canceled Family Rom-Com football dogs theme song serial killer Baby Yoda anime Animation french comic book movie TIFF Trophy Talk cartoon kaiju mcc kong DC Universe Drama Calendar Travel Channel DGA Arrowverse NYCC Crunchyroll green book Reality parents APB ITV YouTube Red Horror spanish comic books Wes Anderson Ovation mutant BBC crossover 2019 Spike Comic Book Endgame 2021 streaming movies latino venice Western USA Network Creative Arts Emmys based on movie Bravo First Look crime werewolf HBO Max Film Disney Channel young adult composers National Geographic PaleyFest HBO Go Pirates sports fresh Quiz indie Thanksgiving space Disney Plus a nightmare on elm street dramedy BET Pride Month saw LGBT BET Awards universal monsters Opinion sitcom streaming documentary Acorn TV political drama Paramount singing competition Crackle cooking remakes miniseries classics documentaries Rock Valentine's Day heist movie New York Comic Con Fox Searchlight 1990s BBC One series VOD harry potter Tarantino FX on Hulu sequels ghosts The Arrangement tv talk SDCC films Legendary comics doctor who cancelled TV shows Marathons docudrama Sundance Amazon Studios Apple mockumentary Box Office Captain marvel Set visit LGBTQ adenture cops boxoffice movies adaptation Extras RT21 Winners Year in Review Apple TV Plus El Rey 45 Syfy Netflix Christmas movies Cannes witnail target gangster TCA Winter 2020 Winter TV CBS All Access The CW VH1 vampires ID video Video Games Star Trek Pop Comedy Chernobyl Cosplay Columbia Pictures satire hollywood toronto godzilla archives blockbuster Hulu TLC CW Seed Shudder Exclusive Video Netflix jurassic park true crime Ghostbusters psycho Nickelodeon scary movies blockbusters WGN die hard 90s rt labs critics edition Tumblr Tomatazos Classic Film twilight elevated horror History 2016 travel 99% reviews Walt Disney Pictures Holiday obituary king kong spain Spring TV directors game show Pop TV scorecard Anna Paquin telelvision Kids & Family Certified Fresh TNT mission: impossible Awards Tour Academy Awards Hear Us Out Dark Horse Comics Universal breaking bad james bond Disney streaming service A&E cancelled TV series Holidays Mystery strong female leads Trailer TV superman sag awards Interview Election prank Turner Classic Movies FXX dceu spinoff Super Bowl IFC Films The Walking Dead Pet Sematary Hallmark Christmas movies franchise japanese CBS renewed TV shows hispanic heritage month marvel cinematic universe Elton John Black History Month rotten AMC olympics Peacock USA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Writers Guild of America YouTube Premium know your critic Binge Guide Music Hallmark zero dark thirty Emmys 73rd Emmy Awards SundanceTV golden globe awards Trivia versus emmy awards Superheroe Sony Pictures TCA 2017 Summer 72 Emmy Awards WarnerMedia discovery cinemax VICE Watching Series police drama black Sundance TV OneApp Disney+ Disney Plus australia joker legend Musicals ABC new zealand chucky revenge Stephen King 93rd Oscars docuseries book Showtime popular comedies Turner blaxploitation Polls and Games HBO TV renewals game of thrones pirates of the caribbean dc Image Comics psychological thriller toy story GIFs jamie lee curtis Schedule 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards deadpool Paramount Network Lucasfilm social media Fall TV boxing Red Carpet 2018 Masterpiece slashers romantic comedy See It Skip It crime thriller supernatural zombies Mudbound Pacific Islander name the review stand-up comedy Sundance Now razzies 2020 Broadway cancelled Ellie Kemper cults Starz Comic-Con@Home 2021 Marvel suspense lord of the rings Film Festival Warner Bros. Tokyo Olympics GLAAD italian First Reviews MSNBC halloween NBA NBC Amazon DC streaming service Apple TV+ transformers The Walt Disney Company Toys Adult Swim live action hist debate Mary Tyler Moore television Shondaland reboot science fiction dragons Martial Arts disaster marvel comics rt labs laika Countdown worst movies spy thriller GoT thriller Britbox stoner E! comiccon justice league festival Disney The Purge Teen child's play spanish language hispanic Oscars royal family Amazon Prime Video Comedy Central natural history worst monster movies movie Nat Geo Television Critics Association Country international TV Land Sneak Peek Tubi aapi children's TV anthology Song of Ice and Fire critics Television Academy E3 Pixar Musical YouTube ESPN Cartoon Network Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Discovery Channel Fox News spider-man high school President RT History nfl Funimation superhero screen actors guild period drama teaser batman Podcast The Academy king arthur FX Premiere Dates video on demand kids diversity Freeform binge TCM nature Vudu Superheroes independent MTV 4/20 medical drama CNN women Brie Larson TBS Amazon Prime TruTV FOX canceled TV shows Marvel Studios best Star Wars dexter Grammys BBC America X-Men TV One book adaptation foreign dark IFC Marvel Television trailers 21st Century Fox