News

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) 70%


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) 64%


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 NFL.com.


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

Will & Grace: Season 9 (2017) 89%


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 (2017) 74%


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 Murders (2017) 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) 97%


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) 93%


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) 60%


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

Teen cults sequel The Witch biography Lucasfilm crossover Star Wars Schedule Photos blaxploitation Awards Western Pirates Certified Fresh Mary poppins harry potter DGA space Premiere Dates Trailer nature Captain marvel Musicals YA PBS theme song AMC Country Amazon Nickelodeon VH1 Lionsgate FOX Mindy Kaling Logo YouTube Red spinoff strong female leads TNT President Super Bowl LGBT PaleyFest Star Trek First Look Marathons Musical 2016 Opinion serial killer Fantasy Year in Review Winter TV WarnerMedia FXX political drama YouTube Premium Countdown DC streaming service Cannes dramedy 24 frames Toys technology 2019 zombies adventure Quiz TLC Anna Paquin Crackle GLAAD OWN dceu mockumentary ITV Rom-Com Mary Tyler Moore transformers The CW Elton John Infographic WGN Freeform green book TCA sports FX Interview Film Festival Food Network anthology Sundance cats docudrama Reality what to watch TCA 2017 Vudu MCU Sci-Fi Amazon Prime El Rey RT History Spring TV Esquire Ellie Kemper RT21 doctor who Lifetime Ghostbusters Adult Swim Polls and Games crime thriller justice league politics ESPN crime drama cinemax animated thriller Podcast Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Drama aliens Box Office Comedy Central discovery toy story Fox News Writers Guild of America Mary Poppins Returns 20th Century Fox medical drama Disney Channel CBS All Access E! Election Comics on TV game show LGBTQ Disney Thanksgiving romance DirecTV Valentine's Day Heroines Spike Columbia Pictures Trivia APB Tarantino SDCC Shondaland Song of Ice and Fire 45 binge composers Horror TV Land Nat Geo Pride Month Pop Emmy Nominations Mystery Paramount Network richard e. Grant MTV science fiction Chilling Adventures of Sabrina war based on movie Brie Larson true crime SundanceTV facebook Chernobyl San Diego Comic-Con Walt Disney Pictures television psychological thriller crime History police drama Animation GoT Britbox TIFF Women's History Month E3 SXSW Music Emmys festivals Black Mirror IFC Films robots vampires Pixar casting BBC Red Carpet disaster Video Games ABC Family golden globes Superheroe The Arrangement Paramount DC Comics 21st Century Fox Hulu 2017 Bravo spy thriller Awards Tour Tumblr Spectrum Originals TBS Stephen King Masterpiece Epix travel unscripted Comedy CMT Tomatazos Starz Superheroes TV supernatural Reality Competition period drama USA Network talk show NBC Calendar historical drama anime NYCC cops Best and Worst A&E BET BBC America American Society of Cinematographers Oscars award winner sitcom Cosplay See It Skip It Ovation Christmas Netflix CNN finale miniseries elevated horror Sundance Now psycho social media HBO Max Pet Sematary GIFs VICE streaming CBS Apple Character Guide jamie lee curtis Biopics Fall TV New York Comic Con diversity TruTV dragons Trophy Talk zero dark thirty Action Shudder ratings Dark Horse Comics comic MSNBC DC Universe Syfy Summer IFC boxoffice Sony Pictures Comic Book witnail teaser comiccon Cartoon Network Holidays Universal Creative Arts Emmys Nominations Kids & Family Mudbound natural history singing competition Rocketman 2018 Showtime HBO Extras cooking National Geographic Grammys X-Men Rock Marvel Martial Arts mutant spider-man Acorn TV Set visit Rocky Sneak Peek CW Seed adaptation hist TCM Winners zombie USA Watching Series 007 ABC dc 2015 Warner Bros.