Whether you are into comic books, teen dramas, or magical dogs, September TV has something for you! Final seasons from Lucifer, Dear White People, and Goliath pair nicely with sophomore rounds from exciting new series like The Morning Show and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. Get into it! (And before you do, catch up on it with a little help from us below.)
What it is: And you thought we were done with the land of Ooo. After delivering an unforgettable season finale in 2018, creator Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time has been rolling out this Distant Lands four-part special on HBO Max, beginning with “BMO,” followed by “Together Again,” and now with its third installment, “Wizard City.”
Why you should watch it: This belovedly off-kilter animated series bursts at the seams with unabashed and untamed surrealist creativity. But at its core, it’s just the story of a 12-old-boy named Finn who goes on adventures with his magical dog named Jake. Adventure Time: Distant Lands returns Sept. 2 on HBO Max.
Commitment: Approx. 53 hours (for all 10 seasons plus the first two parts of Distant Lands)
What it is: Now on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, A.P. Bio charts the journey of a sad-sack, award-winning philosopher and disgraced Harvard professor who is forced to teach high schoolers the title subject to mixed results.
Why you should watch it: Grounded by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s always-hilarious Glenn Howerton, A.P. Bio packs the laughs (and heart) in thanks to its supporters played by industry vets like Patton Oswalt and Paula Pell and new-coming scene-stealers filling out his high school classroom. Season 4 premieres Sept. 2 on Peacock.
Commitment: Approx. 12 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: This half-hour comedy follows four vampire roommates navigating 21st-century life while living on Staten Island. While the central quartet were meant to conquer America, the series makes it clear soon enough that though they may be fearsome and bloodsucking, they’re not quite up to the task.
Why you should watch it: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi: What more do you need!? Both reunite here to reimagine their 2014 cult-favorite comedy film of the same name for the small screen, setting it in New York City, and introducing new characters along the way. It’s just as dark, clever, and hilariously gruesome as you’d expect. Season 3 premieres Sept. 2 on FX.
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: From creator Álex Pina, the Spanish series Money Heist is one of Netflix’s several international hits. Centering on a group of eight thieves and their criminal mastermind leader, simply called The Professor, the series follows their action inside the Royal Mint of Spain as they take hostages and unspool a plan to print billions of euros — the biggest heist in history.
Why you should watch it: There’s plenty to love here for fans of the rat-a-tat heist thriller genre, but even for tasteful viewers of international, character-driven drama, this beloved ensemble cast will have you coming back for more. The first half of its fifth and final season premieres Sept. 3 on Netflix.
Where to watch it: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 31 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: After the unexpected death of their father, estranged siblings Ralph-Angel (a con man fresh out of prison), Nova Bordelon (a New Orleans–based journalist and activist), and Charley Bordelon (an upper-class Los Angeles mother to a teenage son) move to rural Louisiana to claim their inheritance: hundreds of acres of sugarcane farmland.
Why you should watch it: Queen Sugar is the result of women both behind and in front of the camera joining their powers: executive producer Oprah Winfrey; executive producer, director, and writer Ava DuVernay; stars Rutina Wesley and Dawn-Lyen Gardner; and other female directors for each episode of its five seasons. And their work isn’t the only stunning aspect of the series — sprawling locations under the Louisiana sun and timely discussions of racial prejudice, mass incarceration, and juicy drama with characters you’ll love make it a thought-provoking, must-watch. Season 6 premieres Sept. 7 on OWN.
Commitment: Approx. 65 hours (for the first five seasons)
What it is: From creators Alex Tse and Wu-Tang Clan’s own RZA, this hip-hop origin story series traces the early days and era-defining rise of the titular group
Why you should watch it: This fictionalized account of the formation of one of hip-hop’s most influential groups in 1990s New York steals the show thanks to standout performances from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse star Shameik Moore and Moonlight breakout Ashton Saunders returning to the screen as RZA (a.k.a. Bobby Diggs). Season 2 premieres Sept. 8 on Hulu.
Where to watch: Hulu
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Most people escape their locale to vacation where it’s warm, but where do you vacation when your home is in Hell? Los Angeles, apparently. That’s where our titular antihero Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis) sets his sights, at least, after resigning his post as ruler of the underworld to spice up his life. Once in L.A., he opens up a nightclub and stumbles into becoming a civilian consultant for the LAPD.
Why you should watch it: Based on the DC Comics character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg, Lucifer Morningstar is a protagonist unlike any we have seen before. Ruler of Hell, sure, but also charismatic as hell (charming, witty, and handsome to boot), proving himself to be the perfect right-hand man for homicide detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German). Season 6, Lucifer’s final outing, premieres Sept. 10 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 58 hours (for the first five seasons)
What it is: What would you do with your life after spending 18 years behind bars? Better yet, how would you do it? That’s the driving question in this acclaimed half-hour dramedy from co-creator and star Daisy Haggard, who plays Miri Matteson as she integrates her way back into the daily thrum of her small, coastal town of Hythe, Kent.
Why you should watch it: With its first season scoring a Certified Fresh 100% on the Tomatometer, Back to Life and Haggard are pretty much perfect while tackling some big questions with dark humor and heart. Season 2 premieres Sept. 13 on Showtime.
Commitment: Approx. 3 hours (for the first season)
What it is: A morning news anchor played by Steve Carell is #MeToo’d and replaced by a go-getter with Southern grit played by Reese Witherspoon. Jennifer Aniston plays the longtime co-anchor left to navigate the ruin — and the rising ratings. Aniston and Witherspoon are also attached as executive producers alongside creators Jay Carson and Kerry Ehrin.
Why you should watch it: Fledgling streamers looking to make a splash on the scene should take note from Apple. The pedigree of A-list performers on this freshman series is reason enough to tune in, but it’s the refreshingly raw-nerve, award-winning performance from Aniston in particular that reminds you why she’s such a well-loved and -respected actor for the better part of 30 years and gives you even more reason to watch. Season 2 premieres Sept. 17 on Apple TV+.
Where to watch: Apple TV+
Commitment: Approx. 10 hours (for the first season)
What it is: This British teen dramedy from creator Laurie Nunn tells the story of a high school outsider who, buoyed by the tricks he’s picked up from his sex-therapist helicopter mom, begins his own sex therapy practice out of an abandoned bathroom — to booming results.
Why you should watch it: You’d be hard-pressed to find a series whose ensemble was quite as immediately lovable — though a bit chaotic — as this one. The pitch-perfect cast is led by Asa Butterfield as Otis and a scene-stealing, never-better (if you can believe it) Gillian Anderson as his mother, Jean; the nuances of their fraught and evolving relationship paired with the high school dramas of puberty and beyond make this a must-watch. Season 3 premieres Sept. 17 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 12 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: 9-1-1 was a hit from the start. By humanizing members of New York City’s police and fire department as they go above the call of duty in larger-than-life circumstances — all while grappling with their own personal dramas on the home front — the series has earned its spot as one of Fox’s long-running hits.
Why you should watch it: There’s no doubt that television has been attracting some top-tier talent to the small screen over the last few years, and a series like 9-1-1 — with an ensemble led by Angela Bassett (who just became the highest-paid actress of color ever on TV) and Peter Krause paired with a producer like Ryan Murphy — is that trend seen at its very best. Fun, over-the-top escapism abounds in this drama series, but never at the expense of its heart. Season 5 premieres Sept. 20 on Fox.
Commitment: Approx. 43 hours (for the first four seasons)
What it is: Revisiting one of the most famous families on network TV after over 20 years off the air, The Conners stars Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman, and the rest of the original clan (minus Roseanne Barr) and is as insightful, provocative, and heartwarming as ever.
Why you should watch it: You’ll likely remember the off-screen controversy and Roseanne reboot-cancellation that led to The Conners hitting the small screen, but the series quickly found its groove and audience without Barr and is still going strong with positive ratings and reviews. Telling it like it is for working-class, family-first Americans, it resonates widely in today’s divisive times, while still making us laugh. Season 4 premieres Sept. 22 on ABC.
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: Based on writer-director Justin Simien’s 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People takes place on a predominantly white Ivy League college campus and, through the perspective of several different African-American characters, explores and satirizes the racial tensions, microaggressions, and social injustices experienced while there.
Why you should watch it: As funny as it is revealing, this ensemble piece for Netflix fearlessly goes where other network and primetime programs don’t dare to, not just representing the current social and political climate, but crystallizing lasting truths within it. Airtight scripts and a bevy of standout performances make the upcoming (and long-awaited) fourth season a must-watch for fans new and old. Season 4, its last, premieres Sept. 22 on Netflix.
Where to watch: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: From creator Jeremy Carver and starring Matt Bomer, April Bowlby, Timothy Dalton, Brendan Fraser, Diane Guerrero, and Joivan Wade, this acclaimed DC Comics series follows superpowered outcasts Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, and Crazy Jane after modern-day mad scientist Dr. Niles Caulder (The Chief) brings them together to save the world from one fantastical threat after another.
Why you should watch it: In the very best way, Carver and his writing room are dedicated to their source material’s larger-than-life weirdness, violence, and heart — and they have a cast that’s down to play along each step of the way. Season 3 premieres Sept. 23 on HBO Max.
Commitment: Approx. 21 hours (for the first two seasons)
What it is: Billy Bob Thornton is a pro at playing down-and-out, so you’re seeing a master at work when you see him put his spin on the trope with Goliath. He stars as Billy McBride, a disgraced lawyer who’s expelled from his firm. Now an ambulance chaser, he gets his shot with a new case to enact revenge on those who took him down to begin with.
Why you should watch it: Goliath creator David E. Kelley has been attached to some of the best television series of the last few decades. Throw in Oscar-winner Thornton (who also won a Golden Globe for his performance here), and the result speaks for itself. The series’ fourth and final season premieres Sept. 24 on Amazon Prime Video.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: Approx. 24 hours (for the first three seasons)
Thumbnail image: © FX, © Apple TV+, Sam Taylor/©Netflix