Just in time for Halloween, Rotten Tomatoes has a lucky number 13 series to add to your binge-watching queue this month. There are so many excellent new and returning series coming in October — check out our Fall TV Premiere Dates calendar for the full breakdown — that we limited this month’s binge guide to those select programs that are Certified Fresh. Find out which series you should catch up on below!
What it is: From the mind of creator and star Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth sees the narcissistic Phil Miller (Forte) go from living up to the series’ namesake after a killer virus sweeps the world clean of humanity to just being the center of his own world after he stumbles upon a series of other oddball survivors.
Why you should watch it: “Post-apocalyptic” and “comedy” aren’t two words you often hear in the same description, so this left-of-center comedy gets points for intrigue by default. Luckily, over the course of its three Emmy-nominated seasons (and now going into season 4’s October 1 premiere), Phil, Carol (Kristen Schaal), Melissa (January Jones), Gail (Mary Steenburgen), and a hodgepodge of other series regulars have become an unlikely clan we’re glad to be stuck with through the end of days.
Commitment: Approx. 17 hours
(Photo by ABC)
What it is: Set in the 1990s and loosely adapted from celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same name, Fresh Off the Boat follows a first-generation Taiwanese family who picks up from their Chinatown home in Washington, D.C., and heads south to Orlando, Florida, where father Louis Huang (Randall Park) opens a country-western steakhouse.
Why you should watch it: A refreshing take on Asian Americans for the small screen? Check. Well-earned laughs from a trio of talented young actors? Check. A heaping dose of ’90s nostalgia? Check. And the combined powers of the hilarious Park and Constance Wu? Check and check. Need we say more? Season 4 premieres October 3.
Commitment: Approx. 22 hours
(Photo by ABC)
What it is: Scandal is one wild ride, which is what makes this juicy political drama so undeniably fun. The series charts the inner-workings of Olivia Pope & Associates and the Fitzgerald Grant White House. The former is a crisis management firm in Washington, D.C., founded by Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and loosely inspired by real-life crisis manager Judy Smith, who worked under George H.W. Bush.
Why you should watch it: Say what you may, but there’s a reason this guilty pleasure prime-time soap from creator Shonda Rhimes has remained must-watch TV for six seasons strong. (Season 7 premieres October 5.) One of the main reasons is the central performance from Washington; a renowned film actress, her riveting performance as Olivia demands our attention on the small screen like few others can.
Commitment: Approx. 80 hours
(Photo by The CW)
What it is: Ever wonder what the other surviving Kryptonians (what few of them are left) are up to while Superman is out there saving the world? Well, turns out his cousin, Kara Zor-El (a.k.a. Supergirl) is up to just about the same thing. This is her story.
Why you should watch it: It took until the second season for this DC Comics series to really nail down its tone on the CW with star Melissa Benoist and co., but there’s no doubt going into season 3’s October 9 premiere that it ranks as one of the most formidable hour-long outings in the superheroic comics-to-screen universe.
Commitment: Approx. 29 hours
(Photo by The CW)
What it is: You know the Flash stands as the lighting-boosted fastest man alive, but do you know his story? This CW series and Arrow spin-off follows Grant Gustin as crime scene investigator–turned–crime scene vigilante Barry Allen (a.k.a. the Flash) and a group of fellow crimefighters with special abilities.
Why you should watch it: You don’t gain an adoring following like that of The Flash without bringing edge-of-your-seat action and suspense, lovable characters and story arcs, and pitch-perfect performances week to week. Season 4 premieres October 10.
Commitment: Approx. 50 hours
(Photo by Hulu)
What it is: Hulu may be fresh off their best drama series win at this year’s Emmys for The Handmaid’s Tale, but they struck dramatic gold before that just last year with Chance. This gritty psychological thriller set in the seedy underbelly of San Francisco stars Hugh Laurie as a neuropsychiatrist who gets swept up in the turbulent life of one of his female patients.
Why you should watch it: Three-time Golden Globe winner Hugh Laurie may well be one of the most versatile television actors working today, with acclaimed work across guest arcs on Veep, supporting turns in The Night Manager, and, of course, the leading role on House, M.D. Hulu’s Chance marks the British actor’s return to that top-billed spot as the titular Dr. Eldon Chance, and he does not disappoint. Season 2 premieres October 11.
Commitment: Approx. 7.5 hours
(Photo by USA Network)
Why you should watch it: Some say this series suffered from the sophomore slump, but one thing’s for certain: Even at its worst, Mr. Robot makes it near-impossible to look away. Few other series today make for water-cooler fare at work, but Esmail — with the help of Malek, Slater, and an impressive supporting ensemble cast — taps into the cultural consciousness with a premise as timely as it is ambitious.
Commitment: Approx. 18 hours
(Photo by Diyah Pera/The CW)
What it is: Also returning October 11 with its second season (you better get to watching!) is Riverdale, the TV adaptation of the beloved Archie comics of yore — only this time, it gets the CW treatment as a murder mystery thriller with live-action, hot high schoolers (played by KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart, and Cole Sprouse).
Why you should watch it: We’ll say it: Riverdale may well be the best teen drama to come out of the CW since Gossip Girl, and it deserves the viewership and brand ubiquity to match. It’s the classic Archie we know with a dash of sex and True Detective — what’s not to love?
Commitment: Approx. 9 hours
(Photo by The CW)
What it is: How would your life change if you were stranded on an island for five years? It’s unlikely you’d turn into a caped crusader dead set on protecting his city with a bow and arrow, but to viewers’ delight, that’s exactly the case with billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). Now he’s known as the Green Arrow.
Why you should watch it: Lucky for the CW, the DC Comics Universe has yet to stale — but that’s because what they’re putting out is just so good, keeping the old fans happy while raking in an all-new audience to join them. Arrow is the series that started it all; and for five seasons now, it hasn’t let up the fun. Season 6 premieres October 12.
Commitment: Approx. 86 hours
What it is: Season 3 of this beloved cult musical comedy premieres October 13, and we couldn’t be more excited to check in on lawyer Rebecca Bunch’s misadventures in life and love. The series begins with her quitting her job and moving across the country to live near her childhood boyfriend, Josh — whom she hasn’t spoken to in years. It’s all uphill from there.
Why you should watch it: Whatever you do, don’t be put off by the series’ title — even if you’ve got one! Rachel Bloom is a musical genius, concocting show-stopping comedic melodies inspired by the best of Broadway and Top 40 week after week. And as if the comedy’s song-and-dance wasn’t entertaining enough, it’s buoyed by excellent performances and tight, creative scripts that tackle everything from broken hearts to mental health.
Commitment: Approx. 21 hours
(Photo by TNT)
What it is: Downton Abbey favorite Michelle Dockery gets top billing in this cheeky crime thriller as con artist, thief, and all-around professional criminal Letty Raines, who, fresh out of prison, quickly gets caught up in a relationship with an equally adept hitman. Season 2 hits TNT on October 15.
Why you should watch it: By the heft of this cast alone, you should get hooked on Good Behavior. The Handmaid’s Tale Emmy winner (and two-time nominee along with her guest actress recognition for The Leftovers) Ann Dowd is back on TV this fall and we. are. here. for. it.
Commitment: Approx. 8 hours
(Photo by Gene Page/AMC)
What it is: You don’t know what The Walking Dead is? You may want to check your pulse…
Why you should watch it: Cable’s highest-rated drama returns with its 100th episode and season 8 premiere on October 22 — are you ready? Built on creator Frank Darabont’s post-apocalyptic premise of zombies walking the Earth and ending mankind as we know it, the acclaimed series hardly rests on the laurels of its gore and “what if” fascinations; these are characters brought to life with bone-deep precision from a stable of some of TV’s greatest talents. You just never know when your favorite will bite the dust. (That’s admittedly part of the fun, too.)
Commitment: Approx. 74 hours
(Photo by Netflix)
Why you should watch it: It was the synth-laden soundtrack heard ’round the world last summer when Stranger Things dropped out of nowhere onto Netflix and us by storm. Even if you’ve seen the first 10 episodes already, it’s well worth a week-long binge watch leading up to its second installment’s Halloween weekend premiere. A back-to-form Winona Ryder, David Harbour (who landed an Emmy nomination for his performance), and breakout stars by way of all its kids (but particularly Emmy nominee Millie Bobby Brown) are simply that good. You can watch this series again and again, and there ain’t nothin’ strange about it.
Where to watch it: Netflix
Commitment: Approx. 7 hours