Best-Reviewed TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror 2017

The horror! The horror! The top five series in this category for 2017 share a certain bloodlust, though each in its own peculiar or fantastical way. Game of Thrones, meanwhile, finds itself locked out of the category’s top spots for the first time since RT began awarding TV Golden Tomato prizes in 2013.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2017. Scores might change over time.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Stranger Things' slow-building sophomore season balances moments of humor and a nostalgic sweetness against a growing horror that's all the more effective thanks to the show's full-bodied characters and evocative tone.

Bates Motel: Season 5 (2017)
100%

#2
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Bates Motel's final season brings the franchise full circle, with a satisfyingly creepy conclusion to the trials and tribulations of Norman Bates.

#3
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: With reliably ambitious storytelling and outstanding performances from its cast, Season 3 of The Leftovers approaches the series' conclusion as thoughtfully, purposefully, and confidently as it began.

#4
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Black Mirror proves with its fourth season that the series still has ample source material to terrify fans with technology that is now -- or soon could become -- an integral part of our lives.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Surreal, suspenseful, and visually stunning, this new Twin Peaks is an auteurist triumph for David Lynch.
Starring:

This week on home video, we have the latest James Bond film, a gothic romance from the mind of Guillermo Del Toro, and a much-discussed HBO series, as well as a couple of acclaimed indies, a fascinating doc, and more. Read on for details:


Welcome to Leith (2015) 96%

This documentary tells the story of a small North Dakota town’s resistance to an attempted takeover by white supremacists. It’s only available on DVD, and there isn’t any information available on special features.

Get it Here


99 Homes (2014) 93%

Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon star in Ramin Bahrani’s Certified Fresh drama about a man who gets a job evicting homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages in order to stave off financial troubles of his own. This one’s also only available on DVD, and it also lacks info on special features.

Get it Here


Grandma (2015) 91%

Lily Tomlin stars in Paul Weitz’s comedy about a woman who visits a bunch of old friends in order to borrow money to help her granddaughter out of a jam. Bonus features include a commentary track, a making-of doc, and a cast/director Q&A.

Get it Here


The Leftovers: Season 2 (2015) 94%

So, season two, huh? That was pretty bonkers, wasn’t it? HBO’s most divisive series (for audiences) nevertheless scored a Certified Fresh 87 percent in its sophomore season, relocating the Garveys to a new town with mysteries of its own. The season set comes with all ten episodes and no extras.

Get it Here


The Emigrants (1971) 93%

The Criterion Collection’s new release this week is Jan Troell’s two-part immigration story starring Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullmann as a Swedish farming couple who move to the US during the 1800s and attempt to begin a new life. The set comes with 1971’s The Emigrants and 1972’s The New Land, plus special features.

Get it Here


Crimson Peak (2015) 73%

Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain star in Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic supernatural drama about an aspiring writer who is whisked away by a dashing baronet to an old English mansion, where specters begin to appear to her. Bonus features include a handful of featurettes on the visual design, the genre, the setting, and more, plus deleted scenes and a commentary track.

Get it Here


Spectre (2015) 63%

The latest outing for 007 (and purportedly the last for Daniel Craig) finds Bond encountering a shadowy figure from his past as he uncovers a vast network of evil operatives. Extras include a look at the opening sequence, a handful of video blogs, and a collection of production stills.

Get it Here


MI-5 (2015) 63%

Speaking of operatives, Kit Harington and Peter Firth star in this lesser known thriller about a spy who goes off the grid in search of an escaped terrorist. It comes with a making-of doc and some deleted scenes.

Get it Here


Love the Coopers (2015) 18%

Diane Keaton and Alan Arkin lead an all-star cast in this ensemble holiday comedy about a family matriarch who gathers four generations of her clan together for a Christmas Eve celebration. Special features include a making-of doc, a pair of featurettes, and a music video.

Get it Here

With 409 original scripted television shows in 2015, it’s not easy to pick a favorite, but here at Rotten Tomatoes, we’ve done just that! See our staff picks for the programming highlights of 2015 — from under-the-radar gems to downright cultural phenomenons. The best part? All of these shows are available for you to watch right now from the beginning — and, of course, they’re all Fresh!


Better Call Saul: Season 1 (2015) 97%

What it is: This spinoff of Breaking Bad gives us an early look at Jimmy McGill, the man who will later become Saul Goodman. In season one, we see Jimmy try to leave his grifter, “Slippin’ Jimmy” past behind and be an honest (if not entirely successful) representative of the law. And if Jimmy is trying to turn over a new leaf, those around him — even his own brother — may not be ready to let go of Jimmy’s past.

Why you should watch it: Saul Goodman was a reliable source of comic relief in Breaking Bad, but who would have suspected that Jimmy’s first-season character arc would be so emotionally moving? The series deftly moves from a comedy about a mostly competent small-time lawyer to a moving drama about two men whose pasts still overshadow their futures. Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks make the most of the opportunity to delve deeper into Saul and Mike, and the writing from Vince Gilligan is simply terrific. And “Five-O,” the sixth episode of this first season, may well be the finest hour of television in all of 2015.

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon, Google PlayiTunes, MicrosoftPlayStation Video, and Vudu.

Commitment: Nine hours.

Picked By: Matt Atchity, Editor-in-Chief


Marvel's Daredevil: Season 1 (2015) 99%

What it is: Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights organized crime in New York City as a lawyer during the day, and as a super-powered, martial arts-fighting vigilante at night. Daredevil is Netflix’s first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Why you should watch it: Daredevil is one of the best-executed comic book adaptations on television to date — if not the best. With incredible fight scenes and a fascinating performance by Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin), this origin story centers on both the hero and villain’s journeys, giving them much more depth than your average superhero story. The series raised the bar very high for serialized MCU shows, having unexpectedly earned a second season after the immensely positive reaction from fans and critics alike.

Where to watch: Netflix.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Julio de Oliveira, Project Manager


American Crime: Season 1 (2015) 94%

What it is: The murder of a war veteran in Modesto, California and the brutal attack on his wife sparks an emotionally-charged chain of events enveloping the victims’ and suspect’s families during the subsequent legal battle.

Why you should watch it: American Crime exhibits no fear or hesitation in tackling topics ripped directly from today’s headlines in nearly any American city. You won’t find any simple answers here, though. The sensitivity showed to characters on every side of the equation paints a vivid picture of just how complicated these stories always are — and how important it is that we discuss them with rationality and compassion. Be sure to watch it with a friend so you can ruminate on everything it’s saying.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.

Picked By: Grae Drake, Senior Editor


The Leftovers: Season 2 (2015) 94%

What it is: HBO’s somber drama, created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, is set in the emotional aftermath of a global event known as “The Departure” in which 140 million people (two percent of the world’s population) inexplicably vanished.

Why you should watch it: Love it or hate it, The Leftovers is a show that taps into human feeling. The remarkable ensemble cast delivers one stirring performance after the other — particularly in the critically acclaimed second season. HBO has announced that there will be a third, and final, season of The Leftovers in 2016 so enjoy this unique piece of storytelling before it departs.

Where to watch: HBO Go and Xfinity (with cable subscription).

Commitment: 20 hours.

Picked By: Zayre Ferrer, Review Aggregator


Rick and Morty: Season 2 (2015) 91%

What it is: An alcoholic mad scientist moves in with his daughter’s semi-dysfunctional family and begins involving his apprehensive grandson in wild cosmic and interdimensional adventures.

Why you should watch it: If you like your jokes quick, clever, and pregnant with pop culture references, you’ll feel right at home with Rick and Morty, an Adult Swim series co-created by Justin Roiland and Community showrunner Dan Harmon. But while most animated comedies are content to showcase a collection of single-serving vignettes, Rick and Morty dares to offer some pathos alongside its absurdist humor. Sure, you’ll laugh at a hilarious gag referencing David Cronenberg, but you’ll also balk at the horrifying meaning behind it, and that’s what makes this such a deliciously funny, sometimes surprisingly multi-layered treat. Season two upped the ante, and in addition to some standout episodes (including my favorite, “The Ricks Must Be Crazy”), the season finale delivered with an unexpected cliffhanger.

Where to watch: Adult Swim (with cable subscription), Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Ryan Fujitani, Editor


You're the Worst: Season 2 (2015) 97%

What it is: After meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding, narcissistic writer Jimmy (Chris Geere) and cynical PR exec Gretchen (Aya Cash) attempt to forge a lasting relationship.

Why you should watch it: While the first season was the pitch black romantic comedy we always wanted, featuring the kind of twenty-something Los Angelenos the rest of the country loves to hate, the second season goes even deeper. Jimmy and Gretchen’s relationship is put to the test and the supporting cast also has a stellar season. Although You’re the Worst deals with heavy stuff, it does so with a light and raunchy touch, perfectly balancing raw emotions with belly laughs.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, and Vudu.

Commitment: 11 hours.

Picked By: Marya E. Gates, Social Media Specialist


Game of Thrones: Season 5 (2015) 93%

What it is: Inspired by the series of novels written by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is the fantasy epic that out epics all others. Set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, the series follows the dynastic struggles among the realms of noble families for control of the Iron Throne.

Why you should watch it: If you are someone who still hasn’t jumped on the GOT bandwagon, do not be daunted by the task — or by the hype. It lives up to it all and this year did nothing but enhance the show’s stockpile of jaw-dropping and superbly written, performed, and directed moments. Even after five seasons, you will still catch yourself astounded that this is television at all.

Where to watch: HBO Go.

Commitment: 50 hours.

Picked By: Andria Hopkins, Review Aggregator


Poldark: Season 1 (2015) 91%

What it is: Ross Poldark is a British soldier who returns home from the Revolutionary War to find his family business bankrupt and his love betrothed to another, forcing him to rebuild his life.

Why you should watch it: It’s a romance novel brought to life. Aidan Turner is fantastic as Poldark, with flowing locks and shirtless scenes that are almost as gorgeous as the show’s sweeping shots of the English countryside. If you’re looking for something to keep you going until Outlander returns in the spring, this should serve you nicely.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, and Vudu.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Beki Lane, Associate TV Editor


Banshee: Season 3 (2015) 100%

What it is: A psycho-sexy action drama, Banshee throws a dangerous ex-con into, wait for it… sheriffdom. When he attempts to reconnect with his true love and former cohort-in-crime, he ends up replacing the new sheriff who got killed before anybody could meet him, making for some crazy-ass goings-on in the Banshee PD.

Why you should watch it: It’s hard to find a show so crazy, so nasty, so sexy. The amazing cast makes it difficult to choose who to root for: the bad-ass, violent ex-con disguised as the sheriff? His ex-partner/lover-in-crime hiding her past, who now lives with her politician husband and two kids? The “businessman” mob-boss type who excommunicated himself from his Amish family to run the town? What about his promiscuous niece who was banished from the family? Explosive!

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle PlayiTunesMax Go (with cable subscription), Vudu, and Xfinity (with cable subscription).

Commitment: 30 hours.

Picked By: Kerr Lordygan, Associate TV Editor


Documentary Now!: Season 1 (2015) 90%

What it is: From IFC and Lorne Michaels’ production outfit Broadway Video (Man Seeking Woman, Portlandia) comes Fred Armisen and Bill Hader‘s series of half-hour documentary parodies.

Why you should watch it: There’s a moment partway through Documentary Now!‘s season premiere spoofing the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens when you realize that you’re not only watching a spot-on send-up to the original, but also a story brilliantly taking on a life of its own. Perfect for cinephiles and comedy nuts alike, Documentary Now! is best when you’re familiar with the source material, but anyone who appreciates silly, weirdly specific humor should check this one out.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, IFC.com (with cable subscription), iTunes, and Microsoft.

Commitment: Three hours.

Picked By: Sarah Ricard, TV Editor


Mr. Robot: Season 1 (2015) 98%

What it is: Elliot (Rami Malek), a young computer programmer with mental health issues, is recruited by a group of revolutionary hackers to help them bring upon the destruction of some of the world’s largest corporations. But as the stakes are raised, our hero discovers that nothing is as it first seemed.

Why you should watch it: Plenty of shows — even very good ones — can be enjoyed on a surface level. Mr. Robot, on the other hand, demands your undivided attention. Everything — everything — about this show feels precise and premeditated; it draws you into a paranoid mindset, one that embodies the old conspiracist’s adage that there are no coincidences. Hallucinatory, insanely topical, and blessed with one of the best soundtracks (and undoubtably the best title screens) of any show on television, Mr. Robot will reward obsessives with plenty of unsettling layers to uncover.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, MicrosoftUSANetwork.com (with cable subscription), and Vudu.

Commitment: Eight hours.

Picked By: Tim Ryan, Senior Editor

This week at the movies, we’ve got a high-flying orphan (Pan, starring Levi Miller and Hugh Jackman) and a high-wire daredevil (The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Charlotte Le Bon). What do the critics have to say?


Pan (2015) 27%

Do we really need to know the origin story of every iconic fictional character? The trouble with Pan, critics say, is not simply its narrative incoherence and excessive special effects, but its inability to get at the heart of its familiar hero. In this telling, Peter Pan (Levi Miller) is snatched from a London orphanage by a floating pirate ship bound for Neverland. There, Peter makes friends with such famous faces as Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and the future Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund), and quickly runs afoul of the evil Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). The pundits say Pan has a few moments of visual invention, but mostly, it’s a generic fantasy that fails to capture the mischievous spirit of its beloved protagonist.


The Walk (2015) 83%

The unbelievable story of Philippe Petit, the French acrobat who devised a mad scheme to tightrope-walk between the towers of the World Trade Center, was already chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary Man On Wire. However, critics say The Walk is a gripping, tense, visually astonishing fictional recreation of that bizarre incident that demonstrates director Robert Zemeckis‘ knack for dazzling imagery — even if it sometimes meanders when the story is on the ground.

 


What’s Hot on TV

The Flash: Season 2 (2015) 94%

With distinctive visuals and a terrific cast, The Flash remains one of the strongest comic book shows on television.


The Good Wife: Season 7 (2015) 91%

Reinvigorated storylines and an even stronger cast keep The Good Wife fresh in its seventh season — and away from the doldrums that overcome many long-running dramas.


The Affair: Season 2 (2015) 90%

The Affair shifts its emphasis in season two, moving psychological drama to the foreground and expanding the show’s central crime story to include two new points of view.


The Leftovers: Season 2 (2015) 94%

The Leftovers continues to be unpredictable and provocative in season two with its new location, though the inexplicable circumstances will still frustrate many viewers.


Homeland: Season 5 (2015) 88%

Homeland re-energizes itself in season five by setting up a twisty Berlin-set spy thriller that spotlights Carrie’s questionable ethics more than ever.


American Horror Story: Hotel (2015) 64%

Favoring garish style over effective storytelling, the fifth American Horror Story strands a talented cast at Ryan Murphy’s Hotel.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • The Forbidden Room (2015) , starring Charlotte Rampling and Mathieu Amalric in director Guy Maddin‘s unclassifiable assemblage/pastiche of cinematic esoterica, is at 96 percent.
  • Steve Jobs (2015) , starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet in Danny Boyle‘s biopic of the Apple founder, is at 90 percent.
  • In My Father's House (2015) , a documentary about rapper Rhymefest and his reunion with his estranged father, is at 88 percent.
  • (T)ERROR (2015) , a documentary about the inner workings and potential problems of a an FBI counterterrorism sting operation, is at 86 percent.
  • The Greek import Xenia (2014) , a coming-of-age road trip drama about two brothers seeking their estranged father and a shot to audition for a televised song contest, is at 82 percent.
  • Brand: A Second Coming (2015) , a documentary portrait of comedian Russell Brand, is at 79 percent.
  • The Final Girls (2015) , starring Taissa Farmiga and Malin Akerman in a horror comedy about a teenage girl who finds herself trapped in a 1980s slasher movie, is at 79 percent.
  • Victoria (2015) , a real-time drama about a woman whose wild night in Berlin starts at a nightclub and leads to participating in a bank robbery, is at 77 percent.
  • Trash (2014) , a thriller about a trio of Brazilian kids who run afoul of a corrupt politician after discovering a wallet in a garbage dump, is at 70 percent.
  • Takashi Miike‘s Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) , an action/fantasy about an aspiring mobster who’s also a vampire, is at 63 percent.
  • Gravy (2015) , starring Gabourey Sidibe and Sarah Silverman in a horror comedy about a trio of psychopaths who hold a restaurant’s staff hostage with the intention of feasting on their flesh, is at 43 percent.
  • Knock Knock (2015) , starring Keanu Reeves in a thriller about a man whose life is turned upside down after he tries to assist what he thinks are a pair of damsels in distress, is at 35 percent.
  • Big Stone Gap (2014) , starring Ashley Judd and Patrick Wilson in a romantic comedy about a woman who discovers a startling family secret, is at 22 percent.

In season one of The Leftovers, we saw the consequences of an earth-shattering event which randomly took away two percent of the population, and how it affected a small group of people in a little New York town. Now, in season two, our survivors make the pilgrimage to a Texas community where every single person was spared from Sudden Departure. Take a look.

Season two stars the Garvey clan (Justin TherouxAmy Brenneman, Margaret Qualley, Chris Zylka, and Carrie Coon), and introduces Regina King, Jovan Adepo, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Kevin Carroll as the Murphy family. Ann DowdLiv Tyler, and Christopher Eccleston are also expected to return.

New episodes start Sunday, October 4 on HBO.

 

 

Emmy nominations are out for last season, but it’s already time for a new one. Television continues to rival, and sometimes surpass, the quality and success of film industry releases, with more networks than we ever thought possible 20 years ago. And, with the growing number of cable networks, we witness the capability of catering to more adult-oriented content. This fall, we will continue to see television grow, for better and for worse. Which new shows will achieve Fresh, or even Certified Fresh, status? Which will quickly go Rotten? And which of your favorite returning shows made the cut this year? Here’s the list as we know it, and we’ll continue to update it as premiere dates continue to be broadcast.


August | September | October | November | Winter | Fall TBA 


 August

 

Monday, Aug. 3

Significant Mother series premiere, 9:30 p.m., CW

Tuesday, Aug. 4

Playing House season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA

Wednesday, Aug. 5

Difficult People series premiere, Hulu

Mr. Robinson series premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

 

Mr. Robinson

 

Friday, Aug. 7

Casanova series premiere, Amazon

Sneaky Pete series premiere, Amazon

Saturday, Aug. 8

Funny or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman series premiere, 11 p.m., TBS

Wednesday, Aug. 12

Young & Hungry season two return, 8 p.m., ABC Family

Kevin from Work series premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC Family

Sunday, Aug. 16

Show Me a Hero miniseries premiere, 9 p.m., HBO

Tuesday, Aug. 18

The Hotwives of Las Vegas series premiere, Hulu

Thursday, Aug. 20

Documentary Now! series premiere, 10 p.m., IFC

Saturday, Aug. 22

Blunt Talk series premiere, 9 p.m., Starz

Survivor’s Remorse season two premiere, 9:30 p.m., Starz

Sunday, Aug. 23

Fear the Walking Dead series premiere, 9 p.m., AMC

Vicious season two premiere, 10:30 p.m., PBS

 

Vicious

 

Monday, Aug. 24

Switched at Birth season four return, 8 p.m., ABC Family

Tuesday, Aug. 25

From Dusk Till Dawn season two premiere, 10 p.m., El Rey

Public Morals series premiere, 10 p.m., TNT

Wednesday, Aug. 26

The Carmichael Show series premiere, 9:30 p.m., NBC

Friday, Aug. 28

Narcos series premiere, Netflix

Monday, Aug. 31

Awkward season five premiere, 9 p.m., MTV

Faking It season two return, 9:30 p.m., MTV

 


Back to Top


September

 

Tuesday, Sep. 1

Drunk History season three premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Friday, Sep. 4

Hand of God series premiere, Amazon Instant Video

 

Hand of God

 

Sunday, Sep. 6

Arthur & George series premiere, 8 p.m., PBS

Tuesday, Sep. 8

The Awesomes season three premiere, Hulu

Late Show with Stephen Colbert series premiere, 10:30 p.m., CBS

Wednesday, Sep. 9

The League season seven premiere, 10 p.m., FXX

You’re the Worst season two premiere, 10:30 p.m., FXX

Thursday, Sep. 10

Longmire season four premiere, Netflix

Friday, Sep. 11

Z Nation season two premiere, 10 p.m. SyFy

Continuum season four premiere, 11 p.m., SyFy

Saturday, Sep. 12

Ferrell Takes the Field special event premiere, 10 p.m. HBO

Sunday, Sep. 13

Project Greenlight season four premiere, 10 p.m., HBO

Doll & Em season two premiere, 11 p.m., HBO

Tuesday, Sep. 15

The Mindy Project season four premiere, Hulu

The Bastard Executioner series premiere, 10 p.m., FX

Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, Sep. 16

South Park season 19 premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central

Moonbeam City series premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

 

South Park

 

Friday, Sep. 18

Black Jesus season two premiere, 11 p.m., Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)

Saturday, Sep. 19

Doctor Who season nine premiere, 9 p.m., BBC America

Sunday, Sep. 20

67th Primetime Emmy Awards special event, 8 p.m., Fox

Monday, Sep. 21

The Big Bang Theory season nine premiere, 8 p.m., CBS

Gotham season two premiere, 8 p.m., Fox

The Voice season nine premiere, 8 p.m., NBC

Life in Pieces series premiere, 8:30 p.m., CBS

Minority Report series premiere, 9 p.m., Fox

Scorpion season two premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Blindspot series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Castle season eight premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

NCIS: Los Angeles season seven premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

Tuesday, Sep. 22

NCIS season 13 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS

The Muppets series premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

Scream Queens series premiere, 8 p.m., Fox

Fresh off the Boat season two premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC

NCIS: New Orleans season two premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Limitless series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

 

Scream Queens

 

Wednesday, Sep. 23

The Middle season seven premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

The Mysteries of Laura season two premiere, 8 p.m., NBC

Rosewood series premiere, 8 p.m., FOX

Survivor season 31 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS

The Goldbergs season three premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC

Empire season two premiere, 9 p.m., Fox

Law & Order: SVU season 17 premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

Modern Family season eight premiere, 9 p.m., ABC

black-ish season two premiere, 9:30 p.m., ABC

Nashville season four premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

Thursday, Sep. 24

Grey’s Anatomy season 12 premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

Heroes Reborn series premiere, 8 p.m., NBC

Scandal season five premiere, 9 p.m., ABC

The Player series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

How to Get Away with Murder season two premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

 

Heroes Reborn

 

Friday, Sep. 25

The Amazing Race season 25 premiere, 8 p.m., CBS

Last Man Standing season five premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

Margaret Cho: psyCHO comedy special premiere, 9 p.m., Comedy Central

Hawaii Five-0 season six premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Blue Bloods season six premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

Saturday, Sep. 26

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series premiere, 9:30 p.m., Disney XD

Sunday, Sep. 27

Bob’s Burgers season six premiere, 7:30 p.m., Fox

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation two-part series finale, 8 p.m., CBS

Once Upon a Time season five premiere, 8 p.m., ABC

The Simpsons season 27 premiere, 8 p.m., Fox

Brooklyn Nine-Nine season three premiere, 8:30 p.m., Fox

Blood & Oil series premiere, 9 p.m., ABC

Family Guy season 14 premiere, 9 p.m., Fox

Indian Summers miniseries premiere,  9 p.m., PBS

The Last Man on Earth season two premiere, 9:30 p.m., Fox

Quantico series premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

 

Blood & Oil

 

Monday, Sep. 28

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah series premiere, 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Tuesday, Sep. 29

Grandfathered series premiere, 8 p.m., Fox

The Grinder series premiere, 8:30 p.m., Fox

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season three premiere, 9 p.m., ABC

Wednesday, Sep. 30

Criminal Minds season 11 premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Chicago P.D. season three premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Code Black series premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

 

Chicago P.D.

 


Back to Top


October

 

Thursday, Oct. 1

Bones season 11 premiere, 8 p.m., Fox

The Blacklist season three premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

Sleepy Hollow season three premiere, 9 p.m., Fox

Benders series premiere, 10 p.m., IFC

Gigi Does It series premiere, 10:30 p.m., IFC

Friday, Oct. 2

Dr. Ken series premiere, 8:30 p.m., ABC

Saturday, Oct. 3

Saturday Night Live season 47 premiere, 11:30 p.m., NBC

Sunday, Oct. 4

Home Fires series premiere, 8 p.m., PBS

Madam Secretary season two premiere, 8 p.m., CBS

The Good Wife season seven premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Homeland season five premiere, 9 p.m., Showtime

The Leftovers season two premiere, 9 p.m., HBO

The Affair season two premiere, 10 p.m., Showtime

CSI: Cyber season two premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

The Widower miniseries premiere, 10 p.m., PBS

 

The Affair

 

Tuesday, Oct. 6

The Flash season two premiere, 8 p.m., CW

iZombie season two premiere, 9 p.m., CW

Finding Carter season three premiere 10 p.m., MTV

Wednesday, Oct. 7

American Horror Story: Hotel season five premiere, 10 p.m., FX

Casual series premiere, Hulu

Arrow season four premiere, 8 p.m., CW

Supernatural season 11 premiere, 9 p.m., CW

Thursday, Oct. 8

The Vampire Diaries season seven premiere, 8 p.m., CW

The Originals season three premiere, 9 p.m., CW

Funny or Die’s Billy on the Street season four premiere, 10:30 p.m., TruTV

Friday, Oct. 9

Red Oaks series premiere, Amazon

Reign season three premiere, 8 p.m., CW

Undateable season two premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

The Enfield Haunting miniseries premiere, 10 p.m., A&E

Saturday, Oct. 10

The Last Kingdom series premiere, 10 p.m., BBC America

Sunday, Oct. 11

The Walking Dead season six premiere, 9 p.m., AMC

 

The Walking Dead

 

Monday, Oct. 12

Fargo season two premiere, FX

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend series premiere, 8 p.m., CW

Jane the Virgin season two premiere, 9 p.m., CW

Tuesday, Oct. 13

Manhattan season two premiere, 9 p.m., WGN America

Chicago Fire season four premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Wednesday, Oct. 14

Kingdom season two premiere, 9 p.m., DirecTV

Thursday, Oct. 15

Nathan for You season three premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central

Friday, Oct. 16

The Knick season two premiere, time TBD, Cinemax

Truth Be Told series premiere, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Please Like Me season three premiere, 10 p.m., Pivot

Satisfaction season two premiere, 10 p.m., USA

Saturday, Oct. 17

Amy Schumer: Live from the Apollo comedy special premiere, 10 p.m., HBO

Wednesday, Oct. 20

Being Mary Jane season three premiere, 9 p.m., BET

Friday, Oct. 23

Hemlock Grove season three premiere, Netflix

Billy Elliot the Musical: Live special event, 9 p.m., PBS

Saturday, Oct. 24

Da Vinci’s Demons season three premiere, 8 p.m., Starz

Sunday, Oct. 25

The Guilty miniseries premiere (US), 10 p.m., PBS

StarTalk season two premiere, 11 p.m., NatGeo

Robot Chicken season eight premiere, midnight, Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)

Monday, Oct. 26

Supergirl series premiere, 8:30 p.m., CBS

 

Supergirl

Supergirl

 

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Wicked City series premiere, 10 p.m., ABC

Friday, Oct. 30

Exorcism: Live special event, 9 p.m., Destination America

Grimm season five premiere, 9 p.m., NBC

Saturday, Oct. 31

Ash Vs. Evil Dead series premiere, 9 p.m., Starz

The Returned season two premiere, 10 p.m., Sundance

 

Ash Vs. Evil Dead

 


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November

 

Sunday, Nov. 1

The Librarians season two premiere, 8 p.m., TNT

Mike Tyson Mysteries season two premiere, Adult Swim (Cartoon Network)

Monday, Nov. 2

Legends season two premiere, 10 p.m., TNT

Thursday, Nov. 5

Mom season three premiere, 9 p.m., CBS

Elementary season four premiere, 10 p.m., CBS

Friday, Nov. 6

Master of None series premiere, Netflix

Saturday, Nov. 7

Untitled U2 Documentary, HBO

Sunday, Nov. 8

Flesh and Bone series premiere, 8 p.m., Starz

Agent X series premiere, 9 p.m., TNT

Getting On season three premiere, 10 p.m., HBO

 

FBS1_101_050514_1733.jpg

Flesh and Bone

 

Tuesday, Nov. 10

Donny! series premiere, 10:30 p.m., USA

Thursday, Nov. 12

2 Broke Girls season five premiere, 9:30 p.m., CBS

Friday, Nov. 13

With Bob and David series premiere, Netflix

Sunday, Nov. 15

Into the Badlands series premiere, 10 p.m., AMC

The Royals season two premiere, 10 p.m., E!

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Chicago Med series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC

Thursday, Nov. 19

The Art of More series premiere, Crackle

Friday, Nov. 20

The Man in the High Castle series premiere, Amazon

Marvel’s Jessica Jones series premiere, Netflix

Friday, Nov. 27

South of Hell series premiere, 3 p.m., WE

Unforgettable season four premiere, 9 p.m., A&E (new network)

Monday, Nov. 30

Superstore series premiere, 10 p.m., NBC


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Winter 2015/’16

 

Tuesday, Dec. 1

Real Rob series premiere, Netflix

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce season two premiere, 10 p.m., Bravo

Wednesday, Dec. 2

RocketJump: The Show series premiere, Hulu

Thursday, Dec. 3

The Wiz Live! special event, 8 p.m., NBC

Friday, Dec. 11

Transparent season two premiere, Amazon

Monday, Dec. 14

Childhood’s End miniseries premiere, 8 p.m., SyFy

Expanse series premiere, 10 p.m., SyFy

Sunday, Jan. 3

Downton Abbey season six premiere, 9 p.m., PBS

Sunday, Jan. 10

73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards special event, 8 p.m., NBC

Thursday, Jan. 14

Colony, series premiere, 10 p.m., USA

Sunday, Jan. 17

Mercy Street series premiere, 10 p.m., PBS

Sunday, Jan. 24

The X-Files season 10 premiere, 10 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Jan. 31

Grease: Live special event, 7 p.m., FOX

Monday, Feb. 15

58th Annual Grammy Awards special event, 8 p.m., CBS

Sunday, Feb. 28

88th Annual Academy Awards special event, 4 p.m., ABC

 


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Fall/Winter TBA

 

11/22/63 series premiere, Hulu

American Dad season 12 premiere, TBS

Crowded series premiere, NBC

Emerald City series premiere, NBC

First Dates series premiere, NBC

Game of Silence series premiere, NBC

Haven season five return, SyFy (October)

Heartbreaker series premiere, NBC

Hot & Bothered series premiere, NBC

Legends season two premiere, TNT

Shades of Blue series premiere, NBC

Uncle Buck series premiere, ABC

The Way series premiere, Hulu

You, Me and the End of the World series premiere, NBC

 

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Heartbreaker

 


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Before you know it, the fall TV season will be here, so we’ve pulled together some shows you should catch up on right now — including some long-runs that you’ll want to start immediately. Plus, August welcomes select Fresh titles to streaming and home video that you might want to add to your queue this month!


Heroes: Season 1 (2006) 82%

What it is: A group of unrelated, ordinary people develop superhuman abilities and need to learn how to master their newly found powers and protect themselves against a mysterious organization and other superhumans (including Zachary Quinto in his first big role as the villain Sylar). The series is divided into five “volumes,” each one with a different story arc similar to a comic book.

Why you should watch it: Heroes‘ first season got a tremendously positive critical reaction, and pleased audiences with a mix of great storytelling and very likeable characters. Its 40-minute episodes are filled with fast-paced action, mystery, sci-fi, comedy, and more reflective moments that deal with issues of purpose, tolerance, and self-acceptance. “Volume One: Genesis” is far more interesting and consistent than the rest of the show, so if you don’t have the time to commit to all of it, those first 16 hours are a good way to see if it’s for you. It should also be enough to educate you on the returning characters of Heroes Reborn, premiering September on NBC.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, and Vudu.

Commitment: 55 hours.


The Knick: Season 1 (2014) 87%

What it is: A brilliant surgeon (Clive Owen) struggles to uphold the reputation of the famed Knickerbocker Hospital during the early 1900s while battling a narcotics addiction and, after a prominent black surgeon (Andre Holland) is hired, his own prevailing notions of race.

Why you should watch it: Unflinchingly graphic with a keen eye for period-specific detail, The Knick transports viewers to a time when a hospital visit was often something to be feared. Performances across the board are top-notch, and with Steven Soderbergh behind the camera, the series sports a crisp, finely tuned aesthetic. With season one hitting DVD and Blu-ray on August 11, you’ll have plenty of time to consume all ten episodes before season two premieres this fall.

Where to watch: All of season one is currently available to Cinemax subscribers on MaxGo, and you can also pick it up on home video August 11.

Commitment: 8.5 hours.


American Crime: Season 1 (2015) 94%

What it is: A dramatic anthology series, portraying a single murder and the pain and change it inflicts upon those affected.

Why you should watch it: 2015 Emmy nominees Felicity Huffman, Timothy Hutton, Richard Cabral, and Regina King lend themselves to a provocative drama that is more entangled around the lives of those touched by the crime than the mystery behind it. The series is also nominated in the Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Writing categories. This is a show that never lets up as an intense, expertly played character drama.

Where to watch: Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, and Vudu.

Commitment: 8 hours.


The Leftovers: Season 1 (2014) 82%

What it is: Set three years after two percent of the population mysteriously disappears, The Leftovers looks at the aftermath as it effects the residents of the small town of Mapleton, NY.

Why you should watch it: For those viewers of who loved the mystery of Lost, co-creator Damon Lindelof again brings a large group of people together whose connections are slowly revealed, even if the overarching mystery remains clouded. The show features a breakout performance from Carrie Coon (Gone Girl), as well as a stand-up cast including Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston, Liv Tyler, Ann Dowd, and Justin Theroux (who cries a lot, and who doesn’t love a healthy dose of man tears?). Added to the mix is Max Richter’s haunting score, which takes the melodrama and ramps it up to eleven.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, HBO Go, and Vudu.

Commitment: 10 hours.


Doctor Who: Season 8 (2014) 88%

What it is: The series chronicles the adventures of the “Doctor,” an alien called a Time Lord, a race that looks just like humans (though the Doctor says it’s the other way around). The Doctor uses a vehicle called the TARDIS, short for Time and Relative Dimension in Space, that looks like a 1960s-era London police box — although it’s much bigger on the inside. Nearly all of the Time Lords were destroyed in the Great Time War, so the Doctor is the only one that he knows of, and he has basically appointed himself humanity’s protector.

Why you should watch it: With the latest regeneration of the Doctor (Peter Capaldi), you get a semi-reset that allows new viewers to jump into the action. Capaldi has been praised for his rendition of the 12th Doctor, and with the new season set to debut on September 19 on BBC America, now is the perfect time to get caught up.

Where to watch: Season eight is available on Amazon PrimeiTunesVudu, and will arrive on Netflix on August 8.

Commitment: Time is wibbly-wobbly, but about 12 hours.


Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1 (2000) 89%

What it is: Seinfeld creator Larry David plays a fictional version of himself as a producer, writer, and all-around difficult guy living in Los Angeles.

Why you should watch it: Through the lens of Larry David’s hyper-observant, wholly unsentimental, and utterly hilarious point of view, Curb Your Enthusiasm shines a light on the mundane details of life that drive all of us crazy — even if David is the only one who speaks up about them. With an ensemble that features Cheryl Hines, Richard Lewis, Jeff Garlin, and Susie Essman, Curb will have you at once identifying with the characters and also cringing at their actions.

Where to watch: All eight seasons hit Amazon Prime on August 6, and are also available on Google Play, HBO GoiTunes, and Vudu.

Commitment: 40 hours.


Once Upon a Time: Season 1 (2011) 81%

What it is: A fantastical exploration of the lives of fairy tale heroes and villains as they weave in and out of a contemporary life parallel to our own. Snow White, the Evil Queen, Rumplestiltskin, Captain Hook, Prince Charming, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, the Snow Queen, Ursula, the Wicked Witch, Cruella De Vil, and the Dwarves all live in this world, discovering truths and lies while struggling with the battles of good and evil.

Why you should watch it: While it sometimes cannot help but feel like a commercial for Disney films, the themes suggest there is still magic in the small Maine town of Storybrooke, the home of many of the fairy tale characters we grew up with. Melodrama entwines their lives as much, if not more, than the magic of the lore, as they venture back and forth between contemporary Storybrooke and the timeless Enchanted Forest. The stories are spawned from the famous children’s stories, but the plots cater to adult themes as well, and is popcorn fun for all.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, Netflix, and Vudu.

Commitment: 66 hours.


Vicious: Season 1 (2013) 80%

What it is: A hilarious PBS UK import starring Sir Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a bitter, senior couple in a long-term relationship.

Why you should watch it: Two reasons: Sir Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi. And if you need more motivation than that, add in some Frances De La Tour, who is consistently hysterical as the homely, single, best friend. Vicious is a bit of a throwback to the classic English sitcom, but with such immensely experienced talent aboard, you will find yourself laughing at each rude insult hurled at each cast member throughout every episode.

Where to watch: There is only one season to catch up on before the next, and it’s available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunesPBS , Vudu and Xfinity. Season two premieres Aug. 23 on PBS at 10:30 p.m.

Commitment: 3.5 hours.


You're the Worst: Season 1 (2014) 82%

What it is: Set in Los Angeles, the show follows narcissistic writer Jimmy (Chris Geereand cynical PR exec Gretchen (Aya Cashas they meet at a mutual friend’s wedding and attempt to have a relationship.

Why you should watch it: It’s the pitch black romantic comedy we always wanted, featuring the kind of twenty-something Los Angelenos the rest of the country loves to hate. While Jimmy and Gretchen are a hoot, it’s the supporting cast that really make You’re The Worst shine. Jimmy’s PTSD-suffering roommate Edgar (Desmin Borges) keeps everyone from being completely insufferable and Gretchen’s BFF Lindsay (Kether Donahue) airy (if sometimes dimwitted) take on life keeps the show from drowning in cynicism.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

Commitment: 4 hours.


The Last Man on Earth: Season 1 (2015) 84%

What it is: After touring the country in an RV in search of others like him, a Tucson, Arizonaman (SNL alum Will Forte) who believes himself to be the only human survivor of an apocalyptic plague returns home, only to find that he may not be so alone after all.

Why you should watch it: Long known for his bizarre sketches and boneheaded characterson Saturday Night Live, Forte has succeeded in realizing — and maintaining — a novel idea and a central character blessed with a peculiar, desperate energy. The apocalyptic premise is rich with comic potential, which Forte and his talented cast mates harness frequently and effectively, and there are enough surprises along the way to keep you guessing. Since it comes back in September with season two, it’s a perfect time to catch up.

Where to watch: Amazon, iTunes, and Vudu.

Commitment: 4.5 hours.

Ann Dowd has an acting resume chock-full of rich, three-dimensional, and often very dark characters. The 2012 film Compliance, for which Dowd won Critics Choice and National Board of Review awards for Best Supporting Actress, for example, is so disturbing that many will never be able to look at a manager/employee relationship the same way again. And True Detective fans likely will not forget the unusually twisted brother-sister scenario she undertook at the end of its debut season. Last year, we were treated to another troubled character by the name of Patti Levin in HBO’s The Leftovers, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta. Patti Levin is a member of a cultish nonspeaking, chain-smoking group called The Guilty Remnant (The G.R.) which formed after two percent of the population mysteriously vanished. In each of these roles, along with her many others, Dowd astounds with the level of believabililty she brings to otherwise larger-than-life characters. We recently had the pleasure of talking with Ms. Dowd about her experience working on The Leftovers and here are five things we thought fans would want to know.

CAUTION: Season one spoilers below!


1. A Role with No Speaking is Challenging for a “Big Talker”

Dowd calls herself a “big talker” and knew a non-speaking role like Patti would be a challenge. “It was an extremely exciting experience,” she said, “because you realize, ‘OK, you’re going to have to get across what you want without words, and so you better know what you want,’ and that was the greatest part of it. You had to be very specific, be ready, take your deep breaths, be very focused and have your sea legs, let us say. The challenge, too, about being silent, is it teaches you to be in your whole body, which is what’s hard in acting, isn’t it? Somehow you just end up in your head when things aren’t going well and that’s not the space you want to be in. You want it to be part of your whole being. And somehow not talking puts that into motion very quickly.”

Dowd shared that silence can be a powerful thing and that her recently adopted young son “uses silence and, boy, I know what he wants. He’s very clear. It’s in the whole being. It’s not about making faces; it’s about [how] every part of you knows what you want. And to pour that laser onto somebody, it’s an extremely potent way to communicate. And you learn it and I grew to love it.” A few of her scenes in season one of The Leftovers, however, did contain dialogue. “That became scary,” she said, “to go back to that way of communicating, because you know there’s a lot of things we do in a room to get a point across and talking isn’t really the most important one half the time. So much else plays into getting what you want. And it’s very unsettling to people. Just to not respond verbally.”


2. Smoking “Part of the Work,” Even for a Former Smoker


In the show, Patti and the other cult members are chain-smokers. Ms Dowd explained that since the reason not to smoke is to be health-conscious, the purpose for G.R. members to smoke is to show it doesn’t matter anymore: “It’s over.” Dowd used to smoke in her 20s, so the idea of playing a chain-smoker was troubling. “I’m thinking, ‘Well, I’m not going to smoke.’ ‘Yes you are, Ann, you are going to smoke. They do smoke.’ It’s like anything else; it’s part of the work. It adds to the performance. It adds to what this group is. In other words, it didn’t seem gratuitous to me. And so it’s like being out in the cold. It’s part of it. Or being in Austin now, being out in the heat. No point in resisting — just step up.”


3. There is an Unlikely Attraction to the Guilty Remnant


The Guilty Remnant may be considered a scary cult (if it were real). But actors need to find the emotional seeds that justify their characters’ behaviors. And Dowd is oft asked what could possibly attract people to the the G.R. Living communally, eating gruel, chain-smoking, and wearing only white are just some of the G.R.’s unseemly attributes. “What I came to understand,” she ventured, “is if something catastrophic happened, like two percent of the population disappears, it’s random. And randomness is a terrifying thing. It wasn’t the good that left, it wasn’t the bad, it was a mix. And that’s what sends people over the edge, the randomness of it.”

Denial can lead to mental distress and people who resist accepting the tragic circumstance by defaulting back to a regular way of life, according to Dowd, are forcing themselves to forget: “Go back to the mall, go back to going to dinner at a restaurant, continue your life. Denial is the enemy of the G.R. So the attraction to the G.R., to me, was a huge reduction in anxiety. In other words, if you just accept that it happened, and it’s all over, and you don’t put one shred of energy toward resisting it, there’s a certain peace that comes with it. It gives you purpose. You realize, ‘I’m not here to fix anything. I’m here to let go of attachment, to keep my head clear, to let distractions go by, and prepare for the end.’ Because living in anxiety is horrible. I don’t know if you’ve ever had bouts of that — you know where it’s not just nerves — it takes over your whole being. You can’t think about anything else except the obsession of what the anxiety is about. That’s a horrible and exhausting way to live. And I think the choice to say, ‘OK, I accept; I hear it,’ makes sense.”


4. Justin Theroux Helped Prepare for Patti’s Suicide Scene


While the actor herself never has any suicidal inclinations, once she got into the mindset and the traumatic shift in the world of the show, Patti’s “martyring” of herself made sense to her. She said of preparing for the scene with star Justin Theroux, “Oh my God, and working with Justin, it’s all about that better half, and he was for me throughout. He had so much to do throughout the whole [series], as you know, and so then it’s all revving up as the episodes continue. You’re reaching a climax, obviously. And we would say to each other, ‘Remember this is now the third act of the play. So the audience knows the characters. And we know them. So we can do this. We can manage this. It seems huge. And how are we ever going to do it? But let’s remember now, we’ve done this for weeks and weeks and weeks, and we know who these people are, and we can live in their skin, and we can do our jobs. It’ll be okay.'”


5. Dowd Has Started Receiving Mysterious Messages about the End of the World


Sometimes during the production of shows with mysterious premises, we hear stories about strange occurrences happening on set. Ms. Dowd said she’s begun receiving some mysterious messages since her stint on The Leftovers: “I’ll tell you what’s weird is, I was driving in Austin and the radio came on. I turned the radio on, and a woman who sounded very educated — in other words not evangelical craziness — she’s talking and she said, ‘We are accused of obsessing about the end of the world. We are not obsessing about the end of the world. We just want to make sure people are ready for the end of the world.’ I thought, ‘What? What?!’ And you’d think it was a rational conversation, I’m not kidding you. And the man said, ‘Yes, I know many are not called to speak of it. We are.’ It unnerved me completely because it seemed very reasonable, the way they were talking. And I thought, ‘What am I hearing?’ And I started asking people, ‘Did you hear that?’ They’re, like, ‘No, no.’

“And now, on my phone I get e-mails about preparing for the end of the world, and I have no idea how that’s happening. I’m not kidding you. ‘Survival: how to prepare for the end.’ I get them on a slightly regular basis now. Man, it was like, ‘Whoa.’ And Chris Eccleston who plays the reverend, he said he’s got stuff that goes on. [These things] happened and it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, what’s going on?'”


The Leftovers will return in the fall. Look for Ann Dowd in the original Cinemax TV show, Quarry, and the film Our Brand is Crisis with Sandra Bullock.


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