It’s only the beginning of August, but I’m already overwhelmed by all the new and returning series premiering this fall: From comedy to drama to sci-fi to psychological thrillers, there’s a show — or two or three or four — to suit any sensibility. We’ve compiled 30 of the most intriguing series hitting the airwaves/internet in September and October. If the upcoming Gilmore Girls miniseries is the only show on your TV horizon (Nov. 25!), then whip out your calendar and start scheduling.
9/6: Atlanta (FX)
I am so excited for this new FX series created by and starring Donald Glover. It’s set in Atlanta, duh, where Glover grew up, and follows Earnest “Earn” Marks (Glover) and his cousin, Alfred Miles (Brian Tyree Henry) as they navigate the city’s hip-hop scene. It’s loose and shaggy and funny and sad and scary, and exists in a world TV rarely bothers to explore.
9/8: Better Things (FX)
Speaking of worlds TV doesn’t often explore, Better Things, created by Pamela Adlon, is based on the Louie actor/writer’s experience as a working actor raising three daughters as a single mother. Part of the reason Gilmore Girls was such a revelation was its depiction of a single mother-teenage daughter relationship, and when it was on the air, it was a life raft in a sea of stable nuclear TV families for this single-mother mama’s girl. Better Things is a much more R-rated version of that story, of course — kind of like if Adlon’s character on Louie got her own show. It’s great. Give her more shows, please-n’-thanks!
9/6: Queen Sugar (OWN)
This highly anticipated series, from Selma director Ava DuVernay and based on the book by Natalie Baszile has already been picked up for a 16-episode second season, and the premiere is still a month away. The series chronicles the lives of estranged siblings in Louisiana who come together to run an ailing sugarcane farm after a family tragedy forces them to reunite — not unlike the Oprah Winfrey Network’s Greenleaf, about a family that owns a megachurch in Tennessee. DuVernay has been promoting Queen Sugar heavily on social media, particularly the fact that every episode is directed by a woman.
9/9: Quarry (Cinemax)
Quarry is based on the popular, long-running series of novels by Max Allan Collins about Vietnam vet Mac Conway (Logan Marshall-Green) who returns home to Memphis, finds he’s been shunned for his involvement in the war, and winds up working as a contract killer. Based on the first episode, Quarry is a little too “white man with gun is sad, so forgive him his trespasses” for my taste. But I’ll give it a chance, if only for its exploration of Mac’s PTSD.
9/9: One Mississippi (Amazon)
In 2012, Tig Notaro got onstage at Largo in L.A. and revealed in a very funny, very candid standup set that she had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer — oh, and also, her mother just died and she had just gone through a breakup. One Mississippi chronicles that four-month period in six episodes, so expect to feel all the emotions when this one drops in early September.