26 TV Shows We're Excited to See This Fall

Exciting new series are on the way, and so many, highly anticipated shows return.

fall 2021 tv
Image by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist
Image by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist

Colder weather is setting in, which means there's no better time to hunker down on your couch and watch some television. Luckily, this fall, you've got plenty of brand-new series and returning favorites to choose from, and we've curated a list of our most anticipated shows to watch out for. HBO is going to rule your October with new seasons of SuccessionInsecure, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But there are also new shows primed to be your next obsession, like the dystopian Y: The Last Man on FX on Hulu, Cowboy Bebop on Netflix, and The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime. Oh, and The Witcher is finally back. Toss a coin and jump in.

ben schnetzer in y the last man
'Y: The Last Man' | Brendan Meadows/FX

Y: The Last Man (available 9/13 on FX on Hulu)

This highly anticipated (and long in the works) adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's comic series follows what happens when every mammal with a Y chromosome dies of an unknown cause, and the remaining citizens of the world must figure out how to rebuild society in the new landscape. One complication: One cisgender man, Yorick Brown, has mysteriously survived the mass death event, along with his pet monkey, and he may hold the key to humanity's future. —Emma Stefanksy
(Watch the trailer)

The Premise (available 9/16 on FX on Hulu)

Though you might best remember B.J. Novak for playing the jerky Ryan on The Office, he's also an accomplished writer, penning a short humor collection, a children's book, and, of course, multiple episodes of The Office. This Hulu anthology, which features episodes he co-wrote with writers Jia Tolentino and Josie Duffy Rice, looks like his wry take on the Black Mirror formula, with high-concept set-ups used as a way to examine tricky modern social issues. —Dan Jackson
(Watch the trailer)

The Morning Show, Season 2 (available 9/17 on Apple TV+)

Apple's first marquee drama is back for its second season. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are once again going at it as frenemy news anchors, but this time Julianna Margulies is along for the ride. —Esther Zuckerman
(Watch the trailer)

Aimée Lou Wood and Emma Mackey in sex education season 3
'Sex Education' Season 3 | Sam Taylor/Netflix

Sex Education, Season 3 (available 9/17 on Netflix)

In the pandemic-delayed third season of Netflix's hit British teen series, there's a newbie on campus at Moordale Secondary. Girls star Jemima Kirke is stepping in as the school's new headmistress, and after two years of Otis and Maeve's underground sex clinic, she's ready to crack the whip and turn what she sees as a sex-obsessed mess into an institution for higher learning. Plus, with Season 2 leaving off with Jean's shocking pregnancy reveal, expect even more scene stealing from Gillian Anderson. —Sadie Bell
(Watch the trailer)

Alter Ego (available 9/22 on FOX)

After six seasons, has The Masked Singer gotten a little too normie for you? Maybe you'll find yourself equally wowed and completely baffled by this new competition series that's bonkers in its own right. Instead of performing under, you know, a giant egg head or fuzzy monster costume, the contestants are singing while an out-of-this-world AI avatar takes the stage for them. Appropriately, AI/future-obsessed/overall perplexing innovator and experimental pop artist Grimes is on the judges panel, and she's joined by fellow industry veterans Nick Lachey, will.i.am, and Alanis Morissette. No, none of this is ironic. —SB
(Watch the trailer)

Star Wars: Visions (available 9/22 on Disney+)

Star Wars has always been closely tied to Japanese film, and in this new series, six anime studios—including heavy hitters like Trigger, Science SARU, and Production IG—have banded together to produce nine short films set in the Star Wars universe, each telling a unique story and introducing new characters into the galaxy far, far away, likely to be a treasure trove for Star Wars fans and animation enthusiasts alike. —ES
(Watch the trailer)

The Wonder Years (available 9/22 on ABC)

It still takes place in the '60s, but the '80s TV show The Wonder Years is being reinvented for a new generation by, among others, director Lee Daniels. This Wonder Years follows a Black family in Montgomery, Alabama with a patriarch played by Dulé Hill. The new version of Kevin Arnold is Dean Williams, played by Elisha "EJ" Williams as a kid and voiced by Don Cheadle as an adult for that ever important voiceover. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

Leah Harvey in foundation
'Foundation' | Apple TV+

Foundation (available 9/24 on Apple TV+)

Based on Isaac Asimov's seminal science fiction series, Foundation imagines the far future of humanity, where a utopian empire that stretches across the entire galaxy is unknowingly looking at the last of its glory days. Mathematician and psychologist Hari Seldon has used his new practice of "psychohistory" to predict the downfall of society, and assembles a group of followers to make sure that humanity doesn't lose everything in the all-consuming chaos. —ES
(Watch the trailer)

Midnight Mass (available 9/24 on Netflix)

Horror filmmaker Mike Flannagan, the director behind Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor, returns with another spooky-looking series for the streaming service. This one, a supernatural tale about religion and faith, doesn't have any high-brow literary source material to draw on, but we're confident Flannagan and his cast, which includes Friday Night Lights favorite Zach Gilford and some Flannagan regulars (Kate Siegel and Henry Thomas), will find new ways to ratchet up the tension. —DJ
(Watch the trailer)

La Brea (available 9/28 on NBC)

Beaming into your TV screens with a very LOST-like typeface, La Brea also begins with a disaster—a giant sinkhole opens up in Los Angeles—that strands an ensemble cast in a strange, maybe magic land with very little hope of escape. Based on the slight animal life tease, count on the real-life La Brea Tar Pits, which fossilized a whole bunch of prehistoric life in its bubbling natural asphalt, to factor into the mysteries of what happened. —LB
(Watch the trailer)

The Problem with Jon Stewart (available 9/30 on Apple TV+)

The political world and the late-night TV landscape has shifted quite a bit in the six years since Jon Stewart left his comfortable perch at The Daily Show, the long-running Comedy Central news rundown. In the meantime, the comedian directed a movie, developed an animated show for HBO that never aired, dropped by his buddy Stephen Colbert's show a bunch, and continued his charity work. But now he's putting on a suit again and getting back in the jokey news game with this AppleTV+ hour-long series that will episodically look at a single subject from Stewart's barbed yet compassionate perspective. —DJ
(Watch the trailer)

larry david in curb your enthusiasm season 11
'Succession' Season 3 | John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 11 (available in October on HBO)

Perhaps the only person we want to see deal with the fucked up world in which we now live is Larry David, so thank goodness Curb Your Enthusiasm is back. Season 10 was a remarkable success, and while 11 is apparently in a post-COVID world (lol), we still think Larry will have a lot to say about what we've all been through. —EZ

You, Season 3 (available 10/15 on Netflix)

Joe Goldberg, how we love to hate you. That show about the obsessive stalker is back, and Joe's idyllic life with his similarly insane new lover is about to be turned upside-down when his affections stray yet again to a new woman in his life. And that's not all: Joe is about to be a FATHER. —ES

Succession, Season 3 (available 10/17 on HBO)

They're back!!!!!! Finally!!!!! The Roys are returning and while we don't know much about what kind of insane familial drama is going to go down (or who will get the ever important kiss from daddy), we do know that this year they travel to Italy, and are joined by guest stars Sanaa Lathan and Adrien Brody. —EZ
(Watch the teaser)

Insecure, Season 5 (available 10/24 on HBO)

Do we want to stop pretending that fictional characters Issa and Molly are, in fact, our best friends? No, of course not—but sadly it's time for Issa Rae's landmark HBO comedy about Black millennial life to come to an end with its fifth season. Expect laughs, as per usual, but it's likely wrapping up with a hint of melancholy. This time around, Issa will have to face what life looks like for herself if it's not what she necessarily imagined, especially in terms of her friendship with Molly and relationship with Nathan, now that he may be expecting a child with another woman.—SB
(Watch the teaser)

jaden michael in colin in black and white
'Colin in Black and White' | SER BAFFO/NETFLIX

Colin in Black and White (available 10/29 on Netflix)

Since the NFL effectively blacklisted him for literally just kneeling during the national anthem in a peaceful protest of police brutality, Colin Kaepernick has wholeheartedly focused his energy on racial justice activism. Now, his life as a Black boy adopted by white parents (Nick Offerman and Mary-Louise Parker) in Milwaukee and his journey with football and identity is being made into a Netflix limited docu-drama, co-created by Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay (after dominating the 2019 Emmys with the Central Park Five's story When They See Us), with Kaepernick himself handling narrating duties. —LB

Dickinson, Season 3 (available 11/5 on Apple TV+)

The weird and wonderful Emily Dickinson show on Apple TV+ is returning for just one more season, which we hope is full of more flights of fancy and more meditations on art and death. Emily and her family will have to deal with the onset of the Civil War as the series wraps up. —EZ

Dexter: New Blood (available 11/7 on Showtime)

Premium cable's favorite serial killer who kills other serial killers is back! Even if many fans think that Showtime's crime drama starring Michael C. Hall as a Miami-based forensic technician with a hidden dark side fell off during its initial eight season run—and ended with one of the more disappointing modern finales—there's always a shot at redemption in reboot-land. Set 10 years after the show's ending, Dexter: New Blood finds Hall reprising his most famous role and moving the action to the small town of Iron Lake, New York, where, you guessed it, he's still trying to suppress those pesky killing urges. —DJ
(Watch the trailer)

The Shrink Next Door (available 11/12 on Apple TV+)

This podcast adaptation features an all star cast including Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell, who star respectively as a psychiatrist and patient whose relationship turns parasitic. The State veteran Michael Showalter, most recently of The Big Sick and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, is directing, while Casey Wilson and Kathryn Hahn co-star. —EZ
(Watch the teaser)

christina ricci in yellowjackets
'Yellowjackets' | Showtime

Yellowjackets (available 11/14 on Showtime)

The chances of a plane full of teenagers crashing and forcing them to live in the wild is probably rare, but ever since Lord of the Flies was published, it sure has inspired Hollywood. Yellowjackets is another teens-crashed-in-the-wilderness survival story, created by Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson (Narcos, Narcos: Mexico). It takes on a psychological horror leaning, following a high school girls' soccer team as they're stranded in the Ontario woods where they go to extreme lengths to survive. (That means cannibalism—expect a lot of cannibalism.) The series plays out in two timelines to see how that dangerous, traumatizing period affects the women 25 years later. Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis, and ​​Melanie Lynskey are among the adult cast. —SB
(Watch the trailer)

Cowboy Bebop (available 11/19 on Netflix)

The long-awaited live-action adaptation of one of the best anime series of all time is finally arriving this fall, and it looks about as effortlessly cool as we could hope. For the uninitiated: Cowboy Bebop tells of the exploits of Spike Spiegel and his partner Jet Black, bounty hunters traversing the seedy edges of space in search of a good score. Their schemes often get them in trouble with the law or the dangerous criminal underworld, but it's all in a day's work for a couple of space cowboys. —ES

The Great, Season 2 (available 11/19 on Hulu)

Huzzah! Hulu's sprightly take on Catherine the Great returns for a second season. Elle Fanning's Catherine is now pregnant and warring with her husband, played by the excellent Nicholas Hoult, for control of Russia. Gillian Anderson also joins the fun this time around. —EZ

rosamund pike in the wheel of time
'The Wheel of Time' | Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios

The Wheel of Time (available 11/19 on Amazon Prime)

Robert Jordan's giant high fantasy series comes to life in Amazon Prime's new adaptation, set in a fantasy world governed by the One Power, a force of magic that can only be wielded by women. When one such sorceress finds the location of a young man who could become either the savior or destroyer of the world, she'll stop at nothing to bring him to safety, pursued all the way by tricksters, armies, and the forces of darkness itself. —ES
(Watch the trailer)

Hawkeye (available 11/24 on Disney+)

Are you ready for another Marvel show? Well, you're getting one. This one gives Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye the stage alongside Hailee Steinfeld as his protegé Kate Bishop. (Yes, between this and Dickinson you will be seeing a lot of Hailee this fall.) Also—spoiler alert from Black Widow—it looks like Florence Pugh is popping up as a foe for these two. —EZ
(Watch the trailer)

Annie Live! (available 12/2 on NBC)

The live musical makes its triumphant return with everyone's favorite redheaded orphan who believes in a brighter tomorrow. Taraji P. Henson is lined up as the evil Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. will (presumably) go bald as Daddy Warbucks, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt co-stars Tituss Burgess and Jane Krakowski are playing the scheming couple Rooster Hannigan and Lily St. Regis. Brush up on the lyrics to "It's the Hard Knock Life" and tune in. —EZ

The Witcher, Season 2 (available 12/17 on Netflix)

AT LAST, The Witcher, Netflix's high fantasy adaptation of the Polish series of novels that also inspired the popular video game series, is returning, and none too soon. We'll return to the Continent, catch up with Witcher Geralt and his trusty bard Jaskier as they continue on their quest to rid the world of evil, one giant ugly creature at a time, leaving plenty of time for leisurely baths, of course. —ES

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.