Brace yourselves for a series of amazing TV shows coming your way, featuring big names and great storylines. Among the numerous remakes of hit feature films—Training Day, The Exorcist, Lethal Weapon—are a few fresh, original stories. Donald Glover's Atlanta, which premieres September 6, has already been rated as a show “unlike anything you've seen on television”. Anthony Hopkins stars as the lead to Jonathan Nolan's sci-fi drama, Joel McHale makes a comeback, and Louis C.K. directs a new show starring Pamela Aldon. From sci-fi thrillers to horror, cop dramas and comedies, here are 10 shows to look forward to in the next few months:
Atlanta: “Twin Peaks with rap”
Premieres: September 6, FX
Donald Glover, who played the quirky nerd Troy in Community, is the creator and writer of this highly anticipated dark comedy. Atlanta is an overview of the music scene in the eponymous city, where two cousins, one a rapper and the other his manager, chase name, fame and money. Along with Glover, Brian Tyree Henry stars as the upcoming rapper. Expect Glover's typical comic timing, weird jokes and a light-hearted story—in Glover's words—“about life” and rap.
Better Things: From the creators of Louie
Premieres: September 8, FX
The makers of the runaway hit series Louie, Louis C.K. and Pamela Adlon, come back together for a show about a single mother in Hollywood, raising three children. Said to be Adlon's semi-autobiographical story, the series was written by her in a manner that's more honest and personal than stereotypical comedy. Under the able guidance of Louis, it remains to be seen if Better Things could match up (or be better) in flavour and style to Louie, and how.
Bull: About the younger Phil McGraw Premieres: September 20, CBS Bull is a comedy-drama series on talk show host and psychologist Phil McGraw's early life. Michael Weatherly (main lead from NCIS) plays Dr Jason Phil, whose trial consultation firm helps in analysing juries to form the best defence strategies. The real McGraw has worked with Paul Attanasio (writer, House) to create the series, giving it both authenticity and the licence to be edgy.
Lethal Weapon: Action-packed buddy cop drama
Premieres: September 21, FOX
Lethal Weapon is based on Shane Black's film series. The roles played by Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are reprised by Clayne Crawford (A Walk to Remember) and Damon Wayans Sr. (My Wife and Kids). Directed by McG (Charlie's Angels director), the show is written by Matthew Miller, known for Chuck and Grown Ups. The trailer promises not just the stunts and quips from the original cop buddy film series, but also a deeper peek into their friendship.
The Exorcist: Psychological horror, rebooted
Premieres: September 23, FOX
Created by writer James Slater (The Lazarus Effect), The Exorcist is your seasonal dose of horror chills. Like the 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty and his film adaptation, a young girl is possessed, and two “very different priests” try to exorcise her. Alfonso Herrera (Hernando from Sense8) plays a progressive and open-minded priest, while Ben Daniels (Adam Galloway from House of Cards) plays a worried one. After Damien (the TV reboot of The Omen) failed to appease audience and got cancelled, this one looks promising.
Training Day: Good cop, bad cop
Premieres: September, CBS
Fans of the Oscar-winning 2001-thriller Training Day are in for a delight. Set 15 years after the original, the series is directed by Danny Cannon (Gotham executive producer), while it is produced by original film director Antoine Faqua. Newcomer Justin Cornwell and Bill Paxton (Titanic) play the good cop and the bad cop, taking up the roles of Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke from the film. The TV adaptation is written by Will Beall, a former LAPD cop who also gave us the 2013 Ryan Gosling film Gangster Squad.
Westworld: Inception, Matrix and a Wild Western story
Premieres: October 2, HBO
Based on novelist Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name, Westworld is directed by Christopher Nolan's younger brother, Jonathan. Produced by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek), it is set in a dystopian future where artificial consciousness is the norm. Anthony Hopkins takes the centrestage with Ed Harris (Apollo 13), James Marsden (Bachelorette), Thandie Newton (Rocknrolla) and Evan Rachel Wood (The Ides of March). Going by the big names working on this series, there is little chance that things would go awry.
Frequency: Twisted time-travel cop story
Premieres: October 5, The CW
Peyton List plays present-day NYPD detective Reimy Sullivan, who speaks to her father (while he's in year 1996) through a ham radio, warns him of his impending death. When it subsequently changes the course of her history, things go out of hand, and she has to work across timelines with her father to solve a case. Based on the 2000 film, Frequency is directed by writer of Supernatural, Jeremy Carver. List, from Mad Men, stars alongside Riley Smith (90210).
The Great Indoors: Joel McHale as a journalist
Premieres: October 27, CBS
Mike Gibbons directs this story about a traditional journalist's challenges in the face of the digital revolution. It explores how Joel, an “adventure reporter” who gets injured and has to take up a desk job, has to work with tech-savvy youngsters at the magazine. After his role as Jeff in Community, Joel McHale comes back with his legendary wry humour. The cast list also includes Stephen Fry as the founder of the magazine and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-ass) as a geek.
Time After Time: H.G. Wells chases the Ripper
Premieres: Late in 2016, ABC
H.G. Wells has built a time machine, which Jack the Ripper uses to escape to the future after committing murders. The sci-fi drama is directly based on the novel by Karl Alexander and film by Star Trek director Nicholas Meyer. Kevin Williamson, co-creator of Vampire Diaries, is executing the remake. Freddie Stroma (Cormac McLaggen in Harry Potter) portrays H.G. Wells, and Josh Bowman (Revenge) plays the Ripper. From the looks of the trailer, it seems to be dark and highly stylised.