Each fall we’re given dozens of new shows to watch: Some are good, most are bad, and many fall through the cracks. Remember last year’s train wrecks? Yeah, you shouldn’t.
With season nine approaching, “How I Met Your Mother,” one of the biggest shows on cable, is finally ending. “The Walking Dead” returns to zombie-starved fans in October. Michael J. Fox (yay!), Robin Williams (double yay!) and Andy Samberg (so many yays!) are also making big returns to the small screen.
With something like 40 shows premiering (and returning) this fall, here are a few worthy of your attention:
How I Met Your Mother
Premieres: September 23 on CBS
“How I Met Your Mother” is running on its ninth and final season. Can we get a resounding “noooooooooo,” please?
This is a bittersweet moment, because Marshall, Lilly, Ted, Barney and Robin’s shenanigans will finally be over, but at least we’ll finally get a conclusion to the longest. story. ever.
What’s even more interesting about this season is how the story will play out, because apparently the entire season takes place over one weekend (Barney and Robin’s wedding, duh.)
All of the brief glimpses and teases, every little clue about her interests and personality, every little detail, leads us here to the final season, when we finally get to meet the mother. Ahhhh!
The Walking Dead
Premieres: October 13 on AMC
“The Walking Dead” is one of the most popular shows on cable right now, having spawned an hour long talk show dedicated to discussing each episode, video games and now a spinoff. But it’s easy to see why. Every season, we see less and less of the original group from Atlanta make it to the next round — and unlike your typical blood and guts fest, this show makes you care about every death.
Plot lines vary a great deal between the series and the original graphic novels, which means that reading and watching are two very different, very enjoyable experiences. This season will hopefully resolve last year’s open ended season finale, with the entire Governor storyline up in the air. Hopefully we’ll see that plotline resolved in the action-packed ending we didn’t get last time.
Premieres: September 26 on FOX
“Glee’s” fresh start might be a little rocky, for obvious reasons. Cory Monteith’s tragic death will no doubt change the show forever, and the cast will honor him in the third episode. It’s hard to tell where this season will go, as Monteith’s plotline was most likely going to be prominent part of the season. His tribute episode will see many former cast members returning to pay their respects in song. (Except Dianna Agron. Um… What the hell, Ryan Murphy?)
This season will see a few additions to the cast, including Adam Lambert, Demi Lovato, and Phoebe Strole, each in recurring roles. In weirdly sexy news, Lambert will play an antagonist for Kurt Hummel, with Lovato as a love interest for Santana. Yes please.
Unlike rockier past seasons, this year might actually deliver. We like.
Parks and Recreation
Premieres: September 26 on NBC
There’s literally nothing unlikeable about this show. The cast has wonderful chemistry, the writing is superb and the humor is beyond witty. This season sees the departure of two series regulars, Rob Lowe (the way-too-enthusastic Chris), and Rashida Jones (beautiful nurse Ann Perkins). While they won’t be gone right out of the gate, they will leave somewhere around the middle of the season. Cue the heartbreak.
This could create an interesting amount of stress for Leslie, since the big development at the end of last season was her potential recall from city council, and Jones’s character is usually the support that Leslie relies on in times of crisis.
Super Fun Night
Premieres: October 2 on ABC
Rebel Wilson stars in this new sitcom, which follows the lives of three friends who have stayed in together every Friday for years (uh, we can relate). But after a new gal pal joins their group, they decide to kick things up a notch.
This show snagged the timeslot after “Modern Family,” so that pretty much guarantees it at least a season. Not that it won’t be an enjoyable show, but still. That’s kind of cheating.
While Wilson is obviously a comic genius, the early screenings of the show have been overwhelmingly negative. “Pitch Perfect” showed the world that Wilson is a force to be reckoned with in the movie industry, but maybe her over-the-top style won’t transfer well to the small screen.
Premiered: September 17 on FOX
From the mind that brought you “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show,” comes “Dads,” a sitcom about two grown men/best friends whose dads unexpectedly move in with them. Oh joy.
Seth McFarlane is coming down from his “Ted” high, and taking everything that’s worked for him in the past, and putting it in this new sitcom starring Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi.
Somehow, the show has managed to be racist, sexist and ageist all in one go, and critics despise it. However, its premiere saw a very good opening in terms of viewers. Whatever, you guys.
Maybe “Dads” will mellow out a bit, or the whole shock comedy thing will continue to pay off for McFarlane. We kinda hope not.
The Michael J. Fox Show
Premieres: September 26 on ABC
One of the better actors of the ’80s, Michael J. Fox’s career was cut short due to Parkinson’s disease. However, on September 26, he makes his return to television, turning his real-life struggles into what could be sitcom gold.
Fox plays news reporter Mike Henry, who had to quit his job due to his illness. Bored with his home life, he attempts to make a comeback.
There’s a lot of potential for this show, since Fox has given us some of the better comedic moments of the last decade despite his illness. His appearances on “Scrubs” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” were some of the more memorable episodes of those series.
Fox is a Hollywood legend, and with “Breaking Bad’s” Betsy Brandt backing him up, we can’t wait to see more.
The Crazy Ones
Premieres: September 26 on CBS
Robin Williams makes his return to television in “The Crazy Ones.” Williams plays an aging founder of an ad agency, whose daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar — yay Buffy!), tries to keep him in line, and the company successful.
With a star-studded cast, there’s so much that can go wrong, but so very much that can go right. They have a talented cast and a simple enough plot, which isn’t always a bad thing. More often than not, the simple sitcoms are the ones that survive.
The thing that will most likely lead to the demise of this show is its timeslot — it airs alongside “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Glee.” While they may not attract the same crowd, there’s a reason why few networks put much around those shows, as they tend to bring in the most viewers.
Premiered: September 17 on FOX
The much-hyped “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” follows a skilled yet immature NYPD detective (Andy Samberg, hello!), and his new partner (Stephanie Beatriz) as they solve crime.
The show’s creative heads are “Parks” producers Dan Groor, and Michael Schur, who also wrote for “The Office.” Can you say “dream team?”
Terry Crews plays another detective, and Andre Braugher plays the 99th precinct’s new stern and openly gay captain, who’s trying to make Samberg’s character grow up. Yeah, good luck with that.
Early reviews were generally positive. Hopefully with time, the characters will find their niche, and generate some real chemistry.
Looking forward to any of these shows? Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to tweet us @Speakeasymag! Especially if you’re sad that Andy Samberg got married this weekend. We’re not taking it very well.