Even with new television shows coming out year-round, fall still gets all of the hype. Tradition means something after all. Perhaps that's why networks are going back to the tried-and-true for this coming season.
Just as they did last season, the networks are counting on some familiar faces to make us laugh (the gang's back together for Will & Grace) — and flinch (David Boreanaz rides again in SEAL Team).
But there's enough new to keep things interesting. Here are some shows to look forward to:
It seems that everyone's hair is always wet in this dystopian era. The pilot was shot in Dallas, and it shows — but not in so many obvious ways. Two teenagers discover abilities beyond normal human capacity and go on the run with their parents from the shadowy government agency that their father is a part of. (If you're privy to the X-world, you'll recognize the family surname of Strucker.)
The tie to the world of Marvel's X-Men already has fans salivating for this addition to X-related shows already on TV, including ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and FX's Legion. The show premieres Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. on Fox.
The Good Doctor
First, a quibble: With skepticism already built in because this show propagates the notion that all autistic people have an extraordinary gift of some sort, this medical drama tries to set that fear aside with high-quality casting. Freddie Highmore plays young Dr. Shaun Murphy, who can see a way to a fix when others can't. Murphy joins the surgical staff at a prestigious hospital and must prove he belongs there. Richard Schiff plays his mentor, Dr. Aaron Glassman. The show premieres Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
At this point, you might want to tune in just to see what the fuss is about surrounding this show's attempt to bring this royal family down to Earth via an action-adventure series. (Admittedly, I went in with low expectations, so you may want to take what I write with a grain of salt.) Black Bolt (Anson Mount), a telepath whose voice is so strong as to render him mute lest he shake down some foundations, and his wife, Medusa (Serinda Swan), whose hair has talent of its own, are the king and queen of this group of otherworldly supers living in a crater on the moon. There is strife within the ranks, notably the king's human brother Maximus (Iwan Theon).
Showrunners recognize that's a lot to ask of prime-time audiences, but give it some time. That's probably why the season will premiere with back-to-back episodes. Inhumans premieres Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Star Trek: Discovery
Because it's the next iteration of Star Trek, silly. And it stars Michelle Yeoh as a captain. The show premieres Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. on CBS, and then it will move exclusively to CBS All Access.
Young Sheldon is a spinoff of CBS megahit The Big Bang Theory. Iain Armitage plays titular character Sheldon Cooper (played in Theory by multiple Emmy Award-winning Texas native Jim Parsons), who is already in high school at the age of 9. The show premieres Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. on CBS and will move to its regular time slot on Nov. 2.
There are more than a few new military dramas this fall. But where David Boreanaz (Bones) goes, TV audiences usually follow. The dependable Boreanaz plays Jason, a leader of a team of operatives who get called to save the world at a moment's notice. Along with the adventure of their missions comes the trauma of leaving their loved ones behind, and that's where the drama is for this show that premieres Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. on CBS and CBS All Access.
Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) is a rapper looking for his big break. He decides to make his own by running for mayor (and publicity) and ends up winning the election to lead Fort Grey, Calif. In a show that doesn't seem so far-fetched now, Daveed Diggs (Hamiton, blackish) writes the original music and Lea Michele co-stars in the comedy about following your dream and allowing it to take you where you least expect. The show premieres on Oct. 3 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.
Leave it to the CW to be the next to take an over-the-top nighttime soap, dust it off and shine it up for a new generation. Grant Show plays Blake Carrington, a wealthy corporate titan. His daughter, Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies), fully expects to ascend to the top of the business. Until she meets her soon-to-be stepmother Cristal (Nathalie Kelley), closer to her age than her father's and just as intent on running things. Story lines abound, as they should, in this re-imagining. The peek at the lavish life looks just as juicy. The show, which has a tagline that says "welcome to the 1% of the 1%" and owes a lot to Gossip Girl, premieres Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. on CW.
And a few shows you'll watch anyway:
Curb Your Enthusiasm
These days, shows aren't canceled so much as shelved. So it is after a six-year break that Larry David is back among the TV living with Curb Your Enthusiasm, a semi-autobiographical take on his comical, squirm-inducing life. Guest stars taken from Hollywood's most well-known actors abound as the series returns Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. on HBO.
Will & Grace
Not many shows can kick off a new season after the premiere of a Paley Center retrospective. But Will & Grace, a ratings stalwart in the past, did just that. Will and Grace (and Karen and Jack) will return Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. on NBC and on Hulu.
Big-voiced Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) will join the coaching roster this season. And coach Miley Cyrus returns. It's worth tuning in just to see what happens when the bromantic Blake Shelton and Adam Levine have to contend with some more outsized personalities. The singing begins Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. on NBC.