Decisions, decisions. With so much good TV available in so many forms, it can be easy to just choose anxiety. But this fall, you're in luck. You can plan your television viewing by using just one criterion: North Texas.
That includes NBC hit comedy The Good Place, which will return for its third season with a special one-hour episode on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. It stars Dallas native William Jackson Harper as kind, thoughtful, pondering Chidi Anagonye.
"I was born at Methodist in Oak Cliff," he said during a phone interview.
He called from Budapest while on a break from filming Midsommar, which he calls a "creepy pagan horror movie." It seems that he is a representative of all of North Texas; his family moved out to Rowlett and when he came back after college, they lived in Lakewood.
Harper was thoughtful enough to call early, apologized for doing so and then called back at the appointed time. He was self-effacing, much like his character on The Good Place. He acknowledges the similarities.
"It's hard to know what came first," Harper said about some of their shared attributes. "The writers do a good job of picking up on things."
Chidi is an ethics professor, who ends up trying to help his fellow residents of The Good Place become better people. But Chidi has his own problems, which is how he ended up in the same place as Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell).
The Good Place is about right and wrong and all the points in between and has a stellar cast led by Ted Danson. It's a thoughtful look at how the decisions you make in life can go on even in death. The kicker? Decisions are Chidi's downfall.
They also can sometimes be for Harper, who admits to overthinking or "paralysis by analysis." But not when it comes to his career.
He knew early on that he wanted to be an entertainer. He got The Good Place after doing theater in New York and the children's television show The Electric Company.
"The first episode of the first season [of The Good Place], my friends in New York and my little sister threw a thing for me," he said. "It was really sweet."
Perhaps it also was a celebration of all that came before in North Texas to get him to this point. Harper says he did Shakespeare in the Park and repertory theater in Plano, and he performed with Risk Theater Initiative and comedy troupe Mild Dementia (shoutout to Brad McEntire and Jeff Swearingen). He has fond memories, but "I don't get to come back a whole lot."
Still, he says, "I'm trying to make it a point to visit more often."
For now, though, all you have to do to see him is turn to The Good Place.
Watching his six ...
Show: The Who Was? Show on Netflix
You might know him from: Then a precocious 6-year-old, Bentley serenaded host Ellen DeGeneres with an original rap as she conducted her show from a hospital bed. Or maybe when he was on the Maury Show and twice won "Maury's Most Talented Kids."
His story: Green is a showbiz veteran at the age of 17. But the past couple of years have seen his star shine a little brighter, with a movie (Fat Camp) and now a Netflix series in which he gets to merge three of his loves: acting, music and history.
"I just love understanding what people in the past went through and what they had to overcome to make a difference in this world to make sure we have what we have today," he said.
The Who Was? Show follows the pattern set by the series of books that features biographies of historical figures told in an accessible way. And that means humor, music and some silliness.
"We did a lot of rapping, a lot of dancing," Green said. "They allowed us to implement all of our different skills ... and bring out the fun in each character."
Producers pair each actor with four or five characters and the actors get "about two and half weeks to do research." Some of Green's characters include George Washington Carver, Louis Armstrong (his favorite) and ... George Washington?
"That was the hardest for me," he said. "After doing a couple of scenes, it started to become more natural. He was very stern, chest out and super-duper confident. I learned a lot."
And so will the audience.
Show: A Million Little Things premieres Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
You might know her from: Greene starred as one of the titular quadruplets on Nickelodeon's Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn.
For her role as Dawn, the Dallas native was nominated three times for favorite female TV star at the Kids' Choice Awards. But now done with the comedy Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn, which went for four seasons, Greene moves to the world of TV dramas with this role of 16-year-old Sophie on A Million Little Things, which follows a group of friends who get a wakeup call after one of them unexpectedly dies. The show also stars other seasoned TV veterans David Giuntoli (Grimm); Ron Livingston (Loudermilk); Christina Moses (The Originals); Grace Park (Hawaii Five-0) and Romany Malco (Weeds), who also has Texas ties.
Greene got her start right here in North Texas.
"I did lots of theater when I was younger," she said a couple of years ago. "The first one I ever did was when I was 7. It was a musical in Plano. And it kick-started everything."
Show: Kidding airs on Sundays at 9 on Showtime.
You might know her from: Well, there was "This is Our House," a commercial shown on the big board at AT&T Stadium. Come on, she's only 9.
Calah has been acting since she was 4 years old. That Cowboys commercial aired when she was 5. And she has a brother and a sister who are following in her footsteps.
Now, she has a recurring role on Jim Carrey's return to TV as a famous children's TV star who is struggling to maintain his sanity.
Show: Netflix's redo of The Haunting of Hill House (Oct. 12)
You might know her from: Everything ... just kidding. But the 12-year-old actress is headed that way. She starred as the president's daughter in Designated Survivor and, in 2016, had a starring role in Gifted across from a shield-less Chris Evans (Avengers: Infinity War). And she was a baaaaad girl in Lifetime's remake of movie The Bad Seed (Sept. 9).
The bubbly actress hails from Grapevine. "I feel really thankful to get to play those roles and to get to have this life," she said in an interview last year. Mckenna has acted with Octavia Spencer, Chris Evans, Eddie Murphy and Kiefer Sutherland and even played a young Tonya Harding in I, Tonya. (Young Dallas native Julian Hilliard is also in The Haunting of Hill House, which is an extension of the 1959 classic novel that has been adapted twice into film as The Haunting.)
Mckenna has a resume that actors three times her age would envy. In that same earlier interview, she thanked her agent for "giving her a chance." She's taken that chance and run with it.
Show: Dancing Queen will debut on Oct. 5 on Netflix.
You might know her from: She strutted through the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race and the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars.
Dancing Queen follows Justin Johnson (also known as Alyssa) as he navigates life and the competitive dance world with his Mesquite-based Beyond Belief Dance Company.
This isn't Edwards' first rodeo: She starred in a YouTube series called Alyssa's Secret. Johnson is also an executive producer on Dancing Queen.
Show: Murphy Brown will debut (again) on Sept. 27 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.
You might know him from: He starred as Brian Finch in Limitless, the TV series based on the movie of the same name that starred Bradley Cooper. He also had recurring roles on Greek and Shameless.
Remember the baby that an unwed Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen) had that caused a national conversation? Well, in the revival of the show, he's all grown up. And Dallas native Jake McDorman, who studied at Dallas Young Actors Studio, plays him.
Candice Bergen is still the irascible Murphy Brown, who must adapt to a new world of TV news that's inhabited by the likes of her son, Avery, who is on a rival network.