June 21, 2024
Streamers and premium cable channels do have new shows coming down the pike, if not quite in the same numbers as in years past. Expect that trend to continue, strike or no strike.

Nina Metz | Chicago Tribune

Hollywood has been in limbo these last few months. It’s been especially tough for everyone who earns their living making TV and film. But it also means viewers will start seeing just how that is impacting the fall network lineup. A prolonged strike — still ongoing — will inevitably have that effect and the work stoppage has reshaped prime time in significant ways.

For NBC, that means no new episodes of producer Dick Wolf’s “One Chicago” and “Law & Order” franchises. But there will be new episodes of “Quantum Leap” and “Magnum P.I.” (which is moving over from CBS to finish out its run) because both series completed filming before the strikes.

ABC is sticking with unscripted staples such as “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Golden Bachelor” a spinoff of “The Bachelor” featuring a 71-year-old widower from Indiana. ABC will also air reruns of “Abbott Elementary.”

On CBS, along with expanded versions of the reality shows “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor,” the lineup also includes reruns of “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS” and “Yellowstone” (the latter of which originally aired on the Paramount Network).

Even the 75th Emmy Awards have been affected. Originally scheduled to air on Fox in September, the broadcast has been pushed back to January.

By contrast, streamers and premium cable channels do have new shows coming down the pike, if not quite in the same numbers as in years past. Expect that trend to continue, strike or no strike. Last year 599 scripted shows were on the schedule. That number just isn’t sustainable.

But if the studios are unable to resolve the strikes soon, their streaming pipeline will slow to a trickle. We’ll know more when we see just how many (or few) premieres there are this winter. Until then, here’s a look at some offerings in the first few weeks of the fall TV season, in order of their premieres.

Joseph Sikora, left, and Isaac Keys are Chicago-based drug kingpins in Season 2 of “Power Book IV: Force,” premiering this week on Starz. (James Dimmock/Starz/TNS) 

1. “Power Book IV: Force” (premieres Sept. 1 on Starz): The street-wise bad boy extraordinaire Tommy Egan (played by Joseph Sikora) is back for Season 2. The first season got off to a compelling start, with Tommy pushing his way into Chicago’s illegal drug trade, but then resorted to clichéd tropes as it went along. The marketing for the new season includes a line that gave me pause about the show’s point of view: “In a city divided by race, Tommy straddles the line, ultimately becoming the linchpin that not only unites them — but holds the power to watch them crumble.” Sorry, did they just call him the white savior of the drug trade?

2. “The Changeling” (Sept. 8 on Apple TV+): The eight-part drama stars LaKeith Stanfield as a new father who finds his life spinning out of control. It’s adapted from a novel that has been described as a “punchy cocktail of modern parenting and ancient magic” wherein the “anxieties of fatherhood, race and money are dwarfed by otherworldly peril.” Apple is calling it a fairy tale for grown-ups: “A horror story, a parenthood fable and a perilous odyssey through a New York City you didn’t know existed.”

3. “This Farming Life” (Sept. 12 on BritBox): A docuseries that follows six farming families in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It’s not a lifestyle for the faint of heart, whether it’s contending with sick herds, bad weather or a worsening economic climate. “It takes three generations to build something up, but it only takes one to ruin it,” is how one person describes the stakes.

4. “The Morning Show” (Sept. 13 on Apple TV+): The overhyped Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon starrer returns for Season 3 and I’m on record with my disappointment in the show, which traffics in some of the most banal observations about modern media imaginable. The eye-rolling this show inspires! That said, Nicole Beharie joins the cast this season, which might be reason enough to check it out.

5. “The Other Black Girl” (Sept. 13 on Hulu): Nella is a Black editorial assistant at a New York publishing house who is struggling to work her way up the corporate ladder and retain her dignity along the way. When the all-white company hires another Black employee, she’s initially thrilled. But is this newcomer friend or foe? A surreal thriller about microaggressions, office politics and taking over the world (or at least a small corner of it), the series is based on the bestseller by Zakiya Dalila Harris, who also has a writing credit on the show.

6. “The Super Models” (Sept. 20 on Apple TV+): The supermodel era was defined by Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, who captured the public’s imagination in a way that hasn’t been replicated since. The women sit for new interviews in this docuseries, but like so many celebrity documentary projects of late, my curiosity is mixed with skepticism about just how probing this endeavor will actually be. “Donyale Luna: Supermodel” (Sept. 13 on Max) premieres a week earlier as a documentary about the life and career of the first Black model featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

7. “Young Love” (Sept. 21 on Max): Created by Chicago native Matthew Cherry, the warmly comedic animated series expands upon Cherry’s Oscar-winning short “Hair Love,” about a Black father who learns the ins and outs of styling his young daughter’s hair. Kid Cudi and Issa Rae voice the parents.

8. “The Continental: From the World of John Wick” (Sept. 22 on Peacock): The crime series is a prequel spinoff to the ultraviolent “John Wick” movie franchise and focuses on the Continental hotel chain, which serves as a safe haven for assassins. The show is set in the ‘70s (interesting!) and stars Mel Gibson (not so interesting), so do with that information what you will.

9. “Gen V” (Sept. 29 on Amazon): A spinoff of Amazon’s popular and very satirical superhero series “The Boys,” the new show takes place at superhero college where powers are injected rather than inherited (I wonder if they have creative ideas about using superpowers for keg stands).

10. “Lupin” (Oct. 5 on Netflix): As a character, the gentleman thief known as Lupin falls somewhere between Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood. As played with broad-shouldered grace by French actor Omar Sy, he has charisma to spare. Netflix is calling these new episodes Part 3 and I have no idea what that means in terms of seasons. TV has become a land of chaos. Just go with it.

11. “Loki” (Oct. 6 on Disney+): For my money, the one-and-done “WandaVision” and “Loki” are the only two Marvel TV series that have exceeded expectations. The latter returns for a second season with the puckish Tom Hiddleston in the title role. The character has been Hiddleston’s wittiest work to date. Loki will once again be working with Owen Wilson’s Mobius and other members of the Orwellian-sounding Time Variance Authority to navigate the multiverse.

12. “Frasier” (Oct. 12 on Paramount+): They have revived my beloved “Frasier” and I wish I could say this was good news. The “Cheers” spinoff originally ran from 1993-2004 and I recently went back to watch the whole thing and it still holds up! Why does screwball comedy paired with smart writing feel like such a rarity in TV comedies at the moment? Alas, Kelsey Grammer is the only cast member returning. RIP John Mahoney. But also: RIP the erudite ludicrousness that was the Brothers Crane, aka Frasier and Niles. The new series (10 episodes in all) has Frasier returning to Boston and living with Freddy, his now-adult son. (The first two episodes of the season will also air Oct. 17 on CBS.)

13. “Lessons in Chemistry” (Oct. 13 on Apple TV+): Brie Larson stars as a frustrated 1960s scientist who lands a gig hosting a TV cooking show, which she uses as a platform to educate viewers about chemistry. Adapted from the zippy 2022 novel of the same name. Beau Bridges also stars.

14. “Annika” (Oct. 15 on PBS): Masterpiece Mystery is the American broadcast hub of British procedurals and “Annika” is one of the better additions of late, starring the great Nicola Walker as the wry leader of Glasgow’s Marine Homicide Unit. (Have you seen Walker in “The Split”? It’s not new, but worth checking out if you’re a fan of Walker. She plays a very droll, very upscale lawyer with a snazzy wardrobe and a messy family life. It’s streaming on Hulu.)

15. “Fellow Travelers” (Oct. 29 on Showtime): Part epic love story, part political thriller, the limited series is about the “clandestine romance of two very different men who meet in McCarthy-era Washington,” and follows the pair over the next four decades. Starring Matt Bomer (“White Collar”) and Jonathan Bailey (“Bridgerton”). Creator Ron Nyswaner’s screenwriting credits include “Philadelphia” and “My Policeman.” This is his return to Showtime, where he previously worked on “Ray Donovan” and “Homeland.”

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