As we noted in our Power Rankings this week, fall brings a surge of new TV shows. This month, we here at Paste will be covering the new Amazon series Modern Love (October 18), new Facebook Watch series Limetown (October 16), the new HBO series Watchmen(October 20), the new Netflix series Daybreak (October 24), and the new Showtime series Back to Life (October 6). That’s all while keeping up with beloved shows like Supernatural and checking in on the first season of On Becoming a God in Central Florida.
And please know that although it may not seem like it, this is the calm before the storm as both Apple TV+ and Disney+ are coming your way in November. So more than ever we are here to help you cut through the deluge of new television and pick out the five new shows you can’t miss this month:
Executive Producer: Mike Bartlett
Stars: Charlotte Riley, Ben Chaplin, Priyanga Burford, Paapa Essiedu, David Suchet
Premiere Date: October 6 at 10 p.m. on PBS
This latest entry in to the Masterpiece oeuvre follows two rival newspapers in London as they struggle to keep up with the 24-hour news cycle and stay relevant in an age when many consider social media their news source. In the premiere, Deputy News Editor Holly (Charlotte Riley) tries to obtain footage of a hit and run while Ed (Paapa Essiedu) struggles to make a decision: will he honor the wishes of the parents who are mourning the loss of their child or succumb to the pressure of running the story his editor wants? The six-episode miniseries gets to the heart of being a journalist in the digital age.
2. Rhythm + Flow
Executive Producers: Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins, Nikki Boella, John Legend
Stars: Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, Tip “T.I.” Harris
Premiere Date: October 9 on Netflix
is like that overachieving kid who plays every sport and is a member of every club. They’re going to get into Harvard, dammit. The streaming platform has never met a TV genre it doesn’t want to be a part of and enters the reality competition game for the first time with Rhythm +Flow. In this ten-episode series, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and Tip “T.I.” Harris search for the next hip-hop star. The episodes will debut over three weeks with the finale premiering on October 23rd. Keep an eye out for guest stars including DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, and John Legend.
3. Why We Hate
Executive Producers: Alex Gibney, Steven Spielberg
Premiere Date: October 13 at 10 p.m. on Discovery Channel
Alex Gibney and Steven Spielberg team up in this six-part documentary series which examines the nature of hate and what causes the human brain to give in to its worst tendencies. In the debut episode “Tribalism,” cognitive scientist Laurie Santos asks “What are some of the kinds of things that can cause us to hate another group?” Future episodes look at the tools and tactics that work to amplify and spread hate, what draws people to the most extreme viewpoints and the hope that exists that people, in the face of hate, will use their mind as a force for good. Discovery Channel touts this series as timely and, honestly, just a gander at the news headlines shows how important this series is. Understanding what causes hate might very well be the first step in combating the hatred that currently is so pervasive in our country.
Executive Producers: Tim Kring, Ben Smith, Jeffrey Weiner
Stars: Michelle Forbes,Patrick Fugit, Michael Gaston, Shruti Haasan, Hyo Joo Han, Tess Haubrich, Tracy Ifeachor, and Jeremy Irvine
Premiere Date: October 15 at 10 p.m. on USA
The Bourne franchise comes to the small screen in this drama that follows sleeper agents as they are activated to commit heinous crimes. The opening minutes of the series feature some thrilling hand to hand combat and an escape that defies gravity before it settles into its spy drama motif. Keep an eye out for the always stellar Michelle Forbes as a CIA director who is not happy when an unsuspecting journalist suddenly learns of the Treadstrone project.
5. The Misery Index
Executive Producers: Andy Breckman, Ben Newmark, Dan Newmark, Howard Klein, Vin Rubino
Stars: Jameela Jamil, Brian Quinn, James Murray, Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano
Premiere Date: October 22 at 10 p.m. on TBS
Have you ever wondered what’s worse: accidentally lighting a stick of dynamite that you thought was a candle, or waking up to your body covered in fire ants? Truth be told you probably haven’t but that doesn’t make The Misery Index any less fun. Jameela Jamil (The Good Place) hosts this game show that finds two contestants, along with the stars of the TruTV series Impractical Jokers ranking miserable events based on their physical pain, emotional trauma and long-term psychological impact (as determined by a panel of psychologists). They’re playing for $30,000 and the hope that they’ll never find themselves in such a miserable position. A breezy Jamil is clearly having a blast making the show a delightfully fun escape even when the subject matter is admittedly miserable.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).