We all have the little things that break us. Currently for me it’s the Walmart back to school commercials that show kids in the hallway cheerfully smiling behind their masks. There’s nothing cheery about the school situation these days and I, for one, would be happier with a Walmart add that stated “We know it’s awful but your children have probably outgrown their clothes and need new school supplies so you might as well get them.”
So I’m not going to pretend that television this September is anything close to normal. Even with all the changes streaming platforms have brought to the television cycle, September was still month that saw an onslaught of new and returning network shows. Not this year. Who knows when viewers will be able to see new seasons of This is Us and Grey’s Anatomy? While some shows have returned to production—notably Supernatural and The Goldbergs—the premiere schedule is still very much in the air.
But surprisingly there is still a lot of television coming our way as the days get cooler. Netflix has the delightful space drama Away premiering September 4th. HBO Max has the bonkers Raised by Wolves on September 3rd, and the long-awaited premiere of the fourth season of Fargo is finally going to happen September 27th on FX.
And, as always, there are 5 new under-the-radar shows we don’t want you to miss this month:
1. Women Make Film
Executive Producer: Mark Cousins
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger
Premiere Date: September 1 at 8 p.m. on TCM
Filmmaking remains one of the most frustratingly male-dominated industries. This 14-part documentary series celebrates women filmmakers over the last century. During the run of the series TCM will also air over 100 movies from 44 countries directed by women including Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay!, Barbara Kopple’s Harlan County U.S.A. and Julia Murat’s Found Memories. The series, narrated by Tilda Swinton, Jane Fonda, Adjoa Andoh, Sharmila Tagore, Kerry Fox, Thandie Newton and Debra Winger, showcases the industry’s greatest female directors and sheds a bright light on all that they have accomplished.
2. Masterpiece: Van der Valk
Executive Producers: Michele Buck and Chris Murray
Stars: Marc Warren, Maimie McCoy, Luke Allen-Gale, Brad de Vries; and Elliot Barnes-Worrell
Premiere Date: September 13 at 9 p.m. on PBS
Is it time to forgive Marc Warren for the worst story arc The Good Wife ever had? It was eight years ago that he played Kalinda’s ex-husband. Perhaps we should all moved on. This new installation of Masterpiece should help. Warren stars as the title character in three 90 minutes episodes based on the crime novels of Nicolas Freeling. Set in Amsterdam, the series finds Van der Valk investigating murders with the help of Lucienne Hassell (Maimie McCoy), Brad de Vries ( Luke Allen-Gale) and Job Cloovers (Elliot Barnes-Worrell).
Executive Producers: Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Malcolm MacRury, TJ Scott, Archie Panjabi
Stars: Archie Panjabi, Christopher Plummer, Kris Holden-Reid, Rebecca Liddiard, Tamara Duart , Mark Rendall, Peter Mensah and Sasha Roiz
Premiere Date: September 17 on Peacock
Flights that vanish without a trace have always been great fodder for a TV series. Archie Panjabi headlines this six-episode Peacock series as investigator Kendra Malley who is called in by her mentor Howard Lawson (Christopher Plummer) to delve into the mysterious disappearance of flight 716. The series, which was filmed in Canada and premiered in international markets last year, is another example of the kind of content Peacock plans on debuting as the platform is a place for both original series and series new to the US market.
4. Filthy Rich
Executive Producers: Tate Taylor, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, John Norris and Abe Sylvia
Stars: Kim Cattrall, Gerald McRaney, Corey Cott, Olivia Macklin, Aubrey Dollar and Steve Harris
Premiere Date: September 21 at 9 p.m. on FOX
Once the pandemic hit, networks wisely began hoarding some of their content. This series was originally slated to air in the spring but now gets a cushy fall premiere. Kim Cattrall stars Margaret Monreaux, the—as the title would suggest—extremely wealthy matriarch of a successful Christian television network dynasty. When her husband Eugene (Gerald McRaney) dies in a plane crash, Margaret is shocked to learn that not only does Eugene have three illegitimate children from three different women, but that he put these children in his will. Now Margaret must protect her fortune with the help of her devoted friend and family lawyer Franklin Lee (Steve Harris).
5. The Comey Rule
Executive Producers: Shane Salerno, Alex Kurtzman, Heather Kadin and Billy Ray
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Brendan Gleeson, Holly Hunter, Michael Kelly, Jennifer Ehle, Jonathan Banks, Steven Pasquale and Kingsley Ben-Adir
Premiere Date: September 27 at 9 p.m. on Showtime
Never in our history has the truth been so much stranger than fiction. This two-night Showtime miniseries based on both James Comey’s 2018 book A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership and additional interviews with key players showcases the events before and after the 2016 Presidential election and the clash between Donald Trump (Brendan Gleeson) and FBI Director James Comey (Jeff Daniels). From Comey re-opening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails 11 days before the election, to Russia’s interference, to the infamous dinner between Comey and Trump where Trump demanded Comey’s loyalty, the series follows the events that got us to where we are today. Showtime had originally planned to air the series after the Presidential election, but after pushback from writer and director Billy Ray it is now airing it before.
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).
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