With a slew of new shows premiering and a boatload of returning favorites, this week marks an unofficial start to fall TV. Bonus: the first day of autumn is Thursday. There are some great shows starting this week and most of last year's favorites that haven't already returned come back. Though we Floridians will still be sweating through the work week and longing for just a bit of a drop in temperature, we can still cozy up on the couch with a pumpkin spiced latte (iced) and enjoy the most wonderful time of year for the small screen. For our full fall TV preview, visit tbtim.es/1604.
This Is Us, 10 p.m., NBC, Tuesday: Sometimes we just want to cry and feel all the feelings, and This Is Us is TV drama comfort food. Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia play soon-to-be-parents of triplets and Sterling K. Brown plays a family man who decides it's time to meet his biological father. This Is Us moves to 9 p.m. on Oct. 11.
Designated Survivor, 10 p.m., ABC, Wednesday: During the State of the Union address, low-level cabinet member (Kiefer Sutherland) is kept safe as a precaution in the event of an attack. An attack happens, wiping out a bunch of political power players, and Sutherland's Tom Kirkland immediately becomes president. You're already hooked aren't you?
Pitch, 9 p.m.. Fox, Thursday: Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) plays the first female baseball player to enter the major leagues. You'd think this was going to focus on the politics and media storm surrounding the occasion, but after weaving through her first few tense days as a San Diego Padre, the show zeroes in on Ginny's intense and touching relationship with her father and the game. You'll need tissues for this one.
Best remake — Lethal Weapon, 8 p.m., Fox, Wednesday: The TV version of the quintessential buddy-cop franchise with a bit of the chemistry that made the films fun.
Sexiest new show — Notorious, 9 p.m., ABC, Thursday: Inspired by true-life stories, Notorious showcases the dangerous, sexy, but not-entirely-accurate interplay between criminal law and the media. Beautiful people + scandalous crime = network TV gold.
Most family-friendly — Kevin Can Wait, 8:30 p.m., CBS, Monday: Prime-time veteran Kevin James plays a blue-collar family man and recently retired cop. It's comfortably familiar and a safe bet to become a hit.
Also premiering this week
The Good Place, 10 p.m., NBC, Monday: Kristen Bell is as funny as ever playing Eleanor, a garbage person who mistakenly goes to the Good Place (kind of like heaven, because in this world, all religions are sort of right).
Bull, 9 p.m., CBS, Tuesday: Michael Weatherly plays Dr. Jason Bull, the head of a top trial consulting firm, in this show inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw.
Speechless, 8:30, ABC, Wednesday: Minnie Driver stars as a mother of three, including a teenager with cerebral palsy, played by Micah Fowler.
Easy, midnight, Netflix, Thursday: An eight-episode comedy from indie film director Joe Swanberg with an all-star cast: Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Dave Franco and Hannibal Buress, just to name a few.
Call Your Girlfriend
The podcast with hosts/best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman touts itself as the podcast for long-distance besties everywhere. But it's so much more. Call Your Girlfriend is a weekly chat between two hard-working young women covering everything from politics, TV shows, Internet trends and fashion to the struggle to get health insurance and book recommendations. The two also occasionally have guests on the show to provide more insight and humor. They chat about fun stuff (Justin Bieber, bingeable TV, Beyonce) and serious stuff (Benghazi, gun violence in America, Supreme Court decisions). Call Your Girlfriend usually clocks in at under an hour, so it's an easily digestible listen, perfect for when you want to catch up on what's trending.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and callyourgirlfriend.com.
If you're into Serial (who isn't?), Criminal is your best bet to fill the void until the next season. But it's not so much a typical true crime podcast with plenty of bloody and disturbing details. Its episodes are more abstract, with crime as the subject, rather than featuring a particular criminal. Some of its earliest episodes take on the act of lying, counterfeiting money and Venus fly traps on the black market. Episode topics from the last couple months include the business of pot brownies, lawyers for death row inmates and an interview with a woman who runs a Harry Potter fan site receiving her first death threat. Criminal just celebrated its 50th episode last week. These episodes are usually under an hour, so they're great for the commute to work.
Listen on iTunes, Stitcher and thisiscriminal.com.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.