Once upon a time, the most coveted premieres came during the months of the year known for pumpkin spice lattes, overstuffed turkeys and dashing through the snow (or sand, since we're in Florida). During the last few months of 2016, there are nearly 50 new shows premiering. Luckily for you, we three self-proclaimed small-screen gluttons (Chelsea Tatham, Brittany Volk and Chris Spata) watched most of them. There's some great stuff ahead. Our fall TV guide has every new show to watch, a schedule of when your favorites come back, streaming show offerings and TV specials not to miss. Check it out.
Girl in the Box, 8 p.m., Lifetime, Saturday: In 1977, people didn't think twice about hitchhiking. But for Colleen Stan, who was 22 at the time, the life she knew was ripped away when the couple who gave her a ride abducted her and kept her as a slave for the next seven years.
Stan was imprisoned for up to 23 hours a day, first in Janice and Cameron Hooker's basement and then in a coffin-sized box hidden under the couple's bed. Stan was tortured, sexually abused and forced into a new life as a live-in slave and babysitter for the Hookers.
On Saturday, Lifetime airs its version of Stan's real-life nightmare, starring Addison Timlin (The Awkward Moment) as Colleen Stan, Zane Holtz (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Cameron Hooker and Zelda Williams (Dead of Summer and daughter of the late Robin Williams) as Janice Hooker. If you're looking for some light-hearted Saturday night fare, Girl in the Box is not it.
One Mississippi, Amazon, Friday: With episodes dropping today, One Mississippi is an autobiographical dramedy of the life of comedian Tig Notaro. Notaro, creator and star of the show, turns her life's boatload of pain — multiple illnesses, death of her mother, end of a relationship — into laughs, showcasing how she grew from the setbacks. Notaro plays herself, but instead of comedy she's in radio. Notaro has already produced so much about her life in the past couple years — documentary, live album, HBO specials, interviews — but One Mississippi doesn't feel like a reiteration on a different medium. It's deeply personal while also relatable. Notaro reenacts crucial moments in her life, but makes minor adjustments reflecting what she wishes she would have done.
Quarry, 10 p.m., Cinemax, Friday: Based on novels by Max Allan Collins, Quarry follows a U.S. Marine who returns home from Vietnam in 1972 to find himself shunned by his family and demonized by his community. Struggling to cope with his experiences overseas, Mac Conway is roped into a network of killing and corruption.
True crime in the news
Since Serial and Making A Murderer debuted, everyone seems to be on a true crime kick. Two disturbing cases of abduction from decades ago have been making headlines recently — one case finally closed and another making its small-screen debut. Get the gritty details of these cases through these podcasts.
In the Dark
This new cast from APM Reports follows the investigation into the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old Minnesota boy who was abducted 27 years ago. Wetterling's disappearance launched one of the largest searches for a child in U.S. history. In the Dark's preview episode from August teased to a Serial-esque podcast series that detailed Wetterling's disappearance and the steps law enforcement took to try to find him. As of that episode, Wetterling had not been found.
Almost a week after the teaser, his remains were found. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, longtime suspect Danny Heinrich confessed to the abduction, sexual assault and murder of Wetterling and led authorities to the boy's remains.
APM then dropped its first two episode ahead of schedule. In the eight-part series, investigative reporter Madeleine Baran explores Wetterling's case and attempts to answer the question, "Why did it take so long to find Jacob?"
Stream the first two episodes on iTunes and apmreports.org.
Featured episode: True Murder: The Most Shocking Killers in True Crime History and the Authors That Have Written About Them. Episode 63: Perfect Victim - Carla Norton, June 17, 2015
True Murder's episodes feature grisly cases with conversations with authors and journalists who have written about them. Carla Norton, author of Perfect Victim, takes listeners through the details of the abduction and torture of Colleen Stan in this 90-minute episode. The book she coauthored with the state prosecutor helped convince the jury that Stan hadn't fallen in love with her captor, as Cameron Hooker's defense attorney asserted. This is not for the squeamish, but goes perfectly with the premiere of Girl in the Box on Lifetime.
Stream the episode and others on iTunes and Stitcher.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.