It's new TV series time in America: though 'new' may not be the most appropriate description. The 2016-17 schedule may be evidence of the ever-increasing wave of sequels, reimaginaings and television based on already existing films, but there's plenty of original content to feast on. Here's Empire's guide to the 20 dramas you should be watching this fall.
Finding a fatwah placed on him after killing a terrorist leader, US Army Ranger sergeant Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins), his squad and their families are forced into witness protection. After a failed attempt on Carter's life, the sergeant enlists Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto) - wife of Senator/presidential hopeful John Donovan (Jimmy Smits) and mastermind of the raid that killed said terrorist. Together, Carter and Ingram uncover a sophisticated terrorist network that will force them to ask: “Who can we trust?" Executive producers include the original 24's Howard Gordon, Brian Grazer, Manny Coto, and original star Kiefer Sutherland. The show will have a midseason premiere.
Sky-high crime, officer-involved shootings, cover-ups and corruption: the over-extended and under-funded Chicago Police Department is spiraling out of control. Enter billionaire engineer Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk). After his best friend is murdered in a botched attempted robbery, and the killer remains at large, Gideon demands justice. Putting up millions of dollars of his own money, he makes an unprecedented deal to take over the troubled 13th District and reboot it as a private police force: better, faster and smarter than anything seen before. With cutting-edge technology created by Gideon himself, this eccentric yet brilliant outsider challenges the city’s police force to rethink everything about the way they fight crime. Also starring Natalie Martinez, Caitlin Stasey, Ernie Hudson, Taylor Handley and Tamberla Perry, it has Len Wiseman on directorial and executive producing duties.
Before Dr. Phil was a popular daytime TV host, he was the founder of one of the most prolific trial consulting firms of all time. Inspired by his early career, Dr. Phil is now Dr. Bull. Brilliant, brash and charming, Dr. Bull (Michael Weatherly) is the ultimate puppet master as he combines psychology, human intuition and high-tech data to learn what makes jurors, attorneys, witnesses and the accused tick. Freddy Rodríguez, Geneva Carr, Chris Jackson, Jaime Lee Kirchner and Annabelle Attanasio are also onboard.
Vengeance may be a dish best served cold, but prominent producer Dick Wolf has found a different way following the demise of all but one of the series in his massive Law & Order franchise. He's back this fall with the fourth entry in Chicago-set series, Chicago Justice. Just like their brethren in the Chicago P.D., the State Attorney’s dedicated team of prosecutors and investigators navigate heated city politics and controversy head-on while pursuing justice. Among those doing the pursuing are Philip Winchester, Carl Weathers, Nazneen Contractor, Joelle Carter and Ryan-James Hatanaka.
Agent Carter's loss is Conviction's gain as Hayley Atwell finds herself playing Carter Morrison, the brilliant but ne'er-do-well daughter of a former president. Blackmailed into taking a job as the head of LA's newly created Conviction Integrity Unit, she and her team of lawyers, investigators and forensic experts work to examine cases where there's credible suspicion that the wrong person might have been convicted of a crime.
After spending years working for the president, it looks like Kiefer Sutherland is finally getting the chance to see what it's like to be president. He plays Tom Kirkman, a lower-level US cabinet member suddenly appointed president after a catastrophic attack during the State Of The Union speech kills everyone above him in the line of succession. Other cast members include Natascha McElhone, Maggie Q and Kal Penn.
After losing his wife and child, ex-Navy SEAL turned LA detective Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) is paired with veteran detective Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans, Sr.). From the moment they meet it seems like this partnership could be, wait for it, lethal. With Riggs needing a new start and Murtaugh recently suffering a mild heart attack, the pair ultimately discover that they're able to fill gaps in each others' lives. Based, of course, on the Mel Gibson/Danny Glover film series, McG serves as executive producer and directs Episode 1.
The reboots continues with this reimagined take on the '80s series. The focus is on twentysomething MacGyver, who creates a clandestine organisation where he uses his knack for solving problems in unconventional ways to help prevent disasters. Give the man a cucumber, straw and a basketball and he'll stop a nuclear bomb from detonating. Lucas Till stars in the title role made famous by Richard Dean Anderson.
When a risk-averse, straight arrow, female procurement manager at an Amazon-like distribution center falls in love with a freewheeling man who lives life to the fullest, because he believes the apocalypse is imminent. To comedic and poignant results they embark on a quest together to fulfill their individual bucket lists. Tori Anderson and Joshua Sasse (Galavant) star.
Inspired by the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, the series is a provocative look at the unique, sexy, and dangerous interplay of criminal law and the media. Daniel Sunjata and Piper Perabo star as Geragos and Walker.
Described as the dramatic and inspirational story of a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play Major League Baseball. Kylie Bunbury's Ginny Baker is vaulted into instant fame when she’s called up by the San Diego Padres to make her Major League debut. Like any rookie, Ginny must prove herself to her teammates while also representing her gender as she embarks on a successful baseball career under the glare of the white-hot media spotlight.
Like The X-Files last season, this is a continuation of the show that ran from 2005-2009. Original series stars returning are Wentworth Miller and Dominic Percell, both currently on DC's Legends Of Tomorrow; Sarah Wayne Callies, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, Rockmond Dunbar and Paul Adelstein. This limited run series, the plot of which hasn't been released yet, is described as an all-new adventure spanning the globe and featuring the signature thrills and cliffhangers that were hallmarks of the original series.
A Silicon Valley tech titan (played by Augustus Prew) enlists a veteran surgeon with a controversial past in starting a hospital with a cutting edge, “new school” approach to medicine.” Dermot Mulroney, Brenda Song, Reshma Shetty, Ward Horton, Aaron Jennings, and Odette Annable also star.
Based on Stephen Hunter’s novel Point Of Impact and the 2007 Paramount film starring Mark Wahlberg, Shooter stars Ryan Phillippe as Bob Lee Swagger, an expert marksman living in exile who is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. From writer/executive producer John Hlavin and executive producers Wahlberg, Steven Levinson and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
Examining the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small Southern town, this is an event series that is a whodunnit, a “why done it?” and an explosive look at the criminal justice system. When an African-American police officer kills an unarmed white college student, a small town in North Carolina is turned upside down. Before the town has a chance to grapple with this tragedy, the neglected murder of an African-American teen is brought to light, reopening wounds that threaten to tear the town apart. Cast includes Sanaa Lathan, Stephen James, Helen Hunt, Stephen Moyer and Richard Dreyfuss.
Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Lee Daniels – creator and executive producer of Empire (the show, not the magazine) - partners with Tom Donaghy to pull back the curtain on music’s gritty and dark reality in Star. Featuring a soundtrack of original music and music performances, Star follows three talented singers desperate for a new start and with ambitions of stardom as they navigate the cut-throat music business on their road to success. The cast features newcomers Jude Demorest, Brittany O'Grady and Ryan Destiny, and Benjamin Bratt.
Based on the book by Melinda Taub and set in 16th century Verona, it picks up where William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet left off, charting the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers' tragic fate. It focuses on Juliet's cousin, Rosaline (Lashana Lynch), a black woman who, following the death of her parents, is taken in by Juliet's parents. It's produced by Shonda Rhimes.
From executive producer Luc Besson comes this modern-day thriller that follows the origin story of younger, hungrier former Green Beret Bryan Mills (Clive Standen, stepping into the Liam Neeson role) as he deals with a personal tragedy that shakes his world. As he fights to overcome the incident and exact revenge, Mills is pulled into a career as a deadly CIA operative, a job that awakens his very particular, and very dangerous, set of skills. Other cast members include Jennifer Beals, Brooklyn Sudano, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Gaius Charles, Michael Irby, James Landry Hébert and Jose Pablo Cantillo.
The Blacklist: Redemption
In this spinoff to The Blacklist, undercover operative Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) joins forces with Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen), the brilliant and cunning chief of Grey Matters, a covert mercenary organization that solves problems governments don’t dare touch. While on the hunt for Liz’s attacker on the original series, Tom secretly discovered that Scottie is actually his biological mother. Now, as they team to employ their unique skills and resources in a dangerous world of deadly criminals, Tom begins his own covert mission to find out more about his shadowy past. Edi Gathegi and Tawny Cypress also star.
This Is Us
This provocatie series follows a unique ensemble whose paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways, several of them sharing the same birthday and so much more than anyone would expect. The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones.
A sequel to the feature of the same name, taking place 15 years after the events of that film. It's about an idealistic young police officer (Justin Cornwell) who is appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous detective (Bill Paxton). Other stars are Drew Van Acker, Katrina Law, Lex Scott Davis and Julie Benz.