Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers Sept. 13-19.
A ton of new shows are on their way. Yes, we’re on a year-round release cycle these days, as all of the TV outlets —streaming, cable, broadcast — introduce series throughout the year. But still, fall is the season of pencil sharpening and new sweaters, and it remains an especially busy time on the TV front.
But first: The Emmys. The annual awards show is the last of TV’s old business, before embarking on the new. The telecast is this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS (and streaming on Paramount+). This year, for pandemic reasons, the ceremony will include only a small in-person audience of nominees and guests at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Cedric the Entertainer, the star of “The Neighborhood,” will host the three-hour ceremony, and there will be a modest red carpet before the show.
Because of the pandemic and its effects on production, the total number of submissions went down in many categories this time out. The biggest nominees are Disney+’s “Star Wars” spin-off series “The Mandalorian” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” both with 24 nominations. The limited series “WandaVision” is just behind them with 23 nominations. And “Ted Lasso” and “Saturday Night Live” are tied with “The Handmaid’s Tale” at 20 nominations each.
Most betting observers are putting their money on “Ted Lasso” and “The Crown” as the night’s big winners. I’ll be sharing my own thoughts about what I think will win — and what should win — later on this week.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. B.J. Novak, an “Office”-er and a former local gentleman, created “The Premise,” a five-episode anthology series. The premise of “The Premise” is vague but intriguing: Each self-standing episode takes a darkly comic view on a moral issue of the moment, including gun laws and police brutality. The cast list includes Tracee Ellis Ross, Jermaine Fowler, Ben Platt, Lucas Hedges, Daniel Dae Kim, Kaitlyn Dever, and Lola Kirke. It premieres Thursday on FX on Hulu, which is really just kind of like Hulu.
2. More post-apocalyptic drama, anyone? “Y: The Last Man,” Monday on FX on Hulu, is an adaptation of the popular graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. All mammals with a Y chromosome have died in a plague — except for one man and his monkey. The man, Ben Schnetzer’s Yorick, lives in a female-dominated society where some of the women try to hold onto old political structures amid those wanting to do things in a new way. Diane Lane, Amber Tamblyn, Olivia Thirlby, Ashley Romans, and Marin Ireland star.
3. Ken Burns returns to PBS with “Muhammad Ali,” which he codirected with Sarah Burns and David McMahon. The four-part, eight-hour series goes deep on the life of the heavyweight champion. Premiering Sunday at 8 p.m. on GBH 2, it gives us the man in all his power, both in and out of the ring.
4. A few notable shows return this week. “The Morning Show,” the series that Apple TV+ used to introduce itself in late 2019, returns for season two on Friday with more hyperventilating drama featuring Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Duplass, Billy Crudup, and new cast member Julianna Margulies. “Sex Education,” the sex-positive British comedy about teens that stars a perfectly comic Gillian Anderson and the charming Asa Butterfield, is back on Netflix on Friday. Jemima Kirke is on board as the new sex-negative headmistress. And the wonderful “Back to Life,” starring Daisy Haggard as a woman trying to make a new life for herself after 18 years in prison, is back for season two on Showtime, Monday at 10 p.m. Time to catch up with the first, six-episode season.
5. On Friday at 10 p.m., Comedy Central is premiering “Tha God’s Honest Truth,” a new late-night series featuring radio star Lenard “Charlamagne Tha God” McKelvey. The weekly half-hour show, executive produced by Stephen Colbert, will give us his take on social issues through interviews, sketches, and what the network is calling “social experiments.”
6. “Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol” is a new Peacock prequel series about the early adventures of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (played in the movies by Tom Hanks). Ashley Zukerman takes over the lead role, as Langdon is hired by the CIA to help save his mentor and to stop, you know, a global conspiracy. It premieres Thursday, costarring Valorie Curry and Eddie Izzard.
“Finding Alice” Keeley Hawes stars in this six-part dramedy as a woman dealing with the death of her longtime partner. Acorn TV, Monday
“Amanda Gorman: Brave Enough with Robin Roberts” A special edition of “20/20″ about the young poet and activist. ABC, Wednesday, 10 p.m.
“Harper House” An adult animated comedy about a financially struggling family, featuring the voices of Gabourey Sidibe, Tatiana Maslany, Jason Lee, and Rhea Seehorn. Paramount+, Thursday
“Little Ellen” An animated children’s show about the 7-year old Ellen DeGeneres growing up in New Orleans. HBO Max, Monday
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” The hourlong series finale. NBC, Thursday, 8 p.m.
“American Rust” Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney star in an eight-part murder mystery miniseries. Showtime
“Impeachment: American Crime Story” A 10-part miniseries about the scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, and Bill Clinton. FX
“Guilt” A PBS “Masterpiece” miniseries about the fallout from a hit-and-run accident. GBH 2
“Clickbait” An eight-episode thriller that twists itself into silliness. Netflix
“Only Murders in the Building” A warm comedy starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as amateur sleuths in New York. Hulu
“The Other Two” The second season of the comedy about jealous siblings is even better than the first. HBO Max
“The Chair” Sandra Oh plays the new head of a college English department in this comedic drama. Netflix
“Nine Perfect Strangers” The adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel stars Nicole Kidman as a charismatic wellness guru. Hulu
“Modern Love” The second season features good actors in less memorable stories than season one′s. Amazon
“Mr. Corman” Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s look at the life of a teacher undergoing anxiety attacks. Apple TV+