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Fall Arts Preview

A less colorful fall for TV viewers, but there’s still plenty to see

Fall TV episodes for a weekend binge
WATCH: TV critic Matthew Gilbert singles out the best episodes for your next weekend binge.

The writers’ and actors’ strikes are definitely having an impact on television’s offerings this fall, particularly at the networks. There will be even more game shows and reality contests than usual crowding the prime-time schedules of ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.

But the cable and streaming outlets still have scripted shows on the way this season, even if they won’t be promoted by the actors. And some of them look promising, with new twists on Charles Dickens and Edith Wharton alongside a few British imports, an adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and the return of Frasier Crane. Here are the most noteworthy releases between now and the holidays.


Sinclair Daniel (left) and Ashleigh Murray in Hulu's "The Other Black Girl."Courtesy of Hulu


“The Other Black Girl” Blackness in the workplace gets a satirical going over in this adaptation of Zakiya Dalila Harris’s 2021 novel. Nella (Sinclair Daniel) is the only Black employee at a publishing house, until Hazel-May (Ashleigh Murray) shows up. Instant allies? It’s more complicated than that. There may be something sinister going on company-wide. (Hulu, Sept. 13)

“Wilderness” This UK production gives us Jenna Coleman far from her “Victoria” reign. She’s Liv, who travels to an American national park with her cheating husband, Will (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). Wait, is that fury and revenge behind her eyes as she hikes? (Amazon, Sept. 15)

“The Gold” This six-episode BBC action drama gives us one of the largest thefts in British history, the 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery of gold bullion, diamonds, and cash from a Heathrow warehouse. It also chronicles the events that followed. Hugh Bonneville, Dominic Cooper, Charlotte Spencer, Sean Harris, Jack Lowden, and Tom Cullen star. (Paramount+, Sept. 17)

“Krapopolis” Dan Harmon, the guy behind “Community” and “Rick and Morty,” brings another animated comedy to TV. This one is set in mythical ancient Greece and follows a family of humans, gods, and monsters trying to run one of the world’s first cities. The voice cast includes Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”) and Matt Berry (“What We Do in the Shadows”). (Fox, Sept. 24)


“The Irrational” Jesse L. Martin spent nine seasons as a “Law & Order” standout, and now he returns to NBC, this time as a behavioral science professor in D.C. who helps solve cases in the manner of “The Mentalist” and “Castle.” Does it sound like yet another formulaic network crime procedural with a charismatic lead? Yes, it does, which is exactly what will attract audiences. (NBC, Sept. 25)

From left: Toks Olagundoye, Kelsey Grammer, and Nicholas Lyndhurst in the Paramount+ revival of "Frasier."Chris Haston/Paramount+

“Frasier” Here’s another serving of tossed salad and scrambled eggs, as the persnickety shrink moves back to Boston (where we first met him on “Cheers”). Except for Kelsey Grammer, the main cast of this revival will be new, including Jack Cutmore-Smith as Frasier’s son. A few from the original will be paying a visit, though, including Bebe Neuwirth as Lilith and Peri Gilpin as Roz. (Paramount+, Oct. 12)

“Lessons in Chemistry” The adaptation of Bonnie Garmus’s bestseller stars Oscar winner Brie Larson as a brilliant chemist who deals with sexism and idea theft in the 1950s world of science. She goes through love, loss, and parenthood on her way to becoming the disarmingly honest host of a TV cooking show in the 1960s. (Apple TV+, Oct. 13)

Jonathan Bailey in "Fellow Travelers," premiering Oct. 27 on Paramount+ With Showtime.Courtesy of SHOWTIME

“Fellow Travelers” Those days are over, right? The eight-episode limited series, based on the 2007 novel by Thomas Mallon, is set during the fear-driven McCarthy era. Jonathan Bailey (“Bridgerton”) is an idealistic man crusading against Communism, and Matt Bomer is the State Department official who hires him. Sparks fly, just as Joe McCarthy (Chris Bauer) and the closeted Roy Cohn (Will Brill) declare war on gays — the so-called Lavender Scare. (Paramount+ With Showtime, Oct. 27)


“The Woman in the Wall” Ruth Wilson from “The Affair” returns to Showtime for this six-part British mystery series. She plays a survivor of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries, the cruel facilities in Ireland where young women were sent for being immoral or “fallen” because they were willingly — or unwillingly — sexually active, among other things. A sleepwalker, she wakes up one day to find the dead body of a mysterious woman in her house. (Showtime, Nov. 1)

Newcomer Aria Mia Loberti in Netflix's "All the Light We Cannot See."Katalin Vermes/Netflix/KATALIN VERMES/NETFLIX

“All the Light We Cannot See” Perhaps you’ve heard of this one? It’s based on Andrew Doerr’s best-selling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a blind French girl and a German soldier during World War II. Newcomer — and Rhode Island native — Aria Mia Loberti, who is legally blind, won the lead role after a global search. She stars along with Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, and Louis Hofmann. (Netflix, Nov. 2)

“The Buccaneers” Based on Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, this series set in the 1870s gives us five wealthy American girls and the noble — but financially insecure — men who court them. She’s looking for a title, he’s looking for the cash; what could possibly go wrong? Kristine Froseth (“Looking for Alaska”) stars as the level-headed Nan, along with Alisha Boe, Matthew Broome, and Christina Hendricks. (Apple TV+, Nov. 8)


“A Murder at the End of the World” This seven-episode miniseries, from the folks behind “The OA,” stars Emma Corrin, so excellent as Princess Diana in “The Crown” and in “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” as an amateur detective invited with eight guests to a billionaire’s retreat. Wait, what? One of the guests is found dead, and our heroine must kick into sleuthing mode? Didn’t see that coming. Clive Owen costars as the reclusive rich guy in what sounds like “Glass Onion,” except that it’s straight-up drama. (Hulu, Nov. 14)

“The Artful Dodger” Consider yourself . . . ready for a new corner of the Dickens-verse. Set in the 1850s, this eight-episode Australian spinoff of “Oliver Twist” finds a transformed Dodger (Thomas Brodie-Sangster from “The Queen’s Gambit”) now using his agile pickpocketing fingers in a more respectable way, as a surgeon. But who’s that visitor waiting to corrupt him? Why it’s Fagin, played by the great David Thewlis. (Disney+ and Hulu, Nov. 29)


“The Morning Show” This cuckoo drama returns for its third season with something new: Jon Hamm, playing an Elon Musk-level billionaire who has a yen to own a network. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston continue to follow the writers’ whims, which take them into all kinds of big Emmy-reel dramas. (Apple TV+, Sept. 13)


Ncuti Gatwa returns for the fourth and final season of "Sex Education."Samuel Taylor/Netflix

“Sex Education” This warm comedy returns for its fourth and final season with its sex positivity intact. Let’s hope for a proper sendoff, as the gang moves on to college and deals with a new social hierarchy involving unusual cool kids. The cast, led by Asa Butterfield, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, and a funny Gillian Anderson, are joined this time by Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”). (Netflix, Sept. 21)

“The Gilded Age” Julian Fellowes’s costume drama returns for a second season, with Carrie Coon stealing the show as the wealthy climber pushing her way into high society in New York. It’s no “Downton Abbey,” but it contains enough flagrant snubbing, some of it by Christine Baranski’s stubborn socialite, to satisfy. Joining the cast: Laura Benanti and Robert Sean Leonard. (Oct. 29, Max)

“Fargo” At long last, Noah Hawley’s anthology series returns for a fifth season with another cast and a different mystery. This time, the story is set in 2019, with Juno Temple (“Ted Lasso”) as a housewife on the run from law enforcement. Jon Hamm is the sheriff looking for her, Joe Keery is his son, and Jennifer Jason Leigh is her mother-in-law. Lukas Gage and Dave Foley (“The Kids in the Hall”!) are also in the mix. (FX, Nov. 21)

“The Crown” It’s the end of the line for this remarkable series, with the sixth and final season. The cast, the series’ third, continues to feature Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip. Reportedly, there will be a funeral (Princess Diana’s) and a wedding (between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles) before all is said and done. (Netflix, date not yet announced)

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him @MatthewGilbert.