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. 25-Oct. 1.
It’s what is usually called “Premiere Week,” when the networks throw a bunch of their new series at the wall and hope some of them — or at least one of them — will stick. Usually, that week arrives after the Emmy Awards, which have honored the previous season’s work.
But the annual launch is going to look quite different this year, as the strikes have wreaked some havoc on network plans and caused postponement of the Emmys, which are now scheduled for Jan. 15, 2024. The writers’ strike appears to be at an end, but the actors’ strike would also need to be resolved soon in order to save the season to some extent.
While the streamers and cable stations work far ahead of schedule, and still have new shows to run this fall, the networks work closer to air time and most of their scripted series have stopped production. The result: A nightly crush of game shows and reality contests on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox as the temperatures get lower and the days get shorter.
To give you a sense of what’s ahead for network viewers, here are a few of this week’s premieres, including new and returning series: “Kitchen Nightmares” (Fox, Monday); “The Voice” (NBC, Monday); “Celebrity Jeopardy” (ABC, Wednesday); “The Masked Singer” (Fox, Wednesday); “Survivor” (CBS, Wednesday); “Snake Oil” (Fox, Wednesday); “The Amazing Race” (CBS, Wednesday); “The Golden Bachelor” (ABC, Thursday); “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, Thursday); “Bachelor in Paradise” (ABC, Thursday); and “Shark Tank” (ABC, Friday).
All of these (and more) unscripted shows will join those unscripted shows that are already in the middle of their seasons, such as CBS’s “Big Brother” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” And all of them will be surrounded by repeats of franchise series such as “NCIS” and comedies such as “Abbott Elementary.”
Will the monotony drive network-centric TV viewers to explore the world of streaming, where they will be able to find new series and dig into the many, many, many older series still available to enjoy?
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
1. There’s a new network drama premiering Monday, an exception in this season of strikes. Called “The Irrational,” it’s yet another procedural about a quirky expert with a tragic backstory who lends his wisdom to the police, just like on “The Mentalist,” “Castle,” “White Collar,” and many other network series. (Here’s the trailer.) The good news: It stars Jesse L. Martin, one of the better “Law & Order” alums. The bad news: The pilot episode, Monday at 10 p.m. on NBC, is awful.
2. There’s some drama around the new season of “Dancing With the Stars,” the show’s 32nd. With Tyson Beckford, Alyson Hannigan, Mira Sorvino, Barry Williams, and Jamie Lynn Spears among the announced cast members (the trailer names them all), it is supposed to premiere Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC and Disney+. But that may change, due to some strike-related negative press since the series does employ a writer. Cast member Matt Walsh has already announced his withdrawal from the show in solidarity with the WGA, of which he is a member. Will others follow? SAG-AFTRA has said that its members are allowed to appear.
3. On Friday, Amazon is premiering a spinoff of its superhero satire “The Boys,” which is set in a college for young superheroes. Called “Gen V,” it follows the first generation of superheroes to know about Compound V, and that their powers were injected and not bestowed from above (trailer). The cast includes Jaz Sinclair, Chance Perdomo, Maddie Phillips, Lizze Broadway, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Jason Ritter, and Jensen Ackles.
4. The 10-episode series “Django” is an Italian-French production that’s in English and set in 1870s Texas. Can’t wait to hear the western accents! A reimagining of the 1966 spaghetti western of the same name starring Franco Nero, it stars Matthias Schoenaerts as a guy whose family was murdered — but who thinks his daughter may have survived. (Trailer here.) It premieres Sunday on Netflix.
“Starstruck” The third season of the “Notting Hill”-esque romcom. Max, Thursday
“Encounters” A docuseries about UFO sightings from the last 50 years. Netflix, Wednesday
“Sex Education” The coming-of-age series goes out on a high. Netflix
“The Morning Show” Season three of the glossy soap. Apple TV+
“Wilderness” A marriage on the rocks in this revenge thriller. Amazon
“Dreaming Whilst Black” Trying to make it as a filmmaker in London. Showtime
“Only Murders in the Building” The third season is a silly pleasure. Hulu
“The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” Sigourney Weaver stars in this domestic-abuse drama. Amazon
“Minx” The comedy returns in good form for season two. Starz
“Justified: City Primeval” Timothy Olyphant returns as Raylan Givens in this miniseries. FX, Hulu
“The Afterparty” Season two of the murder-mystery comedy is set at a wedding. Apple TV+