scorecardresearch

"Crisis in Six Scenes" (Amazon, Sept. 30)

Amazon is going for the attention with this 1960s-set comedy series from Woody Allen, starring Allen, Miley Cyrus, and Elaine May. A neurotic Allen will grumble and mumble hit-or-miss jokes, such as the haircut bit in the unappealing trailer, and Cyrus — who is as contemporary as they come — will try to pass for a flower child. "I don't know what I'm doing," Allen told the Los Angeles Times about signing on for a TV show. "I expect this to be a cosmic embarrassment." We'll be the judges of that.

Advertisement



Anticipation level: 3

Anthony Hopkins in “Westworld.”
Anthony Hopkins in “Westworld.”(John P. Johnson)

"Westworld" (HBO, Oct. 2)

One word: Finally. The adaptation of the 1973 movie has had production bumps and delays since HBO ordered it in 2013. But the sci-fi western story of a theme park of robots gone crazy has a flashy cast, including Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, and Evan Rachel Wood, and a sophisticated, lavish look. Will this series connect, and give HBO a brighter future beyond "Game of Thrones"? Will we have a new obsession, or a new "John From Cincinnati"?

Anticipation level: 10

"Divorce" (HBO, Oct. 9)

HBO is hoping to rekindle affection for Sarah Jessica Parker with this comedy-drama about the breakup of a New York couple. Are we ready to watch Carrie Bradshaw suffer some more — all while looking impossibly stylish, of course? The show was created by Sharon Horgan of the humorously caustic "Catastrophe," which bodes well, and Thomas Haden Church gets plenty of screen time as Parker's somewhat goofy soon-to-be ex.

Anticipation level: 6

"Insecure" (HBO, Oct. 9)

Comedian Issa Rae adapts her Web series, "Awkward Black Girl," with co-creator Larry Wilmore. Her character works at a nonprofit organization in south Los Angeles and tries to stay true to her own sense of racial identity despite the cacophony of other people's opinions about how she should be black. Rae is thoroughly charming.

Advertisement



Anticipation level: 8

"Falling Water" (USA, Oct. 13)

The concept is fascinating, and not too far from that of the Wachowskis' "Sense8." Three unrelated people begin to realize that they're each dreaming separate parts of a common dream. And that dream? It might hold the key to the fate of the world. If the idea is backed up with rich characters, this one could be a sci-fi winner. Not hurting matters: The pilot was co-created and written by Blake Masters ("Brotherhood") and the late Henry Bromell ("Homeland," "Homicide").

Anticipation level: 7

"Goliath" (Amazon, Oct. 14)

David E. Kelley, the guy behind "Picket Fences," "Ally McBeal," "The Practice," and many other shows, jumps to streaming for this legal drama. Billy Bob Thornton stars as a down-and-out, alcoholic trial lawyer looking for redemption by waging a wrongful death suit against a giant corporation. The opposing lawyers? The firm he helped start. The strong cast includes William Hurt, Jason Ritter, Molly Parker, and Maria Bello, and the tone, based on a trailer, is darker than we usually expect from the too-often flippant Kelley.

Anticipation level: 8

"Berlin Station" (Epix, Oct. 16)

This is a spy drama starring Richard Armitage as an undercover agent sent to Berlin to find a Julian Assange-like leaker. Will the conspiracy lead back to Washington? I'm hoping the network's plot description understates the complexity of the material. The supporting cast is promising, with Richard Jenkins, Michelle Forbes, Leland Orser, and Rhys Ifans.

Advertisement



Anticipation level: 6

"Graves" (Epix, Oct. 16)

Shades of the Clintons? Nick Nolte stars as former two-term president Richard Graves in what Epix is calling a dramedy. Twenty-five years after his administration, he embarks on a quest to right his legacy. Meanwhile, his wife, played by Sela Ward, pursues her own political ambitions with a Senate run.

Anticipation level: 6

"Eyewitness" (USA, Oct. 16)

Based on a Norwegian series, this is a crime thriller about two teen boys who witness a shooting in a secluded cabin. Desperate to keep their romantic relationship a secret, and terrified of being found by the perpetrator, they stay silent. But the weight of their secrets takes a toll on them. Julianne Nicholson, Gil Bellows, Tyler Young, and James Paxton star.

Anticipation level: 7

"Chance" (Hulu, Oct. 19)

Hugh Laurie, whose "House" left the air in 2012, returns to a leading role on series TV as another doctor whose one-syllable last name is the title. But in this noir thriller, based on Kem Nunn's novel, Laurie's Dr. Chance is a neuropsychiatrist based in San Francisco who is going through a messy divorce. As he deals with difficult patients, including a woman with multiple personality disorder played by Gretchen Mol, he gets drawn into a mess of mistaken identity and police corruption. Hulu has already ordered two seasons.

Advertisement



Anticipation level: 9

"Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency"

(BBC America, Oct. 22)

This culty, comic sci-fi series, adapted from the Douglas Adams novels, stars Samuel Barnett as the eccentric time-traveling detective Dirk Gently and Elijah Wood as his reluctant sidekick Todd. Dirk believes he and Todd are fated to solve the mystery of the murder of a millionaire. Let's hope it's not overwhelmed by whimsy.

Anticipation level: 7

From left: Genevieve Angelson, Erin Darke, and Grace Gummer in “Good Girls Revolt.”
From left: Genevieve Angelson, Erin Darke, and Grace Gummer in “Good Girls Revolt.”(Jessica Miglio)

"Good Girls Revolt" (Amazon, Oct. 28)

This period piece adapts Lynn Povich's book about Newsweek employees who brought a discrimination lawsuit in 1970. The members of the magazine's female labor force, including Grace Gummer's Nora Ephron, are tired of doing all the work but getting none of the glory. Can they find justice as the "Mad Men" era draws to a close?

Anticipation level: 6

"Stan Against Evil"

(IFC, Nov. 2, preview Oct. 31)

In this comedy-horror series, John C. McGinley from "Scrubs" stars as Stan, a disgruntled New England sheriff forced into retirement. He and the new sheriff, played by Janet Varney, team up to fight a few demons haunting the town, which — oops — happens to be built on the site of a 17th-century witch burning.

Anticipation level: 5

Advertisement



Claire Foy in “The Crown.”
Claire Foy in “The Crown.”(Netflix)

"The Crown" (Netflix, Nov. 4)

This promises to be a sumptuous, smart royal drama. Screenwriter Peter Morgan, who wrote Helen Mirren's "The Queen," created the series, which plans to cover 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II's rule over six seasons, beginning with the illness and death of Elizabeth's father, George VI. Claire Foy, mesmerizing as Anne Boleyn in "Wolf Hall," plays the queen, Matt Smith is Prince Philip, Jared Harris is George VI, and John Lithgow shows up as Winston Churchill. Reportedly, this season cost Netflix a massive $156 million.

Anticipation level: 10

Matthew Gilbert

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.