Fall 2015 television schedule: TV for lovers of horror, suspense, mystery, paranormal, super-normal, and the like

2015 Fall TV Guide Image

 I have to admit that I find this coming television season to be a bit of let down. I’m not seeing many new shows in the macabre, mysterious, or paranormal vein. Still, there are some intriguing newcomers, and some of my favorite shows are chugging along nicely.

As I assembled this list, I noticed there are a number of series out there that I gave up on in their early days … in past seasons, when there were just so many options to choose from. Considering the fact that these shows are still getting renewed, I may have been wrong to jump ship so quickly. Please let me know which, if any, of the shows I’ve marked as blue deserve a second look.

THE KEY TO THE WHOLE THING:

The color of the show title indicates how I feel about the show, based on my viewing experience, including past seasons:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have watched. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated. (Not using here.)
Orange = Have watched. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have watched. Recommended. A good show that lives up to its reputation.
Blue = Used only on special edition lists, like this one. It means I do not watch the show, and feel neutral about it. I probably sampled it but didn’t stick with it … which in itself says something, I suppose.

Disclaimers about my selections: I highlight shows that appeal to me, and shows that I think will possibly appeal to the readers of this blog, as I understand them. Providing a guide to ALL the new shows is beyond me. Here you’ll find television that has a paranormal, gothic, fantastic, and/or mysterious flavor. (I don’t watch much in the way of personality-based reality and/or investigative shows like Ghost Hunters or Paranormal State. Documentaries are another story entirely, but I’ll save those for another post.)  Warning: I also have a taste for certain shows with a historical or retro flare.

Information about how the list works: I’ve included the premiere dates for new AND returning shows that are likely to appeal to my readers. (But I don’t watch them all.) For returning shows, I’ve researched the availability of past seasons, just in case you think you maybe made a mistake in the past by not making room for a particular show. (I know I regret not watching Grimm from the beginning.) I provide video trailers ONLY for new shows. The premieres are listed in the order in which they will arrive. I may add a few that will be coming after Halloween, but right now I just want to get this monster up and off my plate for a while.

Tips: If the series has specific page provided by the network, I’ve linked to it with the word ‘homepage’. If a series has past seasons available via Netflix, I’ve linked to the appropriate listing, to simplify your queue management.

PS: There is A LOT of information, including links and other moving parts, in this post. If you notice an error, or click something that doesn’t work, PLEASE let me know so I can fix it. I just couldn’t get through a 10th quality check.

 THE 2015 FALL TV LINE-UP

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Z_Nation__01_

Z Nation | SYFY | Fridays | 10/9c | Started Sep 11 (2nd season)
From the homepage:
Season 1 available on Netflix streaming. Episodes 1 & 2 are available on SyFyNOW.
Z Nation starts three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country, a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America. Z Nation comes from The Asylum, the production house behind Sharknado and Sharknado 2.

Who out there has been watching? Did I miss out on a good series here? It looks like I could catch up pretty easily.

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bastard

NEW | The Bastard Executioner | FX | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Started Sep 15
From the homepage:
The Bastard Executioner is a blood-soaked, medieval epic that tells the story of Wilkin Brattle, a 14th century warrior, whose life is forever changed when a divine messenger beseeches him to lay down his sword and lead the life of another man: a journeyman executioner.

The pilot episode is available here … if you can “sign in to a participating TV provider.”  This new series is by the folks who are responsible for Sons of Anarchy — which I haven’t watched, but hear good things about. 

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2015-0817-Blindspot-AboutImage-1920x1080-KO

NEW | Blindspot | NBC | Wednesdays | 10/9c | Started Sep 16
From the homepage:
A beautiful woman, with no memories of her past, is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI, which begins to follow the road map on her body into a larger conspiracy of crime, while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

I’m sorry I missed giving you a heads-up on this one. NBC doesn’t appear to be providing a way to watch the pilot, if you missed it. It is available On Demand on my TV provider’s system, so check yours.

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Gotham2

Gotham | FOX | Mondays | 8/7c | Sep 21 (2nd season)

Season 1 is available as of Sep 21 on Netflix streaming
From the homepage:
GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics Super-Villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering between good and evil, and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.

Apparently, this isn’t faring well with reviewers, but I have to tell you I LOVE it. I had to get through the first 2-3 episodes before the bug really bit me though. This is one returning show I’m genuinely excited about. 

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ID

NEW | Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors | ID | Wednesdays | 9/8C | Sep 21
From the press release:
Even five-star hotels have dirty little secrets. Full of salacious acts, secret trysts and cold-blooded murder, DO NOT DISTURB: HOTEL HORRORS gives viewers a peek behind closed doors to shocking crimes that happened inside hotels.

This isn’t the sort of thing I’d normally share, but I’ll be watching it, of course. It might put my experiences at the Paranormal Hotel into perspective.

no video available at time of posting

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limitless

NEW | Limitless | CBS | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Sep 22 
From the homepage:
Limitless follows the story of Brian Finch – an ordinary guy who gets his hands on an extraordinary drug called NZT that allows his brain to work more efficiently than he ever imagined.

I can’t say I’m super-excited about this one, but I’ll give it a shot.

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scream queens

NEW | Scream Queens | FOX | Tuesdays | 8/7c | Sep 22 
From the homepage:
An over-the-top, biting satire, SCREAM QUEENS is part black comedy, part slasher flick and a modern take on the classic whodunit, in which every character has a motive for murder…or could easily be the next victim.

I don’t generally like horror comedies, but this a SLASHER parody, and I might be able to get into that. I do like Jamie Lee Curtis and Emma Roberts. 

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NCIS new orleans

NCIS: New Orleans | CBS | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Sep 22 (2nd season)
Season 1 is available on Netflix DISCS
From the homepage:
NCIS: NEW ORLEANS is a drama about the local field office that investigates criminal cases affecting military personnel in The Big Easy, a city known for its music, entertainment and decadence. Leading the team is Special Agent Dwayne Pride, aka “King,” a native of New Orleans who is driven by his need to do what is right. … This colorful city that harbors a dark side is a magnet for service personnel on leave, and when overindulgence is followed by trouble, Pride’s team is at its best.
 This is clearly more crime drama than paranormal, but: New Orleans (!) Scott Bakula (!) & Lucas Black(!) <- that was last year’s note.

I watched the first several episodes of season one, but it didn’t capture me the way I expected it to. NCIS is no CSI.

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2901526-7192509848-Heroes

NEW | Heroes Reborn | NBC | Thursdays | 8/7c | Sep 24
All 4 seasons of the original series are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
…an epic 13-episode event series that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities.

I was enthralled back in 2006, when season 1 aired. (Save the cheerleader!) After that? Not so much. I drifted away. It would be hard for me to pick this up, I think, without watching the whole first series through. (But that’s just me. I’m sure they are starting it so that an all-new audience will get the big picture.) Aw, who am I kidding? I’ll probably give it a try.

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how-to-get-away-with-murder-poster

How to Get Away With Murder | ABC | Thursdays |10/9c | Sep 24 (2nd season)
Season 1 is available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
The brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating gets entangled with four law students from her class “How to Get Away with Murder.” Little do they know that they will have to apply what they learned to real life, in this masterful, sexy, suspense-driven legal thriller.

Tried it last year, but found it annoying and hard to follow. I thought it would be cancelled mid-season, but here it is, renewed for another year. I wonder if I gave up too soon. Did it even out eventually?

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once-upon-a-time

Once Upon A Time | ABC | Sundays | 8/7c | Sep 27  (5th season)
Seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
This is Fairy Tale Land. It’s filled with magic, monsters and all of the characters we all know from stories growing up. It’s real, and so are the people in it. But unlike the “happily ever after” you may have heard about, their stories continued, and The Evil Queen cast a Dark Curse over the land….This is Storybrooke. It’s a quiet, little, New England town filled with people who go about their everyday lives with no idea who they really are. The Queen’s Curse has trapped them here and placed her in near-complete control. They have no real memories and no real hope.

This is one I intend to marathon one of these winters. I wasn’t paying attention back when it was getting started. Since then, I’ve just always felt too far behind to catch up.

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sheild

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D | ABC | Tuesdays | 9/8c | Sep 29 (3rd season)
Season 1 & 2 are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary.” Executive producer: Joss Whedon

I wanted to love this, because Joss, but I found the characters to be totally lacking in appeal. I couldn’t connect with any of them. After 5-6 episodes I gave up. It seems to have some staying power, so maybe I (once again) gave up too soon. Perhaps this one will be marathoned in the future too.

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blacklist

The Blacklist | NBC | Thursdays | 9/8 c | Oct 1 (3rd season)
Season 1 & 2 are available on Netflix streaming.
From the homepage:
For decades, ex-government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) has been one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as “The Concierge of Crime.” Now, he’s mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: He will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen, an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico. For Liz, it’s going to be one hell of a first day on the job.

Adored Red, didn’t mind Liz, and enjoyed the episodes where the focus was on catching a bad guy … but the through-plot bored me. I haven’t abandoned this show yet, but I’m not eager to go back for it either.

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tv show sleepy hollow

Sleepy Hollow | FOX | Thursdays | 9/8c | Oct 1 (3rd season)
Seasons 1 is available on Netflix discs.
from the homepage:
In this modern day twist of Washington Irving’s classic, Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Bound to the Headless Horseman by a blood spell cast on the battlefield of the American Revolution, Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Tried it. Found it to be so firmly directed at a younger demographic that I slunk away, feeling like Rip Van Winkle. In order to be lured back, I’d have to hear (from someone older than 30) that the show became AMAZING after the first 3-4 episodes.

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american-horror-story-hotel

American Horror Story – Hotel |  FX   |  Wednesdays | 9/8c | Oct 7
(RETURNING – BUT ALSO ENTIRELY NEW, IN THE WAY OF AHS)
First 3 seasons available on Netflix streaming.
Season 1: Murder House
Season 2: Asylum
Season 3: Coven
Season 4: Freakshow – update: Arrives Oct 6
The homepage is here.
From Wikipedia:
According to creators Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy, the season would be much darker thematically from previous ones, and would see the reprisal of other characters. The season will be interconnected to the first season, and will feature an appearance by the Murder House and its realtor Marcy.

THIS I care about. Deeply. Not only am I huge fan of the show in general, I am also currently embroiled in writing a novel that is set in a hotel. (And I have been for some time. I started the project long before AHS announced this season’s theme.) I’m both looking forward to the show, and scared witless that it will somehow affect my book negatively. From what I’ve seen so far, the two hotels are quite different, but those teaser trailers don’t necessarily show us what the show will actually look and feel like. Here’s an example:

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tv show haven

Haven | Syfy | Thursdays | 10/9c | Oct 8  (resuming 6th season, I guess.)
Seasons 1-5 are available on Netflix streaming.
from the homepage:
Syfy’s one-hour drama series Haven, starring Emily Rose, is based on the novella The Colorado Kid from renowned author Stephen King. The series follows the shrewd and confident FBI agent Audrey Parker (Rose) as she arrives in the small town of Haven, Maine on a routine case. Before long, her natural curiosity lands her in the epicenter of activity in this curious enclave, which turns out to be a longtime refuge for people that are affected by a range of supernatural afflictions. The truth about Audrey’s mysterious past (which she can’t fully remember) starts to come out as well.

Yet ANOTHER show I think I missed out on. Likely to be a future marathon. The only question is when do I pull the trigger on the start pistol?

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walking dead season 5

The Walking Dead | AMC  | Sundays |Oct 11 (6th season)
Seasons 1 – 4 are available via Netflix streaming. Season 5 will be added Sep 27
AMC is pretty great about doing marathons before a new season begins … keep an eye out for season 5.
Homepage here. I trust no story description is necessary?
I’ll make an exception to the trailers-for-new-shows-only rule in this case:

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fargo

Fargo | FX | Mondays | 10/9c |Oct 12  (2nd season-kinda)

Season 1 is available on Netflix DISCS (And if it comes to streaming, I’ll be trumpeting the news via my regularly scheduled Macabre & Mysterious Media posts.)

From the homepage:
The all new “true crime” case in Fargo’s latest chapter takes you back to 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Luverne, Minnesota. “Lou Solverson,”a young State Police Officer recently back from Vietnam, investigates a case involving a local crime gang, a major mob syndicate and a small town beautician “Peggy Blumquist” (Kirsten Dunst) along with her husband “Ed,” the local butcher’s assistant…

I know this is an outlier, but the first season of Fargo, which is only tangentially connected to this season’s, was perhaps my favorite show of last year. Now, maybe, that’s because I’m a Minnesotan myself, but I think it was more than that. It was just chock full of stellar performances and subtle, brilliant writing. (Despite the funny accent … which I DO NOT HAVE.)  This year, we get Patrick Wilson,  Kirsten Dunst, Jean Smart, and Ted Danson in lead roles. That’ll be  real good, ya know.

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hemlock

NEW | Hemlock Grove| NETFLIX ORIGINAL | SEASON 3 AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY OCT 23
Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix streaming right now.
From Wikipedia:
The show examines the strange happenings in Hemlock Grove, a fictional town in Pennsylvania. Roman Godfrey, heir to the town’s wealthy Godfrey family, befriends the town’s newcomer, Peter Rumancek. Recent brutal murders in the town have stirred up rumors, and the two work together to shed light on the case while also hiding their own dark secrets.

I haven’t gotten around to this yet. I fear it may be too obviously skewed to a younger demographic than mine. (Sleepy Hallow really bit me good, didn’t it?) This will be its last season, though, so I’ll probably watch the whole thing eventually. (Three seasons can be done on a long cold weekend.)

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super

NEW | Supergirl | CBS | Mondays | 7:30/8:30 c | Oct 26
From the homepage:
“Supergirl is an action-adventure drama based on the DC Comics character Kara Zor-El, Superman’s (Kal-El) cousin who, after 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be.

I haven’t been impressed with the superhero shows the broadcast networks have put in front of me. (Netflix, on the other hand is doing some interesting things with Daredevil. And they are planning to come out with Marvel’s Jessica Jones in late November. But I digress. I’m only going through Halloween here.) Supergirl is unlikely to be the hero I want anyway. When do we get Wonder Woman? 

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wicked

NEW | Wicked City | ABC | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Oct 27
From the homepage:
“Wicked City” follows a unique case set in a noteworthy era of L.A. history, starting with a murder case from 1982 centered on the rock ’n’ roll, cocaine-infused revelry of the Sunset Strip. Alliances are formed to solve a serial murder case.

Another outlier, but intriguing. The idea for this is to have each SEASON set in a different era, in crime-ridden Los Angeles. Apparently this is a thing now. (Thank you, American Horror Story and Fargo.) Watch the following “presentation video” to see why I’m actually pretty excited about this. (Shades of one of my favorite seasons of Dexter.)

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tv show grimm

Grimm | NBC | Fridays | 9/8c | Oct 30th  (5th season)
Seasons 1 – 4 are available on Netflix DISCS.
From the homepage:
Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales. After Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt discovers he’s descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” he increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a “Grimm.

This is the one that I missed that ticks me off the most. Why won’t Netflix bring it to streaming? I’d be all over that.

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ash-vs-evil-dead-starz

NEW | Ash vs Evil Dead | STARZ | Saturdays| 9/8c (?) | October 31
The homepage is at this link but it’s obnoxious and devoid of anything but pictures. Do they assume fans of The Evil Dead can’t read? Summary from IMDb:
Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

Ten half-hour episodes under executive producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the Evil Dead franchise. I don’t generally do STARZ listings, but this one caught my eye.


 

Stuff on The CW:

I don’t watch this network, but it appears to be overflowing (like a heaving bosom from a tight bodice) with paranormal / horror / superhero shows — all geared to a younger, hipper, audience than me. Here’s a few highlights, but if these kind of programs are your thing, it’d be best for you to explore the whole CW line-up.

The Vampire Diaries | Thursdays | 8/7c | Oct 8 (7th season) 
Seasons 1 – 5 available on Netflix streaming. Season 6 arrives Oct 2

The Originals | Thursdays | 10/9c | Oct 8 ( 3rd season) Vampires & New Orleans!! 
Season 1 is available on Netflix streaming. Season 2 arrives Oct 6

Supernatural | Wednesdays | 9/10c | Oct 7 (11th season)
Seasons 1 – 9 are available on Netflix streaming. Season 10 arrives Oct  7
From Wikipedia: “As of May 20, 2015, 218 episodes of Supernatural have aired, concluding the tenth season. The series has been renewed for an eleventh season, and will premiere on October 7, 2015.

Of all the CW shows, I’m most likely to go after Supernatural. 

Did I miss anything you love? What show are you most looking forward to?

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