Fall TV Preview: What to Watch This Season

News seasons and new shows hit the small screen

Seth MacFarlane will star in the new sci-fi series "The Orville"

BoJack Horseman Netflix; season four, Sept. 8 premiere

Everyone’s favorite talking horse returns for another season of poor coping mechanisms and animal puns — and while “BoJack Horseman” is always a treat, this year finds a way to dig into the characters’ issues with a humanity that’s at odds with all the animalia on display. BoJack (Will Arnett) heads up to Michigan for a retreat, Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) tries to make her functional adult relationship work, and Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) runs for governor. — Sonia Saraiya

The Orville Fox; Sept. 10 premiere

“The Orville,” created by and starring “Family Guy’s” Seth MacFarlane, taps into his love of comedy and the “Star Trek” universe. The new sci-fi series offers a mix of both, tackling serious issues with aplomb and a healthy amount of humor. The show also has “Trek” alums Brannon Braga and David A. Goodman as executive producers and “Deep Space Nine” actress Penny Johnson Jerald among the cast. “The Orville” boasts top-notch production design and makeup effects on par with any “Trek” series to date. — Joe Otterson

The Deuce HBO; Sept. 10 premiere

David Simon teams up with HBO again for this period drama about the burgeoning pornography industry, starting with the lives of the sex workers in Times Square in the ’70s. Like so many of Simon’s shows, “The Deuce” has such captivating characters — including fantastic turns by Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco — that you’re sucked into the story without really understanding what’s happening. With an atmosphere like this, who cares? — Sonia Saraiya

Better Things FX; season two, Sept. 14 premiere

The first season of this series was excellent, but this year, “Better Things” ascends to another level. The second episode alone is a tour de force, full of quotable lines, unexpected but fascinating turns and poignant moments that hit like a ton of bricks. With the second season of this unmissable, funny, insightful and deeply humane show, Pamela Adlon takes her place as one of the most important storytellers on the TV scene. — Maureen Ryan

The Good Place NBC; season two, Sept. 20 premiere

After a first season that went in totally unexpected directions, “The Good Place” ended with a cliffhanger that opened the door for season two to be funny and quite possibly terrifying. It’s going to be exciting to watch the show continue its metaphysical games — and to watch Eleanor (Kristen Bell), now with wiped memory, try to figure out once more what Michael (Ted Danson) is scheming, with just one scrawled clue hidden in her house: “FIND CHIDI,” referring to the character played by William Jackson Harper. — Sonia Saraiya

The Mick Fox; season two, Sept. 26 premiere

“The Mick” started as a fish-out-of-water story for the titular Mickey (Kaitlin Olson), who became a guardian to her spoiled niece and nephews after their parents fled the country to avoid being charged with tax fraud. The show didn’t shy away from giving the kids heavy lifting, and it proved to be one of the strongest ensemble families on broadcast TV. Watching them maneuver around their new station in life was funny in the first season, but it was just the tip of the iceberg. Now that cherubic Ben (Jack Stanton) has burned down the mansion and they truly have to start over, the laughs are guaranteed to be magnified. — Danielle Turchiano

Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO; season nine, Oct. 1 premiere

The return of Larry David is enough to stop the (digital) presses, but following a year in which he played Bernie Sanders, pitch-perfectly, on “Saturday Night LIve,” the ninth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” feels like a gift from above to carry us all through these trying political times. Six years after its eighth-season finale, “Curb” returns for more awkwardness than ever — thank merciful heaven. — Sonia Saraiya

The Mayor ABC; Oct. 3 premiere

“Hamilton” breakout Daveed Diggs brings his humor and musical talent to new comedy “The Mayor,” on which he is executive producer in addition to writing original music. Brandon Micheal Hall, who stood out among the talented cast of TBS’ dark comedy “Search Party,” will lend his charisma — and apparent rap skills — as the series lead, while Yvette Nicole Brown shines as Hall’s mother. — Joe Otterson

The Last O.G. TBS; Oct. 24 premiere

This TBS sitcom takes a look at gentrifying Brooklyn as it follows ex-con Tray (Tracy Morgan), who is trying to reintegrate into his old neighborhood 20 years after he left for prison. Everything has changed — the buildings have turned into glass condos, the neighbors have turned into hipsters and his ex-wife (Tiffany Haddish) has married someone else. Morgan’s return to a scripted series is already exciting; as it looks at shifting demographics in Brooklyn, “The Last O.G.” promises a fascinating new angle on the otherwise overexposed city. — Sonia Saraiya

Alias Grace Netflix; Nov. 3 premiere

It’s a golden era for Margaret Atwood adaptations. “Alias Grace,” written and produced by Sarah Polley, is Netflix’s answer to Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” — though not so dystopic. Atwood’s style is distinctive, but this is quite a different story from “Handmaid’s”: For one, it’s a period piece; for another, it’s a closed-ended miniseries. “Alias Grace” is set in 1943 in Canada and based on the real-life story of an Irish housemaid who kills the man she serves. — Sonia Saraiya

The Crown Netflix; season two, Dec. 8 premiere

There’s no more engrossing period drama on TV than “The Crown.” Sure, the history of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is well-documented, but the Netflix series shows us what was going on behind the castle walls with the young monarch as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and sovereign strategist. We know world events will test the Commonwealth’s mettle when the saga resumes. What we really want from season two is to see how Elizabeth (Claire Foy) handles it all on the inside. — Cynthia Littleton

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Amazon; premiere date TBD

One crucial element in the magic that was “Gilmore Girls” was creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s trademark so-fast-and-so-witty dialog, which challenged viewers to keep up with her. She’s bringing those enviable skills to her latest effort, about a ’50s housewife (Rachel Brosnahan) who discovers a talent for stand-up comedy. Amazon is so confident about this project, it’s ordered two seasons. And that’s no laughing matter. — Debra Birnbaum