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2015 Fall Television Preview

Familiar faces return in comedy, drama and (yes!) a variety show

  • Hand of God
    Karen Ballard/Amazon

    ‘Hand of God’

    This new original programming from Amazon could be the next House of Cards. Ron Perlman plays a judge who has a breakdown following a devastating attack on a family member and becomes hell-bent for revenge, believing he is getting instructions from God. Dana Delany plays Perlman's wife. Episodes become available Sept. 4.  

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  • Walt Disney
    Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

    ‘Walt Disney’

    A two-night, four-hour American Experience documentary about the great moviemaker and theme park innovator will have you asking: Was he a kindly father figure like the Uncle Walt we saw on TV or a mind game-playing taskmaster? Depends upon whom you believe in this fascinating film that delves into Disney’s complexities. Premieres Sept.14-15 on PBS.

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  • Best Time Ever
    Christopher Polk/NBC/Getty Images

    ‘Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris’

    Dancers, stunts, trivia questions, marriage proposals, magic, jugglers, pranks, music. Neil Patrick Harris' variety show will throw it all at viewers in a live one-hour format. If anyone can pull it off, it’s host extraordinaire NPH. Sept. 15 on NBC.

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  • Life in Pieces
    Darren Michaels/CBS Broadcasting

    ‘Life in Pieces’

    James Brolin and Dianne Wiest are the zany patriarch and matriarch in this comedy wrought from way too much family togetherness. The story is told from various points of view: adult children living with parents, exes unable to afford to move apart, etc. The Big Bang Theory is its lead-in. Sept. 21 on CBS.

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  • The Muppets
    Bob D'Amico/ABC

    ‘The Muppets’

    They’re ready for prime time, and yes, grownups will want to watch this fun update with the beloved cast of zany characters. For one thing, Miss Piggy and Kermit have broken up, and both are back in the dating world. And did we mention this is a behind-the-scenes “reality” show? Can’t wait. Sept. 22 on ABC.

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  • Blood & Oil
    Fred Hayes/ABC

    ‘Blood and Oil’

    Don Johnson, 65, is commanding, scary and sexy as a ruthless and gritty North Dakota oil baron. You’ll catch a whiff of Dallas in this one-hour drama — also starring Chace Crawford as a struggling wildcatter and Rebecca Rittenhouse as his wife — that’s gushing with money, power and lust. Sept. 27 on ABC.

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  • Indian Summers
    Courtesy of New Pictures/Channel 4 for MASTERPIECE in association with All3Media International

    ‘Indian Summers’

    This nine-part Masterpiece series transports us to a place far away: the summer resort town of Simla in British-ruled India during the early 1930s. It may take awhile to work its magic spell — but it's worth sitting through the scenic, colorful early scenes to get there. Julie Walters plays a widow who puts on a feisty front while running the local British social club. Sept. 27 on PBS.  

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  • Quantico
    Guy D'Alema/ABC


    Following new recruits into the crushingly difficult FBI academy in Virginia, this slick, high-tech drama is also a massive mystery, as it flashes forward to a terror attack in New York — which was perpetrated by one of the recruits. Priyanka Chopra is the wannabe agent who has an anonymous fling en route to the academy, only to find her paramour is a fellow recruit. Sept. 27 on ABC.

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  • I'll Have What Phil's Having
    Courtesy of WGBH

    ‘I’ll Have What Phil’s Having’

    Philip Rosenthal, creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, brings his droll humor to globe-trotting gastronomy. This foodie doesn’t mind being compared to Anthony Bourdain. In fact, he says, “I love his show, but I’m not going to Beirut and getting shot at. I tell people I’m exactly like Anthony Bourdain if he was afraid of everything.Sept. 28 on PBS.  

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  • Grandfathered


    John Stamos plays a playboy restaurateur who learns not only that he has a son, but that his son has a baby daughter. Seeing the 52-year-old Stamos charmed by a ponytailed cherub in a onesie brings back memories of Full House’s Uncle Jesse and baby Michelle. Adorbs, no? Sept. 29 on Fox.  

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  • The Grinder

    ‘The Grinder’

    Paired with Stamos on Tuesdays is another quinquagenarian heartthrob, Rob Lowe, who portrays an actor who played a hotshot lawyer on a recently cancelled fictional TV drama. He returns to his hometown and tries to upstage his real-life lawyer brother (played by Fred Savage) in the family law practice. William Devane is their old-school attorney dad. Sept. 29 on Fox.

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  • Code Black
    Neil Jacobs/ABC

    ‘Code Black’

    Based on Ryan McGarry's 2013 feature documentary about an understaffed emergency room team at Los Angeles County General Hospital, this solid medical drama is led by Marcia Gay Harden as the hospital's residency director. A “code black” occurs when there are more patients than resources, which translates dramatically to intensity, trauma and a fast pace. Sept. 30 on CBS.

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  • Angel from Hell
    Darren Michaels/CBS

    ‘Angel From Hell’

    It's a quirky premise, to be sure: A kooky, crème de menthe-swilling guardian angel invades the life of a straitlaced dermatologist. But it works, thanks to the talent — everyone's favorite 6-foot-tall comedic actress Jane Lynch (Glee) and Maggie Lawson (Two and a Half Men and Psych). Nov. 5 on CBS.  

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  • Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do
    Joseph Sinnott/WNET

    ‘Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do’

    This special about the stage legend includes interviews with the likes of Dick Van Dyke and Ben Vereen, who share memories of Rivera, a Tony nominee earlier this year for her Broadway comeback in The Visit. It also takes us through a retrospective of her theatrical performances and TV appearances. Nov. 6 on PBS.

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  • Chicago Med

    ‘Chicago Med’

    Creator Dick Wolf extends his Windy City franchise (Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D.) with this hospital show — and the magnet for us is the always terrific Oliver Platt as the brilliant but idiosyncratic head of the psychiatry department. The rest of the cast is solid as well, with S. Epatha Merkerson as the hospital chief. Nov. 17 on NBC.

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  • Saints and Strangers
    National Geographic Channels

    ‘Saints & Strangers’

    National Geographic Channel’s first scripted miniseries depicts the tough adventure and exploration saga of the Pilgrims. Vincent Kartheiser, aka Mad Men’s Pete Campbell, is the English separatist William Bradford, who served as Plymouth Colony’s governor for about 30 years, and The Help’s Anna Camp is his wife, Dorothy. Nov. 26 on NatGeo.

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  • Entertainment End-Slide
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