A fresh TV season is fast approaching, and we know you want scoop on your favorite returning shows. Our 2019 Fall TV Preview includes spoilers on more than three dozen series, including This Is Us, A Million Little Things, The Blacklist, The Rookie and many more — including the final seasons of Arrow, Supernatural, Madam Secretary, The Good Place, HTGAWM and Empire. Scroll through the gallery below, then tell us which return you are most eagerly anticipating!
The Fox procedural always knows how to make a splash, and it’s got a biggie planned for Season 3. “The tsunami episodes are going to make [last season’s] earthquake look tame in comparison,” showrunner Tim Minear says. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” The natural disaster also introduces us to Ronda Rousey as Lena Bosco, a first responder with whom Eddie finds “different ways to express some of his pent-up frustration and rage. He’s such a Boy Scout and is wound up tighter than he realizes, so she introduces him to a world where he can let off some steam.” Meanwhile, Buck continues to work through his existential crisis, experiencing “several victories and defeats in the first couple of episodes,” while Bobby and Athena’s new marriage will face its own share of “interesting challenges.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Episode 7, appropriately titled “Athena Begins,” takes us back to the late 1980s when Angela Bassett’s character first joined the LAPD. “We find out how it all began for her,” Minear says, “while in the present day, she’s following up on a 30-year-old mystery.”
RETURN DATE: Monday, Sept. 23 at 8/7c (Fox)
ALLISON MILLER, JAMES RODAY, ROMANY MALCO
A MILLION LITTLE THINGS
Even before the ABC drama gets to the death that series creator D.J. Nash recently teased, there’ll be plenty of bittersweet fodder for Gary & Co. — starting with the birth of Eddie and Delilah’s baby in the premiere. On the plus side? The blessed event represents a chance for Eddie to get a daddy do-over. “He missed a lot of Theo’s early life because he was drunk, and he doesn’t want to miss any of this new life,” star David Giuntoli tells TVLine. But how wife Katherine will receive the news — if, indeed, that’s what Eddie was poised to tell her at the end of last season — is another issue entirely. Rome, meanwhile, still wants to start a family, and Regina, despite being Delilah’s birthing coach, isn’t about to change her mind on the matter. “It’s frightening to be with the love of your life and then to all of a sudden realize that you might truly be on different pages,” Christina Moses teases. On a happier front, now that Maggie is cancer-free, she and Gary enter “the real honeymoon phase and the pressure that comes with doing day-to-day normal couple things,” Allison Miller previews. “They’re going to have to get to know each other from the beginning all over again.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Look for PJ’s secrets to come to light this season. “He knows a lot more about the group than he’s letting on,” Chandler Riggs teases.
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c (ABC)
The CW’s football drama will pick up three weeks after last spring’s finale, and “Spencer’s extremely conflicted” over his dad’s offer to play football at Crenshaw, showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll tells us. “[Beverly Hills] is legitimately a second home for him. He feels like he’s being asked to choose between two families, and there’s no answer that doesn’t cause hurt,” she shares, adding that “a few secrets from Corey’s past are going to come to light that will complicate things.” But there will be plenty of drama off the field, too, including the mystery of who fathered Spencer’s younger brother. Per Carroll, Dillon’s paternity will “play out over quite a few of our first episodes,” but “we will resolve it with a definitive answer for our audience.” Meanwhile, Coach Baker’s “a mess” as he tries to reconcile with his family; Olivia and Asher will explore whether “there’s something more there between them” beyond friendship; and Coop will be “struggling to find what her place is” now that she’s distanced herself from Crenshaw’s gangs.
BONUS SPOILER!: “We will meet Asher’s infamous mom” at some point in Season 2, Carroll teases.
RETURN DATE: Monday, Oct. 7 at 8/7c (The CW)
Arrow Season 8 Preview
As suggested by the Season 7 finale, Oliver will be doing the Monitor’s bidding until the “Crisis” crossover kicks off in December. And though Oliver assumed he’d fly solo on this task-based mission, “a familiar encounter” will lead him to realize “he’s not going to be allowed to do it alone,” says series lead Stephen Amell. (As David Ramsey told TVLine, “Diggle has always been on Oliver’s side, and it will be no different in Season 8. We’ll see them get even tighter, in ways that they haven’t been before.”) Consulting producer Marc Guggenheim — acknowledging that Arrow is “fundamentally a different show without Emily [Bett Rickards],” who played Felicity — says that the first seven episodes of the 10-episode farewell run offer “an opportunity to really look back on the first seven seasons, which is very gratifying.” And as it does so, watch for a return to “stunts that we’ve never seen before,” says Guggenheim, while Amell adds, “We’re going to try to develop a sense of humor for Oliver — in the nick of time!”
BONUS SPOILER!: In the future storyline with Mia, Connor et al, “We get to do something with Team Arrow 2.0 that we didn’t get a chance to do with 1.0, which is tell the story of their growing pains,” says Guggenheim. “That’s a lot of fun.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9/8c (The CW)
Remember how Junior decided not to return to college at the end of the ABC comedy’s fifth season? “We’re playing that out to be not as easy a choice as he would have anticipated,” showrunner Courtney Lilly tells TVLine. Bow and Dre’s second-oldest child will dabble in the gig economy, the EP adds, balancing work with “hanging out with alternative black kids in the Los Angeles area and promoting a comedy show.” Elsewhere in the house, Pops’ fiancée (played by Grey’s Anatomy‘s Loretta Devine) will allow us to see a new side of Dre’s dad. (“For Pops, it’s like, ‘I want to be a better person because this person makes me feel a certain way,'” Lilly notes.) Finally, if you’ve got any lingering worries about Dre and Bow’s marital stability, allow Lilly to assuage them: “Everything’s good,” he says. “There’s a Valentine’s Day story we’re working on right now about gift-giving, and how that’s a love language for a lot of people.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Though it’s in the early stages right now, the writers’ room is in the process of building an episode that “focuses on the ritual of black women and their hair,” Lilly teases. “There’s a whole language and a culture and a ritual and an economy that’s often veiled to larger parts of the world.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9:30/8:30c (ABC)
Season 7 begins in the “fairly immediate” aftermath of Red’s ill-fated reunion with Katarina Rostova, per series creator Jon Bokenkamp, who describes Katarina as “the most formidable Big Bad that we’ve introduced.” And Red won’t be the only one caught in her crosshairs, he teases: “[Liz] thinks Katarina is dead and hasn’t seen her mother since she was 4 or 5. If she were to meet Katarina, she may not know that it’s her mother, and there may be an opportunity for Katarina to come into Liz’s life in a way that is anything but motherly.” Elsewhere in the season, viewers will “certainly get more clarity” on Red’s real identity, which remained a question mark in last spring’s finale. “More than any season before, we’re starting to fill in those blanks,” Bokenkamp hints. “Big pieces of the story snap into place in ways that we’ve really not been able to do until now.”
BONUS SPOILER!: That mysterious stranger on the bench, with whom Red spoke in the Season 6 finale, “will come back — and come back with some answers,” Bokenkamp says.
RETURN DATE: Friday, Oct. 4 at 8/7c (NBC)
“By minute seven of Episode 201, we’ll have set up a whole new world … with new allies and new enemies,” showrunners Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro reveal, describing Season 2 as “creepier, moodier, sexier … and more cinematic” than Season 1. Whereas most of the action has previously gone down in Hilltowne, future episodes will “expand on an understanding of the magical universe” and send the Charmed Ones on adventures “all across the globe.” We also learn that “someone or something has put a target on the Charmed Ones’ backs,” which is always fun. Meanwhile, Maggie and Parker’s relationship will take an “epically surprising” turn, Mel will find her confidence shaken by her new supernatural surroundings, and Harry will undergo an “interesting journey” related to his dark origin story. On a familial level, Season 2 will “challenge the sisters’ views of each other and of themselves.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Season 2 will “explore some repressed feelings [Harry] might have for a certain love interest on the show,” and “hat relationship “will be explored in a very meaningful way. But what that looks like is a surprise.” (Gee, who could it possibly be?)
RETURN DATE: Friday, Oct. 11 at 8/7c (The CW)
Coming off a potentially explosive cliffhanger finale, the Season 8 opener — titled “Sacred Ground” — is “going to be rough [and] devastating [and] as brutal as we’ve done in a premiere,” showrunner Derek Haas warns. “It’s going to have fallout that’s going to stretch beyond the premiere.” (The words “really deadly” were also used to describe the situation. Eep.) Given what happens, Casey has “more important matters” on his mind than Brett’s surprise engagement to Chaplain Kyle. Meanwhile, newly reunited lovebirds Stella and Severide will be “rocks for each other while they’re dealing with other feelings and emotions and new responsibilities.”
BONUS SPOILER!: After CFD expands the number of people that can be on an apparatus, Casey, Severide and Herrmann go looking for a new recruit in Blake Gallo (Shadowhunters‘ Alberto Rosende). “He’s a very energetic, high-risk firefighter they see from another company,” Haas previews, “and the three of them [have to] decide, ‘Would this guy be a good fit at 51?’ Especially in the face of what we [see] in the first episode, that’s going to be a question.”
RETURN DATE: Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9/8c (NBC)
The Season 5 premiere, titled “Never Going Back to Normal,” is “about big changes that are happening in all of our characters’ lives,” executive producer Diane Frolov describes. For starters, Connor (exiting series regular Colin Donnell) departs the hospital on a “very satisfying” and “very emotional” note. EP Andrew Schneider also promises “complete resolution” to the doc’s relationship with ex Ava (exiting series regular Norma Kuhling), as well as the mystery surrounding the death of Connor’s father. Elsewhere, last May’s finale car crash leaves Natalie with “a traumatic brain injury, and we will reveal how serious it is in the first episode,” Schneider previews. Plus, April and Ethan are “grappling” with the idea of possibly having a child together, and Maggie gets a diagnosis in the season opener.
BONUS SPOILER!: Nat and Will’s potential reconciliation is “very much on hold” following the accident, and her current beau Phillip (guest star Ian Harding) is “not giving up on Natalie at all,” Schneider reveals.
RETURN DATE: Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 8/7c (NBC)
When Season 7 opens, Antonio (exiting series regular Jon Seda) is missing, and the Intelligence unit “will ultimately figure out what’s going on with him,” showrunner Rick Eid previews. On top of that, the team must uncover who killed newly elected mayor Brian Kelton. Even though he’s part of said investigation, “the prime contender is Hank Voight,” which leaves Halstead “wondering, ‘Could the guy next to me have really done this?'” Eid says. Meanwhile, Ruzek is “trying to put on a brave face,” but his night in jail is “making him realize he’s not great in small, confined spaces.” Elsewhere, “some pretty major personal things” are in store for Burgess, and Upton bonds with undercover cop Vanessa Rojas (The Fosters‘ Lisseth Chavez).
BONUS SPOILER!: “There’s potentially another interesting intra-team romance” happening in Season 7, Eid reveals, before adding that he’s “not sure if it will be fully realized or not. But it’s something we’re talking about and writing toward.”
RETURN DATE: Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c (NBC)
Even though the Roseanne spinoff’s second season picks up two months after the events of the finale, Darlene will be no closer to resolving her little love triangle predicament. “Darlene still has not made a decision between David and Ben,” showrunner Bruce Helford reveals. “She is still seeing both guys and they don’t know it, so she’s caught in a tough situation.” Jackie, meanwhile, will continue on her “journey to find happiness” in the wake of Roseanne’s death, and that means finding new (and peculiar) ways to process her grief. For instance, in the premiere, she “decides to walk from Illinois all the way to Oklahoma,” Helford shares with a laugh. Elsewhere, widower Dan will continue to be pursued by his amorous former classmate Louise (the returning Katey Sagal), and there will be complications surrounding the birth of Becky’s baby — and we’re not referring just to the ongoing absence of baby daddy Emilio, who was deported in the finale. “Once you’re deported it’s very difficult to come back,” Helford notes, adding that the show will “play the reality of what happens in this situation.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Season 2 will be a “very troubled” one for Darlene and David’s eldest. “Harris is a senior in high school now,” Helford previews. “And she gets a new best friend that would not be Darlene’s first pick for her.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c (ABC)
First things first: Liam survives his brush with death, but showrunner Josh Reims says there are some “issues he has to deal with once he recovers from his injuries,” leading to “many romantic ups and downs with Fallon.” Speaking of Fallon, “we’re going to see her crack” as the mystery surrounding Trixie’s death “drives her a little crazy with guilt.” Elsewhere, Dominique replaces Alexis (who has not yet been recast) as Dynasty’s primary troublemaker, playing both sides in the Colby and Carringtons’ war. (And you can just bet her secret family “will show up at some point.”) As for the new Cristal, now played by Daniella Alonso, Reims promises a “seamless transition,” though he notes that Cristal is now being written as “a little more real, and a little less scary.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Ashanti will appear in Episode 5 as the guest of honor at the grand opening of Sam and Anders’ hotel.
RETURN DATE: Friday, Oct. 11 at 9/8c (The CW)
The sixth and final season will serve as a “satisfying” bookend to Season 1, showrunner Brett Mahoney promises. “One of the things we set up in the pilot was The Lyon Family vs. Lucious’ legacy,” the EP adds. “But what is Lucious’ true legacy? Is it about Empire, or is it about the family and his sons? And where does Cookie play into that? We’re going back to our roots completing that story.” Six months will have passed since the events of the Season 5 finale and “Lucious is still on the lam trying to find some way to prove his innocence,” Mahoney teases. Cookie, meanwhile, has left Lucious (and Empire) behind and is embarking on a new career as a TV personality. Among her gigs: appearing as a guest host on a View-like talk show. “She is living her best life,” Mahoney declares. “But she is finding it more difficult to move on from Lucious than she might have thought.” Who’s running the family biz with Mom and Dad (and, of course, Jamal) MIA? Reveals the EP: “Andre is sitting on the throne.”
BONUS SCOOP!: Empire co-creator Lee Daniels may step back behind the camera and direct one of the series’ 18 final episodes. “We have a spot [reserved] for him,” says Mahoney, “if his schedule permits.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c (Fox)
Into The Void
Picking up moments after Nora was erased from the timeline, Barry, Iris et al will come to realize the infamous Crisis is arriving five years sooner than expected, and “it’s like stepping on a landmine,” says showrunner Eric Wallace. “All of a sudden the future is today, and that turns everything upside-down. You’ll see each member of Team Flash react in their own unique, and sometimes tragic, way.” As if that were not enough, the pre-crossover run of episodes — dubbed “Graphic Novel No. 1” — will burn “fast and hot” with the introduction of Dr. Ramsey Rosso (Heroes‘ Sendhil Ramamurthy), a renowned hematologist who shares a “really great relationship” with Caitlin, but is fated to become the villain known as Bloodwork. Related to the new threats, Iris-the-journalist will get pulled into “a very deep mystery,” while also working to make the Citizen “grow up real fast” due to the accelerated “Flash Vanishes” dateline. Speaking of the Crisis (and we shall be), Tom Cavanagh’s newest Wells “is integral to not just the first half of the season, but his storyline leads directly into the crossover,” says Wallace.
BONUS SPOILER!: The first third of the season will make time for “one or two” additional nemeses, including “a guest cameo that will be fun for the fans.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 8/7c (The CW)
GOD FRIENDED ME
Hello, God, are you there? In the Season 2 premiere, Miles “has not heard from the God account” in months, co-showrunner Bryan Wynbrandt reveals. “And he also doesn’t know where Joy (Jessica Lu) is.” But Miles does know one thing: He misses helping people. “So he thinks, ‘If I can maybe help [Joy] help our first Friend suggestion of the season, maybe everything will return to normal,’ and the God account will come back to him,” says Wynbrandt. As for the mystery of who’s behind it all, “As the season unfolds and the God account starts making some moves that are unexpected and starts to involve some people close to Miles, that question will start to ramp up again,” co-showrunner Steven Lilien promises. Meanwhile, Cara’s still thousands of miles away in Paris, which is going to “test” her relationship with Miles.
BONUS SPOILER!: Miles’ sister Ali is getting a meatier storyline. “She has these career aspirations about being a psychologist,” Wynbrandt shares. “She starts to wonder if that is her true path.” Since her brother is a prophet of sorts and her father is a reverend, “we like the idea of hinting that maybe Ali has a call of her own.”
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8:30/7:30c (CBS)
THE GOOD DOCTOR
The Season 3 premiere picks up the day after Shaun and Carly’s first date, which is shown throughout the episode via a series of flashbacks. “Things don’t go perfectly,” showrunner David Shore tells TVLine. “How [Shaun] reacts to that, and how he reacts going forward, is going to be an ongoing [storyline].” Early episodes will in turn explore “the nuances of relationships, and the artificiality of relationships… that Shaun sees through.” On the administrative front, Lim takes on a more “political role” as chief of surgery, while a cancer-free Glassman will return to St. Bonaventure “in a slightly different capacity.” Meanwhile, Melendez’s protégés will face a series of new challenges as they enter their third year of residency. Among them is the opportunity to take the lead on routine surgical procedures, which creates a bit of competition between Drs. Morgan and Park. “As you get more senior, the stakes become higher,” Shore says. “It’s going to be a challenge for all of them, including Shaun.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Glassman and Debbi are poised to tie the knot in a “unique” wedding ceremony, Shore teases. But first, they’ll have to reckon with just how little they actually know about each other, despite being very much in love.
RETURN DATE: Monday, Sept. 23 at 10/9c (ABC)
THE GOOD PLACE
Eleanor and Chidi are our favorite couple in any timeline, but the fourth (and final!) season of NBC’s afterlife comedy finds their romance in serious jeopardy, with Chidi’s mind completely wiped of all memory of his soulmate. Despite Eleanor’s broken heart, she still has to throw on a Law & Order-esque business suit and pretend to be in charge of the new Good Place neighborhood. “You’re going to see her in a much different position than she’s been in in the past,” co-executive producer Megan Amram hints. “And in cooler clothes.” Plus, we can expect no fewer than “417” twists in the final episodes, Amram jokes. (At least we think she’s joking.) The writers went into Season 4 “with the same guns-blazing, ‘Let’s do as many crazy, weird twists and turns as we can'” attitude as before, supervising producer Jen Statsky adds, and fans “can expect the same pace” this time, too. So 417 is probably a good guess, actually.
BONUS SPOILER!: We’ve already seen Good Janet, Bad Janet and Neutral Janet, but co-star Jameela Jamil (Tahani) teases that “there’s a Janet that you’re going to meet in Season 4, and she is my favorite Janet by a mile.”
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 9/8c (NBC)
When last we saw Meredith and DeLuca, the former was out of a job and the latter was in the slammer. The fallout from both of those “stressors” will have major “ramifications” for the nascent couple as Season 16 gets underway, showrunner Krista Vernoff previews. Jo, meanwhile, will emerge from her in-patient psychiatric care better equipped to “process the multiple traumas she has survived in her life,” teases Vernoff. The mystery surrounding Jackson’s disappearance will be resolved “very early in the premiere,” the EP notes, but cautions that the major fight between the MIA doc and Maggie that preceded his vanishing act will take more time to iron out. “They are in a pretty difficult place when we pick up. It’s hard to take back the things that were said in those woods,” she teases. “They will have to continue to unpack their feelings about what happened on that trip for some time to come.”
BONUS SPOILER!: TVLine can confirm that the popular Grey’s alum being eyed to return is not Katherine Heigl.
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8/7c (ABC)
Hawaii Five-0 Season 10 Preview
“Someone definitely took a bullet” in that season-ending cliffhanger, showrunner Peter M. Lenkov avows. But does that have to do with the team “saying goodbye to one of their own,” as teased in the Season 10 logline? “Every year we have added to the cast, we’ve had cast leave, come back…,” Lenkov hedges, before assuring fans that the looming “goodbye” is “not as ominous as it sounds.” Speaking of adding to the cast, Katrina Law (Arrow) has come on board as Quinn Liu, a former Staff Sergeant within the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, and her arrival will bring on a bit of deja vu to “the first meeting between McGarrett and Danny,” says Lenkov. Elsewhere, Adam’s “connection” with Yakuza daughter Tamiko will continue, as he steers into a “morally challenging, impactful story”; Eddie the dog will make like Lassie and “help rescue Tani and Junior” in an early episode; and a bit deeper into the season, a villain “connected to one of our bigger storylines from the last 10 years will sort of come out of the shadows.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Episode 7 was written/directed by Alex O’Loughlin, filmed in L.A. and brings back Christine Lahti as Doris, while a later episode is “a very powerful and emotional” one for Danny.
RETURN DATE: Friday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c (CBS)
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Though Laurel and Christopher’s whereabouts are still unknown, an entirely different (and much bigger) mystery will present itself by the end of the final season premiere. “There will still be a flash forward in the first episode,” showrunner Pete Nowalk shares. “It’s a mystery that’s really big, the biggest one we’ve done. It makes us get on a high-speed train [headed] toward the end of the show.” In the meantime, though, Annalise is “in bad shape” following Laurel’s disappearance, and Nowalk says “we’re going to see what Annalise’s version of falling apart is.” Plus, the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Annalise & Co. “is front and center” in these final episodes. “They know a lot, clearly. The question is, do they have the evidence to finally charge them? And who are they going to charge?” Nowalk teases. “They’re not going to give up, and they will feature prominently throughout the episodes.”
BONUS SPOILER!: One of Michaela’s birth parents will come into the picture in a storyline that Nowalk describes as “very twisty, but also very emotional and surprising. I don’t think the parent is going to be anyone you would expect.”
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 10/9c (ABC)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Season 20
LAW & ORDER: SVU
Returning showrunner Warren Leight had a mandate for his writers as they created the series’ history-making Season 21: “I don’t want an episode that feels like it could have run in Season 16 or 14 or 9,” he tells TVLine, adding that those scripting Olivia & Co. this year are “eager and committed” to filling the milestone season with the timeliest, ripped-from-the-headlines tales. First up: The premiere features a #MeToo case in which Deadwood‘s Ian McShane plays a media mogul accused of sexual assault. (It’s also got a subtle shout-out to Gunsmoke, the TV series whose record SVU is breaking this year.) Then Modern Family‘s Ariel Winter shows up in Episode 2 as a woman who’s pretty sure something terrible happened to her in a ride-share car while she was drunk. Olivia uses an intriguing style of questioning to get at the truth, Leight previews, which makes for “an interesting episode about the puzzle of memory and how you put that puzzle back together.”
BONUS SPOILER!: “You’ll see some major changes for different members of the squad room,” the EP teases, and viewers won’t have to wait long: “You’ll already have seen three major changes at the end of the first episode.”
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 10/9c (NBC)
“We’re coming back to a world where people don’t know Hope Mikaelson,” executive producer Brett Matthews says of Legacies’ second season, which he describes as “10 percent darker” than Season 1. “The characters are blissfully unaware, but there’s a void that no one can quite put their finger on.” On the romance front, we’ll get to see “which relationships have developed [over summer vacation], and how others are different as a result of Hope going into the Malivore pit.” Speaking of new connections, Lizzie will take an interest in new vampire Sebastian (played by Thomas Doherty, pictured), a character who exists “in response to how difficult it is to write a vampire in this newly woke world,” EP Julie Plec says. In less pleasant news, “there’s a hint of a [dark] new force at the beginning of the season, and the mystery of who that new force is takes us all the way into our midseason cliffhanger.”
BONUS SPOILER!: If you’re wondering where Alaric will end up now that he’s been ousted from the Salvatore School, look no further than his former place of employment. “The school itself plays a big role in the season,” Plec says. “And the man needs a job.”
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Oct. 10 at 9/8c (The CW)
The Strike Zone
Hail to the chief! As previously reported, Elizabeth McCord will have won the United States presidency and will be nearly 100 days into her term when the CBS drama returns, shifting the focus of the final season from “Can she ease global tensions?” to “How will she lead a divided America?” But don’t worry, says star Téa Leoni: Flashbacks will give us postcards from the campaign trail, “because you don’t want to completely dismiss that it was probably an interesting race.” As usually happens in political transitions, “some characters are shifting around,” she adds. “There’s some commotion. And I will say that Elizabeth McCord’s administration is one where you don’t get a job in the White House just because you’re family.” Which brings us to Henry, the First Gentleman (yes, that’s what he’d be called). “He has a full roster of duties and a chief of staff,” Leoni says. “Some First Ladies have made tremendous strides for our culture, for our well-being in that position, and I have no doubt that Henry McCord will do a fine job.”
BONUS SPOILER!: “We did something different with who she picked for vice president,” Leoni teases. “It’s kind of great. I’m really proud of it.”
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Oct. 6 at 10/9c (CBS)
Magnum PI Season 2 Preview
Season 2 picks up nearly two weeks after Magnum invited Higgins to partner with him as a P.I…. and she has yet to make her decision! That, says showrunner Peter M. Lenkov, “is driving Magnum nuts. It’s a very hard sell, trying to get her to say yes.” What’s the holdup? Higgins, it turns out, is considering “another tempting offer” from someone else, says Lenkov, who promises that the fight for her particular set of skills “will sort itself out” in an early episode. That’s good, seeing as Magnum may need all hands on deck when “a Big Bad who’s part of our mythology — someone we hinted at last year” — arrives around Episode 3, kicking off a major arc.
BONUS SPOILER!: Having quit the King Kamehameha Club, “Rick opens his own bar, and a lot of scenes are going to be taking place there,” says Lenkov. Start our tab now!
RETURN DATE: Friday, Sept. 27 at 9/8c (CBS)
NCIS Ziva Staying Season 17
Yes, Cote de Pablo is back — for the first two episodes of the season and additional appearances down the line. And yes, Ziva is alive, though she is in danger once again for reasons relating to her years-ago “death.” But what Gibbs knew and when he knew it “is the elephant in the room,” says co-showrunner Steve Binder. Similarly, “answers will be forthcoming” about baby daddy Tony’s potential involvement in Ziva staying hidden, as well as his own current whereabouts. Following Ziva’s “resurrection” and the various reunions that come out of it, “Some of the storylines we started last year will continue,” including “the Gibbs angst” that stemmed from his burning of Rule 10, says co-showrunner Frank Cardea. “He’s had his best friend’s daughter in a life-or-death situation, and now he’s got Ziva reappearing in his life,” Binder notes. “We’re going to see a bit more of what happens when a guy like Gibbs decides to start doing things because his emotions are taking him there.” Also on the personal front, “We may dig into Jimmy Palmer’s home life a little,” says Binder, as well as learn more about forensic whiz Kasie’s background.
BONUS SPOILER!: “We’re introducing a few more people who work in the NCIS headquarters,” says Binder. “Maybe something fun will come from that.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c (CBS)
NCIS Los Angeles Season 11 Preview
NCIS: LOS ANGELES
Having left off with missiles launched at Israel and Saudi Arabia — by ISIS, but seemingly from Iran — “the problem isn’t just stopping the damage from the initial launch,” says showrunner R. Scott Gemmill, “but how do you convince everybody else that this wasn’t what it looks like, before the whole thing erupts into a huge Middle Eastern catastrophe?” With Sam and Callen aboard a commandeered Navy ship, and Kensi and Deeks pinned down by a shootout in the CIA’s Iraqi hideout, it’s up to JAG‘s Mac, as the Marine liaison to the State Department, to hopefully make “cooler heads prevail before they retaliate.” Once that conflict is behind everyone, Sam will “meet someone that will maybe help him move forward in a new direction,” while Kensi and Deeks are met with an “incident” that “has the potential to change both their lives.” And though an “unbelievable job offer” for Eric will facilitate cast member Barrett Foa’s temporary leave of absence, Gemmill says that will eventually “become a much bigger story where the work he was involved in takes a dark turn.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Early in the season, Gerald McRaney will reprise his role as retired admiral Hollace Kilbride. “He’s always so much fun to work with,” raves Gemmill.
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9:30/8:30c (CBS)
Season 2 picks up three months after the finale’s horrific ambulance crash and finds that life has moved on at the hospital. “There’s good news to celebrate in the present, even though there’s an emotional cost that rears its head from the past,” executive producer David Schulner previews. New dad Max is juggling fatherhood with “groundbreaking news” about his cancer – he’s also got a new oncologist — while Floyd and Evie’s engagement is in “a very different place than I bet people imagined it would be,” the EP says. But as the premiere unfolds, “we’re going to go back in time and see the accident play out in real time” before revealing who survived and who didn’t, Schulner shares.
BONUS SPOILER!: Dr. Kapoor has “a very big surprise on the way,” Schulner teases.
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 10/9c (NBC)
Coming out of last May’s cliffhanger, which left the lives of Nic’s sister and father in the balance, “You will find out in the very first scene what happened,” says series co-creator Amy Holden Jones, who also teases “a season-long twist” related to the character who may have died. “The discovery of what really happened is not what one expects,” she adds. But regardless of the grief that might await Nic in Season 3, she and Conrad are “in the best place they’ve ever been” as a couple, per star Matt Czuchry. (Jones confirms that Nic’s fleeting love interest, Alec Shaw, “will not be returning.”) Meanwhile, the docs at Chastain Park will clash quite a bit with Red Rock Mountain Medical, a conglomerate that bought the hospital last spring. According to Jones, Dr. Bell is in a “complicated position” in Season 3, which will find him “caught in the middle of a money-making entity and the moral quandaries that will arise.” Plus, Kit Voss (returning series regular Jane Leeves) will “come into a lot of conflict” with Morris Chestnut’s new neurosurgeon, Dr. Barrett Cain.
BONUS SPOILER!: In the wake of Red Rock’s acquisition of the hospital, staff cuts could be made, which will affect Chastain doc Irving and nurse Jessica “with very dramatic consequences,” Jones shares.
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 8/7c (Fox)
Season 4 of The CW’s teen drama will start off on a somber note, with an episode dedicated to late cast member Luke Perry and his character Fred Andrews — and Archie will “be committed to honoring his father’s memory” for the rest of the season, executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa reveals. Case in point: Archie’s newfound desire to give back to his local community leads to him opening a center for at-risk youth: “All of the plans and dreams Fred had about Riverdale, he’s trying to fulfill those.” Plus, it’s senior year at Riverdale High, and the EP promises we’ll actually spend some time in school this season, “seeing Archie back on the football team, seeing more of the Vixens.” But college — and a possible separation for the gang — is looming. “There’s this sense that at the end of senior year, everything changes,” notes the EP.
BONUS SPOILER!: We of course haven’t forgotten about that finale cliffhanger with Archie, Betty and Veronica huddled around a campfire and Jughead mysteriously absent… and neither has the show. “Throughout the season, we’ll be tracking how we get to that night in the woods,” the EP hints, adding that “it’s a different kind of mystery than we’ve done” in the past.
RETURN DATE: Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8/7c (The CW)
Rookie Season 2 Preview
What has Nathan Fillion “super-duper excited” about reporting back for duty? “We go from long sleeves to short. And with no tie!” he quips of the uniform option afforded rookies who pass their six-month exam. “You have no idea what that means to my daily life.” On a more serious, and obvious, note: Afton Williamson’s exit from the series (Bishop will have moved on to a federal agency) presents “an opportunity to throw other obstacles in Nolan’s way,” says showrunner Alexi Hawley. “We will pair him up with other interesting people, and then at some point bring in a new training officer for him.” Elsewhere, Tim’s near-death experience will drive him to harden his boundaries with Lucy; Angela moving in with DA beau Wesley lends itself to “Oscar-and-Felix” moments; Lucy will get a new roommate (and maybe a new love interest); and after a season of trying to live up to his father’s legacy, Jackson will explore “who he is when he’s not a cop.”
BONUS SPOILER!: Mark Cuban plays himself in the season opener (pictured), when Nolan is called to break up a disturbance after a passerby pesters the Shark Tank guru with a business pitch!
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Sept. 29 at 10/9c (ABC)
1001 - We Few, We Lucky Few, We Band of Gallaghers!
With Fiona gone, Debs has taken charge — but some of the Gallaghers “are not pleased, particularly Frank, that Debbie has now got her hands on the purse strings,” executive producer John Wells previews. Meanwhile, new fatherhood proves to be “wonderful and a shock all at the same time” for Lip, who’s also trying to define his relationship with girlfriend Tami (promoted series regular Kate Miner). “Are they going to fall in love based on having this child together? Or is it going to be something where they realize that they didn’t belong together?” Wells asks. Elsewhere in the homestead, Frank has “a great bromance” with Mikey (Luis Guzmán); Carl is figuring out what to do with his life; and Liam looks to V to help him find his identity. (Her hubby, Kev, meanwhile, is also facing an identity crisis: his age.)
BONUS SPOILER!: For Ian and Mickey (returning series regulars Cameron Monaghan and Noel Fisher), being both cellmates and lovers is a “careful what you wish for” situation, Wells says. “That cell is six feet wide by 10 feet long, and they’re in there 22 hours a day. So you can imagine being stuck in that kind of space with anyone. Even if you love them or care about them, it’s not an easy place to be.”
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Nov. 3 at 9/8c (Showtime)
“We think of this as our ode to Black Mirror,” showrunner Robert Rovner says of Supergirl’s fifth season, which finds our heroes battling technology itself. “The hope is that people would be more engaged with what’s going on and wanting to make the world a better place, but they seem to be more engaged with technology. We explore how that affects our characters and how our villains try to exploit that.” On a more human level, “the relationship between Kara and Lena is the emotional center of the season,” Jessica Queller avows. “Kara’s betrayal puts that friendship front and center.” Meanwhile, as Alex and Kelly are “getting to know each other better,” Nia and Brainy have a “slightly more challenging” romantic journey ahead of them. (“Brainy is… a little different,” the showrunners acknowledge.) And forget everything you’ve heard about Julie Gonzalo’s character, media maven Andrea Rojas (aka the superhero Acrata). “We put our own Supergirl spin on Acrata,” Rovner says, “one that is unique to our show.” And on the Big Bad front, expect Leviathan’s “agenda for Earth” to play out as a season-long arc.
BONUS SPOILER!: Queller promises a big twist for Eve in Episode 2 — and it’s “not what fans might be expecting.”
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c (The CW)
After finding out that God has been manipulating them, Dean and Sam are facing an “existential crisis” in the 15th and final season. “They’re realizing, ‘Well, we’re the Winchesters, but were we really doing this Chuck’s way?'” co-showrunner Andrew Dabb previews. “Part of reclaiming that agency is a big part of the season for them.” Plus, the brothers are “going to start to lose people who, in past seasons, we would’ve never lost — and lose them in a very real way. Our guys are going to realize there’s a certain finality, and some of the things they’ve relied on to get through the day — people, talents, things like that — they are no longer going to be able to roll out. And that’s going to throw them for a loop.” The show’s swan song will also welcome back some departed faces, including the Winchesters’ half-brother Adam (Jake Abel), God’s sister Amara (Emily Swallow) and deceased hunter Eileen (Shoshannah Stern).
BONUS SPOILER!: Jack is still in The Empty when Season 15 starts, and “he’s not coming back in the near future,” Dabb reveals. As for the deal Cas made to save Lucifer’s offspring, “when The Empty becomes more active, a lot of things are going to come to a head.”
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Oct. 10 at 8/7c (The CW)
Season 5 picks up mere hours after Mateo was hauled away by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Mateo is in a detention facility and waiting to try and get out on bond,” co-showrunner Jonathan Green tells TVLine. “His family has hired an immigration lawyer,” and the Cloud 9 staff is “trying to support that effort as best as they can, in any way that they can.” Meanwhile, Amy will “try to play double agent with corporate” as she continues to support the formation of a workers’ union. This will come to a head at Halloween, when new district manager Maya (played by One Day at a Time‘s Justina Machado) makes her first appearance. That episode also marks the return of Jonah’s ex-girlfriend Kelly, who joins the union effort as a representative from the Fenton store.
BONUS SPOILER!: Carol’s reaction to Sandra and Jerry’s engagement rattles the bride-to-be. “That’s something we’re going to play out over the course of the season, whether the way Carol seems to be reacting to this news is to be believed or not,” according to fellow EP Gabe Miller. In the meantime, several other co-workers will pitch in to help Sandra plan her wedding, including Jonah, “who ends up throwing her an engagement party in the store.”
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8/7c (NBC)
This Is Us - Season 4
THIS IS US
Jack and Rebecca’s cross-country trip may be over when the NBC family drama returns for Season 4, but the young lovers have plenty of bumpy road ahead. “Jack is fresh returned from Vietnam. Rebecca is unsure where her career in music is going,” series creator Dan Fogelman tells TVLine, adding that Jack will feel quite a lot of pressure as he’s introduced to his new girlfriend’s folks. “Jack is being brought into the fold of Rebecca’s family, a blue collar kid entering a world where people drink white wine at noon in country clubs,” he previews. “It’s an interesting, complicated period for these two.” The same applies to present-day Randall and Beth, who encounter “complex and sophisticated” problems as they raise their maturing daughters in their new Philadelphia neighborhood.
BONUS SPOILER!: Fogelman says the season premiere, which has been in the works for a while, won’t be what you’re expecting. “I’m quite proud of our team for what they’ve pulled off, but also curious to see the response and reaction from our audience,” he shares. “I trust our fans to trust us, and to enjoy the challenge of a very ambitious and unusual first episode back.”
RETURN DATE: Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c (NBC)
THE WALKING DEAD
As Season 10 hurls our protagonists into a turf war with the Whisperers, showrunner Angela Kang’s advice to fans is, “Brace yourself. This conflict is intense.” It’s also as different from the Saviors war as Negan is from Alpha. “Someone like her doesn’t have a traditional sort of battle strategy, so there are things that happen — on both sides — that are surprising and strange. There are elements of paranoia, and a Cold War feeling.” In the eye of the storm will be Carol and Daryl. “There’s an emotional core between the two of them,” suggests Kang, “that helps us understand the human toll of this story.” Along the way, the show will lose Danai Gurira, who has played Michonne since Season 3. In the heroine’s final arc, “there are some things of major importance that we will learn, which have massive consequences. But we’ll also get to showcase good, old-fashioned Michonne being a badass.”
BONUS SPOILER!: The casting of Juan Javier Cardenas as Dante — Maggie’s post-Glenn love interest in the comics — would seem to bode well for Lauren Cohan’s return. Kang can’t say anything definitive yet, but she promises, “We’re trying to work on it. We’ve got ideas [for Maggie], so hopefully,” it will happen.
RETURN DATE: Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c (AMC)
Season 3 of the Big Bang Theory prequel series picks up a short time after Dr. Sturgis’ nervous breakdown. “We learn he is in a psychiatric facility receiving treatment,” and “Connie has had limited interactions [with him],” showrunner Steve Molaro tells TVLine. What happened to Sturgis “makes Mary hyper-sensitive to Sheldon’s well-being,” and she finds it “difficult to tell what is typical Sheldon behavior and what is extra-odd for him.” Then, in a later episode, Sheldon, who continues to be disappointed by the education he’s receiving in high school, “attempts to become his own teacher, possibly in the confines of a secret broom closet.” Meanwhile, older brother Georgie “is finally going to start tapping into his natural sales abilities, at first by trying to be an old-school, door-to-door salesman.”
BONUS SPOILER!: “We will witness Sheldon’s deep love of Lord of the Rings come to be,” Molaro teases.
RETURN DATE: Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8/7c (CBS)
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