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Fall 2015 Premieres and What to Watch

Chanel #5 (Abigail Breslin, L) and new Sorority Pledges Grace (Skyler Samuels, C) and Zayday (Keke Palmer, R).

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: upfronts. This is like my draft day. It’s like Christmas. This is the week that all major networks release their fall line-ups; new trailers, new faces, and new schedules. After keeping a watchful eye on all the updates, I’m ready to tell you my favorites. Here are the shows I’m most excited about starting this fall.

Grandfathered, FOX

I laughed out loud. I gushed. I had goosebumps. And that was only from the trailer. John Stamos portrays Jimmy, a lifetime bachelor whose life is upended when he discovers he’s a father—and a grandfather. Josh Peck portrays his hopeless, mess of a son. Paget Brewster is his ex-girlfriend.

Reasons to watch: The chemistry between the actors seems to be perfect. John Stomas and Paget Brewster are natural together.

Cast: John Stamos, Josh Peck, Paget Brewster, Christina Milian, Kelly Jenrette, Ravi Patel

Scream Queens, FOX

If you combine Glee, American Horror Story, and Emma Roberts’ resting bitch face (all of my favorite things) you get Scream Queens. The plot hasn’t been fully explained yet and I think that’s why I like it. There’s a little bit of mystery. We know that it’s set on a college campus, there have been a series of murders, and it’s a comedy. I’m intrigued. And I’m not alone judging by the straight to series order.

Reasons to watch: That cast.

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Oliver Hudson, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande, Billie Lourd, Skyler Samuels, Lucien Laviscount, Niecy Nash, Diego Boneta, Glen Powell, Nasim Pedrad

Flesh and Bone, STARZ

This was the first trailer I watched that made me actually giddy with new television excitement. Can we just call it what it is? Center Stage: The Gritty Sequel. I mean, it even has Charlie from Center Stage. CHARLIE! And let’s be real. Center Stage is the BEST movie. It’s that go to movie that you watch to reminisce about how easy it was to be a teen in the early 2000s. I fondly remember days where it played on HBO after school while I pretended to do pirouettes in the kitchen before my parents got home from work.

Anyway, Flesh and Bone follows Claire, a young dancer with a distinctly troubled past as she enters into the American Ballet Company in New York. The eight-hour series has been described as gritty and complex as it navigates Claire’s self-destructive tendencies.

Reasons to watch: Hellooooooooo! Charlie (Sascha Radetsky) is back!

Cast: Sarah Hay as Claire. The cast includes 22 accomplished ballet dancers including former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko (Kiira), former American Ballet Theatre soloist Sascha Radetsky (Ross), Ballet Arizona company dancer Raychel Diane Weiner (Daphne) and Boardwalk Empire’s Emily Tyra (Mia). Ethan Stiefel, former artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet and a former American Ballet Theatre principal dancer, served as consultant and choreographer. Other cast members include Josh Helman (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Damon Herriman (Justified), Tina Benko (The Good Wife), Ben Daniels (House Of Cards) and Tovah Feldshuh (The Walking Dead).

The Family, ABC

I could not look away while watching this trailer. Joan Allen plays a local politician whose son (The Way, Way Back’s Liam James) returns after being presumed dead following his disappearance a decade earlier. His return has a ripple effect on the rest of his family. And in probably the most interesting twist, is he who he really says he is?

Reasons to watch: The cast. In addition to Joan Allen and Liam James, Andrew McCarthy portrays the wrongly accused neighbor who has been rotting in prison. Zach Gilford (I’ll always love you Saracen!) is the alcoholic, eldest son. Alison Pill is the tightly wound daughter managing her mother’s campaign. That’s a pretty strong list of talent.

Cast: Zach Gilford, Liam James, Margot Bingham, Joan Allen, Alison Pill, Floriana Lima, Madeleine Arthur, Andrew McCarthy, Rarmian Newton, Rupert Graves

The Grinder, FOX

Rob Lowe stars as a beloved TV lawyer known as “The Grinder.” When his long-running hit series comes to an end he decides to return home and join his family’s real-life law firm—despite having no formal education, no bar certification, no license to practice and no experience in an actual courtroom. Fred Savage plays his hopeless brother.

Reasons to watch: Rob Lowe and his ability to deliver fantastic, ‘knock em outta the park’ speeches.

Cast: Rob Lowe, Fred Savage, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Natalie Morales, William Devane, Hana Hayes, Connor Kalopsis

Wicked City, ABC

It was really only a matter of time before the True Detective format made it’s way to cable. Each season, Wicked City will follow a different case set in an infamous era of L.A.’s history. For it’s debut, Wicked City is focusing on the Sunset Strip circa 1982. However, it seems this show will focus more on the criminals than the detectives as Erika Christensen’s and Ed Westwick’s Bonnie & Clyde-esque characters take center stage. I’m pretty sure Ed Westwick was destined to stab people in the back of the head.

Reasons to watch: It’ll be a character-driven, true-crime procedural that explores sex and pop culture in L.A. Need I say more?

Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Erika Christensen, Ed Westwick, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Karolina Wydra, Adam Rothenberg, Holley Fain, Anne Winters, Gabriel Luna

Supergirl, CBS

I dunno. I’m not totally sold on this. Even though I’m an avid comic book fan and movie buff, I’ve never been too excited about a comic book as a television series. I’ve passed on The Flash, Arrow, and The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but I’m not uninterested in Supergirl. Melissa Benoist plays Superman’s famous cousin who decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was destined to be. Jimmy Olsen makes an appearance, Jeremy Jordan is her trusty sidekick, and Calista Flockhart is her nasty boss.

Reasons to watch: Girl power?

Cast: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Calista Flockhart, Chyler Leigh, David Harewood, Laura Benanti, Dean Cain, Helen Slater, Jeremy Jordan, Malina Weissman

Blindspot, NBC

A woman (Jaimie Alexander) with no memories of her past is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Why? What happened? Who is she? And we’re off…

Reasons to watch: If you like developing theories, pouring over recaps, and searching for clues then this show is for you.

Cast: Jaimie Alexander, Sullivan Stapleton, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Ashley Johnson, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ukweli Roach

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The Newsroom, The Bridge, and Other Summer Shows We’re Excited to Watch

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The Newsroom, Second Season starts Sunday, July 14th at 10pm on HBO

This weekend I decided to binge watch the first season of The Newsroom with some friends and I think it was the best 10-hours of my life.  The Newsroom, created by the genius Aaron Sorkin, is a political drama that follows news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and his executive producer MacKenzie “Mac” McHale (Emily Mortimer) on their mission to save the nightly news from ratings-driven stories.  Instead of telling cheap, entertaining, and gossip-driven news they strive to educate viewers on what is really going on in American politics and economics.   Naturally, their corporate owner is not too happy about it, especially when they target the Tea Party and funders of the Atlantis World Media, the station’s parent company.

Sorkin has surrounded Daniels and Mortimer with an outstanding ensemble cast including Jane Fonda, Sam Waterson, Dev Patel, Allison Pill, Olivia Munn, John Gallagher, Jr., Chris Messina, and Thomas Sadoski.  In season two, they’re adding to the cast Marcia Gay Harden, Constance Zimmer, Grace Gummer, Hamish Linklater, and Patton Oswalt (who has repeatedly blasted the show on Twitter, interesting).

The new season kicks off next Sunday, plenty of time to catch up on season one.  To join us in the excitement, watch the season two promo below.

Graceland, Premiered Thursday, June 6th at 10pm on USA

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To read our full review of the pilot, click here.  This show had us hooked during the pilot and it has yet to disappoint.  It follows FBI newbie Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) after he moves into Graceland, a beach house in Southern California that is the home to various undercover agents from the DEA, FBI, and ICE.  He is there to investigate the stability and trustworthiness of head agent Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata).  The show doesn’t require a lot of attention but is a fun summer watch.  There have only been four episodes so far, plenty of time to catch up during a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Bridge, Premieres Wednesday, July 10th at 10pm on FX

The Bridge is based on the Danish/Swedist TV series of the same name and follows two police detectives – one Mexican (Weeds heartthrob Demián Bichir), and one from the US (Diane Kruger).  The detectives collide when the body of an American judge turns up on the border — a judge known for her anti-immigration views.  It is soon brought to light that a serial killer is working on either side of the border and the detectives must work together to solve the case.  The show title referes to the Bridge of the Americas that serves as a border crossing between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, the setting of the series.

The White Queen, Premieres Saturday, August 10th at 9pm on Starz

The White Queen is a British import based on Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novel series The Cousins’ War.  The historical drama is set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses and follows the story of the women caught up in the long-standing conflict for the throne of England.  It starts in 1464 and the nation has been at war for nine years over who is the rightful king of England.  It starts the yummy Max Irons, son of Jeremy Irons.  As much as we love The Tudors, Downton Abbey,  and Game of Thrones you know we will be watching.

Orange is the New Black, Begins Streaming on July 11th on Netflix

From the creator of Weeds, Orange is the New Black follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a New York woman, who is sent to prison for possessing a suitcase full of drug money on behalf of her ex-girlfriend ten years ago, Alex Vause (Laura Prepon).  Vause is a famous international drug smuggler. Because of her crime Piper is sentenced to serve a fifteen-month prison sentence.  The show follows her prison hardships and personal discovery.

Other oldies but goodies you can’t miss this summer:

True Blood, premiered Sunday, June 16th at 9pm on HBO

Dexter, premiered Sunday, June 30th at 9pm on Showtime

Suits, starts Tuesday, July 16th at 10pm on USA

Breaking Bad, begins its last season on Sunday, August 11th at 9pm on AMC