It’s the season of all things pumpkin flavored (Pumpkin spice goldfish crackers? Sure, why not!) and when we have all collectively decided that yes, pretend skeletons and tombstones make great lawn decorations.
October has a nice mix of scary TV (Interview with a Vampire premieres October 2 on AMC), returning favorites (The White Lotus is back for a much anticipated second season on October 30), prequels (the origin of The Winchesters begins October 11 on the CW) and Academy Award winners (Hilary Swank headlines ABC’s Alaska Daily on October 6). And there’s no need to be frightened, Paste TV will be here for all of it.
But in considering all the TV coming your way this October, we’ve also come up with the five new, under-the-radar shows you can’t miss this month:
Stars: David Morrisey, Lesley Manville, Joanne Froggatt and Kevin Doyle
Premiere Date: All six episodes premiere October 4 on Britbox
Inspired by the 2004 murders that took place in the Nottinghamshire mining community where writer James Graham grew up, this six-episode series boasts a reunion of two Downton Abbey stars (Joanne Froggatt and Kevin Doyle) plus a star turn from Lesley Manville. When Union leader Gary Jackson (Alun Armstrong) is shot dead with an arrow, London police officer Kevin Salisbury (Robert Glenister) is brought in to help local investigating officer Ian St Clair (David Morrissey) solve the case. A critical success when the series aired in England in June, Sherwood will pull viewers in quickly.
Stars: Jacob Batalon, Em Haine, Mandela Van Peebles, Rachelle Goulding, Aren Buchholz, Savannah Basley, and Andre Anthony
Premiere Date: October 5 at 10 p.m. on Syfy
Reginald (Jacob Batalon) works at a slushy store (where customers are very demanding), deals with his nasty boss and his litany of fat jokes, and pines for his co-work Sarah (Em Haines). A chance meeting with Maurice (Mandela Van Peebles, son of Mario Van Peebles) changes the course of his life in a very dramatic way. Batalon is a delight as the title character who isn’t quite sure what to make of his new undead status. Part comedy, part drama, the series gives off some serious Buffy vibes and that’s always a good thing.
Stars: Max Thieriot, Billy Burke, Kevin Alejandro, Diane Farr, Stephanie Arcila, Jordan Calloway and Jules Latimer
Premiere Date: October 7 at 9 p.m. on CBS
Max Thieriot is doing double duty this fall. He can currently be seen in SEAL Team, which moved to Paramount+ last month for its sixth season. And now he’s headlining Fire Country, a series based on his experiences growing up in Sonoma County, a part of Northern California known as “fire country.” Here Thieriot stars as Bode Donovan, a convict who enters into the prison release firefighting program hoping to earn some time off his sentence. The only problem? Bode is sent to work in Edgewater, the town he grew up in and is constantly being confronted by his past including his parents (Billy Burke and Diane Farr), his former best friend Jake (Jordan Calloway), and sister’s best friend Eve (Jules Latimer), all while trying to impress his captain (Kevin Alejandro).
Premiere Date: October 7 at 9 p.m. on Showtime
There was no way to avoid the work of the Lincoln Project in the 2020 election. Directed by Fisher Stevens and Karim Amer, this documentary series follows a group of Republicans who banded together with the sole purpose of stopping Donald Trump and reclaiming the GOP. “You can stand with America or you can stay with Trump,” co-founder Rick Wilson says. The series traces how initially no one in the Republican Party was in support of Trump and how, once he secured the nomination, the party itself began to erode. The series doesn’t shy away from the complexity of the current political landscape. It also doesn’t make the members of the Lincoln Project heroes, and is honest about the scandals and issues they faced in their efforts to “save” the Republican party.
Stars: Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, Mia Farrow, MargoMartindale, Terry Kinney, Joe Mantello, Richard Kind, Noma Dumezweni, Christopher McDonald, Michael Nouri, Isabel Gravitt, Henry Hunter Hall, Luke David Blumm
Premiere Date: All seven episodes premiere on Netflix on October 13
Will this time be the charm for Ryan Murphy and Netflix? So far Murphy’s Netflix series including Ratched, The Politician and the recent Dahmer haven’t connected with viewers the way his earlier series (Glee, American Horror Story to name a few) did. In this limited series, Bobby Cannavale and Naomi Watts move into their dream home. But, you know, dreams are never what they seem—especially in a Ryan Murphy series. Fresh off her Emmy win, Jennifer Coolidge stars as real estate agent Karen Calhoun. Netflix is going all in on the promotion for the series including a Zillow listing and a video tour (hosted by Coolidge!) of the house.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer and a member of the Television Critics Association. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).
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