As the sheer quantity of television shows only continues to grow, it may be harder to keep track of what new content is being offered where and when. To help with that, Variety has compiled highlights across broadcast, cable and streaming for the fall 2018 television season. Here, creators and showrunners share their elevator pitches for their series.
A Million Little Things (ABC) – premieres Sept. 26
“Friendship isn’t a big thing… it’s a million little things. ‘A Million Little Things’ is an hour-long dramedy about a group of eight friends, seven of whose lives are forever changed when the friend in the group whose life is the most put together on paper suddenly dies. Each of the friends are all stuck in life. For different reasons and in different ways, they’re each not living the version of life they thought they’d be living, And their friend’s death is a wake-up call. It’s the catalyst they all need to finally make a change.
“‘The Big Chill’ + ‘Big Little Lies’ + An Incredible Cast + A Team Of 9 Amazing Writers + Me = ‘A Million Little Things'”
– DJ Nash, showrunner
Camping (HBO) – premieres Oct. 14
“A group of friends go on a camping trip but everything is thrown into chaos when an unexpected visitor arrives.”
“‘Charmed’ the story of Mel, Maggie, and Macy, sisters and witches destined to save the world. Together, the sisters will have to use the Power of Three to battle demons and prevent the apocalypse while also facing the everyday trials of being young women in 2018.”
– Jessica O’Toole and Amy Rardin, executive producers
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) – premieres Oct. 26
“‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch,’ but reimagined as a dark coming of age show in the tradition of ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ and ‘The Omen.’ But with some fun high school hijinx, as well.”
– Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, showrunner
The Conners (ABC) – premiere Oct. 16
“The lives, relationships and family roles of the members of the Conner family are irrevocably changed by the absence of the matriarch. More drama and more comedy. … Dan takes a more hands-on approach to the grandchildren. Darlene, Becky and Jackie take on more responsibilities as the family’s ‘heads of household.’ There is one character addition — DJ’s wife Geena returns from her service in Afghanistan — which allows us to see DJ in the role of husband, not just father. There is also a ‘we’re on our own’ quality that encourages each of the family members to take more risks in their life choices, jobs, and romantic involvements — and this includes all generations of the Conners.”
– Bruce Helford, showrunner
The Cool Kids (Fox) – premieres Sept. 28
“Four friends in a retirement community (TV legends David Alan Grier, Vicki Lawrence, Leslie Jordan, and Martin Mull) scheme, spar, drink, date, and stir up s—.
“‘The First’ is about the first mission to Mars — about the personal costs and sacrifice of those trying to achieve the greatest pioneering feat in human history.”
– Beau Willimon, creator
Forever (Amazon) – premieres Sept. 14
“Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph play two characters who meet, fall in love and get married. Then some weird crap starts happening. We know that sounds vague, but believe it or not, that was our exact pitch to Amazon, and they … picked up the show to series.
“‘Mad About You’ x ‘The Man In The High Castle’ + a dash of ‘Air Bud.'”
– Matt Hubbard and Alan Yang, co-creators
God Friended Me (CBS) – premieres Sept. 30
“‘God Friended Me’ is about an atheist, Miles Finer (Brandon Micheal Hall), who’s friended by someone calling themselves ‘God’ on Facebook. And [he] begins receiving friend suggestions of people in need of help. It’s an emotional, fun, contemporary story about the power of connection in the crazy world we live in today.
“‘Quantum Leap’ + ‘This Is Us’ = ‘God Friended Me.'”
– Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt, executive producers
The Good Cop (Netflix) – premieres Sept. 21
“‘The Good Cop’ is a light-mystery series about a brilliant, overly-earnest NYC detective who lives with his father, a charismatic, small-time hustler.
“Imagine if Oscar and Felix from ‘The Odd Couple’ had to solve a series of baffling murder mysteries.”
– Andy Breckman, showrunner
Michele K Short/Netflix
Happy Together (CBS) – premieres Oct. 1
“Inspired by the true story of Harry Styles moving in with Ben Winston, a pop star moves in with a happily married suburban couple. He loves the normalcy. They love the excitement. … A loving couple (played by Damon Wayans Jr. and Amber Stevens West) are getting older and more domestic but still don’t want to give up their youth and free-spiritedness. Now, through the lens of this new roommate, they try to reconcile the people they’ve become with the people they once were.”
– Tim McAuliffe, showrunner
Homecoming (Amazon) – premieres Nov. 2
“A counselor at a facility for returning soldiers is torn between an eager patient and the increasingly strange demands of her ambitious supervisor.
– Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz, co-creators and executive producers
I Feel Bad (NBC) – premieres Sept. 19
“It’s hard to be the perfect mom, wife and boss, especially in the age of social media, when everyone presents themselves as having it all together. Emet is sick of feeling bad about her shortcomings, so she finds loopholes to feel better — even if it means doing things she’s not supposed to.
“We explore a character who only wants to be kind in an increasingly cruel world. He doesn’t curse. He doesn’t lie. All he wants to do is tell the truth. … Our show’s pretty dark, but what drives our stories are hope and optimism, and a sense that no matter how bleak the world gets, we always have our childhood innocence.”
– Dave Holstein, showrunner
Legacies (CW) – premieres Oct. 25
“The next generation of vampires, witches, werewolves and some new supernatural surprises attend the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted in the third installment of ‘The Vampire Diaries’ franchise.
“‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ + ‘Harry Potter’ = ‘Legacies.'”
– Julie Plec, showrunner
Manifest (NBC) – premieres Sept. 24
“In this high-concept supernatural drama, when a plane mysteriously disappears after a presumed crash and returns five and a half years later — no one on the plane having aged a day — a group of passengers must rebuild their forever altered lives. We follow their journey through the lens of 26-year-old Michaela (Melissa Roxburgh) and her older brother Ben (Josh Dallas) — both deeply-flawed souls, whose new lease on life provides them with a second chance to make up for past failures — and to use their newfound and unique perspective to help those in need.
“”Lost’ + ‘This Is Us’ = ‘Manifest.'”
– Jeff Rake, showrunner
David Giesbrecht/NBC/Warner Brot
Mr. Inbetween (FX) – premieres Sept. 25
The show is about a guy juggling everyday issues involving parenting, family, friends, dating and work — but he works as a criminal for hire. … The show is shot very naturalistically and played very straight so that the tension and humor come from the situations.
“If I was to reference some other shows I guess loosely there is bit of the UK version of ‘The Office,’ ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ”Goodfellas in there.”
– Nash Edgerton, executive producer/director
The Kids Are Alright (ABC) – premieres Oct. 16
“‘Dazed And Confused’ ( – McConaughey’s fascination with younger girls) + ‘Woody Allen’s Radio Days’ ( – WA’s fascination with younger girls) + ‘Seven Brides For Seven Brothers’ ( – Michael Kidd’s amazing choreography. Our show has plenty of choreography but we couldn’t afford Michael Kidd) = ‘The Kids Are Alright'”
– Tim Doyle, creator
Courtesy of ABC
Murphy Brown (CBS) – premieres Sept. 27
“I’m focusing the show really through the prism of the press. The First Amendment and free press is under attack like I’ve never seen before, [like] I don’t think anybody’s ever seen before. The press is not the enemy of the people, and … our characters are the press.”
– Diane English, showrunner
The Neighborhood (CBS) – premieres Oct. 1
In a historically Black neighborhood, a white midwestern family moves in next door to a prominent black family in the community. The patriarch of the white family, Dave, is happy to be there, while the patriarch of the black family, Calvin, is understandably protective of a community that he’s afraid is starting to change.
“Being able to talk about health care in this country was the singular reason for creating this show. We’ve all felt disappointed, angered, scared and confused by the current system. The one thing we’ve never felt is hope. But there is a better way. Let’s dramatize that. In a way that will make you think, make you laugh and make you cry.
“‘The West Wing’ + ‘ER’ = ‘New Amsterdam'”
– David Schulner, showrunner
The Rookie (ABC) – premieres Oct. 16
“Nathan Fillion is the oldest rookie in the LAPD. … ‘The Rookie’ is a character show masquerading as a cop show. Our goal is to tell stories about people in crisis, rather than focus on issues. As a show that takes an aspirational approach to police work, we connect our cops with all kinds of people, in all kinds of real-world circumstances — from the comedic to the tragic — in a (hopefully) unexpected way.
Sorry For Your Loss (Facebook Watch) – premieres Sept. 18
“‘Sorry For Your Loss’ follows Leigh, a young woman struggling to put the pieces of her life back together after her husband Matt dies unexpectedly. The story absolutely gives the weight of her grief its due, but we balance Leigh’s devastation with real humor, hope, and triumph.
“‘Sorry For Your Loss’ is ‘This is Us’ meets ‘Six Feet Under’…or ‘Better Things’ meets ‘The Year of Magical Thinking.'”
– Kit Steinkellner, creator, and Lizzy Weiss, showrunner
Titans (DC Universe) – premieres Oct. 12
“A year after leaving Gotham, Dick Grayson struggles to free himself from his violent life as Robin and the vigilante he believes Batman was transforming him into. After coming into contact with Rachel Roth, a girl struggling with her own literal darkness within, Dick debates on whether he should become a mentor to her as Batman was to him. But it’ll take more than Robin to protect and save this girl; including others with mysterious abilities who are alone and lost.
“‘Orphan Black’ + ‘Batman’ = ‘Titans.'”
– Geoff Johns, executive producer
You (Lifetime) – premieres Sept. 9
“‘You is a twisted love story for the age of social media. It’s about the dark underside of all those so called romantic stories we grew up longing for in our own lives.
“Joe Goldberg is anything but a seasoned or enthusiastic doer of violence, but the most fun reactions come when when I say it’s ‘Dexter’ meets ‘500 Days of Summer.'”