Season premiere dates between now and the end of the year, with TV critic Hank Stuever’s recommendations noted.
(* = Worth a look)
“20/20” (Fridays at 10 on ABC; returned Sept. 11)
“48 Hours” (CBS at 10) Saturday, Sept. 26
“60 Minutes” (CBS at 7) Sunday, Sept. 27
*”The Affair” (Showtime at 10) Sunday, Oct. 4
“The Amazing Race” (CBS at 8) Friday, Sept. 25
“America’s Funniest Home Videos” (ABC at 7) Sunday, Oct. 11
*”American Horror Story: Hotel” (FX at 10) Wednesday, Oct. 7
“Arrow” (CW at 8) Wednesday, Oct. 7
“The Awesomes” (Hulu; began streaming on Sept. 8)
*”The Big Bang Theory” (CBS at 8) Monday, Sept. 21
“Being Mary Jane” (BET at 9) Tuesday, Oct. 20
“Beyond the Tank” (ABC at 10) Tuesday, Sept. 29
“Black Jesus” (Fridays at 11 on Adult Swim; returned Sept. 18)
*”Black-ish” (ABC at 9:30) Wednesday, Sept. 23
“The Blacklist” (NBC at 10) Thursday, Sept. 24
“Blue Bloods” (CBS at 10) Friday, Sept. 25
*”Bob’s Burgers” (Fox at 7:30) Sunday, Sept. 27
“Bones” (Fox at 8) Thursday, Oct. 1
“Brooklyn Nine Nine” (Fox at 8:30) Sunday, Sept. 27
“Castle” (ABC at 10) Monday, Sept. 21
“Chicago Fire” (NBC at 10) Tuesday, Oct. 13
“Chicago PD”(NBC at 10) Wednesday, Sept. 30
“Criminal Minds” (CBS at 9) Wednesday, Sept. 30
“CSI: Cyber” (CBS at 10) Sunday, Oct. 4
“Dancing With the Stars” (Mondays at 8 on ABC; returned Sept. 14)
“Doc Martin” (Acorn TV streaming) Monday, Oct. 5
“Doctor Who” (Saturdays at 9 on BBC America; returned Sept. 19)
“Doll & Em” (Sundays at 11 on HBO; returned Sept. 13)
*”Downton Abbey” (PBS at 9) Sunday, Jan. 3
“Elementary” (CBS at 10) Thursday, Nov. 5
*”Empire” (Fox at 9) Wednesday, Sept. 23
“Family Guy” (Fox at 9) Sunday, Sept. 27
“Finding Carter”(MTV at 10) Tuesday, Oct. 6
*”Fargo” (FX at 10) Monday, Oct. 12
*”The Flash” (CW at 8) Tuesday, Oct. 6
*”Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC at 8:30) Tuesday, Sept. 22
“The Goldbergs” (ABC at 8:30) Wednesday, Sept. 23
*”The Good Wife” (CBS at 9) Sunday, Oct. 4
“Gotham” (Fox at 8) Monday, Sept. 21
“Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC at 8) Thursday, Sept. 24
“Grimm” (NBC at 10) Friday, Oct. 30
“Hawaii Five-O” (CBS at 9) Friday, Sept. 25
“Hemlock Grove” (Netflix streaming) Friday, Oct. 23
*”Homeland” (Showtime at 9) Sunday, Oct. 4
*”How to Get Away With Murder” (ABC at 10) Thursday, Sept. 24
“iZombie” (CW at 9) Tuesday, Oct. 6
*”Jane the Virgin” (CW at 9) Monday, Oct. 12
*”The Knick” (Cinemax at 10) Friday, Oct. 16
*”The Last Man on Earth” (Fox at 9:30) Sunday, Sept. 27
“Last Man Standing” (ABC at 8) Friday, Sept. 25
“Law & Order: SVU” (NBC at 9) Wednesday, Sept. 23
“The League” (Wednesdays at 10 on FXX; returned Sept. 9)
*”The Leftovers” (HBO at 9) Sunday, Oct. 4
“Legends” (TNT at 10) Monday, Nov. 2
“The Librarians” (TNT at 8) Sunday, Nov. 1
*”Longmire” (Netflix streaming; returned Sept. 10)
“Madam Secretary” (CBS at 8) Sunday, Oct. 4
“Major Crimes” (TNT at 9) Monday, Nov. 2
*”Manhattan” (WGN America at 9) Tuesday, Oct. 13
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC at 8) Tuesday, Sept. 29
“MasterChef Junior” (Fox at 8) Friday, Nov. 6
“The Middle” (ABC at 8) Wednesday, Sept. 23
“The Mindy Project” (Hulu; returned began streaming on Sept. 15)
*”Modern Family” (ABC at 9) Wednesday, Sept. 23
*”Mom” (CBS at 9) Thursday, Nov. 5
“The Mysteries of Laura” (NBC at 8) Wednesday, Sept. 23
“Nashville” (ABC at 10) Wednesday, Sept. 23
“Nathan for You” (Comedy Central at 10) Thursday, Oct. 15
NCIS (CBS at 8) Tuesday, Sept. 22
“NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS at 10) Monday, Sept. 21
“NCIS: New Orleans” (CBS at 9) Tuesday, Sept. 22
“Once Upon a Time” (ABC at 8) Sunday, Sept. 27
“The Originals” (CW at 9) Thursday, Oct. 8
“Please Like Me” (Pivot at 10) Friday, Oct. 16
“Reign” (CW at 8) Friday, Oct. 9
“Ridiculousness” (MTV at 10) Thursday, Oct. 8
*”Robot Chicken” (Adult Swim at midnight) Sunday, Oct. 25
“Satisfaction” (USA at 10) Friday, Oct. 16
*”Saturday Night Live” (NBC at 11:30) Saturday, Oct. 3
* “Scandal” (ABC at 9) Thursday, Sept. 24
“Scorpion” (CBS at 9) Monday, Sept. 21
“Shark Tank” (ABC at 9) Friday, Sept. 25
“The Simpsons” (Fox at 8) Sunday, Sept. 27
“Sleepy Hollow” (Fox at 9) Thursday, Oct. 1
“Star Wars Rebels”(Disney XD at 9:30) Wednesday, Oct. 14
“Supernatural” (CW at 9) Wednesday, Oct. 7
“Survivor” (CBS at 8) Wednesday, Sept. 23
*”Transparent” (Amazon) begins streaming on Dec. 4
*”Undateable” (NBC at 8) Friday, Oct. 9
“The Vampire Diaries” (CW at 8) Thursday, Oct. 8
“The Voice” (NBC at 8) Monday, Sept. 21
*”The Walking Dead” (AMC at 9) Sunday, Oct. 11
“World’s Funniest” (Fox at 8) Friday, Nov. 6
*”You’re The Worst” (Wednesdays at 10:30 on FXX; returned Sept. 9)
“Z Nation” (Fridays at 10 on Syfy; returned Sept. 11)
There’s plenty else premiering on your screen this fall: more comedies and dramas (interplanetary crime fighters, new versions of Scooby-Doo and Bugs Bunny, an Aziz Ansari series), plus the usual raft of reality shows, documentaries, movies, concerts and specials.
In this chronological list, I’ve noted some programs that aroused my interest or at least passed my initial sniff test. Maybe they’ll do something for you, too.
(* = Worth a look)
– In progress
Shows that have already premiered …
“Hand of God” (Amazon Streaming) Gritty and initially overwrought 10-episode drama stars Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy”) as Judge Pernell Harris, a corrupt local magistrate who gets religion and starts having hallucinations that convince him that he can avenge the rape of his daughter-in-law and miraculously wake his comatose son. Dana Delany plays Pernell’s skeptical wife; Andre Royo (“The Wire”) plays a conniving mayor. If nothing else, “Hand of God” is well versed in the basic techniques of TV’s dark-hearted dramas, starting with the fact that everyone in it has a deeply damaged soul. Premiered Sept. 4.
* “Project Greenlight” (Sundays at 10 on HBO) Ben Affleck and Matt Damon exhume their idealistic HBO reality series a decade later and give it a few tweaks: In this iteration, a Facebook contest helps find an amateur filmmaker (revealed in the first episode), who is now tasked with directing a rough comedy script by the Farrelly brothers (“Dumb and Dumber”). What hasn’t changed is the argumentative, but certainly watchable, process of compromise that brings a finished movie to the screen — or in this case, to an airdate on HBO. “Project Greenlight” is still a painfully exquisite chronicling of First World problems. Premiered Sept. 13.
“Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris” (Tuesdays at 10 on NBC) It’s a comedy show, it’s a game show, it’s a variety show, it’s a stunt show — based on a similar hit from England. Neil Patrick Harris hosts. Premiered Sept. 15.
* “Moonbeam City” (Wednesdays at 10:30 on Comedy Central) With a slick, air-brushed, 1980s fashion style seemingly swiped from the works of painter Patrick Nagel, this animated series spoofs cop shows such as “Miami Vice.” (Think of “Archer” on the cover of a Duran Duran album.) Voices include Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte, Rob Lowe and Kate Mara. Premiered Sept. 16.
– Sunday, Sept. 20
“Dash Dolls”(E! at 9) Reality series about the lucky people who are employed at the Kardashian-owned boutique called Dash.
“Alaska Haunting” (Destination America at 10) It was only a matter of time before TV figured out a way to meld these two reality genres: ghost shows and Alaska wilderness shows …
– Tuesday, Sept. 22
“Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise” (PBS, check local listings) Three-part nature/docuseries about the effort to restore and repopulate a wildlife park in Mozambique after a civil war.
* “On Two Fronts: Latinos and Vietnam” (PBS, check local listings) Documentary examines the Latino experience of the American war in Vietnam, through the perspective of two siblings — one who fought in the war and the other who protested it.
– Wednesday, Sept. 23
“Road Spill” (TruTV at 10:30) Reality show about what people really yammer on about in the privacy of their own cars.
– Thursday, Sept. 24
“Fashionably Late With Rachel Zoe” (Lifetime at 10:30) A weekly talk show hosted by the (surprisingly resilient) Hollywood style maven.
– Friday, Sept. 25
“American Masters: The Women’s List” (PBS, check local listings) Another in the “List” series from Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, focusing on the achievements, struggles and life lessons of Madeleine Albright, Gloria Allred, Laurie Anderson, Edie Falco, Alicia Keys, Shonda Rhimes and more.
“Margaret Cho: psyCHO” (Showtime at 9) Stand-up comedy special from a woman who’s had more than her share of them.
“Step It Up”(Lifetime at 10) Reality series follows Traci Young-Byron, a former Miami Heat dancer who now helms the Young Contemporary Dance Theatre.
– Saturday, Sept. 26
“Brian Regan: Live” (Comedy Central at 9) Another stand-up comedy special, but apparently the first one to air live on this network.
“American Dream/American Knightmare” (Showtime at 9) Documentary about the eventful life of Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight.
“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” (Disney XD at 9:30) New animated series based on last summer’s cheeky hit movie, which is based on a Marvel comic book. You can watch it as soon as you take out the trash like I asked you to an hour ago.
– Sunday, Sept. 27
* “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (CBS at 8) A special movie to wrap things up on the crime procedural that started it all — and caused real-life juries to believe that obtaining DNA results is as easy as a trip to the ATM.
* “Vice Special Report: Fixing the System” (HBO at 9) The “Vice” squad takes a closer look at America’s criminal justice system — which includes tagging along with President Barack Obama this summer on a visit a correctional facility in Oklahoma.
– Monday, Sept. 28
“San Francisco 2.0” (HBO at 9) Busy documentarian Alexandra Pelosi turns the lens on her rapidly changing home town as the tech boom drives out more and more working-class residents and starving artists. Lots of questions and very few answers — it’s the filmmaking equivalent of standing arms akimbo and looking concerned.
“I’ll Have What Phil’s Having”(PBS, check local listings) Travelogue/food show with Phil Rosenthal, creator of TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
* “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”(Comedy Central at 11) Jon Stewart fans, keep your expectations low and your mind open as the still mostly unknown comedian takes over the host’s chair.
– Tuesday, Sept. 29
“iHeart Radio Music Festival” (CW at 8) Two-night, four-hour concert special. It’s radio on your television, kids.
“Adam Ruins Everything”(TruTV at 10) Expanding his online CollegeHumor series, comedian Adam Conover explores some of our misconceptions about fun things we take for granted.
– Wednesday, Sept. 30
“E.O. Wilson: Of Ants and Men” (PBS, check local listings) Documentary explores the life and work of the renowned insect expert and Pulitzer-winning father of sociobiology.
“The Fluffy Movie” (Fuse at 8:30) Backstage footage from the sold-out world tour by comedian Gabriel Iglesias (a k a “Fluffy”).
“Transcendent” (Fuse at 11:30) Docuseries from producer of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” follows the lives of performers at the AsiaSF Cabaret in San Francisco.
– Thursday, Oct. 1
“Live Nation Music Awards”(TNT/TBS, time to be announced) Because what we really needed was another music awards show.
* “Benders” (IFC at 10) Denis Leary produces this new comedy series about best friends who play together on an amateur hockey team.
“Fluffy Breaks Even”(Fuse at 10) Docuseries follows Gabriel Iglesias and his comedian friends on tour; not to be confused, one supposes, with “The Fluffy Movie” backstage documentary that aired the night before.
* “Gigi Does It”(IFC at 10:30) David Krumholtz (“Numb3rs”) stars as an outspoken older Jewish lady who sets out to spend the fortune her dead husband left behind.
– Friday, Oct. 2
“POV: Ai Weiwei — The Fake Case” (PBS, check local listings) Documentary about how China’s attempt to silence the artist Ai Weiwei backfired, turning him into an international sensation.
“Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy” (Netflix streaming) Stand-up comedy special.
“The Jacksons: Next Generation” (Lifetime at 10) Reality series about life as a second-generation Jackson — in this case, Tito’s three sons: T.J., Taj and Taryll, who are in their late 30s and early 40s.
“Skee TV” (Fuse at 10) Talk show hosted by DJ Skee.
– Saturday, Oct. 3
“The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story” (Lifetime at 8) Clearly, we’ve only scratched the surface of old TV shows waiting to be turned into dreadful Lifetime tell-all movies.
– Sunday, Oct. 4
“The Widower” (PBS, check local listings) Three-part drama based on the true story of Malcolm Webster, a British nurse who was convicted of murdering his first wife and trying to murder his second wife to cash in their life-insurance policies.
“50/50” (Travel at 7) Reality/travel show offers people a 50-hour, $50,000 trip somewhere — the only hitch is they have to leave right now.
“Art Breakers”(Ovation at 8) Four-part docuseries about two art advisers who seek to match groundbreaking works of art with the clients who can afford them.
– Monday, Oct. 5
“The Weapon Hunter” (Smithsonian Channel at 8) History buff and gun restorer Paul Shull goes on a quest to find, fix and shoot some prized firearms.
* “Wabbit” (Boomerang at 8) New animated shorts, in a new style, featuring a new kind of Bugs Bunny.
* “Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!” (Boomerang at 8:30) Update of the popular cartoon franchise — the 12th “Scooby-Doo” series since the canine sleuth’s 1969 debut. This time, the gang is graduating from high school and has one summer left to party, but ghosts and monsters get in the way. (Wait — the gang was in high school all this time? Guess they ditched a lot of classes.)
– Wednesday, Oct. 7
* “Casual” (Hulu streaming) This cynical but engaging 10-episode dramedy from writer Zander Lehmann and executive producer Jason Reitman stars Michaela Watkins as Valerie, a recently divorced therapist who moves, with her teenage daughter (Tara Lynne Barr), into the home of her snarky brother, Alex (Tommy Dewey). He’s the inventor of a successful online dating site that matches people looking for casual encounters. The show’s vibe is smack in between “Transparent” and “Married.”
– Thursday, Oct. 8
*”SuperMansion (Crackle streaming) From the creators of “Robot Chicken,” a stop-motion animation comedy featuring the voice of Bryan Cranston as Titanium Rex, a veteran superhero who is faced with leading a team of past-their-prime superheroes.
– Friday, Oct. 9
“The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show” (Netflix streaming) Return of the kids’ series about a genius dog and his boy.
“Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” (Netflix streaming) Documentary by Evgeny Afineevsky chronicles student demonstrations in 2013-14 that morphed into a violent revolution.
– Saturday, Oct. 10
“Prophet’s Prey” (Showtime at 9) Cable premiere of a highly praised documentary about Warren Jeffs and his polygamous cult.
“The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story” (Lifetime at 8) Another movie about the bitchiness, backstabbing and existential ennui that plagued the set of a popular 1990s TV show. (Make it stop!)
– Tuesday, Oct. 13
“BET Hip Hop Awards” (BET at 8) Honors the best of the past year’s hip-hop performances, production and videos.
– Wednesday, Oct. 14
“The Brain With David Eagleman” (PBS, check local listings) Six-hour science series looks deeply at the noodle inside the noggin.
– Friday, Oct. 16
“Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayers” (Netflix streaming) Stand-up comedy special.
– Saturday, Oct. 17
*”Amy Schumer: Live From the Apollo Theater” (HBO at 10) There’s no stopping her — and who’s trying?
– Sunday, Oct. 18
“Belief” (OWN at 8) A lavishly produced seven-night documentary from Oprah Winfrey about the ways people search for deeper meaning and personal connections from the perspective of a wide range of religious and spiritual beliefs. (Sounds very O.)
“Lost in Paradise”(Hallmark at 9) Movie based on the best-selling books by Robert B. Parker, with Tom Selleck reprising his role as Police Chief Jesse Stone, who is asked to help solve a series of murders in Boston.
*”Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship” (Adult Swim) The Batman-Superman bromance hits a crisis point that has a disastrous effect on the DC multiverse.
– Tuesday, Oct. 20
“The Westbrooks” (working title) (BET at 10) Reality series about five sisters who are quite skilled at advancing their personal brands on social media.
– Wednesday, Oct. 21
“Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors” (Investigation Discovery at 9) Docuseries explores gruesome stories of very unfortunate hotel guests.
“RocketJump: The Show” (Hulu streaming) Weekly series takes viewers behind the scenes of Freddie Wong’s viral RocketJump video shorts.
– Friday, Oct. 23
*”Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” (Showtime at 9) Documentary looks at the public and private life of the outspoken and sometimes controversial retired congressman from Massachusetts.
– Saturday, Oct. 24
“Revealed” (Fuse at 7) Music/biography series examines the lives and careers of today’s current stars — Jason Derulo, Trey Songz, Ed Sheeran, Ciara, etc.
– Monday, Oct. 26
“How to Dance in Ohio” (HBO at 9) Documentary follows a 12-week course that prepares autistic teens and young adults for spring formal dance.
– Friday, Oct. 30
“Exorcism Live!” (Destination America at 9) The crew from “Ghost Asylum” travels to a suburban St. Louis home that was reportedly the site of a 1949 exorcism. Here, on live TV, they will … do what, exactly?
– Saturday, Oct. 31
* “Ash vs. Evil Dead” (Starz at 9) A 10-episode bloodfest from Sam Raimi, based on his popular “Evil Dead” cult horror films. Starring, of course, the inimitable Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams, the chain-saw-armed antihero of the previous films.
– Monday, Nov. 2
“Barbara Walters Presents American Scandals” (Investigation Discovery at 10) Docuseries in which the retired 85-year-old newswoman recounts big, dishy scandal stories that she covered, which now gather dust in her ABC News archives.
“The Diplomat” (HBO at 9) Documentary about the life and work of the late Richard Holbrooke, directed by his son David.
– Friday, Nov. 6
*”Master of None” (Netflix streaming) This new sorta “Louie”-esque comedy series stars Aziz Ansari as Dev, a 30-year-old actor who lives in New York (of course) and is unable to decide what he wants from life. Judging from a preview trailer shown to critics this summer, “Master of None” looks like a hilarious wallow in that awkwardness we all love so much.
– Saturday, Nov. 7
Untitled U2 documentary (HBO, time to be announced) Behind the scenes during the band’s recent Innocence + Experience Tour — and a prelude to the network’s U2 concert special on Nov. 14.
– Sunday, Nov. 8
“Agent X” (TNT at 9) Action/drama series about John Case (Jeff Hephner), a k a Agent X, whose missions are so secret that the president doesn’t even know about them. Instead, Agent X takes his orders from the vice president (Sharon Stone).
– Monday, Nov. 9
“Independent Lens: Stray Dog” (PBS, check local listings) Documentary from director Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”) follows Ron Hall, a k a “Stray Dog,” who makes a motorcycle trip from Missouri to the District to honor deceased Vietnam veterans; meanwhile, back home, he’s making a new life with his Mexican wife and her sons as they try to find their place in a rapidly changing America.
– Tuesday, Nov. 10
*”American Epic” (PBS, check local listings) Two-part film retraces the 1920 journey of talent scouts who traveled the country with the first electric recording machine in an attempt to unearth emerging forms of American music. Concludes Nov. 17.
“Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History” (PBS, check local listings) Ric Burns’s documentary examines the cultural and federal regard for men and women injured and disabled while fighting our wars — and how it’s changed over time.
“Soul Train Awards” (BET at 8) Honors the best in R&B performances, songs and videos.
*”Secret Space Escapes” (Science Channel at 10) Docuseries recounts true tales from astronauts about close calls, dangerous moments and other near-collisions that occurred on their missions and that few outsiders ever knew about.
“Donny!” (USA at 10:30) “Soft-scripted” comedy/reality series loosely based on the life of cable-TV host Donny Deutsch, who plays a daytime talk host.
– Friday, Nov. 13
*”John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid” (Netflix streaming) Stand-up comedy special.
– Saturday, Nov. 14
*U2 concert (Innocence + Experience tour) (HBO, time to be announced) Scheduled to be filmed at the Bercy Arena in Paris.
*”Spotless” (Esquire at 10) Esquire’s first foray into scripted content, this dark comedy is about a man with a successful crime-scene cleaning business whose life is disrupted by the arrival of his troublesome brother. Brendan Coyle (“Downton Abbey”) plays a mob boss.
– Sunday, Nov. 15
* “Into the Badlands” (AMC at 10) Futuristic/dystopian/feudal martial arts drama series set in the American Midwest centuries from now. Stars Daniel Wu as the best of a highly trained group of assassins known as the Clippers.
– Monday, Nov. 16
“Independent Lens: India’s Daughter” (PBS, check local listings) Documentary about the short life of Jyoti Singh, the victim of a gang rape and murder in 2012 that sparked a profound cultural shift in discussing violence against women in India.
– Tuesday, Nov. 17
“The American Epic Sessions” (PBS, check local listings) This companion piece to “American Epic” (see Nov. 10) meticulously reassembles the first electronic recording machine that allowed America to hear its various musical styles.
– Thursday, Nov. 19
* “The Art of More” (Crackle streaming) Drama series about an ambitious Iraq war veteran (Christian Cooke) who leverages his newfound knowledge of antiquities smuggling into a position at a premium auction house, where the stakes are high — and dangerous. Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth also star.
– Friday, Nov. 20
“Marvel’s Jessica Jones”(Netflix streaming) Marvel’s who? If you have to ask, you’re not a comics fan. Krysten Ritter stars in the title role as a former superhero who opens her own detective agency.
– Saturday, Nov. 21
“Royal Family Thanksgiving” (TV One at 8) Movie about a couple (Richard Lawson and Debbi Morgan) who fake a marital struggle to lure their extremely busy adult children home for Thanksgiving.
– “Jim Henson’s Turkey Hollow” (Lifetime at 8) Live-action movie based on a never-produced 1968 idea from the man who gave us the Muppets. Stars Mary Steenburgen, Ludacris and Jay Harrington.
– Monday, Nov. 23
*”Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize” (PBS at 9) Star-studded salute to the comedian and actor, taped in Washington on Oct. 18.
* “3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets” (HBO at 9) Documentary film examines the 2012 case of a white man, Michael Dunn, who shot at a car full of black teenagers at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station (killing one of them) because he says he felt threatened by their loud rap music.
“Independent Lens: Mimi and Dona”(PBS, check local listings) Documentary follows a 92-year-old woman, Mimi, as she looks for a new home for her intellectually disabled 64-year-old daughter, Dona.
– Tuesday, Nov. 24
*”American Experience: The Pilgrims” (PBS, check local listings) Documentary from Ric Burns explores the events that led a group of English men and women to cross the Atlantic in 1620, and the struggles they endured to build a community in New England.
Monday, Nov. 30
*”It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown” (ABC at 9) Special hosted by Kristen Bell (and designed to make some of us feel older than Pig Pen’s dirt) salutes the iconic 1965 Christmas program.
– Wednesday, Dec. 2
“Racing Extinction” (Discovery at 9) Documentary from director Louie Psihoyos (“The Cove”) sends a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the world of endangered-species trafficking.
– Thursday, Dec. 3
*”The Wiz Live!” (NBC at 8) The latest in the network’s annual live musical extravaganzas, this time adapting the 1974 hit stage musical — a soulful retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” with an all-black cast. Unlike “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan,” “The Wiz” is more open to interpretation and always ripe for a creative revamp. Lots of stars have signed up, including Mary J. Blige as Evillene, the Wicked Witch; David Alan Grier as the Cowardly Lion; Uzo Aduba as Glinda; and Queen Latifah as the Wiz. Shanice Williams will play Dorothy.
– Saturday, Dec. 5
“Royal Family Christmas” (TV One at 8) Movie. Remember “Royal Family Thanksgiving?” It was only two weeks ago. Here’s the sequel as the Royal kids scheme to get their parents back together.
– Monday, Dec. 7
“Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists” (HBO at 9) Documentary about the process behind creating and choosing the cartoons that run in the New Yorker magazine.
– Thursday, Dec. 10
* “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” (NBC at 9) Heartwarming family movie — the first of several planned movies that will be based on lyrics from Dolly Parton’s songbook. This one recounts the “Coat of Many Colors,” based loosely on an event from Parton’s childhood.
– Monday, Dec. 14
* “Bolshoi Babylon” (HBO at 9) Documentary gets a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the legendary Moscow ballet company, in the wake of a 2013 acid-throwing attack on its creative director.
*”Childhood’s End” (Syfy at 8) Three-night miniseries adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel about the empty utopian promises offered by an alien race (the Overlords) and a handful of earthlings who aren’t buying it.
“The Expanse” (Syfy at 10) Two-night premiere (Dec. 14 and 15) of a new series starring Thomas Jane (“Hung”) as a detective who chases down leads on a murder case across the solar system. Based on a series of novels.
– Friday, Dec. 18
“Mike Epps: After Dark” (Netflix streaming) Stand-up comedy special.
– Tuesday, Dec. 29
*”The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” (CBS at 9) Telecast of the ceremony taped earlier in the month, bestowing the Honors on the Eagles, Carole King, George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Seiji Ozawa and Cicely Tyson.
– Also this fall
Shows still waiting for official premiere dates …
* “Chelsea Does” (Netflix streaming) Four-part docuseries starring the comedian, author and former late-night talk host Chelsea Handler, in which she tackles some of the biggies: Chelsea does marriage, Chelsea does racism, Chelsea does Silicon Valley, and Chelsea does drugs.
* “A Very Murray Christmas” (Netflix streaming) Eagerly anticipated star-studded Bill Murray holiday special, directed by Sofia Coppola.
“F Is for Family” (Netflix streaming) Animated series starring the voice of comedian Bill Burr as the loudmouthed patriarch of a family in the 1970s.
“Long Live the Royals” (Cartoon Network) Animated special about a royal family at Christmastime.