Is it our imaginations, or did the networks beef up their programming this fall? Scanning the channel guide can seem downright overwhelming due to the sheer volume of choices. What you really need is a trimmed-down list of this season’s must-watch new TV shows.
Well, here we come to save the day. We pored over ratings and reviews to bring you a list of the top 10 new shows on television. So set your DVR and get ready to fall in love with these dynamic series.
1. Will & Grace
All hail the return of Will & Grace! To be fair, this show isn’t entirely new… but it’s been so long it qualifies as a freshman comedy once more. And fans are apparently here for it, with the sitcom bringing in an impressive 6.72 million viewers per week. Considering this only puts it behind ratings giant Grey’s Anatomy (8 million viewers) on Thursday nights, it’s safe to assume the second coming of Will & Grace is poised for success.
Watch Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.
2. The Mayor
Although this refreshing comedy is only pulling in 2.96 million viewers, you have to put it in context — the more seasoned comedy in the same time slot on Tuesday nights, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, only pulled in 1.69. Meanwhile, this show about an idealistic young rapper-turned-public official is doing well on Metacritic, earning a metascore of 72 among professional reviewers and a 5.4 in viewer ratings.
Watch on Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.
3. The Good Doctor
Monday is a big night for new TV shows, arguably the most successful of which is The Good Doctor. A few weeks into its first season, the medical drama is still pulling in over 10 million viewers each week — putting it in close contention with ratings giants The Big Bang Theory (13 million viewers) and The Voice (10.37 million viewers). Bates Motel‘s Freddie Highmore shines as a brilliant young surgeon who also happens to be autistic.
Watch on Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
4. Young Sheldon
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Young Sheldon turned out the biggest comedy premiere on any network in total viewers since 2011 — fans love The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon, so it’s only natural they’d want to get a glimpse at the cerebral yet awkward scientist’s early life. Interestingly, the new series garnered generally favorable reviews from critics with a 63 metascore, but failed to fully impress Metacritic viewers, whose mixed ratings earned it a 4.0 user score.
Watch Mondays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.
5. Ten Days in the Valley
We’ll give you two reasons Ten Days in the Valley is worth a watch even though viewership has dropped off a bit: Kyra Sedgwick and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. And if the stellar acting from those two — as a mother searching frantically for her missing child and a police detective in charge of the case, respectively — isn’t enough, consider the fact that critics give it the proverbial thumbs up with a 63 metascore. Besides, the fact that nearly 4 million people are still tuning in hints at the show’s addictive intrigue.
Watch Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.
6. Kevin (Probably) Saves the World
C’mon, guys… watch this, OK? Jason Ritter is a real gem, and he plays this role as a man with a mission from God beautifully. It’s cruising along relatively well in viewership, pulling in a solid 3.61 million — this puts the freshman dramedy in the same arena as more veteran shows on the night, such as Black-ish (4.43 million), Fresh Off the Boat (4.08 million) and The Flash (2.84 million). And while critics only gave it a 59 metascore, viewers on Metacritic rated the show favorably at 6.9.
Watch Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.
7. The Gifted
While Marvel’s Inhumans is flailing in the wind, Fox’s superhero series is commanding audience attention. A strong cast led by True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer makes this series about ordinary parents with mutant children a fun watch. Critics and viewers alike seem to agree, rating The Gifted 63 (metascore) and 7.2 (user score) respectively on Metacritic. The show brings in around 3.5 million viewers per week.
Watch Mondays at 9/8c on Fox.
True, Ghosted isn’t necessarily blowing any other shows out of the water in viewership on Sunday nights. With only 1.76 million people watching, it’s falls on the lower-viewed end of the spectrum. However, it has a few things working against it — namely being in the 7/6c time slot on a slow night that also includes NFL football. However, those who are watching this funny new supernatural series love it. On Metacritic, it is finding equally favorable footing among critics, with a metascore of 62, and viewers, with a user score of 6.2. In other words, it’s worth a watch. I mean, with Adam Scott and Craig Robinson at the helm, how could it not be hilarious?
Watch Sundays at 7/6c on Fox.
9. The Brave
NBC’s answer to SEAL Team, The Brave, focuses on the lives of a special ops team as they try to save a kidnapped American doctor. Mike Vogel and Anne Heche star in this action-packed series, which is hanging strong with over 5 million viewers per week. And although critics weren’t super-psyched about it, giving it a 53 metascore, a user score of 6.7 suggest viewers are satisfied.
Watch Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.
10. SEAL Team
Is it the adrenaline of such high-stakes missions? Have David Boreanaz fans followed him from Bones? Whatever the case, this drama about the elite league of Navy specialists is commanding a respectable 7.1 million viewers — putting it above veteran shows like Law & Order: SVU. It fared slightly less favorably on Metacritic, earning a 57 metascore and a 4.4 user score. Still, it must be doing something right to pull such an impressive viewership!
Watch Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.
Midseason shows to look out for
The following new fall shows haven’t premiered yet, but the hype around them is high enough to warrant keeping an eye out:
- Alex, Inc. on ABC starring Zach Braff
- Black Lightning on The CW starring Cress and Nafessa Williams
- Life Sentence on The CW starring Lucy Hale
- The Resident on Fox starring Manish Dayal, Matt Czuchry and Emily VanCamp
- S.W.A.T. on CBS starring Shemar Moore