A fresh crop: The scoop on TV's new fall shows

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Kyla Brewer / TV Media
Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba star in "L.A.'s Finest"

Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba star in "L.A.'s Finest"

That magical time of year is almost here, and TV fans are in for some fresh treats at last. After months of reruns and binge watching, it's finally time for new TV series to pop up in prime time.

While there may not be as many productions as usual for this year's fall TV harvest, there are still some choice offerings. Cable channels are ready to duke it out for ratings with their own original programming, and he major networks have secured a mix of dramas, a comedy and even a game show.

HBO will be out of the gate early with the premiere of "We Are Who We Are," on Monday, Sept. 14. The drama from Luca Guadagnino ("Call Me By Your Name," 2017) examines modern teen angst set against the backdrop of an American military base in Italy in 2016. It stars Jack Dylan Grazer ("It," 2017) as Fraser, a shy teenager who moves from New York to the base.

AMC hopes to continue the success of its The Walking Dead franchise with "The Walking Dead: World Beyond," scheduled to premiere Sunday, Oct. 4. The series had been slated to premiere in April, but AMC changed its plans when COVID-19 forced the industry-wide shutdown, opting instead to save it for its fall schedule. Set 10 years after the advent of the apocalypse, the show follows sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale, "The Red Line") and Hope (Alexa Mansour, "Loco Love," 2017) and two friends who leave a place of safety on a quest.

There's no doubt that the COVID-19 shutdown has had an impact on television productions, many of which were forced to close up shop in March. However, industry pundits remain optimistic, including the folks at Fox, who are planning to welcome three notable new series to their prime-time lineup this fall.

"Now, more than ever, consistency, results and stability take on an all-new emphasis," Fox executive Marianne Gambelli said. "Fox is primed and ready for the fall with a great deal of stability across our entire programming lineup, featuring premium content that continually resonates with viewers."

In other words, the key to success might just be quality over quantity. Bringing in some top-notch stars could give Fox the edge. Gabrielle Union ("Bring It On," 2000) and Jessica Alba ("Fantastic Four," 2005) bring their talents to the small screen in the network's newly acquired "L.A.'s Finest," scheduled to make its network television debut on Monday, Sept. 21. The police drama from Hollywood bigwig Jerry Bruckheimer is a spinoff of his big-screen Bad Boys franchise. "L.A.'s Finest" follows "Bad Boy" Marcus Burnett's sister, Syd (Union), and her new LAPD partner, Nancy (Alba). It's important to note that the show isn't entirely new, but it's new to Fox. Its first season aired on the cable channel Spectrum.

Jack Dylan Grazer in "We Are Who We Are"

Jack Dylan Grazer in "We Are Who We Are"

Fox does have two completely new series this fall -- "Filthy Rich" and "Next." Premiering right after "L.A.'s Finest" on Monday, Sept. 21, "Filthy Rich" stars Kim Cattrall ("Sex in the City") as wealthy widow Margaret Monreaux. She's shocked to discover that her late husband, Eugene Monreaux (Gerald McRaney, "Simon & Simon"), fathered three illegitimate children. What's worse, he wrote them into his will, threatening her hold on the family fortune.

Fox's thriller "Next" is set to premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 6. It stars John Slatterly ("Mad Men") as Silicon Valley pioneer Paul LeBlanc. When he discovers that an artificial intelligence that he created could be a threat to the human race, he works alongside Homeland Cybersecurity agent Shea Salazar (Fernanda Andrade, "Fallen") to stop it.

CBS has plans for two new series this fall -- one comedy and one drama -- although neither has a concrete premiere date as of yet. The network's "B Positive" is the only network television comedy scheduled to make its debut this fall. Chuck Lorre ("The Big Bang Theory") and Marco Pennette ("Inconceivable") serve as executive producers on the series about Drew (Thomas Middleditch, "Silicon Valley"), a newly divorced dad who discovers he needs a kidney transplant. Luckily, a woman from his past, Gina (Annaleigh Ashford, "Masters of Sex"), agrees to donate hers.

None other than Queen Latifah ("Chicago," 2002) helms a reboot of the classic TV series "The Equalizer" for CBS. She stars as Robyn McCall, a mysterious woman who uses her unique skill set to help those who have no one else to turn to in this reimagining of the show that ran from 1985 to 1989. As in the original series, the Equalizer, as McCall is known, is a vigilante for justice. Chris Noth ("Law & Order") and Lorraine Toussaint ("Orange Is the New Black") also star.

At ABC, David E. Kelley ("Ally McBeal") has cooked up the thriller "Big Sky" based on the book "The Highway" by C.J. Box. Private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury, "Pitch") and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe, "Cruel Intentions," 1999) team up with Hoyt's ex-wife, Jenny (Katheryn Winnick, "Vikings"), to investigate the disappearance of two sisters who were kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.

ABC has the only game show on the network TV docket with "Supermarket Sweep," a rehash of the series that originally aired on American television in the 1960s. Leslie Jones ("Saturday Night Live") hosts the new version, which follows three teams that use their knowledge of merchandise and grocery shopping prowess to win big prizes.

As with the CBS series, neither of ABC's new offerings had confirmed premiere dates as of press time.

Last but not least of the so-called Big Four networks is NBC with a sole new offering for fall. However, given its pedigree, the new series ought to have lots to offer. Fan favorite Christopher Meloni ("Oz") reprises his role as Elliot Stabler from "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" in the spinoff "Law & Order: Organized Crime," which is also awaiting a premiere date. After a decade away, Stabler returns to the NYPD to lead a task force to take down New York's crime syndicates.

All told, for fans hungry for fresh content, there's something to suit just about everyone's tastes this fall. Check out TV's freshest fare beginning in September.