Tears and thrills: Networks roll out a new slate of prime-time dramas

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Jacqueline Spendlove / TV Media
Noah Mills, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Hadi Tabbal and Mike Vogel as seen in "The Brave"

Noah Mills, Natacha Karam, Demetrius Grosse, Hadi Tabbal and Mike Vogel as seen in "The Brave"

Whenever the fall TV season rolls around, viewers are treated to a whole new slate of dramatic programming. Whether medical dramas or police procedurals are your bag, there's bound to be something that grabs you on the fall schedule.

The last week of September and first week of October are busy ones for new programming in general, and the major networks have a wide range of dramas on offer this year. ABC and NBC start things off with "The Good Doctor" and "The Brave," (both Sept. 25) respectively, followed by the peacock network's "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders" (Sept. 26). "SEAL Team" debuts on CBS Sept. 27, with "Wisdom of the Crowd" premiering the following week, along with ABC's "Ten Days in the Valley" (both Oct. 1).

"Bates Motel's" Freddie Highmore leads the cast of "The Good Doctor," premiering Monday, Sept. 25, on ABC. The medical drama follows Shaun Murphy (Highmore), a young surgical resident at a prestigious hospital. This isn't your average surgeon, though. Shaun has autism and savant syndrome, and while this poses a challenge when meeting new people (particularly new employers and colleagues), it also makes him an exceptional doctor. He's highly attuned and is able to see things that others don't, challenging even the diagnoses of his superiors (and thus, ruffling some feathers). The series comes from the mind of David Shore, who created "House," and thus can be trusted to cook up a strong medical drama.

Over on NBC, Anne Heche ("Hung") and Mike Vogel ("Under the Dome") lead the cast of "The Brave." The series explores two very different yet connected sides of America's elite military forces: intelligence-driven analysts working out of D.C. and special ops forces overseas in the field.

Heche leads the tech team on the home front as DIA Deputy Director Patricia Campbell, while Vogel, as Capt. Adam Dalton, takes care of the bravado in the field, along with his team of undercover specialists. This includes CPO Ezekiel "Preach" Carter (Demetrius Grosse, "Banshee"), intelligence officer Agent Amir Al-Raisani (Hadi Tabbal, "Circumstance," 2011), sniper Sgt. Jaz Khan (Natacha Karam, "Homeland") and combat medic Sgt. Joseph McGuire (Noah Mills, "Sex and the City 2," 2010). Together, though half a world apart, the two teams work to save innocent lives in some of the most dangerous places on the planet. The series premieres Monday, Sept. 25.

NBC doesn't have a monopoly on special ops this season -- "SEAL Team" gets underway Wednesday, Sept. 27, on CBS. The show follows an elite unit of Navy SEALs as they take on dangerous, high-stakes missions in the service of their country. David Boreanaz ("Bones") plays Jason Hayes, leader of the Tier One team, whose dedication to his job has taken its toll on his family as he's pulled away on missions at a moment's notice.

Freddie Highmore stars in "The Good Doctor"

Freddie Highmore stars in "The Good Doctor"

Of course, no TV slate would be complete without its share of crime dramas, and you can take your pick this fall or watch them all. "Law & Order" has breached the walls of fiction with "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders," the latest series in the franchise and the first to cover real-life cases. The anthology series bows Tuesday, Sept. 26, on NBC, and this first season dramatizes the high-profile trial of brothers Lyle and Erik Menendez, who were convicted in 1996 of the murder of their parents. The brothers are played by Miles Gaston Villanueva ("The Young and the Restless") and Gus Halper, with Emmy winner Edie Falco ("The Sopranos") playing their attorney, Leslie Abramson.

Less murdery but still gripping, ABC's "Ten Days in the Valley," premiering Sunday, Oct. 1, has been generating interest. The series stars Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer") as Jane Sadler, a television producer for a controversial crime drama and single mother going through a messy separation. She suddenly finds herself in the middle of a real-life crime drama when her daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. The show sees the mystery unfold over the course of 10 days, with secrets coming out on all sides from those in Jane's life -- and Jane herself. Kick Gurry ("Edge of Tomorrow," 2014), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje ("Oz") and Erika Christensen ("Parenthood") co-star.

That same night, CBS launches its buzzy new procedural, "Wisdom of the Crowd," starring Jeremy Piven ("Mr. Selfridge"). Piven plays Jeffrey Tanner, a Silicon Valley visionary whose daughter was murdered a year prior. Tanner has developed a crowdsourcing app through which he hopes the public will help find his daughter's killer. While his initial goal isn't exactly recognized, the app does help solve a number of other crimes, setting up the show for a case-of-the-week format, which, judging by the very large Law & Order family, is a winning one.

That's a lot to unpack, and there's still more to come. As the cooler weather moves in, get ready for another season of new and returning dramatic programming.