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ANTICIPATION REPORT: Network Programming Returns, Ushering In Fierce TV Competition

Fall TV is back in full swing with new shows to watch! Lifetime/Netflix/FX/NBC

School’s back in session, temperatures will soon be dropping, and the fall television season is quickly approaching. September brings an abundance of returning favorites and some definite, must-watch new shows, starting with You on Lifetime. Based on the Caroline Kepnes novel of the same name, the show follows a bookstore manager who uses the world of social media to make the woman of his dreams fall madly in love with him. Despite the character’s stalker tendencies, fans of Penn Badgley’s work on Gossip Girl, no doubt, had a hand in making You the No. 1 most anticipated show this month. The late aught throwbacks continue as Jonah Hill and Emma Stone pair up for the first time since 2007’s Superbad in Netflix’s Maniac (No. 2). The dark comedy based on a Norwegian series, follows two strangers in a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, which does not go as planned. The entire series will be available to binge Sept. 21st.

If you’re looking for a little mayhem, tune in to The Purge (No. 3) on September 4th. Much like the Blumhouse films, the USA series revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime is legal and several characters in a small city are forced to reckon with their past and do whatever it takes to get through the night. Will they survive? Only time will tell … The survivalist theme continues with NBC’s latest drama, Manifest (No. 4). Passengers and crew of a turbulent flight land after what they believe has been a few hours only to discover they’ve been missing for five years. Viewers will follow along as they try to re-enter the world, and learn that normalcy might not be a possibility.

Finally, the long-awaited next chapter of Sons of Anarchy arrives on FX in the form of Mayans M.C. (No. 5). Taking place three years after the end of Sons, top prospect “EZ” Reyes is fresh out of prison and eager to join the Mayans motorcycle club. With a need for vengeance, EZ steers his new freedom in a dangerous direction.

When it comes to returning shows, Netflix takes the lead with three original shows in the top five on our report. On the 7th, the streaming platform will release the second season of Marvel’s Iron Fist (No. 1). The new episodes will introduce us to villain, “Typhoid Mary” (Alice Eve), as Danny continues to work overtime to keep his city safe. If superheroes aren’t your cup of tea, a new season of Atypical (No. 2) returns on the same day, which will follow the Gardners as they attempt to right themselves as a family and Sam continues his crusade for romance. Animated dramedy, BoJack Horseman (No. 4), is also set to return for its fifth season on the 14th, although details have been scarce. 

Moving out of the OTT arena, fans of American Horror Story (No. 3) have longed for a crossover, and they’re finally getting their wish. Creator Ryan Murphy has combined two of the most beloved seasons, “Murder House” and “Coven,” to create a new, original tale with “Apocalypse.” The new episodes will feature characters from the previous seasons as well as appearances from witchy woman, Stevie Nicks, and AHS queen, Jessica Lange.

And last but by far not least, NBC’s The Good Place (No. 5) makes its comeback on the 27th. All of your favorite characters return to their separate lives in the “Medium Place.” Fingers crossed the new direction will lead Eleanor, Chidi, and the group of outcasts to change their old ways and find themselves together again.

Get ready for a busy fall season! There's lots to look forward to in October with shows like: Legacies, Charmed, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Riverdale, andThe Walking Dead. 

Want to get the Anticipation Report delivered each month to your in-box? Send a note to Georgina and we'll be sure to include you the last Wednesday of every month.

To learn more about our TV data, contact our Insights & Partnership Team.

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