Fall TV Guide 2013: New & Returning Shows to Watch in October

From Scandal to Sean Saves the World, check out the shows we can't wait to see this month

he weather is starting to cool and the kids have long since returned to school... but fall TV is still just heating up!

From the return of Kerry Washington in Scandal and Ian Somerhalder in The Vampire Diaries to the premieres of new shows with Sean Hayes in Sean Saves the World and Blair Underwood in Ironside, it's going to be an exciting month.

Here are the most notable new and returning shows coming your way in October!

 

American Horror Story: Coven

 Coven

Courtesy of FX

Premieres: Oct. 9 at 10 p.m. on FX 

Where we left off: Through the reporting of Lane Winters (Sarah Paulson), the Briarcliff Mental Institution for the criminally insane has been shut down -- but not before nearly all the major characters are victims of murder, suicide or alien abduction.

Why we can't wait: Jessica Lange and Paulson are both back for Season 3, this time as an estranged mother and daughter who head up a school for witches during a time of persecution. "This year is a drama but there is a lot of humor, and we are embracing a kind of velocity and fun with the series," says exec producer Tim Minear. "It’s not the same as it was the past two years, but I think it can be more fun for the audience.” 

 

Arrow

Arrow

Courtesy of The CW

Premieres: Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. on The CW

Where we left off: Oliver/Arrow (Stephen Amell) has seemingly killed his season-long nemesis Malcolm Merlyn, but was unable to prevent Merlyn's already-planned bombing of The Glades neighborhood, with Laural (Katie Cassidy) inside. While Tommy (Colin Donnell) was able to rescue Laurel, he himself was impaled as a building collapsed.

Why we can't wait: The finale's large-scale destruction will drive the action in Season 2. "Tommy's death will reverberate through the cast of characters and will affect the changes and choices that Oliver makes," says exec producer Marc Guggenheim.

 

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Courtesy of The CW

Premieres: Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW

Where we left off: Vincent (Jay Ryan) and Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) are in love! And suddenly… Vince is being abducted by a bad guy in a helicopter. (And said bad guy is Catherine's father?)

Why we can't wait: There must be a reunion in store for VinCat, since Kreuk describes the premiere as "achingly romantic"! Also, Catherine will learn her father's identity, and Vincent will explore his past.

 

Dracula

Dracula

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Oct 25 at 10 p.m. on NBC

What it's about: The world's most famous vampire is re-imagined as a handsome, suave American businessmen (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who settles in Victorian England to exact revenge on those responsible for making him undead.

Why we can't wait: Though the producers have recreated the tale in a fresh way, "there are still still plenty of classic Dracula elements for purists to enjoy," says Screenspy's critic. That includes "miles of cobbled and foggy Victorian streets, bevies of hapless young women falling prey to Dracula’s smile and a tale of love lost between the count and his seemingly reincarnated bride." 


Grimm

Grimm

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC

Where we left off:  Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) learns Nick's (David Giuntoli) true identity and accepts it. But just as Nick discovers why there are so many zombies in Portland, he gets poisoned and turned into one himself. Now he's in a coffin headed to Europe.

Why we can't wait: Will Juliette ever see Nick again? Probably, but "our writers love to get people back together only to tear them apart," Giuntoli told TV Line. "It’s a very dysfunctional world in which to be written. Yes, there was a payoff with Juliette. She seemed okay with everything -- shockingly, by the way. And instantly, they’re torn back apart through these circumstances. We’ll see what happens."

 

Ironside

Ironside

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Oct 2 at 10 p.m. on NBC

What it's about: In this reboot of an NBC police procedural from the late '60s, Blair Underwood plays a wheelchair-bound cop who leads a team of detectives to solve weekly crimes.

Why we can't wait: Underwood plays the same character as the one in the original Ironside, but everything else is re-imagined. "All new characters, a new city, new texture, new storytelling, new audience," says the 48-year-old actor -- who's as sexy as he was back on his first NBC hit, L.A. Law. "It's a crime drama wrapped in a character study."

 

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Once in Wonderland

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Oct 10 at 8 p.m. on ABC

What it's about: The creators of Lost have turned Alice in Wonderland on its head, reimagining Alice (Sophie Lowe) as a beautiful tomboy in Victorian England who swears she's been to an enchanted, parallel world. While her father prepares to commit her to an insane asylum, the Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) and the White Rabbit (voiced by John Lithgow) help her return to the mysterious world. Her true love, a handsome genie, awaits her there.

Why we can't wait: This will be one crazy ride, if the show's casting tells us anything: Iggy Pop is voicing the hookah-smoking caterpillar, and exec producer Edward Kitsis describes the show as "a psychedelic romance."

 

Scandal

Scandal

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Oct 3 at 10 p.m. on ABC

Where we left off: Olivia (Kerry Washingon) has been revealed as the president's mistress. And she learns that B613 boss Rowan (Joe Morton) is … her father!

Why we can't wait: "Olivia, with these two bombs of her name being leaked and her dad showing up, has a lot to navigate," Washington told The Hollywood Reporter. "You're going to learn a lot about Olivia's past; it's really shocking." Creator Shonda Rimes promises that viewers will learn who outed Olivia as Fitz's mistress. The new season, which will pick up 22 minutes after the finale, will focus on how she and Fitz will deal with the fallout of the revelations.  
 

Sean Saves the World

Sean Saves the World

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Oct 3 at 9 p.m. on NBC

What it's about: Seven years since the end of Will & Grace, Sean Hayes returns to an NBC sitcom as a gay, divorced dad with a teen daughter (Samantha Isler), an overbearing mother (Linda Lavin) and a snarky boss (Thomas Lennon).

Why we can't wait: "I think of this as a post-gay show where there is a gay man at the center but it’s not about his being gay,” creator Victor Fresco said at a Television Critics Association meeting. "It's an afterthought," added Hayes, "which is how it should be."
 

Super Fun Night

Super Fun Night

Courtesy of ABC

Premieres: Oct 2 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC

What it's about: Rebel Wilson (a scene-stealer in movies like Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect) plays a lovable goofball who's determined to enjoy life despite her outsider status. Kimmie spends Friday nights with her nerdy pals, Helen-Alice (Liza Lapira) and Marika (Lauren Ash). The show will follow them as they chase after some super fun.

Why we can't wait: There are certainly enough pretty, size-zero actresses on TV. With average-person weight, bad clothes and big glasses, these characters are more representative of the general public. "Wilson’s boisterous personality can’t help but occasionally charm, [but] the material is relatively slight," says Variety's TV critic.

 

Supernatural

Supernatural

Courtesy of The CW

Premieres: Oct 8 at 9 p.m. on The CW

Where we left off: Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) chose each other instead of closing the gates of Hell. But now Sam's life hangs in the balance as he suffers the effects of the Angel Trials.

Why we can't wait: "They've got angels, they've got demons and all the other stuff in between to now deal with," Ackles told critics at Comic-Con. "They've got to figure out how to navigate the terrain with all the new elements. They're going to have to rely on each other more than ever, which is going to be difficult because there's a secret that Dean is harboring right now from Sam."

 

The Carrie Diaries

The Carrie Diaries

Courtesy of The CW

Premieres: Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. on The CW

Where we left off: Carrie (Annasophia Robb) broke up with Sebastian (Austin Butler); Walt (Brendan Dooling) told Maggie (Katie Findlay) he's gay; and Carrie and Walt moved to New York City for the summer.

Why we can't wait: Enter Samantha Jones (Lindsay Gort)! "The first thing I wanted to do in Season 2 was bring Samantha in," says exec producer Amy B. Harris. "Sam's backstory is rough and tumble; she's been surviving on her own for a while. And what Carrie brings to Samantha is the idea that if you actually let people in, they will care about you. It's a process and I don't want their journey to end in Episode 1. There are ups and downs, but they have instant chemistry."

 

The Millers

The Millers

Courtesy of CBS

Premieres: Oct 3 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS

What it's about: Will Arnett plays a guy whose own divorce inspires his parents (Justified's Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges) to split up, too. Now mom's living with him; dad's living with his sister (Glee's Jayma Mays); and everyone's miserable.

Why we can't wait: The cast is chock full of likable and familiar actors, including JB Smoove, who plays a work friend who might be a bad influence. "This could be fertile ground for comedy and it should be, given that the creator is Greg Garcia, best known for the hilariously quirky My Name Is Earl and Raising Hope," says the critic at Pop Matters. Unfortunately, he also notes that "the jokes are crude and broad" and not the kind of material that "fans of Arnett's previous work will be watching."

 

The Originals

The Originals

Courtesy of The CW

Premieres: Oct 3 at 9 p.m. on The CW

What it's about: This Vampire Diaries spinoff focuses on Original vampire Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan), his protege (a new character played by Charles Michael Davis), and his siblings, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt).

Why we can't wait: Showrunner Julie Plec describes the new show as simply move Vampire Diaries to love. "For me, it’s the idea of getting a two-hour episode every week," she told Entertainment Weekly. "It’s like if Glee made two shows -- one in New York and one in high school."

 

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries

Courtesy of The CW

Premieres: Oct 3 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW

Where we left off: Elena (Nina Dobrev) finally chooses which Salvatore brother she loves. It's Damon (Ian Somerhalder)! But just as younger bro Stefan (Paul Wesley) makes to leave town, he discovers that he is Silas' true self -- and gets thrown in the river.

Why we can't wait: Don't worry about Stefan -- Elena and Katherine will be warned in a dream that he is in trouble. As for Elena and Damon, they will get some time to enjoy each other. "One of the things [we will try] to do is to try to keep them happy for a while in the midst of the bad things around them that are trying to tear them apart," said executive producer Julie Plec.

 

'The Walking Dead'

The Walking Dead

Courtesy of AMC

Premieres: Oct 13 at 9 p.m. on AMC

Where we left off: The psychopathic Governor (David Morrissey) kills most of his own followers and leaves Andrea (Laurie Holden) locked up with the soon-to-turn-walker Milton (Dallas Roberts). Ultimately, Andrea takes her own life.

Why we can't wait: "What we really have here in Season 4 is we dangle the carrot that civilization can be rebuilt," says exec producer David Alpert.  "[That] will make people much more desperate and willing to do things that would have previously been unthinkable."

 

Welcome to the Family

Whitney Houston

Courtesy of NBC

Premieres: Oct 3 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC

What it's about: One couple (Mike O'Malley and Mary McCormack) has a ditzy blond daughter. Another couple (Ricardo Chavira and Justina Machado) has a straight-A-earning son. Neither pair is thrilled when their offspring fall in love and bring them all together.

Why we can't wait: The show's cultural twist -- the two families are white and Latino -- sets the stage to question common stereotypes and explore racial issues. Though Hitfix's critic wasn't entirely won over by the pilot, he concedes that O'Malley (who plays Kurt's dad on Glee) "is a smart, talented and funny guy."

 

Witches of East End

Witches of East End

Courtesy of Lifetime

Premieres: Oct 6 at 10 p.m. on Lifetime

What it's about: Last seen as Megan Draper's mom in Mad Men, Julia Ormond returns to TV as the matriarch of a family of witches. Spells are cast, curses are thwarted, and lots of steamy, forbidden sex is had.

Why we can't wait: The show is like a much sudsier Charmed. "If that stirs you (and if your fingers need a break from typing all your erotic fan-fiction), then Witches of East End isn’t the worst you could do," says The Washington Post's TV critic.

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.

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