Gotham

There are nearly 50 new TV shows debuting in the next few weeks, including shows about stalkers, comedies about sick kids and another NCIS — the procedural kudzu of television! Only seven of those 50 are worth watching. Here’s how to choose the right one.


Fall TV

Your key:

Marry Me: A manic rom-com with a solid comedy pedigree: Ken Marino (The State, Role Models) and Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) play the will-they/won’t-they couple, and creator David Caspe (also of Happy Endings) provides some hopeful comedic edge. Oct. 14, NBC

Mulaney: Star and titular character John Mulaney is already one of our favorite standups (love his riff on Law & Order; also this one). Here, he’s a N.Y. comedian and struggling writer, while Martin Short plays his boss, an unhinged game-show host. Slightly meta, certainly funny and positively Seinfeld-esque. Oct. 5, Fox

Gracepoint: Remaking a cult British drama, Gracepoint follows a police investigation into the death of a young boy in a small California town. A little bit The Killing and a dash of True Detective, all topped off with the grimness of Gone Girl. Oct. 2, Fox

Z Nation: Shut your brain off: it’s a zombie road trip from the guys behind Sharknado, starring DJ Qualls. An unapologetic C-movie at heart, Z looks to be more Return of the Living Dead fun than Walking Dead snooze. Sep. 12, SyFy

Gotham: A Batman show with no Batman. This prequel goes in a different direction, focusing on the early days of police detective Jim Gordon (Southland’s Ben McKenzie). Fans of the comic’s Frank Miller/Year One era should appreciate the show’s noir approach, as well as the slow reveals of future villains like the Penguin and Catwoman. Sep. 22, Fox

American Horror Story: Freak Show: So, this is creepy. Set at a 1950s Florida circus run by AHS regular Jessica Lange, this season focuses on a standoff between a freakshow and a set of “evil forces” — e.g., a guy named “Twisty the Clown Killer.” Oct. 8, FX

Constantine: At heart, it’s the story of an a–hole killing demons. If the primetime nature of the show is a bit sanitized (e.g., you’ll never see our rugged anti-hero smoking, his signature characteristic from the comic book), the awesome source material should keep it from faltering. Oct. 24, NBC