Kate’s Favorite Returning Fall TV Shows 2014

CATEGORIES: Kate, The Scoop

returning tvI loved talking favorite off-the-air TV shows a few weeks ago and it was so fun to chat with you guys about your favorites! Since we had so much fun, and since so many of you asked what my favorite shows are that are currently on the air, I can’t not tell you? Right?

A few disclaimers: I realized after I put this all together that I didn’t include Mad Men because it wasn’t on anyone’s radar–it starts up again next spring. I also realize that most of these shows are not shows that should be watched with little kids. Pay attention to ratings and content warnings and use your good judgement to determine if these shows are right for you.


returning comedies

New GirlThis show has its ups and downs, but when it’s funny, it’s reallyreally funny. Basically, Zooey Deschanel is a quirky hipster science teacher that shares an apartment with a bunch of different, single guys. It premieres September 16 at 9/8 Central on Fox.

Parks & Recreation. So many times when I tell people that I love Parks and Recreation, people tell me, “Oh, I tried it, but the first season was terrible.” I also saw the first season and I agree that it was indeed terrible. Fortunately, it improved a lot–I feel like Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine are the only two comedies I watch where I don’t have to make any qualifications, it’s just straight up funny no matter what. Ron? April? Chris? I love them all. It’s not on the schedule yet, but I’m guessing it’ll show up late fall or early 2015 on NBC.

The Mindy ProjectIf you guys watched The Office and loved Kelly Kapur’s airheaded hilarity, it’s alive and well in The Mindy Project. Mindy Kaling plays an OB/GYN who has it all together as a doctor, but is highly dysfunctional in pretty much every other area of her life. My husband hates her, and I agree that she can be annoying, but the supporting cast makes it worth it. It premieres September 16 at 9:30/8:30 Central (right after New Girl) on Fox.

The Big Bang Theory. There’s so much about this show that bugs me. The ridiculous pay increase demands from the cast. The old school joke setup/laugh track. Kaley Cuoco. The characters that are more like caricatures. But. Sometimes they hit it so far out of the park that I just have to overlook all those things. It helps that I’m married to a nerd and I pretty much always dated nerds, so I’m well-aquainted with the nerdy way of life. It premieres on September 22 at 8/7 Central on CBS.

Modern FamilyIt’s had its ups, it’s had its downs, and I feel like the early seasons are stronger than the most recent seasons, but we still watch and laugh. It doesn’t hurt that Jay (the grandpa) totally reminds me of my dad. Premieres September 24 at 9/8 Central on ABC.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine. My favorite. A cop comedy (naturally), it’s quirky, it doesn’t always go for the broad, giant laughs (like Modern Family or The Big Bang Theory), but the weird characters and crazy (zany? Do I sound like my grandma saying that) situations get me every time. It premieres September 28 at 8:30/7:30 Central on Fox.


Bones. My husband and I caught up on Bones this summer. To be totally honest, it’s not a great binging show–you start noticing annoying patterns and the procedural format grows a little old after awhile. But. An episode or two at a time? It’s such a fun show (although the first 90 seconds or so should always be approached with caution–they get really creative when discovering bodies to forensically anthropologize. Yes, I know that’s not a word.) Premieres September 25 at 8/7 Central on Fox.

Parenthood. You guys know of my undying love for Friday Night Lights, so it’s not a huge shock that I love this show as well because it shares a creator. I actually tried a few times to watch it and found some of the characters very off-putting, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. I went through a mourning period when I caught up with the current episodes because it was just so good. Just a warning–there are lots of feelings. Bring your tissues. The final season premieres September 25 at 10:30/9:30 Central on NBC.

NashvilleNashville is soapy and ridiculous, but it’s a fun escape and the music is amazing (plus I love me some Connie Britton.) Premieres September 24 at 10/9 Central on ABC.

The Good WifeSo I’ve been watching The Amazing Race for a long time. Because sports run long, then 60 Minutes runs long, if I don’t record at least an hour after The Amazing Race, it often gets cut off. Which means that I often wind up with at least part of an episode of The Good Wife because it’s on after The Amazing Race (wow, that was pretty much the most boring thing I’ve ever written.) Anyway. Even though we were watching things out of order, my husband and I often found ourselves completely engrossed in episodes of The Good Wife. We recently started watching it from the beginning and it’s our latest “just one more” show (you know, “Just one more!” And suddenly it’s 12:30 in the morning and I’m filled with shame and regret, but only a little bit because it’s so good.) Complex, well-written characters, great story lines, awesome writing. It premieres on September 21 at 9/8 Central.

returning husband shows

I grouped these together because I only have one reality show: The Amazing Race (well, and Teen Mom, but since I’m in it more for the train wreck value than anything else, I’m not even going there). I fold laundry on Sunday nights and watch The Amazing Race and it’s just my thing. The Amazing Race premieres September 26 at 8/7 Central.

The other category is Husband Shows. My husband has a lot of shows I have little to no interest in, but he has a handful that I watch sometimes from the sidelines, shows I haven’t paid enough attention to to know what’s going on, but I know enough to know I’m interested and would/should/could watch them if I had more time or didn’t fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 pm.

The Walking Dead. I’ve actually watched the whole thing, but some episodes are more interesting to me than others. I lose interest when it’s just swarms of zombies, but when it’s telling a great story, when it’s exploring our most human tendencies in the face of a crisis, I’m all in. It premieres October 12 at 9/8 Central on AMC.

Sleepy Hollow. This is a fun, updated version of the traditional story. Ichabod Crane comes back to life in the present and, while they deal with mystical forces, he has to adjust to adjust to modern society. It strikes a great balance between funny and creepy. It premieres September 22 at 8/7 Central on Fox.

The BlacklistJames Spader is such a great actor that he could make anything amazing. But this thriller is so good that it doesn’t need him to save it, he only pushes it over the top. I’ve fallen asleep enough times (not on purpose…sometimes I just can’t…) that I can’t say for sure what’s going on all the time, but I know enough to know I should start from the beginning. It starts on September 22 at 10/9 Central on NBC.

So tell me–what are your favorites?? Do ours match up? Are they wildly different and you hate my taste in TV?


  1. We love all these comedies (except BBT, haven’t seen many) but ahh! I must protest, the first season of Parks & Rec isn’t terrible!! We love love love that show. There is a quote for everything (like The Office).

    Can’t wait to see what happens next with Bones.

  2. LOVE BBT…LOVE IT. Not always the topics, but even episodes I’ve seen a bunch of times can still make me laugh out loud and not many shows do that anymmore. Binge-watched 8 seasons of Bones last summer after discovering it on Netflix and I fell in love with it that way but I get what you mean about the patterns. I enjoy Nashville (awesome music and I like Connie too) and Sleepy Hollow. But I can’t stand everything else on your list which really surprises me because the old shows list was full of ones we had in common…weird! :-O

  3. The Blacklist is a “husband” show for me too (I’m glad someone else categorizes them that way!) along with Elementary and Person of Interest, though I’ve gotten into those 2 enough I might actually make an effort to watch this year. We love BBT here – I don’t think it’s quite as good as it used to be but it still makes me laugh! Bones is on my “watch from the beginning” list – I love the books it’s based on but have never seen the show. I also like Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Blue Bloods, NCIS and the Mentalist (though it has changed enough it might not make the cut this season!)

  4. Well darn, now you have me wishing we had cable! But I have watched a lot of those on Netflix and I will just patiently wait until they get the newest season. I’m all caught up on the Good Wife (LOVE that show) and just about caught up on Parenthood. I didn’t know it would be there final season this year. And other than the pay increase issue, I am a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory. I even found my husband a book mark that has Sheldon on it saying “That’s My Spot”.

  5. Okay, Jay in Modern Family is JUST like my Dad, too! And what’s even funnier, I didn’t even realize it the first few episodes I watched. It took my husband pointing it out to me (and the rest of my sisters)! And now it just gets funnier and funnier every time Jay does something like my Dad. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  6. Try Suits on USA., the previous seasons are on Amazon Prime. It’s so good! Well written, drama, comedy, quirk all in one show. Not to mention one of the lead characters looks like George Clooney’s younger brother.

  7. I love Big Bang Theory, and it may change your mind to know that it’s filmed in front of a live studio audience–no laugh tracks there!

  8. I am not a huge TV watcher, but two shows I like are Once Upon A Time and Grimm. I also can’t wait for Downton Abbey to return.

  9. I just want to point out (for the sake of your laundry) that they moved Amazing Race to Fridays this season. That’s top on my returning list, along with Once Upon a Time. Our antenna doesn’t really work and we don’t have cable, so we’re limited to anything that comes up online or we can get through Netflix.

  10. I tried sleepyhollow, but I think it had to drop off my list because american horror story started. you’ve got to check it out.

    Love Mindy!!!! But the other cast members, hello Morgan!, really make the show.

    I’m not proud but I still watch MTV and am really looking forward to awkward and faking it. Seriously what is wrong with me? You’re welcome.

    Lastly, I thought mad men was done. What happened? If it does come back, I’m glad because the last episode with Burt dying left me hanging.

  11. Been really interested in The Good Wife – good to know! Jay from Modern Family also reminds me of my dad, I love it and hate it at the same time, haha

  12. What this will be the last season of Parenthood? That makes me so sad. I love Nashville too! My husband and I love watching Longmire together, but I just heard A&E is cancelling it after a totally cliffhanger season finale. Here’s hoping another channel picks it up.

  13. I love Mindy Project and Brooklyn 99 sooo much. The characters (Morgan and Gina, to name a few) are just too good. I really love a lot of ‘trash’ TV. Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and Bachelor in Paradise are just fun to laugh at. But I do get sucked in to the drama!

  14. I agree with almost all of your choices but I just CAN’T watch any of the comedies on CBS with a laugh track. They just make my skin crawl!!!! If you had said that you like Two and a half men I might have had to stop reading your blog.

  15. I just cannot…the Big Bang Theory. WHAT is it about that show? I’ve tried, I really have, and never ever laughed, not even one time. I do not get the draw of that show.

    My husband and I have started rewatching Brooklyn 99 on Netflix (or Hulu maybe?) and it’s even funnier the second time!

    new girl was hilarious until Jess & Nick got together, that kind of ruined it for me. But the Great American drinking game is the highlight of the show for me, I love it sooo much.

    Parks and Rec is the funniest show on TV. I don’t know why people didn’t like the first season. I mean, Chris Pratt living in the hole? Rock fight with a homeless guy? That’s comic genius right now.

  16. Man I’m so out of it. I just don’t spend a lot of time watching TV series. I do like Big Bang (the older stuff is great). Thanks for your list, it gives me lots of things to consider.

  17. My husband and I went as Sheldon & Amy to a Halloween party last year. I haven’t watched the past season, but I watched the other seasons while we were at MIT. My husband finds it hilarious bc it’s basically his life and the people at his lab. He was trying to find a way to describe some co-workers to a friend lately and he said “basically Sheldon Cooper?” Yes.

  18. I’m trying out Parks and Rec again, still not totally loving it. But looking forward to a few of these for the upcoming late night baby feelings!

  19. We watch most of the same shows. I can’t do Big Bang Theory or Walking Dead, though. When people say they tried Parks and Recreation but couldn’t stick with it I just want to say TRY HARDER. Ron, April, Andy, John Ralphio…what’s not to love?

  20. I have an eight month old so I’m more often interested in sleep than watching TV, but I did catch a random episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine the other week – very funny! I told my husband we should watch it sometime. I like MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen but they are usually shown off-season(?). I love Downton Abbey and can’t wait to see Season 5!

  21. So with you on the kaley cuoco thing. Really? Anyone else could play penny and it would be better! I for one am counting down the days til Once Upon a Time. And excited for Parenthood but don’t want it to end!

      1. Me too! I just don’t get why she is all that though. Cam on modern family is so totally believable as a farm boy from Missouri, but really, you could say Paris Hilton grew up in Nebraska and I’d believe that over kaley! Dang, I think I need to go make your PMS cookies 🙂

  22. Your favorite comedies are EXACTLY the same as mine! I was wondering if you would be including The Mindy Project, and I am so glad you did. I actually like Mindy much better in this than in The Office. I definitely think a lot of the comedy is for the ladies- my husband just doesn’t find the fat humor as funny as I do…I guess because I can understand her!

  23. I agree with most of these. Love Bones and the music on Nashville is so great. I LOVE Blacklist and have my Tivo set to record it every week.

  24. I just started watching the Good Wife and I love it! I’m the same way, just one episode at night, when the kids have gone to bed, but it always turns into more than one. Also, I love Nashville; more for the music than the story lines, but it’s fun all the same. Have you ever watched Suits? That is my absolute favorite!

  25. It’s a great list Kate. My husband loves most of your comedy favorites. I enjoy Big Bang Theory. I sort of fell in love with USA a couple years ago- Suits is great, and so is Covert Affairs and White Collar. Unforgettable on CBS is a fun cop show along with NCIS LA. Mentalist, the early seasons is great, but it is sort of weird now. Amazing Race is probably the only reality show I can handle, and the hubs likes it too.

  26. My favorite comedy is Big Bang Theory, we quote it all the time. Favorite drama has to be Castle. While there are story lines that are getting old, Nathan Fillion is fantastic!

  27. No one has mentioned The Vampire Diaries?!? No one? I get it…I mean, it is teenagery, and vampires? Ugh. But it is so good! (Minus last season, but I’m hoping that was a blip.) I couldn’t watch it when it first came on, but my husband was deployed a couple of years ago and I netflix-binged 3 seasons and was totally hooked. AND it has Ian Somerhalder! True brain candy.

  28. For me there are so many shows I love and am looking forward to the new fall show season so that I have something good to watch after I get home from work. Sunday nights are a must have with Once Upon a Time and Walking Dead and then Brooklyn nine-nine on demand. Monday is Big Bang Theory (my brothers and my husband are nerds so I totally get all of the jokes and I LOVE Kaley Cuoco, I totally do and I’m not ashamed to say it) and Castle is a must for me (I cannot get enough of Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic). Tuesday is Agents of Shield. Wednesday is Modern Family. Thursday is Bones (Love me some David Boreanaz, ever since Buffy) and Elementary. Friday is Grimm and America’s Next Top Model. I love my serious dramas and my comedic balance but once in a while you just need a reality show to sit back and watch the drama unfold (Big Brother is that for me right now). I also love Game of Thrones, Community, and Sherlock and cant wait for them to come back on as well.

  29. Love most of these too. I got hooked on Once Upon a Time earlier this year. Also to up the nerd factor I started watching Dr. Who (the newer seasons). I watched close to 100 episodes of it in a month in a half (wow, that’s kind of embarrassing to admit). Yes, it is comically cheesy in the first season, but it greatly improves after that first season (either that or I just got hooked enough to the storyline that it didn’t matter as much). I love it too because it takes me right to the edge of my “it’s too scary!!!!” point before it makes everything not so scary. And the actors who play Dr. Who (after the first season) definitely help the eye candy factor….

  30. I totally agree about the current iteration of Big Bang Theory. I LOVE watching the reruns because they were smart and funny. Now, Penny is cynical on top of dumb, it makes not sense she’s still seeing Leonard, and Raj just needs to find a girl. = )

  31. I love Parenthood! I’m bummed that this will be the final season, but also understood that most of the realistic scenarios have been played out. Anyway, excited for the season to start!

  32. No mention of Downton or is that a winter show? Or not your thing? I only recently got into it but it’s really good. We like Modern Family, too, and Amazing Race has become a must-watch-as-a-family show. Big Bang we finally gave in and watched and really liked. I am married to a scientist and he had been told repeatedly to watch it and we’re glad we did. I also watch Grey’s Anatomy, though that show has been up and down for sure….

  33. You’ve got to try The Goldbergs. It has my husband and me laughing so hard! It will take you back to your 80’s childhood too. I find myself saying things like, “I think my mom had that shirt.” or “I was obsessed with that toy”.

  34. We watch many of the same comedies. Have you ever watched Community? My husband got me to watch it (and The Walking Dead and Sleepy Hollow), and it’s one of the few comedies that makes me laugh out loud (now that 30 Rock is gone). It’s not cancelled, but it’s missing Chevy Chase’s character and Abed’s sidekick, so I’m not sure how many seasons it’ll be around. Check it out on Netflix! I’m gonna try out Parenthood now. Fun post!

  35. I think I have only seen one or two shows on your list. I just dont seem to watch much tv anymore. I may have to try watching a few of these and find something I like.

  36. So excited for the good shows returning this fall! I will be checking out some of your suggestions on those I haven’t seen. Thanks so much!

  37. Love, love Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99, they’re such fun and creative commedies. I lwould totally vote for Ron Swanson for anything.

    Parenthood and The Good Wife are also two of ky tippy top faves. I’m still mad TGW wasn’t emmy nominated for best drama, btw. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Julia and Joel, I will be devastated if they don’t fix themselves before the series finale.

    My recommendations for you are Revenge and Once Upon a Time. They’re good catch up, watch back to back shows. OUAT can get cheesy and the special effects are dreadful sometimes, but Hook is basically Tim Riggins, IMO, so I think you’d like it. And Revenge is soapy, juicy fun. The first season was the best, but I’m still at the edge of my seat every episode.

    Cannot wait for tv to start again, I’ve missed it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.