By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
8:31 AM CDT, September 16, 2013
Every fall, the major broadcast networks unveil the most new TV series and thus grab the biggest chunk of audience attention. But quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality, so to find some of Fall TV's most interesting fare viewers need to check out the cable networks—some you've probably never clicked to—and the Internet. Here are 11 upcoming new shows worth checking out, listed by premiere date. All times are Central.
Masters of Sex
9 p.m. Sept. 29, Showtime
In the late 1950s, Dr. Williams Masters and Virginia Johnson (Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan) begin their pioneering research of human sexuality with a see-through dildo and a whole lot of nudity. Kidding aside, there's a whole lot of depth to this frank new drama.
9:30 p.m. Sept. 29, HBO
L.A. transplant from Britain Stuart (Stephen Merchant) thinks he's some kind of Don Juan, but the self-deluded douchebag is routinely—and hilariously—rebuffed by the women he tries to woo.
A Young Doctor's Notebook
9 p.m. Oct. 2, Ovation
In this dark but quirky comedy based on the stories of Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov, a morphine-addicted doctor (Jon Hamm) recalls and interacts with his younger self (Daniel Radcliffe)—a recent med school grad who is sent to a remote, backwards village at the start of the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Witches of East End
9 p.m. Oct. 6, Lifetime
Non-practicing witch Joanna (Julia Ormond) has raised her daughters (Rachel Boston, Jenna Dewan Tatum) without telling them about their witchly powers. But now an ancient enemy threatens the family, so Joanna and her estranged sister (Madchen Amick) must prepare the girls for war. "American Horror Story: Coven" will no doubt be more shocking and original, but "East End" looks to mix old-school witchery with "Desperate Housewives" sudsiness.
8 p.m. Oct. 9, DirecTV Audience and DirecTV Everywhere
Acclaimed playwright Neil LaBute comes to TV with this riveting 10-episode series about 11 people whose lives intertwine through a string of conversations at a restaurant. David Boreanaz, Minka Kelly, Keke Palmer and Tom Felton are among the stars.
Dancing on the Edge
9 p.m. Oct. 19, Starz
In early 1930s London, the all-black Louis Lester Band rockets to fame after their "daring" jazz music catches the ear of members of the aristocracy, including the British royal family. Lester (Chiwetel Ejiofor) learns which of the band's benefactors are actually true friends when a murder conspiracy threatens to destroy its success.
The Strange Calls
Oct. 19, Hulu
In this Australian comedy, city cop Toby Banks (Toby Truslove) is demoted to the beach town of Coolum, where he works night duty out of an old camper. With the help of local eccentric Gregor (Barry Crocker), Toby investigates the bizarre phone tips he gets that lead to chicken-men, lawn-mowing zombies and other oddities.
8 p.m. Oct. 31, Sundance
A town is rocked when people who have been dead for years return to their loved ones not having aged a day—or knowing that they ever died. This fresh and compelling French take on the zombie genre doesn't stop there: A series of violent murders suggest "the returned" aren't the only ones back from the grave.
The Wrong Mans
Nov. 11, Hulu
Two office schmos (James Corden and Matthew Baynton) get caught up in a deadly criminal conspiracy after one of them discovers a ringing phone at the scene of a horrific car crash. I've only seen the trailer for this Hulu/BBC coproduction, but it's packed with funny lines and lots of action.
Nov. 23, BBC America
I haven't seen a second of this 13-part fantasy series about Atlantis apparently before it was the lost city, so I'm going strictly on reputation. The creators of "Merlin" are part of the team behind it, and the cast includes Mark Addy, Jemima Rooper, Juliet Stevenson, Sarah Parish, and Jack Donnelly. Plus, I love me some fantasy "set in a time of legendary heroes and mythical creatures."
Sometime this fall, Amazon
Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau lampoons the Republican Party with this comedy about four senators—including two played by John Goodman and Mark Consuelos—living like frat brothers in Washington D.C. while attempting to run the country. "Alpha House" was one of two comedy pilots voted by viewers to get a series order.
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