September marks the beginning of the regular TV season, and Hulu is packed with new and returning shows from ABC, Fox, NBC, MTV and other participating networks. The debuting shows' topics are quite varied: From the family of a child with cerebral palsy, to a cartoon superhero trying to win back the love of his human ex-wife. Two shows are outright remakes, and several others seem to be at least inspired by related programs. We've highlighted the shows that look most promising, but it's hard to know which will actually make it past their first seasons. And don't forget movies (way down after all the TV shows), including Hulu's own documentary about the Beatles, directed by Ron Howard.
Designated Survivor: Series Premiere (Sept. 22)
Jack Bauer is back! No, wait; this is a different show. Kiefer Sutherland returns to international intrigue in this ABC series about the only cabinet member to survive a bomb attack during the State of the Union address. As the designated survivor (a real term), he's now president. The bombing was just a prelude, and now a guy who probably isn't up to the job has to lead the country through war.
The Exorcist: Series Premiere (Sept. 24)
The Exorcist, which won an Oscar in 1973, was 2 hours long and deliciously horrifying. Will Fox be able to maintain the excitement when stretching a similar tale into a prime-time series? Geena Davis plays the mother of a young woman who does not seem to be alone inside her body. Two frenemy priests who take on the case — optimistic millennial Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera, Sense8) and dark, cynical Marcus Lang (Ben Daniels, House of Cards), who is an actual Knight Templar, à la The Da Vinci Code.
The Good Place: Series Premiere (Sept. 20)
Kristen Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, a really lousy person who is run over by a truck and, due to a "fork up," accidentally winds up in heaven, or The Good Place. Heaven, in this instance, is basically a wealthy suburb. She's got to get her act together and become a better person before the mistake is found out, or she's headed to the bad place. Ted Danson plays Michael, who runs this suburban hereafter.
Lethal Weapon: Series Premiere (Sept. 22)
Remakes are always tricky, but Fox seems to have gotten it right with this revival of the '80s action franchise. Clayne Crawford (who's won niche fame in the TV drama Rectify) revives the Mel Gibson role. Damon Wayans Sr. is a somewhat less straight-laced Murtaugh than Danny Glover's version. The chases, fights and effects look great. I saw the crew blow up a Los Angeles street during filming, and it was awesome.
Loosely Exactly Nicole: Series Premiere (Sept. 26)
Nicole Byer, who isn't afraid to say anything on MTV's Girl Code, gets her own show on the network. Loosely Exactly Nicole is based on Byer's life, and her challenges as a black comedian and actress in LA. The original concept for the show had her as a mom, but Byer knew that wouldn't work. "I can't tell you have many times I said, 'F—' in front of their faces," she told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview.
Mary + Jane: Series Premiere (Sept. 26)
MTV's new comedy about two "ganja-preneurs" selling weed in Los Angeles is produced by none other than Snoop Dogg, who does the theme song and will appear in the first season. Pot dealing has been fertile ground for dramas and comedies in the past, like Weeds and High Maintenance, and the trailer looks a bit like an LA version of the stoner buddy show Broad City. It will be interesting to see what MTV can bring something new to the genre.
Notorious: Series Premiere (Sept. 23)
Art imitates life again in this ABC show about the relationship between a showboating lawyer and a powerful TV producer who manipulate how the media covers high-profile criminal cases. It's essentially a younger, sexier version of the collaboration between criminal defense attorney and frequent TV commentator Mark Geragos, and Larry King Live executive producer Wendy Walker.
Pitch: Series Premiere (Sept. 23)
With women serving in combat and running for president, this show about the first woman to pitch for a Major League Baseball team seems at least possible. Kylie Bunbury (Under The Dome) stars as the "wunder" athlete Ginny Baker, who uses sly pitching moves to make up for her lack of brute strength. You can expect melodrama, if this description of Ginny's teammates from Fox is any sign: "Foremost among them is Mike Lawson...the team's ruggedly handsome star catcher. There's instant chemistry between them, although neither dares admit it."
Son of Zorn: Series Premiere (Sept. 26)
It's hard to know what to think of this combo live-action/animation show by SNL alum Jason Sudekis. It's clearly going to be as weird as possible. Son of Zorn tells the story of an animated warrior from the Pacific who goes to live-action Orange County, California. There, he must win back the love of his ex-wife and become a better father to their son. We're skeptical about this Fox show, but we're sure going to watch to see what happens.
Speechless: Series Premiere (Sept. 22)
Minnie Driver plays a very tough mom (with a sassy English accent) fighting to get the best life for her family. That's especially challenging, since one of her three children has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak. Based on what we've seen, the success of this ABC show rides upon Driver, and she seems up to the challenge.
This Is Us: Series Premiere (Sept. 21)
This isn't strictly a remake, but it looks a lot like the 1980s ABC drama Thirtysomething. NBC's new dramedy is about a group of friends who share the same birthday and turn 36 when the show begins. It's led by two new parents, played by Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Chosen) and Mandy Moore (Saved). Their friends deal with other challenges of looming middle age such as family strife and career meltdowns. The drama part of the equation is clear in the trailer, which shows little sign of the comedy half.
Unlocking the Truth: Series Premiere (Sept. 7)
NPR has Serial; Netflix has Making a Murderer. Now MTV is tackling the "are they really guilty?" genre with this docuseries about prisoners who claim innocence. It's co-hosted by Eva Nagao of the Exoneration Project and Ryan Ferguson, who served 10 years of a 40-year prison term for a murder of which he was eventually exonerated. Each episode investigates a new case of someone who may — or may not — have been wrongfully imprisoned.
- Blindspot, Season 2 (Sept. 14)
- Bob's Burgers: Season 7 (Sept. 26)
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 4 (Sept. 21)
- Chicago Med: Season 2 (Sept. 22)
- Chicago P.D.: Season 4 (Sept. 22)
- Empire: Season 3 (Sept. 22)
- Family Guy: Season 15 (Sept. 26)
- The Goldbergs: Season 4 (Sept. 22)
- Gotham Season 3 (Sept. 18)
- Grey's Anatomy: Season 13 (Sept. 23)
- How to Get Away With Murder: Season 3 (Sept. 23)
- Law & Order Special Victims Unit: Season 18 (Sept. 22)
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Season 4 (Sept. 21)
- Modern Family: Season 8 (Sept. 22)
- New Girl: Season 6 (Sept. 21)
- Once Upon A Time: Season 6 (Sept. 26)
- Quantico: Season 2 (Sept. 26)
- Robot Chicken: Season 8 (Sept. 25)
- Rosewood: Season 2 (Sept. 23)
- Scream Queens: Season 2 (Sept. 21)
- Secrets and Lies: Season 2 (Sept. 26)
- Shark Tank: Season 8 (Sept. 24)
- The Simpsons: Season 28 (Sept. 26)
- South Park: Season 20 (Sept. 14)
- Superstore: Season 2 (Sept. 23)
- The Voice: Season 11 (Sept. 20)
American Psycho (Sept. 1)
Sometimes, the most charming ones turn out to be serial killers. Christian Bale (who, it seems, can become anyone) plays Patrick Bateman, an Ivy League, Wall Street dreamboat who also has a serious appetite for blood in this screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' darkly satirical novel of the same name.
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Sept. 17)
This documentary with a mouthful of a title debuts on Hulu a mere day after it opens in theaters. As the name suggests, this film from director Ron Howard centers on the years from 1962 to 1966 when the Fab Four played concerts around the world. That was before they became a recording studio-only band. It's an authorized documentary, with participation from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, so we'll have to see if it will be a hard-hitting investigation or a puff piece.
Bridget Jones Diary (Sept. 15)
Renee Zellweger plays the title role in this romcom adaptation of Helen Fielding's hit novel. The film tells a story about a woman caught between her decadent lifestyle and her resolutions to be more responsible. The struggle takes form in her dalliances with her dashing playboy boss played by Hugh Grant, and a sincere-but-unexciting suitor played by Colin Firth.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Sept. 1)
Michael Caine and Steve Martin are rival con men fleecing rich women along the Riviera in this 1988 remake of the 1964 farce Bedtime Story. They're a perfectly mismatched pair: the sophisticated Lawrence Jamieson (Caine) and the vulgar American Freddy Benson (Martin). To settle matters, they enter a contest to see who can win the heart and money of a wealthy ingénue (Glenne Headly).
From Dusk till Dawn (Sept. 1)
Quentin Tarantino makes more than the usual cameo in this exploitation film directed by Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino stars opposite George Clooney. The two play a pair of ultraviolent Texas brothers who escape to Mexico with hostages, only to wind up in a vampire bar where the humans must band together and fight till dawn. Completing the picture, Juliette Lewis and Harvey Keitel co-star.
Hair (Sept. 1)
The radical 1967 musical about hippie life and the anti-Viet Nam war movement endures with decades of stage rivals and this 1979 Milos Forman film adaptation. Forman strays from the original in a bunch of ways that don't necessarily improve it, and cause some of the songs to not quite make sense. But it's a fun rendition nonetheless — a poignant balance of the titillating and the tragic.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Sept. 1)
Donald Sutherland stars as a San Francisco health inspector who finds himself investigating a lot more than rodents and cockroaches in this 1978 sci-fi horror tale (a remake of the equally great 1956 original). A shoot-'em-up alien attack might be frightening. But far creepier is a stealth invasion in which the aliens slowly, almost imperceptibly, replace your friends and loved ones, so you're not sure what's happening and who's who. Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy co-star.
Leaving Las Vegas (Sept. 1)
Don't expect a moment of reprieve in this ultra-grim but mesmerizing anti-romance. Nicholas Cage plays Ben, a Hollywood screenwriter who loses everything due to his rampant alcoholism. Feeling his life is over anyway, he decides to end it on his terms by literally drinking himself to death in Las Vegas. Along the way, he meets high-end prostitute Sera (Elisabeth Shue), and the two form a bizarre relationship that isn't quite sexual and isn't quite platonic. Spoiler alert: No matter how hard you try, it may not be possible to steer someone off of a destructive path.
The Others (Sept. 1)
Nicole Kidman plays a woman losing her mind (or has she already lost it?) in this 2001 supernatural thriller. In the aftermath of WWII, her character Grace lives with her photosensitive children in a darkened house in the Channel Islands. Signs of the supernatural appear to slowly grow more and more dramatic until the big reveal at the end. If you watch closely, you'll probably see it coming.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (Sept. 1)
It's Woody Allen at his wackiest (and that's saying a lot). Lonely, Depression-era Cecilia (Mia Farrow) escapes her loveless marriage by continually going to see the movie The Purple Rose of Cairo. One day, the film's star Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) steps out of the screen and into Cecilia's real life. She later meets the real actor who plays Tom, Gil Shepherd (also Jeff Daniels) and finds herself in a love triangle with the real and fictional versions of the same man.
Roman Holiday (Sept. 1)
A barely known young Audrey Hepburn shot to fame and won an Academy Award for her portrayal of a bored princess who sneaks out for a few days of anonymous gallivanting in Rome. Along the way, she meets a dashing American journalist, played by Gregory Peck, and begins an unlikely romance. But the life of a monarch has certain duties and limitations. The comedy was written by blacklisted author Dalton Trumbo, who first got credit for the film, and its Academy Award for best writing, decades later.
Sicario (Sept. 23)
You may need to pause and rewind a few times to keep track of the double-dealing and triple-crossing in this tangled story about cross-border crime. Emily Blunt stars as an FBI agent in Arizona who stumbles into a Mexican cartel safe house, which leads her into an interdepartmental task force and down to Juárez, Mexico. It soon becomes clear that no one is to be believed or trusted. One big hint to what ultimately goes down: Sicario means "hitman."
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Sept. 1)
Years before his role as the beefy Jason Bourne, Matt Damon played the nebbish Tom Ripley. Though an underachiever, he has an uncanny ability to lie, forge and deceive. Those talents earn him an assignment from a wealthy patron who wants Ripley to track down and bring home his son Dickie (Jude Law), who is gallivanting around 1950s Italy. Ripley develops a literal love-hate relationship with Dickie, and a crime of passion puts him on the run. There, he has to use all his skills of deception and his icy-cold calculation to survive.
What Else to Stream
The amount of good content online doesn't stop here. Check out our list of the best shows to binge watch to find some more gems you'll want to stream.