From bestsellers to TV dramas’ next chapters, familiar titles are taking over this fall. Below, we’re rounding up all of the must-see prequels, spinoffs, sequels, adaptations, and more to tune into on TV.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Sept. 2, Prime Video)
Reenter the precioussss fantasy world imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien. In Middle-earth’s dangerous Second Age (long before hobbit Bilbo’s adventure), viewers see the forging of the 20 rings of power — and the elven kings, dwarf lords, and mortals who are corrupted by the evil artifacts. Five big-budget seasons are on deck. The massive cast includes Morfydd Clark as elven royal Galadriel (Cate Blanchett’s film role) and Charles Edwards (The Crown) as Celebrimbor, the elven smith manipulated by dark lord Sauron to create the rings.
Walker: Independence (Fall, The CW)
Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters) and Matt Barr lead this Western prequel to Jared Padalecki’s Texas Ranger hit. “We go way back to the 19th century to meet the first Walker who shows up in [Texas],” says executive producer Padalecki. That would be Bostonian Abby, who’s exposed to burlesque dancing and Apaches!
The Winchesters (Fall, The CW)
Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) has a new mission on this Supernatural prequel: “To uncover the truth about my parents!” As narrator, he’s not killing monsters, but we get that — along with cool weapons and bad jokes — from his father, John (Drake Rodger), and mother, Mary (Meg Donnelly), who meet cute back in 1972 when she saves him from a demon.
Willow (November 30, Disney+)
For this series — set 20 years after the events of Ron Howard’s 1988 fantasy flick — the memorable Warwick Davis returns as small but brave sorcerer Willow Ufgood. He sets out on a dangerous quest with other would-be heroes to help Princess Kit (Ruby Cruz) rescue her twin brother and save their world.
Quantum Leap (Fall, NBC)
Oh, boy! The original 1989–93 series ended with earnest time-traveling scientist Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) disappearing. Nearly 30 years later, this continuation assembles a new team to restart the innovative program’s Quantum Leap accelerator. Hopscotching-through-history duties fall to Dr. Ben Seong (Raymond Lee), a devout physicist. Ernie Hudson also stars.
The Rookie: FEDS (Sept. 27, 10/9c, ABC)
Introduced in an action-packed Rookie two-parter this spring, Niecy Nash-Betts steps up as Simone Clark. Once the oldest rookie at the FBI academy, the whip-smart former guidance counselor schools a new unit of special agents on thinking outside the box.
Pinocchio (Sept. 8, Disney+)
If we say the trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ dazzling musical fantasy film doesn’t give us chills, our noses’ll grow. Tom Hanks wishes upon a star for his wooden creation to turn into a real boy (with one swing of beautiful Blue Fairy Cynthia Erivo’s wand). Joseph Gordon-Levitt costars as Jiminy Cricket.
Magpie Murders (Oct. 16, 9/8c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org)
Anthony Horowitz adapts his own bestseller into this six-part Masterpiece Mystery! title. A British book editor (Lesley Manville), as cool as the convertible she drives, investigates the suspicious death of her top author (Conleth Hill, Game of Thrones’ Varys) — after he turns in his final whodunit with pages missing. “Everyone he knew was in it, and that’s why the last chapter was taken,” she reasons. “Because it reveals a secret.”
Interview with The Vampire (Fall, AMC and AMC+)
Jacob Anderson (Game of Thrones’ Grey Worm) and Sam Reid sink their teeth into the roles of Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt, respectively, for this lavish interpretation of Anne Rice’s sexy seminal novel about New Orleans immortals.
Written by Emily Aslanian, Mandi Bierly, Robert Edelstein, Jim Halterman, Damian Holbrook, and Ileane Rudolph