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Fall TV Preview: Hip-Hop, Harlem Superheroes and ‘The Walking Dead’

New sitcoms, Marvel’s “Wu-Tangification” series and the return of AMC’s zombie soap — everything you need to know about the small-screen season

In the old days, the fall season was when the networks brought out this year's models and viewers suddenly found themselves wading through a gajillion new dramas, sitcoms, procedurals and whatever must-see TV gamechangers to see what would live, die or become a hit. Now, of course, you're apt to get incredible new shows all year-round — from streaming services, premium and basic cable channels, the deep left-of-the-dial outer reaches of your local providers and beyond. A show may suddenly appear en toto, to be consumed in a single weekend instead of a seven-month arc or sweeps-week blowout. The vintage idea of the Big Three using September as their big product-launch month now seems kind of quaint.

That said, autumn is still a time when there's no shortage of returning favorites and future canon-worthy shows hitting the airwaves, Internet, etc. We've singled out 30 titles we're excited about — some traditional network fare, some tantalizing Netflix reboots/continuations (Black Mirror!), a handful of HBO contenders, something old (MacGuyver! The Exorcist!), something new, something borrowed and something blue in the face (that Woody Allen project!). Break out the Visine if, like us, you like to watch.

‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’

Netflix, November 25
This four mega-episode revival of the cult series may seem like another example of Netflix fan service (Fuller House, anyone?). But it's really a chance for creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who left the show before its final season, to wrap it up on her terms. Her rapid-fire pith hasn't graced the airwaves since the late, lamented Bunheads, and Lorelei (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel) will have all their suitors back to woo them. Not that any of them are worthy of the Gilmores, mind you. Perish the thought. ST

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

‘Captive’

Netflix, December 9
Ever wonder what happens in the middle of a tense, high-pressure hostage negotiation? Filmmaker Doug Liman (Swingers, The Bourne Identity) has — and along with producers Simon and Jonathan Chinn, has interviewed dozens of folks involved, from government mucky-mucks and various victims to the actual kidnappers themselves. To say that this docuseries is going to be a nail-biter is a no-brainer. DF