The fall TV season used to be a big deal.
Not so much anymore. The broadcast networks who still rely on this type of schedule are a much smaller piece of the TV viewing pie. Cable and streaming services now debut programs all year around with no particular regard to a “season.”
The number of shows shot in metro Atlanta continues to grow, surpassing 60. A few of them return or debut this fall, from programs as big as AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to smaller gems such as Sundance’s award-winning-but-barely-seen “Rectify.”
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (October 23, 9 p.m., season 7): America’s most popular drama left fans with a major cliffhanger this past spring when the latest villain Nagan killed one (or more) cast members but didn’t reveal who. AMC is so gun-shy about spoilers, it even taped scenes of each potential victim getting killed. One thing’s for sure: it isn’t Daryl!
Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” (October TBD, season 9): “The Facts of Life” star Kim Fields is out after one season. She never appeared comfortable with the other ladies. New cast members are likely. NeNe Leakes on Twitter recently said she is not coming back for season 9 and hinted that Sheree Whitfield and Kim Zolciak might return in full-time or part-time capacity.
The CW’s “Vampire Diaries” (October 21, 8 p.m., season 8): This supernatural drama was one of the first series to shoot in the Atlanta metro area after the state passed sweetened tax credits to TV and film production companies in 2008. It’s now the longest-running scripted program produced in the state. Unfortunately, the CW is ending the series after eight seasons in 2017.
CBS’s “MacGyver” (September 23, 8 p.m., new series): This reimagined version of the original series features Lucas Till as the wily, tech-proficient MacGyver. Till, who has also appeared in the “X Men” films, grew up in Cobb County and graduated from Kell High School in Marietta in 2008.
NatGeo’s “Killing Reagan” (October 16, 8 p.m., movie): The latest film based on the series of Bill O’Reilly non-fiction books features Tim Matheson as Ronald Reagan and Cynthia Nixon as Nancy Reagan. The movie hones in on John Hinckley Jr. and his efforts to kill Reagan in 1981 to impress Jodie Foster.
Sundance’s “Rectify (October 26, 10 p.m., fourth season): Georgia native Ray McKinnon has created a masterpiece of a TV series featuring a man named Daniel Holden on death row who was let out on a technicality after 19 years and upended his hometown of Paulie. The final season has Daniel - exiled from Georgia - in Nashville starting a new life while his family left behind picks up the pieces.
Adult Swim’s “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” (October TBD, third season): This live-action workplace comedy set in hell features special guests this season including the Antichrist, Hitler and Dustin Diamond (Screech from “Saved By the Bell”).
Bravo’s ‘Don’t Be Tardy” (September 14, 10 p.m., fifth season): Kim Zolciak, who became famous after appearing on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is now focused on her football-playing hubby and her wacky brood of six kids. Expect fish-out-of-water antics when she visits Montana to see her husband’s ranch.
CW69’s “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court” (September 12, 1 p.m., fourth season). This syndicated judge show has seen steadily growing ratings as fans enjoy her empathetic take on paternity cases. She recently celebrated her 500th episode at her studios at Georgia Public Broadcasting.
CW69’s “Family Feud” (September 12, 4 p.m., seventh season with Steve Harvey as host). This long-standing game show is sticking with a formula that works, imbued by Harvey’s irrepressible sense of humor.