As a kid, the pain of going back to school in the fall was tempered by the pleasure of all the autumn premieres of my favorite TV shows. Back then the shows topping my list were "Manimal," "The Incredible Hulk" and "Knight Rider." Current fall show premieres include the largest collection of geektastic offerings I can ever remember being on at once, so it's as easy as ever to get excited for their premieres.
The TV season is staggered now and a lot of my favorites ("Agent Carter," I'm looking at you) won't be out until what's now called midseason, aka early next year. But there are still plenty of offerings to fill up every night of the week with superheroes, zombies and futuristic drama. This isn't an exhaustive list of fall geek TV, just my personal picks.
AMC's new follow-up to its smash hit "The Walking Dead" started Sunday. Called "Fear the Walking Dead," staring Frank Dillane and Alicia Clark (pictured), this prequel/spinoff will follow another path through the zombie apocalypse where we met Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon. You can check out the just-released opening scene here.
"Fear the Walking Dead" airs on AMC at 9/8 Central.
Mondays will see the debut of two new shows -- Fox's "Minority Report" and CBS' "Supergirl" -- and the return of a favorite, Fox's "Gotham." (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)
Based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie, "Minority Report" takes place in the year 2065, 10 years after the Precrime unit -- which used "precogs" to stop crimes before they happen -- has been dissolved. The series premieres September 21.
As for "Supergirl," which begins October 26, time will tell if Kal-El's cousin has what it takes to hold her own in a prime-time spot.
Back at Fox, the curtain will go up again on "Gotham" (at left) on September 21. The new season of the show that focuses on Commissioner Gordon and a very young Bruce Wayne promises to continue telling the backstory of some of the biggest supervillains ever with its trademark dark and gritty style.
"Gotham" airs on Fox at 8/7 Central; "Minority Report" airs on Fox at 9/8 Central; "Supergirl" airs on CBS at 8:30/7:30 Central on October 26 and thereafter at 8/7 Central.
Tuesday is a true superhero of a day for geek TV and in fact, if you're still watching live TV, you'll have to make a choice between two fine shows this night.
There's the return of three favorites -- "The Flash" and "iZombie" on The CW Television Network (both in their second seasons) and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on ABC. There's also the premiere of CBS' new show "Limitless." (Disclosure: The CW is a joint venture of CBS and Warner Bros. Entertainment. CBS is the parent company of CNET.)
When season 2 of "The Flash" premieres on October 6, it will be ready for some impressive new supervillains, and by all accounts there are plenty of characters rushing in to join the popular series, which stars Grant Gustin (pictured).
"iZombie" also comes back to life on October 6. The show will continue to focus on Liv Moore and her diet of brains from murder victims in the morgue where she works, according to showrunner Rob Thomas, but "the way Liv eats brains will be different this year," he told CBR TV.
"It's clearer when she's on brain. When it's kicking in it's clearer," added showrunner Diane Ruggiero-Wright.
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." returns for its third season on September 29 opposite iZombie (there's the tough choice), but not all of the agents might be sticking around. According to TV Guide, May will have some serious thinking to do about whether she'll remain part of the team or head off to rebuild her personal life.
"Limitless" drops on September 22, an adaptation of the 2011 film by the same name. Bradley Cooper, who played the main character in the movie, is rumored to make occasional appearances on the show, which continues the theme of a man using a drug to unlock the full potential of his brain.
"The Flash" airs on The CW at 8/7 Central.; "iZombie" airs on The CW at 9/8 Central; "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs on ABC at 9/8 Central; "Limitless" airs on CBS at 10/9 Central.
It's a clear win for The CW on Wednesdays with "Arrow" followed by "Supernatural."
When "Arrow" returns for its fourth season on October 7, Oliver Queen (played by Stephen Amell, pictured) will finally be taking on the full name of Green Arrow, the DC Comics character the show is based on, says Cinema Blend.
"Supernatural," the grandfather of geeky shows premiering this fall, will open up its 11th season (that's right -- 11th!) on the same night, proving that fans really can't get enough of the unkillable Winchester brothers.
"We're bringing some things in from the boys' past -- some very distant, some much more recent -- that we haven't dealt with in a long time but will have some really interesting repercussions for both guys," executive producer Andrew Dabb told TVLine,
"Arrow" airs on the CW at 8 p.m; "Supernatural" airs on the CW at 9/8 Central.
The big buzz in terms of geek TV on Thursday nights this fall is for "Heroes Reborn" (at left), the 13-episode miniseries follow-up to the show that ran on NBC from 2006-2010.
Debuting on September 24, the new series is said to feature a new band of ordinary people discovering that they have extraordinary powers, along with the return of several characters from the original show.
"A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated," says the show's official website. "Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives."
If you're still up for some fantastical TV viewing after that, you can check out the third season of "Sleepy Hollow" which premieres on October 1 on Fox.
If you're also a fan of the TV show "Bones" (starring David Boreanaz, also known for "Buffy" and "Angel"), you might especially want to tune in on October 29 when characters from the two shows will meet in a two-hour special episode.
"Heroes Reborn" airs on NBC at 8/7 Central; "Sleepy Hollow" airs on Fox at 9 p.m.
Fans of "Grimm" (at left) -- the show that tracks the modern-day monster-hunting exploits of Nick Burkhardt, descendant of the famous Grimm family -- will likely be reserving Fridays for watching the show's fifth season, which drops on NBC on the day before Halloween, fittingly.
For something with a little more of a sci-fi bent, tune in to "Continuum" on the SyFy channel. This will be the third and final season of the show that follows cop-from-the-future Kiera Cameron as she tries to stop rebels from the future from screwing up the world in 2012. The series resumes on September 11.
"Grimm" airs on NBC at 9/8 Central; "Continuum" airs on SyFy at 11/10 Central.
For many, Saturdays belong to "Doctor Who" on BBC America. The show has been airing in its current incarnation since 2005, although it originally began in 1963. The new season premieres on September 19. The Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi (pictured), may "lighten up" a bit this season, but you can judge for yourself from the series 9 trailer.