The Smart Woman's Guide to Fall's New Movies and TV Shows

It's shaping up to be a great season. Here, some highlights

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The Crazy Ones

Robin Williams made his comedy mark as the wacky alien in the ‘70s series Mork and Mindy. He’s an earthling here, but just as nutty, starring as an adman who co-owns a Chicago agency with his daughter (Buffy’s Sarah Michelle Gellar, with WIlliams). CBS, Sept. 26.

Richard Cartwright/CBS ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

The Millers

Newly divorced Jack (Will Arnett, center) is trying to get back into the social swim, but he didn’t expect his mother to be in the lane beside him. Margo Martindale stars as the mom who moves in; Beau Bridges plays her estranged husband, who causes just as much trouble when he camps out with their daughter. CBS, Sept. 26.

Richard Foreman/CBS ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.


Two comic talents, Anna Faris (right) and Alison Janney, team up to play a recovering mother and daughter—recovering from years of estrangement as well as their respective substance abuse. CBS, Sept. 23.

Monty Brinton/CBS ©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.


It’s a thriller with production values as high as a big budget movie’s—and the actors to match. Toni Collette (far left) is a physician set to operate on the President, Dylan McDermott the villain who’s holding her family hostage. CBS, Sept. 30.

Nicole Rivelli/©2013 CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

The Goldbergs

Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), top left,  is just one of the delights in this very funny family sitcom set in the ’80s. (“You agreed,” says his TV wife, Bridesmaids' Wendi McLendon-Covey, next to Garlin. “In my defense,” he answers, “I wasn’t listening.”) ABC, Sept. 24.

ABC/Craig Sjodin


Hannah Ware (center) stars in this eerie tale of adultery and family intrigue, which manages to combine elements of Revenge, Nashville and The Good Wife. ABC, Sept. 29.

ABC/Jean Whiteside

Sleepy Hollow

When the Headless Horseman starts terrorizing a contemporary town, Revolutionary soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, pictured) rises from the grave to help a female cop (Nicole Beharie) catch the culprit and prevent Apocalypse in this sharply written, engrossing drama. FX, Sept. 16.

Kent Smith/FOX

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

From the producers of Parks & Recreation, a slapstick comedy set in a police precinct. Saturday Night Live vet Andy Samberg (at desk) stars as a ditzy detective, Andre Braugher (in uniform) as his less-amused boss. Fox, Sept. 17.

Eddy Chen/Fox

The Black List

Silence of the Lambs meets Homeland when an FBI fugitive (James Spader, at gunpoint) returns as consultant, providing a “black list” of terrorists. He will only speak to new agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) in this edge-of-your-seat thriller.  NBC, Sept. 23.

David Giesbrecht/NBC

Sean Saves the World

Sean Hayes stars as a gay single dad trying to juggle raising a teen daughter with pleasing a tyrannical boss. Funny writing and a great cast, including Linda Lavin (pictured) as his mother, make this a must-see. NBC, Oct. 3.

Vivian Zink/NBC


Jonathan Rhys Meyers, so mesmerizing as Henry VIII on The Tudors, lets loose his fangs to get vengeance in 19th-century London. NBC, Oct. 25.

Jonathon Hession/NBC

The Michael J. Fox Show

Sitcom superstar Fox brings elements of his own health struggle to this show about a TV reporter diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Betsy Brandt (Breaking Bad’s Marie, with Fox) plays his wife. NBC, Sept. 26.

Eric Liebowitz/NBC

The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

In this six-part series, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates explores five centuries of black history, from slavery through the civil rights movement to the election of Barack Obama, and raises questions about the future of race relations. Episode 1 premieres Oct. 22 on PBS.

Peter Simon

American Horror Story: Coven

The third season of the horror anthology once again stars Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulsen (pictured), this time as a cauldron-stirring mother and daughter. Add Kathy Bates as a socialite/serial killer and it’s bound to be witchcraft! FX, Oct. 9

Frank Ockenfels/FX


From the creator of The Office comes…a retirement home. A gentler Ricky Gervais (center) also plays the title character, a worker at the oldster center, in this mockumentary-style series. Streaming on Netflix beginning Sept. 12.


Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley

Jackie “Moms” Mabley (pictured) took to the stage in floppy hat, clashing clothes—and without her teeth. But her humor had bite and Mabley, who died in 1975 at age 81, broke ground for female and African-American performers. In this documentary, Goldberg and other comedians celebrate Mabley’s work while revealing details of her often harsh life. Debuting November 18 on HBO.

Getty Images/Courtesy HBO

Witches of East End

Move over, vampires, and give witches a chance. Julia Ormond (pictured) stars as the matriarch forced to let her daughters in on a really big family secret in a series based on the Melissa de la Cruz novel. Lifetime, Oct. 6.

Sergei Bachlakov

Dancing on the Edge

Inspired by Duke Ellington’s European tours, this elegant miniseries follows a group of black jazz musicians as they become the darlings of devious aristocrats in 1930s London. Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), at piano, stars as band leader Louis Lester and a top-notch cast includes Jacqueline Bisset and John Goodman. All this, plus lush photography and original music! Debuting on Starz Oct.19.

©2013 Ruby Film and Television (DOTE) LImited.


The story of a young Saudi girl desperate to own and ride a bike, this movie from female filmmaker Haifaa Al-Monsour manages to charm while artfully revealing hard truths. In theaters Sept. 13.

Tobias Kownatzki © Razor Film, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks captures the heroism and humanity of a ship’s captain forced to make quick decisions when his vessel is hijacked by Somali pirates. In theaters October 11.

Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Kill Your Darlings

Moving even further from his Harry Potter fame, Daniel Radcliffe, right, stars as Beat poet Alan Ginsberg in a tale of passion, jealousy and murder that evokes the exhilaration and madness of that ‘40s counterculture. In theaters October 18.

Clay Enos, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

12 Years a Slave

Director Steve McQueen's latest is the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into Louisiana slavery. Rescued in 1853, Northup published a memoir of those unforgivable years, providing a basis for this heart-wrenching film. Chiwetel Ejiofor (center) stars as Northup, Michael Fassbender as his most brutal master, and one of the movie's producers, Brad Pitt, briefly appears as an abolitionist.


In theaters October 18.

Jaap Buitendijk

Thanks for Sharing

Tim Robbins is the standout performer in this quirky romantic comedy focusing on characters who bond during 12-step meetings for sex addiction. Josh Gad and Alecia Moore (aka Pink) also star, along with Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured). In theaters September 20.

Roadside Attractions


Sandra Bullock and George Clooney (pictured) are lost in space—literally, after their shuttle is severely damaged by falling debris. Directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who wrote the screenplay with his son Jonas, it’s a thriller with no need for made up monsters. In theaters Oct. 4.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Don Jon

Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote, directed and stars in the story of Jon Martello, a New Jersey guy who finds real sex doesn’t match his porn expectations. A hit at the Sundance Festival, the comedy also features Scarlett Johansson (with Gordon-Levitt), Julianne Moore and Tony Danza. In theaters Sept. 27.

Daniel McFadden ©2013 Relativity Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved

The Family

Could Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer (pictured) really disappear into witness protection? Even their characters find it hard in this comedy about a mafia family relocated to rural France but incapable of shaking their criminal impulses. In theaters Sept. 13.

Jessica Forde


Based on the book Four Days in November, this drama follows ordinary citizens through Dallas—and into Parkland Hospital—on the day JFK was assassinated. Among the accomlished cast: Billy Bob Thornton (pictured) as the head of the Secret Service in Dallas. In theaters Oct. 4.

Claire Folger ©2013 Exclusive Media Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

All Is Lost

Robert Redford (pictured) portrays a salior on a solo voyage that turns into a one-man struggle for survival when his boat takes on water. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor, who did the same for the marvelous Margin Call. In theaters Oct. 18.

Daniel Daza

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