It’s time for fall TV premieres, and we couldn’t be more excited. Every week there are new series to try and returning favorites to enjoy. With so much choice, and so many ways to watch – whether live, On Demand, on your DVR, or streaming – it can be tough to keep up. To help Boston viewers navigate the options, we caught up with resident television expert Todd Gold, Senior Director and Editor in Chief of Xfinity TV, for his thoughts on this season’s most buzzed-about series, last year’s viewership trends, and the technology that helps fans stay connected to their entertainment, no matter where they are.
Hi Todd, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions today. Give us the scoop! Which new and returning shows have the most buzz?
A lot of the buzz around the new Fall TV season is very much the collective excitement for the return of NBC’s hit and last year’s #1 new series, This Is Us. Anticipation for the season 2 premiere of this emotional, loving family portrait is intense, especially after the show just scored two Emmy wins ((Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Gerald McRaney) and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Sterling K. Brown)). You can get caught up On Demand on X1. Will & Grace is another red-hot returnee with fans eager to catch up with Will, Grace, Karen and Jack more than a decade after they waved goodbye. Other buzzworthy shows on our radar include: the Netflix phenomenon Stranger Things, with fans eager to see if season 2 will be just as binge-worthy; the Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon, which I am predicting will be the most-watched new comedy – and maybe show – of the new season; FOX’s new Marvel series, The Gifted and the CW’s reboot of Dynasty.
Are there any underrated returning shows you think more people should be watching?
Yes! Look no further than the brilliant, slick, and darkly funny TBS series Search Party. The millennial identity crisis disguised as a whodunit returns for its second season in November and all of season 1 is available On Demand on Xfinity X1 for a catch-up binge. The chemistry among the cast of The Good Place, starting with Ted Danson and Kristin Bell, just crackles with perfect comedic timing, but it’s the darker turn the comedy took that really lured me in, and I think makes it a good forking show. The CW’s Crazy Ex Girlfriend, a romantic comedy with music (or “musical romcom”) starring Rachel Bloom, has probably settled into an audience entering its third season, but the sparkle and delight of this show make it a perfect 30 minute watch. Riverdale (sure to pick up more audience this season), The Mick, and the FOX soap Star (no doubt because of the star power of Queen Latifah) are also among my ones-to-watch.
What do you think Boston viewers will love?
The debut of This is Us and the thrills and chills of American Horror Story topped the most-watched On Demand lists among local viewers last year, and we’ll see if they turn out to be crowd-pleasers in Boston again this year. Meanwhile, TV fans looking for a local tie-in might want to try The Good Place – creator Michael Schur is a Harvard alum, and the show stars Ted Danson of Cheers fame.
What are some of the upcoming TV events we might want to watch live?
For Fall, I think these are the shows people will tune in live for because they will be so eager to talk about them the next day: the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm (we’ve been too long without Larry David); Scandal because it is the final season; and the ever dependable and addictive Grey’s Anatomy, whose gripping finale last season showed just how strong this veteran drama remains. Additionally, NBC’s The Voice, with Jennifer Hudson joining as a new coach and Adam Levine and Blake Sheldon sharing the funniest bromance on TV, always gives us a reason to watch live and that excitement increases throughout the season building up to the live shows when it’s time to vote! Of course, NFL football, the MLB playoffs and World Series, and the award show season kick-off in November also make for the most compelling live TV.
Which shows (new or returning) do you predict will draw the largest On Demand audiences?
I expect to see This Is Us at the top of this list along with stalwarts Empire, The Big Bang Theory, Designated Survivor, The Voice, The Simpsons, Queen Sugar, Grey’s, and big action series such as Lethal Weapon, The Brave, Seal Team and SWAT.
What is currently waiting on your DVR to be watched?
On my DVR is Ken Burns’ latest PBS documentary series Vietnam. On Demand, I am looking forward to watching Netflix’s GLOW, Atypical and Narcos via Xfinity X1.
It’s the golden age of television. With so much choice, how do you keep up with your favorite shows?
There are more high-quality shows available than ever, but thankfully there are more ways for people to watch as well – what, where and when they want it. The key is to take advantage of the availability of shows On Demand. Xfinity On Demand is the destination for Fall TV viewing and catch up, with 900+ full-season stacked series available. With the seamless navigation of the X1 guide and the Emmy Award-winning X1 voice remote, Xfinity customers can easily find their favorites as well as the cool new stuff and keep up with all these great shows. The great thing about watching on X1 is that you have the ability to watch all of these great network series live and On Demand, as well as get access to Netflix’s original series, and the catalog of YouTube to supplement all the great original programming out there —all in one place right from your TV. You can also download the Xfinity Stream TV app and watch live, On Demand, and DVR recordings both in and out of the home. Long story short, if you’re watching on X1, you really have the best seat in the house and an advantage over your friends when it comes to keeping up with everything Fall TV!
For more information on Xfinity TV, including X1, On Demand, cloud DVR, voice remote and the Stream TV app, click here.