As Summer ends, and the sun starts seeing Australia behind our backs (we complain, but we always take her back, what kind of message do you think that sends?), people crawl miserably inside to huddle against the cold and the wet. Fortunately, what Autumn lacks in balmy weather it more than makes up for in TV (which is handy, cause there’s nothing better than watching good TV while huddling inside). This week, September kicks off in style, with three new shows (and a film), two of which (and the film) look pretty good, if not excellent. There’s also an elderly Irish lady skydiving or some shit, and a bunch of “celebrities” sweating on live TV for our entertainment.
The week starts with the launch of a brand new channel, let alone show, with AMC Global beginning its broadcast, exclusive to BT. AMC are coinciding their new channel in Britain with the launch of shiny new show: Fear the Walking Dead. A prequel of sorts to the hit show The Walking Dead, AMCs latest zombie offering will show us the beginning of the apocalypse in which Rick and Co. find themselves, replete with entirely new cast members, a different setting (L.A.), and a new creator/showrunner in David Erickson, who previously worked on Sons of Anarchy. The show premieres at 9pm.
If you don’t have access to BT, or zombies aren’t your thing, Monday night still has you covered, with Danny & the Human Zoo. A TV film, Danny & the Human Zoo is a fictionalisation of the life of comedian Lenny Henry, specifically his youth and the beginning of his career in show-business, facing severe racial prejudice. Written by Henry, and also starring him (though thankfully not as himself), the film airs on the BBC at 9pm.
On to Tuesday, where AMC are launching a second new show, presumably because a channel with just one show wouldn’t be the most successful endeavor ever undertaken. This one is called Rectify. Originally broadcast in the US on SundanceTV in 2013, the series tells the story of a man convicted of the rape and murder of a 16 year-old girl, only to have his conviction nullified on new evidence 19 years later. It has already run for three seasons, with each garnering near universal praise. The show premieres at 9pm on AMC Global.
Returning this week is 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy, a show in which a friendly Irish man (Bazil Ashmawy) travels the world and performs dangerous stunts and activities with his 71 year-old mother. Having (presumably) failed to kill his mother last year, Ashmawy is returning to have another crack at it in this show, which can probably best be summed up as “like Gogglebox, but replacing TV with extreme sports, and families with an elderly Irish woman, so basically not like Gogglebox”. The second season premieres at 9pm on Sky1.
This week’s detective show is a newbie, with Backstrom aiming to fill the apparently unfilled hole in the market for police-procedurals. Offering a comedic take on the well-worn genre, the show stars Rainn Wilson (The Office (US), Super) as a satirically drawn, exaggeratedly “moody” detective doing, you know, detective stuff, alongside a team of eccentric criminologists. The show, however, was cancelled after its first season in the US, and was largely panned by critics, so bear that in mind. It premieres on Fox (UK) at 9pm on Wednesday.
Wrapping up the week is the BBCs annual glitter-fest, Strictly Come Dancing, returning for its thirteenth season. With a host of new kinda famous people squeezing themselves into sequined outfits and taking to the dancefloor, and the everyday TV watcher suddenly transformed into an expert on what constitutes good ballroom dancing, Strictly’s back. Come Saturday, the BBCs battle for the airwaves against ITV and their X-Factor will begin. I’ll see you the other side of Christmas.