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CBC’s Alias Grace, Plus 11 More Must-Watch Fall Shows

The biggest TV season of the year is upon us. Here’s what to watch — from prestige dramas to reboots of classics.

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Now that fall TV is finally here, say bye-bye to bathing suit season, break out your coziest Snuggie and get ready for hours (and hours) of great reasons to hang indoors. Here, the season’s most promising remakes, reboots, dramas, true crime and CanCon.

Alias Grace CBC Netflix

Sarah Gadon stars in CBC’s adaptation of Alias Grace. Photo, Jan Thijs/Netflix.

Alias Grace

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Margaret Atwood mania continues with this historically inspired mystery based on the true story of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant who came to Canada at age 12, worked as a housekeeper and was convicted of murdering her employer, Thomas Kinnear, in 1843. In Atwood’s version, a fictional doctor investigates whether Marks really did it. Sarah Polley wrote the six-episode series, which stars a truly Canadian cast including Sarah Gadon (as Marks), Paul Gross and David Cronenberg.

Where to watch: CBC, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

The Deuce HBO

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in David Simon’s latest project, The Deuce. Photo, HBO.

The Deuce

HBO’s new “it” show is a sizzling portrait of sex, drugs and serious hustle in 1970s NYC. James Franco plays twin brothers Frankie and Vincent, who get in deep with the mob. Maggie Gyllenhaal is a sex worker who decides to try her luck in the emerging legal porn industry. The show was created by David Simon and George Pelecanos, who made The Wire and are generally considered TV gods. Plus, it’s the seventies, so the soundtrack rules.

Where to watch: HBO, Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT

Dynasty reboot

A classic of the 1980s, Dynasty gets a reboot on The CW. Photo, Mark Hill/The CW.

Dynasty

“Vicious. Ambitious. Delicious.” So goes the tagline of your new favourite guilty pleasure, a reboot of the 1980s classic, brought to you by the guys behind Gossip Girl and The O.C. Translation: Lots of hot people, lots of romantic entanglements and at least some hair pulling, as seen in the pilot, where Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies) thinks her new stepmom is out to steal the family business from daddy, played by ageless Melrose Place hottie Grant Show.

Where to watch: The CW, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m.

Top of the Lake: China Girl

Elizabeth Moss reprises her role as detective Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake: China Girl. Photo, Lisa Tomasetti/BBC.

Top of the Lake: China Girl

When the body of a sex worker washes up on the shore in Bondi Beach, Australia, detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) takes the case. Meanwhile, she has recently met the daughter she gave up 20 years ago, along with the girl’s adoptive mother (Nicole Kidman). In case it’s not obvious, this show is an acting master class. The original TOTL won Moss a Golden Globe in 2013. Both she and Kidman are up for Emmys (for Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies, respectively) this month. Stands to reason they could face off again next fall.

Where to watch: CBC, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m.

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

Edie Falco stars as attorney Leslie Abramson. Photo, Justin Lubin/NBC

Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders

The granddaddy of legal dramas is getting in on the true crime craze — dun, dun — starting with the story of Lyle and Erik Menendez, the California rich kids who murdered their parents and became the stars of the most sensationalized murder trial B.O. (before OJ). Edie Falco (who cannot make a bad TV show) stars as defence attorney Leslie Abramson, who argued that the real victims in this toxic family tragedy were the brothers themselves.

Where to watch: Global, Sept. 26 at 10 p.m.

Will and Grace reboot

Eleven years after the series finale, Will & Grace returns. Photo, NBC.

Will & Grace

Eleven years later and the gang is getting back together again. So far we know that Will and Grace are living together, the whole finale plot from 2006 (where W and G get married and have kids) never happened and Jack and Karen are (still) the best part.

Where to watch: Global, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m.

Ten Days in the Valley

Kyra Sedgwick stars in Ten Days in the Valley. Photo, Bob D’Amico/ABC.

Ten Days in the Valley

Kyra Sedgwick plays a TV writer on a cop show whose real life becomes the ultimate whodunit after her teenage daughter goes missing. Created by Canadian Rookie Blue writer Tassie Cameron, this edge-of-your-couch thriller also explores issues around mom guilt, gender roles and the pressure to balance career and parenting.

Where to watch: CTV, Oct. 1 at 10 p.m.

The Mayor CTV

Brandon Michael Hall, Yvette Nicole Brown and Lea Michele star in The Mayor. Photo, CTV/Bell Media.

The Mayor

Courtney Rose (Brandon Micheal Hall) is a struggling rapper who runs for mayor of his hometown to drum up publicity for his upcoming mixtape. And then — wait for it — he wins. Think Veep meets Empire in this comedy that marks Lea Michele’s first starring role since Glee, and includes plenty of Trump-era zingers.

Where to watch: CTV, Oct. 7 at 8:30 p.m.

American Horror Story: Cult

American Horror Story returns for a seventh season. Photo, FX.

American Horror Story: Cult

AHS is essentially a new show each season with a fresh plot and characters (and the same excellent cast). This time the (totally creepy) drama begins on election night 2016, when Ally (Sarah Paulson) is devastated by Trump’s victory and finds herself suffering from intense coulrophobia — the fear of clowns. A dynamic cult leader plays into a story about the fear-mongering and false prophets, which seems timely to say the least.

Where to watch: FX Canada, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m. ET

Valor

Valor stars Christina Ochoa of Animal Kingdom fame. Photo, W Network.

Valor

This TV season brings a bunch of military drama options (Seal Team, The Brave), but this one gets our vote. The plot revolves around Officer Nora Madani, a helicopter pilot involved in a botched mission in Somalia (alongside her hunky captain). The ensuing cover-up becomes bigger with every lie and the good guys/bad guys may not be who you think. Kind of like the first season of Homeland, back when that show had a bit more soap opera flavour.

Where to watch: W Network, Oct. 9 at 9 p.m.

Curb Your Enthusiasm fall TV preview 2017

Curb Your Enthusiasm returns after a six-year hiatus. Photo, HBO Canada.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Another technically-not-new-but-definitely-worth-being-excited-about reboot, Larry David’s semi-autobiographical show about a charming curmudgeon (or a curmudgeonly charmer?) is back six years after the last season, which saw Larry adjusting to the single life in New York. Cheryl Hines (who played David’s long-suffering wife, Cheryl) is back for the reboot. A reconciliation sounds like a pretty, pretty, pretty good idea.

Where to watch: HBO, Oct. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

Bad Blood fall TV preview 2017

Kim Coates and Anthony LaPaglia star in Bad Blood. Photo, City TV.

Bad Blood

Canada gets its very own La Familia drama based on a real life Tony Soprano: Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto. The series chronicles the period after Rizzuto (a.k.a. the “Teflon Don”) is released from prison in 2012, and must reclaim his power while avenging his son. Spoiler alert: things get bloody.

Where to watch: City, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.

This story was updated on Sept. 6, 2017.